A Little Piece of Chicago in Fountain Square
One of my favorite parts of living in Fountain Square is all of the unique and varied food choices around the area. As a lover of both beer and burgers, I had been anticipating the grand opening of Kuma’s Corner for most of the summer. The metal-themed burger joint opened its doors on August 17th and has been swarming with guests ever since.
I finally had the opportunity to swing by last Saturday, a little after the lunch time rush, and was instantly impressed with the atmosphere of Kuma’s. The industrial, yet ambient lighting and posters of metal bands cover the walls. Of course, there is rock music playing, complemented quite comically on this day by a viewing of “Sharknado”, which somehow seemed to fit right in. There is open bar seating around both the bar and the open kitchen area. You can really work up an appetite watching them cook, prepare, and plate all of those delicious burgers. Let’s get one thing straight, this isn’t a tourist restaurant like The Hard Rock Café. Kuma’s Corner gives off the vibe of a small town dive bar, with an urban twist, and much better decor.
The mixture of people in Kuma’s ranged greatly, which is on par with the usual crowd in any Fountain Square restaurant. The staff also makes you feel right at home, with several waiters and waitresses asking if you need anything, how your food is, and offering to take away cleaned plates. The chef even stopped by and asked how the burgers were.
The menu is fairly cut and dry, with appetizers like buffalo chicken tenders, fried pickles, and jalapeno poppers (They also have a digital menu in the bar, making it much easier to read). They offer a few sandwiches and an extensive build your own mac-and-cheese listing (on my next trip, I’m going for it), and, of course, their burgers, mostly named after metal bands. I decided to go with the traditional Kuma burger (bacon, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, and a fried egg) complete with Sriracha and my friend sampled the Led Zeppelin (with a massive pile of BBQ pulled pork on top). The burgers were impressively good—dare I say this is the best burger I have had in Indy in a really long time? All sandwiches come with fresh cut fries which are a weakness of mine and were surprisingly not greasy. Oh, don’t ask about the waffle fries. The menu will warn you of this beforehand. I don’t know the entire story behind the waffle fry incident, but just understand that Kuma’s Corner will never, ever offer waffle fries again. Okay?
Their beer list is also pretty extensive (I opted for the Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Extra Ale). Their liquor menu is also fairly large, and whiskey fans will rejoice because Kuma’s has Jameson…on tap! I was a little bummed I didn’t notice this before ordering, but anyone who sits at the bar will eye this up immediately.
Overall, I think Kuma’s will be my go to place when I’m in the mood for a burger. While the prices might be slightly higher than many are used to paying for “just a burger”, it’s important to remember that you’re purchasing a craft burger, and higher quality, more intricate food choices are always going to cost more. I definitely recommend trying out Kuma’s Corner, even if it doesn’t become a regular on your dining rotation. The experience alone is worth the trip.