Another "hoping for the best" post.
So, last time (2019), I wound up eating most of my meals at the Ram, in the bar seating area, where you could usually find a table way sooner than putting your name down for the dining room. I don't mind revealing this "secret" because, sadly, the Ram closed after Gen Con 2019, which saddened me way before the 2020 con was cancelled. Assuming we can meet up in 2021, what replacements should I be looking for?
Here's where I'll plug the Inferno Room, btw--Indy's own well-themed tiki bar! They appear to be holding on, and I hope to hoist more than a few beverages there after hours this summer.
But they're not within walking distance, so my question stands: what's good for sit-down dining, now that the Ram and Scotty's and other "bar/American" food places that embraced the con are gone?
The Ram closed after Gen Con 2019? I thought it was a COVID casualty, but I never could find any info on exactly when it closed.
That's one of the things that we're all going to have to get used to if we have Gen Con 2021 in person - the restaurant landscape in Indy is going to look very different, given all of the restaurants that have gone under due to COVID.
Any good places for someone who can't have dairy or tree nuts, except for coconut (yeah, having those 2 allergies together suck b/c nut milks tend to replace real milk)? I would really love take out Poke bowls, Sushi, Japanese, Chinese, Ramen or all of the above:). Or somewhere that is known for handling allergies well b/c other than avoiding the allergies and "eating light", I'm not picky (and even the eating light thing can be ignored b/c the rest of the fam will go to town if the place is good enough, and I can just grab a soup/app:)...
PS - I'm good with peanut, so a great Pad Thai would also be wonderful:)...
The RAM will be missed.
If we have a live, in-person Gen Con this year (and I hope we do), the dining will be different. I don't know what it will be like to go to Gen Con in Indy without stopping at The RAM. I know it could get crowded, but it was tradition to go there on Wednesday night for a pre-con dinner and Death Cup.
I'm not saying their food was better than any of the surrounding restaurants, but they definitely rolled out the red carpet for us attendees. They showed nothing but sci-fi, fantasy, and anime on their monitors. They changed their menu for us. They always had a special beer or two named for the convention. And sometimes the t-shirts they sold were cooler (IMHO) than the official gear.
There are other fine establishments downtown. I hope one, at least, becomes the go-to destination from now on. They have good food, but it was that extra something that The RAM provided that made it special to my group.
Every place I truly enjoyed eating at Gen-Con has closed in the last two years except for Harry & Izzy's (/St. Elmo Steakhouse too, though they closed down Burger Study) and the Old Spaghetti Factory. Well, I love Fogo de Chão too but that kind of dining feels a little pre-pandemic to me
Sad to see it go either way :(
Thanks for both (Sushi Bowl and north side of the university) suggestions - we will be downtown and have a vehicle, so we can make that work:)...and I just realized we are much closer since we'll be at the Residence:)...
I found a Yelp review from April last year that implied the business was still open, which is later than I thought! I'd be surprised if the riots played a part in the closure, as in the end they didn't last very long and businesses have weathered worse. But if people aren't downtown--and not going to be downtown for awhile--it's hard to keep the doors open. Found an article that lists some of the carnage. https://fox59.com/news/burger-study-to-close-downtown-location/
Sit-down places that seem to be hanging on, at least according to Google maps (although some are "temporarily closed"):
Buca de Beppo /and/ Spaghetti Factory (just watch out for the carb coma!)
St. Elmo's & Harry & Izzy & Ruth's & McCormick's (I would kill for a good steak)
And a bunch of other places. Okay, I have a little hope that we won't all be crammed into the same 3 places once we can get back there! And, as always, empty venues are just an opportunity for the right business to step in--hopefully we get another one or two in the next couple years that gets into the spirit of the convention again!
My favorite downtown restaurant, Bosphorous, is still open. As are Shapiro's, Iaria's and some of the more expensive restaurants (Capitol Grill and Hyde Park, etc.). I know another new restaurant just opened up Super Bowl weekend. I believe there are more coming. I know some of the big employers downtown, like Salesforce, are letting their employees work from home until at least August. I'm sure other employers are doing that, too, which really hurts restaurants that rely on the lunch crowd.
Covid had a lot to do with businesses closing up shop. I know several business owners downtown. The art gallery that closed was owned by a family that goes to my church. It got destroyed during the riots. Some art pieces were just destroyed inside the gallery, and they found other pieces dropped along the sidewalk down the block. The family decided that they didn't have confidence in the current mayor to keep their business safe, and after the riots, they didn't feel safe enough to take their kids to their own art gallery any more. So they closed the business. The Five Guys right next door got destroyed, too. The owner of Dick's Bodacious BBQ said that he was struggling with Covid, but after the riots occurred, he too lost faith in the mayor. He said that it was too costly to pay premium rates for a downtown location to not have confidence in the mayor's ability to protect his business or employees. So he decided to close the restaurant and is planning on opening a new restaurant outside of Marion County. Many business owners cited the one-two punch of the riots and Covid as reasons for closing up. Hopefully, Covid numbers continue to drop and there will not be any more riots. It's sad to see what downtown became last year.
On the bright side, things are getting better downtown. It's getting safer, new businesses are moving in. I'm hoping it looks better as more people get vaccinated and return to working downtown.