Michael Rypel and Rob Carmack have set out to bring English cuisine to the northside of Indianapolis. They opened Cheeky Bastards on January 2 and are already drawing an unexpected crowd.
“We’ve been very surprised at how many British people are in the area that are either going to become citizens or are married to Americans,” Rypel says. “Daily we’re seeing at least 20 British people from the area, and they’re all so excited to have food from their home country like their mom used to make.”
Carmack, an Italian-trained chef, spent the last year in England learning all there is to know about British food. Upon returning last June, Carmack and Rypel, who travels to England for work a few times per year, realized that Indiana had little to offer in terms of classic British meals.
Carmack’s return happened to line up with a vacancy down from Rypel’s art studio on Fall Creek Road, and the two soon realized they had an opportunity to bring British food to Indiana.
“When he came back, [Rob] said, ‘You’ve got to try this food I tried over there,’ and we started looking from the bottom of the state to the top of the state for real British food and we just couldn’t find it,” Rypel says. “It was just perfect timing. This area really is just aching for something. During the day there’s nowhere to eat around here unless you want fast food or a chain restaurant. It’s a perfect opportunity to come here and that’s what most people are saying when they come in. There’s also just people around here that don’t really understand what authentic British food is unless they’re from Britain. There was a hole in that market that needed to be filled. ”
“While I was in England I had a list of British foods I’ve always wanted to try,” Carmack says. “I’ve learned that British food has a reputation of being bland and boring, but it’s a very multicultural nation and there’s a lot of influences in their food. I was blown away by the food and everything got me thinking, ‘Wow, I’d love to bring this back so my friends and family could experience what British food really is.’ We decided we were going to bring the experiences we had in England to the people in Indianapolis.”
The eatery is currently open for breakfast, and they serve a classic English breakfast spread, complete with baked beans and real English sausage. On the breakfast menu they also offer pastries, breakfast sandwiches and sausage rolls. The lunch menu includes shepherd’s pie, traditional fish and chips, scotch eggs and more.
The establishment is also serving coffee with a unique, personalized twist that has been a hit with the public. Customers pick their coffee, scan a QR code and upload a picture, and it is printed on the top of the coffee foam. The personalized coffee maker comes from Europe, and Cheeky Bastards is currently the only place offering customized coffee in the state, according to Rypel.
“So far people are very excited about [the customized coffee],” Rypel says. “A guy can put his girlfriend on there, grandparents put their grandchild on there, and then they take pictures of it and they send it to their family.”
Since the opening, the community response has been overwhelmingly positive, the co-owners say. Aside from the overwhelming population of British customers, the two have been pleasantly surprised by the response of Indiana natives as well.
“The people in general that come in are so excited,” Carmack says. “It’s just a very fulfilling part of the job when people are enjoying your food, and they are genuinely excited to come here and try something different or out of their norm. It’s good to see that there’s so many people that are adventurous eaters.”
Cheeky Bastards is located at 11210 Fall Creek Road in Indianapolis. The restaurant is currently open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will soon be open for dinner starting at 5 p.m. To learn more, visit cheekybastardsrestaurant.com, call 317-288-9739 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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