My mother has always said that I was born in the wrong decade—and I would have to agree with her. In my room, you’ll find polaroids galore, a vinyl record player, and a collection of vintage postcards carefully decorating the walls. Not to mention, I prefer writing a letter over texting and Motown over rap any day. With all of my old soul tendencies, it shouldn’t surprise you that I LOVE visiting historic places. And when you combine that with my serious soda-pop addiction, there’s truly no better place for me to visit than the Bottleworks District!
The Bottleworks District is a new destination for food, drink, and entertainment here in Indianapolis. They officially opened back in November of 2020, after completely renovating the city’s old Coca-Cola bottling plant. So, the district honors Indy’s history, while giving it a modernized makeover! Bottleworks gets both its name and its motto from the historic building it lives in, claiming that they “Fill every moment!” And considering all the things to do there, I’d say they make it easy to fulFILL their mission… Or at least it was for me and my friends!
THE BOTTLEWORKS HOTEL
My friends and I started the evening by meeting up at the Bottleworks Hotel. Just one look at the building, and I was already in love! Their sign looked totally retro, with old Hollywood-style light bulbs outlining each letter. We absolutely took some photos of the hotel and its beautiful design, and that was before we even stepped inside! When we finally made our way into the lobby, let me tell you: it was insanely elegant. The floors were decked in checkerboard tiles, the walls were lined with turquoise and orange subway tiles, and it all made for an exquisite Art Deco vibe. Unfortunately, we didn’t spend much time inside this fabulous place, but I will definitely be making my way back soon (and hopefully for a stay!)
After leaving the hotel, we walked along the brick-paved streets to the Garage Food Hall—a first in Indianapolis! From seafood to Brazillian cuisine, the options were endless! Trying to decide where to eat and please my grumbling stomach was enough to make me say—holy guacamole! (No, I did not order guac. But two of my friends did from La Chinita Poblana, and it was to die for!)
I ended up going for the classic American dining option at Clancy’s. Right next to where I ordered, the wall read “Top Notch Since 1965.” And after taking a bite of my cheeseburger and fries, I couldn’t help but agree! Their service was also incredibly fast, which made up for the time I spent making up my mind on what to order. Next time, I think I’ll try the cheese fries that my friends got!
Before we left the Garage’s bustling atmosphere, I realized I’d almost forgotten to get a drink! Standing in line at Hard Truth Distilling, I went back and forth between being adventurous and trying something new or quenching my thirst with my go-to favorite. Eventually, I decided to order something I knew I would enjoy: a vodka soda. Lucky for me, the bartender gave me not one, not two, but three limes to garnish it! Clearly, he knew what he was doing. For the rest of our meal, my friends and I decided to sit outside and enjoy the lovely evening. And seeing the hotel in the background made for a pretty sweet view, too!
Once our tummies were full, we made a short, two-minute walk over to Pins Mechanical, the perfect place for a boozy game night! Pins Mechanical is an awesome place that combines old-school games like duckpin bowling with delicious craft cocktails and beers.
As we walked over their light-up sign immediately stole my attention once again. But before we could go in, we first had to show the bouncer our IDs. (Pins turns 21+ after 7 p.m.) All of us were freshly legal, so the bouncer playfully called us “newbies” as he let us in, which perfectly matched the fun-loving atmosphere of the place!
Between bowling, giant Connect Four, pinball machines, and more, it was incredibly hard for each of us to settle on an activity—especially since everyone else was already enjoying one! After much consideration, we decided to play Jenga, and immediately were taken back to our childhood years. We played for a good while until I lost and made the game end. Leave it to me to choose the falling Jenga piece! Afterwards, we dabbled in some pinball and foosball, and I quickly realized that my friends are much more competitive than I thought!
Finally, after a night of fun, we walked around the district to see what else Bottleworks had to offer. Between The Living Room Theaters and plenty of local shops, there’s a lot more for us to see on our next visit! But, until then, I decided to snap some pictures on the luggage cart super quick before we left. All for the ‘gram, right?
The Bottleworks District definitely made for a perfect Friday night activity—one that I would recommend to people of all ages! It was the perfect combo of old and new, and a great representation of the historic, art-filled neighborhood around the district. I hope to come back very soon to once again, “Fill every moment!”
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