Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Whole Foods Merger, D'Vine Moves, and More

D'Vine Moving to Cibo Space: The big announcement this week was the new development that will go in at Woodfield Crossing on the southwest corner of the 86th and Keystone intersection. And the question quite a few of you have asked me? What will happen to D'Vine, A Wine Bar? The popular spot is one of several thriving businesses at Woodfield Crossing, but it sounds like a fine solution has been worked out. Cory Shouten at IBJ is reporting D'Vine will move to the Cibo Italian Restaurant space below Gelo (nee Vapour Lounge) and next to Houseworks. They've already begun the buildout (although word hasn't filtered out yet that Cibo is even closed.) Look for them to move in the next couple of months. In the meantime, Cory reports D'Vine may also be looking to open a downtown Carmel location.

FTC Puts Breaks on Wild Oats/Whole Foods Merger: And via Slashfood comes the news that the FTC has concerns about competition in the merger of Whole Foods and Wild Oats markets. The FTC is filing a legal complaint to stop the merger today. From the NY Times:

The director of the F.T.C.’s Bureau of Competition, Jeffrey Schmidt, said in a statement: “Whole Foods and Wild Oats are each other’s closest competitors in premium natural and organic supermarkets, and are engaged in intense head-to-head competition in markets across the country. If Whole Foods is allowed to devour Wild Oats, it will mean higher prices, reduced quality and fewer choices for consumers.”

I've heard they've broken ground on the Indy Whole Foods (and most likely the entire complex) but I haven't seen this myself yet. And I hear (via a robust but unconfirmed rumor mill) that Bloomington is getting a Whole Foods also. Many people have asked me if the Wild Oats/Whole Foods merger will put the breaks on our own Whole Foods (currently scheduled to open on 86th at Keystone) because of a Wild Oats down the street, but there's no reason to believe that would be case -- especially now.

Taste of Tango: Someone posted in the comments section that a work permit has gone up across the street from Morton's for a new place called Taste of Tango. (Posted here in May) Taste of Tango is scheduled to be an Argentinian place opened by a "former real-estate broker." (Not sure if he's a true first timer in the restaurant business.) He says the food will be a mix of Italian, Greek, and Spanish. (That's not exactly what I thought Argentinian food was, but OK.) With heavy renovations and an ambitious schedule, I'm not sure I'm holding out a lot of hope. We'll have to wait and see. Their original open date was end of July. (Originally from Property Lines.)

Greenwood Park Mall Gets Cheesecake Factory: There's not much more to say here. Cheesecake Factory and their obscenely huge portions will open a second Indianapolis restaurant in Greenwood. (Sure, I'm a little partial to the Baja Chicken Tacos myself, but unlike many of their customers, I also recognize it's enough food for two full meals.)


Brendan said...

Let's hope someone can smack some sense into the FTC on this Whole Foods/Wild Oats deal. I'm as anti-monopolistic as the next guy, but this misses the whole point of the organic food business. Whole Foods and Wild Oats aren't competing with each other as much as they're competing with Kroger, Marsh, Wal-Mart, etc. No one's going to pay the insane prices at either unless they feel they're getting a better product than the regular grocers offer. There is no threat to the consumer here.

Donald said...

FYI - Argentinian cuisine is a mix of Spanish, Italian and German food (plus native influences mixed in). The Spanish is obvious - they settle the area and dominated its culture. After WWII, large numbers of other Europeans settled there (many Italians and Germans, but that's another story) and had a large influence on the cuisine as well.