Massachusetts Avenue just wasn’t the same when Yats left the location it had occupied for 11 years in spring of 2013. The announcement that Yats would be closing its doors at 659 Massachusetts Ave. came as a shock to just about everyone in the Mass Ave cultural district. But there was no other choice when the landlord decided to resurrect the Liberty Street Pub in its former location.
For Yats’ regulars, it was like waving goodbye to a dear friend. Fortunately, it didn’t take long to find a new location just a few blocks north of the previous location, and on Mass Ave no less, specifically, on the new Trail Side at 875 Massachusetts Ave.
When I heard they had re-opened I just had to check it out. I really like everything about Yats—food, price, atmosphere, culture, you name it. It has been one of my favorite Indianapolis restaurants for the past 10 years.
The new location is significantly larger, with close to 2,500 square feet compared to the previous location’s 1,600. But while I definitely enjoyed the cozy character of the old location, I also like what they’ve done with the new place, which has a more modern feel to it.
I would encourage anyone who’s never been to Yats to try it. For around $6 you get a good sized foam platter of delicious Cajon style food poured over white rice. For a little extra cost, you can get a half-half platter, which is exactly what I did. The photo above shows Spinach-Mushroom Étouffée (left) and Drunken Chicken (right).
The menu is updated daily in colorful, hand-written chalk, which I think is cool not only because it adds to the character of the restaurant, but because it keeps things interesting (pardon the blurred photo).
Unfortunately, my all-time Yats favorite, the Shrimp Parmesan, is the one dish they rarely serve. Other favorites include Drunken Chicken, which has a bit of a kick to it, the Gumbo, and the Chili Cheese Étouffée with Crawfish. But really, I could throw a dart at the menu and be perfectly happy eating whatever it landed on.
Yats has several locations, and even recently licensed its first franchisee. But franchise or not, this is a place worth checking out. It’s affordable, it’s quick, it’s tasty and it’s interesting. There’s nothing not to like.