Indy Like a Local: Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen Laine

Who are Mina and Karen?

Mother-daughter stars of HGTV’s Good Bones.

Q. You just got picked up for your third season of Good Bones, a show that Hoosiers watch and smile at all of the beautiful videography of their city and shout at the TV, “I’ve been there!” Have any of your loyal HGTV viewers said anything about Indy? Have you gotten any feedback on the city you call home?

Mina: Yes! We’ve received awesome feedback from locals! People seem to really love how the city is being showcased. We also know of at least two people who have come to visit Indy only because they saw the show and loved it, so it’s bringing new people to our incredible city. We also had our local neighborhood make a congratulations banner and hang across from our homes, which was so incredibly nice and supportive.

Q. We love that you’re always sporting Indy T-shirts or drinking from Indy coffee mugs in the show. What are your favorite shops or brands for Indy-centric gear?

Mina: The Shop in Broad Ripple and PUP in Fountain Square are where most of my local gear is from. That is probably one of the most asked questions by local viewers! 

The Shop

Q. One house at a time, you two are improving the landscape of Indy’s up and coming neighborhoods. What’s your favorite intersection or street in the city, and how would you describe it?

Mina: I would have to say the intersection of Prospect and Virginia. It’s the heart of Fountain Square, and there are always people painting or playing in the fountain or rocking out on a guitar. It the best slice of life.  

Q. What excites you most about the work you’re doing in Fountain Square and Bates-Hendricks?

Mina: The awesome neighbors are the most exciting part about working there! The people who live there already and are invested in making the areas as amazing as possible.

Q. What are your top restaurants in Indianapolis, and why?

Mina: Pizzology – I worked for them since they first opened in Carmel. It’s incredible food and they worked with my hectic schedule when we got picked up to film the pilot.

My other go-to is Bluebeard. Meat, cheese, and the Scotch slushy. Need I say more?

Karen: My top restaurants in Indianapolis are Pure and Bluebeard. Pure, because their food and drinks are always good and because they know my husband and me by name. It feels like a second home. Bluebeard because their food is truly sublime, they have a transcendent Moscow Mule, and their service is both personal and highly professional.

Q. Where do you like to go for a nightcap or adult beverage, and why?

Mina: Bluebeard. They have something called the Sanctuary, which is the most delicious Scotch slushy you’ve ever tasted. Mix that with a slice of sugar cream pie, and call it a night.

Karen: For a nightcap or adult beverage I usually go to Pure. It’s open late, it’s only a block away from home, the servers are super-nice, they have great drink specials, and I can get good food if I need to.

Bluebeard

Q. Shopping-wise, where in Indy do you like to go?

Mina: Chatham Home! Literally everything is amazing and the mom/daughter duo that owns it couldn’t be any nicer.

Karen: You can’t beat Chatham Home and Inhabit Living for home goods, and Nordstrom for shoes.  

Q: Earlier this summer, you opened Two Chicks District Co. just south of downtown. How did the idea for a retail store come about?

Mina: We’ve been talking about it for quite some time. We obviously ended up with a unique platform because of the show, especially in a time when brick-and-mortar really isn’t the best idea to start opening. We thought we’d be able to figure out a way to make it feasible because of the show platform but also by combining the beer and wine/bar portion of it with the store. We’re hedging our bets on that covering more bases so it’s a neighborhood hangout and also a retail store. When Alexa, who is our COO, came on, she had asked me to do a vision board. ‘These are all the things I want for the company,’ so we had some direction. OK, what do we want to tackle first? One of those was the store.

Q. What are your favorite outdoor spots in the city?

Mina: My husband and I love asking the Cultural Trail with the pups – it’s right outside our back door. We also love concerts at the Amphitheater at White River Park.

Karen: My favorite outdoor spots in Indy are Garfield Park, 100 Acres, and Eagle Creek Park. Garfield Park has sunken gardens, a conservatory, an amphitheater for music and dramatic presentations, an art center, a playground, a swimming pool, and a gazebo, and it’s close to home. 100 Acres has hiking, art installations, and – my favorite – The Park of the Laments. Eagle Creek has a ropes course, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, the Peace Learning Center, a nature center, picnic areas, playgrounds and pavilions for events.

Q. Where do you like to take out-of-town guests?

Mina: Bluebeard, again, always a solid go-to.

Karen: I like to take out-of-town guests to the IMA with its 100 Acres or along the Cultural Trail and Canal.

Canal Walk

Q. What are your must-attend events in Indy throughout the year, and why?

Mina: Every Colts game. We’ve had season tickets for as long as I can remember; I was raised on the game. I love all the festivals, although I can’t pick a favorite – any combo of food, beer, or music is always perfect!

Karen: My must-attend events in Indy are Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra performances, the State Fair, and the Phoenix Theatre.

Q. What do you think flies under the radar here in town?

Mina: Pure Eatery – it’s a great, low-key joint that’s super affordable and super yummy. Mama Irma’s in Fountain Square – she’ll literally treat you like you own mom and can cook you whatever you’re feeling at the moment!

Karen: The free concerts in Indy Parks all summer. 

Q. What one thing would you recommend visitors do or see while in Indianapolis?

Mina: I would suggest wandering the Lawn at White River, maybe walking the Canal, then jump over to Fountain Square for an awesome dinner.

Karen: It is really hard to recommend just one thing for visitors to see in Indy. The Zoo? Historical Society? State Museum? Children’s Museum? Indy 500? Cultural Trail? Canal? Newfields? But if I have to pick just one thing, it’s always going to be the Zoo. 

Q. Do you have any new favorites?

Karen: I recently discovered the Tube Factory. It’s an art space created by Big Car. It has a huge pencil mural on the side of it. 

Tube Factory

Q. How would you spend your ideal day in Indy?

Mina: It would start with brunch at Milktooth with the grilled cheese with the sunnyside-up egg and truffle honey topped with their orange creamsicle specialty cocktail. Then I’d wander the Cultural Trail for a bit with the dogs. Maybe bike to Mass Ave to check out Silver in the City and grab lunch at Pizzology. I’d take a nice afternoon nap, get dinner at Bluebeard, and end the evening with either a) a Colts game, b) a Counting Crows show, or c) Burlesque Bingo [at White Rabbit Cabaret] which I still haven’t gone to yet but hear it’s the most fun you can have in Fountain Square!

Karen: My ideal day in Indy starts with sensible shoes and Milktooth for breakfast, then a walk along the Cultural Trail downtown. See all the monuments inside and out, then head over to the canal. Find some lunch as I walk all the way around the canal. Walk over the Washington Street bridge to the Zoo. Take a ride back to Bluebeard for dinner, then stroll home. Maybe a nightcap at Pure.

 


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