Update: New Buggs Temple tenant opening in May

April 22, 2014
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The new tenant in the historic Buggs Temple is set to open early next month.

Buggs Temple 225pxOne of the city’s largest caterers, Thomas Caterers of Distinction Inc., on May 2 will unveil Canal 337—a name taken from the temple’s address at 337 W. 11th St., along the Central Canal.

Thomas Caterers, owned by Kelly Early, has invested $350,000 in the property and is in negotiations to purchase it for about $2.5 million.

The space became available when the five-year lease for Creation Cafe and Euphoria Events expired Oct. 20, and the owners opted to sell the building.

Creation Cafe co-owners Lynn Shepherd and Amy Hornsby posted a note on the restaurant’s website at the time of the closing, indicating that they were searching for a new location to reopen the restaurant. It has yet to re-emerge on the local eatery scene.

Meanwhile, visitors to the renovated building will notice a new stained hardwood ceiling offset by earthy bronze and brown tones with crystal accents. Early also added more windows and doors to the south side of the building to provide a better view of the canal.

“The overall look, style and feel of it is 100-percent different,” she said. There’s definitely an urban chic feel to it. It was very casual before.”

The first floor seats 225 and the upper level 150.

Butler University’s board of trustees will christen the business by hosting the first event on May 7.

Built in 1918, Buggs Temple underwent a $3.5 million renovation that dragged from late 2003 to 2007. When the building reopened, the downstairs eatery was known as the Grille at Buggs Temple and the upstairs restaurant was called Tavern at the Temple. Creation Cafe and Euphoria replaced those tenants in 2009.

Early’s mother, Susan Thomas-Crannell, founded Thomas Caterers in 1984. With $4.8 million in revenue last year, the company has grown to become the city’s third-largest caterer, trailing only Kahn’s Catering and Ritz Charles, according to IBJ statistics. The company has about 25 full-time and 275 part-time employees.  

It operates an events facility, D’amore, on the top floor of Chase Tower, and has the food contract at the Scottish Rite Cathedral.


  • A Shame
    I still find this to be an incredible shame. This should be more than just a special events space for the elite (I hear it is a $20,000 rental for a wedding). There should be engagement to the canal and people walking on it. Now it will just sit dormant until someone rents it... A major shame.
    • In Response to "A Shame"
      Nick: Here is their website for the event cost/catering. http://www.canal337.com/ The rental for the space does not go up to $20,000. But the catering could go up to that much which would happen to any large wedding/reception you would have around town with food.
      • A Response to the Response
        The price is not really the point. The fact that it is no longer accessible to the passerby on the Canal is, since I doubt someone is going to want people crashing their wedding reception. I was just down on the Canal on Sunday, and it was so sad to not have that patio in use. While there were people on the canal, that whole end of it is dead now. It is a major missed opportunity to have that end full of office space and now an event space. It will bring no energy to the Canal, except for those times when it is rented, and again, it will be just for the few who can afford it. I get it. I know it is difficult to have a full time restaurant on an attraction that is really just used during the warm months, but this is still a major shame and a detriment to that end of the Canal.
        • RE: Nick
          Agree with your comments Nick. Its a shame that there is no public component left of the building, not even a small sandwich/coffee shop.
        • True
          Nick is right on... imagine what the Canal could be. It's certainly their right to put a catering business/event space there. It's just a shame that they chose to do so.
        • Re: Public Spaces
          There were "public spaces" in the building; they were called Euphoria and Creation Cafe. They failed as businesses, and part of the reason for their failure was likely public response - or rather, lack thereof - indicating that the public didn't really care about what was in the building. And why shouldn't couples in love and their friends & family have someplace nice to celebrate? Weddings are amazing things.
          • Response to Tony
            Tony -- You prove a good point if true, but it doesn't say anything about Creation Cafe failing as a business. The building owners decided to sell the building at the end of their lease, therefore Creation was without a building...not necessarily due to lack of revenue.
          • Still pricey
            I agree with Nick on the pricing. I priced it recently for my wedding planning and the Food & beverage minimum alone was as much as we wanted to spend on our entire wedding. It was not cheap by any stretch, $10-$12,000 F&B on Saturday night. That doesn't count the $3500 rental. But anywho, I do think it is shame that such a neat, historic structure is no longer available to the public.
          • The Fix Was In
            Creation Cafe was an OUTSTANDING restaurant and caterer. I was very fortunate to have been able to have had my wedding there before rug was pulled out from Lynn and Amy. Buggs Temple Owner bought property for a song. I am betting that he fix was in when Thomas Catering and Buggs Temple owner got together. There was no longer any reason to negotiate with Lynn and Amy. I plan quite a few events. I will avoid this location as will my friends and family as well as any other facility that uses Thomas Caterers. What happened to Creation Cafe was extremely disappointing!
          • disappointment on so many levels
            Let's see here: 1) A formerly welcoming restaurant turns into a private rental space, so no one can really enjoy the terrific views without paying a hefty price--CHECK. 2) The name is Canal 337, which means (hold your breath) the new proprietors have christened their establishment after the address--ooh, so innovative and gutsy--CHECK. 3) This catering company has disregarded any historic integrity of the building by punching in new holes for windows, so its top-dollar customers can command better (but completely exclusive) views of the canal and skyline--CHECK. 4) Best of all, the new tenants are in negotiation to purchase the building, ensuring that it will remain a lame, exclusionary space along the canal for the long-term future--CHECK. Too bad...so sad. Creation Cafe might not have offered top-caliber food, but it had a fun and welcoming environment and could still attract reasonable crowds even in the winter.
          • problem space
            Parking a block away is a killer in indy. we all know this. Being a historic building also doesn't mean guaranteed traffic (being at the butt end of the canal doesn't help either.) and the fact that the food was consistently "meh" (and that's being generous) can't keep a place open. It was a pretty destination that wasn't really good for anything besides drinks outside on the patio on a nice evening.
          • Taking all my business to MBP
            My wife and I had taken people from all over the world to Creations Café. Since this was done, I will take all of my catering business to Mary Beth Poe in protest.
          • Nick is right
            Agree with Nick, disagree with Tony. Tony, just because previous owners either failed or opted out of their renewal doesn't mean a different restaurant wouldn't or couldn't be a success there. With the new apartment high rise being built a block south, the customer base was only going to increase. There are plenty of wedding reception options in the city already but not enough restaurant options on the canal to make it a real success for locals and tourists.
            • Lost that spirit
              Creations enlivened the canal and helped to create the spirit that enhances the reputation of Indy as a "hip" place to visit and live. Individuals going in and out and decorating the patio on a pretty day gave the canal character. What a loss! Canal lost its "draw" and the City of Indianapolis lost the kind of environment that had been envisioned originally. Sad!
            • Yikes...
              So much negativity in the world. Haters gonna hate, I guess.
            • I sure miss Biggs Temple & Creation Cafe
              I sure enjoyed Dining there. So so sad it is gone. I always took friends.

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