The Feed: Black Market And Rook Closures, Provider, And More

We are joining every Indianapolis diner as we mourn the losses of Black Market and Rook. This weekend marks the end of their regular service, as owner Ed Rudisell announced last week in a series of social media posts. Rudisell said that the PPP loans were just not enough, nor were they structured for the restaurant industry, though he is proud of the way both teams adapted to the crushing losses brought by the COVID crisis. Both Rook and Black Market elevated their categories, with Black Market accomplishing it twice, reincarnated successfully from Welsh-influenced to upscale Mexican as Mercado Negro. Both did their best to offer takeout specials and keep staff safe, but it was not enough to keep restaurants—which average margins around 8 percent—in business. Both restaurants will permanently end service after Saturday night, and Indianapolis dining will ache with the loss.

The vertically integrated Provider (1101 E. 16th St., 317-550-5008) will be serving zucchini muffins fresh from its newly started farm, Small Victories, all this week. The treats are vegan, which Provider will be serving along with its regular coffee drinks made to go. If you haven’t sampled the revamped menu since the inception of the farm, now is the time to try the new line of brunch items made with ingredients straight from the yard and garnished with edible flowers and bright green herbs. In other words, Instagram catnip and then some.

As chef Greg Hardesty continues his battle with leukemia, Indy restaurants are pulling together for one of the best silent auctions you can find right now. It’s only fitting for the progenitor of so many of Indianapolis’s standout restaurants, from Milktooth to Bluebeard and all the chefs trained in those kitchens. The Hardesty diaspora stretches from coast to coast, lakes to gulf, and his local community is coming together to raise money for his treatments. Bid on a five-course dinner at Late Harvest Kitchen, a private tour and bourbon tasting in the City Market catacombs, salt-cave experiences, cases of rare wines, spa services, lamb, and so, so much more. Find a quick link to the auction on Goose the Market’s Instagram.

City Market has an interim executive director in Catherine Esselman, who has been IndyChamber’s senior project manager since 2019, with her efforts mainly focused on the Marion County Economic Development Team of Develop Indy. Esselman is a retail-strategy whiz, making her a great choice to keep the massive City Market operation chugging along until they find the right candidate to fill the position permanently.

Surprising no one, the Sun King folks have made their way into the hard seltzer category. Sun King’s seltzer will be sold in mixed 12-packs featuring the classic flavors of black cherry, mango, passion-orange, and lemonade.

Look for Mass Ave Wine’s online tasting series, which, for the uninitiated, will continue Mass Ave Wine’s ethos of offering excellent, unusual, approachably priced wines to go with any summer meal or party. Wines featured will be 10 percent off for the week following their online tastings.