Revamp of former Cerulean restaurant space now has name, opening timeframe

The restaurant set to open in the downtown space formerly occupied by the high-end, Asian-inspired Cerulean now has a name: Nesso.

Nesso will be part of Indianapolis-based Cunningham Restaurant Group, which operates more than 20 establishments in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.

The restaurant group’s owner, Mike Cunningham, told IBJ in December that he planned to take over the Cerulean space in the upscale Alexander hotel at 339 S. Delaware St. and turn it into an eatery with a “coastal Italian concept." The menu would be heavy on seafood but offer steak as well, he said. At that point, Cunningham had not selected a name for the new spot.

Now, Nesso’s name is posted on Cunningham Restaurant Group’s website. The site says Nesso will open in early summer, and the company has already started the hiring process for that location.

As of Tuesday morning, Cunningham had not returned an IBJ phone message left late Monday afternoon. But there are signs that work with Nesso is progressing.

On May 3, Cunningham filed a state construction permit for remodeling work at the space, which has been vacant since Cerulean closed its doors in December.

Cunningham Restaurant Group has developed in recent years into a dining juggernaut in central Indiana, opening some of the best-reviewed restaurants in the city's core with some of the most adventurous cuisine. Its stable of eateries includes downtown hot spots Bru Burger, Livery, Mesh, Union 50 and Vida.

In 2016, online-reservation service OpenTable named Union 50 to its annual list of the “100 Hottest Restaurants in America,” the only dining spot in Indiana to make the list. And Vida is the only Indianapolis restaurant to earn AAA’s coveted Four Diamond award.

The restaurant group is also in the process of reopening a longtime tavern on Massachusetts Avenue. In December, Mike Cunningham announced he planned to open Tavern at the Point in the space formerly occupied by Old Point Tavern at the avenue's intersection with Vermont Street.

Tavern at the Point will open in spring and is currently hiring for that location, Cunningham’s website says.

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