Plans finally catching fire for downtown cigar lounge

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Plans are finally beginning to take shape for the upscale Burn by Rocky Patel cigar lounge slated to take the Circle Centre mall space at the corner of Meridian and Maryland streets.

burn rendering 250pxBurn, which opened its lone location in 2010 in Naples, Florida, agreed last November to occupy the 5,500-square-foot space on the southwest corner of the intersection.

Nearly a year later, Burn has received approval from the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission, subject to a few minor design changes commissioners recommended. They’ll consider those next month before officially signing off on the new exterior look. (Click image above for larger view of existing site and rendering.)

Burn’s design of the corner includes partially wrapping the first floor in charred wood, pulling back from a full wrap, on the recommendation of commissioners. Also, Burn will re-clad existing canopies and install new ones, in addition to installing wall signs, sidewalk cafes and new light fixtures.

“This is a little bit more of a restrained approach,” IHPC administrator David Baker said at the Oct. 4 meeting.

Baker was referring to a previous design IHPC approved in 2015 for Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, which ultimately ditched its efforts to open in the space.

A representative for Burn told IHPC the company plans to start construction immediately. It’s unclear when the lounge might open. Patel didn’t return an email from Property Lines seeking comment.

Burn appeals to a broader audience than just cigar enthusiasts, Patel told IBJ in November 2016, citing the heavy investment the company makes in ventilation systems to ensure the locations are flush with fresh air.  

Patel was an entertainment and product liability lawyer working in Los Angeles in the mid-1990s when the premium cigar market began catching fire. He co-founded the Grand Havana Club in Los Angeles and started manufacturing his own cigars under the Indian Tabac name.

At Circle Centre, Burn will join several recently installed tenants that have taken street-level space formerly occupied by Nordstrom, which left the mall in 2011. Burger Study, a concept from Craig Huse, the operator of downtown icon St. Elmo Steak House and offshoot Harry & Izzy’s, opened last month. Denver-based Punch Bowl Social, which features old-school amusements like bowling, billiards, skee-ball and Pac-Man, opened in September 2016, following Nada and Yard House.

They helped push the mall to record revenue in 2016.

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