The gourmet sandwich joint which has been located in the heart of the Broad Ripple village for 4 years is moving. Normally, I would not take the time to report on such an event. Retail businesses in general are a volatile endeavour and subject to abrupt change based on business patterns. However, in the case of Boogie Burger’s impending move, this strikes at the heart of why Urban Indy writes about the things that we do. Boogie Burger will be moving from it’s current location at 927 E Westfield Blvd to 1904 Broad Ripple Ave. They will be moving into the location formerly occupied by the Red Eye Cafe and prior to that regional pizza joint Pizza King. The current location is within a dense, vibrant, neighborhood literally footsteps from the Monon Trail while the new location lies upon a busy 4 lane throughfare. Why would a business choose to make such a move?
According to owner Mark Radford, “We needed more space.” I spoke to Mark recently regarding their move. After hearing the justifications that he offered, the move began to make more sense. Indeed, this is a move born of logistics. The current location is so small that they cannot store the amount of supplies that they need to serve the amount of people that come through the door. There is no walk in cooler and often times, trips out to purchase more supplies are needed during business hours. People through the door is another factor.The current location can only seat 14 people. The new location will be able to accommodate over 40 people. Moreover, parking is a concern. As I suspected, people have made mention of how difficult it can be to park in the village and walk to Boogie Burger’s current location.
Radford talked about how they will miss the current location. He also commented that the move will be inconvenient to residents who currently live within walking distance of the current location. However, they hope to be able to draw upon the large, walkable, residential neighborhood just across Broad Ripple Ave from the new location. They also hope to retain as many current customers since the new location is not located across town. Additionally, they plan on building a patio (there is currently a zoning variance motion in the works) as well as offer a bike rack. Radford who own’s Boogie Burger with his wife recognize the perception of the new place versus the current location. Regarding the new location he said, “We hope that we can generate more pedestrian activity in that strip.” He also commented about the business nature of the village, “Business can be solid on the weekends and then the village turns into a ghost town for the first three days of the week.” They hope by having a dense neighborhood located across the street that this can spur some lunchtime foot traffic.
I did an analysis of the two locations by comparing their walkscore. Walkscore is a website that scores how walkable a neighborhood is based upon factors like sidewalks, street grid, access to services, etc. Surprisingly, the current location (83) scored only one point higher than the new location (82). I was surprised about this. Additionally, both locations are served by the same bus routes, the 17.
Will Boogie Burger survive as a perveyor of delicious burgers and french fries after moving? Will their clientele still seek them out via automobile vs foot? Can Boogie Burger improve upon the efforts of the past two tenants of the new location? According to Radford, “It really comes down to how you work it.” He feels confident that the new business will pay dividends and that the great tasting food that brings people to the current location will bring them to the new location.