Michael’s Soul Kitchen, the swanky restaurant and jazz lounge in downtown Indy, is closing for good this weekend.
The restaurant, located at 115 E. Ohio St., has elected not to renew its lease and has been renting month-to-month since the landlord of its building sought a buyer, said Michael’s landlord, Connie Oates-Allen.
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Michael’s opened in late 2018 and in 2019 introduced a menu of classic Southern and Creole cuisines, including fried and barbecue chicken, mac and cheese, okra, and shrimp stew. Its soul food buffet took off in a setting of red, brass and cherry wood, plush sofas and a grand piano with live musical performances.
Since the pandemic, it has operated with a model of private events and prepaid entries.
The concept, however, will continue at another venue operated by Oates-Allen and business partner Romeo Gerson.
Michael’s menu will move to Miami’s Garden, a tropical-themed event space and restaurant that Gerson opened at 7102 Woodland Dr. in January, serving craft cocktails and hosting live entertainment.
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Oates-Allen joins the business – the couple had been partners at Michael’s – bringing Michael’s Soul Food to diners Sunday through Tuesday; and a Fusion Soul menu featuring foods from the African Diaspora Wednesday through Saturday. Like Michael’s, Miami’s Garden offers shows on weekends.
“I will miss my room. My room was a beautiful room. I will miss the class and luxury of my room,” Oates-Allen said. “But I have to change with the times and change with the situations. And the trick is to come out strong.”
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The new menu, featuring Michael’s soul food buffet on Sundays, will debut in August.
Michael’s Soul Kitchen will be open to the public from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on July 29 and 30 with its signature soul food buffet, and will host a private gathering on July 31.
For reservations at Michael’s Soul Kitchen, call 317-855-6161.
Contact IndyStar reporter Cheryl V. Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-444-6264. Follow her on Twitter: @cherylvjackson.