Next stop: The Big Four Café!
What began over a century ago, continues today as a destination for travelers. Located in the heart of historic downtown Batesville, the Big Four Cafe honors its past with design elements taken from nearby century old landmarks. Doors that once graced a stage coach inn now welcome diners. Original factory lighting from the American Furniture Factory pairs perfectly with table tops re-purposed from salvaged, virgin timber used as industrial flooring over a 100 years ago; creating a warm and welcoming space to enjoy breakfast or lunch.
The menu is comprised of delicious, made from scratch selections, with locally sourced ingredients. The seasonal menus are inspired by Chef Devin Murchin’s days as master chef for Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and his culinary degree from Johnson & Wells Culinary School. Open daily, this boutique restaurant features specialty coffee selections and is the perfect casual spot for gatherings of friends, family or business acquaintances with a separate, private meeting room.
Latest Big Four Events and Specials:
Big Four Café 4th Friday Dinners
Enjoy a 4 Course Gourment Meal Expertly Paired with Alcoholic Beverage
Join us every 4th Friday of the month as Chef
serves up a 4 course gourmet, tasting menu.
Chef creates menus based on his extensive
travels, years as master chef for Caesar’s Palace
in Las Vegas and his culinary degree from
Johnson & Wells Culinary School. Phoenix, 3 Pin
Sommelier, Certified, WSET3 & Italian Wine
Ambassador, then skillfully coordinates each
course with an alcoholic beverage.
This casual, family style private dining experience
is limited to 30 guests. Menu themes are based
on countries throughout the world, featuring
fresh, seasonal and locally sourced ingredients.
The experience is intimate & singular in execution.
Stories abound throughout the evening told by both
Chef and Phoenix, centered on their experiences
in the culinary world, focusing on each individual
dish and beverage, its’ origin and inclusion on the
menu. The result is an unforgettable dining
encounter unlike any other in the tristate.
For exceptional dining, make your destination the Big Four Café.
(Menu and pricing varies.)
Named for the four major cities that it served; Cincinnati, Cleveland, St. Louis and Chicago and all points in between, the Big Four Railroad once traveled the tracts that ran through our small town on its westward routes. The tracks ran parallel to Pearl Street and were one of the main reasons that industry located nearby since they could economically transport their products across America. The Railroad Company chose Batesville as one of its train stations because it could fill its steam engines with water from the well directly in front of the RomWeber Marketplace’s Depot Street entrance. To this day, the well still actively provides fresh water.
It was not unusual for taverns and cafés, sometimes known as “beaneries” to open alongside the train stations to serve passengers. The Big Four Tavern in Batesville was such an establishment. Named after the railroad, it was located catty-corner to the original train station and was the oldest building in Batesville dating to 1853. Once home to a stage coach stop, it too depended on the Depot Street well to provide fresh water for horses. Tragically, in the summer of 2011 a wind storm damaged the Big Four Tavern building beyond repair causing it to be demolished. Fortunately for us, the memory of the Big Four lives on with the bar from the tavern, dating to the early 1900’s, being located in the Big Four Café. The bar, handmade by the predecessor to the Brunswick Corporation, Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company, is made of quartered oak, the bar top is mahogany and the mirror above the back bar was a single pour, a feat unheard of in its time. What you see before you is over 100 years I in the making, after a meticulous restoration. The historical elements of the Café are further enhanced by the use of doors that once graced the entrances to the Big Four Tavern. We kept the center doors to the Café, which are approximately 160 years old, as close to their original state as possible. The art work in the Big Four Café was reproduced from original marketing materials used by the Big Four Railroad and its successor the New York Central.
Many of the historical elements used throughout the Café, such as the nearly century old lights overhead, were used in the old furniture plant that once resided on the property. Table tops and the wood paneled walls in the corner of the Café were remanufactured from floor joists that were removed during the construction of the atrium in RomWeber Flats. They originated from the floors of one of America’s oldest furniture manufacturing plants, the RomWeber Furniture Company. The bell located at the end of the main hallway dating to the mid 1800’s, was a train bell used along the lines to call crew building new tracks to chow. You can almost hear its deep ring.
Better than Indy!!!!! Hard to believe this fine dining menu is offered in such a quaint small town!!! Batesville is the half-way point for meeting our Cincinnati friends. As Indianapolis residents we have access to many excellent brunch options. But I have to say that NONE of them can even begin to compare to Big Four!!
Potato cakes with chives as well the gravy were two favorites.The Texas Toad in the Hole (sunshine toast to my grandchildren) was creatively prepared with Texas toast and a side of yummy gravy. My fellow tea snobs will appreciate that they serve Harney & Sons tea!!!! Clean space, fresh food, attentive waitstaff, spacious seating.
This boutique meets farm-to-table space is relaxing yet upscale. I could only wish it was located in Indy!! Franchise opportunity?!?!!
121 S Depot St., Batesville, IN 47006 | (812) 932-3687
Open for Breakfast & Lunch Daily: 7am – 2pm