Where: 423 W. South St., (317) 602-3115 or www.tavernonsouth.com
What: Dwarfed by Lucas Oil Stadium and the Indiana Convention Center is the newly opened Tavern on South, a sleek-but-plush space in a 100-year-old building. The name implies a casual, beer-tapping experience and, while Tavern certainly can be, it doesn’t have to be.
Menu: Classy and classic. Try the Indiana “shagged” ahi tuna appetizer with Indiana shagbark hickory-soy syrup ($10). Or the creamy, delicious crab ravioli with pico de gallo ($9). For the beef fans, fan, the smoked prime rib with roasted garlic potatoes is a perfect pre-game meal ..... or snack ($24). On the less fancy side, there are gourmet pizzas and burgers.
Happiest hours: Try Indiana, Michigan and Illinois beers for $3.75 per pint on Wednesdays. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, sample Indiana beers and Indiana vodka for $4.
If an ale won't cure you, try a signature 8Perfect Margarita, a Root Beer Floatini (with root beer vodka) or a Blue Horseshoe made with grape vodka and blue curacao. Or do what I did and tell the bartender what mood has struck and you may wind up with your own unique concoction. Definitely pressure them into naming it after you.
Vibe: There are enough televisions and sports fans to keep the space from being stuck-up. In warmer weather, a 90-seat patio offers panoramic views of Downtown.
X-factor: As a former private country club manager, owner Steve Geisler has “served” golfing champs Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Palmer and Lee Trevino, along with the elder George Bush. He also appeared in a national Florida orange juice TV commercial as a child.
Grade: A-. Being brand-spankin’ new did lend itself to a wee bit of over-attention from the servers. Once the sparkle dies down and the new carpet smell dissipates, Tavern will be ideal for dinner, dates and FOOTBALL!
Hours: Dining room: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Bar: 11 a.m. until close daily.