A Guide To The Ever-Changing Fountain Square

CAFFEINATE: Bovaconti Coffee,

  a jewel box of a cafe, gives a nod to the building’s former Italian owners with a “Ciao bella!” sign and an Italian-named menu. This connoisseur’s coffee shop rotates small-batch roasters and allows dogs. It also sells water bottles replicating the exterior mural, which colorblind local artist Nick Smith designed and painted. 1042 Virginia Ave., 317-222-1855, bovaconticoffee.com

TREAT: Square Scoop rotates more than two dozen flavors of ice cream, including vegan Birthday Cake and gluten-free Sticky Chewy Chocolate. (Be careful with the LemOreo—it’s addictive.) The purple-walled shop also serves special milkshakes and sundaes. No time for a cone? Get a pint to go. 1028 Virginia Ave., 317-426-3320, sqrscoop.com


Three-fourths of the inventory at Tuggle’s Gifts & Goods is Hoosier-made. Shop for leather journals, ceramics, eco-friendly to-go mugs, crocheted succulents, knit beanies—and art from the owners themselves. Brooke Tuggle makes polymer-clay earrings, and Ross uses salvaged wood planks to create geometric wood art. 1016 Virginia Ave., 317-672-5023, tugglesgiftsandgoods.com

SHOP: Athena’s Fashion Boutique carries dino-print dresses, cheetah leggings, camouflage  loungewear, and a whole lot of tie-dye, up to size 3X. A modest men’s section has jackets and accessories, too. Women might consider a $10 Stabby Cat accessory, a resin, feline-shaped keychain whose sharp ears can be used for self-defense. 1048 Virginia Ave., 317-432-2888, athenasfashionboutique.com

Square Scoop ice cream.

GROW: Turn your black thumb into a green one at Snakeroot Botanicals, a brand-new garden and herb shop brought to you by the owners of Square Cat Vinyl next door. The store, which launched online in the winter and plans to open its brick and mortar this spring, carries planters, garden tools, seeds, self-watering herbs, and teensy succulents. Order online and pick up in person. 1052 Virginia Ave., 317-604-7562, snakerootbotanicals.com

LISTEN: Two years after starting the Virginia Avenue Music Festival, Patrick Burtch and Mike Angel opened Square Cat Vinyl, a record store that’s also a music venue, bar, and coffee shop—basically everything you want in Fountain Square within four walls. It’s a fine place to order a pint, hunker down for heads-down work, and listen to top-notch talent. Browse new and used vinyl and check out the local artist section. An expansion will upgrade the coffee and alcohol bar and include a kitchen that will serve breakfast items and sandwiches. 1054 Virginia Ave., 317-875-1314, squarecatvinyl.com

EAT: Gluten-free peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. Brown butter blondies so good you don’t care that gluttony is a sin. Find these and more at 4 Birds Bakery, which hosts monthly pop-ups and retail shopping by appointment. Order online for pickup, and keep an eye on the Charity Cookie series—each month, some profits from a new flavor go to a nonprofit. 1058 Virginia Ave., 4birdsbakery.com

Athena’s Fashion Boutique.

BUY: Zodiac Vintage has a little bit of everything, but only one of anything. Think 1970s skirts in earthy hues, Gunne Sax dresses, vintage sweatshirts, and Burberry trenchcoats. The time capsule ranges from the ’30s to the ’90s, and there’s even some kids’ clothing. Keep up with the ever-changing inventory on Instagram, where pieces are styled as outfits. 1060 Virginia Ave., 317-306-9600, instagram.com/zodiac.vintage

READ: Indy Reads is working on relocating from Mass Ave to Fountain Square’s former library space, and bringing the Drag Queen Story Hour along with it. The store’s best-seller list is almost entirely books about race, including The Vanishing Half and Such a Fun Age. 1066 Virginia Ave., 317-384-1496, indyreads.org