College Avenue Nodes: 52nd Street Edition

This is the second post in a weekly series featuring College Avenue business nodes. Post number one featuring 54th Street can be seen here.


This large building has been empty for several years ever since the former Movie Gallery closed.  A Mexican restaurant known as Calle 52 was proposed here, but a few of the neighborhood business owners objected, mainly over parking concerns.  The issue is currently tied up in court.  I find it unfortunate that these owners are opposed to this project, as it is certainly better for the corner than an empty building and an ugly fence.  More information about the lawsuit can be found on the MKNA website.

Mary Owens of the MKNA showed me around to the back of the building, which has a parking lot, but it could also be used for a back deck of the restaurant.

Also on the same corner is one of my favorite buildings in the area.  There was even a local band known as “19 Clark 25” in its honor.  This is owned by the group fighting against Calle 52, who also own the Aristocrat:


My favorite commercial building in the neighborhood.  The building to the north that houses the Aristocrat had a major fire and is still closed for renovation.  Fortunately, no one was hurt in the blaze.  The building on the corner houses Luna Music and Indy Bike:


The newest addition is the Sobro Cafe, a warm, welcoming spot that is fine addition to the neighborhood:

There are a few openings in the spots along College Avenue.  Taste Cafe wants to use the old Jamaican Restaurant.  Neither Mary nor I have heard of any plans for the former Circle City Pizza:


Currently the home of Sparkle Cleaners, this corner has remained unchanged for the past decade.  They even had the same “plain pants” special up on their sign for about 7 years.

Comments 12

  • I’m not in on many discussions about Broad Ripple’s planning, but what strategic options have been explored for increasing parking access to the main strip? It’s sad that Calle 52 was opposed because of parking issues; are there any options being explored beyond building a parking garage?

    • Mary mentioned the possibility of using the lot of the 1970’s-looking building that faces 52nd Street, but it is owned by a person who is also protesting against Calle 52. People are really not playing well with others here. That lot is rarely used, especially in the evenings, and it seems like it would be a good solution.

  • Why would parking even remotely be a concern for that NE corner? Sounds like a red herring to me… all of college is packed with businesses up and down, barely any of which have parking other than the street. *That* particular building of all of them has *more* parking than 90% of the businesses in the 2 mile stretch from 62nd street south down to 42nd…

    This reminds me of the opposition that was mounted to stop the expansion of Patachou on Penn & 49th. People have too much time on their hands or something.

    • I agree, it seems like they are afraid of competition to me.

    • It is the same opposition. The people who are voicing their opposition of Calle 52 are the same people who opposed the expansion of Patachou. Too much fear and too much time. There’s enough room for everyone.

      From what I heard, Calle 52 had permission to use the parking lot of the business center behind it (on the north side of 52nd St), as the center would be closed after 5 PM.

  • People definitely have too much time on their hands, are afraid of competition, and just oppose progress in general. It’s the suburban mentality detrimental for natural development to happen in what should be Indy’s most diverse AND dense neighborhood. Parking is not an issue for the area…and never will be as long as proper redevelopment occurs within these historic nodes. NIMBY Syndrome in MK could keep the area behind 5-10 years than what’s necessry. I find it odd that anyone tried to make an argument against Cafe Patachou’s Al Fresco dining?????????????

  • Sparkle Cleaners is the “weak link” on that corner (not counting empty spaces). I’ve never been in there, and I don’t know if they own the entire structure, but the back of that building looks abandoned.

  • I will never go to the Aristocrat again once they open back up due to their owner’s shenanigans in regards to Calle 52. I just read the update in the MKNA associate link above. Disgusting the money their frivolous lawsuit is costing the taxpayers of this state!

  • Hmmm…no money to build infrastructure. All goes to frivolous lawsuits and lawyers.

  • I find it, not amusing, but perhaps ironic, that the calle52 incident happened, and then the Crat burned….
    I mean, maybe things come full circle. Who knows. Word on the block is the crat pushed back their opening till september. Supposedly they gutted the apartments on top, and are turning it into some kinda of lounge, music, open mic, type of space. Should be interesting. assuming they ever open back up.

    It just sucks though this whole winter that corner was worthless after calle 52 was stopped, and the crat burned. If it weren’t for SobroCafe, that corner would look pretty dead.

  • And if you’re framiliar with the, Taco Burrito place on 40th and keystone. – the one with a 100% on urban spoon. The couple who runs it is thinking of taking that space sometime in the near future. I doubt anything will go in anytime soon, but it’s something to watch for, and go encourage them to do!

    Broad ripple has a surprising lack of Mexican food, and this would be at God Send status if it happens.

  • The building on the northeast side ’19CLARK25′ is my favorite place in the whole wide world. I did indeed name my band after it and we still play around the state to this day.

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