The Bottleworks District: My New Favorite Place in Indianapolis?

Stop what you’re doing, get out your bucket lists and add “visit the Bottleworks District in Indianapolis” to your list. You can thank me later.

I had the chance to tour the Bottleworks District last week to see the completed projects of the last few years: The Bottleworks Hotel, The Garage (a food hall) and the Living Room Theater (a theater). I can honestly say I’ve never been this excited about something opening in Indianapolis as I am for everything at the Bottleworks District.

To summarize why I’m so excited about the Bottleworks District:

hip food hall + historic-building-turned-hotel, + wholesome local shops + classy movie theater + perfect location.

Read on for more details about why you should visit the Bottleworks District in Indianapolis and what not to miss.

The Location – Mass Ave & Carrollton on the Cultural Trail

The Bottleworks District is on the northeast side of downtown Indianapolis, at the very end of Massachusetts Avenue.

Where to park at the Bottleworks District:

  • There’s a parking garage on Mass Ave
  • There’s street parking all around downtown (free on Sundays!)

Check this map for all the parking spots in downtown Indianapolis.

By the way, if you’re visiting Indianapolis, definitely check out the Cultural Trail. It’s a great pathway throughout downtown Indianapolis where you can learn a lot about the city’s history. You can find a pdf of the map here: Indy Cultural Trail Map

The Garage

PHoto of the menu at the Hard Truth Distillery at the Garage in the Bottleworks district.

I’m starting with my favorite part: the food hall called The Garage. A renovated portion of the old Coca Cola bottling factory which will be home to over a dozen food vendors with international cuisines and carefully curated retailers under one glorious roof.

There are few things I enjoy more than a good food market and over-eating with samples from as many different stalls as I can handle. When you’re traveling, food markets and food halls like The Garage are a fantastic way to explore the local cuisine and culture. It’s also perfect for groups because everyone can get exactly what they want to eat.

It opens on January 5th, 2021 – though a few vendors will be opening up bit later.

I am marking my calendar to hopefully attend Tuesday, and if not opening day, at least opening week!

I would note that we also have the City Market in Indianapolis, with 25 local vendors under another glorious roof. I love the City Market too, but it’s just a different feel. Operating since 1886 the City Market is another building with a deep history but it feels a bit older, whereas The Garage feels a bit more modern and hip. In fact, The Garage brings me back to a similar food hall in Portugal which I regret I can’t recall with more detail.

It really thrills me to have multiple places in downtown Indianapolis where you can find such a wide variety of food vendors to support on any given day.

Planning a trip to Indianapolis? Read this next:

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Food Stalls at The Garage

  • La Chinita Poblana – an Asian-fusion taqueria
  • Poke Guru – deconstructed sushi with/vegan options
  • J’s Lobster & Fish Market – east-coast style lobster rolls in the Midwest
  • BluPoint Oyster Bar – casual setting for east & west coast shucked oysters
  • Clancy’s Hamburgers – family owned burger joint since 1965
  • Azucar Morena – Venezuelan style arepas
  • Gaucho’s Fire – Brazilian style street food
  • The Harbour – traditional British fish and chip shop
  • Abbiocco Pizzeria – wood-fired pizza and fresh-to-order pastas

Outside of the Garage, there’s just about everything you could need. Good Neighbor – a store of brands with ethical manufacturing and mindful sourcing, and Becker Supply Co. – outdoor-inspired brand that plants a tree for every purchase made.

A place to do yoga at Yoga Six, and a place to do a little souvenir shopping at Pumpkinfish, a gift shop of unique gifts & small batch artisanal items.

Then, there’s the glam services. You can find a nail bar, day spa, dry bar, and barber salon in the Bottleworks District. I think it really makes the Bottleworks Hotel a top hotel in Indianapolis if you’re coming downtown for a business trip or special event – you need only walk outside to find all the professionals you need to help you look the part on a big day.

When you’re ready to relax, you have fantastic options right on your doorstep and the best of Indianapolis night life at your beck and call along Mass Ave. Even if you don’t stay at the hotel, you’ll want to check out the district for dinner and a movie. Did I mention the upscale theater in the Bottleworks District yet?

Looking for other local restaurants and shops in downtown Indy? Read this next:

The Ultimate Guide to Small Businesses in Downtown Indianapolis

The Living Room Theater

Seating area at the Living Room Theater.

The Living Room Theater is designed as a place to watch mainstream and indie films, and hang out to discuss them afterward in the large bar and lounge space. It’s currently 21+ after 7pm so it’s a great place for kids during the day and a lovely spot for adults to grab a drink in the evening.

I was able to see one of the three theaters which were fortuitously planned (pre-pandemic) with large seats and rows that are 7 feet apart. They are currently operating at limited capacity and their ticket booking platform automatically creates spaces in the seating to accommodate COVID safety recommendations.

They have a food menu (limited at the moment) which you can order from before the movie. The seats themselves are spacious, comfortable, and reclining – if you fall asleep easily in movies normally then you’re going to pass out in these.

I’m pretty pumped to plan some movie and dinner dates at the Garage and Living Room Theater here in Indianapolis and I feel like this couldn’t be more brilliantly situated across the street from the Bottleworks Hotel.

Again, the entire Bottleworks District sits at the very end of Massachusetts Avenue, a long diagonal road of great dining, local shops, and some of the best of downtown Indianapolis. All this to say if you’re planning a trip to Indianapolis, you can’t go wrong staying in the Bottleworks Hotel.

Wondering why you should visit Indiana? I totally get it:

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The Bottleworks Hotel

A photobooth for guests at the bottleworks hotel in indianapolis, next to a wall with a display of cameras glued all over.
This photo booth is for guests of the Bottleworks hotel. You get one photo in color and one in black and white.

The Bottleworks Hotel is repurposed and restored in the former Coca Cola Bottling factory admin building, which was at one time the largest in the world pumping out over 2 million bottles a week. The bottling plant was relocated to Speedway, Indiana in the mid-1960s and the factory has served a variety of purposes since.

Rooms at The Bottleworks Hotel are spacious, providing front-row views to the action in the greater Bottleworks District, and the rooms are affordable for the luxury you’re getting. Most of the original architecture is maintained and restored, and the updates complement the space wonderfully.

Venture outside of Indianapolis:

How to Spend an Idyllic Afternoon in Indiana (A Spencer Farm Review)

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The Bottleworks District: My New Favorite Place in Indianapolis?