Countdown to GenCon 2012

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Construction Updates

This will be a short post.  I've been meaning to get to it for a while, but it's amazing how these things slip through the cracks.
Construction continues on the convention center.

The Indianapolis Convention Center construction seems to be proceeding on schedule.  It's been very hot in Indy these past few months, and some construction projects were delayed a bit due to the heat.  It looks like they're fairly close to moving to completely indoor construction on the convention center though, so it's certainly on track for being complete for Gen Con next year.

The new J. W. Marriott hotel
The J. W. Marriott is moving along nicely as well.  I can't wait to see what this hotel is like when it's done.  They recently put the letters on the hotel, so it's no longer just a curved sheet of glass.  Peeking through the windows it looks like construction on the interior is moving at a good clip too.  I can't see much that could hold this hotel back from being completed on time.

This hotel will be a two gerbil tube hop from the convention center just like the Hyatt is, but on the opposite end.  There's a whole "Marriott Compound" sitting behind it, and it looks like they'll all be joined.

The west side of this hotel looks down on White River State Park.  This would be a great location to have w00tstock come during Gen Con.  As we get closer, it would be great if everyone hopped over to the w00tstock page, and followed the links to "demand" an Indianapolis w00tstock.  I think this link will get you there.  Sure, the orchestral video game music concert was nice this past year, but w00tstock during Gen Con would be epic.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Charlie and Barney's: A Great Place to Grab a Burger at Gen Con

Finally, as promised, I'm going to start posting some things that I hope will be useful for Gen Con attendees in 2011. The first here is a review of Charley & Barney's.  This is a great, local, semi-fast food restaurant that happens to be conveniently located right in the lobby of the Hyatt.

The Atrium of the Indianapolis Hyatt
The Hyatt is one of the more attractive downtown hotels once you get inside, with a large interior atrium.  There are a significant number of Gen Con events held in their facilities.  The hotel is also one of the few joined to the convention center by a crosswalk (OK...it actually joins to a parking garage, but it's just 2 gerbil tubes to the con center).  There's a Starbucks here, a Subway, and Charley & Barney's.

The highlighted fare at this little sit-down or take-away restaurant is the chilli and the burgers.  Both are very tasty.  I stopped by last week to have lunch, and got the bacon burger and fries.  The burger is good sized (not huge), and there's a toppings bar where you can add whatever you want.  The toppings bar also has a lot of items for adding to the chilli so you can end up with chilli just the way you like it.  From ordering time to being at my table ready to bite into the burger was about 4 minutes.  That's faster than most of the fast food places around here.  I honestly wouldn't expect that speed when it gets crowded, but I suspect you can still expect to be in and out of there fairly quickly during Gen Con.

Charley & Barney's sits on the ground floor of the
Hyatt on the East side of the atrium.
I've been to other Charley & Barney's locations before, so I knew what to expect:  A great tasting burger.  I was not disappointed at all on this count.  Way better than Steak & Shake in my opinion.  I'm not a big Steak & Shake fan because I think their burgers are way to thin and usually end up like hockey pucks.  The C & B burger was thicker and juicier, which is much more to my taste.

One of the disappointments at this location was the fries.  C & B fries are normally one of the best things about the meal.  Usually the fries are large, waffle-cut fries covered in a spicy salt.  They're to die for if you're a fry lover.  For some reason, at this location they were serving the regular style fries with minimal spicy goodness.  I would highly recommend asking what kind of fries you will be getting with your burger, and asking for the waffle fries if they won't be giving those to you.  Even if you have to pay extra, it will be totally worth the money.

Anyhow, if you need a quick place to stop for lunch while you're between games at Gen Con and you want fare that's a bit more than a fast food meal, I recommend checking Charley and Barney's out.  My meal cost about $8 (bacon burger w/fries and a soda).  That's just a little bit more than a fast food meal will run you, and it's so much tastier.  Probably healthier too.