New Eatery is Becoming a Local Favorite on 96th Street
Writer / Ryan Kennedy
Photographer / Kerch Creative
Tony’s Cafe is one of the newer breakfast and lunch spots in the Geist and Fishers area. The spot opened in 2020.
“We wanted to open that June but we couldn’t,” says Owner Martin Cuautlatl, referring to pandemic-related business shutdowns and restrictions. “So we opened August 2020.”
Cuautlatl knows all too well the havoc that the shutdowns have wreaked on the restaurant industry.
Prior to Tony’s Café, Cuautlatl, who has worked in the restaurant industry for 20 years, owned Sherwood Cafe at the intersection of 56th Street and Post Road. March 2020, as businesses all over the world were shutting down, he closed the doors to that cafe indefinitely. On April 4, 2020, he announced via Facebook that those doors would never reopen. Cuautlatl says he began looking for a new location immediately.
He found that location on East 96th Street, just west of Fall Creek Road.
“I think it’s much better,” he says of the new location. “I didn’t see any breakfast place around here.”
Cuautlatl says he believes the visibility of Tony’s Café, which can be seen by drivers on 96th Street, is an advantage over the old location.
“At our place on Post Road, it was very hard to see us,” he says.
Along with the new location came a new name. Cuautlatl says he thought about naming the place after himself, but didn’t like the sound of Martin’s Café. He decided instead to name it after his son.
“My son, his name is Tony – Antonio in Spanish – but we shortened it to Tony because we liked the sound of it,” he says.
The name reflects the familial nature of the restaurant itself. His family helps him run it, and Cuautlatl cooks the food himself.
“We do breakfast, lunch, and everything is made from scratch – homemade,” he says.
Breakfast at Tony’s Café is served all day. The menu features 16 different types of omelets and 17 different skillets. When asked what his favorite item on the menu is, Cuautlatl doesn’t have to think about it.
“Chicken tenders,” he says. “Hand-breaded.”
Five months after Sherwood Cafe closed, Tony’s Café opened to the public. Cuautlatl says the response has been positive over the last year. In addition to new customers, regulars from Sherwood Cafe have shown up to support the new establishment, which is open for dine-in and carry-out.
“The response has been very good,” Cuautlatl says. “They love it.”
Tony’s Café is located at 10600 East 96th Street in Fishers. Hours of operation are Tue. through Sat. 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sun. & Mon. 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit tonyscafefishers.com, or give them a call at 317-731-4512, for more information including a menu page and updates on special events.