Roundup: Another chicken tender eatery arriving; ClusterTruck rolling out of Fishers

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Indianapolis’ north suburbs are gaining yet another chicken tenders restaurant, but are losing a food-delivery service and a combination bookstore and bar.

Here’s the latest news on the North of 96th restaurant and retail scene.

CityBird Tenders

CityBird Tenders, a fast-casual chicken tender restaurant operated by Cincinnati-based Thunderdome Restaurant Group, plans to open its first Indiana location in Fishers.

The restaurant will be located between Ikea Way and Cumberland Road along East 116th Street at 11595 Whistle Dr., Suite 130.

The restaurant’s menu features chicken tender packs that range from $8.99 to $12.99, along with sandwiches, salad, a kids menu, sides and drinks. CityBird also offers six different house-made sauces.

Thunderdome Restaurant Group did not respond to a message from IBJ asking when the Fishers location is expected to open, but the restaurant has signage up and is hiring.

CityBird currently has three locations in Cincinnati and a fourth across the Ohio River in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.

Thunderdome Restaurant Group owns two restaurants in Indianapolis—Bakersfield Tacos, 334 Massachusetts Ave., and The Eagle, 310 Massachusetts Ave. A third restaurant, Krueger’s Tavern, closed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and never reopened.

CityBird will enter a growing chicken tender market with at least two other chicken-tender newcomers set to enter the area. Fayetteville, Arkansas-based Slim Chickens has five central Indiana restaurants in the works, while Louisiana-based Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers plans to open restaurants in Avon and Noblesville.


Meal delivery company ClusterTruck announced its last day in Fishers will be Friday. ClusterTruck expanded in October 2020 to the Kroger store at 9799 E. 116th St.

The Fishers site was part of a Kroger partnership the two companies announced the previous December. The company currently operates kitchens at its flagship location in downtown Indianapolis and in Broad Ripple.

Zionsville Books & Brews

Nick Valentin, who purchased the Books & Brews franchise in Zionsville in February 2020, announced on Facebook that the store will close in September.

“I want to thank all of our regulars and everyone who’s come out over the course of our time here in Boone Village,” Valentine wrote. “It’s been an honor to be able to serve you and to provide A Place for People Without a Place.”

The closure will leave the Indianapolis-based Books & Brews chain with three locations, down from 10 in 2019. Stores in Carmel, Broad Ripple, Mass Ave, Muncie, Noblesville and Oxford, Ohio, also have gone out of business.

The chain’s flagship store on the northeast side of Indianapolis remains open, as do locations on the south side of Indianapolis and in Brownsburg.

Emagine Noblesville

Emagine Noblesville, a 70,000-square-foot theater at 13825 Norell Road, recently unveiled eight renovated auditoriums and a new EMAX auditorium that holds 235 seats and 12 cuddle chairs.

The two-phase plan includes renovations of all 16 auditoriums, the addition of two screening rooms on the mezzanine level and updates to the lounge, concession and bar areas.

The second phase of renovations is expected to be complete in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Emagine Noblesville, formerly the Hamilton 16 IMAX GDX, opened in July 2021 and has undergone renovations since January 2022.

Troy, Michigan-based Emagine Entertainment Inc. purchased the Hamilton Town Center property following the 2020 bankruptcy of Goodrich Quality Theaters.

West Fork Whiskey

Indianapolis-based West Fork Whiskey Co. announced management hires for its 35,000-square-foot agritourism distillery in Westfield, which it plans to open this summer.

West Fork named Carlos Salazar as executive chef of the farm-to-table concept restaurant at the facility, along with Megan Ray as program manager, Craig Rogers as hospitality manager and Todd Tapp as beverage director.

Noah’s Animal Hospital

Noah’s Animal Hospital, which operates seven pet clinics and three emergency hospitals in central Indiana, relocated its Carmel location to a larger space at 5691 Pebble Village Lane in Noblesville.

The new Hamilton County clinic is called Noah’s Animal Hospital North.


Noblesville-based BeeFree will soon have its gluten-free Warrior Mix product sold at Walmart stores after it received a “golden ticket” at the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retail giant’s ninth-annual Open Call.

BeeFree was founded by Noblesville resident Jennifer Wiese as a way to make gluten- and dairy-free snacks for her son, August. Wiese started selling cookies, cakes and pizza dough at farmers markets before creating Warrior Mix, a granola snack that adheres to the paleo diet.

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