Indianapolis is well known as a foodie hot-spot; however, you may not realize how many of our restaurants have historical roots. If you are looking to step back in time in Indy, we have put together a timeline of different Indianapolis restaurants. Please let us know what you think of these historical places below!
Slippery Noodle Inn – 1850
Believe it or not, the Slippery Noodle Inn was created only 30 years after Indianapolis was originally founded. That’s right, this Indianapolis icon has been serving customers since 1850. Originally named the Tremont House, the restaurant underwent numerous name changes until finally landing on its name, the Slippery Noodle Inn, in 1963.
Old Point Tavern – 1879
This Indianapolis staple has been dishing out delicious food since 1879. It was not until 1887; however, that they began serving alcohol. Old Point Tavern is expected to undergo major changes within the next year. Recently, Mike Cunningham of Cunningham restaurant group announced that they acquired the restaurant.
The Rathskeller – 1894
The Rathskeller has been known for its traditional Germanic fare since 1894. As one of Indianapolis’ oldest restaurants, they were and are well known for dishes such as Schnitzel and Sauerbraten. Beyond serving food, they now make rooms of their building available for rent for special occasions.
St. Elmo Steak House – 1902
Two of the most iconic parts of Indianapolis are Monument Circle and St. Elmo’s. Ironically, these two Indianapolis entities both came to being in 1902. The restaurant was named after the patron saint of sailors, St. Elmo, and many of the original decorations are still in the restaurant today.
Shapiro’s Delicatessen – 1905
Of course, you would not be an Indianapolis native if you had not visited a Shapiro’s once in your life. Known for their corned beef sandwiches, Shapiro’s menu has not changed much over their 113-year history. While they still exist in their original downtown location, they also have three new locations, recently expanding to Ohio.
Dorman Street Saloon – 1908
Dorman Street Saloon has previously been known as: Anacker’s Tavern, the 9th Street Tavern, The Hog, and May’s Lounge. While this place has had many names, it has continued to be a classic eastside spot. These days Dorman Street Saloon is known for its, “impressive array of microbrews and imports, and the best jukebox in town.”
Workingman’s Friend -1918
There are many theories of where Workingman’s Friend’s name comes from. According to the Stamatkin family, Louie Stamatkin, the original owner, allowed customers to run a tab until they were paid. Others believe it was due to Stamatkin’s bootleg whiskey business. Either way, the Stamatkin family still runs this beloved restaurant today.
Hollyhock Hill – 1928
Hollyhock Hill began in 1928 with V.D. Vincent and his wife serving food out of what they called their “country cottage” on the north side. Since 1928, Hollyhock has continued to thrive, continuing to serve much of the restaurants original menu. After all, who would want to change a meal that has centered around fried chicken for years?
Iaria’s – 1933
Originally named Pete Iaria’s Restaurant, this Indianapolis restaurant has been dishing up Italian food since 1933. As you may have guessed, Pete Iaria was the first owner and amazingly, the restaurant is still in the Iaria family today. The fourth-generation family members are keeping the Pete’s traditions.
McGinley’s Golden Ace Inn – 1934
If you have never heard of McGinley’s, you should know that this 1934 restaurant was recently named one of the top 8 St. Patrick’s Celebrations in the world. I know!! At this restaurant, they take their Irish heritage very seriously even saying on their website, “Indianapolis Irish… The Real Deal.” Be sure to check out this Irish-family business!
Red Key Tavern – 1934
As with the previous two restaurants, the Red Key Tavern quickly popped up after the end of prohibition in 1933. The restaurant was originally started by Richard and George Duke, two British brothers who recognized an opportunity. This restaurant continues to be an Indianapolis treasure, selling things like chili and potato salad.
The history of Indianapolis is alive and well – you just have to seek and eat!