Locally owned Mimi Blue has closed its restaurant in Carmel after nearly five years, although locations at the Fashion Mall at Keystone and on Massachusetts Avenue remain open.
The restaurant specializing in meatballs blamed the pandemic for “significantly decreased sales” at the location at 12505 Old Meridian St. that have not returned to pre-COVID levels, even though state and local dining restrictions are no longer are in place.
A statement said the biggest hit came from sales “derived from the normally filled commercial buildings, whose occupants frequented Mimi Blue during the last 4-½ years.”
“The majority of those buildings have not yet returned to full occupancy and the uncertainty of when that will occur resulted in our decision to close this location,” the statement said.
Zionsville-based developer Kosene & Kosene opened the first Mimi Blue with partner Chris Evans, who owns Indy’s Sangiovese Italian restaurant, in 2015 at 874 Massachusetts Ave., at the east end of the trendy downtown strip.
The restaurant is named for Mildred (Mimi) Bluestein Kosene, mother of the firm’s owners.
The Carmel restaurant opened in April 2016 in 2,800 square feet of space previously occupied by Crust Pizzeria Napoletana. Two years later, Mimi Blue opened at the Fashion Mall.
Mimi Blue said in its statement Sunday that its Carmel staff members have either been transferred to another location or were provided financial severance.
“It’s been an extremely difficult decision to close but we are choosing to focus on our other locations and will continue to provide each customer with a memorable experience,” the company said.