North of 96th - Lindsey

Welcome to North of 96th, your source for business news from Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield and Zionsville. Your host, Lindsey Erdody, can be reached at lerdody@ibj.com.

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Roundup: Westfield cafe closes; plus new pho, fro-yo, BBQ and baked goods

October 4, 2013

Marlow’s Café closed in September after more than three decades on State Road 32 in Westfield, and the breakfast-and-lunch spot is set to be replaced by an eatery specializing in Vietnamese soup.

Super Bowl Pho could open this month, said building owner Bob Marlow, who is renting the space to another restaurant operator.

Marlow and his wife, Annette, ran the café in downtown Westfield for 36 years, working more than their fair share of weekends and holidays. For the past two years, they were its only employees.

The Noblesville couple hung up their aprons when it stopped being fun.

“My wife and I didn’t enjoy it any longer,” said Marlow, 63. “The restaurant business will drive you nuts.”

Among their challenges: selling enough biscuits and gravy to pay for maintenance of the aging building and property taxes, which Marlow said amount to about $6,000 a year. The state’s 3-percent cap on business property taxes is onerous for small businesses, he said.

“I’m drowning in taxes,” he said.

The Marlows are keeping the Main Street building, which also houses a Carpet Express store. About 1,200 square feet of second-floor office space is available for lease.

In other retail news from the northern ’burbs:

— Tenants are emerging for The Bridges, mixed-use project taking shape at 116th Street and Spring Mill Road in Carmel. The latest additions to the 9,600-square-foot retail center that developer Gershman Brown Crowley Inc. is building next to a 13,200-square-foot CVS pharmacy: outlets for Orange Leaf frozen yogurt and Morellis Cleaners.

— The long-awaited Fishers Marketplace development at State Road 37 and 131st Street also is making progress. In addition to the Walmart Neighborhood Market and Lake City Bank branch under construction, national tenants include Zaxby’s, Bagger Dave’s Legendary Burger Tavern, City Barbeque, Noodles & Co. and Which Wich, according to developer Thompson Thrift’s website. New to the lineup: Mooresville-based Squealers BBQ Grill, which plans to build a 5,300-square-foot restaurant.

— A Carmel building that once housed Ritter’s Frozen Custard and a now-shuttered crepery is set to become Faith’s Cake Ball Factory. Owners Faith and Jeff Bublick want to repaint the blue steel roof and signage at 930 N. Rangeline Road with a more frosting-like fuchsia. Their goal is to distinguish the new business from the previous failed enterprises and “create an exciting new appearance reflective of a shop that sells … chocolate-coated confectionery items,” they wrote in an application for the change.

— Back in Westfield, Union Baking Co. has opened in a historic bank building at the corner of Union and Main Streets—just down the block from Marlow’s Café. Owner Kelly Evans also operates Le Dolce Vita Patisserie in Zionsville. The European-style bakeries offer a range of mouth-watering sweet treats, plus the requisite array of coffee drinks.

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