More downtown restaurant news

December 22, 2008
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Noodles & Co.Noodles & Co. plans to open in the long-vacant former home of Hard Times Cafe, which is just west of Houlihan's and Steak n Shake on Maryland Street. The Colorado-based chain has six Indianapolis area locations, including one near IUPUI.

Einstein Bros. BagelsEinstein Bros. Bagels is opening a second downtown location on the north side of Market Street, just east of Pennsylvania Street. The Colorado-based chain's location along Illinois Street outside Circle Centre mall also will remain open.

  • I'm glad something is finally taking over the Hard Times Cafe location.
  • I actually preferred the Nothin But Noodles chain but I am glad to see a vacancy being filled.
    Any more news on Panera bread coming downtown and is Mcallister's still looking for a location?
  • If I had to pick a quick-casual chain for downtown, I'd choose The Spicy Pickle........they have great panini's
  • Noodle Company bought Nothing But Noodles. We liked Nothing But Noodles better also.
  • Yes I know the 96th street location was closed since there was already a noodle place on westfield but that's okay I like the sushi place that is there now Miyagi's which is supposed to open a broadripple location next spring.
  • Shane... what is the ownership of panini's?
  • If we have to continue to lure Chain stores, why not: PORTILLOS, POTBELLYS or a well-placed PINKBERRY would be solid for Indy. First off, Portillo's is fantastic as a Fast-Food option, Potbelly's is better than 99% of Sandwich chains on the planet, and Pinkberry is a nice dessert option that's good for you.

    But for now we get the same rehashed chains filling the spots of already used up and discarded previous chains... why?

    There's no buzz when an Einstein moves, but a new idea or new spot would generate something fresh.

  • You like Potbelly's, I like Noodle Company.... I don't think any of the options you just listed are any better suited for Indy just because they are, in your opinion, better....
  • I know the real estate broker for Spicy Pickle and I have been told that none of their locations are setting the world on fire. In fact, you may see one or more of their units close by summer.
  • chain chain chain...chain of fools...Indy's theme song...
  • No...the fools are the ones who keep complaining about chains. you think there will be much independent expansion in this economy?

    I certainly hope all of you who complain about chains only shop at farmer's markets, have an oil well in your back yard to refine your own gas, and never ever set foot in a mall or big box retailer. Because unless you completely reject chain consumerism, your harping about local restaurants is just elitist and whining.

    I would much rather have a successful chain contributing to my sales tax base than an empty store front cluttering up my downtown.
  • Well said, Nick!
  • I will second that Nick. Well said.
  • The Spicy Pickle in Fishers is always dead........I'm sure the Castleton location has a much busier stream of people due to being at the mall entrance......
  • Seriously.... does the quality of life in Indy suffer from a lack of independently owned restaurants? UM.... no.......

    And I THIRD that, Nick....
  • fourth
  • The best solution is a combination of both chain and independent restaurants. Yes, we need to be exposed to unique places and menus, but there are times when predictable food and atmosphere are nice too.
    It's the serving staff that can make either type of place a great location. Merry Christmas too the folks who read this blog.
  • Thank you Nick!

    The way some people react to chain restaurants 'round here, you'd think that the instant a restaurant opened a second location, all the quality gets sucked out of it.

    Who wants to meet me at Cheesecake Factory for dessert?
  • Wow. Such passion for homogenization.

    You guys are playing pretty good defense for chain restaurants

    I wonder why?

    Do you feel connected to these brands in such a profound way that when someone doesn't like them, you actually feel hurt?

    Do you get bent out of shape when someone criticizes a crummy Super Bowl ad about your favorite salsa?

    Do you love squirting EZ Cheese onto your Wheat Thins while watching American Idol?

    Are you the heroes of mass-production? Is Ford YOUR hero?


    And seriously, yes, helltotheno the quality of life anywhere suffers when there's a lack of independently owned restaurants. If I have to explain why, you wouldn't understand.
  • Food is like sex. Sometimes you stay with the tried and true. Then sometimes, YOU’RE out in the weird realm, doing the wild thing upside down on a blow up matt in a swimming pool. - Insert line - I’ve never done this before. OOOOOR I’ve never eaten THAT before....

    WE like what we like. SOME people, 'mmm' need to stop obsessing about other peoples choices in life. What I do with my Wheat Thins n Salsa, is between me and my EZ Cheese.
  • Well Aberlock, your points just aren't good:

    -We don't fell hurt... just feel that if an independent doesn't offer good service or good food, we're not going to continue going there just to support independents/local business. People will spend their money where they feel they're getting something in return (i.e., in a restaurant's case, good service and good food). And complaining about people just because they frequent chains is an insult.

    -No... and does the Super Bowl ad comment have any relevance to this conversation? No one was supporting chains... just saying that just because a business is independent or local doesn't mean we will frequent that place if there is bad service and/or bad food.

    -Again, does EZ Cheese and Wheat Thins have any relevance? Just because I go to a chain restaurant doesn't mean I'm poor or lower class (if this is what you are implying). There are actually a lot of chain restaurants that are fairly expensive... Ruth Chris, Eddie Merlots just to name a couple.

    -Unless you drive a Ferrari, Lamborgini , Bentley (probably spelled a couple of those wrong) or other specialty brand that has to be ordered and not purchased from a lot... you are driving a MASS PRODUCED car. And don't say BMW or Mercedes because these are mass produced as well. So, just an awful argument.

    Finally, no one said that there shouldn't be independent/local restaurants... just that if they don't provide good service and/or good food... why should people continue to spend money at that place? If I get better service and/or better food at a chain... I will spend my money there. I don't know about you, but I'm not giving my money to businesses who offer a bad product and/or bad service.
  • Merry Christmas Ablerock! Love your posts, except when they call me or my alter ego by name, LOL. For the record, I like good food and good service. If I can get that from an independently owned restaurant I will be glad to support that establishment. Obviously, however, we can't all afford to eat at L'Ex every night. OF COURSE I understand the importance of such businesses, you don't really need to explain anything to me... unless you insist.
  • It would seem the people who belly ache about all the chains need to step off the soap box and open a restaurant. You all seem to have some idea, well off your fat hoosier butts and show us what a local independent resturant is all about. Oh, thats right, that would mean hard work and money, its just easier to bitch about others not spending their money or time to feed that gaping, rancid, toothless hole in your faces. Be grateful there are restaurants willing to open up here. Oh and for Maria, even your statement sounds FAT and morbidly obese. You need to eat less and stay at home anyway. Anyway, toodles!!!!
  • Oh man, Indy people sure get defensive about their chains.
  • Hermangelo, it's more a function of folks getting tired of the elitism exhibited by some on this blog. Every city has chains. They serve a purpose, and being a chain alone doesn't make a restaurant second-rate. And for the conventioneers coming to Indy, they are familiar and predictable.
  • Ok so I was a bit harsh, just a bit. Sorry Maria. It just gets so tiresome listening to people complain about something that is clearly positive. With the economy in the condition it is in, and things getting worse, I am glad to see something willing to take a chance and move in.
  • My Man Mitch would be very upset to learn that all of our new downtown eateries' profits are going to COLORADO!!!

    Maybe Indiana should give a bailout to Steak 'n Shake so our profits stay here right in the Hoosier Heartland.

    Just a flame, I mean, thought.
  • Like the automakers, the big three, steak and shake needs to make a better product for the money. Personally I dont like being able to see through my burger meat if I decide to hold it up. And the fries, they are bad enough to gag a maggot. You dont get a bailout for bad product. The profits may go to COLORADO, but the tax dollars they generate stay here, as well as some jobs. Just a better thought.
  • Apparently some folks here skipped intro accounting. Profit is the smallest piece of most corporations' revenue stream, and it is therefore one of the smallest economic impacts of any firm.

    Most of the cost of producing a restaurant meal is in the food, labor, and overhead (rent, insurance, taxes, equipment). Most of that money is spent by the restaurant locally with its employees and suppliers at places like Zesco, Piazza Produce, insurance brokers, and yes...the State and Dome taxes. So it doesn't really matter that much from an economic impact point of view whether a restaurant is local or chain.

    When a local entrepreneur has a great idea (like Joe at Yat's) and is present and known in his place and in the community, it will thrive...and become a small chain as Yat's has.
  • I'm not going to spend my hard earned dollars at an independent restaurant just because its locally owned. Why waste my money on an inferior steak at St Elmos when I can get a vastly superior product at Ruths Chris?!
  • Do you have any leads on this Cory?
  • When does an independent become a chain? With it's 2nd store? Or locations in a different metro area? (Like Yat's)
  • Nine days on this post. New topic, please.

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