Wine & Rind, Kernel’s Gourmet Popcorn join Carmel’s Midtown offerings

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Two new shops are joining Carmel’s bustling Midtown area, but owner Chuck Lazzara expects their quaint nature is what will set them apart.

Wine & Rind, which will serve charcuterie boards, small plates and more, is set to open in mid-August along the Monon Greenway just north of Sun King Brewery. Kernel’s Gourmet Popcorn opened in early August just to the east of Wine & Rind. Both shops are in an unassuming one-story building, one of the few in the area not to be demolished for redevelopment.

“In the center of all these massive, new, beautiful buildings and construction, you’ve got this little taste of old Carmel, these little artisan shops,” Lazzara said.

Wine & Rind will offer a relaxed atmosphere to grab a light bite before dinner or a show elsewhere in Carmel or provide a unique place to pause for a bit while traveling the Monon Greenway. Lazzara said it will provide a “new twist on charcuterie” with lunch boards – featuring deconstructed sandwich items – available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily.

More traditional charcuterie boards will feature flavors from around the world (and one featuring locally sourced items), matching the building’s international design and decor.

“It’s a little bit of France, a little bit of Italy and a little bit of Napa all lumped into one,” Lazzara said.

Wine & Rind will feature wine by the bottle, glass or tap. A selection of rotating beers will be on tap, and others will be available in bottles. Other drinks, including nonalcoholic selections, will also be sold.

The shop will open at 11 a.m. daily and close at 8 or 9 p.m. or later, if guests are still using the space.

Lazzara didn’t initially plan to open a popcorn shop next door, but when the space became available, he took it. The back of the shop includes storage and cleaning space for Wine & Rind, but in the public-facing area customers can enjoy a rotating selection of flavored popcorn. Initial offerings include butter, caramel, kettle, cheese and Oreo. Kernel’s Gourmet Popcorn is closed Mondays.

Lazzara operates both shops with his wife, Lynn, and with assistance from his brother, Tom. He had hoped to open them several months ago, but supply chain issues, a tight labor market and other issues created delays.

The Lazzara family has operated several other businesses in Carmel, including Ritz Charles, Anthony’s Chophouse and Joe’s Butcher Shop and Fish Market. Lynn’s brother owns Bub’s Burgers on Main Street.

“I can’t get this entrepreneurial feeling out of my body,” said Lazzara, 72. “I should probably be down in Florida or on the golf course, instead I’m over here 12 hours a day.”

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