People need people. It's always been the case and it's even more important in this day and age. People want to go places where they feel like they fit in and belong. Since 1992, Yogi's Grill & Bar has been a place for meetings of the minds, power lunches, pain and joy through awful and fantastic sports seasons and an outlet to voice your opinion no matter how right or wrong it may be. From Deadheads to "Fred"-heads, Grads and under-grads, doctors, lawyers, families and tourists and don't forget the usual "regular" suspects, Yogi's is a reflection of the people and culture of Bloomington all under one roof.
Located on the corner of 10th and Indiana in the hustle and bustle of the near-West-side of campus, Yogi's is an ideal stop for students, visitors, professors and University employees either on their lunch break or at the end of the day. Just a 10 minute walk from the Auditorium and the heart of campus and only five blocks from the square in downtown, Yogi's combines the University fabric with locals, families and professionals to create this eclectic atmosphere every day of the year.
What started and failed as a BW-3 in the late 1980's, Yogi's began as owner Jim Karl found a niche in the Bloomington bar market. Karl, being a Cleveland Browns fan, couldn't find a place to watch his beloved Browns or any other NFL games on Sunday afternoons. He put in a satellite dish, a huge walk-in cooler and the rest is history. With his wife Bonnie, son Chris and "daughter" Joana running the daily operations, Jim is currently enjoying his "retirement".
A two-room restaurant, eight-seat bar and one of the first outdoor patios for restaurants in Bloomington has evolved into over 10,000 square feet of neighborhood grill and bar that still has the charm of days past. The footprint of Yogi's has expanded over the years but the atmosphere has not suffered. Today, the original two rooms and front bar still exist providing the warmth of days past. Bustling for lunch yet more intimate for dinner, the "original" Yogi's, just like many great places has made changes for the better as time moved on.
1998 saw the concrete patio, with its wrought-iron charm of the eight tables, and the old greenhouse section give way to a modern indoor-outdoor masterpiece. After digging out portions of the parking lot and expanding existing retaining walls, the "new" patio now holds almost 90 guests when full each day. A retractable roof and accordion windows open to take advantage of the warm weather days and starlit nights whereas the industrial-strength heaters make dining and socializing comfortable throughout the winter. Enjoy the warm French Quarter decor as you relax and enjoy food and drink or cheer for your favorite team no matter the season or the night.
Yogi's modern expansion did not stop at the front doors. The Pub Room at Yogi's was first established in 1996 and was redesigned and "finished" on Labor Day weekend in 2007. As with most everything under the roof, the Back Room is a constant work-in-progress. The Pub Room action usually heats up after dark or a few hours before and after major sporting events. Home to over 50 draft beers and 140 bottles and plenty of television for your viewing pleasure, the Back Room can also accommodate large groups without notice (we prefer notice!) for lunch or dinner. The Pub Room has a 36-seat horseshoe bar plus plenty of room for socializing and tables for dining. In addition to the fantastic beer selection, the bar is full service and full menu every day of the week just like its smaller sister bar up front.
And keeping with the modern times, Yogi's understands that as times change, so do people and no two generations are the same. Training staff members in the "old days" involved sampling some food and reading over the menu. Now, with over 100 members on staff, Yogi's training program is one of the most comprehensive for independent restaurants. Our staff comes from all walks of life: students, "lifers" and young kids but regardless of their backgrounds they are trained to understand the responsibility and level of service that Yogi's provides, a level that we take great pride in providing. In 2013, urbanspoon.com recognized Yogi's as one of the best 200 restuarant bars in America.
After being one if the first bars in South-Central Indiana to carry the likes of Newcastle and Sierra Nevada on draft, beer has always been our passion. Where other bars can claim to have more beers, not one of them regionally can approach the 50 draft beers that Yogi's has daily on draft. With that many beers comes a responsibility to the customer and the staff to provide excellent service and product knowledge. Owner Chris Karl is a Certified Cicerone beer expert. After attending numerous classes and tastings, Chris passed the second highest level of certification that a beer expert can attain. Yogi's requires their bartenders to take an on-line certification course in the proper techniques of tasting, handling, service and the making of beer. This education helps our staff help our customers when they are selecting beers off our massive list, trying something new or just wondering about their old favorites.
Whether you enjoy a quick, affordable lunch on the patio, standing around yelling at the referees during a IU game or celebrating any occasion with a cold beer, Yogi's can satisfy most any walks of life. Come to our neighborhood and see for yourself!
With help from you, we plan to be around for many years to come. We are always seeking suggestions on ways to which improve from those who visit our Grill and Bar. The best ways to reach us with your comments are:
In Person: Ask to speak with a manager, or request a comment card from your server