The Garage Food Hall is a cafeteria-style hangout at the end of Massachusetts Avenue’s long stretch of restaurants and bars in downtown Indianapolis. They opened their doors on Jan. 5, 2021, with over 25 vendors selling various food and drink options.
The Garage has a good location, sitting inside an old Coca-Cola plant in the Bottleworks District. Massachusetts Avenue is a high-traffic area, especially on the weekends. The industrial style and loads of communal tables provide room for a big crowd. Students can also study independently during the day when it’s less busy.
In July of 2023, national news source USA Today did a 10 best ranking with food halls across the country. The Garage was named second best, behind Mother Road Market in Tulsa Oklahoma and a spot ahead of City Foundry STL in St Louis Missouri.
The Twenty-Two Juice Bar offers fresh acai bowls and smoothies with granola and fruit. Tiffany Figueroa and Justine Bowditch work at the juice bar most days. Both girls are IUPUI students but Bowditch just graduated in May.
“Like the cafeteria vibe, everyone in the family can find something,” Figueroa said.
That’s true- it's a grab and sit kind of place. There’s a variety of options like Lick Ice Cream, Poke Guru, and Clancy’s hamburgers. It’s not a basic food hall; The Garage has its own barber shop, Brick & Mortar, and seafood market, J’s Lobster and Fish Market.
The only con, Figueroa and Bowditch said, is that the juice bar's crowd at the previous location was hard to beat. Nothing compares to The Garage though, the girls have regulars coming through and they enjoy the diversity.
“(The Garage is a) different climate than the City Market location, I liked the City Market area, it was welcoming, we had regulars….We have people come here every day though,” Bowditch said, referring to The Garage.
Figueroa and Bowditch appreciate the people they see every day. Customers will specifically come for the Twenty-Two Juice Bar. They provide fresh juice, smoothies, or acai bowls with granola or fruit. It’s a healthy stop if you want to avoid anything sugary or fried.
Jennifer Mosley and Leah Emmons spent some time listening to The Garage’s regular performer, Foxxy. Mosely is a newer customer who has only visited twice, while Emmons goes once or twice a month. They expressed that unlike most restaurants The Garage gave them a comfortable space to do as they wanted.
Emmons and Mosley also like the idea of trivia every Monday night and they want to come back to compete. The variety and unique food intrigued them both, and it gives them the opportunity to bounce from one choice to another.
“I spent $60 today…We got a little bit of everything,” Mosley said. “I don’t mind the cafeteria atmosphere, it’s like high school but fun to combine food.”
Emmons said The Garage has, “a good, easy vibe.”
The Garage’s regular events include a trivia night, every Monday from 7-9 p.m., live music scheduled online, and movie nights. On Sept. 30 from 4-10 p.m., pop-up vendors lined up outside to bring even more art, shops and clothing for visitors to browse. This community hub is only growing as construction in the Bottleworks district continues to progress.