Thursday, May 29, 2008

Downtown Updates: L'ex and Taste of Tango

If you've talked to Neal in the past couple of weeks, you'll know he's been close to finding a place downtown. The current best candidate is 111 S. Meridian -- a great choice. Let's hope all negotiations go well.

Also, Cory has updates on Scotty's and Taste of Tango (which, shocker, doesn't look like it's going to happen after all.) All via Property Lines.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Braingirl: Don't know how else to get in touch with you, but thought you might want to check out a new produce market that's opened on E. 54th across from Mama Carollas.

Locally Grown Gardens, I think, is the name. I stopped on while on the Monon Thursday and he had trays of beautiful beefsteak tomatoes, some asparagus and a little rhubarb and swiss chard. He is promising all sorts of peaches, greens and blueberries as they come into season.

The guy said he was a chef at one time.

For the record, I don't work there. Heck, I didn't even catch the guy's name, but his e-mail address is lgg1967@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Why is lex moving? I love the intimacy of its current location!

jimmy said...

Restaurants need volume (to some extent) just to break even...

Neal, tread lightly and cover your back. Rick is not your friend.

Best of Luck

Anonymous said...

I just don't understand that if it doesn't work in Broad Ripple how anyone thinks it will work downtown. Why are so many convinced that this is a good move for L'Ex instaed of riding the storm out in Broad Ripple. It is a product that people are not buying for some reason and even if they move downtown it will still be the most expensive place in the city for the value. I am simply saying I don't thimk it is a great idea especially the location considered even if you do braingirl. He needs some better people around him to help with this decision.

keith said...

In this market, Neal's pricing is pretty dialed in. Saying that, perception is reality to most.

For me, the place can and should stand on its own here or there. But, I don't pay the rent. I don't look at his books, nor do I want to. I dine there from time to time. For the most part I enjoy it, and I am one tough nut to crack. I think I know more than most about the business, but I don't know JACK compared to the people that are in it! It is a risk reward proposition that only those completely involved in the matter can truly comprehend.

I'd like to see you stay in BR. That said, we'll support you downtown as well.

You aren't doing to bad when people are all fired up about a 7 mile move!

Hoosiers, learn that change is most often a good thing!

Anonymous said...

It doesn't take a business planner to see that downtown is *very* different from Broad Ripple. Is there even a single hotel in Broad Ripple for out-of-town business folks and tourists to stay? And just look at all of the other pricey places that do pretty brisk business downtown. While one may argue that some of those business travelers don't have the most adventurous palates, some of them have *more* adventurous tastes than provincial Indy diners, and, most importantly, they have expense accounts and $$$ that the average foodie in Indy doesn't have to throw down nightly at Neal's--though Neal prices things well for the quality of the ingredients and the work that goes into his food. As a restaurant critic who gets people asking him almost daily where to eat when in town, I feel sort of ashamed that within what's really downtown (not counting Mass. Ave.), there isn't really a good independent restaurant that's not a steakhouse other than Mikado, though I always recommend The Oceanaire and laud its local nature and what it does for the Indy community. I know that it's a little short-sighted to think that all of the good restaurants should be in walking distance of the Circle, but the vast majority of people visiting have this mentality that they should be there. And they're just not going to get in a taxi with Google map directions in hand to find a place that serves Neal's kind of stuff. But if it's on a major thoroughfare with great signage downtown, they'll do leaps and bounds better business (though maybe not during the FFA conference). Anyway, now I will be able to add another really inspired restaurant downtown to my recommendations, and the high profile nature of Neal's place, should he get a place downtown. Think of it this way--the increased business of people visiting will be like a subsidy for us locals to keep a really innovative and funky place in business. It's a win-win situation. Best of luck, Neal!

Lord Peter said...

I am curious to see how well L'ex does downtown. On the one hand, 1:34 makes good points about out-of-town visitors and expense accounts. On the other hand, it must be much more expensive to rent space downtown than in BR. On balance, I suspect that these sides probably balance out - there is an unfortunate least-common-denominator factor in business dinners, for example, in which the preferences of the least adventurous diner trump. Hence the plethora of steakhouses.

But - assuming those issues balance out - there are some other advantages to being downtown. The main advantage as I see it is that there is a much larger lunch crowd downtown, which is a benefit to any restaurant; in addition, people who try the place out at lunch may be more inclined to return at dinner. Downtown also has a market for after works drinks and appetizers which can also help pay the bills.

Brendan said...

Downtown or in Broad Ripple, the trout and especially the skate on the new spring/summer menu at L'Ex are real winners.

Anonymous said...

I think that Neal is making the right move here. I'm sorry, but that Broad Ripple location is simply awful. The fact that Tavola di Tosa didn't make it there is a huge flashing warning sign. That L'Ex has lasted there as long as it has is a testament to the great work that Neal and his staff are doing. L'Ex needs to be in the mix with the likes of Oceanaire, 14 West, Elements , R Bistro, etc. competing for the downtown dining dollar. I'm no fan of chains, but there's one thing that they are very good at and that's staying in business. I don't see too many chains beyond the fast-food realm (and, of course, the eatin' good in the neighborhood place!) fighting to get into Broad Ripple.

Best of luck, Neal. You'll definitely get many (more) of my dining dollars once you are downtown.

Anonymous said...

thats the point, tavola did make it but it was an arguement with the landlord that forced him to shut down.

Anonymous said...

thats the point, tavola did make it but it was an arguement with the landlord that forced him to shut down.