The local coffee scene in Indianapolis has been abuzz over the announcements of some big names in coffee opening up shop in town. Local favorites like Tinker Coffee and Blue Mind are prepping their new cafés for launch while out-of-town players are also making their move to Indy. And if I’m not mistaken, LOCAL COFEE SHOPS OUTNUMBER STARBUCKS IN INDIANAPOLIS. Here’s everything we know so far.

Blue Mind Roasting

Blue Mind Roasting has been one of my favorite local specialty coffee roasters since they popped up in 2016. Watching their glow-up from a small in-home roaster to now a beautiful café space has been amazing to see.

I’m assuming you’re here because you follow me on social media, so I’m also assuming you’ve noticed how excited I am about Blue Mind’s new café on 38th Street. As of me writing this on Feb 10, they recently passed their city health inspection, which is a huge and nearly-final milestone for any food & bev space. At this moment, they haven’t announced an opening date, but we know it will be very soon!

UPDATE: Blue Mind is open and it is BEAUTIFUL! Check out my thoughts here.


Image courtesy of Tinker Coffee

Tinker Coffee

Another new café you’ve no doubt heard about by now is the new Tinker Coffee coming to downtown Indianapolis at the corner of Market Street and New Jersey. My favorite part about this new café is that it is Tinker. My second favorite part is that it is going in an old Starbucks space.

If you know the folks at Tinker, you know they are intentional and thoughtful about every single thing they do. The T-birds have been working on the new café space for some time now, and it’s been amazing to see how the idea and concept have evolved into this fully realized community space. I am beyond excited to start seeing it come to life in the next few months.

Tinker anticipates the opening of the new café in April or May this spring.


Illumine Coffee

I first met Illumine Coffee in 2021 when they were just roasting coffee. Since then, they’ve been operating the coffee counter inside the Indianapolis Art Center. Soon they’ll be opening their first full-fledged café in Nora.

The team at Illumine cares about their community just as much as they care about their coffee, so I’m excited to see how they bring all of that to life in their new café space.

UPDATE: Illumine is officially open! Check my post to see what I thought!

The Avenue Coffeehouse & Cafe

You’ve probably seen the sign for The Avenue Coffeehouse & Cafe on College Ave in Broad Ripple for a while now, and they’re getting closer to opening! The Avenue is a new local coffee shop that benefits The Avenue Foundation, a local foundation that per its website is focused on the “rich history and culture of Indiana Avenue [and] was founded to build racial and economic equity, and empower the Black community in Central Indiana to create and sustain generational wealth.”

We love a coffee shop with a mission. We love a foundation dedicated to uplifting such important cultural missions. We love it all, and I can’t wait for them to open soon in Broad Ripple.


Rendering courtesy of Memento Zero Proof Lounge

Memento Zero Proof Lounge

Part zero-proof cocktail bar, part coffee bar, Memento Zero Proof Lounge is coming soon to change the game in Fishers. Memento has been around on social media for a while, launching a few merch projects and hyping up their zero-proof cocktail program. They will be Indiana’s first alcohol-free bar and coffee shop.

I am madly in love with this concept for many reasons, and I know a lot of Indy is, too! We’ve seen a rise in the zero-proof movement over the last few years in Indy (and around the country), so it will be awesome getting a full-fledged, alcohol-free bar.

Another bonus is they are going to really, really love the coffee they serve. The folks behind Memento have long been part of the Indy coffee community, and they’re enlisting the help of a few local roasters who will be providing them with coffee to brew on their Modbar setup.

Memento is currently aiming to open in May, but the last few months of opening a space provide a lot of big hurdles to clear first. Here’s hoping we’ll know more soon! Until then, make sure to follow @mementoretail on Instagram for updates.

It all goes well, Memento will be opening this May!


Ascend Coffee

NEW: Since this original post, I’ve also learned about Ascend Coffee, a new coffee house opening very soon in Castleton on 86th Street between the mall and Costco! I’m excited about Ascend for a lot of reasons, and I’m so glad they reached out.

Caleb, the owner of Ascend, moved to Indianapolis 2 years ago. He’s been working in coffee for over 8 years, most recently at Command Coffee and MOTW, so he knows his way around a café. He is excited to be featuring coffee from Genesis Coffee Lab, a roaster out of North Carolina that focuses on fair-trade coffees.

I get asked all the time for coffee recommendations around Castleton, and I’m excited to add Ascend to that short (but growing!) list. They are expected to be opening sometime in March!

Update! Ascend has officially opened in Castleton! Here’s the map.


There are another few big coffee names that are making their way to Indy this year. We’ve been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Barista Parlor since the rumors started swirling a few years ago. It was also recently announced the plans for a Please & Thank You, one of my favorite cafés from Louisville.

One of the criteria for local coffee shops I feature on the coffee guide is that they are primarily Indy-based and Indy-focused. That being said, these specialty coffee shops are still local to their cities and really focus on specialty coffee, and I’m eager to see how they approach our already-strong community.

Barista Parlor in Nashville, TN

Barista Parlor from Nashville

Rumors of Nashville-based Barista Parlor coming to Indy started swirling around a few years ago when the reimagining of the Stutz building was announced. Though everyone seemed to know about it, the official word was kept pretty tightly kept until 2022 when all of the new Stutz vendors were announced.

Barista Parlor has seen a ton of growth over the last few years and has always been one of my favorite places to stop in Nashville. Their approach to coffee is only matched by their aesthetics, which always stay on brand while also incorporating the history of every space they fill. I’m eager to see how they grow into Indy and to see how they contribute to our already amazing local coffee community.

Please & Thank You from Lousville

Another new out-of-town shop that was recently announced is Please & Thank You, a Louisville-based café that also touts a killer chocolate chip cookie (can confirm). When I pass through Louisville, I always stop at at least one Quills and at least one Please & Thank You.

It was recently announced that they’ll be opening up near Bottleworks at 849 Mass Ave. It may seem close to other cafés, but Mass Ave is broken up into small blocks with unique personalities and offerings, so I’m excited to see this spot open up on that end of the avenue. Their current goal is to be opened up by May 15.

Other updates

So far we’ve talked about a lot of local coffee shops that are opening soon, but there are also a handful of new cafés that are already open!

The new Tea’s Me Location at Ivy Tech

Did you know that Tea’s Me just opened a new third location at Ivy Tech? I’ve posted about it on my stories a few times, but I haven’t gotten a chance to check it out in person yet. Though it is on campus, it is open to the public. Another big change is that they are serving Blue Mind espresso! The other two locations serve drip coffee along with their giant tea selection, but this location will have more coffee offerings. Love to see it.

Smitten Kitten Cafe

Up in Fishers, Smitten Kitten Cafe recently opened! Similar to Nine Lives Cat Café in Fountain Square, Smitten Kitten IS A CAT CAFE that features adoptable cats from Hamilton County Humane Society. I’m a huge fan of Hamilton Humane, local coffee, AND KITTENS, so this place obviously gets the Indianapolis Coffee Guide Seal of Approval.

Groovy Cat

Another cat-themed café also recently opened in Geist: The Groovy Cat Cafe. Though this café doesn’t actually have any cats (I’m choosing not to hold it against them), they are serving up great coffee and funky vibes.

Gaia Cafe & Botanical

We’ve talked about this on Instagram, but did you know that when Bee Coffee Roasters closed up their café at 56th & Lafayette Rd that Gaia Cafe & Botanical stepped in?? One of Bee’s baristas took the café over and switched gears a little bit by changing the name and overflowing the space with gorgeous plants. Though the ownership is new, they are still serving delicious Bee Coffee, who is now just focusing on roasting coffee without a dedicated café space of their own.

Pulse Coffee

Speaking of Bee Coffee, their old location on Capitol across the street from is now Pulse Coffee! Pulse Coffee opened in 2022 and seems to be going strong. They are a Black- and women-owned café which we absolutely love to see, and I’m so glad that beautiful space is being utilized by good local coffee.

New MOTW in Carmel

Since I originally posted this, MOTW announced a new Carmel location! They’re going into a spot on Old Meridian across from the Carmel Meijer. Personally, I’m bummed because I used to live down the street. BUT I GUESS I’M STILL EXCITED because Carmel needs more local coffee options!

An update on Thirsty Scholar

Not to gossip, but…have you seen what’s going on over at Thirsty Scholar? We live near 16th street, and lately we’ve been watching closely as crews have been in the space. One of the many confusing things about Thirsty Scholar being closed over the last few years is that the space itself has remained relatively untouched: the café tables and chairs are still in place, pillows are still in the windows, all of the equipment is still shining behind the bar… Well, that was until the last few weeks. As of writing this, the space has been completely emptied and everything has been painted white. It’s just…empty, and you’d never know anything resembling a café was ever in there. So, I think it’s safe to say that Thirsty Scholar isn’t coming back—at least the Thirsty Scholar of yesteryear isn’t.

UPDATE: Since publishing, I have officially confirmed that Thirsty Scholar is not coming back to this space. HOWEVER, some kind of lease is being negotiated for that space, but I’m not at liberty to discuss. Maybe one day soon.

UPDATE PART 2: A new café will in fact be coming into the Thirsty Scholar space. I was waiting for the official word and the lease to be signed, and it’s truuuue! Dream Palace Books will be going into the Thirsty Scholar space AND potentially taking over the empty retail spot next to it for a huge space. It’s going to be a beautiful thing.


Okay, maybe just a little more gossip. Besides all of this great news, there are a ton of other local coffee spots in the works that I can’t quite talk about yet. Some of our favorites are planning second (and even fourth & fifth) locations. A few non-coffee concepts around downtown are actively looking for coffee vendors to move in. Several coffee shops are actively looking to sell their concepts to new owners. At least one local café has recently changed ownership (more on that very soon). Oh, and a downtown-favorite brewery is about to announce the opening of their café concept. I wish I could tell you more, but…


So yeah! There is a ton of new coffee coming to Indianapolis in 2023. I remember when I started the Indianapolis Coffee Guide, there were 5 Starbucks locations for every local coffee shop. Now? Local coffee shops outnumber Starbucks. WHAT?! That is absolutely bonkers. So many new cafés are coming, so many have opened recently, and there are a handful that I still haven’t even been to yet!

What is even more special is that the Indianapolis coffee community is still very much so a community. There’s still room for new cafés with different concepts serving different communities. What a time to be in Indianapolis.

What do you think? Which cafés are you most excited for?