Musk restaurant group closes Indy locations, won’t reopen one after virus scare

Next Door American Eatery. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

Like so many local restaurants, Hedge Row American Bistro and Next Door American Eatery—both part of a family of restaurants co-owned by the younger brother of tech giant Elon Musk—have closed their doors since the coronavirus outbreak reached Indiana.

But now an email from Kimbal Musk indicates that Next Door—located in a former Double 8 Food store—won’t reopen. The email says the restaurant already was struggling.

Kimbal Musk opened the upscale Hedge Row at 350 Massachusetts Ave. in March 2018. The more casual Next Door opened in May of that year at 4573 N. College Ave., on the site of the vacant grocery store.

Both restaurants are part of the Boulder, Colorado-based Kitchen Restaurant Group that was cofounded in 2004 by Kimbal Musk. The chain also operates The Kitchen American Bistro. Between all three brands, the company has 15 locations total.

On March 17, Hedge Row, Next Door and The Kitchen all posted on Facebook that they had temporarily closed all of their locations effective immediately.

But on Monday, in an email addressed to the “Next Door Indy Family,” Musk wrote, “In reviewing the tough and difficult options in front of us, we have decided that we cannot keep all of our restaurants up and running when we reopen.”

The Indianapolis Next Door location will be among those closing permanently, Musk said, adding that four Next Door locations that will close “were already struggling with being profitable.” The information shared with IBJ does not indicate which other sites have closed permanently.

Next Door’s website lists 11 locations: seven in Colorado and one each in Indianapolis; Memphis, Tennessee; Orange Village, Ohio; and Vernon Hills, Illinois. Of those locations, six Colorado locations are listed as currently open for take-out service.

Hedge Row’s only location is in Indianapolis.

The Kitchen American Bistro has locations in Boulder, Chicago and Denver.

No one answered the phone Monday afternoon at either Next Door’s Indianapolis location or at the Kitchen Restaurant Group’s Boulder headquarters.

The voicemail greeting on Hedge Row’s phone said, “We greatly value and appreciate our guests and cannot wait to see you in the future.”

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8 thoughts on “Musk restaurant group closes Indy locations, won’t reopen one after virus scare

  1. In these times no point to make a bad situation worse but if mr musk chooses to remain in the restaurant business biz he would learn from why next door struggled. It was too cute by half and terrible food. I have always liked hedge row.

  2. disappointing but not really surprising to anyone that visited there, I suspect…should backfill quickly, though. Nice building reno, good location with parking and red line stop.

  3. The Musks are total geniuses.. they know business models like Trump. As they decided there was not a path forward for Next Door.. I know they made the correct calculations and assumptions. Hedge Row is a different beast— very good in every way. We are so lucky to have such a vibrant restaurant scene here in Indy & surrounds… I wish we could keep them all busy.

  4. If someone else takes over the location, please cut down on the noise. I only ate there twice because I couldn’t even hear the person sitting across from me. But even, sadder, the opening of Next Door prompted the demise of Open Society just down the street, which was my favorite neighborhood restaurant with great food and ambiance. Not sure if this was causal or coincidental, but was unfortunate. I wish Open Society could have lived longer.

  5. Wow. We have been frequent customers since they opened – the business is always seemingly full, the food has been delicious with one exception out of numerous visits, and the delivery has always been SUPER fast with food just as excellent. It seems hard to imagine that they will be closing.

    1. They are in 15+ cities with 4+ different restaurant scales…

      Pretty expensive vanity

  6. I found Next Door decent, but never outstanding. Given multiple locations are closing in other states, it seems the business model & food are more of a concern than the Indy location itself. I’m hopeful a better restaurant opens in that spot soon and continues to grow the neighborhood revitalization.