Indy Like a Local: Shane Brown

Who is Shane?

Chalk artist and owner of Shane Brown Art T-shirt Shop.

Q. You opened up your new T-shirt shop in Fountain Square. Out of all of the cultural districts in Indy, what made you choose Fountain Square? What do you love most about it?

A. Fountain Square is up and coming. It’s a very nice art community so it was perfect for shirts. I lived in Fountain Square for a long time, now I live in Fletcher Place. It’s close to home. People from The Hi-Fi call me and say, ‘Hey a band’s coming in, and they need some shirts.’ There’s nothing like [the store] around here. I do custom orders and Indy prints. It’s going great. I’m having a lot of fun. 

Q. Sun King Brewery is an Indy icon, and your art has been all over the cans. [Brown is a former can designer at Sun King.] What design are you the most proud of?

A. Oh boy, that’s a hard one. A lot of the specialty cans I’ve done have been my favorites. I recently did a can called The Eighteenth Sun for Canvitational this year, a collaboration with Joey Potts [of 18th Street Brewery in Gary]. Joey and I are good friends. Out of the house beers, I’d have to say Osiris is my favorite. It’s got the widest range of colors. I got to go a little crazy with that.

Q. Art is everywhere in the city, but what are your favorite places and spaces to get inspired?

A. I really like underneath the Canal. Carl Leck did the Sun King Brewing mural, and his fishes [on White River Canal Aquaculture] make me laugh every time I go by them. He is amazing, and he’s a hell of an illustrator and artist. He’s got murals all over the place. He inspires me. 

Q. You’ve also been on national television showing off your chalk-art skills. What’s your coolest experience or hardest chalk drawing you’ve completed?

A. The coolest was Sunday Night Football, Colts versus the Patriots [last year]. I did a timelapse in two hours for NBC. I did the Sunday Night Football logo with a Colts and Patriots helmet. I did it on the Washington Street bridge by the Zoo. People all across the country called me. They’re going to hit me up again this year. Last year, I did Georgia Street for Olympic gymnastics trials. I did a big illustration of mascots and the Olympic logo. Girls were doing handstands in front of it.

Q. You’re also a musician. Any favorite places in the city to catch a performance? 

A. Either The Hi-Fi or The Vogue. I love The Vogue because you get some cool national acts in there, but it’s a smaller venue. The Vogue gets a lot of good shows. The Jazz Kitchen – that’s a great place. The Chatterbox, too.

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

A. If you’re doing breakfast or brunch, you have to go to Milktooth and see Jonathan Brooks. He’s awesome. Their chicken wings and biscuits are through the roof. And they have $2.50 oysters; you can’t beat that.

For dinner, I’m probably going to Pizzology. You have to get the mussels in marinara sauce – phenomenal. I’ve been known to go to the Elbow Room quite a bit and get their chicken wings. 

I go over to Wildwood Market quite a bit across the street. They’ve got great lunch sandwiches and awesome deals on meat. La Parada over on East Street – they’ve got great tacos.

At Chilly Water Brewing Company, you’ve got to get some of Skip’s Balls, these chocolate dessert things. They are awesome. They’re really, really good. And their pilsner is one of the best in town. 

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

A.You have to hit the Dugout in Fletcher Place. It’s on my way home. Most definitely great drinks and really good bar food as well. You can’t beat a $5 Makers and Coke. The patio is awesome.

I love going over to The Hi-Fi, having a couple drinks, and watching a good show. That’s one of the best sound-quality venues in town. 

Q. What are your favorite outdoor spots in Indy?

A. You have to ride your bike down to the Canal, relax, take a cooler, and play some Frisbee. I love going over to the IMA. It’s beautiful over there. They have great trails. 

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

A. Breakfast at Milktooth. Then we’ll probably head over near the Canal. We might hit a show at [the Lawn at] White River, run around downtown, and check out local places. Usually it’s about food – hitting up Pizzology, Bluebeard, or Black Market

Q. What new spots have you discovered recently?

A. A new place I tried the other day was Soupremacy. Absolutely awesome. I’m a big soup guy. I probably eat grilled cheese and chili two days a week when it’s cold out, that and Jonathan’s chicken wings at Milktooth. 

Q. What are your must-attend events in Indy?

A. Sun King’s Canvitational. You can’t miss Colts games. Carb Day at the track – you’ve got to get a little American’ed up and go to Carb Day. And [Victory Field]. We’ve got one of the best fields in America.

The State Fair – you have to ride the Ferris wheel and have a deep-fried Reese’s Cup or Oreo. And caramel popcorn.

Q. What are a couple of places that you think fly under the radar here in town?

A. John’s Famous Stews. That’s a hidden gem. Workingman’s Friend burgers have come around again.

Barbecue and Bourbon on Main Street on Speedway – best barbecue in town, if you ask me, and they’ve got a lot of bourbon. It is delicious. 

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

A.Go down to the Monument. Take pictures at the Circle, especially at night when it’s all lit up. Go up inside – walk the stairs, don’t take the elevator. It’s neat, and it’s only $2. 


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