Former ice-cream factory gets extensive renovations

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The former Lindner’s ice cream plant at 6101 E. Washington St. in Irvington has been redeveloped into a multi-tenant commercial space, and the first two tenants there—a furniture store and a CBD shop—opened in the past few weeks.

Justin St. John bought the 9,100-square-foot building in 2017 for $36,000. The 89-year-old structure was in such rough shape when he purchased it that St. John put another $400,000 or so into extensive renovations, including all-new mechanicals, roofing and windows.

“There was actually a demolition order on the building when I purchased it,” St. John said.

The building sits at the corner of East Washington Street and South Catherwood Avenue, just east of downtown Irvington. Its last occupant was an auto shop, but it had been vacant for many years, St. John said.

Originally, St. John was interested in the building as an expansion site for Maximum Grow Gardening, an indoor gardening business he owns on the same block. But once he got a chance to see the inside of the building, he saw its potential as a multi-tenant commercial space.

The building has two tenants: Front Door Home Designs, a 2,000-square-foot furniture and home décor shop; and Hemp Global, a CBD shop that occupies about 1,675 square feet.

St. John is looking for tenants for a 1,675-square-foot second-floor space and a 3,500-square-foot space on the ground floor. He’s considering a mix of possible uses for the spaces, including offices; a hair salon or barber shop; a bar, restaurant or brewery; or a painting or flooring business.

The building has a long history. It served as the manufacturing plant for Lindner’s Brothers, an ice cream business that came to Indianapolis in 1929 and opened its first retail store in 1949.

According to the Encyclopedia of Indianapolis, Lindner’s had 27 retail locations by 1968 and 36 Indianapolis-area stores by 1982.

The Lindner family sold most of the business to Roberts Dairy in 1982. Roberts filed for bankruptcy in 1987. Though Lindner’s was not included in that bankruptcy case, Lindner’s itself filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1989.

In 1992, the final seven Lindner’s stores closed.

St. John, who has lived in Irvington since 2003 and established Maximum Grow in 2011, said he sees both residential and commercial progress in the area and hopes his project will spur more improvements. In particular, he’s hopeful for the redevelopment of the blighted Irvington Plaza retail center just to the east.

“Things are happening in Irvington—not just downtown Irvington,” he said. “We’re hoping to encourage more investors.”

St. John has organized a community event from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday called Explore East Irvington that will showcase the businesses in that area.

In other retail news this week:

— A new vegan restaurant, 10th Street Diner, opened Saturday at 3301 E. 10th St. on the city’s near east side.

Owners are the mother/son team of Karen and Will Holmes. The duo ran a catering company called Fancy Pans Catering for 10 years, but they suspended that business to open 10th Street Diner. Karen Holmes also previously operated Obsidian Catering in Salesforce Tower (then known as Chase Tower) on Monument Circle.

All menu items are vegan, and selections include “beef” seitan sub sandwiches, veggie lasagna, vegetarian “chicken” pot pie and a variety of salads, appetizers and side items.

Flat 12 Bierwerks, at 414 Dorman St. in the Holy Cross neighborhood, has a new in-house restaurant called Turn 3 Chicken & Waffles.

The eatery, which opened last month, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast is available all day.

— Following up on an item that IBJ first reported in August, a new south-side bar and eatery called Jailbird is set to open next week.

The owners are Joshua Gonzales, who opened the Thunderbird bar in Fountain Square in 2014, and William Zink, who owns the Jailbird property at 4022 Shelby St. across from the University of Indianapolis.

Gonzales told IBJ he plans to open at 4 p.m. May 23-26, close for Memorial Day and reopen at 11 a.m. May 28 for lunch and dinner.

Originally, Gonzales had envisioned an Indian-inspired menu—but those plans changed, and the menu now focuses on burgers, hot dogs and sandwiches. Gonzales describes the menu as “very standard bar food, but executed well.”

Class UFC Gym, a franchised fitness chain associated with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, has opened at 14741 Hazel Dell Crossing, Suite 700, in Noblesville.

Class UFC offers group classes, personal and group training and youth programming that combine mixed martial arts and fitness activities.

Local franchisees are Todd Wood, Rick Wood and Travis Rogers.

Dunkin’, the coffee-and-doughnuts chain formerly known as Dunkin’ Donuts, opens its newest local shop today at 11614 Allisonville Road in Fishers.

The store, which Dunkin’ describes as one of its Next Gen model stores, features a drive-through window, free WiFi, mobile ordering, a wireless charging table and other amenities. Hours are 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

At the grand opening on Saturday, customers can enter a raffle in which five winners will receive free coffee for a year.

Anthony Vince’ Nail Spa opens this month at Hamilton Town Center in Noblesville.

This will be the second Indiana location for Anthony Vince’, which is also open at the Clay Terrace shopping center in Carmel.

The company has 60 locations, all company owned and operated, in more than 20 states.

— It’s that time of year again: Circle Centre has opened a seasonal Indy 500 Shop in partnership with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Throughout May, customers can purchase memorabilia, apparel, gifts and racing programs. The store will also host driver appearances that will be announced on the mall’s website and its Facebook page.

The store is on the second floor of the mall, near the Colts Pro Shop and Tervis store.

And finally, a couple of closings to note:

Tiny House Treats, an ice cream shop at 1049 E. 54th St., will close at the end of the month.

In a lengthy statement posted on Tiny House’s website, owner Kirstie Hayward said she is closing because her lease was not renewed.

Hayward also wrote that she has joined the ownership team at the Broad Ripple Ice Cream Station, or BRICS, which operates at 901 E. 64th St., and has a new venture planned in the near future.

“…the people, flavors and enthusiasm you’ve grown to love about Tiny House Treats will continue to grow within the BRICS family,” Hayward’s statement says. “Stay tuned on social media as we look forward to announcing exciting news about a new ice cream venture in the coming weeks!”

DiBella’s Subs has closed at 910 W. 10th St.

The chain’s website lists the 10th Street store as “permanently closed.” The closure leaves DiBella’s with two other locations: 4335 E. 82nd St. and 5650 W. 86th St.

Based in Rochester, New York, DeBella’s has 46 stores in Connecticut, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. It entered the Indianapolis market in 2012.

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