(INDIANAPOLIS) – Indianapolis International Airport is rebooting the shops and restaurants on the concourse, with a focus on local flavor and one big out-of-town name.
FAO Schwarz has cut the ribbon on a new toy store at the airport, returning to Indianapolis for the first time since it closed its Circle Centre mall location more than a decade ago. The airport location is the iconic store’s first outside New York since its relaunch 11 months ago, three years after it closed its longtime Fifth Avenue flagship.
The store is one of nine new retailers at the airport, with 19 more new shops and restaurants planned over the next two years. By the time the last new store opens, the airport will have turned over two-thirds of its retail space.
While FAO Schwarz and TripAdvisor carry national brand recognition, airport executive director Mario Rodriguez says the goal is to increase the proportion of Indianapolis brands. The airport will be adding a Sun King Brewery, the Stacked Pickle, and Carmel-based Bub’s Burgers. It’s also adding Indiana-themed gift shops.
Rodriguez says part of the airport’s mission is to serve as the “grand entrance to the city. He says part of that mission is to create a distinctly Indianapolis feel, not an airport interchangeable with any other city.
FAO Schwarz closed its signature store on Fifth Avenue in New York in 2015. (Photo: Stephen Lovekin/FilmMagic via Getty Images)