Café not coming downtown

GREENFIELD — A local real estate agent hopes to find a new tenant to fill a void in downtown Greenfield after plans for a much-anticipated Cajun café were called off earlier this month.

Mama Roux, a spin-off of the popular Indianapolis Cajun eatery, Papa Roux, was expected to open this month at 16 N. State St. in the space formerly occupied by Hey Café, which closed in the fall.

The real estate agent for the space let restaurateur Colleen Kenna out of her lease; Kenna, who announced her change of plans on Facebook, confirmed the Greenfield restaurant would not open but could not be reached for further comment.

Mickey Hill, administrative assistant for Twenty Main, a Greenfield commercial realtor who manages the recently vacated property, said the company is actively seeking new tenants.

The announcement Mama Roux won’t join the lineup of downtown restaurants comes on the heels of news that SoupHerb, a popular lunch destination in downtown Greenfield, will close July 1.

It’s unwelcome news to many residents who were eager to gain another dining option in downtown Greenfield.

Mama Roux was expected to offer take-out dining and seating for 75. Menu items were anticipated to mirror those of Papa Roux in Indianapolis, which include breaded catfish and grilled ham po’boy sandwiches.

In a message posted by Kenna to the Mama Roux Facebook page, which collected more than 1,900 likes in the months leading up to its anticipated opening, she told residents it was a challenge to get the Greenfield location up and running while managing the restaurant’s Indianapolis location. She also cited personal issues that interfered with the plans.

“Please understand that this is best for our employees and our customers at this time,” she wrote in the post.

Kenna invited Greenfield residents to dine at Papa Roux, 8950 E. 10th St., in Indianapolis, where they will receive a 20 percent discount with proof of residence through July 31.

Justin Miller, a Greenfield resident who was counting down the days until Mama Roux’s anticipated opening, said he’s disappointed to hear the news.

Still, he understands why Kenna chose to hold off on plans and hopes the restaurant will one day open in Greenfield.

Until then, Miller said he’s happy to drive to the east side of Indianapolis to get his Cajun fare.

Retta Livengood, president of the Greenfield Area Chamber of Commerce said it’s disappointing to lose Mama Roux before its arrival but said she’s confident something will fill the space before long.

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Daniel Morgan is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. He can be reached at (317) 477-3228 or dmorgan@greenfieldreporter.com.