Indigo Cafe and Bar is coming to Montevallo

Published 9:19 am Friday, November 3, 2023

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By BARTON PERKINS | Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO – For the last 10 years, Indigo Aulbach has been working as a nurse, but now he’s opening a restaurant on Montevallo Main Street.

Indigo had previously attended culinary school in San Francisco and then worked in a series of restaurants and catering companies all over the country.

“I’ve been working in restaurants since I was a teenager and then in my early 20s, I did culinary school in San Francisco,” Indigo said. “I graduated from culinary school in ‘95, and I did all sorts of catering up in Napa, Sonoma and Santa Cruz. Then in 2004, I moved to Minneapolis and I worked at a couple of restaurants and I ran a couple of big restaurants out there.”

Ultimately though, the long hours of the restaurant life did not leave much time for Indigo to spend with his then grade-school daughter, Bennet. Indigo decided to put his culinary skills on the back burner and pursue a career in nursing.

“At the time I was actually the executive sous chef for a major chain of restaurants in the area called Parasole,” Indigo said. “So I left Parasole, went to nursing school, and I’ve been a nurse for the last ten years.”

Indigo worked in many different medical fields during his time as a nurse, including organ transplant, pediatric psychology and cancer treatment. He enjoyed it as it allowed him better hours to spend time with his daughter and watch her grow up. Then, when she was old enough, Bennet decided that she wanted to go to the University of Montevallo for college.

“So she moved out here last year and I followed shortly thereafter because I missed her,” Indigo said. “I started working at Children’s Hospital in psychiatry, emergency and inpatient psychiatry, and I’ve been there for the last year.”

It was only a short time after moving to Montevallo that Indigo fell in love with the city, and realized that there was a need for an affordable fine dining space.

“My daughter goes to the University of Montevallo. She and her fiance deserve to go have a nice meal, a nice home-cooked meal and not break the bank and be able to do that on a regular basis,” Indigo said. “These kinds of dining experiences make up our lives and our memories.”

He found an empty space on Montevallo’s main street and decided that it was finally time to break back into the culinary scene.

“I just came across this space, and it had been defunct for years,” Indigo said. “It was the original Tavern on Main Street, and it’s this beautiful historic building that’s over 100 years old.”

Indigo’s plan for the Indigo Cafe and Bar is to create a space inspired by the “creative misfits” of America’s 20th century, such as Billie Holiday, Anthony Bourdain and the Ramones. 

“We are inspired by the great American artists, adventurers and misfits of the 20th century,” Indigo said. “That whole late ‘70s and early ‘80s New York scene of art, fashion and music is the epitome that to me in the 20th century was the highlight when all of that was brought together.”

Indigo Cafe and Bar is currently set to open on Friday, Nov. 24 and is seeking to hire people for all positions. The restaurant will be open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to Midnight and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Indigo Cafe and Bar will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday, with a brunch on Sunday.

Indigo also promises ‘more in the works’ after the restaurant has been open for a while including a library of books and possibly a live music venue at some point in the future.

“It is not just about the food, listen, I make phenomenal food,” Indigo said. “My chicken noodle soup will bring tears to your eyes. But it’s not just about that. It’s about welcoming someone in and making them feel whole with food with music, beautiful art on the walls, kindness, real genuine hospitality and going out of our way to be an important part of the community.