Would-be tenants serve up tasty proposals

Wood-fired burgers or sweet confections? It’s up to a review committee to recommend whether either could become the newest city tenant in the former Bistro 310 restaurant location on Fourth Street.

The property is located along what is known as Columbus’ downtown entertainment corridor.

Columbus Redevelopment Commission members opened proposals Monday night from the two companies that expressed interest in the space, Taylorsville-based 240sweet and Flamme Burger in Indianapolis.

240sweet owners Samantha Aulick and Alexa Lemley provided a summary of their proposal, which involves a proposed partnership with Marcus Lemonis, Chicago-based host of the CNBC reality show “The Profit.”

“The Profit” is featuring 240sweet in one of its episodes this season, Lemonis said. The premise of the show is that Lemonis invests his own money into small businesses, advising owners how to develop a successful business plan and grow profitable.

Describing their concept for the Bistro 310 space as a dynamic and fun retail experience, the business partners and Lemonis are proposing a combination of sweet confections that would appeal to kids and the kid in everyone combined with unique features such as craft cocktails and a hot-chocolate bar.

240sweet is known for its artisan marshmallow confections, with a wide range of flavors from salty caramel swirl to strawberry lemonade. One of the flavors of the month for April, for example, is bourbon pecan pie.

Aulick and Lemley said they cannot reveal certain information about “The Profit,” such as when the show is filming in Bartholomew County, but said during the redevelopment meeting they have sent photos of the space to Lemonis and spoken with him about it.

Jack Singh and Henri Najem, represented by Jamey Richter, a broker with Evolution Development Group of Indianapolis, are planning an open-concept kitchen for the space in their proposal.

Najem described the restaurant as a family friendly casual restaurant that would feature a menu of burgers, seafood and a wood-fired stone oven for pizza.

Singh, a partner in reopening of the Swifty gas stations as Marathon stores in Columbus, said the two owners like the Columbus downtown area as a location for the unnamed restaurant and its proximity to The Commons, about a block away.

Najem owns Bella Vita restaurant, an upscale sit-down restaurant on Geist Reservoir on the northeast side of Indianapolis.

Their Columbus restaurant proposal includes a beer and wine bar, Najem said. Patrons will be able to watch their food being prepared from the open-concept kitchen and grill, he said.

He estimated that the former Bistro 310 space would have to be gutted to install the new concept and take four to five months to complete.

The former Bistro 310, which closed five days before Christmas, was located in the first floor of the Fourth Street garage at 310 Fourth St.

Bistro 310 owner Robin Maiani said the restaurant closed for financial reasons. Bistro 310 opened in 2004 in the Old Commons Mall and was closed for about a year-and-a-half until reopening at the Fourth Street location in 2009.

What's next

The Columbus Redevelop Commission’s tenant review committee will consider two restaurant proposals for the space formerly occupied by Bistro 310 restaurant.

The committee consists of redevelopment commission members Dave Wright and Robert Abrams, redevelopment commission attorney Stan Gamso, redevelopment director Heather Pope and Gary Thompson, representing REI, which manages the city’s parking garages.

The earliest a decision could come is the next redevelopment meeting at 6 p.m. May 18 at City Hall.

Author photo
Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.