IBJNews

Bru, Mesh owner planning third eatery in Mass Ave neighborhood

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Massachusetts Avenue has been so good to local restaurateur Mike Cunningham that he’s planning to open a third eatery in the trendy downtown Indianapolis neighborhood.

Cunningham, 50, launched the upscale Mesh in 2010 and the casual Bru Burger Bar the following year. He now is planning a concept he describes as a “new American diner” for a building just a few blocks from Mass Ave.

REW 0326 trowel trades cunningham 15colThis building, at 620 N. East St., would house Mike Cunningham's third Mass Ave-area restaurant. (IBJ Photo/Perry Reichanadter)

The Cincinnati native, who heads the 11-restaurant Cunningham Restaurant Group, has signed a letter of intent to buy the brick, one-story structure at 620 N. East St.

The building, which was constructed in 1950, is listed for $995,000 by McClure Commercial & Industrial Real Estate. It is owned and occupied by the Bricklayers Masons & Tile Setters Union, which would relocate.

Cunningham declined to divulge the sale price for the property, which includes 50 parking spaces.

If all goes as planned, Cunningham will have the as-yet-unnamed restaurant open in October.

“It’s a new concept for us,” he said. “We like Mass Ave; we have two restaurants down here, and they do really well.”

Steve Delaney, a restaurant expert at the locally based Sitehawk Real Estate brokerage, is confident Cunningham’s new creation would be as successful as his other endeavors.

“Mike, as a restaurateur, is one of the more successful operators in Indianapolis,” he said. “He chooses very good locations, and they’re well run.”

The menu would consist of what Cunningham calls American comfort food priced from $6 to $20 but prepared with a “chef’s upgrade."

Completing the purchase of the 6,800-square-foot building hinges on Cunningham's securing rezoning and a variance allowing the sale of alcohol. The variance is necessary because the building sits within 100 feet of a church.

The Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission is scheduled to consider Cunningham's plans April 3.

Cunningham's restaurant empire began in the suburbs, but he's become such a believer in the downtown area that his company this month relocated its nine- person headquarters from Avon to Fulton Street, just east of the Mass Ave corridor. He spent $1 million renovating the vacant building for Cunningham Restaurant Group's offices.

Cunningham said the central location offered easier access to the company's restaurants. Cunningham Restaurant Group is occupying 6,400 square feet on the first foor that used to house a printing ink factory. The building’s second-story is being redeveloped into a condominium.

Cunningham Restaurant Group has four Stone Creek Dining restaurants in the Indianapolis area—in Greenwood, Noblesville, Plainfield and Zionsville—and two in the Cincinnati area. The company also operates a Boulder Creek Dining Co. in Brownsburg, a Charbonos in Avon, and a Moerlein Lager House in Cincinnati in partnership with the Christian Moerlein Brewing Co.

The company plans to open a Bru in Lexington, Ky.,, this year and a Mesh in Cincinnati in 2014.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • eating crow
    well it look's like i commented to soon. we did get paid but only negotiated sum. like mr. cunningham pointed out, there's always two sides to a story. I may be eating crow for commenting BUT i'm still NOT eating at MESH!
  • Bru burger is a joke
    Service is horrible and the place is way overpriced. Punch is waaaay better than this place
  • BRU
    I ate at BRU on Saturday and my burger was sopping wet as well. The quality had declined DRAMATICALLY!
  • Seriously...?
    "Trendy"? I'm not sure which is worse, using that word for Mass Ave or using it, period.
  • doesn't pay his bill
    to all engineering firm's! don't work on anything this owner does! he's never payed his bill for mesh. didn't feel he needed to
    • Improve the first 2...
      Having recently eaten at both Mesh and Bru, I would encourage Cunningham to shore up the leaks in his first two Mass Ave ventures. Service has declined dramatically, and the food isn't far behind. Last night's Bru sandwich was so sopping wet, that the point of a bun was lost. And, rather than bringing our salads first, everything arrived at once. So, before you open something new, polish the first two!

    Post a comment to this story

    COMMENTS POLICY
    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
     
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
     
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
     
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
     
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
     

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by
    ADVERTISEMENT

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
     
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. Uh, sorry Johnnie, but you are incorrect. Despite the assertions by yourself and various defenders and captains, sports attendance is NOT off significantly at most sporting events in the US. Variances in attendance has been in the range of single digits, both + & - for years now. MLB has had most of its best overall attendance nubers in the last decade, and that trend has been consistent for most major sporting events. The number one issue cited by most fans when asked about attendance is the overall cost of attending. The presence of HD and big screen televisions in home doesn't even register, as a factor for not attending an event. VALUE in the product is the key, and apparently is something lacking in the current ICS. What other explanation is there when with what is routinely touted as the "best" racing on the planet, fans are staying away in DROVES. A "close" title battle into the last event at Fontana, with the "cars and stars" of the ICS, and who showed up? MAYBE 8K. Sorry, but HD TV isn't to blame for that kind of fan apathy.

    2. Do you need finance to establish your business ? Are you interested in getting a loan at 3% from our private company? If so please Email: suntrust_oil@blumail.org

    3. If she was worth the $ the public outcry over direct tv dropping them would have kept them on their dishes as we have seen with other companies. I too quit watching channel 13 after she showed up since I left channel 8 because of her all show rather than production results. When Randy on 8 corrected her she had a big head and incorrectly challenged his correction for pronunciation of a city. Other antics while she matures was too much for me with her very inaccurate forecasts. All the forecasters were predicting rain until Thursday except Chris. They predicted sunny on Thursday but instead of rain until Thursday upon which the sun would finally make it out in full glory Chris was right on the money just as I too predicted looking at the radar on weather.gov. One thing I love about Angela is the fear you can see in her every time it thunders in the winter. It far exceeds the entertainment value of her body language (high heel noise drags, depression, etc) when her forecasts are so incorrect. Her hair stands on end, you have to see it!!!

    4. Good Day, Apply For A Loan I am Mr Fernadez Antonio, a private Loan lender and a cooperate financial for real estate and any kinds of business financing. I also offer Loans to individuals, Firms and cooperate bodies at 3% interest rate We offer any kind of loans. email us via fernadezloaninvest@outlook.com LOAN APPLICATION FORM First name:......................... Middle name:......................... Last name:........................................ Date of birth (yyyy-mm-dd):....................... Gender:........................................... Marital status:................................... Total Amount Needed............................... Loan Duration.................................... Address:.......................................... City:............................................. State/province:................................... Zip/postal code:.................................. Country:.......................................... Phone:............................................ Fax:.............................................. Mobile/cellular:.................................. Monthly Income.................................... Occupation:....................................... Best Regard, Mr Fernadez Antonio.

    5. i will love to share my testimony to you all the people in world i got married to my husband about 2 year ago we start having problems at home like we stop sleeping on the same bed,fighting about little things he always comes home late at night,drinking too much and sleeping with other women out side i have never love any man in my life except him. he is the father of my child and i don't want to loose him because we have worked so hard together to become what we are and have today .few month ago he now decided to live me and the kid,being a single mother can be hard sometimes and so i have nobody to turn to and i was heart broken.i called my mom and explain every thing to her,my mother told me about DR.okoro how he helped her solve the problem between her and my dad i was surprise about it because they have been without each other for three and a half years and it was like a miracle how they came back to each other. i was directed to DR. okoro on his email:okorospell@gmail.com and explain everything to him,so he promise me not to worry that he will cast a spell and make things come back to how we where so much in love again and that it was another female spirit that was controlling my husband he told me that my problem will be solved within two days if i believe i said OK So he cast a spell for me and after two days my love came back asking me to forgive him i Am so happy now. so that why i decided to share my experience with every body that have such problem contact Dr okoro the great spell caster on his email addresses spellcasterforlove@outlook.com

    ADVERTISEMENT