After August 2018, Yogi’s Kitchen and Tap won’t be found at its familiar location on the corner of 10th Street and Indiana Avenue.
IU issued a document stating its intent to purchase the property, Yogi’s general manager Paddy Cullen, said. This means if IU does acquire the property, the restaurant-bar will have to pick up and move elsewhere. Cullen said Yogi’s has been aware of the agreement for about six months.
“It gives us time to solidify our new location, get the process of setting up and all that taken care of,” Cullen said.
Tom Morrison, IU’s vice president of capital planning and facilities, released a statement saying should IU acquire the property where Yogi’s is now, there is “no immediate plan as to the short- or long-term use of the property.”
“Indiana University and the Indiana University Foundation regularly seek to acquire property that borders each of the IU campuses in very targeted areas for long term master planning purposes,” Morrison said in his statement.
Yogi’s hasn’t decided where it will move yet, but he has several criteria in mind that a new location must meet in order to be considered a good fit, Cullen said.
First, the size of the new place is important.
“We can’t go into a 2,300-square-foot location,” he said.
It must also have good proximity to the University — ideally still within walking distance for students — and Cullen said he’d like there to be some kind of parking accommodation, whether that be more on-site parking or close access to a parking garage or metered street parking.
In the past day or so, Cullen said there’s been somewhat of an outpouring of people reaching out about potential new locations.
Cullen and some Yogi’s employees speak of moving with an air of excitement.
“I want the move, y’know?” said Peter Curran, a manager at Yogi’s. “It’s just time to create some more excitement, get something new going.”
Curran said the building is old and the move will be good for the company.
He’s not too worried about losing customers. The bar and restaurant has good service and good production — “people will come,” he said.
Stephen Dyar, a 29-year-old server and bartender at Yogi’s, said his hope is that regulars transfer to the new location. While he said he’s bummed about losing the history of the current building, which Yogi’s has been in for 25 years — he’s optimistic about the move.
“I think in the long run, it’s going to be great,” Dyar said.
Zach Thames, a junior at IU and bartender at Yogi’s, said the move will be a really good opportunity to reconnect with the student market.
Some customers at Yogi’s on Wednesday night seemed to agree with Thames. Alex Paisley, a senior at IU, said he wished the restaurant and bar were closer to Kirkwood.
Another customer said the location is convenient for her now, as is.
“It’s a lot closer than other bars,” said Megan Townsley, a senior at IU. If it were somewhere where she had to drive, Townsley said she’d be less likely to go.
The costs associated with moving will be a double-edged sword, Cullen said.
Moving will be expensive, but for the past six months, Yogi’s has put a lot of money into upgrades anyway, and the roof is starting to get old and in need of replacement, he said.
It makes sense, then, just to renovate completely at a new place.
Most of the improvements from the past few months, such as a new fryer and new draft towers, are things that will easily transfer to a new location.
When people like Curran, who’s been working on-and-off at Yogi’s since about 1995, are the ones saying it’s time to move, it’s probably time to get a new start, Cullen said.
“We are excited,” Cullen said. “It’s a big task.”