The Indy culinary scene has a new kid on the block. Well, mixologist that is. Plat 99 opens today, and with the bar, comes a rising star, Michael Gray.
Michael Gray comes from a long line of family members in the restaurant business. His great grandfather founded Gray Brothers Cafeteria, just south of Indianapolis, over 80 years ago.
“I’ve worked every job in the restaurant industry – I started when I was 12 bussing tables. When I got in trouble, I have to wash dishes in the dish room. When I was old enough to manage, I started managing…Then, when I was 21, I realized that there was a lot of money to be made in alcohol, that it was much more profitable than food, and it was fun.”
You may recognize Michael from his time at The Libertine or at Turner’s Cocktail Cuisine. But you won’t recognize him from his “usual” drink order. Like most mixologists, you can’t label Michael with a favorite drink, though there are a few drinks he is known for.
When out for a drink at Plat 99, look for The Wayworn Road on the menu. Made with Spring Mill Indiana Bourbon, The Wayworn Road is a local favorite and was constructed by Michael in 2010. When I sat down with Michael, I had the opportunity to try The Wayworn Road. And let me tell you, it is GOOD. It’s the perfect twist of black peppercorn & thyme.
Located in The Alexander hotel, Plat 99 is an art-filled, contemporary cocktail bar designed by artist Jorge Pardo. From the handcrafted Mexican tiles to the 99 light fixtures in the bar, Plat 99 is an incredible atmosphere to grab a drink. Just remember to ask Michael to mix it for you.
“I’m a local guy. I was born in raised in central Indiana and I’m proud of that. A lot of people who come to establishments like these sometimes like say, ‘well, this is very New York or Chicago or San Francisco. And I love it because it reminds me of that.’ Well, I want people to be reminded of Indiana when they come in here.”