A new Mexican fusion restaurant, Comida, opened Friday at 43 E. 9th St. in The Ambassador building just north of Central Library.
Co-owners are cousins Lance George and Eric Shorts, along with Rami Lazarus. The three also own Pinnacle Catering Group, which is part of Allen Family Catering. George, Shorts and Short’s mother, Betty Smalls, own Allen Family Catering.
George, who serves as Comida’s chef, developed a menu that borrows from various world cuisines. For instance, there’s a burrito with ramen noodles; tacos with Asian ingredients like kimchi slaw and ginger; and a linguine dish with jalapeno and guajillo peppers.
“My deal is trying to do a world fusion, using Mexican food as kind of a base,” George said. George also added a touch of humor to the menu, giving some of the dishes Spanish names that honor famous rappers. There’s Sabor Sabor (Flavor Flav) linguine, a Joe el Gordo (Fat Joe) hamburger and a Metodo Hombre (Method Man) burrito.
Comida offers some breakfast items and an in-house coffee shop. The entire menu will be served all day. Hours are 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday and Tuesday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
George’s previous culinary experience includes local stints as a sous chef at St. Joseph Brewery and Public House; and as food and beverage director for the Hilton Garden Inn on the city’s northwest side. George has also worked in his native New Jersey as well as Texas, Virginia and Colorado.
Comida occupies 2,500-square-feet on the ground floor of a six-story apartment building owned by Indianapolis-based Buckingham Cos. Buckingham purchased the building from the Indianapolis Public Library in 2008, and the building has housed several restaurant tenants since then.
Plow & Anchor, a farm-to-table concept restaurant, operated in that space from May 2014 until January 2017. Plow & Anchor’s owners, Craig Baker and Derek Means, then converted the space into a Mexican taqueria, The Taco Shop, in May 2017. Prior to Plow & Anchor, the space was occupied by The Diplomat at The Ambassador, Azul Mexican & American Bar and Grill and The Bar at The Ambassador.
In other news this week:
— The Barre Code fitness studio will open two additional Indianapolis-area locations later this year. A downtown Indianapolis studio, to be located at the former Milano Inn site at 231 S. College Ave., Suite 300, is set to open this spring. A Carmel location is set to open this summer or fall in the Village of WestClay, 2169 Glebe St., Suite 200.
The franchisee for both locations is Jennifer Chow. Chow’s gyms join an existing The Barre Code in Fishers. The franchisee at that location is Emily Denton. The first The Barre Code studio opened in Chicago in 2010, and the company launched a franchising program in 2012.
— Speaking of fitness: Orangetheory Fitness has opened at 5858 N. College Ave. in Broad Ripple. The franchisee is Jennifer Haas, who also owns the Orangetheory at 2727 E. 86th St., Suite 115 in the Ironworks development. Orangetheory also has seven other local studios: two each in Fishers and Carmel, and one each in downtown Indianapolis, Greenwood and Avon. Founded in 2010, Orangetheory now has about 1,000 studios in the U.S. and abroad.
— After a longer-than-expected wait, Public Greens has opened downtown at 301 E. Market St. in the Cummins building. The farm market-inspired cafeteria, part of the locally-based Patachou family of restaurants, opened Jan. 28. Public Greens owner Martha Hoover told IBJ in December 2016 that she was in discussions to sign a lease in the Cummins building. This is the city's third Public Greens—it also operates at 902 E. 64th St. in Broad Ripple, and in the Fashion Mall at Keystone.
— Target’s new loyalty program, Target Circle, launched in 14 Indianapolis-area stores this week. The big-box discount chain tested the concept in the Dallas area last year. Now, Target Circle is expanding into five additional markets: Indianapolis, Charlotte, North Carolina; Denver; Kansas City; and Phoenix.
Customers can sign up for Target Circle online, at the checkout or via Target’s app. Once enrolled, customers receive customized discounts, earn rewards for future purchases and vote on where Target should direct its local charitable giving.
— Following a renovation, the youth-oriented accessory store Claire’s at Castleton Square Mall is hosting a grand reopening event from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday.