Opening a restaurant in the middle of a global pandemic may not be ideal, but restaurateur Craig Barnum believes the time is right to bring a new fine-dining option to Carmel.
Tucci’s is set to open in the former Langton’s Irish Pub space at Carmel City Center in mid-January 2021. It will be the second location for the restaurant, which has been operating in Dublin, Ohio since 1998.
Tucci’s is owned by CLB Restaurants, the same company that has operated Matt the Miller’s Tavern next door since 2012. Barnum, founder and president of CLB Restaurants, said previous success in Carmel City Center, the addition of Hotel Carmichael next door and confidence that the COVID-19 pandemic will come to an end gives him confidence it makes sense to open Tucci’s soon.
“This (pandemic) is not going to go on forever. I’m hoping next spring to summer things will begin to loosen up and the shows will start again, and people will start getting back to their lives,” said Barnum, founder of CLB Restaurants. “We’re in this (restaurant business) for the long haul.”
Barnum described Tucci’s as a “very wine-centric” concept that serves fish, steaks, pasta and pizza. He expects the Carmel menu to be similar to the one in Ohio but offer a wider selection of pizza options. It will open daily at 3 p.m.
Tucci’s will occupy the lower level of the former Langton’s space and have room for approximately 70 diners. CLB Restaurants also owned Langton’s and used some of the upstairs space to create a private banquet room connected to Matt the Miller’s.
Barnum said Carmel is better poised than most communities to welcome a new restaurant during a pandemic.
“Carmel, of every place I travel, seems to be as normal as normal can be,” Barnum said. “Obviously, there are still restrictions and people are a little apprehensive, but of all the markets I deal with and travel to, it almost seems like in Carmel they’re living, doing things, going out and dining, so I’m less worried about opening up now.”
Learn more about Tucci’s at TuccisDublin.com.