Congratulations to Vida executive chef Thomas Melvin, who was nominated in the Best Chef category for the prestigious James Beard Awards, Great Lakes region.
An eclectic trio of eateries in the middle of equally eclectic Irvington is shaking things up. Heartbreaker, which opened just in time to let us cry into our gourmet milkshakes and smashburgers mid-pandemic, permanently closed Thursday to allow Landlocked Baking Co. (120 S. Audubon Rd.) to expand, while tiki-themed Strange Bird stretches its wings into the former bakery space.
Mass Ave cocktail bar Almost Famous (721 Massachusetts Ave., 317-986-7877), best known for its drag, comedy, and music performances, has opened an onsite coffee bar. Crema serves coffee drinks, house hot chocolate, and both hot and grab-and-go lunches starting at 8 a.m. With the addition of daytime hours, you can enjoy this gorgeous spot with either an espresso or an espresso martini 17 hours a day.
The Be Nimble Foundation, an Indianapolis nonprofit organization dedicated to breaking barriers for Black and Latinx people in tech, launched Melon Kitchen last week at The Amp (1220 Waterway Blvd.) with a ribbon cutting, DJ, and celebration. This delivery-only restaurant accelerator designed to help Black chefs scale their business is one-of-a-kind, and we can expect to see the new chef-driven concepts this spring.
Along with westside international grocery store Saraga (3605 Commercial Dr., 317-297-1072), Asian Snack, the in-store counter that serves authentic Asian comfort food, is back. A fire forced both the grocery store and the popular eatery to close in November 2021, but the store has since reopened with expanded aisles and larger African and European sections.