Books & Brews South Indy continues construction after setbacks

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The much-anticipated restaurant and bar Books & Brews is expected to open soon on Shelby Street, next to the University of Indianapolis police station.

Photo by Noah Crenshaw.

Books & Brews offers craft beers named after books, including Clifford, Cream & Punishment and the Stout of Monte Cristo. It is set to open this fall and will be located next to the University of Indianapolis police station.

Despite the establishment’s original goal to open in spring 2018 and later postponement to July 2018, maintenance in the building took longer than expected, according to the South Indy franchise owner Evan Sandullo.

“We’ve had a lot of frustrating delays,” Sandullo said. “Pretty much anything that could go wrong on this project has.”

Books & Brews markets itself as “the place for people without a place.” The franchise has established locations in Broad Ripple and downtown Indianapolis. The menu features a basic lunch and dinner menu and craft beers named after works of literature.

After deciding to get involved with the franchise near UIndy, Sandullo said he understood that renovations to the building would be necessary, but were not anticipating the level of work that would go into the location.

Plumbing in the building, however, was more collapsed than renovators had anticipated, Sandullo said.

“We’ve had a myriad of permitting issues delays due to various things and the construction process. That’s the difficulty of having a venture like this, you run into some last-minute issues,” Sandullo said. “The landlords themselves had delays when they were doing their part of the build out, and we ran into issues doing our part of the build out.”

According to Sandullo, equipment and other amenities are already inside the building. He and wife Melissa Sandullo, who is a co-franchise owner, both said that while the delays were discouraging, they are excited to open the establishment as soon as possible.

“Barring any unforeseen circumstance or anything that might come up, I would say we’re within two weeks [of opening],” Sandullo said. “As soon as we get that final clearance from the inspector, we’ll be ready [to open].”

Once Books & Brews does open, Melissa said she is excited to welcome UIndy students of all ages alongside members of the greater southside community. The restaurant section of the building will be open to students under 21 while the bar area will be separated by a bookcase. Families and children will also be welcome, according to Melissa.

That community is also excited to welcome the new addition to the southside. Books & Brews will be one of few restaurants within walking distance of the UIndy campus for students to enjoy, and the first brewery.

“I’m excited for Books & Brews to open because it’s close by,” senior psychology major Lauren Cohen said. “I don’t have to deal with the traffic of downtown and it seems like it will be a more relaxed environment.”

Cohen lives in Greyhound Village, which is across from where the establishment will open. She and other students that live on campus will have quick and easy access to Books & Brews.

“My boyfriend and I used to do homework at the brewery close to us back home [in North Carolina],” Cohen said. “So I’m kind of hoping I can do that here now.”

Cohen is not the only Greyhound Village resident who is looking forward to having a place to go out with friends.

“I’m really looking forward to the opening of Books & Brews. It will be a great new place for me to go and eat and drink and study with [my] friends that’s also walking distance from campus,” junior international relations major Danielle Cook said.

The Sandullos plan to welcome these students and the rest of the UIndy community’s company within the coming weeks.                                                                                                 

“We’re really looking forward to serving the university and the surrounding community,” Melissa said.

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