Local Breakfast & Lunch Diner Remains a Carmel Favorite Nearly 15 Years Later
Photographer / Ron Wise
When Larry and Jenny Hoover opened Brunchies restaurant in Carmel in 2006, they aimed to fill a void in the area. The north side of Indianapolis, he says, simply didn’t have many breakfast dining options.
“I wanted to offer a nice, safe, clean, friendly, Christian restaurant when I opened,” he says. “I want my place to be your place. I want people to come in here and feel comfortable like they would at home.”
Today, much has changed about Carmel, including its restaurant landscape. However, Larry says his business remains what it was when it first began. The restaurant even has some of its same customers who came in the day it opened.
Its core clientele isn’t the only thing that remains constant. Hoover didn’t make a single change to his menu until just a few years ago.
The menu includes a plethora of traditional options, with the most popular breakfast item being the All-American Classis — two eggs, bacon or sausage, toast, and hash browns or tater tots. Brunchies offers breakfast throughout the day and lunch starting at 10:30 a.m.
“I’ve been told I have the best breakfast in Carmel,” Larry says.
For lunch, its bestsellers include made-from-scratch breaded tenderloin and onion rings.
Dishes range in cost from $4-12, with most offered for $7 or $8.
When Larry did finally decide to make changes to his menu, he did so based on customer requests. Some asked for healthier options, so he added wraps. Others wanted tater tots, an item Brunchies now goes through 90 pounds of in a given week.
“I do cater to my customers,” Larry says.
Larry and Jenny met while students at North Central High School in Indianapolis, where Jenny is the treasurer. The couple owned Tin Star in Broad Ripple, selling the Old West jail-themed restaurant in 1998.
But Larry has been working in restaurants more than 40 years — all the way back to age 13.
His experience includes a variety of areas of the restaurant business, from operational to sales, in casual, family and fine dining. He has waited tables, washed dishes, served as a manager, and cooked. At Brunchies you can still find him behind the grill.
“Basically, what we did at Brunchies,” Larry says, “is take a little bit from every restaurant I ever managed or owned, and incorporate it.”
Brunchies has 17 employees. The Hoovers’ children were among those working there while growing up, and Larry’s mother also helped launch the business. That family vibe keeps longtime and newer customers coming back.
“My wife and I get to know our regulars by name,” he says. “At any given time, I could rattle off 50 or 60 names of people sitting in this restaurant.”
Brunchies, located at 13732 N. Meridian St. in Carmel, is open 6 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. To learn more, visit brunchiesdinercarmel.com. Find Brunchies on Facebook for more information and specials.