Thunderbird takes off

Feb 2nd, 2014 | by Eat Drink Indy | News, Restaurants

Judging from the crowd response during the soft opening of Thunderbird, the new Fountain Square bar is going to be a popular addition to the neighborhood. It opens to the public Feb. 4.

Thunderbird partners (from left)  Jonathan Altman, Ed Rudisell and Joshua Gonzales.

Thunderbird partners (from left) Jonathan Altman, Ed Rudisell and Joshua Gonzales.

Kipp Norman created the Thunderbird's centerpiece art installation.

Kipp Norman created the Thunderbird’s centerpiece art installation.

The new bar, located at 1127 Shelby St., filled up quickly during Saturday’s soft-open event, and it was definitely a cocktail crowd. Over the course of two hours, I noticed only two customers with beers. Everyone else was trying co-owner Joshua Gonzales’ cocktails (my favorite so far: the Goddamn Rotterdam, $9, made with Bols Genever, Ransom Old Tom Gin, honey and lemon bitters). Cocktail prices range from $7 to $11.

The Goldenrod, $9, features Buffalo Trace bourbon, Dolin dry vermouth, yellow Chartreuse, Benedictine, absinthe and Peychaud's bitters.

The Goldenrod, $9, features Buffalo Trace bourbon, Dolin dry vermouth, yellow Chartreuse, Benedictine, absinthe and Peychaud’s bitters.

Food prices are likewise reasonable; main dishes are $10, and sides are $4. But the big flavors on consulting chef Carlos Salazar’s menu make the dishes a bargain. I enjoyed everything I tried — especially the biscuit and gravy, $10, made with duck neck gravy and a housemade biscuit topped with a fried egg. The fried black-eyed peas, $4, disappeared quickly as well, as did the beignets, $4.

Thunderbird's biscuit and gravy, $10, features duck neck gravy, a house-made biscuit and a fried egg.

Thunderbird’s biscuit and gravy, $10, features duck neck gravy, a house-made biscuit and a fried egg.

The handsome interior, created by Nikki Sutton and Nick Allman with a striking player piano art installation by Kipp Normand, manages to be both rustic and comfortable, with a nod to the building’s past as a rockabilly bar.

Thunderbird consulting chef Carlos Salazar created a Southern-inspired menu.

Thunderbird consulting chef Carlos Salazar created a Southern-inspired menu.

Looks like Thunderbird partners Ed Rudisell, Joshua Gonzales and Jonathan Altman along with chef Salazar have hit on their hands.

 

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