Louie’s Wine Dive, Taste Cafe close College Avenue sites while eyeing revivals

Taste Café closed its doors at 5164 N. College Ave. late last month. (Image courtesy of Google)

Louie’s Wine Dive & Ripple Kitchen and Taste Café and Marketplace have both closed their College Avenue locations on the north side, although both restaurants still have a local presence and are eyeing revivals.

Saturday was the last day of operations for Louie’s Wine Dive’s 701 Broad Ripple Ave. location. Its other local site, at 345 Massachusetts Ave., remains open.

The company’s marketing director, Jeremy Hogan, told IBJ via e-mail that Red Line construction on College Avenue impacted traffic and sales at the Broad Ripple location, although “that is not the sole reason for the closure.” Hogan declined to elaborate.

The Kansas-based chain said it might return to Broad Ripple in the future.

“As anyone who’s been in this industry knows, the restaurant business is full of difficult decisions, and unfortunately, it was time to throw in the towel at this location,” Louie’s Wine Dive President Whitney VinZant said in a prepared statement. “We are working to find placements for our staff at other Louie’s locations, and we are optimistic that we will come back to Broad Ripple better than ever when the time is right.”

The Broad Ripple location, at the southeast corner of College and Broad Ripple avenues, opened in 2016. Its Mass Avenue location opened in 2015.

In addition to its Mass Avenue restaurant, Louie’s has six other locations: two each in Iowa and Missouri and one each in Kansas and Tennessee.

Taste Café closed its doors at 5164 N. College Ave. late last month, but the owner says she plans to reopen in a new space early next year.

Owner Diedra Henry told IBJ on Tuesday that the new location is within a mile of Taste’s previous location, although it’s not on College Avenue. She declined to give an address because she hasn’t signed a lease yet.

Taste opened in 2004. Henry said when her lease expired this summer she decided it was time for a change.

“It just made sense for me to reassess where I am,” Henry said. “I just thought that the best thing to do for Taste was just to start over in a new space.”

The College Avenue space had limited parking, which was further diminished by construction of the Red Line, Henry said. This hurt the restaurant’s traffic over the years, and catering and corporate events became a bigger part of Taste’s business.

While Taste is working to reopen elsewhere, Henry is continuing her catering and events business from a temporary location.

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8 thoughts on “Louie’s Wine Dive, Taste Cafe close College Avenue sites while eyeing revivals

    1. Love Taste also and it is upsetting to see so many long-term businesses disrupted or closed for a transit system the city doesn’t seem capable of operating as promised.

    2. Construction is always disruptive. Years of highway construction throughout the state, have not only resulted in eminent domain property seizures, but also years of difficulty in customers getting to businesses. That is life, everyone has to deal with construction.

      That said, the owners of Taste admitted in the Star there were other issues going on, so this is clearly not really about the Red Line. And, they certainly wouldn’t be trying to reopen nearby if the bus line was an issue. Sometimes, Indy can be such a little cow town. Even in most far smaller towns a bus line would neither be big news, nor a source of controversy. Maybe, one day the city will grow up. Goodness knows there are certainly bigger issues to be concerned about, like the high homicide rates, the poor public schools, or the poor health of city residents, including high obesity rates, etc.

    3. @Sharon W- Upsetting to see a transit system that is literally less than a month old ironing out kinks? Have you even used the Red Line?
      Massive infrastructure projects take time to fix issues. Indy is sprawling with hardly any means of public transport. Red Line (and other upcoming routes) are a welcome addition.

  1. Tom nobody said that it was due to the red line that’s currently operating. Reading comprehension is a great skill if you know how to use. They said that due to the construction of the red line which means when the streets were torn up curbs and turn ins or cut-ins were no longer available.

    1. But let’s be honest, Taste has had terrible service for 2+ years now.

      Loui’s rent has increased rapidly and nothing has lasted more than 2 years in that location since 2008ish

      If the majority or shops/restaurants went out of business during this time on College sure, but to blame it on lack of parking when you are across the street from a parking garage is a bit inane…

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