101 Beer Kitchen 

Fishers District Eatery Offers Unique Menu & a Family-Friendly Atmosphere 

Writer / Jon Shoulders
Photographer / Michael Durr

101 Beer KitchenIt’s a bit tricky to characterize the concept behind 101 Beer Kitchen at the Fishers District. And co-owner Jess Kittrell is OK with that.

“We’ve tried to create a family-friendly place that is still exciting and charming enough for date nights and young professionals. We’re a restaurant first, and then we strive to have a really great bar program too,” says Kittrell, who co-owns the restaurant chain with her husband Thad, a Muncie native. 

“With the food, some of it might sound a little bit different, but we don’t push it so much that we risk alienating our guests with a bunch of things on the menu that are confusing,” she adds. “We try to offer a few flavor combinations that maybe customers haven’t tried before. We want it to have that feel of comfort food at the same time.”

Much of the 101 Beer Kitchen food selection rotates quarterly, along with about 10 items that stay on the menu year-round. You’ll find pizza, sandwiches, salads and entrees like pecan crusted chicken, harissa roasted cauliflower and peppercorn hanger steak.

“Since much of the menu rotates, it’s very much supposed to be what you’re craving, when you’re craving it,” Kittrell says. “We’ve learned that the Indy crowd loves their shrimp and grits. There’s been lots of activity on social media for that, and that’s been fun. Many of the dishes we offer are things Thad has made at home for years, like the green chili that’s been on the meu. That’s a family favorite with us.”

The drink menu includes a wide range of cocktails in addition to wines and beers.

The Kittrells currently operate three 101 Beer Kitchen locations in Central Ohio, and three years ago began considering Central Indiana for their next 101 Beer Kitchen spot. 

101 Beer Kitchen“Fishers and the northside are growing so much that it made sense to come here, and we have family and professional contacts in the area, so it made more sense to come here next, rather than the Cleveland or Cincinnati markets. The demographics of the north Indianapolis suburbs meet up with our concept very well.”

In the summer of 2018, the couple settled on Fishers to open up shop and began construction on the space in September of that year. December of 2019 saw the Fishers grand opening, which Kittrell says was hectic but worth the hard work.

Jess and Thad met while working together in the restaurant industry in Ohio. Thad was an established chef at the time, and Jess was working toward a degree in finance.

“We loved working together and made a great right-brain, left-brain team,” Kittrell says. “We knew that one day we’d want to do something on our own.”

After noticing what Kittrell describes as a void in the Central Ohio suburban restaurant market, the pair decided to launch their own concept.

“When we wanted to go out to eat with our kids, we wanted high-quality food with a high-quality craft beverage program but at a place that we still felt comfortable taking out kids too,” Kittrell explains. “On the flip side, for date night we wanted a place near the suburbs where we lived so we wouldn’t have 30 minutes of driving each way to go eat downtown.”

101 Beer KitchenThe restaurant name is a nod to Jess and Thad’s educational approach to the restaurant business and what Kittrell describes as the couple’s dedication to pairing food and beverages together.

“We try to educate our team on pairings and take the approach that two things together are better than one individually,” she says. “It’s not about a right or a wrong way to eat and drink, it’s just about learning about the things you like and coming up with a perfect pairing for you. We want each item to be carefully considered, but without the pretense that a lot of places have. We don’t want to be one of those places where customers don’t understand a word on the menu.”

The couple hopes to open a 101 Beer Kitchen location in Carmel in the future.

“The reception has been fantastic in Fishers, and we’re excited to have more presence in Central Indiana,” Kittrell says.

101 Beer Kitchen is located at 9708 District North Drive in Fishers. Call 317-537-2041 and visit 101beerkitchen.com for more information.

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