Indianapolis’s commerical kitchens are best known for their craft brewery, milkshakes, and pork tenderloins. But the city also has a thriving fine dining scene led by innovative international chefs introducing new cuisine to midwestern tables and the institutions responsible have surprisingly long and deep traditions.
Indianapolis’s food scene is deep enough that the city regularly attracts food and restaurant entrepreneurs looking to invest. To serve that sector, we’ve put together this list, featuring the best restaurant contractors in Indianapolis. These firms have a good sense of the unique demands of the midwestern restaurant industry and the unconventional attributes that restaurants might need to compete in this constantly evolving market.
We gauged the quality of work produced by each company, considering awards, accolades, the firms’ backgrounds in the restaurant market, as well as the overall quality of work history in order to produce this ranked list. Each firm should be taken on its own, however, as every single one brings something unique to this business.
12) Alt Construction
Website | 317-253-1251 | 10650 N Bennett Pkwy., Suite #200 Zionsville, IN 46077
Despite being one of the most recently-established firms in this list, Alt Construction has already proved itself in the local construction scene. Alt has completed over 340 projects since the beginning of its operations in 2006, and all were completed within budget and ahead of the deadline.
Seth Alt, a Purdue University Construction Management alumnus, leads a team of 89 contractors in building various boutiques and office spaces all over Indiana. One of these projects is El Toros, a Mexican bar and grill that is famous for its familiar Mexican cuisine. Alt constructed the restaurant using bricks and border to create a cozy, familiar, neighborhood atmosphere.
11) Gilliate General Contractors
Website | 317-638-3355 | 2515 Bloyd Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46218
Gilliate General Contractors is an Indy construction staple, offering a wide range of construction services from historical renovations to green building and a whole lot more in between. What started as a local family business in 1985 now has over 50 employees operating in over 38 states.
Gerry Gilliate founded the company 30 years ago, and he sold the company to his son Adam and current company president Tom Ritman, a Forty Under 40 awardee. Together Adam and Tom catapulted the company to regional prominence in the Midwest.
Daniel’s Vineyard, a reception, function, and events establishment, enlisted the services of Gilliate to build its facilities in 2016. The vineyard provides excellent wine pairing with a portfolio of over 15 varieties of wine and houses a full-scale winery.
10) Mattcon General Contractors
Website | 317-872-4700 | 5460 W 84th St., Indianapolis, IN 46268
Pete Mattingly’s Mattcon General Contractors is an extension of his expertise in the field of engineering and construction. Mattingly is a Purdue University Master of Civil Engineering alumnus and the leader of a team with 300 years worth of combined industry experience. The team also includes engineering and construction program graduates from Purdue, Indiana State, and Ball State.
Mattcon has also been featured in publications like Engineering News-Record in its campaign against world hunger through its “canstraction,” a project that brought 24,000 meals to central Indiana families.
Mattcon’s portfolio reflects the team’s construction and engineering proficiency, with building projects in several industries including restaurant, retail, healthcare, and commercial. One of the firm’s outstanding restaurant projects is Moontown Brewery. The firm provided interior and exterior renovations of an abandoned high school gymnasium, converting it into a micro-brewery with a restaurant, a tasting room, and facilities for events.
9) Avouch Contractors
Website | 317-253-2609 | 6845 Hawthorn Park Dr., Indianapolis, IN 46220
Dedicated commercial contracting firm Avouch Contractors has been serving local enterprises for over 18 years with business-tailored services that include general contracting, maintenance contracting, and interior contracting.
Avouch fronts a team with 50 years of combined industry experience that includes building local Indy food institutions like The Mug and Buca di Beppo. The Mug, pictured below, is an unconventional modern, farm-to-curb restaurant. The business’ leader Chris Baggott purchased a local restaurant named The Frosty Mug after it closed its doors after five decades in the neighborhood. Baggott transformed the concept with a more contemporary menu. The Mug won Indianapolis Monthly Magazine’s “Best of Indy” two months after opening in 2014.
8) EquiTeam Construction
Website | 317-816-1230 | 215 N College Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46202
Founded in 1967, EquiTeam Construction is an Indianapolis-based general contractor with nationwide reach. What started as a family business is now headed by second generation builder Scott Schulz, an alumnus of Purdue University’s Electrical Engineering Honors Program.
Presently, EquiTeam specializes in building restaurant projects for up-and-coming concepts and national chains while maintaining room for unique specifications for each enterprise. Take the celebrity chef Joseph Johnson’s Chef JJ’s 200-seater restaurant for example. EquiTeam has taken care of the overall renovation of its dated building and overhauled a 9,000 square-foot interior and rooftop patio, as well as an al fresco street patio. This project was completed in collaboration with Halstead Architects.
7) MacDougall Pierce Construction
Website | 317-596-6371 | 12720 Ford Dr., Fishers, IN 46038
Since 1976, MacDougall Pierce Construction has been serving the Midwest from its headquarters in Central Indiana. The company has grown from being a neighborhood contractor to a construction giant that annually completes $50 million worth of projects. The firm credits its success to its capacity to build projects on time and on budget through the aid of web-based information systems and scheduling programs. MacDougall’s acclaimed safety protocols also brought the company a Safety Award in 2011. Aside from MacDougall’s progressive approach to construction, the company boasts a team of experts who have a total of 125 years of industry experience.
This team handles high-value projects such as this million-dollar buildout of Giordano’s Pizza, a famous Chicago-based pizzeria chain. The restaurant has 4,000 square foot of space built on a 1.5 acre of land and features a contemporary European interior.
6) White Oak Construction
Website | 317-243-7140 | 10967 East US Hywy., Suite #136 Indianapolis, IN 46234
For over 35 years, White Oak Construction has been providing contracting, design-build, and construction management services in over 16 states from Iowa to New York. CEO and CFO Jerry Sobota’s one-man enterprise has grown into the regional construction name it is known today. The firm completes every project using the principles of flexibility, single source responsibility, and fast track delivery.
Through these credentials, White Oak has built a strong portfolio of commercial and residential projects. A good example is Clay Terrance Corner Bakery, a cafe that provides fun, yet nutritious meals. White Oak provided the build-out for the project and the quirky, lighthearted interior as well.
5) Kort Builders
Website | 317-872-4181 | 8709 Castle Park Dr., Indianapolis, IN 46256
Robert Kort’s namesake business is an extension of his construction expertise and renowned business insight. The Forty Under 40-awarded business leader took charge of the construction company and has since amassed a number of awards. The company has been featured in a number of local publications including Indianapolis Business Journal and industry publications such as HR News Magazine.
Kort focuses on commercial construction, including tenant finishes and remodeling business offices, boutiques, restaurants, logistics facilities, and other markets. When it comes to restaurant projects, Kort has completed remarkable projects such as Cholita Taqueria & Tiki Tiki Lounge. With the help of Beyond Architecture, Kort has completed this 3,500 square-foot facility that houses unique street foods as well as Latin cocktails, Margaritas, and Mexican beer.
4) Prodigy Construction
Website | 502-618-1816 | 11106 Decimal Dr., Louisville, KY 40299
Despite being one of the more recently-founded firms in this list, Prodigy Construction has already established itself as one of Kentuckiana’s most prolific builders. Tammy Basco and his team provide civil engineering project management and full-service design-build construction to a wide variety of commercial projects. Prodigy has acquired various industry awards, including placing 10th on Business First’s Top General Contractors in 2016 and ranking on Inc. Magazine’s 5000 America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies as well.
Prodigy has a good track record in the restaurant and food-related building market. The company’s award-winning portfolio includes the Indy location of the multi-million fast-casual concept Fazoli’s. This restaurant serves Italian classics in a cozy, casual interior.
3) Boaz Construction
Website | 317-790-7333 | 4201 Millersville Rd., Suite #200, Indianapolis, IN 46205
Even though it was only established in 2006, Boaz Construction has already made waves in the residential, commercial, and hospitality construction markets. With CEO Michael Boaz’s 20 years of construction experience as a foundation, the company has garnered recognition from Indianapolis Business Journal, Indy Star, Thrillist, and Sophisticated Living.
In those years, Boaz has also crafted a portfolio with iconic restaurants including Hatch, Garden Table, Vanguard, Bar One Fourteen, and Crispy Bird under its belt. These neighborhood restaurants share a high-end atmosphere and unique menu. For Vanguard, Boaz has revamped an old house to accommodate the rebranded concept of Usual Suspects, a neighborhood staple. Boaz provided the custom wainscoting along the walls, cabinetry, and improved the structural integrity of the infrastructure to boot.
2) Stenz Construction Corporation
Website | 317-262-4999 | 429 N Pennsylvania St., Indianapolis, IN 46204
Family-owned and operated Stenz Construction has been an institution for over 40 years. This full-service general contractor, construction manager, and real estate firm is headquartered in downtown Indianapolis and has operations across the Midwest.
Leo Stenz, who has been with the company for 47 years, handles the leadership position and day-to-day operations. Stenz has since put together an award-winning portfolio that includes projects commended by the City of Indianapolis through its Excellence in Development award. St. Elmo Steak House, an Indy favorite since 1902, hired the services of Stenz in doing a modern rendition of its restaurant. With the architectural services of Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf, the firm has constructed the restaurant facilities with a good balance of historic preservation and modern innovation. St. Elmo serves its famous steaks with equally praised cocktails in this gorgeous century-old premises.
1) Capitol Construction
Website | 317-574-5488 | 11051 Village Square Ln., Fishers, IN 46038
With over 10,000 projects completed nationwide, Capitol Construction is one of this list’s largest operations. Since 1998, a team of 50 self-performing crew members has conducted business with more than 500 subcontractors. This coast to coast network of subcontractors enables the company to provide fair pricing and consistent quality. Capitol Construction ranked in the annual local office billings in 2019 as one of the Largest Indianapolis-Area Construction Contractors and won other industry awards as well.
Capitol’s loaded portfolio is filled with premium restaurants, including Core Life Eatery, Tony’s Steak & Seafood, and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Capitol conducted the overall remodeling of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse 7,500 square-foot facility. Following the design of Phanomen, the firm constructed the space while everyday operations continued. The project was finished on schedule, before the rush of the holiday season, demonstrating Capitol’s familiarity when it comes to building highly complex projects that are time sensitive.