Indianapolis is home to the first union station in the world. The original building opened on September 20, 1853, with a larger Richardsonian Romanesque station designed by Pittsburgh architect Thomas Rodd opening in September 1888.
The head house — main lobby — and clock tower from the second building still stand today in downtown Indy.
After some tumultuous decades following World War II, and the overall decline of rail travel within the United States, the Indianapolis Union Station was added to the National Register of Historic Places on July 14, 1982. Although the structure is protected as a historical location, it has struggled to find relevance in recent years.
As of 2013, Indianapolis averaged about 99 passengers daily, a mark that is among the fewest for an Amtrak station serving a metropolitan area of over two million people.
The 1888 building is mostly leased as office space nowadays, as the city continues to struggle with finding a use for the building that is financially viable and high-profile. The Crowne Plaza Hotel still operates in the train shed structure and my beloved Omni Severin Hotel is located directly across Jackson Pl.
Now, however, things are taking a turn for the better at the Union Station facility, and it’s thanks in large part to the addition of Nevermore at Union Station.
This new event venue, coffee shop, and bar pays subtle homage to Edgar Allen Poe without being over the top. It’s a great addition to the downtown Indy scene, and is perfect for just about any occasion you can imagine.
With nine unique spaces — the Bar & Lounge, the Coffee Bar, the Dining Hall, the Duckpin Bowling room, the Garden Room, the Library, the Man Cave, the Great Room, and the Tea Parlor — Victorian sensibilities meet modern fun at Nevermore.
Whether you’re looking to enjoy a low-key dinner date playing a giant version of Connect Four or you’re interested in hosting an elegant bridal shower high tea, this venue can accommodate you.
We recently celebrated New Year’s Eve at Nevermore’s Raven’s Ball, and we thoroughly enjoyed every second of our evening. Personally, I couldn’t get enough of the Library area [above], which features Chesterfield couches and walls lined with vintage books. It’s a reader’s dream, and it gives major Princess Belle vibes.
Watching Ohio State lose was an undeniable highlight of ringing in 2023 (if you’ve been around any length of time, you know there’s no love lost between me and the Buckeyes) but the space itself at Nevermore was a pleasure all night long.
One of the things I love about the venue is that it has a “choose your own adventure” vibe. If you want to hole up in the dark, moody library, you can. But if you want to watch the game and enjoy a burger, you can do that too. Nevermore is truly one of the most versatile nightspots I’ve ever visited anywhere in the United States.
You also can’t miss the view from Nevermore’s rooftop patio, which offers a stunning view of Indy’s legendary Meridian Street.
For the Raven’s Ball, the venue was decked out with festive decorations and had two DJs strategically placed for attendees to enjoy.
On a normal night, though, you wouldn’t need the extra hoopla to have a great time — there’s more than enough entertainment throughout the massive 6,000 square foot space!
We’re looking forward to going back to Nevermore soon — I’m a big duckpin bowling fan — and I sincerely hope I’ll see you there.
Every time you support local businesses trying to make Union Station amazing again, you’re playing an active role in the revival of this incredible building.
Here’s to a fabulous 2023!
Let me know what you want to see more of on the blog this year in the comments!
Nevermore at Union Station is located at 302 S Meridian St, Indianapolis, IN 46225.