Lebanon, Ind. - If you live in Indianapolis, you might take places for granted.
Do you want a local beer? No problem. Do you need a dress for a last-minute event? Not a big deal. But for people in small towns, it is a big deal!
But Lebanon residents don't have to rack up mileage to get those anymore!
Chris Johnson and his business partner Brett wanted to expand their Lafayette-based People's Brewing Company. Out of all the options, they chose the Lebanon downtown square. They opened the bar doors in December and opened a family dining room in May.
"We just liked the town," said Chris. "It's a beautiful little downtown. We just want to bring the community together and give them a place where they can hang out and have a good time."
Taps line a handmade bar made by a woodworking friend out of one big tree! You can pull up a chair, grab a pint, pound a big pretzel and get your game face on. They have board games at the booths.
Chris started home brewing in the 1990's. People's Brewing Company produces 3,000 to 4,000 barrels a year.
Mound Builder IPA is one of the most popular brews. It pairs well with a popular burger.
"Our biggest selling burger is our spicy peanut butter," said Jared Turner, Kitchen Manager. "It’s got homemade peanut butter with jalapenos and pickled apples, bacon, mayonnaise and American cheese."
The tenderloin tacos are a big hit, too.
Jared is a Lebanon native and didn't hesitate at the chance to run the kitchen.
"We do pub fare, burgers, fries, and a featured taco and featured burger every week," said Jared. "There’s nothing else really like this in the town at all and the vibe in here, it’s an enjoyable, relaxing, intimate place."
The plan is to put a small batch brewery in by the fall, making it Lebanon's very first microbrewery.
Another first is happening down the street! Until Pretty Dandy Boutique opened a month ago, women didn't have a clothing boutique in town.
"If there’s an event or something coming up for a high schooler, she’s like, Mom, we’ve got to go to Indianapolis because two weeks from now I have whatever event that is," said Tasha Marshall. "Instead, now they can say, hey Mom, let’s run uptown, I need something to wear tonight."
Tasha Marshall understands small town life. She's from Jamestown and her high school sweetheart is from Lebanon. She's busy with their three young daughters, but one day her husband told her to take the plunge.
"He told me to not be scared anymore and just go for it," said Tasha. "Owning a boutique has always been a dream of mine ever since I was shopping with my mom as a little girl."
She's quickly realizing Pretty Dandy was needed pretty badly. Last weekend, her office and storage room became make-shift dressing rooms because the shopping crowd was so big.
"I just love this small community."
She has her "pinch-me" moments, just like Chris at People's Brewing Company.