Rodizio Grill, a Utah-based Brazilian steakhouse chain that recently closed its Carmel location, is hoping to reopen the restaurant in the future under a new franchisee, the company told IBJ this week.
Sandy, Utah-based Rodizio opened its first and only Indiana location at 2375 E. 116th St. in Carmel on March 22 in a building that used to house a Romano's Macaroni Grill. The franchisee, Clearwater Hospitality Group, made $300,000 worth of tenant improvements to the 7,140-square-foot space before moving in.
But Clearwater Hospitality Group got in hot water with the owners of the chain in recent months and subsequently closed its three franchises—in Carmel, Cleveland and Cincinnati.
“That franchisee was in violation of our franchise agreement and we were forced to terminate the franchise agreement,” Rodizio founder and President Ivan Utrera said in a written statement. "We are so incredibly sorry this has happened, and we apologize to all our guests for this situation. This situation was not an accurate representation of Rodizio Grill.”
Utrera did not say what Clearwater did to violate the franchise agreement. The company is facing a lawsuit from an investor for alleged fraud, breach-of-contract and securities violations. Clearwater officials could not be reached to comment on the closures.
Utrera said Rodizio was searching for a new Indianapolis-area franchisee and hoped to “potentially re-open in the greater area.”
Rodizio specializes in serving unlimited rotisserie-cooked meats brought to tables by "gauchos," similarly to Fogo de Chao or Tucanos Brazilian Grill.
According to Rodizio’s website, the chain has 22 restaurants in 13 states scattered throughout the nation.