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The Book Nook

From Bloomingpedia
Buffalouies at the Gables

The Book Nook was a former campus hangout in the early half of the 20th century. It's purported that Hoagy Carmichael wrote the notes of Stardust at the Book Nook's piano. Located at 114 S. Indiana Avenue across from the Indiana University School of Law, it has seen several changes over the years. Through each of the ownership transfers, the cornerstone of the original Book Nook structure remained.


In 1919, George Poolitsan, owner of the Candy Kitchen on Walnut Street, purchased the Book Nook from C.D. Fetzer and C.W. Jewett, a former mayor of Indianapolis. Poolitsan died months later, and his widow sold the business to relatives Peter, George, and Harry Costas. It was during this period that it gained a reputation as a student hotspot. In his autobiography, Sometimes I Wonder, Hoagy Carmichael wrote: "On Indiana Avenue stood the Book Nook, a randy temple smelling of socks, wet slickers, vanilla flavoring, face powder, and unread books. Its dim lights, its scarred walls, its marked up booths, and unsteady tables made campus history."

Though Carmichael wrote Stardust in 1927, the depression forced the Costas Brothers to sell the Book Nook in 1931. The children of George Poolitsan, Nick, Chris, Charlie, and Pete, and their sister Katherine Topolgus still owned the building, and re-opened it as a restaurant called The Gables. They ran it until 1968.

The IU Foundation bought the building in 1979 and has leased it out to several other restaurants, including another Gables restaurant, which was owned by Max and Linda Wildman and operated from 1997-[2001]].

The Book Nook/The Gables

Businesses occupying the Book Nook building