Owners of Local Comfort Food Concept Open Noblesville Location
Writer / Megan Arszman
Photographer / Kerch Creative
If you are looking for Hoosier home cooking in Hamilton County, there’s a good chance you would head to Erika’s Place, with locations in Cicero and, until recently, Westfield. The restaurant closed its doors at State Road 32 and Union Street in Westfield in December of 2020. In mid-January the owners opened new doors in the former Courtney’s Kitchen location in Noblesville. The restaurant leaders celebrate their tenth year serving the citizens of Cicero this year, as they kick off their first year in Noblesville.
Erika’s Place is the brainchild of longtime friends Erika Cecil-Flanders and Cheryl Hunter-Pettijohn. The two first met when Cecil-Flanders started working at a truck stop in Westfield that was owned by Hunter-Pettijohn’s parents. Later the two decided to open the first Erika’s Place in Cicero, as a way to bring comfort food to their friends and family members.
“When people ask what we serve, we say it’s Indiana comfort food,” Cecil-Flanders says. “It’s food that’s going to fill you up.”
The most popular dishes ordered at either location tend to be biscuits and gravy for breakfast, breaded tenderloins, fried chicken and beef Manhattan at lunchtime. Everything is made from scratch in the kitchen. Cecil-Flanders feels that Erika’s offerings will be similar to Courtney’s Kitchen, so she hopes the patrons from Courtney’s will give Erika’s Place a chance to win them over in the heart and the belly.
“Our menu is similar to Courtney’s,” she says. “I think that’ll be a big draw for the patrons.”
When asked what she’d fix for herself from Erika’s kitchen, Cecil-Flanders doesn’t hesitate.
“I love our breaded tenderloin,” she says. “What makes our tenderloin different from other restaurants is that we actually buy the loin, and hand-cut and hand-tenderize it ourselves.”
Business at the Westfield location had slowed down since restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic limited in-person dining, and Cecil-Flanders says business never seemed to bounce back. This, coupled with the uncertainty of the State Road 32 widening project, made it seem to the owners like it was time to find a new place for their restaurant to continue serving the citizens of Hamilton County.
“We didn’t want to leave Westfield, but when the opportunity to lease the restaurant on Logan Street came, it seemed like an opportunity we couldn’t miss,” Cecil-Flanders says. “We are super excited to have this Noblesville location, and judging by the response we’ve received on Facebook, so are most of our customers. It gives us so many more opportunities to serve our customers, from better parking to more seating and better handicap accessibility.”
The Noblesville eatery will follow the Cicero location’s all-day schedule: 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Monday through Saturday, and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. Additional daylight in the summer means that the restaurant will see additional hours of operation, and Erika’s will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Monday through Saturday during the warmer months.
The increase in hours stems from the opportunity the owners see with the new location on the Noblesville square, because of the increase in traffic from people visiting with a purpose, instead of simply driving through. There will also be an increase in serving capabilities, with seating for 65 patrons on the inside and seating for 30 to 40 people on the attached patio when the weather allows.
“It will be such a draw to have outdoor seating, especially if COVID-19 is still around this summer,” Cecil-Flanders says.
Those familiar with the Westfield location will find the decor similar in the Noblesville location, with a few location-specific touches here and there, and an overall aesthetic that Cecil-Flanders is excited about.
“I love it,” she says.
The kitchen and serving staff members have made the move from the Westfield location to the Noblesville location. The staff has been together for almost 10 years, and there was no question that they would stay on with Erika’s Place after the Westfield closure.
“Everyone has worked together to clean, organize and decorate the new restaurant,” Cecil-Flanders says. “The staff is just as excited to start serving Noblesville.”
If you want to grab a bite to eat, you can visit the new Erika’s Place at 654 Logan Street in Noblesville. For more info including menu details, visit erikas-place.com.
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had a wonderful meal with my daughter the first weekend they were open. will definitely be back for lunch and dinner soon!