» It’s a familiar emotional roller coaster ride for the Indianapolis dining scene: excitement in February when the annual James Beard semifinalists are announced (“We’re on the list! This could finally be Indy’s year!”) and then disappointment in March, when Indiana is nowhere to be found among the finalists (“Foiled again!”). Chefs Abbi Merriss (Bluebeard) and Steven Oakley (Oakleys Bistro) were both semifinalists this year for Best Chef/Great Lakes (which includes Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio), a category they’ve both been nominated in before, but saw only Chicago chefs advance when the finalists were announced March 14. Alan Sternberg, formerly of Cerulean and currently the Common House pop-up series, was a semifinalist in the Rising Star chef category for the second time, while Patachou, Inc’s Martha Hoover got her fourth nod as a semifinalist in the Outstanding Restaurateur category. The winners will be revealed at the James Beard Awards Gala in Chicago on May 7.
» Scarlet Lane Brewing Company has submitted a request for permit to the Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood Association License Review Committee regarding the former Big Al’s Superstore at 4601 N. College Ave.
» Who says kids get to have all the summer camp fun? Eddie Sahm, proprietor of Big Lug Canteen and several other restaurants in the Sahm’s Restaurant Group, is launching a beer camp this May. According to the Indianapolis Star, the camp will occupy the property surrounding the old Idlewold Country Club at Pendleton Falls Park (460 Falls Park Dr., Pendleton). Expect rustic cabins that sleep up to 20 people (with in-cabin taps) and plenty of summer camp staples, including fire pits, bocce courts, and horseshoe games. Sahm has been operating the Big Lug Country Pub on the property since December. With a brewery under construction on the ground floor of the pub, campers will have plenty of staycation craft beers to try.
» The sign may be up for The Inferno Room (902 Virginia Ave.), restaurateur Ed Rudisell’s tiki bar in Fountain Square, but you’ll have to wait a bit longer for your Mai Tais. The team took to Instagram this week to announce a late spring opening. No word yet on an exact date.
» Nicey Treat (916 Westfield Blvd., 317-602-6423) used last week’s Pi Day festivities to announce the debut of Nicey Pie. The popular frozen treat maker is teaming up with 4 Birds Bakery for the new dessert, with 4 Birds making the crust and Nicey providing the fillings. Goodbye swim suit, hello sweat pants.
» Kimbal Musk is nothing if not eager. The sustainability minded restaurateur (and brother of SpaceX founder Elon Musk) wore his heart on his Instagram sleeve this week, reminding Indy fans of the April 3rd opening of Hedge Row Bistro (350 Massachusetts Ave.). Indy chef Brad Gates, formerly of Brad Gates Catering and The Pantry at City Market, will run the kitchen.