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Carmel / Hamilton County / Regional News / Restaurants

Pizzology to fill vacant restaurant space in West Clay

July 15, 2014
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Local restaurateur Neal Brown is bringing his popular Pizzology Pizzeria + Pub concept to the Village of West Clay, targeting a late-September opening for its third location.

The Neal Brown Hospitality Group signed a lease for the long-vacant Pamfilio’s Italian Restaurant space in the Brenwick Building at 12821 E. New Market St., in the heart of the high-end community’s commercial Village Center.

Remodeling is expected to begin immediately, Brown said in a prepared statement.

The West Clay restaurant will employ about 30, including a kitchen staff led by head chef Edward Sawyer, who has been working with Brown for about three years.

Expect the same locally sourced, pizza-heavy menu as the other two eateries—the original Pizzology on Hazel Dell Parkway in Carmel and the newly opened Mass Ave outlet in Indianapolis—plus some chef-driven specialties (think gnocchi or fresh ravioli).

Brown hopes the West Clay location draws diners from the 680-acre neighborhood as well as nearby Zionsville.

“We like the idea of being a neighborhood gathering place much like we are in Carmel and increasingly on Mass Ave,” Brown said in the statement. “It’s fun to see people walk into Pizzology and randomly see someone that they know. … It makes us feel like we are part of the fabric of these communities, which is exactly what we want to achieve.”

Commercial development in the Village of West Clay has been slow to materialize, and one property owner’s recent legal woes led to several high-profile vacancies.

As IBJ reported last year, The Indiana Secretary of State’s securities division has accused CFS Inc. of securities fraud, and a court-appointed receiver is in the process of liquidating its assets—including the Brenwick Building, where it had its headquarters.

Before landing Pizzology, the 24,400-square-foot building was about 40 percent occupied, said Nick Churchill of Carmel-based Pittman Partners, which acquired the property with partner Hageman Group in March.

Filling the vacant restaurant space was a priority, he said, and landing Pizzology as a tenant was a win.

“We’re excited to have him,” Churchill said of Brown, who also owns The Libertine liquor bar in downtown Indianapolis. “He should bring a lot of vibrancy to the building.”

To fill the rest of the space, he said the new owners are considering a plan to convert a portion of the building’s second floor into executive office suites that would appeal to small companies and self-employed professionals.

Two other West Clay commercial properties once in CFS’s portfolio are not under the receiver’s control: Old National Bank foreclosed on the Sterkx Building at 12701-12703 Meeting House Road—the onetime home of Chappie’s restaurant—and sold it last year at a sheriff’s sale for $950,000. And Huntington National Bank is in the process of foreclosing on the former Harvest Fresh Market location at 12770 Horseferry Road.

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