The new owner of a landmark south-side eatery is renovating and dividing the 40,000-square-foot space to land retail and commercial tenants.

Indianapolis Business Journal

A former Greenwood restaurant, catering and banquet space has gotten a facelift and soon could house multiple offices and shops.

The new owner of the former Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria is renovating the property and dividing the space in a bid to attract multiple commercial tenants.

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The 40,000-square-foot headquarters building, just off the Interstate 65 interchange at Main Street, was sold to Randy Faulkner in 2015 after being owned by the Byrd family for 28 years. The restaurant closed in May 2016.

Faulkner bought the 40,000-square-foot former cafeteria building for $1.1 million, according to Johnson County assessor records. Faulkner, 52, who operates Faulkner Restoration Inc. and real estate firm Randy Faulkner & Associates along with his wife, Julie, expect to spend another $500,000 readying it for up to 12 office and retail tenants.

Faulkner is no stranger to redevelopment. In November, his real estate firm bought the Polk Building, which used to be Greenwood city hall. Now, the 24,000-square foot, nearly century-old structure at 2 N. Madison Ave. is occupied by the Cornerstone Autism Center. In July 2015, Faulkner bought the building at 2115 E. Southport Road that formerly housed a Gerdt Furniture store, which is now home to dental claims processor Renaissance Electronic Services.

Although construction work still is progressing, Faulkner has commitments from several tenants for the former cafeteria space, he said. They include a title company, videographer and beauty salon. In addition, Faulkner’s restoration company is located there, and real estate agent Bruce Richardson has moved into space on the second floor.

A 7,000-square-foot event center, which will be operated by Kristee Anderson, should open by November. Anderson describes the building’s renovation as “farmhouse glam,” in part due to the rustic look and the eight doors Faulkner salvaged from an old Wisconsin farmhouse and installed in the building. On the west end, Faulkner is hoping to attract a McAlister’s Deli to the 4,500-square-foot former dining room.

Its first occupant, Brickhouse Coffee Co., which opened nearly two months ago, is located on the east end in 5,000 square feet that boasts a drive-thru window. Jared and Lora Stayton learned to roast coffee beans while working as missionaries in Spain.

“The drive-thru was a bonus,” Jared Stayton said. “So was the building’s iconic status.”

In a nod to Jonathan Byrd’s, Faulkner has named the building The Nest. When he bought it, however, he had no idea the restaurant would be leaving. Faulkner originally rented the space back to Byrd’s but agreed to release the company from its obligations once it became evident the restaurant would be leaving, he said.

Byrd Enterprises left the building because it had planned to open a restaurant at the Grand Park Sports Campus and planned to partner with the city of Westfield to manage the park’s two-story indoor soccer complex. But by the end of January, Jonathan Byrd’s had stopped doing business at Grand Park.

Byrd Enterprises still operates the 502 East Event Centre in Carmel, formally known as The Fountains.