Indianapolis restaurants and the economy: fighting like the pioneers

How is the current state of the economy affecting Indianapolis restaurants? Citing the president of the Indiana Restaurant Association, John Livengood, Eyewitness News reports that sales are down between ten and twenty percent across the board.

It’s tough, and there is much changing and scuttling about to adapt among Indianapolis restaurants. Some are closing, some are opening and others have decided to try to ride out the storm.


According to Livengood, “Restaurants are going through the toughest period they’ve gone through in this generation of restaurant’s lives, that’s what I keep hearing over and over again.” The condition applies not only to restaurants in Indianapolis, but those in other cities in Indiana.

Business is dropping in many of the Indianapolis restaurants downtown, such as the Greek Islands. Owner Stergiopoulos their regulars are thankfully still coming back, but they’re not doing any replacement hiring when employees leave.

Attention, however, is being paid, and that old indomitable pioneer spirit is surging forth. Inventive sallies are being mounted, such as the recent Devour Downtown special event in downtown Indianapolis. Some 35 restaurants in downtown Indy, including the Greek Islands, participated in Devour Downtown over a period of 23 days.

Many Indianapolis restaurants offer ongoing specials, such as the $35 “prime time” dinner special at upscale Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. For a special occasion or an irresistible prime cut longing, this is a nice deal.


With the recent plans to expand the Indiana Convention Center, attached to the glitzy new Lucas Oil Stadium, the restaurant business, along with many other Indianapolis businesses, will benefit. Some expansions in restaurants are also underway, and some new ones are opening, just in time for the upcoming NFL season with the Indianapolis Colts, big-ticketĀ  stars of Indianapolis sports.

Nothing stays the same, of course. Indianapolis restaurant owners are simply a portion of the group that represents all Hoosiers, who are adapting to find a viable path through the economic maze. Like the pioneers who founded the great city and state, they will undoubtedly emerge stronger when they come out the other side.