July 2018: A Month of Burger Regrets

More signs of Indianapolis’ competitive burger market have reared their heads recently, making the month of July a particularly difficult one here in Central Indiana.  The saddest part is that the most recent swath of closings has happened among restaurants that I’ve not yet visited and now, sadly, never will.


Despite having been a part of the Indianapolis landscape for years, I had never heard of Tie Dye Grill until I started prepping for this list.  In fairness, I don’t get to the east side of town all that often, but after seeing this place pop up on multiple “best of Indy” burger lists, I knew I would have to find the time to stop by and sample their wares.  Unfortunately, it would appear that I waited too long.

On July 9, Tie Dye Grill announced on their Facebook page that they would be closing their doors for good on Friday, July 27.  There was an outpouring of affection for the mom-and-pop operation and many people stopped in for one last tenderloin for the road.  Scheduling conspired against me (I was acting in a play the entire month of July) and I was sadly unable to make an appearance.  This would have been bad enough were it not followed soon after by some more bad news…


I first learned of Hops & Fire Craft Tap House on Indy’s south side just before I started this blog.  I sampled the first burgers for this blog in July of 2016 and probably visited Hops & Fire in May of that same year when I was still mulling this idea over in my head.  I’ve slept since then so I can’t rightly remember what I ordered or what I thought of it, but when it came time to compile the list of restaurants that would make up my Restaurant List, you can be assure that they were on even the earliest drafts.  And with moving back to the south side, I figured it wouldn’t be long before I’d be able to get back in and give them another try to review them for the blog.

Sadly, it was not to be.  On July 11, Hops & Fire announced on Twitter that they would be closing their doors for good.  I was saddened, certainly, to hear the news, amplified by the fact that I was unable to get in to try their fare one more time.

And the hits just keep on coming.  NUVO announced at the end of July that downtown landmark Peppy Grill in Fountain Square, which has been serving the area for decades, would be closing its doors in August for repairs… but the future of the spot is ultimately uncertain.  Manager Joe Wilkins denies the restaurant will be closed forever, but in such an uncertain burger climate… who can say?

Basically, bottom line – get out and visit your local burger establishments, be they fine dining, greasy spoon, or mom-and-pop.  Sure, the national chains may be more convenient, but you’re not going to get the quality, care, or the ability to build a personal relationship quite like you will at a locally-owned and operated business.  These are your neighbors and members of your community and they certainly deserve your support.

So, get out there and give it to them!

Featured image from Yelp.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Emilee says:

    We have a local burger joint that honestly looks like it might be closing soon. We used to frequent there more, but stopped going because the quality of food and the level of service has declined rapidly, even since we’ve lived here. Kind of a bummer, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they close down in the next year. It’s gotta be hard for local places to keep up with the big guys. 😦


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