The community development group Near East Area Renewal has launched its own version of the familiar “coupon book” that offers discounts at area establishments. The twist is you don’t have to pay anything to unlock the discounts.
This spring, NEAR produced a laminated discount card that entitles holders to one-time discounts at 18 local businesses along East 10th Street, East Washington Street and other east-side locales.
Cards are available at participating businesses, listed below.
Restaurants and other food-focused establishments are heavily represented, but the list of participants includes several retail shops and a yoga studio.
“We’re just trying to figure out ways to bring our businesses more customers,” said Susan Vogt, the director of economic development at NEAR. “We’re hoping that if someone tries the business for the first time, they like it and go back."
Vogt said NEAR received a grant to fund the program and used the money to print up 2,500 discount cards. She said early results are positive, with several participating businesses reporting that they had already had 20 or so redemptions in just the first few weeks.
Offers vary at participating establishments. Cardholders can redeem their discounts through the end of July.
The full list of participating locations:
Audrey’s Place Thrift Store, 3228 E. 10th St.
Chuck’s Coney Island, 2932 E. 10th St.
Gordon’s Ice Cream Parlor, 2902 E. 10th St.
Hoagies & Hops, 414 Dorman St.
Indy Artsy, 1125 E. Brookside Ave.
Little Doc’s Architectural Salvage, 411 N. Dorman St.
Metta Yoga, 3125 E. 10th St.
Neidhammer, 2102 E. Washington St.
Pia Urban Café and Market, 2834 E. Washington St.
Pogue’s Run Grocer, 2828 E. 10th St.
Rabble Coffee, 2119 E. 10th St.
Sisters Comfort Food, 2236 E. 10th St.
Smoking Goose, 407 Dorman St.
Society of Salvage, 1021 E. Michigan St.
Tick-Tock Lounge, 2602 E. 10th St.
Tim & Julie’s Another Fine Mess, 2901 E. 10th St.
Tlaolli, 2830 E. Washington St.
Under the Sun Discount Market, 2400 Roosevelt Ave.
In other retail news:
— The historic Province Hospital building at 100 N. Main St. in downtown Franklin will soon reopen as a restaurant—Main & Madison Market Café. The eatery will offer coffee, pastries and other baked goods and a selection of soups, salads and sandwiches. Owners are cousins Amy Richardson and Stephanie Northern.
It will be an entirely different use for the space, which was built in 1906 and served as Johnson County's only hospital until after World War II. Several generations of physicians in the Province family practiced medicine in that building. Crews have done extensive work to turn the former medical office into a space suitable for use as a restaurant, Richardson said. That work has involved gutting the interior and tearing out interior walls, adding a new staircase and exposing a fireplace that had been walled over in a previous project. “We’ve done a ton of renovation,” Richardson said.
If all runs as planned, Richardson said the café should be open by late July.
Main & Madison sits diagonally across the intersection from another historic Franklin landmark, the Artcraft Theatre. The theater, built in 1922 as a movie theater and vaudeville house, was purchased by the not-for-profit Franklin Heritage Inc. in 2004 and now shows classic movies. “We’re happy to be in such close proximity to them,” Richardson said.
Initially, Main & Madison will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. seven days a week. Eventually, Richardson said, the café plans to remain open for extended hours on evenings that coincide with Artcraft screenings.
— Board & Brush is opening a store at 200 W. Main St. in downtown Greenwood. The grand opening is June 15 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., according to the store’s Facebook page. Wisconsin-based Board & Brush offers group workshops where participants can make hand-painted wooden signs—while drinking wine, if they choose. The company has more than 160 locations around the U.S., including Indiana locations in Brownsburg, Westfield, Crown Point, Huntertown, Roanoke and Valparaiso. A new store is also in the works in Evansville.
— Valvoline Instant Oil Change, which has locations in Fishers and Whitestown, is expanding its local footprint with a couple of south-side shops. The Lexington, Kentucky-based company plans to build a store along Indianapolis’ southern border at 4626 E. County Line Road; and another in Greenwood at 266 S. State Road 135. Both stores are expected to open by late fall. The two local stores are among 25 that Valvoline Instant Oil Change plans to build around the U.S. this year, said company spokeswoman Heather Watson. The company has just over 1,100 stores nationwide.