#ZionsvilleIN – Scott Barnes stands on a stairway in The Friendly Tavern, dressed in business-casual wear, he’s been catching up with patrons and helping with everyday restaurant functions.
“We’re just like any place you can stop at and eat on the way here, but I think what makes us different is that we’re all about people,” Barnes, owner of The Friendly Tavern said. “You can grab a beer and a bite to eat anywhere, but [at The Friendly Tavern] we’re all about providing a space for people to gather and catch up with family and friends – rekindle connections in a great environment.”
If you’re familiar with Zionsville, The Friendly Tavern is an establishment which is synonymous with the town and its brick Main Street. The tavern opened its doors in the late 50s and has been serving both locals and tourists ever since.
Located in a building which has stood since the 1870s, the original business located at the building made carriages and shipped them via a railroad which used to exist in Zionsville. Over time many different buisnesses inhabited The Friendly Tavern building, the last business to operate in the building was Russell Plumbing.
Then one day Hearn Russell decided to make it into The Friendly Tavern and it’s remained as a destination in Zionsville to eat and drink to this day.
Barnes looks over his shoulder to the bar and points out three guys talking and laughing.
“You see those three guys over there,” Barnes said. “They didn’t know each other before coming in here but now their chatting and getting to know one another. That’s what The Friendly is about, whether you’re friends or new acquaintances, it’s about people socializing under one roof.”
Though Barnes is humble about the food The Friendly Tavern makes, the establishment has been celebrated for its food items.
Namely its wings and tenderloin.
I decided to try the Black Jack Burger during my visit to The Friendly Tavern, a Canjun spiced burger topped with melted Jack cheese. A fan of the Cajun flavor, I always have to try a burger which incorporates its taste.
I was very satisfied with the burger, its everything that you would want from a burger served in a bar-esque environment. The meat lends is itself to a comforting taste which warms your mouth while its fries are simple, but cooked to enjoyable perfection. Not too soft, not too crunchy.
The Friendly Tavern’s menu doesn’t try to be anything more than it is, it represents familiar bar foods and incorporates seafood and healthier food options like wraps. It’s a menu that is home to bar standard food which is cooked to a high standard, one which is pleasing and worth every cent payed for it.
Each time I’ve been to The Friendly Tavern I have come away satisfied, and it’s not just because of the food – it’s the atmosphere as well.
The taverns homely atmosphere and friendly service creates a dining experience which can only be compared to visiting a family members home for a holiday. The atmosphere is pleasant, feels timeless and lends itself to conversation.
Don’t be surprised if you divulge some information about yourself to a stranger as well as learn something about that stranger.
You could say that the atmosphere created by the ethos and dining experience at The Friendly Tavern makes the food taste better.
For dessert I decide to have an apple dumpling ala mode with cinnamon ice cream, which has me thinking I might need to run a couple extra miles at the gym later.
The apple dumpling is superb, a mixture of hot and cold and has a sweetness takes over your taste buds and doesn’t ask for forgiveness. It was one of the best apple dumplings I’ve had in a long while.
A fairly priced dessert, I would definitely recommend it as a must have if you plan on having dessert at The Friendly Tavern.
As far as drinks are concerned the tavern offers regular domestic beers, craft beer options such as Sun King and Sierra Nevada products and an assortment of liquors, cocktails and wines.
Something to also to keep in mind about The Friendly Tavern’s menu is that it’s reasonably priced, a dining experience at the establishment won’t break the bank.
If you’re looking for a place to sit down, relax and have a conversation with friends and/or family after shopping on Zionsville’s brick Main Street or looking for a place to socialize in a great environment, look no further than The Friendly Tavern.
For first time customers I highly recommend ordering The Friendly Tavern’s tenderloin or wings.
Patrons of 18 years of age can enter The Friendly Tavern as long as they are accompanied by an adult, otherwise The Friendly Tavern is a 21 + establishment.
The Friendly Tavern located in Downtown Zionsville at 290 S. Main Street
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