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Westfield’s Oldest Restaurant is Still Thriving

Writer / Megan Arszman
Photographer / Kerch Creative

Jan's Village PizzaWhat started out as an experiment to learn more about the pizza business has turned into a staple in downtown Westfield, and the home of many families’ pizza nights. Jan’s Village Pizza, located on Union Street, has been a part of the Westfield community since 2000. The original owners, Susie and Chuck Barnes, opened the original location in Whitestown as a way for Chuck, who was a pizza supply salesman, to learn how to better serve clients.

Chuck ran the restaurant from behind the scenes while Susie ran the kitchen and dining room. Each recipe used in the shop was the result of Susie’s trial and error, as she worked to come up with unique recipes for crusts and sauces. Not only were the pizzas successful, but so was Chuck in improving his own sales business. Susie and Chuck were able to sell their store in Sheridan to Jan and Steve Miller, thus continuing the evolution of the restaurant.

When the Millers decided to open up in Westfield on March 5, 2000, Steve decided to run an ad introducing the pizzeria to the community, inviting residents to come in for a free medium pizza of their choice. What should have been a crowd pleaser ended up a dud, thanks to a big snowstorm that kept residents home. Nobody came to claim their free pizza.

However, 21 years later the restaurant is still thriving, as the owners use original recipes from Susie and Chuck, and introduce the small-town flavor to Westfield residents nightly.

“Those recipes have been with Village Pizza from when the Barneses started in 1984 to when Jan and Steve purchased it in 1997, and we still use them to this day in Westfield,” says Kim Kercheval, who has owned the pizzeria since 2016.

 

Jan's Village Pizza

 

Kercheval and her husband Bryan purchased the restaurant to fulfill her dream of becoming a restaurant owner.

“It is amazing to be a part of the Westfield community,” Kercheval says. “We do a lot of volunteer work. To be able to have a business, you’re able to do a little more or help somebody out food-wise, and help teams or organizations out. We try to do as much as we can.”

Through the past 21 years, multiple businesses and restaurants moved in next door to the eatery and around downtown, then closed up shop.

“We ended up being one of the very few places to eat in Westfield for quite some time, so we had to change our business model to adjust to that,” Kercheval says. “Now things have evened out, and Grand Park has been an amazing addition for the economy here.”

Kercheval is proud that her establishment is the oldest restaurant in Westfield, as well as the only non-franchise pizzeria in the community.

“We love the family aspect of our restaurant, we love our crew, and we love being a part of this community,” Kercheval says.

Visit Jan’s Village Pizza at 108 South Union Street in Westfield, call 317-896-5050, or order online at jansvillagepizza.com.

 

Jan's Village Pizza

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