Broad Ripple tequila-and-tacos joint expanding to Fishers

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The local owners of a 5-year-old tequila-and-tacos joint in Broad Ripple plan to expand from their flagship location by opening a significantly larger restaurant in Fishers by the end of the year.

The three principals are adapting the concept behind their Sangrita Saloon in Broad Ripple for the 4,000-square-foot Sangrita Grill & Cantina in the Yard at Fishers District culinary hub, located on 116th Street east of Interstate 69.

sangrita saloon
Sangrita Saloon opened in June 2015 at 834 E. 64th St. (IBJ photo/Mason kiong)

They plan to invest $1 million in the project slated to open in November, according to Tarek Mercho, managing partner for the trio.

“We’re on a fast track and we’re very excited,” Mercho told IBJ. “If you haven’t been to the Yard on a Friday or Saturday night, you need to see it, because there is no lack of business. There’s pent-up demand for good restaurants in Fishers.”

The three partners launched Sangrita Saloon in June 2015, envisioning a cozy and upscale lounge in a 1,200-square-foot building at 834 E. 64th St. It formerly was occupied by Greek’s Pizza.

“We saw a niche in the market,” Mercho said. “The Mexican dining scene in Broad Ripple looks a lot different now, but at the time there were no real places for craft cocktails. We saw a niche for high-end Mexican food and craft margaritas and mezcal. Premium tequila was going bananas.”

Mercho, an attorney, had purchased the building in 2013, along with a two-story house on the same parcel. The latter structure became his law office. He and his partners then invested about $225,000 to gut and renovate the former pizzeria for Sangrita.

Although the saloon’s sales in July and August have drooped 30% compared to the same months in 2019, the impact of the pandemic hasn’t been catastrophic, Mercho said. The partners mothballed Sangrita in March, received a federal Payroll Protection Program loan and reopened judiciously.

“We’re getting back to normal,” he said. Asked why he and his partners would want to open a new restaurant during a pandemic, he deadpanned, “We’re fearless—and we inked this deal prior to COVID.”

The Fishers location will include a mezzanine level that can seat 50 patrons for private events. Whereas the Saloon is primarily a bar, the Grill & Cantina will in essence be a restaurant but with a similar cocktail menu.

“That’s probably the most daunting thing about the transition—catering to more of a family dining atmosphere,” Mercho said.

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4 thoughts on “Broad Ripple tequila-and-tacos joint expanding to Fishers

  1. Yes Fishers Mayor Scotty Mcfadness does it again! First it was pizza now it’s taco’s coming to the big fish! I hope they have pizza on the menu or Scotty will be disappointed! Keep bringing the pizza Scotty!

    1. You know the people that tell the same joke all the time and it’s not even remotely funny anymore?…..

    2. @Glen – I disagree completely. Every time I see an article with the word “Fishers” in the title, I skip right to the comments hoping to see a pizza comment. Often times it is satisfying enough I dont even need to read the article anymore