If you’ve taken a scroll through Instagram lately (especially mine), you already know that the Indy coffee scene is readying to welcome a newcomer to Fountain Square: Gavel.

Before the unveiling of the name, Gavel was shrouded in secrecy (it was impossible to miss those giant TBD signs). And now, the cat is out of the bag — for the most part, at least.

Here’s what we know about Gavel so far.

What is it exactly?

Essentially, Gavel is a refreshing new twist on a traditional cafe concept (I might not be writing about it here if it wasn’t). Its exciting approach is a little different than anything you can find right now in Indianapolis.

I could make up some flowery language, or I could just steal the description from their website:

Welcome to Gavel, which can be described as somewhere between a coffee shop and a cocktail bar. We brew highly curated coffees to exacting standards. And we offer a select list of beer, wine, and low-octane cocktails paired with snacks and small plates to share.

That’s a pretty solid description, but between you and me, it doesn’t do Gavel any justice. (That will be funny in a minute.) I was able to snag a private tour a la Daniel Herndon (he puts the Herndon in MilesHerndon), and the Gavel team has quite a few twists that will surprise you.

Who is it exactly?

Gavel is a project by MilesHerndon, one of our favorite local design and marketing agencies/powerhouses. In the Spring of 2018, MilesHerndon relocated from the Circle to their current space in Fountain Square, which is where you’ll be able to find Gavel.

The MilesHerndon team is tucked in the back of the building, separated from the cozy cafe by a beautiful, enclosed breezeway. (Is it a still a breezeway it it’s enclosed?)

Why ‘Gavel’?

This one is easy. The space that Gavel is occupying was once a courtroom. More deets on that coming soon. Probably.

(Insider scoop: some of the art work in the space was reclaimed from the courtroom days.)


I had to dive into some Instagram comments to find that we should see the open signs light up in early March. They’ve begun previewing the space to family and friends already, and special events are happening now. So before we know it, we’ll all be venturing to Fountain Square to be served a perfect cup of coffee or a perfectly crafted cocktail. Or both. Probably both.

And Where?

Another easy one: Gavel is hosted in the lobby of MilesHerndon. Or if you like addresses, 902 Virginia Avenue in Fountain Square, nestled sweetly between the Inferno Room and Three Carrots. *chef kiss gesture*

Closing Argument

Gavel is going to be an experience – a curated experience. And I guarantee it will be different than anything you’ve experienced at any other coffee shop in Indianapolis.

The MilesHerndon team knows what they’re doing, and they don’t joke around. Well, not until it’s cocktail time at least.

To stay up to date with Gavel, follow them on Instagram: @gavel.indy (Pssst… they’re also hiring.) And of course, make sure you’re following @indianapoliscoffee for all of your local coffee needs.