It’s taken a bit longer than expected to debut the BuffaLouie’s Carmel location, but the restaurant best known for its wings is preparing to open by April at the latest.
“We want to make sure we’re consistent as far as the looks and tastes, that it is the same as it is in Bloomington,” said Nick Williams, BuffaLouie’s managing partner. “That’s our biggest key, so that’s why we’ve been diligently taking our time on things, making sure we do things right. We have a lot of things planned and surprises for everyone. It’s going to be great, and we’re definitely excited for it.”
BuffaLouie’s, founded in Bloomington in 1987 by Indiana University junior Jay Lieser, will be on the southeast corner of Main Street and Veterans Way in a space that previously housed the Carmel Chocolate Cafe and Main Street Barber Shop. Originally expected to open in November 2023, the Carmel site marks the restaurant’s second location, but its owners are eyeing other expansion opportunities in the Indianapolis area.
Williams, an Indianapolis resident, said the menu in Carmel will mirror offerings in Bloomington and, in addition to wings, include salads, burgers, sandwiches and more. The Carmel restaurant, however, will sell liquor in addition to beer and wine and have wait staff serving tables. The Bloomington location only offers beer and wine, and customers order at a counter.
The decor in the Carmel restaurant is set to celebrate Indiana sports, including the Colts, Pacers, and – of course – the Bloomington-based IU Hoosiers. Longtime IU rival Purdue University will likely be represented, too.
“We were thinking of having a Boiler Booth where we’ll put some Purdue stuff in there,” Williams said.
BuffaLouie’s has been recognized as one of the top 10 wing joints in the U.S. by USA Today. Lieser, a native of Buffalo, N.Y., named the restaurant after his late grandfather, Louie, and many of the menu items are inspired by Lieser family recipes.
Hiring for various positions is underway. Those interested may apply through the BuffaLouie’s website at buffalouies.com/application-for-employment-carmel.