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What’s to come for Bloomington restaurants in 2019



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Joella's Hot Chicken is opening a location on the east side of Bloomington near Target, taking the place of the Scholar’s Inn Bakehouse. Mallory Smith Buy Photos

In 2019, numerous local restaurants are opening, closing and making business changes in Bloomington. Last year, several new restaurants came to town, including Social Cantina and Culver’s. 

Closing

Closing this year is Bobby’s Colorado Steakhouse, which opened in 1985 as the Colorado Steak House and reopened in 2012 with its new name. The restaurant will close Jan. 31. 

Opening

One of the restaurants opening this year is Joella’s Hot Chicken. Opening Jan. 24, it will take the place of the Scholar’s Inn Bakehouse on Third Street.

Another restaurant opening is SmokeWorks, by the owners of The Tap and Social Cantina. It will open mid-to-late-February next to Social Cantina in the old Indiana Running Company building. Social Cantina manager Brian Fisher said the restaurant will serve bourbon, barbecue and a lot of smoked meats. 

In February, a smoothie bowl restaurant called Rush Bowls will open at 1421 N. Dunn St.

Other changes 

Cafe Pizzaria on Kirkwood Avenue, which has been in Bloomington since 1953, is looking to start selling beer this year. According to one of the owners, David Webb, the restaurant applied for an alcohol sales permit, and the hearing is set for Feb. 6. The restaurant was previously not legally allowed to sell beer because it is across from a church, but the law changed this year.

“When we heard, we jumped on it,” Webb said. “We only applied to sell beer. We don’t want to become a bar, we just want to be a place where you can grab a beer and pizza.”

In addition, a lot of restaurants are changing ownership or location, according to Sylvia Garrison, the Chief Food Sanitarian and Deputy Administrator at the Bloomington Health Department.

Garrison said the process can be lengthy.

“Technically speaking, the restaurant closes when a new owner comes in because health permits are not transferable,” Garrison said. 

Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake Pizza at 4017 S. Old State Road sold the building and changed owners this year, but the business is the same. 

Carson’s BBQ and Catering moved to a new location at 3878 W. Third St. this year, according to Garrison. The restaurant also recently began offering delivery seven days a week. 

Last year, Feast Bakery Cafe closed Dec. 24. The restaurant will reopen this year under the same owner, but will be called “Oona.”

These new restaurant changes will all take place within the first two months of the year.

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