Maryland Street Downtown

Two months ago, the restaurant 14 West closed after being open for several years.  I visited once years ago, and found the food and service to be decent.  Unfortunately, the restaurant was nearly empty on a Devour Downtown evening,  so the closing didn’t surprise me (or other food-watchers around town) all that much.   But for the purpose of this post, I don’t want to comment too much on this particular restaurant, but on its setting:


14 West was located in one of only three outward-facing street-level retailers on the entire block ( one being Palomino’s, which is on the corner of Illinois and is more closely identified with Circle Center Mall.  The other one is Downtown Eye Care).  This spot is right next to Meridian Street, so it should receive more foot traffic than it does, but the environment makes it difficult to draw pedestrians down the street. Garage entrances are on each side of the street, and the Circle Center skybridge looms overhead.



Also, I’m guessing that the closing of Nordstrom’s also was not helping matters for the restaurant:


Again, I don’t want to speculate too much on the reasons for the closing of the restaurant. Nor do I have any real solution that doesn’t involve a major overhaul of Circle Center Mall’s inward orientation. However, I have to think it might be difficult for any restaurant to survive on this stretch of street, regardless of quality. It’s a tough block, which is a shame, because it’s right in the heart of the city.

Comments 16

  • It really is a mall only Victor Gruen could love, without the surrounding sea of parking. Too bad everything around it that’s not related to sports is failing. One horse downtown.

  • While I think those were contributing factors, I can’t tell you how many times I walked by it without realizing that it was a.) a restaurant; and, b.) it was open for business. The tasteful but black awning, dark doorway, etc. was so understated (which I normally love) that I suspect people only really knew about it from word of mouth or Yelp. Indeed, that is how I learned about it — and I work on the Circle and walk by this spot most every day. It was a pleasant place.

  • One addition before others point out my blindness… Yes, there is a large sign on the building… but at street level it was far from obvious.

  • A little un-related, but Simon needs to get their shit together with Circle Centre. Hollister closed down a few months ago, Lane Bryant and a few other places have closed as well. What Simon needs to do is build an entrance to the mall on Meridian Street and Georgia Street. On Marlyand they need to somehow build lease-able spaces and try to get a big name in (Cheesecake Factory would be perfect!) Probably the most important thing Simon needs to do is find an anchor for the Nordstrom space. I would love to see a Lord & Taylor or Neiman Marcus, but if either of those would be interested in the Indy market, they would go to the Fashion Mall. A Dillard’s or even a Macy’s would be perfect as well.

      • Target is not interested in the Nordstrom’s space. Not accessible enough for vehicle traffic. I think with the addition of Artistry and other downtown developments they are closer to having the residential mass, but I believe they would go in somewhere on the near fringe… like maybe the Market Square site.

    • Dillard’s?..hopefully not. I suppose it would be asking Simon too much and make the Nordstrom spot much less into the fortress that it now is. This part of Circle Centre is a street killer.

  • It’s sad and perplexing, but it’s apparent that Simon doesn’t give a sh*t about Circle Centre. Being the largest mall owner/developer in the world, they have the power/pull to make Circle Centre successful and a showcase for their company.

  • Since Simon doesn’t own Circle Centre, it’s hard for them to have as much of a vested interest in it. That said, it is just two blocks away from their HQ, and should be seen as a flagship mall. Simon still manages it. Is there any evidence that the City is putting Simon’s feet to the fire?

    I’m not sure what to think about the restaurant itself, but you did raise some good points about the physicality of the space. The fact that so much of Circle Centre (even the occupied parts) is just blank walls results in streetscapes that are single-loaded, with not even a chance for activity on the south side of Washington Street, for example.

    Thankfully, Circle Centre is hardly the “horse” to Indy’s downtown.

  • One of the main contributing factors of this restaurant closing was the death of the owner Carter Fortune. This was reported back in January in IBJ. That entire building was also owned by him. IBJ reports that its being sold as well with an asking prive of 4 million.

  • I was at Ossip a couple of weeks ago and the guy I talked to said that Ossip was buying out Downtown Eye Care and all of their stuff was moving over to Ossip’s expanded location on the Circle. That was just murder that section of Maryland a little bit more.

    Honestly, I hate that section of Maryland. I wish it wasn’t one way and I wish it had direct connection to the mall above instead of have to go to the corner at Illinois and Maryland.

  • Perhaps someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty certain that Maryland Street wasn’t even one-way until the development of White River State Park. It was at the time that the engineers took Washington Street, diverted it, then created the pedestrian bridge–at that point Washington and Maryland become paired streets. Prior to that, both were two-way.

    • Maryland had been one-way the opposite direction before the conversion.

      The switch took place after WRSP was created. I have an 1988 map that shows the park (well, the zoo really) and the diverted Washington St exists but not the Maryland St linkup.

  • That is a dark area of Maryland with limited pedestrian traffic. The Circle Center skybridge seems to block the view of eastbound Maryland Street vehicle traffic until right upon the building. That can’t be good for business.

    Regarding access, or lack thereof, to Circle Center – Simon’s decision to close the south entrance to the mall at Illinois and Georgia to allow Harry and Izzy’s expansion has been awful. That was THE primary entrance for pedestrians attending events at the Convention Center and Lucas Oil. Now, with Nordstrom gone and the southeast entrances to the mall gone with it, that decision looks even worse. Try to enter the mall from the Fieldhouse – it requires an extra 2 block walk, which I don’t really mind but that can’t be good for mall traffic and businesses.

  • Funny.. Until I read this I’d always thought that 14 West was a women’s clothing store. I’d walked past it hundreds of times over the years. Clearly something was wrong with the location. (and not me.. )

    Now, if we can figure out why that seemingly prime piece of retail space on Washington keeps failing.. You know the one, It was Taste of Tango, then Hue Dine, then Coal Pizza.. That one confuses me. Why can’t it find a good match?

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