Former Elbow Room site downtown to house two restaurants

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The flatiron building at 605 N. Pennsylvania Ave., former home of long-time restaurant and bar The Elbow Room, will soon house a multi-restaurant concept called The Point on Penn.

“Our goal is to have the legend live on,” said Glenn Brown, who owns The Point on Penn along with his wife, Rolonda Brown. 

The Browns bought the 1893 building last month for $850,000, according to property records. The couple, who also bought the rights to the Elbow Room brand, will keep that eatery’s iconic neon signs along with its 1933 bar, its woodwork and its stained-glass windows. But the Browns are also making the 6,400-square-foot place their own. 

They’re creating two separate establishments on the ground floor: Parkview, a fast-casual breakfast and lunch spot, and The Flatiron, which will serve dinner. The second floor, to be called The Upper Room, will house a wine “cellar” and private event room that can be reserved for multi-course meals paired with wines.

Parkview will sell “grab-and-go” items such as egg sandwiches, salads and bowls, but it will also offer seating for those who prefer to eat on-site. It will serve a full menu from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., before switching over to what Glenn Brown describes as “after-work social” mode, offering craft beer, wine and snacks from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The Flatiron, which will serve dinner from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, will offer steaks, seafood and poultry in what Glenn Brown describes as a “premium casual” setting. “We’re at the crossroads of what I consider rural and new urban cuisine.”

The Browns are working toward a soft opening around Valentine's Day and a grand opening in early March.

Glenn Brown is the executive chef at the Country Club of Indianapolis, where he has worked for the past 20 years. He is also an instructor with Ivy Tech’s culinary program, and he formerly taught culinary classes at two now-defunct schools: The Art Institute of Indianapolis and Harrison College’s Chef’s Academy.

Rolonda Brown is a long-time employee of the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township, where she works as operations supervisor. Though she has never worked in the culinary industry, she has a long-time passion for pastry-making and holds dual associate’s degrees in culinary arts and pastry.

The Elbow Room opened in 1933, shortly after Prohibition ended with the ratification of the 21st Amendment. In the 1980s and 1990s it was operated by local restaurateur Rick Rising-Moore, who also owned The Aristocrat Pub and Union Jack Pub. Locally based Lux Restaurants operated The Elbow Room from 2002 until its closing in May 2017.

In other news this week:

Christian Brothers Automotive, which has locations in Fishers and Westfield, is adding a store in Greenwood and plans more expansion beyond that. “Ultimately, we’ll have seven or maybe eight locations in Indianapolis within the next two to three years,” said Josh Wall, chief development officer at the Houston-based auto service franchise.

The Greenwood site, at 4985 W. Smith Valley Road, is now under construction and set to open later this year. Christian Brothers is building the site on spec and is still looking for a franchisee for that spot. 

The company has 195 stores in 29 states—and it’s not unusual for the company to start construction before finding a franchisee. “We opened 21 locations last year, and close to a third of them were actually speculative stores to begin with,” Wall said. 

Christian Brothers has identified Avon, Brownsburg and the Zionsville/Whitestown area as potential store sites, Wall said, and the franchisee of the existing Fishers store wants to own a second store that would be in the Fishers/McCordsville area.

— The jewelry store Alchemy Supply Co. recently relocated to 9546 Allisonville Road, Suite 107. The shop had previously operated at 916 Broad Ripple Ave. Owner Chris Harrison told IBJ his lease had expired in Broad Ripple, and he decided to move for two reasons: Because he wanted better customer parking, and because most of his customers are from the north side of Indianapolis.

Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa will begin booking clients on Monday at 8505 Keystone Crossing. The franchisee is Mark Roger. It's the second Indianapolis location for the Trevose, Pennsylvania-based chain, which has more than 375 locations in 28 states and Canada. The other local site,  at 14405 Clay Terrace Blvd. in Carmel, is owned by Heather and Richard Sanchez.

Kroger has completed the multimillion-dollar renovation of its Geist store at 9835 Fall Creek Road. The company says it spent more than $3.5 million on the project, which included store upgrades and an expanded selection of products.

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