Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Yes, It's Official: Elements is Closed

I don't have much more info other than that owner Dennis Dunn informed his staff yesterday that the funding had run dry and Elements is closing. Rumors have been rampant for a while that closing was imminent.

Indianapolis Chaine des Rotisseurs members, please hold the May 3 date for our upcoming Induction and Elevation black tie dinner that was scheduled at Elements! I will be in touch via the email list about back up plans. We *will* have the dinner -- just clearly, not at Elements.

17 comments:

The Urbanophile said...

At this rate there won't be a single decent local place to eat left in Indy by the end of the year.

Erin Day said...

this is truly a shame. I really worry if we don't get out a support our local talent, we will have nothing left but chains....C'mon Indy!

we just like vegetables said...

I'm sorry to see them go, but it was hard to see how they were going to make it. I was in at 7:30 on a Saturday night a few weeks ago, and there were only two other tables.

wouldibuyitagain said...

Sad day for Indy food... Not only will I miss going there, but also have concerns that this will slow progress. Keep in mind, these are good restaurants closing, it just doesn't make sense.

silver said...

Jeez. I feel like picketing The Cheesecake Factory. WHY do people wait for HOURS at that place? WHY?

silver said...

And I would like to point out to any restaurant owners who might be lurking that this is a CLASSLESS way to close a restaurant. Leaving so many people in the lurch - customers, employees, vendors. It's just appalling.

eastsidefoodie said...

I was directed to your wonderful blog from the Indy Star this morning. How shocked I was when I saw this last post. I've been trying to visit one local restaurant a month (without my picky eater husband) and Elements was on my list. Alas, I'll never be able to experience it, how sad.

Marshall said...

I thought I had read that he was going to try to keep it open for special functions? And is this permanent or is the owner looking at options to remain viable? The article I read seemed to lean in that direction.

P.S.

This isn't necessarily a reflection on Indianapolis; the economy is taking a toll on indie restaurants in cities across the country.

silver said...

I don't want to get into the economy argument yet again, but have you ever seen the lines outside of The Cheesecake Factory, PF Changs, etc etc? I don't disagree that the economy isn't helping, but Indy's inability to support a thriving indie restaurant scene is in no way a new phenomenon.

Juanita said...

Sorry - disagree here. The last time I was at Elements the customer service was poor, beginning at the door. I was a downtown resident at the time and wanted to frequent Mass Ave in particular, but it soon was off my list. You need the whole experience to be delightful; not just the food.

peter said...

What was the "poor" customer service? I'm just curious. One thing about web reviews and blog comments that can be frustrating is that it's so common to see blanket statements about "bad" service or "lousy" food that was "terrible," with little to no detail about what happened and why it was that way...not to mention what the customer's effort was to address the matter. At any rate, I tend to prefer independent restaurants but I'd be the first to say any place, high-end or cheap,, can have its off days.

Kudos to the Cheesecake/TGI-McFunster comments. It's the truth and it's pretty sad. But it's what the market demands, I suppose.

Marshall said...

I don't get this idea that if a restaurant is indie it is automatically somehow better based solely on that. What, exactly, is sad about people liking Cheesecake Factory - or TGIF, for that matter? Personally, I happen to like quite a few of the items on the Cheesecake Factory and that doesn't mean that I appreciate good food any less than you. It's called reacting to the market... indie restaurants CAN, and HAVE succeeded in Indy. If they are closing there is a reason, bottom line. Whether it was overpriced food, lousy service, uninspiring atmosphere, poor marketing or whatever - there WAS a reason. For people to suggest that there isn't a market for indie restaurants in Indy is not only wrong, it is unfair.

silver said...

No one said anything even remotely approaching "indie is inherently better." I said that "the economy is bad" position is the easy argument and patently untrue. Once again, if we can support 2 Nordstroms, a Saks, myriad high end car dealerships and the lines at The Cheesecake Factory are two hours long, then clearly Indianapolis people have money.

Wouldn't you like Indianapolis to have some local character instead of miles of chains you can get anywhere? Of course it's not "wrong" to like TGIF or whatever, but can't we have a discussion about why Indianapolis seems to PREFER chains? With all this great farmland, why aren't we more like Provence?

silver said...

By the way, I know of at least two indies that closed because of landlord issues. It's not always because something was "bad."

Gastroholic said...

Marshall. Please give us even one example of an independent that is generating the same revenue as one chain restaurant in Indy. Please. I beg of you!

Circle City Sweets said...

How about the Patachou group?

silver said...

There's one....

I guess we do have a restaurant scene after all! Argument over. Heh. I kid. Actually we could make this even MORE complex that by noting that Patachou has become a brand and people flock to it for the same reason they flock to TGIF, etc. An established brand that people trust and know what to expect. That's not a bad thing at all, it's just a heck of a lot tougher for one chef with one location to pull off. Especially since we weirdly seem to hold that one chef to a higher standard. How many times have we heard "I went there once, the service was bad and I never went back." If we held the Cheesecake Factory to that standard, they'd be closed, too.