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Saturday, February 4, 2023

January / February 2022

Evansville Living

Goodbye, old friend

 On a drizzling November morning, Evansville bid adieu to its tallest skyscraper and 50 years of memories. Rendered obsolete by changing corporate needs, no one came along to save it, and the 18-story former bank building at 420 Main St. was imploded to make room for new Downtown development. For many, the tower symbolized business deals, glamor, and Evansville’s place among the corporate elite. As we say goodbye, we reflect on what was, and prepare for what’s to come.

The Living Record

With each passing year, we mourn and celebrate the lives of members of the community who made a difference in their places of work, to civic organizations, and to their families and others. In 2021, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic still were felt in local losses. We reviewed death records and obituaries from last year to find notable people whose lives have impacted the Tri-State in ways large and small.

Southern Comfort

Onlookers have long admired the sprawling estate across from Rolling Hills Country Club and Golf Course in Newburgh, Indiana. Now, this 1960s Georgian-style home is up for sale. The nearly 4,000-square-foot house contains four bedrooms, three and a half baths, and a two-car garage with an additional detached two-car garage behind the property that is perfect for a workshop. The expansive front porch is framed by large white columns and plantation shutters leading directly to the French door entry under a grand, half-dome window.

Treetop Trendy

The wild outdoors of McCutchanville offer a bounty of space for playing around with home construction, and many residents have used the available acreage to their advantage. From charming cottages and grand manors to eye-popping estates, no two homes look the same in the rolling hills north of Evansville.

Peak Performance

No matter your age, it’s never too late to engage in an active, healthy lifestyle. Sam Rogers, a 60-year-old Evansville resident and senior engagement advisor at Deaconess Health System, first heard of the Senior Games while on the board of directors at the Southwestern Indiana Regional Council on Aging (SWIRCA & More) about seven years ago. A lifelong dedicated athlete, Rogers decided he would give it a shot and compete in the Indiana State Senior Games.

Let’s Do Brunch

It’s Sunday morning. The sun rises, church bells toll, your neighbor’s annoying rooster crows, and you stay in bed. When you finally rise, the numbers on your alarm clock induce a deep rumble in your stomach — you’ve slept through breakfast.

The Grand Dame Stands

The thick cloud of dust emerging from the imploded Old National Bank tower on Nov. 21 slowly rolled across Downtown Evansville, spreading block by block and sending spectators scrambling. When it settled, what poignantly emerged first was the Old Vanderburgh County Courthouse, 131 years old and still going strong.

From City to Country

Two hours south of Evansville, on the corridor linking the River City with Nashville, Tennessee, are two smaller cities with bright lights and big appeal. Boasting charm, history, and a relaxed pace, Clarksville and Dickson are worth a stop. Clarksville Clarksville, 112 miles south of Evansville on Interstate 24, is a matrix of activity along a ribbon of winding Cumberland riverfront.

Burning Bricks

The type of oven used to cook a pizza often can make or break the Italian original, but most experts agree the wood-fired oven bakes the best dough. If a wood-fired oven is your culinary equipment of choice, look no further than The Pizza Revolution.

Midwest fashion Meets Milan

Making its international debut Sept. 26, 2021, at Milan Fashion Week, Emily Gartner’s “The Good Earth” collection consisted of 10 models strutting down the runway in pastel athleisure ensembles paired with abstract accessories. Spending two weeks in Milan, the Evansville native and owner of Art Threads Studio: Emily Gartner Designs experienced a world many may dream of, but few actually see. She was invited to the show through a fashion recruiter who discovered her work on Instagram.

Pinned-Up Passion

The exposed brick walls of Philthy Vintage Clothing (2017 W. Franklin St.) are covered in racks of rock band T-shirts, tacked-up old sports jerseys, and boxes of classic Converse sneakers. Tucked among these vintage finds is a thick Hard Rock Café denim jacket awash in collectible pins of all shapes and sizes, hung on the wall like a pop culture work of art.

Season of Sweets

As colder weather continues to creep into the Tri-State, warm winter treats are must-have items to keep your head, heart, and stomach cozy and full. DeAnn and Mike Schmitt, owners of Sweet Schmitt’s Candy (422 N. Main St.), are known across the city for their gourmet marshmallows, sold year-round for $2.50 a piece. The soft, gooey textures are enveloped in silky, smooth chocolate and crunchy toppings and then infused with flavors from s’mores to dark chocolate cherry, and pair perfectly with a steaming cup of hot chocolate.

Center of Attention

Handle with Care

Law enforcement officers respond to incidents involving death, narcotic use, custody disputes, and domestic violence, and those situations sometimes involve minors. Those children often must soon return to school, and the strain of shouldering this emotional burden can lead them to act out. To lend support to local students, the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office and the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation have launched a new initiative.

Editor's Letter

The Ties that Bind

Happy New Year! It is my great privilege to wish Evansville Living readers good tidings again. Thank you for sharing an interest in our city and the people forming this community. Those are the ties that bind us. We’re grateful for our city for connecting us with you. As we roll into 2022 with the challenges of the past two years still very much with us, Evansville has much to look forward to. The end of 2021 brought the city a good deal of optimism, as well as anxiety, as we witnessed four extraordinary developments.

Artful Living

A Bug’s (After) Life

For Evansville native and Amothecary owner Tara Bouillet, the illuminating blue of a Scarce Morpho butterfly or abstract pattern on an Oleander Hawk Moth’s wings are as artistic as it gets. Since January 2020, Bouillet has turned her love of entomology (the study of insects) into a creative business selling pinned insect shadow boxes. The hobby was fostered throughout her lifetime by her grandparents Suzanne, a former professor of microbiology at Vincennes University in Vincennes, Indiana, and Jules “Tony” Bouillet, a wooden wildlife carver.


Sounding the Alarm

Thousands of collectibles line the stalls of Riverside Antique Mall (1205 E. Riverside Drive), but of all the vintage relics in the shop, this 1800s fire horn stands out as one of its more unique items. Before Siebe Gorman and Company developed its famous deep-sea diving gear, it manufactured fire safety equipment, including this rare fire horn that was used in the mid-to-late 19th century.

Anatomy of a Dish

Dishing Out Dough

Boonville, Indiana’s latest downtown restaurant, 3rd Street Saloon at 118 S. 3rd St., has been dishing out its traditional tavern cuisine of burgers and barbecue for about a year, but the plate that caught Evansville Living’s eye from this eatery was the light and robust Caprese flatbread.

Online Exclusives

Young at Art exhibit celebrates the next generation of Evansville artists

Peering into the windows of the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana right now, you’re likely to see a rainbow-colored giraffe, a watercolor superwoman, and a house built on paper cups. Through April 1, more than 200 works of art from local kindergarten through eighth grade students are on display as part of the annual Young at Art exhibit. Gallery Director Andrea Adams says this is one of her favorite events of the year because of the creativity.

Tourney Town

For the second time this month, Evansville’s Ford Center welcomes college basketball teams from across the country, as the NCAA Division II’s elite squads face off in the Men’s Basketball National Championship this week.

EPO’s Bourbon Series pairs spirits with an orchestral chaser

When Roger Kalia was appointed Music Director of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra in April 2020, he wanted to “dive into the community and reach out to new audiences,” he says. This desire, combined with a love of bourbon, drove him to conceptualize the Bourbon Series for EPO’s 2021-22 season. The Bourbon Series promises an intimate musical experience, featuring pieces of music that connect to bourbon tastings. The series includes three unique events, the first of which was held in October 2021 at Dusty Barn Distillery in Mount Vernon, Indiana.

St. Patrick’s Day Brews and Stews

This year’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities are in full swing, and Evansville has no shortage of places to celebrate. Breweries, taverns, pubs, and bars across the city are serving up specialty drinks this week in honor of St. Patty. Try your “luck” with some of these cocktails and brews.

Heart and Hard Work

Though Evansville is primarily known for its strong German heritage, our Irish connections predate the city’s founding in 1812. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, take a look at how the Irish got their start in Southern Indiana. Former University of Evansville professor Daniel Gahan is by all accounts an Irish immigration expert. Raised in Ireland, he moved to the United States in 1977 at the age of 22. He eventually landed in Evansville, where he taught in UE’s history department for 34 years before retiring in 2020.

Honoring Women in History

Since 1987, the month of March has been recognized as Women's History Month to celebrate and study the vital role women have played throughout U.S history. This year, Evansville businesses and organizations are participating through award celebrations, reading programs, and cultural discussions. Get involved with these local Women’s History Months events and activities. Media Bundles, Reading Challenges, and More Through March 31 All Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library locations

Keep Stock of Your Pet’s Emergency Kit

This year’s Severe Weather Preparedness Week for the state of Indiana is March 13-19, and the moral of the story is that preparation cannot be underestimated. (See “Safety Nets,” our story about storm shelters, in the February/March 2022 issue of Evansville Business).

Courtney & Kyle

When the storm clouds finally parted over Tanglewood Wedding and Events Barn in Boonville, Indiana, on April 10, 2021, Courtney and Kyle Schmitt said “I do” through big smiles and roaring winds. “It was so windy that day, my veil ended up flying off and hitting my dad,” says Courtney. The couple met in 2015 through mutual friends during a night out at KC’s Time Out Lounge on the East Side. Five years later, on New Year’s Eve 2019, Kyle proposed in their shared home, forgetting one crucial step.

Good Deeds

With winter winding down, many Evansville nonprofits and community organizations are ramping up their fundraising efforts. Searching for fun ways to make a difference? Look no further than these upcoming events. Dueling Pianos Fundraiser for Keep Evansville Beautiful 5:30 p.m. March 18 Bally’s, 421 N.W. Riverside Dr.

Court City

Downtown Evansville has once again been transformed for one of the region’s most anticipated tournaments. The Main Street archway is adorned with basketballs by Wilde Horticulture and visiting teams’ banners line the walkway for the 2022 Ohio Valley Conference Basketball Championships. This year marks a transition of sorts, as Murray State and Belmont universities depart for the Missouri Valley Conference after this season, and Evansville’s own University of Southern Indiana joins the OVC.

Sweet Success

Wesselman Woods’ 44th annual Maple Sugarbush Festival kicks off this weekend, but the elbow grease that goes into the event has been churning for weeks. The nature preserve’s own sugarbush serves as the site for yearly sugar maple tapping. Cindy Cifuentes, director of natural resources and research, says more than 400 gallons of sap have been tapped this year, producing a little more than eight gallons of syrup. All sap is handled by Wesselman Woods staff members and volunteers, who collect, boil, and bottle it.

Jamming Out

Bar Louie hasn’t been afraid to get creative with their burger recipes in the past, topping this American classic with everything from fried eggs to poutine. Now the gastrobar, with a location in Evansville at 7700 Eagle Crest Blvd., is adding something sweet to the traditionally savory dish. Bar Louie’s That’s My Jam Burger is a house seasoned, custom blended brisket and short rib chuck patty topped with garlic aioli, slices of bacon, bourbon old fashioned jam, arugula, garlic herb cheese, and pickles skewered to the top of the bun.

Meet Logen Sitzman

Welcome to our staff Q&A! We periodically introduce you to members of the Tucker Publishing Group team via a quick Q&A. Who has worked at TPG the longest? Which issues of Evansville Living are our favorites? Who has the fiercest high school rivalry in the office? Keep an eye trained here to find out!

What’s In A Name: Lamasco

Evansville’s West Side is famous for its steep hills, German heritage, and unique neighborhoods. But while other sections of town developed their own personalities as Evansville grew, West Side neighborhoods such as Lamasco genuinely started as their own separate communities.

Our Star in Stripes

Bryan Neale’s journey from officiating youth football games to umpiring at the Super Bowl almost could be described as prophetic.

Fat Tuesday Festivities with a French Quarter Flair

Mardi Gras is just around the corner, taking place on March 1, and what better way to celebrate this lively holiday than partaking in delicious food and revelry around the Tri-State? Let the good times roll this Fat Tuesday with traditional cuisine and an abundance of beads from these local spots.

A ‘Super’ Sunday

As confetti rained onto the field at the conclusion of Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13, it was the culmination of years of hard work and a lifetime love of football for Los Angeles Rams Head Coach Sean McVay. McVay, 36, coached his squad to a last-minute 23-20 championship victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in, becoming the youngest head coach in NFL history to win a title. The Rams head coach has a local connection to Evansville: His mother Cindy and uncle Bob Fuchs are Evansville natives and Reitz Memorial High School graduates.

Hoosiers Who Hit the Trail

Each President’s Day, our country recognizes and honors the lives of the nation’s head of state. Though the third Monday in February originally recognized first U.S. President George Washington’s birthday, it is now popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. presidents, past and present.

The Shows Go On

As we swiftly approach the two-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic arriving in the Tri-State, area theaters have hurdled multiple obstacles. First closing their doors, then performing to a live-feed camera and empty seats, Evansville’s thespians have now largely returned to the stage. For the end of the 2021-2022 season, local troupes are springing back into action to tell thoughtful stories both familiar and new.

Road Trips

Just 20 minutes southeast of downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, Veal’s Ice Tree is a winter spectacle for all Hoosiers to enjoy. But this curious landmark isn’t new: The Veal family has been creating an ice tree since 1961.

Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Gifts

Planning your Valentine’s Day in a pinch? Evansville Living has you covered. From fancy dinners to clever cards, we’ll help you find the best ways to say “I love you” to your sweetheart. 5-course Upstairs Dinner at Schymik’s Kitchen Feb. 14, 1112 Parrett St. • schymikskitchen.com

Simply The Greatest

Editor’s Note: A version of this story was published in the July/August 2016 issue of Evansville Living magazine. Up close, the rectangular ceramic tiles that wrap the exterior of the Muhammad Ali Center appear to be arranged in random abstract patterns. But from a distance — as you drive past the downtown Louisville, Kentucky museum on Interstate 64, for instance — the patterns resolve into images of Ali.

Holiday How-To

 Looking to celebrate your friends with a night of fun? Galentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to gather and toast to female friendship. Let us thank Leslie Knope — actress Amy Poehler’s character from NBC’s 2009-2015 show “Parks and Recreation” — for popularizing Feb. 13 as the day for “ladies celebrating ladies.”

Composed of Generosity

Editor’s note: This is an extended version of the story that appeared in the January/February 2022 issue of Evansville Living magazine. In 1939, two years after the great Ohio River flood, the Evansville Press was still printing, the bridge linking Evansville to Henderson, Kentucky, was less than a decade old and didn’t have a twin yet, and the University of Southern Indiana didn’t exist.

Eat Your Heart Out

Satisfy your sweet tooth by pre-ordering these heartfelt local sweets and treats for Valentine’s Day.

Black History Month Events

Officially recognized by the United States government in 1976, Black History Month is a nationwide commemoration of the notable contributions Black Americans have made in shaping U.S. history. Every February, museums, universities, and nonprofit organizations pay tribute to Black history with specialized programs and activities. Honor this cultural celebration by participating in one of these Tri-State events throughout the month of February.

What’s In a Name: Boehne

Gumbert. Reitz. Koch. Igleheart. Evansville, both past and present, is marked by family names that have impacted our schools, government, roads, and our city’s history. Inspired by “What’s in a Name?” in Evansville Living’s 2014 City View issue, this series will examine names you recognize and the stories behind them that you don’t. Boehne

Super Singer

A far cry from playing Lex Luthor on the WB/CW series “Smallville” — a character TV Guide included on its “60 Nastiest Villains of All Time” list in 2013 — Newburgh, Indiana, native Michael Rosenbaum has teamed up with Los Angeles, California-based film composer Rob Danson to form the rock band Sun Spin.

Scary Seconds

The quesadillas are hot, the tacos are fresh, and the burritos are rich at Ghost Quesadilla’s newest location on Evansville’s West Side. Opened on Jan. 10 at 5501 Pearl Drive, Ghost Quesadilla is bringing its classic menu items — such as its made-to-order quesadillas and corn-shelled street tacos — and adding new items to satisfy the West Side crowd.

Filing Frenzy

It’s the end of January, and you know what that means: Tax season is now officially upon us. This year’s filing season is likely to be even more challenging due to pandemic-related changes, such as the expanded child tax credit and additional stimulus payment. Luckily, the Internal Revenue Service is partnering with national and local organizations to provide tax services to individuals with incomes at or below $57,000, persons with disabilities, or those 60 years old or older at no cost to the taxpayer.

Retro Fans Rejoice at Philthy Vintage Clothing

A young man with an old soul — that’s an apt description of Phil Ashenbremer, proprietor of Philthy Vintage Clothing at 2017 W. Franklin St. Fans of retro clothing and accessories flock to Ashenbremer’s shop to land the perfect sports memorabilia, vintage tour tees, pop culture pins and patches, and rare sneakers.

Livin’ in a Vegan Paradise

Evansville is an oasis of fried and savory dining options, with meat-based dishes sitting at the top of the list. These local favorites, from burgers to nachos, are all offered on Flourish Plant-Based Eatery’s newest menu as a healthy, vegan option.

Meet Morgan Dean

Welcome to our staff Q&A! We plan to periodically introduce you to members of the Tucker Publishing Group team via a quick Q&A about us. Who has worked at TPG the longest? Which past issues of Evansville Living are our favorites? Who has the fiercest high school rivalry in the office? Keep an eye trained here to find out!

Inspiring Art

Young & Established, a nonprofit youth organization at 1308 Vann Ave., unveiled a new mural inside its facility on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 17. The 55-foot-by-12-foot mural was painted in just 10 days by Indianapolis artist Ashley Nora. Young & Established commissioned the mural, which was paid for through a grant from the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana.

420 Main: Love It or Hate It

The Old National Bank Tower is no more. Brought to the ground in November 2021 by a controlled demolition fueled by 374 pounds of explosives, the 50-year-old former commerce hub of Downtown Evansville had sat largely vacant for nearly 15 years. In that time, it became a polarizing structure in the city center's skyline. Some considered it a rundown eyesore, and it had admittedly fallen into disrepair. Others felt the pull of nostalgia and enjoyed its continued, if hollow, presence. Still others viewed it as a curious oddity of height, vacancy, and design.

Games and Guac

You played classic games in the arcade, drank craft beer from the taps, and sipped creative cocktails in the lounge upstairs. Now return to Arcademie (22 NW. Sixth St.) for another new experience. The two-story bar with a classic arcade has expanded its dining options, first by offering dinner service starting in November 2021 and now lunch.

Honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

Though January isn’t typically one of the year’s most event-filled months, there are still several events to enjoy across the Tri-State this weekend. From 5K races to Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations, here are five upcoming events to add to your calendar.

5 Positive Ways to Kick Off Your New Year

The new year is here, and with it comes innumerable attempts at self-improvement. Many resolutions center around getting fit, eating healthier, and trying new things, but what about activities that just plain make you feel good? Evansville Living has selected a few small options that are sure to give you a mood boost during the dreary winter days of 2022. Reclaim A Favorite Activity

Order Up

It’s a new year, and that means new restaurants and bars are breaking into the Evansville dining scene. While many original eateries will be brand new in 2022, Evansville Living selected its three familiar names with future projects. Myriad’s Taphouse

Christmas Cleanup

With the holiday season coming to a close, an oft-dreaded experience follows — undecorating your home and finding a way to dispose of your not-so-fresh Christmas tree and gift wrappings. The Evansville Water and Sewer Utility and Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve have the solutions.