Zing, L’ex and Eddie Merlot

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Zing IndianapolisA couple of restaurant updates today:

  • Workers are adding a wraparound balcony to Zing, a new small-plate restaurant in the old Payton’s Place at 543 Indiana Ave. Restaurateurs Mark Jacobs and John Perazzo hope to open by late August. Over the years, the building has been a barber shop, grocery stores and restaurants. Most recently it was Payton’s Place in early 2000s.
  • Chef Neal Brown definitely plans to move his L’explorateur restaurant downtown and has hired a local firm to design it, but he’s still zeroing in on sites. He remains keen on 111 S. Meridian St., the former home of Brenner Luggage, but another site also has entered the fray. He’s shooting to open in the first half of 2009 and has hired Sequences Space Design to plan the space.
  • Upscale restaurant chain Eddie Merlot’s plans to add 12 locations throughout the U.S. within the next 24 months. Owner Bill Humphries founded the chain in Fort Wayne in 2001 and expanded to Indianapolis in 2003. New locations in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, opened this spring. And new stores are coming to Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Denver, Co., Minnetonka, Minn., and Northbrook, Ill. in the next year. The chain is negotiating for 8 additional locations throughout the U.S.
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