Bigger & Better
Taste of Broad Ripple Returns June 16 With Expanded Street Access, More Entertainment & Food Vendors
Writer: Jon Shoulders
Photography Provided by Taste of Broad Ripple & Brian Brosmer
Last year Indy residents were treated to a reboot of the Taste of Broad Ripple, a one-day-only culinary event conceived 15 years ago that had been put on hiatus for more than a decade. The city welcomed its return with open arms, and Steve Ross, owner of The Vogue Nightclub and event co-organizer, expects 2018’s Taste turnout to exceed last year’s approximately 8,000 attendees.
“We were hoping for 5,000 last year, so it was great to beat that,” Ross says. “That’s one of the reasons why we’re going with a bigger footprint this year – we’re going all the way down Broad Ripple Avenue, from Chase Bank down to Noodles & Company. Last year it was a little tight at times. So it won’t be as crowded as it was last year and there will be room for our increased number of food vendors.”
Thirty eateries will be setting up shop for the event, which runs from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., including BRICS, The Garden Table, BurgerFuel, The Jazz Kitchen, HoiTea ToiTea, Louie’s Wine Dive & Ripple Kitchen, HotBox Pizza and more.
In 2015 Ross reached out to the Broad Ripple Village Association (BRVA) board about bringing the event back, and it wasn’t long before local businesses began throwing their support behind the idea.
“I’d say 99 percent of Broad Ripple merchants and residents are behind the Taste,” he says. “Last year some of the restaurants and businesses that were part of the footprint of Taste were concerned about having the streets blocked off, but after the event was over we heard that they had record nights.”
Joshua John, BRVA president, says expanding the physical size of the event has presented its own logistical challenges, including additional permit gathering for blocking area streets off during the event, but he feels the additional time and effort has been worthwhile to present a bigger, better Taste for the city.
“Expanding along Broad Ripple Avenue is a great step in the right direction for us,” says John, an investment advisor and senior loan officer with LJI Wealth Management who has been with the BRVA since 2014. “It’ll be more like Georgia Street where you can really have a party-like atmosphere happening.”
From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., five local chefs will participate in a Chef’s Night Off cook-off, showing off their culinary chops as part of a competition judged by a local celebrity panel. VIP tasting tickets are available.
This year will also include a Riley Kids Play Area in the parking lot behind The Vogue, a Colts interactive museum, a cash-only beer and cocktail garden, and a Kids’ Tasty Pizza tent, sponsored by HotBox Pizza, where youngsters can create and enjoy their very own eight-inch pizzas.
Taste coordinators are still welcoming volunteers (see below for contact info), and all volunteers get free admission to the event.
Ross feels that a physical expansion of this year’s Taste was a natural next step in the event’s evolution.
“We had worked a little with the guys who did Taste of Bloomington, and they said after starting with a smaller footprint, they expanded and it made a difference because people have more room to hang out and they could bring in more food vendors and it was just more open,” Ross adds. “This year we’re giving people plenty of room to enjoy the food and listen to the music.”
The Main Stage will feature four live bands including Bigfoot Yancey, Clint Breeze & The Groove, the Stampede String Band and headliner the Main Squeeze, a national touring act originally from Bloomington and now based in Los Angeles.
Ross says one of the primary reasons for putting on the event is to showcase the Village’s eclectic mix of food, shopping and entertainment for those not only around the city but also statewide.
“You can come here and pretty much do anything and everything,” Ross says. “There have been a few naysayers, but once the merchants and residents see the crowd that comes, they see that it helps businesses. Anything to make it more fun here is going to help Broad Ripple and the property values and improve the entire neighborhood. That’s an important part of it.”
Taste of Broad Ripple 2018: The Details
When: Saturday, June 16, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Where: On the open streets of Broad Ripple Village, which will be closed to traffic for several blocks. Visit the official event website for a detailed map.
Ticket info: $7 (free for children 11 and under). Cash and credit cards accepted. A percentage of ticket sale proceeds will be allocated toward Riley Children’s Hospital. Tickets can be purchased online at tasteofbroadripple.com or at The Vogue Nightclub box office.
Parking: Free parking will be offered at the Glendale Mall, and a complimentary shuttle service will run every 20 minutes to and from the mall. A paid parking garage is also available at the corner of Broad Ripple Avenue and North College Avenue.
Pricing: Most dishes will be priced between $2 and $4, and alcoholic beverages will cost between $5 and $7.
Additional info: No outside alcoholic beverages or coolers permitted at the event. Handicap-accessible restroom facilities available. The Indianapolis Metro Police Department and paramedics will be present for safety and medical assistance.
Contact: 317-502-1250. For additional information, a frequently asked questions page and a full schedule of events, visit tasteofbroadripple.com.