When Tom and I first started talking about our concept for a restaurant (project Green Room), it was well over 3 years ago. We thought we would get all our ducks-in-a-row and open it “possibly around 2020”.
The Green Room Business Concept
In our travels, we have been to a great number of cabarets across the country, and we miss them when we are back home again in Indiana. That is why we would like to bring the experience home via The Green Room. Simply put, The Green Room is a cabaret that serves lunch, dinner, weekend brunch and local entertainment to its patrons.
We will serve a selection of finely designed small plate items for lunch and dinner that are local and sustainable wherever possible. The menu will be rotated seasonally to keep things fresh and current. Brunch will consist of traditional fare with a special flair.
The bar will feature fine wines that are available by the bottle or by the glass. We will explore the art of the brew-master by featuring an array of beverages from our excellent selection of local breweries.
We will encourage the arts in Indianapolis by providing a cabaret stage for local talent. This, in turn, will create a gathering space for the artist community, a place to meet and discuss the arts at home.
Clientele will vary widely, but will be primarily directed toward the local downtown residents, the arts community, the theatre going public and the tourist with an eye toward the arts.
The location will feature a contemporary décor, a great patio space and a fabulous floor plan. It resides in an excellent location that is adjacent to many local arts venues and sits on the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.
Sometimes things don’t happen exactly the way you expect them.
In 2011, when we found that our favorite Chef, Joseph Heidenreich, was available, The Connoisseur Room with its rich musical history was empty, my other business seemed to be in capable hands and our financial advisors liked our plans, we decided to go for it!
Our official, Lunch Only, soft opening in mid-November of 2011, featured 2 weeks with ½ of our sales going to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Indiana and Indianapolis Downtown Inc. We believe strongly in giving back to our community!
The challenges have been great, but the response was overwhelming. Our first reviews were from our guests and were quickly followed by an amazing response by the press with Headlines like; Chef Joseph Offers a Great Food Experience at The Connoisseur Room – November, 18, 2011, Chef Joseph’s Adds Some Elegance to Downtown Lunch – November 25, 2011, Chef Joseph’s Provides Sophisticated Dining – December 21, 2011, 2011 in Review: The Best in Food- December 28, 2011, Candidate For Indy’s Best Power Lunch – January 15, 2012, Heidenreich resurfaces at Chef Joseph’s – January 21, 2012, Chef Joseph’s: High-quality Comfort Food – January 25, 2012, 22 Indianapolis Businesses You Should Know – January 18, 2012, Chef Joseph’s is newest downtown hot spot for dining and entertainment – April 9th, 2012, Chef Joseph’s offers Downtown Indy dining decadence – April 9th, 2012, Five Things I Love: Sharon Gamble – April 12th, 2012.
All of these articles were incredible honors and made us feel as though we were on the right track, but being rated one of Indianapolis Best New Restaurants -2012 - May 1st, 2012 by Indianapolis Monthly Magazine, receiving Avanti Ratings, Locally Outstanding Selected and Deserved – A+ Rating – September 6, 2012 and Nuvo NewsWeekly’s – Dining 2012 – Best New Restaurant - October 11, 2012 on the same day that we were reviewed by Midwest Living Magazine Review - October 11, 2012 made us feel like Sally Field at the Oscars, “You like me, you really, really like me!”
Now, I am not tooting my own horn, although I do feel that, on occasion, (like your anniversary) it’s ok. None of this would have been possible without our great diverse, culinary and performing art-loving dinner clientele and our executive lunch crowd. Nor without our corporate supporters and friends who have been patient with us while we establish ourselves. Most definitely not without our incredible management staff, Chef Joseph Heidenreich, Jan Robertson and Kellie Helfenbein who have been there since our first planning meeting or our phenomenal and cohesive staff; Sammy, Juan, Butch, Stephen, Jacob, Mikey, Sara, Robert, John, Rey, Iesha and our newest member Michael, or without our great cast of Cabaret performers headed by Sean Baker.
We are currently ranked very highly on OpenTable which is an unbiased snapshot that is strictly controlled by actual diners. This makes us very proud and we will do whatever possible to live up to your great expectations.
Reviews by customers and critics are great markers, but they are not my favorite moments of the past year. Those involve customer service and the fruition of this vision; our first sold-out dinner, each fantastic Wine Pairing, New Year’s Eve dancing with my partner, the first time unrehearsed and spontaneous music happened, the first Open Mic night, the period when our service staff began to make money, the several times guests have shaken my hand and thanked me for what we are doing, every time someone says “My compliments to the Chef” and all the occasions that elicited genuine laughter.
Of course, an Anniversary calls for a celebration so, we celebrate the same way that we did when we opened, by giving back:
Celebrating Our One Year Anniversary!
Thursday, November 15 – “The Meeker Vineyard” Wine Pairing Dinner
Join Chef Joseph’s as we present the hostess with the mostess Molly Meeker, the Owner of Meeker Vineyards as she shares stories of her Vineyard and her years working as a writer for Norman Lear on such shows as “All in the Family,” “Maude,” “Sanford & Son,” “One Day at a Time,” among others.
There will be a live auction for a very special Chef’s Dinner, Wines from Meeker Vineyards and other special items with the proceeds going to the Little Red Door Cancer Agency! The cost is a mere $60 per person, including tax and gratuity. This event is selling quickly, as Meeker is a very popular vineyard with our regulars!
Friday, November 16 – “Open Mic” Night!
Sean Baker, the Music Maker is your personal pianist on the Baby Grand. Bring your sheet music and enjoy the adoration that you so richly deserve. With a full bar for liquid courage, it’s all covered. The bar opens at 5pm with Open Mic beginning at 7pm.
We continue our One Year Anniversary Celebration with a second night of giving. This time, by purchasing one or more $5.00 raffle ticket at the door, you will be entitled to enjoy all our weekly drink specials on Open Mic night; including 20% off Wines by the Bottle (reserves do not apply), ½ Priced Well Drinks, ½ Priced Martinis and a raffle for tickets to The Cabaret at The Columbia Club, Theatre On The Square, The Phoenix Theatre, Dance Kaleidoscope, The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Indiana Repertory Theatre, Broadway Across America in Indianapolis and more! We will also encourage tipping for your favorite performer. All of the collected tips and funds from the raffle will be donated to The Cabaret at the Columbia Club’s Education Program, which works to encourage and enhance the vocal performance of Musicians in Indianapolis.
Saturday, November 16 – Dinner and Drinks with Nancy Moore and Sean Baker
Presenting our original vision for Chef Joseph’s come to fruition:
Take the NYC atmosphere of The Connoisseur Room, add the Culinary Mastery of Chef Joseph Heidnereich, the Cocktails Extraordinaire of Sara Taylor and the Cabaret Stylings of Sean Baker and Nancy Moore and you’ll see exactly what we were going for.
This is a night for foodies, oenophiles and music lovers.
We conclude our One Year Anniversary Celebration with a third night of giving. Purchase a raffle ticket for our Wine Pull to win the chance to draw one of several dozen bottles of wine including 4 – $200.00 bottles from Forman Vineyards and William Cole Vineyards. All proceeds from the raffle will benefit our friends at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Indianapolis.
What does the future hold? I can’t wait to see!