Situated on picturesque Main Street in Plainfield, Indiana, the The Prewitt Restaurant and Lounge is one of the most exciting restaurants to make its way to Hendricks County in a long time.
The Prewitt reminds me of stepping back in time to the 1920s but with a modern twist. It is truly the best of both worlds, and I think you'll agree.
A Fixture on the Streets of Plainfield
The Prewitt Theater opened in the heart of downtown Plainfield at 121 W. Main St. in 1927. It was eventually renamed Village Theater and brought the big screen to town until it closed in 2005.
Plainfield is in the process of building a new performing arts center and town hall to their town center, so the town council thought the Prewitt would become the next major project.
The Plainfield Town Council approached two locals, Doug Huff, owner of the Oasis Diner, and Patrick Keller of the Keller Huff Restaurant Group, for ideas on revitalizing the former theater. Doug, as a general contractor, collaborated with the town to relocate the Oasis Diner to its current location and took on the challenge of first-time restaurant ownership with the diner.
Patrick already had a background in restaurant ownership, so they knew they'd be the perfect partners to bring life back to this historic theater.
Incredible Eye for Detail
Over the course of two years of planning and preparation and only seven months of renovations, The Prewitt Restaurant and Lounge opened its doors on Nov. 18, just in time to celebrate the holidays.
During the renovation process, the majority of the building was preserved, including the barrel ceiling, flooring, an ornate fireplace upstairs and the brick walls that line the former theater room.
Huff and Keller even saved pieces of the building and used them elsewhere such as original boards to create ornate molding around door frames and old planks to help frame up and give character to the front stairway next to the main bar.
Three Floors of Perfection
The upscale space with the casual atmosphere offers a unique experience with every visit. As you are welcomed into the former theater, a dining area seats guests for what promises to be a one-of-a-kind meal.
The theater stage remains and is large enough to host a full band. The stage is flanked by a lounge space with bar top tables, perfect for small groups to mingle.
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the Prewitt features a variety of movies on the big screen. Thursday evenings they host live streams of concerts and Friday and Saturday they welcome live entertainment to the stage.
The back portion of the theater room boasts various sit-down tables to enjoy a dining experience at The Prewitt with views of the stage.
Second Floor Bar
As guests head up to the next level of the space, they can cozy up to the full bar featuring an incredible display of liquor shelving repurposed from original wood from the theater.
The bar has its own entrance from the street and boasts views of what's happening outside on U.S. 40 as well as views into the small kitchen as chefs and servers scurry in, around and out.
The Prewitt also uses repurposed original reel tins from the theater to serve guests beer flights.
Overall, the bar provides a great space for friends to hang out and have a drink or couples to sit and enjoy a meal.
Top Floor Speakeasy
The top level hosts my favorite space in the Prewitt. This space has a speakeasy feel with a full bar and room for private events and dining on the weekends.
The walls of the speakeasy feature a black and white, floor-to-ceiling mural from the first scene of the first movie shown on the big screen back in 1927 when the theater opened.
The scene from No Place to Go welcomes guests into a space to lounge and enjoy a delectable beverage and provides a much different, more intimate experience than being seated downstairs in the theater dining room.
Rooftop Patio & Chef's Room
Situated just off the speakeasy is a rooftop patio with space for on-stage entertainment and sharables on the deck. The strands of outdoor lighting give this space a special feel that will be perfect on a warm, summer evening.
What I found incredible about the rooftop space was how quiet it was. You would think the noise from the traffic on U.S. 40 would filter into the space, but it didn't seem to be an issue at all.
The owners told me the eventually plan to grow herbs on a wood wall on the back side of the patio space, which may eventually give it a kind of Italian vibe making it an incredible hangout in the warmer months.
The Prewitt also imagines the patio welcoming bachelorette parties, bridal showers and more, and they may also pursue a cigar bar partnership.
The final stop on the top floor of the Prewitt is a private space for parties and events at the Chef's Table, which will include a five-course meal with a wine pairing. This space will welcome guests in February.
A Local Chef Returns & the Menu
Speaking of the chef, The Prewitt's Executive Chef Ricky Hatfield, former chef at Bottleworks Hotel in Indianapolis, has always dreamed of returning to his roots in Hendricks County to make a name for himself locally.
Chef Hatfield designed high-end lunch, dinner and brunch menus for Prewitt guests with favorites such as tri tip steak, duck prochetta, ribeye and filet with lump crab. The menu will change on a regular basis but favorites like the beef short ribs will always stay.
For the guests with dietary restrictions, the chef has included vegetarian, gluten free and vegan options.
Just as Mr. Prewitt, the original owner of the building, brought pride for his community to the space through the use of local building materials, Chef Hatfield and the Prewitt team have partnered with local farmers for many of their food selections.
Whether you stop by the Prewitt for brunch, lunch or dinner, the upscale space with a casual atmosphere promises to be a unique experience every time.
The Prewitt Restaurant and Lounge, 121 W. Main St. in Plainfield, Ind., is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Brunch is served from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday.