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MacNiven's Restaurant & Bar

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

38 Ratings
Ratings: 38
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 6.44%
Taps: 14
Bottles: 45
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

339 Massachusetts Ave
Indianapolis, Indiana, 46204-2108
United States
phone: (317) 632-7268

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @macnivens

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: wlhagan3)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 38 | Reviews: 25 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sgrechukhin
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

sgrechukhin, Oct 30, 2014
Photo of sourdog
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

sourdog, Sep 26, 2014
Photo of Buschyfor3
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%

Buschyfor3, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of david131
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

david131, Aug 05, 2014
Photo of spointon
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

spointon, Jul 10, 2014
Photo of indy351
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

indy351, Jul 08, 2014
Photo of mrjmann
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

mrjmann, Jun 13, 2014
Photo of OldeSchool
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%

MacNiven's is in one of a series of older buildings that together form what appears to be shaping up as an Arts and Entertainment District near downtown Indy. Massachusetts Avenue isn't the easiest road to navigate, and parking looks like it can be at a premium at times, but we found MacNiven's to be well worth the minimal fuss required. Note: MacNivens is an over-21 establishment. (noted on their website).

When you first enter the establishment you can go toward the right to enter the bar, or to the left to sit in the dining room. We chose the left, and were greeted with an old-school British pub decor, complete with wood floors and dark colors (or maybe that should be colours) throughout. Our server, Kimmie, was very friendly and helped us navigate through the menu, daily specials and drink options. Haggis is apparently one of the house specialties, and - get this - they even have vegetarian haggis available. I wasn't feeling that courageous, but it might be something cool to try next time I'm in town.

For drinks, I went with one of my favorites: Robert the Bruce by Three Floyds (Three Floyds sightings are a wonderful by-product of traveling through the Midwest), while one of my companions chose Arcadia's Whitsun Ale. My companion truly enjoyed the Whitsun; in fact, it's become her favorite wheat.

The menu has standard British pub fare, along with some rather intriguing vegetarian options apart from the aforementioned haggis. I went with a vegetarian club sandwich and a cup of their house-made vegetarian chili. The club was very good, with avocado, alfalfa sprouts, cheese, mushrooms and such - and the chili was delicious.

My companions ordered the French Dip and the fish & chips; the French dip was reported to be very good (a 9 on a 10 scale), and the au jus received special mention for being thick and hearty.
The fish and chips didn't fare so well, receiving a 6-7 on a 10 scale; the batter fell a bit short of expectations, but it was far from being unacceptable.

Overall, MacNiven's was a very nice stop on our journey through the Midwest, and we will definitely stop by again the next time we're in town. If you're local or just passing through, this wee Scottish pub is definitely worth a try.

OldeSchool, Jun 10, 2014
Photo of DGSchmitt
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

DGSchmitt, May 05, 2014
Photo of danoble1
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

danoble1, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of Tsar_Riga
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Tsar_Riga, Feb 09, 2014
Photo of bertram
4/5  rDev -4.5%

bertram, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of KarlHungus
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

KarlHungus, Oct 27, 2013
Photo of MSandahl23
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

MSandahl23, Oct 09, 2013
Photo of barrett61
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%

A- decent sized bar with a good table selection as well. Nicely lit and open. Appeared to be very clean. Some Scottish/English paraphernalia on the walls.

Q- the beers we had were of great quality and served at the right temperature and in correct glassware. I had a Three Floyd's Gumballhead (x2) and my wife had a Weinzeskaner Hefe.

Service-We were greeted right away upon sitting at the bar. Staff was friendly, knowledgeable, and genuine.

Selection-Above average selection. I knew I wanted a Gumballhead so I didn't do a lot of looking through the selection but they appeared to have a good mix of American and European beers.

V-we had 3 beers total for a price of $16. Not too bad but not somewhere to go if you plan on drinking a lot as it could get a bit pricey.

O- I will be returning to MacNivens on my next trip to Indy. I hope to try some of their food and maybe a few more beers. Very nice place overall.

barrett61, Aug 30, 2013
Photo of IronCitySteve
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%

A: Walking in, there is a large bar area with ample seating. There are some tables in a separate area for dining. The bar is a little tight and could be tough to navigate if it got crowded. Nice exposed brick gives it a nice scottish feel.

Q: The beers appear to turnover quickly but each new brew on tap tastes nice and fresh.

Ser: The bartenders were prompt, efficient and knowlegable about the brews. The one bartender was explaing the 'hand pump' to another customer.

Sel: The tap selection is not overwhelming, but it covers a good amount of styles. They also have a decent amount of bottles. On tap they Founders, Brooklyn, Three Floyds, Bellhaven and Sun King. They also had a brew on the hand pump.

O: This is a solid choice if in Indy. You will get a good flavor of 'local' Indiana brews on tap in a nice setting at reasonable prices.

IronCitySteve, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of mdbailey00
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Macniven's is a nice place to go for a wide beer selection and some pretty delicious. It can get pretty loud and stuffy on weekends, but what downtown bar doesn't? Their prices are reasonable. My only complaint is that there is smoking allowed in the bar area, which is connected to the other half of the restaurant without much separation. If you go to Macniven's you absolutely HAVE to try the scotch eggs. Service has always been good when I've been there. All in all, this place is a great place for BAs to go for tasty beverages and food.

mdbailey00, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of DONA812
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

My friend, a fellow Ba, and I hit this place up a couple days ago and though it wasn't my first time going to Macniven's, it was the first time I have went since I became re-obsessed with beer.

The night we went they had some amazing stuff on tap. Sunking Grapefruit Jungle (an excellent beer by one of our best local breweries by the by), A quadrupel (sp?) that I cannot remember the name of but it was authentic Trappist stuff, The DFH/FFF Poppa Skull, as well as some other great local stuff. They also had a great bottle selection, including some DFH which is rare since they pulled out of our area a while back.

The bartender was excellent and really helpful. He poured us both a Left Hand Milk Stout/Crooked Tree IPA black and tan as per our request (a great combo if you ever feel the urge). I wish I could remember the guy's name to give him a shout out..

You can smoke at the bar and, although I did not eat this go-round, I have always been pretty fond of their food. A great scottish style restaurant that also caters to Beer Lovers.

All in all, a great experience.

DONA812, Oct 21, 2011
Photo of CSQ1111
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

A great place for B.A.'s to visit while in Indy for business or pleasure.

A large bar greets you when you walk in or they have tables for dining in an adjacent room.

Flying solo, I ponyed up to the bar and was greeted with friendly hello and a larger than expected beer menu.

Only about 10-12 taps, but all were well thought out with an emphasis on Regional offerings.

On tap, they had FFF's Robert the Bruce & Blackheart, Sun King's A Few Hops More Double IPA, and Flat 12's Tangerine Porter just to name a few.

The coolers were filled with lots of different bottle options. As a previous reviewer mentioned, a FFF bomber of Blackheart was $12.99. Very reasonable!

The Fish n Chips were simply o.k. (maybe the more authenic English style is supposed to be softer rather than crispy), but the Scotch eggs were outstanding.

Overall, I had a great visit and would highly recommend anyone visit while in Indy.

CSQ1111, Jul 28, 2011
Photo of jisom123
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Great Scottish restaurant, located on Massachusetts ave in a nice area of downtown Indy. Great food and the best beer selection in downtown Indy.
Usually there are a few beer geeks at the bar.

They have Dreadnaught bombers for $13.
The beef-stew is average.
The scotch Eggs and Roast-beef Manhattan are Excellent!!!
50 Scotches/bourbons/whiskeys, 90 great bottled beers, and they usually have a Dozen or more craft draft beers.
This is the best beer spot in downtown Indy.
There is smoking at the bar.
Parking on Mass ave is often difficult during prime time. Plan accordingly.

jisom123, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of aasher
4.44/5  rDev +6%

I stopped by MacNivens last night with a few coworkers. When you first walk in there is a pretty large bar to your right and an open table area to your left. I was impressed with how clean it was. They have ten or so taps featuring quality craft beers. They had a new scotch ale from Barley Island, Week Sauce from Left Hand, had Wee Muckle from Sun King, Founders Double Trouble, among others. The bartender did a great job of giving us enough glassware so we could split the beers we were trying. They have about a five little mini coolers behind the bar with an array of different bottles. We got a Traquair 2020 English barleywine that was pretty solid. It was a nice place to stop in and watch some playoff hockey and basketball. The prices were pretty good too, just $4.25 for 9oz pours of higher alcohol content beers. I'd recommend giving MacNiven's a shot.

aasher, May 26, 2011
Photo of Hibernator
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%

Upon arrival to Indianapolis I jumped in a cab and headed for my hotel. After checking in and after getting a decent sense of direction, it was time to relax and have some craft beer. I walked down to MacNiven's in the sunny and warm weather.

This place is a good sized restaurant with dining seating mainly to the left and a really nice bar to the right with a divider in between.

I bellied up to the bar and ordered a Sun King Wee Muckle (hey, when in Indiana...). The atmosphere is really comfortable and warm inside with the dark wood, similar to many of the Irish pubs back in Boston. It was pretty empty inside, but that's how I like it.

I studied the foreign beer menu for a few minutes. The bartender provided attentive service. He was helpful, friendly and offered me some really good beer insight. There are about 150 bottle options and you'll find some great selections. This includes nice representation from Three Floyds, Rogue, Great Divide, Stone, Goose Island, etc.

The draft beers available here are well selected and offered about 12 or 13 options. Highlights included Goose Island Fleur & Pepe Nero, Great Divide Yeti Stout, Falls City Pale Ale, Left Hand Week Sauce and Barley Island Scottish 80 Shilling Ale.

For my next selection I ordered a Three Floyds Dreadnaught that was absolutely incredible. All in all, this is a solid craft beer bar with a Scottish flair in downtown Indianapolis. Recommended.

Hibernator, May 24, 2011
Photo of MbpBugeye
4.15/5  rDev -1%

We stopped here for dinner and a few beers while spending the weekend in Indianapolis.

The place is an old looking Scottish themed pub located in a small cultural district of sorts. Its nestled amongst lots of other bars, pubs and restaurants.

The interior isnt much different from any other British themed pubs. Dim lighting, lots of dark wood, Union Jack adorning the wall, a long bar and small tables. The place is split up into two halves. One for the bar and the other for the restaurant. You can move between the two, but they are separated by a tall, wooden partition that showcases Scottish paraphernalia and the bottle selection.

The beer list is pretty expensive, but nothing too eye popping. The bottle list is comprised of 3 pages of beers listed by style. There are some bombers and 750s available also.

The taps have their own leaflet and are mostly centered around Scottish style ales. One from Sun King, FFF Robert the Bruce, Alpha King, and a few others. Every night has a special beer on tap for $4. The selection was enough to require me to get a second beer.

Service was lightening quick. Ive never had food come out this fast before. I was shocked. We were nearly done eating our main course, after appetizers, inside of a half an hour! The waitress was kind and talkative, she knew enough to recommend a beer, and describe it.

The seem to put forth a little bit of effort in serving beers in appropriate glassware. Snifters, dimpled mugs, tuliped and logoed pints.

In all, we were pleased with our visit here.

MbpBugeye, Oct 24, 2010
Photo of JamesS
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Nice Scottish pub in the downtown area. Clean place, nice Scottish themed posters and memorabilia around. Comfortable chairs and plenty of places to sit. Great James Bond (and Bond girls!) pics in the men's room (yes, the character Bond is from Scotland).

Nice service, our server was polite and liked to talk about beer. Made sure to stop by and check on us frequently.

Good selection of beer. Great Scottish and Scottish style beers to choose from. Three Floyds Robert the Bruce was great. Sun King beers available (including their Wee Heavy, which I would've liked to try, but my pint was all ready bought when I got back from the men's room). Other 3F brews and many imports/craft to choose from.

Would love to visit again and try the food.

JamesS, Oct 20, 2009
Photo of jim102864
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%

An absolutely ridiculous odyssey finally led me to this place. Not my first choice but after driving from the airport to the wrong place on my BA list then traveling 27 miles to Hot Shotz which no longer exists, I ended up here. Nearly two hours of travel time.

The smoke from all the cigarettes is a pain in the ass and starts off my visit on a low note.

Anyway, my first is a Three Floyds Robert the Bruce. Not my fav style (Scottish ale), but pretty good.

Dinner was the steak pie with mashed. Took maybe 120 seconds from placing the order to delivery. Hmm. Cute young chicks behind the bar. Bells Hop Slam, the porter and one other on the rotating taps, but you have to notice the handles as they're not posted anywhere. It's a large bar with brick and wood all about. Not overly chatty barmaids. Place is rather busy for a tuesday night. A rather extensive bottle list with Bells , FFF well represented and various Stone, Avery, along with Duvel, Chimay , Leffe and several other european brews. Nothing rare or difficult to get, but a worthy list for any BA to appreciate. Round two is the Bells Hop Slam served in a short wine glass. Didn't know this was a DIPA at 10 abv. Quite tasty and worthy of a separate review. A very 20 and maybe 30 something crowd. A surprising number of which are smokers which will be a turn off to most BA's who want to actually smell the aroma from their pints. Still, about the only option available to BA's in Indy.

jim102864, Mar 01, 2009
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MacNiven's Restaurant & Bar in Indianapolis, IN
93 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.