Carmel seeing flurry of new restaurants

Manele Cafe recently opened in the Carmel City Center. (Photo courtesy Manele Cafe)

A flurry of new restaurants have either opened or are planning to open in Carmel, including a new Hawaiian-inspired cafe, a triple-concept eatery, a library coffeehouse and a milkshake shop.

Here’s a rundown:

Manele Cafe

Manele Cafe, a Hawaiian-inspired counter-service eatery and cafe, has opened at 703 Veterans Way on the interior plaza of Carmel City Center, near Hotel Carmichael. The space was previously occupied by Hubbard & Cravens.

The business offers a 75-seat dining room, patio space and a menu featuring salads, rice bowls, sandwiches and wraps, a variety of coffee drinks and smoothies.

Breakfast is served all day with options including Acai bowls, granola, French toast, avocado toast, breakfast bowls and skillets.

Manele Cafe also serves Hawaiian draft and bottled beer, Kona Brewing Co. spiked island seltzers, mimosas and wine all day.

Owner Craig Barnum also owns Matt the Miller’s Tavern, which opened in Carmel City Center in 2012.

“We are thrilled to expand our brand and bring a taste of the Hawaiian Islands through Manele Cafe to Carmel City Center,” Barnum said in written remarks.

Oberweis Ice Cream & Dairy Store/That Burger Joint/Woodgrain Pizzeria

North Aurora, Illinois-based Oberweis Ice Cream & Dairy Store has filed plans with the City of Carmel to open three restaurants in one new building at the corner of Michigan Road and Weston Pointe Boulevard.

Oberweis, a dairy founded in 1927, began opening its Ice Cream and Dairy Stores in 1951. There are now more than three dozen corporate-owned and franchised stores in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Missouri and Indiana. The stores offer premium ice cream treats such as cones, sundaes, shakes, malts and smoothies, plus take-home dairy products.

That Burger Joint, founded by Oberweis in 2012, has nine locations, all paired with an Ice Cream and Dairy Store.

Woodgrain Pizzeria, acquired by Oberweis in 2019, has five locations, including three that are combined with the ice cream and burger eateries.

Oberweis hopes to begin construction on the restaurant building this year with an opening planned by late summer.

Java House

Carmel-based Java House has been picked as the cafe provider at Carmel Clay Public Library’s main campus. The library at 55 4th Ave. SE is being renovated and is scheduled to reopen in late 2022.

Java House, which has coffee bars at Clay Terrace, in Midtown Carmel and Broad Ripple, will operate in 1,100 square feet in the library building.

Gordon’s Milkshake Bar

Gordon’s Milkshake Bar has been a popular spot in the Mass Ave district, where it opened in early 2019. Now, it is planning another location at 816 W. Main. St. in Carmel, with seating for about 75 people.

The gourmet milkshake shop is expected to open this fall, but an exact date hasn’t been announced.

Elsewhere in Hamilton County

  • Portillo’s plans to open its latest local restaurant at Wheeler Road and State 32 in Westfield on Nov. 9. The 7,800-square-foot restaurant will be less than a mile from Grand Park. Portillo’s, known for its Italian beef sandwiches and Chicago-style hot dogs, has seven locations in Indiana, including restaurants on the south side of Indianapolis, in Fishers and in Avon.
  • Condado Tacos opened its fourth Indianapolis location on Oct. 7, at 14165 Cabela Parkway in Noblesville, near Hamilton Town Center. The restaurant is Condado’s 28th location nationwide. It also has local locations on Mass Ave, in Broad Ripple and in Carmel. The Columbus, Ohio-based chain was founded in 2014.

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7 thoughts on “Carmel seeing flurry of new restaurants

  1. I want to shocked and amazed by restaurants opening…. in other neighborhoods. Be interesting to see data showing the income and spending budget for working adults in Carmel compared to other neighborhoods. I bet it’s drastically different.

    1. You can look up almost any commercial real estate address on LoopNet in any community and they will give you the #/HH and average $/HH within a 1-10 mile radius.

    2. If businesses have done their due diligence on the local neighborhoods’ income and discretionary spending, they will “go duck hunting where the ducks are.”

  2. Ken C. — noticed that too. Oberweis previously had a spot over on Greyhound Pass, in the little strip center next to Chick Fil-A, but they weren’t able to make it there. Will be interested to see this 3-in-1 concept they’re doing.

  3. Ken C.

    Good point on the competition between Oberweis and Homemade Ice Cream and Bakery Cafe. My wife and I have had lunch at Homemade and the location, setting, patio, food, and staff are all excellent, not to mention their cakes and pies!

    Given the competition, this may become the “go-to” intersection on the Michigan Road corridor in West Carmel-Zionsville for affordable family dining.

    Great things are happening in this area.

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