Mass Ave’s 400 Block is an excellent example of the possibilities for the future. The amount of stores located in such a small area is staggering, and yet there are still a few surface parking lots on the street, as well as a pocket park. Most of the businesses are Indianapolis-based (the only exception would be the Starbucks). Here’s a rundown for the uninitiated or visitors:
Old Point Tavern. One of Indy’s oldest bars, and a good place to get chili on a cold night.
Mass Ave Toy Store. Quality selection of toys (even some that are not plastic!).
Luna Music. Great character and selection in this small space. They know more about new music than anyone at Virgin or Tower.
Chatterbox. What can I say, I love this place. The best jazz bar in town.
The south side of the street also features 2 newcomers: Nurture baby clothes (which features some “green” items), and Sakura (which is a store for purses and such).
Also, a new martini bar with an Asian theme will open in January.
Elements. While technically on Alabama Street, the food is too good to go without mention.
The aforementioned Starbucks. Go to Hoaglin instead, or if you just want coffee, Henry’s on East Street just north of Mass Ave. The fact that there are no true independent coffee shops fronting Mass Ave still boggles my mind.
Silver in the City. Neat gift shop, mostly geared for young adults.
3 Dog Bakery. I don’t have a dog, but hey, many people do.
Global Gifts. My go-to store for gifts for my wife or mother. Well-made crafts that are fairly traded, and a staff that is exceedingly friendly and helpful.
Hoaglin. Excellent breakfasts, lunches, and coffee.
There are also many small offices in the upper floors of the buildings, as well as an apartment complex. All of this in a space smaller than a typical strip mall parking lot.