Local restaurateur Gino Pizzi is reviving his Blu Point Oyster Bar concept, with plans for a restaurant of that name near his long-standing Ambrosia Italian Restaurant on North College Avenue.
Blu Point is taking 1,950 square feet in the soon-to-be-completed apartment/retail project that Milhaus Development LLC is building on the former AT&T property at 5858 N. College Ave. Ambrosia is a block north, at 5903 N. College Ave.
If construction sticks to schedule, Pizzi said, he should be able to gain access to the space in January, with the restaurant opening in the spring of 2019.
The Blu Point concept dates back to the 1980s, when Ambrosia was in its original location at 915 E. Westfield Blvd. in Broad Ripple. Pizzi opened Blu Point next door—first as an oyster bar, then as a bar only. Ambrosia moved to its current location several years ago.
After a few years, Pizzi shut down Blu Point. Now, he said, oysters have become trendy again, and it’s time to bring the concept back to life. “There’s a new passion for oysters, apparently. I never lost mine.”
Despite the name, Pizzi said Blu Point will be more of a restaurant than a bar, with a “small but full menu” to include seafood, beef, sandwiches and possibly pasta served in a casual environment.
The Milhaus project, known as The MK, includes 100 apartments and three ground-level retail spaces that total 9,200 square feet.
The gym Orangetheory Fitness plans to open in one of the other spaces.
According to marketing information posted on the website of Echo Retail, the broker for the retail space, the remaining 3,250-square-foot space is still available.
In other news:
— Cincinnati-based Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse has put its plans for an Indianapolis location on hold for the time being. Last fall, IBJ reported that Jeff Ruby’s was set to take a 10,000-square-foot, street-level space on the south end of Regions Tower, at the corner of Pennsylvania and Ohio streets. That deal fell through.
The restaurant chain said it’s still interested in entering the Indianapolis market, but not immediately.
“Currently we’re committed to opening our newest location in Lexington, Kentucky, in April 2019,” Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment President Britney Ruby Miller said in a prepared statement. “After that and when the timing is right, we’d absolutely consider exploring options and opportunities in Indianapolis.”
The company has six locations. Those include a Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse in Cincinnati, Louisville, Nashville, Tennessee, and Columbus, Ohio. The company has two other steakhouse restaurants in Cincinnati: The Precinct and Carlo & Johnny.
— Virginia Avenue Pizza Co. opened Oct. 1 at 619 Virginia Ave. in Fletcher Place. Owner Nick Baxter also owns the Dugout bar next door, at 621 Virginia Ave. The pizzeria’s manager is Lewis Gill. Menu items include pizza, a small variety of sandwiches and a salad bar. Virginia Avenue Pizza Co. takes the space formerly occupied by South of Chicago Pizza & Beef, which exited that location over the summer.
— A new retail shop, A ‘bit of Whimsy, opened last month at 5208 N. College Ave. The 1,000-square-foot establishment is an artisan marketplace—a place where local vendors can rent space to sell their wares. Owners are Linda Birch, Rosemary Fowler and Wilene Gillim. Gillim formerly owned a similar shop in Noblesville, and Birch and Fowler were two of her vendors. When that shop closed, the three decided to get together on another shop in a new location.
The shop’s lineup includes mostly handmade items, Fowler said: gourd art; leather goods; home and garden décor; fabric- and yarn-craft items like hats, aprons and purses; stuffed animals and other items.
— Bow Wow Meow Boutique, at 1315 Shelby St. in Fountain Square, will have its grand opening Oct. 13. Owner Gretchen Ricketts describes the shop as an “eco-friendly pet boutique” that offers self-serve pet grooming stations, full-service grooming by appointment and a variety of made-in-the-USA pet products. The shop is on the southern end of Fountain Square, in a retail center whose other tenants include the Nine Lives Cat Café and BodySpace Yoga and Wellness.
— Moody Eyes optical store has relocated to Salesforce Tower on Monument Circle. The 1,600-square-foot space is on the first floor of the tower, near Yolk restaurant. Moody was previously located at 50 S. Meridian St., in the same building that houses Ball State University’s Indianapolis center.
— Ross Dress for Less will open a 22,000-square-foot store in Speedway on Saturday. The off-price apparel and home fashion retailer will be in the Speedway Supercenter at the southeast corner of Crawfordsville and Cunningham roads.