When you walk down 9th street to Comida restaurant on a Saturday morning, you wouldn’t think much about the movement happening inside. The square building is nestled behind the Indianapolis public library, but its seemingly small stature has been hosting a major event inside.
Brunch & Grooves, as simple as it sounds, is a day brunch event bringing good music, great food and a new vibe to the city. You walk inside to be greeted by a young woman with an inviting smile. She sits behind a registration table.
“Good morning! Welcome to Brunch & Grooves. Can I get your name please?”
The customer service puts to ease the initial nervousness that those new to the events may have. The smell of a fresh breakfast hits your nose. Both old and new school jams grace your ears from a live DJ, but best of all are the beautiful people who are chatting, eating and dancing with a new energy.
Founder, Don Butler (middle) Brunch & Grooves
Amongst the crowd is a man sporting a logo Brunch & Grooves shirt. You can catch him engaging guests. As one of the founders of the day time event his vision for it is much more than a good time. In fact, he feels it’s a necessity for the culture of Indy.
“I travel a lot so I noticed in other cities they have brunch spots with live music, DJ’s and millennials younger and older.”
Don Butler started Brunch & Grooves in March 2019. He’s had the idea for a while before it launched and says he just needed the right opportunity, time, space and team. He envisioned an environment for the culture where people could relax and unwind.
He saw a need for a new vibe with black Indianapolis. He brought the idea to his childhood friend from high school, Andre Franklin. Franklin, aka “DJ Godzillest,” is a businessman by day, but DJ’s the sounds of Brunch & Grooves. Together the duo created a collaboration of the minds with a main goal to focus on.
“Imagine being able to go to your favorite restaurant and getting food seasoned like your grandmothers and then you get up to dance to ‘Wobble’ but nobody’s looking at you crazy,” says Franklin on the concept.
Co-owners, Don Butler (left) and Andre Franklin (right)
Franklin’s co-founder for the events and says when Butler presented the idea, it was the name that stuck out to him the most.
“It gets the point across to people. When you come to have fun, it’s going to feel like home. It creates a space to incubate and share ideas to meet other great minds in the city.”
The duo started off the event at a Illusions Bar & Grill. They wanted to make sure to collaborate with black owned restaurants for the culture.
“Some people don’t even know about the black businesses we have in the city, so we wanted to make sure to incorporate them to bring awareness,” said Franklin.
They grabbed other talent to join the team like DJ Sounds By Todd to be and a few local photographers. One photography, Lance Coleman says capturing the moments with people that they can’t get back is what makes the vibe after Brunch & Grooves special.
“My approach is capturing the ambiance of the atmosphere. It’s a really good investment for the city alone. Good music, food and games with a sweet deal you can’t be beat.”
Coleman says there was a need for the culture during the day time.
"See before social media, you had to be there for events or you missed it. With social media, it can a blessing or a curse with getting crowds out, but I like the challenge of getting people interested because of my part on the team."
He says that the vibe is what will bring the people coming back.
For Butler, who owns a few other events in Indianapolis, he knows his investment into the new project is worth it. He’s gathered diverse crowds to attend since launching. The events attract tourists in the city who are looking for a memorable time in Indy.
“Even when rapper Young Thug visited, he inquired about what he could do to enjoy himself. It’s great to have Brunch & Grooves when he comes back in to town. We’ve also got some Colt players who are interested in coming out.”
To Butler, what makes the events a success is the energy and the food.
“You can have your birthdays with us, get-togethers or whatever it may be. You can solidify it with us.”
The team hopes to host Brunch & Grooves in other cities in the future. They’re looking to incorporate more local restaurants.
“Come out for yourself and catch the vibes. Invite a friend who can tell a friend,” said Franklin.
Guests enjoying games, music and fun at Comida restaurant.
Brunch & Grooves is currently hosted every 3rd Saturday of the month at Comida restaurant from 11 AM to 3 PM.
Brunch & Grooves is hosting a “Classic Brunch” or Classic weekend from 9 AM to 2 PM