It's easy to forget Vic's Cafe is there at 1839 E. Market, between Spring Street and the river. These days, the vast majority of New Albany eateries and bars are located on or near major thoroughfares. Not Vic's, because it's a throwback.
It's a tavern located where the workers once congregated in large numbers during a more labor-intensive era, on a back street where neighborhood meets industrial zone. The pre-Prohibition brewery owned by Jacob Hornung operated no more than two hundred yards away.
Vic's Cafe is opposite a vacant lot where the box & basket factory once stood. One of the two Schwartzel brothers who founded the factory lived 40 years in the house we currently occupy, and we're within easy walking distance of the tavern.
Straight up: I haven't been inside Vic's since I was a minor looking to get served, but in recent years, the food keeps being mentioned by friends and acquaintances -- especially the burgers. Several times there has been talk among friends of stopping by Vic's for lunch, but it didn't happen.
Last fall during the campaign, I stopped into Donum Dei Brewery and struck up a conversation with Matthew, who told me he tended bar weekends at Vic's. I squirmed a bit, and then he mercifully set the hook: Thanks to his efforts, Vic's has $2.75 bottles of Bell's Oberon and Bell's Two Hearted Ale.
Welcome to the "no excuses" zone.
Vic's Cafe a decades-old New Albany staple, by Matt Stone (Courier-Journal)
... Harry Middleton, 83, has been coming to the same place nearly every day since he was 18. “You can’t put a new bark on an old tree,” he said as he tucked into a fried pork steak with a side of beans and cornbread. Another regular, Eddie Hancock, says he remembers coming to the same address as a 10-year-old boy when it was Burnett’s. “It’s had good food all those years,” he said. “And they do today.”