Tried & True
Popular Alehouse Launches Second Location Off 96th Street
Photographer / Michael Durr
Following on two-plus years of success in Greenwood, Tried & True Alehouse owner John Gladish is off and running with a second location on Indy’s northside, in the space formerly occupied by long-time Indy establishment Moon Dog Tavern and, more recently, 32 Taps.
Gladish says the location was a natural fit for his concept, which combines what he describes as elevated pub food with a casual, family-friendly aesthetic.
“When the space became available, we realized we liked the location and just went for it,” Gladish says.
Gladish and his team officially took over the space on East 96th Street in August of 2018 and began a six-month renovation process before opening the doors in late January of this year.
“We did a little bit of demo and turned the back dining room area that used to be a live music venue into a family dining space,” Gladish says. “My wife painted almost every wall in the dining room area, and we did some various small things to make it our own.”
Everything from the food to the music and atmosphere at both locations, according to Gladish, was formulated in honor of the establishment’s name.
“Tried and true, of course, refers to things that have stood the test of time and that’s what we’ve hung our hat on, with everything from our menu to music to things hanging on our walls — things that have stood the test of time in our culture,” he says.
Food-wise, Tried & True offers a sizable lunch and dinner menu seven days a week, consisting of scratch-made pub food. You’ll find nacho trays, wings, salads, wraps, flatbreads and full-on entrees like the BBQ Bacon Chicken Dinner and the Beef Filet Tips & Shrimp.
“Our breaded tenderloin sandwich is our No. 1 selling sandwich entree, and with both locations now we’ve sold more than 40,000 of those in the last two years,” Gladish says.
Recent customer favorites also include the Chicken-N-Waffle Bytes, with hand-cut chicken breaded in a waffle batter, then deep-fried and served with maple syrup and a powdered sugar topping, as well as the scratch-made Lulu’s Buffalo Chicken Dip and Southwest Chicken Nachos with homemade black bean sauce.
All ages are welcome for lunch and dinner, and customers can watch one of the establishment’s 35 televisions while an ongoing soundtrack of mainly classic rock music fills the air. Kids eat free on Tuesday nights, and Tried & True recently began hosting live music on Fridays, in addition to Sunday night music on the outdoor patio.
More than 50 beers, with 32 on draft, are offered at any one time at Tried & True, including a range of local brews like Sun King, Daredevil and Taxman.
“We have the usual strong domestic sellers, but we also want to keep it as local as we can and rotate different local beers out,” marketing director Nick Workman says.
Gladish adds that in its first year Tried &True has gotten primarily positive feedback from northside patrons.
“We make everything that we possibly can from scratch, and I think customers can ultimately tell the difference when they taste scratch-made food versus something where there’s a lot of ingredients that have been frozen,” he says. “I think customers are appreciating that part of it.”
Workman adds that Tried & True has wasted no time getting involved with the local community through food donation and charity partnerships, recently hosting a silent auction to raise money for Riley Hospital for Children.
“We try to do as much community involvement as we can, and we’ve been trying to help raise money for Riley where they set up a table of memorabilia and stuff, and people can come in and do silent bidding,” Workman adds.
Gladish hopes the northside Indy location is the first of multiple Tried & True locations throughout the Hoosier state.
“When we opened the first Tried & True, our intentions were to create a successful concept to be able to grow in Indiana, in the Indianapolis area first and then outside of that over the years to come,” he says. “So far it’s going well here on the northside.”
Tried & True Alehouse is located at 4825 E. 96th St., Suite 1600, in Indianapolis. Call 317-218-3776 or visit triedandtruealehouse.com for more info.