Mass Ave restaurant plans clear first hurdle

Owners of Broad Ripple’s Brugge Brasserie have cleared their first hurdle to bring a new restaurant and craft brewery concept to the Mass Avenue district in downtown Indianapolis.
The city’s Historic Preservation Commission on Wednesday approved rezoning and variance requests for two buildings just south of the intersection of Massachusetts and Park avenues, one of which the owners have already leased.

The commission heard the rezoning and variance requests first because the project falls within the Chatham Arch Massachusetts Avenue historic district. The city’s Metropolitan Development Commission will consider the project next before it can receive final approval from the City-County Council.

Rocket Epicurian Ventures LLC, the entity that will own the downtown venture, is in the process of rezoning both properties from an industrial classification to a central business district commercial classification. It also is seeking three variances, including one that would reduce the number of off-street parking spaces the brewery and restaurant must provide.

The investors propose providing 11 spaces in a lot at the west end of the brewery building, instead of the 44 spaces that typically would be required. The group also is negotiating to secure more off-street parking in the immediate vicinity.

The partners leased the 9,325-square-foot building at the northwest corner of North Street and Park Avenue for the brewery that supplies beer to Brugge, which it plans to move from Terre Haute.

One of the partners in Brugge also intends to buy the building immediately to the north. That 3,600-square-foot building, at 608 N. Park Ave., would house a 100-seat restaurant.

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