INDIANAPOLIS — The first month of 2022 saw quite a few hopeful signs around Indianapolis.
"Coming Soon" and "Now Open" signage is breathing life into once-vacant buildings and sprouting up entirely new establishments.
Locally-owned boutiques have recently opened, new bars are hitting the scene, and restaurants widening the cuisine options in Indy are getting the grill fired up.
From a lounge and bar looking to mix things up in Broad Ripple's nightlife to the long-awaited World Famous HOTBOYS, here are the places to keep your eye out for in the coming months. Plus, businesses already flashing their "Open" sign.
Sophia's Bridal & Tux: The newest Sophia's Bridal & Tux location at The Shops at River Crossing near The Fashion Mall that opened on Friday couldn't have come at a better time as it's becoming increasingly more complicated to find a wedding dress. Shipping times have slowed down by about 300% for wedding manufacturers and designers in 2022, making in-person shopping the best option for this blockbuster wedding year.
The Indianapolis-based, woman-owned bridal and prom-wear boutique carries sizes 00-28, exclusive designers such as Sherri Hill, and VIP styling sessions. Sophia's Bridal & Tux is open Monday-Friday 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday by appointment only.
Sidedoor Bagel: This bagel spot consistently has a line wrapped around its building, and it just opened about a month ago. The owner of Sidedoor Bagel transitioned from selling bagels as a side gig to his first brick-and-mortar bakery on East 10th Street. Sidedoor Bagel is open Wednesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
La Eskina: La Eskina opened in early January in what used to be Tortas Guicho Dominguez in Fletcher Place. Just as before, it's still serving Mexican food just with a new style and exterior look.
Isuka Hibachi Express & Sushi: The corner of 16th and Penn on Indy's near north side is starting to see more life, beginning with the opening of Isuka Hibachi Express & Sushi. The Japanese restaurant officially had its grand opening on Friday and is now fully open for lunch or dinner. Isuka is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday from 4 to 9 p.m., Saturday from noon to 9 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 8:30 p.m.
Retro Metro: Have you seen that navy blue house with a bright orange door on Binford Boulevard? That's Retro Metro! It's a vintage and consignment shop with plenty of novelties and art. Retro Metro is open Wednesday through Saturday noon to 6 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
Botanical Bar: Victoria Beaty is a busy woman bringing the most authentic food and events to the city. Aside from leading the charge of Growing Places Indy, the Indy Night Market, and the Indianapolis Winter Farmers Market, now she is opening a plant bar and boutique. Botanical Bar is slated to be the second-latest opening at the corner of 16th and Penn. At last check, Botanical Bar has a projected opening date of late February.
Vegas Lounge & Bar: The general manager of Vegas Lounge & Bar told WRTV it's aiming to be the "grown and sexy" spot on Broad Ripple Avenue. It will have a dance floor, VIP area, and fine dining entrees for those seeking a place where they can get the night started and keep the night going. At last check, the space is still under renovations, but the owner is pushing for a projected opening date in late February or March.
Social Cantina: The founder of Social Cantina's parent company Finney Hospitality Group confirmed on social media about a month ago that it will be expanding to downtown Indianapolis. It is currently doing some renovation work at what used to be Mikado Japanese Restaurant at the corner of Georgia and Illinois. Social Cantina is aiming for a May opening date. The taco and tequila joint also recently opened a new location in Carmel.
World Famous HOTBOYS: The California-based hot chicken restaurant WRTV told readers about this past summer has confirmed it will soon open up in Indy. Victor Ghaben, the owner of World Famous HOTBOYS, says it will be opening in the old Peppy Grill house in Fountain Square come April or May.
Eating Fresh: Indy could always use another pho spot and a new Vietnamese restaurant is opening up on College Avenue, according to the Broad Ripple Village Association (BRVA). It's projected to open in February.
French Quarter: We're sad to see Monkey's Tale go, but a New Orleans-style restaurant and bar are promised in its place. According to BRVA, French Quarter is expected to open come summer.
Luxe Spa Suites: The mother-daughter duo of The Maxx Beauty Supply & Co. WRTV told viewers and readers about last year are back with a new business venture. Luxe Spa Suites will be an establishment offering space for six licensed beauty spa entrepreneurs to operate their own businesses. The suites are located off of East 96th Street, a few minutes from Keystone at the Crossing. The Maxx Beauty Supply confirms it has a projected opening date of early March.
Metazoa: One of your dog's favorite places in the city will open a second location in Fishers. Metazoa Brewing is slated to bring a pet-friendly taproom to 11593 Allisonville Road, a resolution from the City of Fishers Redevelopment Commission confirms.
Dave's Hot Chicken: There will be more than just Joella's Hot Chicken in Broad Ripple once Dave's Hot Chicken hits the scene later this year. According to BRVA, the chicken spot is taking over the old Noodles & Company on Broad Ripple Avenue.
Tiny Urban Escapes: The shipping container phenomenon has made its way to Indy. The city is seeing container homes, container pools, and now a container hotel. The Tiny Urban Escapes Boutique Hotel is expected to open off of Michigan Street near Belmont Avenue on the west side in late summer.
Sushi Maki: A new sushi spot has staked its claim over the space formerly filled by a Greek restaurant in SoBro. Next to Prufrock, Sushi Maki is waving its "Opening Soon" flag.
Bulldog Tavern: Well, it's official. The Sinking Ship in SoBro has come to a close as signage indicates an LLC under Bulldog Tavern has applied for a liquor license at the College Avenue location.
The Avenue: At one point in time, the strip at the corner of Broad Ripple Avenue and College seemed to be filled with leasing signs. Now it's more "Open" and "Coming Soon" signs across the street from the IndyGo Red Line stop. One sign shows a new coffee shop will soon be hitting Broad Ripple. "The Avenue Coffeehouse" next to The Vogue.
Egyptian Cafe & Hooka Bar: The Broad Ripple hookah spot never closed, but it has fully relocated to its new location across the parking lot from its old one. You can't miss Egyptian Cafe, as its signage is a bright colorful mural. The 21-and-over establishment is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day.
WRTV Digital Reporter Shakkira Harris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow her on Twitter, @shakkirasays.