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Indianapolis pubs and eateries prepare for New Year’s festivities



Indianapolis, Indiana – The city’s bars and restaurants are getting ready for large crowds, private celebrations, and a lot of champagne toasts. For small enterprises in the area, this is a crucial period because it precedes the usual slump in January and February.

”We have been pretty busy every single day,” said Caleb Yeknich, a manager at HopCat in Broad Ripple. Yeknich said the holiday has treated them well with most people being off work.

Along Broad Ripple Avenue, the same can be said about Luke Basile and Union Jack.

”The holidays tend to be pretty busy for us, a lot of people still off work,” Basile said.

Always, more business is preferable, but now more than ever because of the impending arrival of much slower times.

” It’s cold, they don’t want to go out so you really want to get as much business as you can in December,” Yeknich said.

The fact that New Years’ Eve falls on a Saturday is ideal for attracting the most customers, and different establishments adopt various strategies.

To ring in the new year with London, Union Jack will close for a ticketed event.

”We all toast at the English midnight and we’ll shut it down a little bit earlier so we’re not open for the late-night bar craziness of New Year’s Eve,” Basile said.

Yeknich claimed that HopCat is available to everyone as it would be on any other night in order to ensure that nobody is turned away, particularly the after-show throng from the neighboring Vogue Theatre.

”Just being able to accommodate anyone and everyone from those shows, that’s a lot of traffic, so we don’t want to alienate them by saying they have to pay a $30 fee or something like that just to get in,” Yeknich said.

Restaurants and bars are attempting to put even more distance between themselves and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as 2022 draws to a close.

Yeknich said that they had recovered well and had increased their employees.

”After having some struggles with it over the summer, having a full staffed building is really nice to see and a fully staffed management staff as well,” he said.

The Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association’s Patrick Tamm said the recovery has been robust.

Being a fantastic convention city allowed Indianapolis to recover more quickly than most other cities.

Tamm remarked that it’s crucial to consider the people that run the company at this time of year.

”For a lot of central Indiana servers, bartenders, this is a big time of year where they really need those additional dollars,” Tamm said.

Tamm predicted that in 2023, restaurants will continue to recover and thrive because of innovation and flexibility.

”Fine dining restaurants never thought carry out or third party delivery would ever make sense and they do it now,” he said.

Plan early if you’re going out for New Year’s Eve this weekend; many of the traditional bars and restaurants might be hosting private events for which you’d need a ticket. However, there will be many more that will function more normally, like HopCat.