The Black Sparrow


15 Reviews
The Black SparrowThe Black Sparrow

Type: Bar, Eatery

223 Main St
Lafayette, Indiana, 47901-1261
United States

(765) 429-0405 | map

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Added by emerge077 on 06-29-2008

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Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 19
Photo of HappyHourHero
4.78/5  rDev +15.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Let's start with the beer. There are 8 rotating taps, and the motto is "No crap on tap". They're not kidding. They typically have the current Goose Island special release (e.g. Matilda, Pepe Nero, etc), something from Founders, other IN breweries like the new Sun King in Indy and the local People's Brewing. There is also often something Belgian, or something hoppy, or Rye, or ... oh you get the point. Prices range from about $4 a pint for the regular ABV local stuff to about $6 -$7 for the rare high ABV stuff. I think the most I've paid is $8 for a 12oz Kentucky Breakfast Stout. There is also a nice bottle selection which you can read on their website, but that's not why I go there. One of the reasons I started going there was because they had a IIPA week last fall where all 8 taps were IIPAs, which I thought was the coolest thing ever.

The bartenders and waiters are fairly knowledgeable. The seem to have a general idea of what they are serving, and if it's something a little odd they'll go find out more and typically offer to let you sample some.

I think they play music, maybe not. They do have bands some evenings, but there aren't any TVs. The place actually takes up two narrow building with one side being the bar area and the other side the The inside is usually pretty dark, and it gets smokey at night, which is why I deducted a half point there.

The menu is simple, but the food is quite good so no complaints. It's mostly sandwiches and pizza, but it's fresh, almost gourmet, and not that reheated Sysco crap I see so often.They will typically have a couple of more complete dinner specials (i.e. meat and potato type plates).

There is a place around the corner with like 50 taps, and a lot of them are good beers, but I gravitate towards The Black Sparrow. I guess it's not how big your draft system is, but how you use it.

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Photo of emerge077
4.19/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Black Sparrow is a cool joint. It would fit right in if it were in Chicago, but it's in downtown Lafayette, which makes it even coolerer. Atmosphere on early Sunday evening was laid-back, not too crowded, though there were a few smoking at the bar. Lighting was dim with eclectic art on the walls, and show posters advertising live music. The walls were exposed brick and cutaway plaster, which lent a bohemian sort of vibe. Lighting was sort of minimal and industrial (vertical metal lightbulb cages). There were a few tables opposite the bar, and larger ones in a second room off to the left, which also housed the kitchen in the rear.

8 taps had some good stuff flowing, I opted for a People's Maltser, which was solid. They had a firkin of 2 Hearted on the bar also, but sadly it was long in the tooth. From Sun King they had a Doppelbock. Bottle list had many quality options like Aventinus, FFF Dreadnaught, Ommegang, etc., around 40 total.

There was no one behind the bar when we arrived, and I waited awhile for anyone to show up and serve up a beer (with cash in hand). After a "got ID bro?" I finally got a damn beer... Our server was much better and really on the ball, and he chatted beer with us for awhile.

Food was tasty, creative and homemade, the BLT&E was excellent with a side of sweet potato/corn/crab soup. Margherita pizza was good too, almost tasted wood-fired.

All in all, worth a detour off I-65, or if you're headed to Purdue.

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Photo of backfat
4.26/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

best tap list in town in my opinion. they don't have the most, but they definitively have the quality. "no crap on tap" written in caulk above the ever changing tap list. they often rotate and keep a lot of quality local beers going. got a great cream dream double ipa from sun king that was awesome the other night. they got a keg of KBS that i heard was gone in about four hours. plenty of bottle from FFF and founders which is perfect for me. the bartenders are great and very knowledgeable about beer. the place does occasionally get really busy, so the service can suffer to a degree. i've never had a chance to try the food here, but i've only heard great things about it. there is smoking but it doesn't get out of control unless they are super busy. a must stop if you are in the area.

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Photo of manahansf
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

This place is a little niche in downtown Lafayette and I had heard about their selection of draft beer and their strict following of "No crap on tap!" I had to check it out. Very comfortable place with awesome beer. They only have a few taps but each one is quality craft beer. Very impressed. Although the prices are high, it is to be expected with the caliber of beer served. A pint of World Wide Stout was still cheaper than just buying a bottle... Great place to check out and to check out often becasue the drafts are constantly rotating.

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Photo of spointon
4.36/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Visited 08/30/2008.

I stopped by the Black Sparrow to meet a friend while I was in town overnight. Because this place did not exist the last time I visited Lafayette, I had no idea what to expect. To my pleasant surprise this is a serious beer lover's pub.

Upon entering, you quickly realize that this pub is broken up into several small spaces, as an old pub would be. The bar is on the right and to the left are a few tables and a doorway into another room where the live music/DJ operate.

The bottle selection is really great (50 beers!) and the night I was there the draft selection was great too. It was a solid mix of regional craft brews as well as imports (hefes, hoppy stuff, strong Belgians, etc).

Prices were very reasonable/fair. The only real downside we found with the place was that it became VERY crowded, very quickly on a Saturday night and the cigarette smoke was a bit overwhelming. All in all a great pub though, and one I will surely visit again.

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The Black Sparrow in Lafayette, IN
4.13 out of 5 based on 19 ratings.
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