Living Room Theater to bring upscale arthouse concept to Bottleworks

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Portland, Oregon-based Living Room Theaters plans to bring its upscale art-house movie theater concept to the Bottleworks, an 11-acre, mixed-use development on the northeast side of downtown.

Living Room Theaters CEO Steve Herring said the company has been working through lease details with Bottleworks developer Hendricks Commercial Properties, and he expects to sign a lease for the site next week.

“We are really close. We just have a couple of last issues that we’re working on,” Herring said.

Bottleworks is a $260 million, 11-acre site that sits between Massachusetts Avenue, North College Avenue, East 10th Street and Bellefontaine Street. Plans call for a mix of retail, residential and office space, along with a West Elm hotel. Construction began this year.

If construction proceeds according to schedule, Herring said, Living Room Theaters should be able to get access to the space in the first quarter of 2020, with a projected opening date in the third quarter of that year.

The Indianapolis theater—Living Room’s third—will occupy a 28,000-square-foot building to be built along East Ninth Street, which ends at College but will be extended east into the development.

The theater will include eight screens and an in-house bar/restaurant. Patrons can also choose to eat in the theater, with seat-side food and drink delivery until showtime. The two-story structure will have an atrium space on the ground floor, with the theaters upstairs. Theaters will likely have seating for between 40 and 60 patrons, Herring said, though one theater may seat up to 90.

This will be Living Room Theater’s largest space yet. The Portland theater, which opened in 2006, has six screens in a 10,000-square-foot space. The company also has a four-screen, 8,000-square-foot theater that opened in 2010 on the campus of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.

“We’re pretty excited in terms of the possibilities for what we can do there,” Herring said of the Bottleworks site. “We will likely play a mix of indie and mainstream titles.”

Living Room Theater’s owner and founder is Ernesto Rimoch, a Mexican filmmaker.

Incidentally, Living Room Theaters has had its eye on the Indianapolis market since 2012, when a developer pitched them on the idea of coming here. The theater company had originally targeted Fountain Square but couldn’t find the right spot, Herring said. After three failed attempts to secure property in that neighborhood, the company decided to look elsewhere downtown.

“We got to a point about two years ago that lots of the sites for us to do a development in Fountain Square were getting hard to come by,” Herring said.  

Mass Avenue had also been on Living Room Theaters’ radar screen, Herring said, and when the Bottleworks project emerged it seemed like an ideal spot.

In other retail news this week:

Nesso Coastal Italia opened Sept. 10 inside the Alexander hotel at 339 S. Delaware St., in the space formerly occupied by Cerulean. The executive chef is Craig Baker. Hattie McDaniel serves as executive pastry chef, and Roddy Kirshenman is the general manager and sommelier. The restaurant, whose name IBJ first reported in May, offers Italian cuisine with an emphasis on seafood. Nesso is part of the Indianapolis-based Cunningham Restaurant Group, which operates more than 25 establishments in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. 

Luciana’s Mexican Restaurant & Cantina will soon open its fourth local spot, at 1133 N. State Road 135 in Greenwood. The site, just south of County Line Road, formerly housed Hal’s Fabulous Vegas Bar & Grille. Luciana’s owners are Sarah and Alberto Bravo, who opened their first restaurant in 2015 at 1850 Broad Ripple Ave. Their second Luciana’s, at 3716 E. 82nd St. in Clearwater Crossing, opened in July 2016. A third restaurant opened in September 2017, at 310 Washington St., in Columbus.

TeeJay’s Sweet Tooth opened Aug. 4 at 8660 Purdue Road, Suite 8666-600, just northeast of the intersection of Michigan Road and West 86th St. The ice cream shop specializes in ice cream sandwiches made with donuts, chocolate-chip cookies and cereal/marshmallow treats. It also serves custom floats and milkshakes. Owners are friends Taylor DeBruce and Jerome Tiah.

The Inferno Room, a tiki bar specializing in rum drinks, opened Tuesday at 902 Virginia Ave. in Fountain Square. The tiki bar occupies a portion of the 12,000-square-foot Woessner Building, in a space which formerly housed a Marion County courtroom facility. Co-owners Ed Rudisell and Chris Coy had originally planned to have the The Inferno Room open by the end of 2017. But renovations to the 1915 building took longer than expected, Rudisell told IBJ in May.

— McCordsville-based Scarlet Lane Brewing Co., which is working to open a taproom in Indianapolis’ SoBro neighborhood, has announced its plans to open another establishment south of downtown. Scarlet Lane says it will open a tap house next month at 2033 S. Meridian St., a few blocks north of Raymond Street. The brewery is also in the midst of opening a taproom at the corner of 46th Street and College Avenue. At that location, Scarlet Lane will be one of a handful of tenants in a redeveloped site that formerly housed Big Al’s Superstore. The building is still under “heavy construction” and an opening date hasn’t been set, Scarlet Lane told IBJ this week.

— The Wine Market Fountain Square, which opened last fall at 1031 Virginia Ave. in Fountain Square, is planning to open next month in Irvington. Called The Wine Market Irvington, it's slated to open in late October at 5542 E. Washington St., in a space that formerly housed Bittersweet Café. Kris Bowers and Zachary Davis are co-owners of the business.

— Finally, a construction update of note: The dual-branded Hyatt Place/Hyatt House hotels being built across from Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Pennsylvania Street has reached a key construction milestone. Developer HRI Properties announced Wednesday that the 15-story structure has reached its final construction height—a stage that’s also known as “topping out.”

Set to open next year, the property includes a 186-room Hyatt Place hotel and a 130-room Hyatt House hotel, along with more than 6,000 square feet of meeting and event space, a rooftop pool and fitness facilities, more than 13,000-square-feet of ground-floor retail space and an adjacent 387-space parking garage.

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