An Indianapolis couple planning to expand their Mexican restaurant chain in the anchor spot at The Commons has delayed opening until September.
Renovation work is continuing for Luciana’s Mexican Restaurant and Cantina, which had planned to open Aug. 2 in the Commons restaurant space formerly occupied by Jordy McTaggart’s Grill & Pub.
Sarah Bravo, who owns the restaurant chain with her husband Alberto, said renovation work is taking longer than expected, but the restaurant at 310 Washington St. is on track to open next month.
“We are really looking forward to it,” she said. “We want to do it right.”
Contractors are installing granite countertops and crown molding, and have added a private event room at the back of the restaurant, Alberto Bravo said. The private event room, separated from the restaurant with sliding doors, will seat 15 people.
The couple decided to reduce the bar area from the amount of space Jordy’s had delegated to it, instead shifting the space to be a more family-style restaurant, he said.
The couple also has made the counter area where hosts greet customers closer to the entrance to be more visible as diners enter, where they will find a more colorful and vibrant decor.
Jordy’s was known for the flat-screen televisions that were visible throughout the restaurant, and the new Mexican restaurant will also have them, Alberto Bravo said. The Columbus location will have a combination of decor elements that are featured at Luciana’s two locations in Indianapolis, which are in Broad Ripple and on 82nd Street near Keystone at the Crossing.
Luciana’s locations in Indianapolis feature brightly painted walls and booths in red, blue, orange and green with booths and wood table and chairs in the dining area. Its website is available in English and Spanish.
“As we kept going, we found that we needed to do more,” Alberto Bravo said about the interior decor. “There’s not one Mexican restaurant that looks like ours.”
The Bravos, who are investing and estimated $250,000 to $300,000 to renovate the space and to add new equipment, are taking over the remaining seven years on the Jordy’s lease. Jordy’s closed in January after three years of operation.
The original lease for Jordy’s called for a monthly rent of $5,051.75 or $60,621 a year, according to lease documents signed by the city prior to Jordy’s opening.
Four servers and two cooks from the couple’s two restaurants in Indianapolis will be working at the Columbus location when it opens next month. The restaurant received a liquor license for beer, wine and liquor to be served.
Most lunch items at Luciana’s range from $5 to $9 and dinner items up to about $14, according to the menu. On its menu, the restaurant promises fresh, quality ingredients and fast service.
The addition of another restaurant in downtown Columbus is a positive thing, said Cindy Frey, executive director of the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce.
“As we seek to attract talent to our city, having more offerings is an advantage,” Frey said.
Frey said she anticipates the restaurant will be well received once it opens.
“We’ve become a very global community and I think they’ll be very successful,” she said.
The Mexican restaurant will add to the options available for downtown diners, ranging from Italian, American and Caribbean, said Heather Pope, city redevelopment director.
“The more restaurants you have downtown, the more likely you are to stay downtown and dine and visit some of our retail shops,” Pope said.
To learn more about Luciana’s Mexican Restaurant and Cantina, visit lucianasmexicanrestaurant.com.