The Bottleworks Hotel in Indianapolis, an art deco gem of the nearby Arts District

Indianapolis – The art deco era was a time of magnificent and lavish – some might even say indulgent – architectural design, ranging from icons such as the Chrysler Building in New York City to the largest bottling plant in soda in the world, the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Indianapolis.

Although the bottling plant moved 50 years ago, the building, restored to its sparkling art deco splendor, reopened this year as the Bottleworks Hotel, the anchor of the arts and entertainment district of Bottleworks (

The hotel is an ideal location for travelers looking to indulge in an evening or two while exploring one of Indiana’s capital city’s newest entertainment districts.

Bottleworks' beautiful main staircase shines at all times of the year, but especially during the holidays.

The hotel, located at 850 Massachusetts Ave. ( retains its original ornate terracotta facade, restored and resplendent.

The lobby’s bold tiles were also restored, repaired, and replaced as needed, as were the terrazzo floors and shiny brass trim and trim.

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Design cues all come together in the main staircase, its curved brass railings romantically reflecting the hotel’s Christmas tree lights this time of year.

The lobby at Bottleworks Hotel features original Art Deco walls, floors, trims and accessories.

In the guest wings, the glossy red doors of each bedroom contrast perfectly with the long rows of five-foot-high black-and-white portraits that line the hallways. The portraits are of people from all walks of life, some famous (Chuck Yeager hung just outside my bedroom), some extravagant, some seemingly ordinary, but all fascinating on examination. Some portraits are reproductions of classical works, others were made especially for the hotel. Several are workers who helped with the massive hotel renovation project.

Inside, each room is equipped with modern and comfortable amenities that seem perfectly in tune with their luxurious surroundings.

The hotel may be art deco from the 1920s, but the rooms are equipped with all modern amenities.

Also inside the hotel building is the Sundry and Vice Cocktail Lounge (, Blue Collar Coffee Co. and Modita, an Asian-inspired restaurant with an interesting and tasty interpretation. dim sum, noodles and rice, sushi and more.

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Adjacent to the hotel is the Garage Food Hall ( located in the old bottling plant garages. The garage is now home to a wide variety of food vendors such as Chapati Beta with Pakistani-Indian inspired dishes, Poke Guru, and Blupoint Oysterhouse & Bar, to name a few.

In the guest wings, a modern aesthetic harmonizes superbly with the art deco sensibility.  5651 - The original terracotta facade of The Bottleworks has been wonderfully restored.

Visitors will also find several interesting shops including Foxx Fabrix, specializing in hand-dyed clothing; and outdoors-inspired clothing and personal care items at Becker Supply Co.

Elsewhere in the Bottleworks district, visitors will find a Pins Mechanical – similar to the one in downtown Columbus – with bowling, pinball, giant Jenga and plenty of other games, plus cocktails and a great selection of beer. pressure; and Living Room Theater, an eight-room cinema featuring first-run food and movies.

Many other restaurants, shops and services are located in the Bottleworks district, which itself is an extension of the five-block-long Massachusetts Avenue Arts and Entertainment District (

The Garage Food Hall was once the garage for the Coca-Cola bottling plant.

While visitors can easily spend an entire weekend or more exploring the Bottleworks and Mass Ave neighborhood, as it’s called, I decided to expand my explorations with a 10 minute walk to Circle City. Industrial Complex, 1125 E. Brookside Ave. (www., a former industrial site spanning several city blocks with over half a million square feet under roof.

The funky and mesmerizing complex is home to a number of artist workshops and galleries, a craft brewer and two craft distillers, restaurants, specialty retailers and the massive Fowling Warehouse, the home of a new sport that is taking shape. assault the city.

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Fowling – it rhymes with ‘bowling’, not, unfortunately, ‘howling’ – was invented on the Indianapolis 500. The sport is a combination of bowling and football with a rhythm and atmosphere reminiscent of the cornhole.

The Garage Food Hall is a popular lunch spot in the Bottleworks district.

Participants use a soccer ball to aim for a standard 10-pin bowling setup, with the first team knocking down all pins being the winner.

The Fowling Warehouse ( is home to dozens of Fowling courts, often full, as well as its own tavern. Fowling now has franchises in five cities, including Cincinnati, but why not try it out where he was born while discovering the other great things the neighborhood has to offer?

Visit for more information on all there is to see and do in Indianapolis.

Steve Stephens is a freelance travel writer and photographer. Email him at

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