Girls Night Out events draw ladies to downtown Fortville – The Daily Reporter

A group of friends from Fortville, McCordsville, Fishers and Noblesville gathered for Girls Night Out in Fortville last week at FoxGardin Kitchen & Ale. The friends include, from left, Wendy Maddy, Toby Smith, Laurie Brady, Kim Keller, Lisa Frey, Margie Goodchild, Cynthia Ice-Bones and Angie Sharp.

Shelley Swift

ORTVILLE – Even though they live about a two-hour drive away, Roxie Antczak and her daughter, Cathie, affectionately call Fortville shop owners by name.

“We just love Libby and Allison,” Roxie said while sipping wine at the 305 Wine Garage in downtown Fortville last Thursday night.

It was officially Girls Night Out in Fortville, a time when ladies are encouraged to hit the shops and restaurants along Main Street for food and drink specials and extended shopping hours.

Roxie Antczak, Charlene Hall and Cathie Antczak, with her back to the camera, enjoy some wine and good times at the 405 Wine Garage in Fortville last week. The three women drive nearly two hours from Lowell to enjoy the small town vibe in Fortville. They were attending a Girls Night Out event, which draws ladies in for a night of shopping, drinking and dining along Main Street. Shelley Swift

A town ordinance allows guests to tote along a cocktail as they make their way from shop to shop, provided no open containers are carried out of local establishments.

Allison Rose, owner of the Time & Again shop downtown, makes sure to stay open a few hours later than usual on Girls Nights Out nights to give the women time to browse her selection of sassy gifts, cards and apparel.

The ladies events date back several years in Fortville, she said, “but kind of fell apart after COVID. We’re trying to get them back on track. ”

The events are organized by downtown Fortville merchants who work together to bring people into the quaint downtown shopping and dining district.

“What I love about Fortville is all of the shop owners have tried really hard to promote and encourage each other. When one of us is successful, we’re all successful, ”Rose said.

Main Street was hopping on Thursday, March 10, when boutiques, shops and restaurants were filled with women enjoying a night out with friends.

A party of eight gathered around a long table by the bar at FoxGardin Kitchen & Ale, where they enjoyed dinner, drinks and conversation.

Two of the women – Toby Smith and Angie Sharp – live in Fortville while the others drove in from Noblesville, McCordsville and Fishers.

Smith, a Realtor, said she met many of the women as clients, and they soon became like family.

“Girls Night Out gives us all an excuse to get together and have a little fun,” she said.

Sharp loves the opportunity to show off her town to friends who come in from bigger, neighboring cities.

“I love our little town. It’s all about community, ”she said.

At a table next to theirs on Thursday night, another group of women were kicking back cocktails while enjoying a much-anticipated night out.

The women said they made the short drive from Fishers to enjoy the small-town charm Fortville has to offer.

The group has eight or nine friends who get together for girls’ nights each month.

“We come to Fortville as often as we can. It’s a cute little area, and it’s super close, ”said Alyssa Whitaker.

The town also offers a much more laid-back vibe than its bigger city counterparts like Fishers, she said.

“It’s low key and low stress, which is nice,” said one of her friends, Suzanne Heitman-Curtis.

Erin Henry, another member of the group, echoed that sentiment.

“It’s such a friendly little town. I think I stumbled upon the Girls Nights Out on Facebook, and we’ve been coming ever since, ”Henry said.

Teresa Workman, general manager at 305 Wine Garage, loves seeing groups of women filter in for a fun night out.

“We’ve been full tonight. All the ladies always seem to have a great time, ”Workman said on Thursday as groups of women chattered in the background, sipping red wine slushies and glasses of white wine.

Antczak and her daughter brought along a friend all the way from northwestern Indiana to share in the fun.

Both the Antczaks and their friend, Charlene Hall, live in Lowell, but they make the two-hour drive to Fortville as often as they can – typically six or eight times a year.

They booked a hotel room in nearby Fishers on Thursday night so they could enjoy two days of shopping in town.

“The business owners are amazing,” said Hall, who was enjoying her first trip to town.

Roxie Antczak first discovered the small town shopping district when researching things to do for a trapshooters association that visits various parts of the state. She and her daughter liked it so much, they’ve continued to come back as often as they can.

They love picking up home decor, apparel and trinkets at the local shops, and they always make sure to stop for a sweet treat at Libby’s Ice Cream & Gifts. The mother-daughter duo have also taken art classes and attended the holiday festival downtown.

Antczak said the small-town experience is well worth the drive.

“Fortville is just so friendly and so nice. It makes me feel like I’m coming home, ”she said.

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