Two eateries bring the community together Cheryl & Angie"s A major midtown artery, 40th and Boulevard Place was once Indianapolis Police Department North District"s most frequently-visited area. Now, all that has changed. Over the last two years, the corner of 40th and Boulevard Place has seen a revitalization. New homes are being built in the neighborhood, longtime area businesses have expanded their presence and new businesses have moved into the area. Two of the businesses are restaurants.
Longtime community business person Angie Brasher owns the building that houses her barbershop, Angie"s Barbershop, located on the northwest corner of the intersection. Angie admits, "After visiting a barber in Cleveland, Ohio, who owned a barbershop, restaurant and car wash, I was inspired to return home to Indianapolis and replicate his model. The positive progress in the neighborhood was one of the deciding factors in my deciding to expand my business presence in this community." Cheryl Jones and Angie are the co-owners of Cheryl & Angie"s, located at 4002 Boulevard Place. Angie explains, "When I decided to expand into the restaurant business, I knew I needed a dependable and trustworthy partner. I also knew I didn"t need to look any further than Cheryl Jones, someone I"ve known for several years." "When Angie first approached me with the idea of opening a restaurant I thought the idea was crazy," Cheryl admits. "This entire side of the building needed some real work. But now look at what we"ve done." Seated inside Cheryl & Angie"s, customers are surrounded by the room"s green and yellow dÈcor as they nestle into the green booths. Angie notes, "It took me four years to rehab the building. The Butler-Tarkington Neighborhood Association put on the roof, but I did everything else." Cheryl & Angie"s opened in July 2002 and has a big screen TV almost always turned to Nickelodeon or another children"s program, since Cheryl & Angie"s is a popular spot for the neighborhood children. Cheryl remarks, "We allow the children to come in and work and in return they get paid. It teaches them respect for the business and a work ethic." Each night there is a different dinner special with the menu boasting a diversity of pizza varieties, fried foods like fish, chicken tenders, fries and onion rings and hamburgers. There is also the Peace Room, a reception area that is available for banquets, family gatherings, wedding receptions or neighborhood meetings. Cheryl & Angie"s can provide catering for any event; or, patrons are welcomed to bring their own food. Cheryl & Angie"s recently added a breakfast menu that is available from 8 a.m. to noon, offering three main course items for $5. Lunch begins at noon and they are open until 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and until midnight on Friday and Saturday. Angie gives credit for the revitalization in part to the three owners of the buildings on the corner of 40th and Boulevard Place. "As owners, Tony Hurt, Derrick Cushingberry and I have invested ourselves in this community by fixing up our respective buildings and adding to the revitalization of the community. In return we ask that the community continue to support us, so we can continue to serve them and remain fixtures in the community, providing good food and good service." Cheryl & Angie"s can be reached at 536-0662. Mo" Bev"s Deli & Coffee Shop The chill of winter gradually loses hold in the warm and friendly atmosphere of Mo" Bev"s and the greeting extended from behind the counter by Bev Velasquez, owner of Mo" Bev"s Deli & Coffee Shop. Mo" Bev"s, located at 3961 Boulevard Place, has grown so rapidly that it is now in its third location in just 14 months. As owner Bev and I sit down over breakfast, we discuss how Mo" Bev"s came into being. "I grew up not far from here," she says. "My parents were active in the neighborhood. It"s a community where the governor, college students and professors, blue-collar and white-collar folks of all races and socio-economic status live side by side. The diversity of this community is unparalleled." Bev continues, "When Dave [her husband] and I returned from overseas after his last tour of duty I knew I wanted to bring the people a place where they could get good food in a cozy atmosphere. So when I decided to open Mo" Bev"s, the only question was what building in the community would be the right fit for us." Bev smiles her slow, Cheshire grin and points to her business sign"s trademark tagline. "Mo" Bev"s is dedicated to being in the community, for the community," Bev asserts. "In fact, our goal is to be as big as Starbucks, but located in the heart of a community traditionally overlooked by large chain businesses." With a grand re-opening of Mo" Bev"s underway, Bev promises, "Mo" Bev"s patrons will be greeted in our new location by the familiar color theme, laid-back mood and lively jazz music. They"ll be able to sit in booths or at tables and when warmer weather returns, enjoy homemade ice cream and a new [exterior] deck. And we"ve expanded the menu to include dishes such as chicken tenders and fries, five different kinds of pancakes, stuffed French toast and two new salads. "Starting March 15," she continues, "we will unveil a new menu called the Lighter Fare, which offers non-diary items and a bevy of vegetarian meals." Bev, who was a vegetarian for 18 years, remarks that since "Mo" Bev"s has such a diverse customer base we want our menu items to reflect that diversity." Eugene Campbell, a faithful customer, has ventured into each of Mo" Bev"s successive locations. His favorite breakfast item is the custom omelet, but he admits, "Its too big for me so I switched to the eggs and turkey." Grinning, he adds, "I have a better chance of finishing that meal. Mo" Bev"s definitely gives you your money"s worth." Mindy, a professor at the College of Education at Butler University and a Butler-Tarkington resident, is visiting Mo" Bev"s for the third time. "I love the environment and the diverse cross-section of clientele, along with the menu items, the location and the complimentary newspaper." Mindy is meeting some of her students to discuss a project over breakfast. She adds, "It"s my hope that the Butler students discover and get engaged in the community around them. Since Mo" Bev"s is a part of their community, hopefully they will be motivated to visit and patronize Mo" Bev"s." Terrance Morgan, another regular, former neighborhood resident and gourmet cook, sums up the allure of Mo" Bev"s stating, "Mo" Bev"s is a place where a diverse community of people can come together through the universal language of food. The better the food, the better the language, and by the satisfied expressions on the customers" faces, Mo" Bev"s language says it all." Mo" Bev"s can be reached at 536-0444. It is open from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. TuesdayñFriday and from 8 a.m.ñ3 p.m. Saturday and Friday.