INDIANAPOLIS — It was a busy first day for the Garage Food Hall in the downtown Indianapolis Bottleworks District. Fourteen businesses including food and drink, retail and services opened to the public.
The food hall is just off Mass Avenue. Typically it can hold over 650 people, but with COVID-19 restrictions, it can hold just over 300 people right now. The lunch rush on its first day showed that once pandemic times are over, this place will be packed.
When you walk inside you can peruse different types of cuisines, everything from lobster rolls to hamburgers. There is also a Hard Truth Spirit cocktail bar, barber shop and a few retailers.
Nicole Ulrich, General Manager of the Garage Food Hall, says opening during a pandemic did come with some challenges.
"We made a couple decisions to not build out a couple of spaces and to add additional seating at this time. We’re at 36,000 square feet and so we have a lot of room to spread out so I think that has been to our benefit,” said Ulrich.
It also came with some concerns from tenants.
“I think you wouldn’t be an entrepreneur if you weren’t concerned but with being an entrepreneur comes risk and they were willing to take that risk,” said Ulrich.
Bianca Romo owns Abbiocco Pizzeria with her sister. She says they were worried about opening during the pandemic.
"It's a risk that we're taking,” said Romo.
The pizzeria is the third eatery Romo and her sister have opened together. The pandemic has been hard on their other two locations both of which are inside City Market.
"Even with our other two businesses we've had to make just a few changes to make sure we're staying afloat,” said Romo.
But like fellow business owners in the hall, they saw the benefit of getting in on the ground floor of the Garage Food Hall,
"We definitely wanted to be part of it,” said Romo.
The Garage Food Hall is open at 10:30 a.m. daily. For a full list of vendors click here.