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Indy business owner makes comeback after losing restaurant in pandemic

The Block Bistro and Grill opens Feb. 7
Posted at 12:33 AM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 11:18:29-05

INDIANAPOLIS — In February 2020 local businessman Terry Anthony was on top of the world. He had just finished remodeling his successful Subway restaurant in the shadows of the City-County Building on East Market Street.

"We had opened up to this brand new, new format, new setup everything was nice. All the new bells and whistles. Unfortunately, a month later we had a little thing come around called COVID-19," said Anthony.

In less than two months the pandemic and stay at home orders forced Anthony to permanently shut down his once-booming restaurant after mutually agreeing with the building's owner to go their separate ways.

"So, a business that would have normally seen upwards of 700 customers in a day, trickled down to about say 70, maybe, and that pretty much stretched it," said Anthony.

Anthony says he could have lost everything trying to keep the doors open and would've suffered more losses during the May riots that damaged that building. "On that very same block that we would've been open was vandalized, banks caught on fire, and businesses that were ravaged that are still not open today," said Anthony.

But fast forward 10 months later and Anthony is back on his feet opening a new upscale American food restaurant on the other end of Market Street and Capitol Ave. The same space housed a restaurant that closed and was also damaged during the riots. It's in the same building WRTV reported on from the riots.

Anthony has now gutted that space in preparation for his new restaurant called the Block Bistro and Grill which opens this weekend and has a little bit of everything. "Your tacos, your salmon, we have a ribeye, we have what we call blanchos, which is our take on a nacho," said Anthony.

Almost a year into a pandemic, Anthony can't guarantee that his new venture will be successful. But with March Madness just weeks from arriving in Indy he's hoping his timing is right for a new chapter.

"What matters now is that we are Americans, we are Hoosiers and we've got to figure out a way to do what we've always done, pull our way out of this situation and come out on the other side and do it together. If it starts at The Block, I'd love to say that and keep it going from there," said Anthony.