The Palladium’s January opening introduced a new melody to Carmel’s already harmonically united arts community. It opened the Indianapolis-area to a kind of entertainment Midwesterners would typically have to travel miles to experience.
But those aren’t the only populated areas with excited concert goers. Carmel’s family-run businesses are seeing signs of increased business.
Cathy Egler and Emilee Myers are co-owners of the French bistro La Mie Emilee. Egler says they are pleasantly surprised by the Palladium’s impact. “Our business has increased about 30 percent, reservations go quickly, and we have added extra tables.” She said.
La Mie Emilee isn’t the only restaurant planning on altering its hours to better accommodate Palladium guests. In fact, some independently owned restaurants have already incorporated later hours for people wanting to extend their musical experience.
Kevin Rider, owner of Woody’s Library Restaurant, said he’s looking to make a permanent change in hours and is already staying open later.
“Our business is up 90 percent on concert nights, so we now keep our kitchen open a little later,” said Rider. “I’m studying our business to alter scheduling so we can keep up, which is an excellent problem to have.”
Rider said regular business is up 37 percent, which is just another plus to meeting people from other states and being able to have his restaurant be an extension of the Palladium’s presence in the community.
Donatello’s Italian Restaurant opened the same time as the Palladium. It may not have been open long enough to see a business increase, but it immediately altered its original business strategy to support generous crowds and offers specials that are a bit quicker to help people get to shows on time.
“We have started offering faster specials such as lasagna, gnocchi and osso bucco to help people get to the show on time,” the owner said. “We ask people when they make their reservations if they are going to the show so we can plan accordingly and make sure they get there on time.”
Donatello’s is both pleased with the amount of business and the customers who visit the restaurant.
“They are the kind of customers we want; they enjoy wine and good food and in return we have extended our hours for nights of Palladium shows,” he said. “We seat people up until 11 p.m. on those nights.”
In the coming months, shows in the Palladium will become more frequent. In April alone, shows will run at least three times a week.
Although the increased profits and the excitement for what the Palladium has to offer local businesses has been a huge asset to Carmel’s Arts & District, for the owners of La Mie Emilee it is the simplicity of meeting interesting people.
“Another wonderful part of this is meeting and talking with concert-goers, people come from all over the country come to see these shows just the other weekend we had customers from Germany,” she said. “I think that’s a very special thing for all businesses and for our community.”