I hope you are getting your foodie on this weekend. I am getting my “resting” on this weekend and am staying in on a Saturday night for some R&R after a busy week.
Just as last year brought the sad closing of dozens of much-loved restaurants, this year is bringing a whole new crop of grand openings. In the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen a new macaron-only dessert bar, a hipster chef-driven restaurant with a short-lived exterior mural of humping bunnies, a coastal Italian date night spot, and a tiki bar! And that’s just a couple of the new options! I’m honestly not sure how long any of them will last, but I’m excited to tell you about the tiki bar right now.
The Inferno Room is located downtown in Fountain Square (I like meeting friends in Fountain Square because parking is always easier than nearby Mass Ave). The owners are passionate about tiki culture AND are not newbies to the restaurant business after having several successes, such as Rook, under their belt. I read that the owners have amassed a gigantic collection of tribal tiki items that were originally from Papua New Guinea, but were presently found at an estate sale. The interior of The Inferno Room is floor-to-ceiling covered in tiki decor, so you instantly feel you have escaped into tropical bliss from the moment you walk in the door. Also, everything is orange. Tiki has its roots in the concept of escapism, so the owners designed The Inferno Room as a place where people can relax and take a break from the real world for a few minutes…hours…days.
Cocktails are the real feature here with a creative menu that doesn’t contain any ingredients or drink descriptions! Servers come prepared to take you on a “tour” of the menu and give you suggestions for what you might want. I love this concept, but mostly because I really enjoyed the drink I ended up with. I could see how other people might be frustrated if they have no real idea what they are ordering. There is a small food list, intended to “escort your cocktails,” with items such as yuca nachos, pineapple fried rice, jerk chicken kabobs, and spam sliders. Basically, very fun food that is exactly what you’ll be craving after drowning a couple “Painkiller” drinks.
Even after my friend and I ordered several menu items to share, the drinks remained the star of the show. I enjoyed my jerk chicken, but it wasn’t as crave-worthy as my fruity cocktail. The atmosphere is really amazing, though, and I’m sure this place will be crazy busy on the weekends (I’ve heard they make you wait outside if there’s a line, so be prepared to get cold!). I loved the island music and the creative tiki vibe that is pretty rare in landlocked Indiana. I also like that they are open on Mondays because SO many Indy restaurants tend to take that day off. This is a PERFECT happy hour spot to get a drink and a snack with friends before heading home for dinner with Husband. I’m excited to go back for another menu tour of all the delicious drink options.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
The Inferno Room Tiki Bar & Restaurant
902 Virginia Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46203
Friday & Saturday: 4pm-2am
No reservations. 21+ only.