Company buys former Johnny Carino’s location

By Mark Webber | The Republic The Johnny Carino’s restaurant in Columbus has closed and moving trucks were at the restaurant today, Oct. 11, 2023.

A company whose officers have ties to Riviera Maya Mexican Restaurant has bought the former location of Johnny Carino’s Country Italian restaurant in Columbus, according to public real estate records.

Rm Columbus Holdings LLC bought the 1.85-acre site of the former Italian restaurant at 870 Creekview Dr. for $1.2 million on July 1, the records show. The site includes the 6,517-square-foot building that used to house the restaurant, as well as 44,398-square-foot parking lot.

Rm Columbus Holdings LLC, formed this past April 2, lists 10430 N. U.S. 31 as its principal office address, according to the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office. That is the same address as the Riviera Maya Express location in Taylorsville.

The recently formed company’s officers also are officers of Columbus-based Riviera Maya Mexican Restaurant Inc., state records show.

Currently, it is unclear what Rm Columbus Holdings’ plans are for the former Johnny Carino’s site or what implications, if any, it would have for the two Riviera Maya locations in Bartholomew County.

Riviera Maya did not respond to requests for comment.

Johnny Carino’s closed its doors last year after sales did not match increases in rent, which General Manager Quentin Smith attributed to inflation at the time.

The property’s previous owner, San Diego, Calif.-based Arc CafeUSA001 LLC, sold the building and land at a loss after purchasing the property for just over $3 million in September 2013.

When adjusting for inflation, the 2013 sales price would be the equivalent of just over $4 million today, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s inflation calculator.

Riviera Maya has been located on the south side of what is now known as NexusPark since 2006.

The 8,900-square-foot restaurant reused architectural elements from old Indiana churches, schools and a Masonic temple, The Republic reported in 2006.

The restaurant also included at the time hand-carved and custom-made wooden booths, tables and chairs from Mexico, as well as statues and other items picked up in different parts of Mexico by one of the restaurant’s owners, who “studied books about the Mayan region of Mexico to recreate some of the area’s architectural detail,” according to previous coverage in The Republic.

Riviera Maya later opened another location in Taylorsville called Riviera Maya Express.