The Golden Hoosier aims to open in old Southtown Pub space in spring 2021

The quirky aesthetic of a hunting lodge watering hole meets the style of a South City bar in a new concept slated to open this spring, The Golden Hoosier. Located at 3707 S. Kingshighway Blvd., the bar and restaurant has completely transformed what was once Southtown Pub

The Golden Hoosier is the brainchild of brothers Ivan and Berto Garcia, owners of the real estate firm Garcia Properties. The Garcias own many properties in the neighborhood, and have been waiting for this area of South Kingshighway to meet its potential. 

“We knew that we wanted something to really anchor the revival of those two blocks (3700 and 3800 blocks of South Kingshighway); we’re heavily invested in that area,” Ivan Garcia said. “There are these beautiful, historic buildings that haven’t been getting the love they need for awhile, so we’re working to change that.” 

As for the story behind the name, “We called my father-in-law, who passed away last year, the golden hoosier, and he embraced that,” Garcia said. “We wanted it to be approachable but a little fancy. Golden and hoosier are the nexus of those two things.” 

While the food and drink menu has not been solidified, the Garcia brothers have built a team of industry veterans, including general manager Amanda Gaines, to help guide the process.  

The menu will be conceptualized by executive chef Colleen Clawson, who owns Milque Toast Bar, and feature typical bar items such as wings and burgers. “Our team is really interested in putting out a quality bar menu that's really well executed,” Garcia said. “We wanted to have a really excellent level of service while still being a South City bar. We’re not trying to break the mold here. We're not trying to win any James Beard Awards – we’re more interested in guys with beards named James.”

The bar will offer patio space with a campy and comfortable feel, while the interior fits Garcia’s personal aesthetic. “Wes Anderson quirky meets South Kingshighway,” Ivan said. One of the most notable features is a restored art deco bar that accentuates the historic yet innovative ambiance.  

“That bar has been there since probably the ’30s, and we had to rebuild a lot of it,” he explained. “Everything else is completely different from what Southtown Pub was.” 

The Garcia brothers have been working on The Golden Hoosier for quite some time, and as the pandemic delayed their original opening plan for summer 2020, have used the extra time to perfect their vision. 

“We're trying to think of all of the things that prevent someone from having a good time, and remove as many of those things as possible,” he said. “There’s sometimes a lot of ego in the restaurant industry. Instead of trying to impress everyone, we’re going to give them what they want and get out of the way of good ingredients. We’re going to have places to hang your purse, retractable outlets for phone chargers, a diaper-changing station for moms – stuff like that. It’s going to be clean and well kept.” 

The Golden Hoosier is likely to open in early April, though nothing has yet been confirmed.  

“If this year has taught us anything, it’s to be prepared to change your plans,” he said. “If they get the vaccine out in the spring to a majority of people, we’ll open then. But we don’t want to open if it’s not safe for people to hug each other; this is a hugging place.”