Many downtown Indianapolis workers have likely noticed Hoosier Park’s off-track betting site moved from its Washington Street location last year. In late 2011, a new and improved version opened up at 20 N. Pennsylvania Street — and is now called Hoosier Park’s Winner’s Circle. Having heard positive reports, I took my girlfriend to the restaurant on Saturday. My prime rib was quite enjoyable and I was able to catch the end of the Ohio State/Syracuse game at the bar — which has to be one of the better sports bars in Indy (and a blocked off smoking room allows non-smoking patrons to enjoy a smoke-free experience throughout the facility).
We also placed a bet on a harness race. My only complaint on the evening was the tank job my chosen horse displayed, running out of gas with a couple lengths left and causing me to lose out on $20. That money could have ultimately sponsored my consumption of several delightful Indiana craft beers on tap, including Triton Brewing’s Deadeye Stout and Sun King’s Sunlight Cream Ale (both tremendous choices). Here’s an article from Indiana Economic Digest about Winner’s Circle’s initial opening:
“This is truly a redefinition of an off-track betting facility,” (said Hoosier Park COO Jim Brown). “We are so proud of what we have developed in this entire facility.”
The focal point of the $3 million project, Brown said, is the pub and grille. But the raceway lounge is a “real state of the art off-track wagering area.”
“Downtown Indianapolis hosts over 18 million visitors a year,” he said. “This facility offers us a great opportunity to showcase Hoosier Park in a downtown venue.”
Brown said the facility is an upgrade from the previous Indianapolis OTB site, about two blocks from the new location, and he said amenities will include a one-of-a-kind LED bar top and video wall. The wagering lounge has been described as Las Vegas-style, and the grille is racing-themed but still accessible to non-race fans, he said. There will be 50 televisions and 50 carrels, or personal betting areas.
“There will be a touch of Hoosier Park there,” Brown said. “But there are also new and different elements. We tried to take the best of Hoosier Park and transplant it into downtown Indianapolis. It is designed for singles, couples and groups whether they are racing fans or not. Literally, there is something for everyone.”
He wants the venue to be known as the place to get everything from the best hamburger in town to the best steak. The bar, he said, will feature cocktails made from freshly squeezed juices and outstanding martinis as well as more than a dozen beers on tap.
“This is not your mom and dad’s OTB,” Brown said. “This will be a great dining, entertainment and racing venue. There is something there for everyone. We are excited and can’t wait to get the facility opened.”