GREENWOOD (Jan. 2, 2015) - It’s finally 2015 and “Your Town Friday” is kicking off the New Year in Greenwood! You’ll find the Johnson County community about 11 miles south of downtown Indy. Greenwood prides itself on being a friendly, welcoming and growing city!
When you think of Greenwood perhaps you think of Greenwood Park Mall, but the city is much more than a shopping destination! While Greenwood is home to 50,000 Hoosiers, they welcome many visitors every day. Greenwood has that sort of big city, small town feel and it dates back to 1825. Another draw? The parks and trails system.
“We’ve got about 15 parks, 280 acres, great trail networks, but what we didn’t have was a true aquatic facility so we filled that gap by building this. Freedom Park was bought seven or eight years ago. It’s an 80-acre park and we had the full intention of putting an aquatic facility in it,” said Rob Taggart, director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Greenwood.
Rob says the city is in the process of building a state-of-the-art aquatics center complete with a lazy river, three water slides, a leisure pool and a lap pool.
“On a nice hot sunny day, get on your inner tube and float around all afternoon,” Rob tells us.
Crews are busy making use of the dry weather to get everything done in time for a Memorial Day weekend opening.
“It’s going to be an economic driver and a draw to Greenwood. It’s going to be a destination for Greenwood,” he says.
After a fun day at the park you will need to quench that thirst and fill those bellies! And Greenwood resident Kwang Casey can help you out with that! He’s a pretty well-known guy around Greenwood.
“I’ve been there for 37 years and I’ve gotten to know a lot of people around town,” said Kwang.
He’s owned the Oaken Barrel for the last 20 years.
“We really focused and took our time with our customers and the south side people they like that I think, they prefer not a chain restaurant, we’re a local craft restaurant and they’ve been supporting us for over 20 years,” said Kwang.
Oaken Barrel was one of Indiana’s first craft breweries.
“We had some challenges trying to get people to come visit from drinking domestic beers to craft beers,” said Kwang.
But over the last few years central Indiana has seen many small breweries and brewpubs opening up…so business has been great!
“Our motto has been the beer will bring people here and the food will bring people back,” said Kwang.
He says they do traditional Hoosier style home cooking with a modern fusion twist.
“We do Korean quesadillas, traditional baby back rips, burgers, with a twist on some burgers, definitely some unique items from our kitchen staff,” said Kwang.
From beer to the bubbly! Vino Villa is a popular small plate wine bistro in Greenwood.
“We have over 500 different wines downstairs, a variety of small plates and everything from fresh homemade pizza dough and fresh dinner salads to a lot of small plates and unique appetizers,” said owner Paul Jacquin.
Paul says a big draw is the historic nature of the house Vino Villa has called home for the last three years.
“It’s one of the oldest homes in the Greenwood area. It was originally owned by the Polk family so it was originally a residence,” said Paul.
The downstairs living area was converted into a retail section where you can buy wines and cheeses. The second floor bedroom area has been converted into a dining area and the third floor servants' quarters were turned into a wine bar and party space.
“Food and wine are a natural partnership, they go well together, and we’re fortunate enough to pair with a chef that is a foodie himself!”