Exchange Whiskey Bar opens on Mass Ave.


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Mass Ave. has a new drinking spot, with an old vibe.

The Exchange Whiskey Bar opens Wednesday at the Hammond Block building at 301 Massachusetts Ave. with more than 180 whiskeys and craft cocktails and a Prohibition-era theme.

The speakeasy-style bar is from Prime Hospitality Group, owners of seven Ruth’s Chris Steakhouses, including two in Indianapolis, and the 7-year-old Exchange Whiskey Bar in South Bend.

Developed with a feel that’s warm and cozy, with overstuffed furniture and dark colors, the bar aims to attract all comers — couples on dates, girls out on the town, business travelers and folks looking for an after-work drink.

Exchange Whiskey Bar opens at the Hammond Block Building on Mass. Ave. (Photo: Prime Hospitality Group)

“Hopefully, we’ll fit the bill with any type of beverages someone would want,” said Kristy Rans, owner and president of Prime Hospitality Group.

And a limited menu of bites has been created to complement the drinks. Customers can opt for charcuterie plates, deviled eggs or house-made chips and dips. 

It’s in 3,200 square feet on the ground floor and basement of the Hammond Block building; fitting, as it’s one of the oldest buildings on Mass Ave.

The location is full of activity, home to businesses, residences and other bars and restaurants. Neighbors include Ball & Biscuit, The Eagle Food & Beer Hall and Bru Burger Bar.

“With all that’s hopping on Mass Ave., all the walkability that area offers and people living there and working there, all the other dining options, this is going to be a hit,” Rans said. “It’s going to draw in everybody that lives in that Mass Ave. area.”

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The bar was initially scheduled for a spring opening, but Prime decided to wait until occupancy limits were raised.

A downstairs space with a second bar is available for private events.

It’s open Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to midnight and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. The bar will temporarily close at midnight on weekends to adhere to city COVID-19 guidelines.

Contact IndyStar reporter Cheryl V. Jackson at [email protected] or 317-444-6264. Follow her on Twitter: @cherylvjackson.

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