Metazoa Brewing drops plans for Broad Ripple taproom

Metazoa Brewing Co. has nixed the idea of expanding into Broad Ripple.

In March, Metazoa said it would open a second taproom on a 0.19-acre site it had purchased just east of a Fresh Thyme grocery store and The Coil apartment building at 6301 N. College Ave.

Blue Devil Properties LLC, an entity affiliated with Metazoa, bought the property last fall for $325,000. The site’s official address is 804 E. Laverock Road, though that street no longer exists and the property has not been assigned a new address.

But now, Metazoa has decided to sell the property and “explore other options,” Metazoa Sales and Marketing Director Lauren Frederick told IBJ via email. “…as we dug deeper into our plans for this expansion, the timing and finances of the project became less aligned with our overarching company strategy,” Frederick said.

Frederick said Metazoa needs to expand its brewing capacity in order to meet customer demand, and the Broad Ripple site wouldn’t have been able to accommodate the production space the company needs.

Metazoa “absolutely” plans a second location and is currently searching for a larger building that can accommodate both a taproom and production and storage space, Frederick said. The site will likely not be in Broad Ripple village, she said.

Metazoa’s original craft brewery and taproom opened in 2016 at 140 S. College Ave.

A Department of Metropolitan Development report on the project shows that Metazoa’s plans for the Broad Ripple site raised concerns among DMD’s staff. In essence, DMD staffers said they believe the size of the lot is too small for what Metazoa proposed—a business that would draw customers from outside the neighborhood and would include a commercial building with outdoor seating to the south and west, along with a fenced storage area.

DMD said Metazoa’s plan “represents over-development of the site” because it includes minimal landscaping and is “without any consideration for the pedestrian experience or streetscape.”

In particular, DMD noted, Metazoa’s plan called for one parking space—a handicap-accessible spot—rather than the 22 parking spaces required by ordinance. “Historically, staff has supported parking reductions in this area, but it appears no attempt has been made to provide for even minimal parking, thereby shifting the burden of parking onto surrounding properties,” the report said.

Metazoa presented its plans to the DMD in April. The issue has been continued several times since then and last month was continued again until the DMD’s Sept. 12 meeting—meaning city officials never issued a decision on the project.

In other news this week:

—Fast-casual Asian restaurant Pei Wei has closed its only Indiana location, at 6159 N. Keystone Ave. in the Glendale shopping center.

Pei Wei, which opened its first location in Arizona in 2000, was previously the fast-casual arm of restaurant chain P.F. Chang’s. In June, California-based West Coast Capital bought Pei Wei from its previous owner, Centerbridge Partners.

West Coast Capital also owns three other fast-casual Asian chains: California-based Pick Up Stix and two Minnesota-based chains, Leann Chin and Mandarin Express. None of these three has locations in Central Indiana.

PWD Acquisition also owns

— The District Tap’s new downtown location, at 141 S. Meridian St., is opening to the public Monday. The site is on the northeast corner of the intersection of South Meridian and Georgia Streets, where Broken English Taco Pub operated before closing its doors at the end of last year.

It is a second location for The District Tap, which started in 2014 at 3720 E. 82nd St. Owners are Michael Cranfill and Bob Kort. Cranfill, a real estate broker, also owns Cholita Taqueria and TikiTiki Lounge in Broad Ripple. IBJ first reported on The District Tap’s expansion plans in February.

— Scotland-based craft beer company BrewDog is set to open its first Indiana location Wednesday at 1140 S. Shelby St. in Fountain Square. The 4,000-square-foot spot is on the ground floor of the Forte Building, a mixed-use development that opened last year. IBJ first reported on BrewDog’s plans in February.

Established in 2007, BrewDog has more than 85 bars in the United Kingdom, Europe, the U.S., Japan and Brazil. Its U.S. base of operations is Columbus, Ohio. It’s U.S. brewery is in the Columbus suburb Canal Winchester and will supply the Indianapolis brewpub.

— The Nightmare on Edgewood haunted house opens for the season Sept. 20 at its new, 30,000-square-foot space at 1929 S. Meridian St. Previously, the attraction operated out of a 15,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor space at the Edgewood Athletic Association, just east of U.S. 31 at 6004 S. Camden St.

IBJ first reported on Nightmare on Edgewood’s move last month.

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11 thoughts on “Metazoa Brewing drops plans for Broad Ripple taproom

  1. Glad to hear the news about Metazoa. And thank goodness for the DMD. This time they are absolutely correct with regard to an attempt to cram yet another “tap room” into a tiny, inadequate space. This idea was poorly concocted from the start.

    1. I have to disagree with that characterization. They were holding up the project because as they said, it would bring outside visitors to the location. Which is what broad ripple needs. Its located adjacent to several pay for parking areas, two half empty parking garages, a rapid transit line, and two city wide trail systems. On one hand, Broad ripple is trying to increase density, but the DMD is denying what is probably the best use for the space… to deny it on the basis that it would be too popular is just plain silly.

  2. Untapped market for these taprooms and breweries on the eastside. Currently we only have Black Acre to chose from and I’m thankful to have Black Acre, just would be nice to have some other options though, maybe locate closer to Washington and Mitthoefer area.

    1. Well we better shut down Triton Tap, since by this logic they don’t have enough space to operate either.

      I will concede though, it appears Metazoa chose not to fight and develop the space, with hopes of finding something easier to transform and grow into. No shame in admitting that. But I still believe that this space would have succeeded for them, and more importantly BRV, had there not been such opposition from the DMD.

  3. CP – Well said. Maybe the space would have worked – but this set-back may lead to something better. I remember when the first developer who wanted to build apartments on College Ave south of Kessler Blvd (former AT&T property). They finally threw in the towel after all the push-back from the neighborhood. Then look what happened later – a much more classy “M-K” apartment complex on a win-win basis. Maybe we’ll get something more reasonable on this tiny sliver of land, and Metazoa will find something much more desirable and with better room for more paying customers.

    1. You know what makes it silly? The fact that they tried to fit their operations on a sit where they wouldn’t fit. That’s the whole point. Furthermore, the whole idea is far from unique. Although I do trust that there is ample opportunity to feed Broad Ripple’s alcoholics.