Revamp: Mass Ave's Tini Consumes Flying Cupcake Space

This slim bar will soon go “double wide,” taking over its neighbor’s ground- and lower-level rooms.

One of Mass Ave’s open secrets will soon become a reality: Tini‘s name is about to become a bit of a misnomer. Brad Kime, owner of the sleek, martinis-meet-music-videos bar (717 Massachusetts Ave.; 317-717-1313) has signed a lease to take over the next-door space currently inhabited by The Flying Cupcake, the dessert shop owned by Kate Bova Drury (715 Massachusetts Ave.; 317-396-2696).

Kime intends to up the ante by introducing a front patio area as well, with six four-top tables to appear in April 2014 just outside of large new double-pane windows now in the works. That would combat Tini’s issue of fogged-up front windows during cold months, which might have turned away passersby in the past who sought a nightcap or further rounds of merriment. Says Kime, “I had a revelation about this awhile ago and said, ‘Why don’t we try to open up this space?'” Wall cutouts will appear between TV screens appearing behind the bar’s well-known red countertop so that patrons on either side of the establishment can peer over at each other, further serving to open up the space.

Tini’s current slip of a bar, one of Indy’s 25 Best, rests on 600 square feet, upstairs and down, including a subterranean small-plates kitchen, two bathrooms, and an open-air washroom. In adding on Flying Cupcake’s 475 square feet next door, plus storage-area space in its lower level, Tini’s main-level space will more than double in size—a real benefit for this famously slender room. The bar’s expansion will be complete in mid-December or by Christmas, with hope, says Kime.

The Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission (IHPC) is involved, as are the Chatham Arch Neighborhood Association and some other city and neighborhood organizations. The IHPC has already approved introduction of the bar’s double-paned front windows.

And there’s more in store: Kime seeks to add a dance floor in the back of the room next door, with an opening between the two areas at the back of the building between preexisting flat-screen TVs. Bar stools and a quintet of four-top tables will go in next door. This evolution reveals the owner’s not-so-subtle desire for his nightspot to become a destination bar. “We have been a pregame, postgame bar,” says Kime. “The plan hasn’t been to go to Tini for the night. That’s going to change.”

To note, Drury’s Flying Cupcake will move up to the business end of Mass Ave, to space at 423 Massachusetts Ave., adjacent to the Schmidt Associates office.

Tini recently began serving cocktails made with Luxardo cherry liqueur and other flavors, with alcohol-infused Luxardo cherries appearing atop certain drinks, including Tini’s take on the Old Fashioned, in keeping with the local trend. Says Kime,”We keep trying to find high-quality drinks to make quickly, to hit that niche while serving cocktails at a fair price.” Tini’s custom drinks typically sell for $8.

No one does it quite like the pop diva so often seen on the bar’s six screens (and counting), but stay tuned for more on Tini’s not-quite-Madonna-esque reinvention.

Image below courtesy Brad Kime, Tini