Musk restaurant group reverses course, plans to reopen Next Door Eatery in SoBro

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Next Door American Eatery at 46th Street and College Avenue. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

Next Door American Eatery, whose ownership had previously said that the restaurant’s March 2020 closure would be permanent, now says it plans to reopen at the same north-side location this summer.

“We’ve used our time in the last year to transform the Next Door concept and are excited to share the evolution of our brand with the Indianapolis community,” The Kitchen Restaurant Group Digital Marketing Manager Leah McClay told IBJ via email.

McClay did not provide details about what those changes would involve, nor did she specify a reopening date.

In addition to saying the restaurant at 4573 N. College Ave. will reopen this summer, Next Door’s website includes three job openings posted last week for management positions at the location.

Boulder, Colorado-based The Kitchen Restaurant Group was co-founded in 2004 by Kimbal Musk, the younger brother of tech giant Elon Musk.

The restaurant group operates Next Door as well as Hedge Row American Bistro, whose sole location is at 350 Massachusetts Ave. Hedge Row reopened in May 2020, then closed again in July and has remained closed since then. McClay said the reopening date for that location hasn’t yet been announced.

Both of the Indianapolis restaurants originally opened in 2018. Hedge Row is an upscale eatery, while Next Door is more casual and modestly priced.

The Kitchen Restaurant Group also operates The Kitchen American Bistro, which has locations in Boulder, Denver and Chicago.

In March 2020, The Kitchen Restaurant Group closed all its restaurants—15 locations in all—due to the pandemic. Several days after that, in an email addressed to the “Next Door Indy Family,” Kimbal Musk wrote that the company would be permanently closing four Next Door locations, including the one in Indianapolis. He added that the four Next Door locations “were already struggling with being profitable.”

When the pandemic hit last year, Next Door had 11 locations: seven in Colorado and one each in Indianapolis; Memphis, Tennessee: Orange Village, Ohio; and Vernon Hills, Illinois.

Next Door’s website currently lists 10 locations. In addition to Indianapolis, the roster includes six locations currently open in Colorado; one in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, that’s listed as “reopening soon”; and the Ohio and Illinois locations, which are still listed as “temporarily closed.”

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16 thoughts on “Musk restaurant group reverses course, plans to reopen Next Door Eatery in SoBro

  1. Didn’t Nextdoor deny payments from an emergency fund set up for employees? Don’t think I’ll be going there again.

    Food was only okay anyway.

  2. I cant even give the food an OK. In a city where we have such great choices and wonderful opportunities to try new things or old things with a twist-this was an ENORMOUS let down and I am not sure we would even give it a second shot.

  3. Glad to hear Next Door 2.0 will be reopening. In a neighborhood full of bars and pricey restaurants, it was a family-friendly place with good food at a good price. Being steps off the Red Line stop is great as well!

  4. The food was ok, but the noise level was way too high for comfortably eating with friends. Plus unimaginative and outdated landscaping.The real issue for me is that it seemed to have put Open Society out of business and that one had great food, better atmosphere, and was my favorite.

    1. Made up or not, the name “SoBro” has been used for well over 20 years for that part of Meridian Kessler. I don’t personally use it, but I also don’t trip about it. I am pretty sure it is here to stay.

  5. It’s funny how many different opinions people can have on a single place. I liked Next Door’s food and outdoor atmosphere, but I thought the prices were a bit too high for what it was.

  6. Are they re-opening with the government money they are being gifted, even though they didn’t even try to stay open? No skin in the game, but sounds like they should have walked away.

  7. Really great observations all around…. I agree the food was nothing special. Can’t say landscaping has ever affected my opinion or even made an impression on me at a restaurant. This is probably the same crowd that cried we lost a gem when Applebee’s closed in BR.

  8. This is great news! As frequent customers, the closing was really a surprise and loss. They always seemed busy and we were often told how profitable they were by management in comparison to the other restaurants in the chain. We really enjoyed the restaurant with good service, the prompt deliveries to Broad Rupple, and the several gluten and soy free options. The bar service was very good for dining and helped to avoid the excess noise and outside seating was always nice! Welcome Back!!

    1. There’s a class action lawsuit spinning up against them due to how they treated all their employees at the beginning of the pandemic… and kimball abandoned his charity causing a 50% layoff of all local staff during the pandemic…

      Don’t send good money after bad people :/

  9. 30 years ago we called anything south of 52nd (the end of south broad ripple) south south broad ripple or just so so bro. we loved living south of 40th. we miss the place.

  10. We ate there fairly often, and enjoyed it. It was good to have a variety of slightly different takes on what some might call typical. Nice to have somewhere to take family, get a drink, and not have only deep fried everything! We will be there when they open!