The Feed: James Beard’s Indy Semifinalists And Savor Downtown’s Dinner Plans

Here’s what’s cooking in Indy this week.
The James Beard Foundation announced the semifinalists for the 2018 James Beard Awards last week, and four local food industry veterans got nods. Patachou, Inc. founder Martha Hoover made the list for Outstanding Restaurateur, while Bluebeard’s Abbi Merriss and Oakleys Bistro’s Steven Oakley both received nominations for Best Chef: Great Lakes. Alan Sternberg, formerly of Cerulean and now in preparations to open a permanent space for his Common House pop-up dinner series, is a semifinalist for Rising Star Chef of the Year for the second time. This is Hoover’s fourth nomination for Outstanding Restaurateur, Merriss’s third time in a row in the Best Chef category, and Oakley’s fifth time overall (two as Rising Star Chef, and three as Best Chef). Finalists will be announced on March 14, with winners announced at the James Beard Awards Gala on May 7 in Chicago. No Indianapolis chef, restaurant, or restaurateur has ever taken home the big prize. Fingers crossed that 2018 is Indy’s year.

The inaugural Savor Downtown kicks off today, with more than 50 restaurants offering discounted menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A complete list of participating restaurants and menus are online. Savor Downtown ends on March 4.

3 Floyds Brewing (9750 Indiana Pkwy., Munster, 219-922-2455) is poised for a major expansion. The Times of Northwest Indiana reported the brewery filed plans to double its space to more than 136,000 square feet, adding more manufacturing and retail space, doubling the size of the 3 Floyds Brewpub (welcome news for customers accustomed to long waits), and adding a terraced garden. The company hired Dallas-based architectural firm HKS, the same company that did Lucas Oil Stadium, to design the building. There will be a public hearing on the proposed plan February 27.

Sahm’s Ale House (12819 New Market St., 317-853-6278) is now open in Carmel, inside the Village of West Clay. The same spot was home in the past to Pizzology, with the most recent occupant being The Lit Moose.

Local restaurateurs Scott and Nyla Wolf bought the former home of Lake House Restaurant on Fall Creek Road in Geist and plan to open their fifth local location of Wolfie’s Grill there. According to Indianapolis Business Journal, the couple will renovate the property and make room for a beer garden, live entertainment, and boat parking. The couple also owns The Italian House in Westfield.