The Sinking Ship, located near the corner of 49th and College in South Broad Ripple, is not your typical bar. In fact, there is nothing typical about the place. Part dive bar, part vegan friendly restaurant, one of Indianapolis only hockey bars and boasting a weekend brunch, The Sinking Ship is just all over the place. This bar is weird, fun and interesting weird, not pretentious hipster weird. Art, produced by local artists, decorate the walls and the paintings are available for purchase. The food is good, the beer selection is nice, and the staff is awesome. If you are looking for some place different to get a bite to eat and have few drinks, the Sinking Ship surely is different.
The drink selection is as diverse as the crowd that frequents the place. A selection of rotating craft beers is constantly updated on the board, and the bartenders have been known to make some amazing mixed drinks including: summer cocktails made with freshly made in house juices and a wonderful warm drink called “the hot sailor” which was some sort of a rum based hot toddy complete with flotsam of cloves and cinnamon sticks and topped off with whipped cream. But, it is not all fancy beers and exotic drinks. Be sure to stop in for one of their specials that includes a tall can of Miller Highlife and a shot of well liquor for only five bucks. You can also order a pint of bacon. Yes, that is correct. You can order pint glass full of delicious Smoking Goose bacon. Cheers, to that.
The food is much better than you would expect from a quick glance of a place that has an Elvis lamp on the bar, and a large painting of Lemmy on the wall. The corn fritters are terrific. Tiny handmade hushpuppies are leveled up with whole kernels of corn and bits of fresh jalapeno. Served with a side of ranch to tame the heat, these guys are a delicious treat. The menu seems to change often, and specials are always coming and going. Keep an eye out for the pulled pork nachos. White queso, spicy salsa, in house smoked pulled pork, BBQ sauce, fresh jalapeno slices, and coleslaw top off a stack of yellow corn chips. Like The Sinking Ship itself, these nachos might not be refined, but man were they good. One of the better sandwiches to come out of the kitchen was the stuffed Rueben burger. Sauerkraut and Swiss cheese found their way inside of a giant patty made of ground up corned beef. The monster patty rested gently between a marble rye hamburger bun and had a splash of thousand island dressing. It is not all giant burgers and pints of bacon. As mentioned, the Sinking Ship has a steady selection of vegan and vegetarian choices, including weekly specials. The eggplant sub was terrific. A vegan knock off of a classic eggplant parmesan, the eggplant was so savory and delicious that you could not even tell that there was no cheese on the sandwich. The breakfast is solid. Homemade biscuits and gravy, pancakes, and vegan breakfast burritos are the bulk of the menu. The best part of The Sinking Ship’s breakfast is that thanks to being a bar (21 and older only), there are no screaming children, or long lines of church goers waiting for a table. You can come right in and enjoy your Sunday breakfast with a pint of beer, in a very relaxed atmosphere.
The Sinking Ship is perfectly weird. The food is unusual, but very good. The staff is unusual, but very friendly. The crowd is mixture of weirdos, hockey fans, and people who look like they just left the Iron Maiden concert, but everyone seems to get along. These are no condescending hipsters who go out of their way to be different. Just, interesting people, serving interesting food with interesting drinks, in a very interesting bar.