“It’s like being at your grandma’s house—but with better booze and better patio furniture.”
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Black Market is unequivocally one of Indianapolis’ best restaurants. Tucked up on the end of Indy’s Mass Ave, chef Micah Frank has been churning out some of the most approachable food in the midwest for the last five years. We could try to write about how good Micah’s food is, but far more qualified sources than us have been doing just that for the last five years. Whether its his James Beard Best New Chef nomination, Food & Wine Magazine’s adoration, or praise from Mark Bittman of the New York Times, everything he makes seems to be perfect. If I had to guess at what makes his food so universally enjoyed, it would be his “back to basics” approach to cooking and plating (no fussy tweezers in sight).
Black Market’s beautifully stripped-back shotgun bar mirrors this philosophy. Throw out all the buzzwords you can muster, “farm to fork,” “locally-sourced,” “nose-to-tail,” and Micah has you covered. But you’d never know it because everything is presented without fanfare. Like with many of our city’s best chefs, cooking and sourcing ingredients this way isn’t special, it’s expected.
Black Market’s bar program warrants its own entire writeup, just don’t call it a tiki bar. Chris Coy, Ed Rudisell, Heather Tomory, along with Micah regularly travel to Rum country where the personally source some of the weirdest, funkiest rums on the planet. This creates a diverse, oft-changing cocktail and spirits list.
We worked with Ed, Chris, and Micah to design a site that would mirror their lovely space—warm and dark, inviting and comfortable.
One of our favorite features happens behind the scenes. Every morning, Micah wakes up and thinks up the day’s lunch and dinner specials. These are unceremoniously texted to Ed to share over social media. We briefly discussed how we could elegantly feature these specials on the site (chalkboard illustrations, icon system, handwritten notes) but every idea we threw out would end up creating unnecessary work for their team. So we simply pulled their Instagram feed onto their homepage using a behind the scenes hashtag to display the appropriate image. Simple.
Other features include a push to sell gift cards, a long cocktail list, and a beautiful, responsive layout influenced by mid-century farm house aesthetics, eclectic typography, and wabi sabi rum labels.