First Look: Small Change in Benton Park



Small Change, the neighborhood bar from the folks behind Planter’s House, opened quietly on Thursday, Feb. 1, at 2800 Indiana Ave. in Benton Park.


Small Change, named after a Tom Waits record, combines qualities of a dive bar and a cocktail bar. There’s no food per se, just a couple vending machines to dispense bar snacks – all the better to focus on the drinking.


The cocktail menu features seven drinks named after Tom Waits songs or lyrics like Chocolate Jesus and Waltzing Mathilda, along with a couple of shot options: Little Drop of Poison, a rotating amaro shot, and PBJ Time, a combo of peanut butter fat-washed cognac and Manischewitz grape wine.


As at sister bar Planter’s House, Small Change focuses on fresh juices, house-made modifiers and select spirits. There’re also canned beers to choose from, along with a couple draft options.


Inside, Small Change is decorated with vintage bar signs and liquor-related novelties. Small Change has 49 seats, and when the weather starts cooperating on a regular basis, there’ll be an additional 40 to 50 seats outside.


Small Change hours are Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., and Sunday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.


Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine and occasionally bartends at Planter's House.