Southsider Voice correspondent
Between Southport and Stop 11 roads on Madison Avenue is a new restaurant trying to establish an image for itself while connecting with the community.
Madison Avenue Pub is celebrating its two-month birthday under the ownership of Chris Schneider, who bought the property in the fall. “The goal has been to do some rebranding,” he said. “Give it more of a neighborhood feel with good food, craft beer and reasonable prices.”
Prior to his takeover, the restaurant was known as The Party, but it did not find a customer base. “Most of what I’ve heard (about The Party) was mostly rumor and conjecture,” he said. “It wasn’t a brand that was attractive to the local market.”
Schneider’s decision to purchase the property placed him in unchartered territory as it’s his first restaurant on the Southside. A Northsider, he knew communication would be key to fitting into the Southport and Homecroft markets.
Though at the same time, Schneider realizes that both sides of Indy have more in common than differences. “It’s been a process of getting to know everyone. People will talk all day about the differences. They are convinced they live in different cities. When you strip it all down they are not much different, though I’m not sure we are going to convince people of that.”
Part of the Southside outreach will be participating in the upcoming Taste of Perry Township and other events. Through listening to his customers, Schneider said he feels the pub can find its niche.
“People always ask if we are in the bar business or the restaurant business,” he said. “We’re in the pub business. We try to encompass both of them with the mentality of a neighborhood greeting place.”
On the bar side, the pub features craft beer from local breweries, some of which are so small that they hardly distribute elsewhere. There is also a variety of bottled beer.
Kitchen manager Debra Fox and Schneider want to be known for its fresh food. “We’re not taking pre-breaded chicken strips out of the bag; we bread them ourselves,” he said. “We don’t start much stuff out of the freezer.”
Some of the most popular appetizers include cheese cubes and fried mushrooms and pickles. Schneider said the fried tenderloin is a signature sandwich because there is more pork in his than versions from other restaurants. Filet mignon ($12.95) and rib-eye ($11.95) dinners are featured every Tuesday night.
Schneider said he is proud of his diversified menu. “Every morning we make our soups from scratch. Not many (pubs) work on soups anymore.”