Two longtime businesses in Noblesville are closing their doors as the city of Noblesville prepares to begin a major improvement project on Pleasant Street this fall that officials say will improve the east-west connection.
The project, known as Reimagine Pleasant Street, is estimated to cost $115 million and will be done in three phases, said city engineer Alison Krupsky. The first phase includes work planned for a bridge over the White River in Hamilton County that spans 1.1 miles west of River Road to 10th Street, Krupski said.
The public can expect construction on the first phase — estimated to cost $59 million — sometime in October. Krupski said the project has been years in the making.
“The main goal of this project is East-West connectivity,” she said. “The city needs another White River crossing aimed at easing traffic in downtown Noblesville.”
But businesses near the intersection of 10th Street and Pleasant Street, such as El Camino Real, a Mexican restaurant and a Dairy Queen, have already closed because the city has to find restaurants to use for the project.
at 797 S. 10th St. Ignacio Rodriguez, owner of El Camino Real, said he thinks the Pleasant Street project will benefit the community when it’s completed. Rodriguez would not disclose the exact amount paid for the property and directed the reporter to produce a legal document posted on the front door, which shows the city paid $552,250.
Rodriguez, however, indicated that they have ongoing discussions with city officials on the matter and that they may be relocated in the future. El Camino Real had been in business since 1998 before closing in late July.
“We have to cooperate,” he said, referring to working with the city.
Rodriguez thanked his customers for their support over the years, saying they have made many memories in his business.
“Working in the community has been a lot of fun,” he said. “We tried to do our best to satisfy our customers.”
Still, Rodriguez said the decision to close was a difficult one.
“We miss everyone,” he said.
Across the street, the Dairy Queen is affected by the upcoming Pleasant Street project and has long been important to the area. Kathy Zeller, general manager, said the business has been in its current location since 1975, and previously the property was diagonally across from its current location.
The longtime business is owned by the Ryaner family, which owns several other Dairy Queen franchises in central Indiana, and Zeller said the city will lease the property at 798 S. 10th St. She confirmed the purchase and said she did not know the purchase price.
Zeller said she knows Dairy Queen will be affected by the Pleasant Street project, although the timing is unclear.
“We knew it was coming, but we didn’t know how fast,” Zeller said.
In the year It had many customers on the day word spread that it was the last day of business, which was closed on August 7th.
Zeller, who oversees four full-time and five part-time employees, said the business had nowhere to go and had to rebuild at some point. Dairy Queen employees affected by the closing have been put to work at other stores owned by the Rayner family, Zeller said.
Still, Zeller said the decision to close is “very sad” because many families enjoy coming to Dairy Queen. The sign has already been removed from the business, which has a “Thanks for the memories” message on one side of the letterboard outside.
“I know the public in general is upset,” she said. “It’s not the businesses they’re upset about, it’s the change in society as a whole.”
For Zeller, Dairy Queen has been a big part of her life, noting that she will celebrate her 49th year with the company in 2022, but she plans to work at one of the several Dairy Queens owned by the Reisners in Ellwood, Tipton or Greenfield. Tipton resident Helen Smith, who has worked at the Noblesville location for three years, said she was disappointed to see the store close.
“It’s sad, sad to see it come to an end,” Smith said.
For more information about the Reimagine Pleasant Street project in Noblesville, visit reimaginepleasantst.com or call 317-773-4614.