At FoxGardin Kitchen & Ale in Fortville, the food may be good but it’s the entire dining experience that is the true focus.
An on-trend farmhouse chic décor, occasional live music, and an imaginative rotating menu focused on elevated comfort food have drawn hungry Hoosiers to this over-21 establishment in Hancock County for over five years.
Ball State college pals Jake Burgess and Toby Shelton opened FoxGardin Kitchen & Ale in 2015, just 17 days after Burgess signed the lease to a storefront in downtown Fortville. Burgess and Shelton had previous food industry stints at places like The Capital Grille, Prime 47 and Omni Severin Hotel in Indianapolis and were eager to branch out on their own.
Fifteen months after the Fortville restaurant opened, the pair opened another location in Fishers — FoxGardin Family Kitchen — for patrons of all ages. Since then, the FoxGardin brand has expanded to include The Den by FoxGardin in Carmel and Smoky’s Concession Stand in Lapel. There’s also a food truck that can bring favorites like tacos, flatbreads and the phenomenal slow-cooked then deep-fried wings to private parties and events of all kind.
Rep. Chris Jeter, a FoxGardin regular, raves about what he calls the restaurant’s “funky menu.” Examples: the grilled PB&J sandwich accented with bacon and swiss, and flavorful bone marrow French fries. “Chef Jake brings the heat every time!” Jeter said.
Seasonal local ingredients star in all of FoxGardin’s menu items. Diners especially enjoy specialties like the “Fortville Tenderloin,” hand cut filets in four sizes to fit every appetite, and, for traditional “comfort foodies,” Beef Manhattan with homemade mashed potatoes. From-scratch pies are don’t-miss dessert options.
Jeter also signals out the restaurant’s “great bar and awesome vibe.” That “great bar” is an upstairs whiskey lounge which serves fine bourbons, other whiskies and a limited selection of other spirits. The American Bourbon Association named it as one of the Great Bourbon Bars of America. FoxGardin Kitchen & Ale also serves local beer selections and wine.
As the weather begins to warm this spring, consider FoxGardin Kitchen & Ale’s outdoor safe distanced dining option. But whether you dine indoors or out, FoxGardin’s mission remains the same: “Our number one priority is to create an environment for people to meet, share and enjoy each other’s company.”
If you go …
FoxGardin Kitchen & Ale
215 S. Main St.