This is a big “thank you” to one of our favorite brewhouses, The Oaken Barrel. Already a favorite of Kelli and I’s, the manager on duty and the wait staff the night of October 4, 2013, made us love the place even more. Allow me to explain:

Kelli’s parents planned to spend a couple of weeks in Arizona and wanted to have dinner with us before they departed. We decided to occupy one of our favorite spots located a short drive from our house. Since it was a Friday night we thought it would be a good idea to make a reservation. Kelli called the restaurant and the person that answered seemed a bit confused when asked about reserving a table. “One moment while I get my manager.” A minute later, the manager comes on the phone and kindly explains they normally don’t take reservations but they would do their best to get us seated promptly when we arrive.

This is where we started to increase our appreciation for this establishment: Kelli mentioned the reason for the reservation request was we had two girls with autism and they wouldn’t be able to wait very well. The manager’s response? “Oh! Well, that won’t be a problem. We’ll get you seated right away – you won’t have to wait.”

Nice, right? Well, that’s what we thought. Then the doubt creeped in. Would they really get us in just as we arrive? Would he properly inform his staff of our need? We piled into the cars and made our way there, taking bets on whether this would work or not.

Sure enough the place was packed. As we walked closer to the door we could clearly see a great crowd amassed outside, all anxiously waiting for a table. “Great,” I thought to myself. “This won’t be fun.” We approached the desk just inside the door and Kelli’s parents had already mentioned our name. To our great delight and appreciation, they had a table waiting for us and we were seated with zero wait-time.


We enjoyed a good dinner, a beer, and Michaela and Melanie behaved very well. The waitress was great and the food didn’t take too long to arrive.

I don’t know the name of the manger on duty or the staff that helped us, but rest assured they earned some major parent-points. Not only do they have great beer and food, they have shown that they can be place where family and special-needs are welcome.

Bravo, Oaken Barrel, bravo.

(By the way, if you are in the Indianapolis area and have a taste for microbrew, check this place out: We would’ve recommended them anyway, but now we REALLY recommend them!)