If you’re among the tens of thousands of fans headed to Indianapolis for the NCAA Men’s Final Four, this one’s for you. We recently spoke with two Coca-Cola employees who call the Indiana city home – Todd Marty, sales director for foodservice and on-premise, and Leslie Henderson, retail sales director – for a few tips, recommendations and more.  


Describe your perfect day in Indianapolis...

Leslie: Start the day with a long walk along the canal, then have brunch at Café Patachou downtown before doing a bit of shopping at Circle Centre Mall. Check out Midland Antiques, then have dinner at Harry & Izzy’s before spending the night at the Conrad Hotel.

Todd: Spending a day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, rent a bike and cruise the Monon Trail, walk through White River State Park, and paddle-boat down the canal in downtown Indy. Circle Centre Mall is in downtown Indy and has plenty of places to at, shop and play. Finally, we are proud to be celebrating the 100th year of the contour Coca-Cola bottle, which was born just down the road in Terre Haute, Indiana. 

What’s the best part about living there?

Todd: Indianapolis is centrally located and is easy to travel to and from. Our airport has been ranked in the top five in the nation for the past five years. No matter what time of year, there are many great sporting events to watch when you consider Indy is home to the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers, Indy 11 Soccer team and the Indy 500/Brickyard 400. Oh, and the NHRA Drag Strip Nationals. The city prides itself on maintaining a clean, safe environment, too. Downtown is equipped with connecting skywalks and tunnels that allow people to get around comfortably year-round.

Leslie: The size! Indianapolis is a manageable city – traffic, cost of living and safety! Downtown Indianapolis continues to be revitalized and developed, which brings new restaurants, retail shops and people to the heart of the city.

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If you could only have one meal in Indianapolis, where would you eat and why?

Todd: I'd enjoy a shrimp cocktail from St. Elmo Steakhouse downtown and wash it down with an ice-cold, 8-oz. glass bottle of Coca-Cola. Another of my favorite restaurants is Loughmiller’s Pub located just outside the Westin Hotel. It’s full of Indiana heritage and has great food. 

Leslie: For lunch, I’d have to say a corned beef sandwich at Shapiro’s Delicatessen, (the best sandwich in town) with a Coca-Cola Freestyle beverage. For dinner, I agree with Todd... St. Elmo's famous shrimp cocktail (their cocktail sauce has a horseradish kick) with an ice-cold 8-oz. Coca-Cola glass bottle.

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Why is Indy the perfect city to host the Final Four?

Leslie: We take great pride in our basketball programs here. This is the seventh time Indy has hosted the Final Four, and the NCAA is headquartered here. And you can't beat the Midwestern hospitality here.

Any locals-only advice?

Leslie: The Indianapolis Zoo is a centrally located and offers a reasonably priced parking solution for the weekend concert series. A great deal of Indianapolis hotels are connected through tunnels or sky bridges to the convention center and Circle Center Mall. If the weather isn’t cooperating during Final Four weekend, utilize the tunnels and bridges to stay dry and warm!