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Innovative Anthony's Chop House and rooftop bar open in Carmel with SBA 504 financing from First Merchants Bank & Indiana Statewide CDC
Anthony's Chop House and associated 3UP Rooftop Bar are opening in August in the middle of Carmel's downtown Arts & Design District.

Owner Anthony Lazzara has hired 75 employees for his twin establishments. Anthony's Chop House and 3 UP Rooftop Bar are located in a new, three-story building at Carmel's Main Street and the Monon Trail.

Lazzara obtained financing from First Merchants Bank and Indiana Statewide Certified Development Corporation using the U.S. Small Business Administration 504 loan program. The SBA 504 loan helped Lazzara construct the building and finish the interiors of both restaurants.

Indiana Statewide CDC works with local Indiana lenders to issue SBA 504 loans to help owners of expanding or startup small businesses buy real estate, buildings and equipment. SBA 504 loans help small companies gain favorable financing terms similar to those available to large companies in conventional loans.

Lazzara says, "With the SBA's loan guarantee, we were able to craft a financing package with First Merchants and Indiana Statewide CDC that encompassed more than just the construction loan. We were able to obtain a loan with a more acceptable amortization than the bank could allow. This will help our business from a cash flow perspective in the first few years which are the toughest in this industry, financially."

Josh McKenney of First Merchants Bank says, "This is a large building project. People can't miss it in downtown Carmel. The SBA 504 program helped us come up with a pricing strategy that worked in the borrower's favor while providing the bank with an adequate risk coverage. We are able to provide a more generous payment structure for Anthony, which will help in the early years as the restaurant gains traction."

Lazzara says he wrote his first restaurant business plan in high school. He says, "Anthony's Chophouse is an innovative twist on the traditional steakhouse - mixing a modern aesthetic with knowledgeable servers to deliver a take on classic dishes. With a sumptuous menu and an old-world focused wine program, Anthony's Chophouse finds a way to celebrate every moment."

The two restaurants' interiors offer contrasts; a big city chophouse feel in Anthony's ChopHouse and a living wall in the 3UP Rooftop Bar.

Lazzara says, "The City of Carmel is investing much into the Arts and Design District in conjunction with the new Midtown Monon Trail Project. Our development is the grand entrance and epicenter of all that will serve the community at the Monon Trail. So while we certainly are opening a business to create jobs and earn a profit, intrinsically we wanted to create an engaging area for the whole community to enjoy. Thus we placed a park, plaza and other features on our property."

Background:

Indiana Statewide CDC (www.alwfag.com) has provided more than $515 million to 1,200 Indiana companies since 1983, creating or saving more than 15,000 jobs, and is the most prolific CDC in Indiana.

First Merchants Bank (www.firstmerchants.com) based in Muncie, is the largest part of First Merchants Corporation. First Merchants Bank and its division has branches in 25 counties in Indiana and two each in Ohio and Illinois. Lafayette Bank & Trust, a division of First Merchants, serves six additional Indiana counties.

Anthony's Chop House (www.anthonyschophouse.com) 3UP Rooftop Bar (www.3uprooftop.com) are the newest attractions to downtown Carmel's mix of restaurants, art galleries and shops. Owner Anthony Lazzara developed his visions over many years; a traditional steakhouse with a modern, individualistic flair and a rooftop bar with a commanding urban view.

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