Woody’s Library Restaurant owner Kevin Rider was destined to open a great restaurant in Carmel, Indiana. Born and raised in Indianapolis, this dyed-in-the-wool Hoosier started opening his own restaurants back in 1983, with Parcel Pizza. That successful eatery grew to five separate locations, in Carmel, Indianapolis and Fishers, before Kevin decided it was time to open Bungee’s Tavern in Perkinsville, Indiana.
Today, after living in Carmel for over nineteen years, Kevin Rider has put most of that time into creating and running of Woody’s Library Restaurant, along with serving on the Carmel City Council, the Chamber of Commerce and the city Planning Commission. All restaurants are as different as the people who run them, but Woody’s Library Restaurant is truly unique. The plan was to build a bi-level establishment with a friendly neighborhood pub downstairs and the upstairs reserved for fine dining. This plan has worked out very well.
Part of the credit for Woody’s success must certainly go to Kevin’s wive, Richelle. A bona fide chef in her own right, Rochelle also was well-prepared for the task, having put in time at such upscale Indiana restaurants and Indianapolis restaurants as Cafe Nora and Oliver Winery. Richelle was also executive chef and originator of the popular and exclusive Scholar’s Inn, located in busy downtown Indianapolis and voted “Best of Indy” in 2008 by NUVO Newsweekly.
It’s no wonder, then, that this dynamic duo has produced something special in Carmel. The building itself is unique, as it was built in 1913 to become the Andrew Carnegie Library. The location for this renovated historic landmark could not be better, situated in the new Carmel Arts and Design District, on Main Street in the middle of downtown Carmel. All around the Carmel restaurant are interesting venues for Carmel shopping, Carmel art galleries and boutiques like the Evan Lurie Gallery and Art and Soul, and Woody’s gets its share of foot traffic into the Carmel bar on the ground floor.
Woody’s downstairs pub rivals many of the great Indianapolis bars, just as the upstairs dining room rivals many of the great Indianapolis restaurants, not to mention the restaurants in Carmel itself. Inside the pub is a 225-gallon fish tank, a constant focal point of interest. The bar also features satellite TV for keeping up with your favorite Indianapolis sports stars, free internet access, video games and shuffleboard.
The well-established upstairs dining room offers some of the most sumptuous dishes in town in a great selection of food and wine that changes monthly with the seasons. Sunday brunch at Woody’s Library Restaurant is a favorite with locals and visitors alike, offering a huge variety of options and lots of different “Bubbly Cocktails” and Bloody Mary’s.
Wine tastings at Woody’s are literally the “toast of the town,” and attract fans from all over to sample the goods as they make friends and gradually become part of Woody’s ever-burgeoning family. Art and culture in Carmel are not forgotten at this upscale suburban establishment; Woody’s exhibits rotating shows featuring local artists, as well as artists from Indianapolis and elsewhere.
Altogether, the wondrously talented Kevin and Richelle have created a hub of activity, relaxation, fine food and drink, and lots of hospitality in the heart of Carmel.
Woody’s Library Restaurant
40 E Main St
Carmel, IN 46032-1739
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