The Chiba Experience WESTFIELD SUSHI BAR IS A LOCAL FAVORITE
TOWNE POST NETWORK, INC. WESTFIELD MAGAZINE
FRANCHISE PUBLISHER Brandon Baltz
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Carrie Petty / Jon Shoulders / Matt Keating Seth Johnson / Suzanne Huntzinger
HE CHIBA EXPERIENCE: WESTFIELD SUSHI BAR IS A T LOCAL FAVORITE
There’s so much to love about Indy, and Chiba Restaurant owner, Keith Dusko, is about to give you even more reasons to love it.
Amy Payne / Brian Brosmer Ron Wise
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4 Westfield Events 15 April Showers Really Do Bring May Flowers 7 Rock the Junction: Grand Junction 17 Student Spotlight: Ballet Dancer, Brewing’s Annual Craft Beer & Music Festival Coming Up May 19
P.O. Box 36097, Indianapolis, IN 46236 Phone/Fax: 317-810-0011
For Advertising, Contact Brandon Baltz Brandon@TownePost.com / 317-514-9522
10 Through the Lens: Roberts Camera 20 The Chiba Experience: Westfield Celebrates 60 Years In Business
Sushi Bar Is a Local Favorite
12 Business Spotlight: Service Plus
WestfieldMag.com | TownePost.com 2 / WESTFIELD MAGAZINE / MAY 2018 / WestfieldMag.com
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WESTFIELD Events VIEW FULL EVENT CALENDAR AT EVENTS.TOWNEPOST.COM
CELEBRATION OF NEW ENGINE 381
Join the Westfield Fire Department as they celebrate their new fire engine and prepare it for active service. There will be a short ceremony starting at 12 p.m. As is tradition, old Engine #381 will spray down the new fire engine before pushing it into the fire station bays. An open house and lunch to follow! 17535 Dartown Rd, Westfield 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
VOICES FROM THE PAST
Did you know Westfield was involved in the Underground Railroad? Find out more about Westfield’s settlers at Voices from the Past 2018, presented by Visit Hamilton County, Indiana! Join us on a 90-min Living History Walk in which a tour guide will lead you through downtown Westfield and teach you about our city’s most historic locations. Westfield Welcome 4:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
ROCK THE JUNCTION 2018
Grand Junction Brewing Co. is excited to announce the 3rd Annual Rock the Junction Craft Beer & Music Festival to be held on Saturday, May 19th, 2018 on the streets of downtown Westfield, IN (in front of Grand Junction Brewing Co. at 110 S. Union Street). This third-year event will feature approximately 20-plus Indiana breweries and wineries showcasing some of the state’s best craft beer and wine offerings. Grand Junction Brewing Co. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
GRAND RUN 2018
Join us to celebrate Memorial Day for the Grand Run, presented by Wellbrooke of Westfield! Participants will run on Grand Park’s extensive trail system to tour the stateof-the-art sports destination with 31 multi-purpose fields and 26 baseball diamonds. The half marathon participants will also get to enjoy a section of the Monon Trail and the beautiful Asa Bales Park. Grand Park 7:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. 4 / WESTFIELD MAGAZINE / MAY 2018 / WestfieldMag.com
UNCORKED CONCERT SERIES: THE BISHOPS
Come enjoy some great drinks and music. The Bishops kick off our UNCORKED summer concert series. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs and relax with some great music. Parking is $10, so pack in a car, walk or ride your bike! Urban Vines Winery & Brewery 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
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GRAND JUNCTION BREWING’S ANNUAL CRAFT BEER & MUSIC FESTIVAL COMING UP MAY 19 Writer / Seth Johnson Photography Provided
Since its birth three years ago, Grand Junction Brewing Co.’s Rock the Junction Craft Beer & Music Festival has brought people out in droves to the streets of downtown Westfield. But each and every year, there’s always been something much bigger at the heart of the communityminded event says Grand Junction coowner Jon Knight.
and wineries will be on hand, offering up some of the best beer, cider and wine that the state has to offer. A full day of live music is planned, with notable Indianapolis rock band Cyrus Youngman and the Kingfishers headlining a full day of tunes. And in keeping with the basis on which Grand Junction was founded, 100 percent of the event’s net proceeds will go to charity.
“We support the community in the same way they support us,” Knight says. “We want to give back to our local community. It’s something that we’ve been absolutely adamant about from the beginning.”
Born in Dewsbury, England, Knight moved to the Indianapolis area with his family in the late 70s, eventually attaining a finance and accounting degree with Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. After visiting family members in England over the years, he eventually grew to love the communal nature of English pubs.
Now in its third annual year, Rock the Junction will take place on the streets of downtown Westfield in front of Grand Junction Brewing Co. This year, approximately 20-plus breweries, cideries
“I went on a number of different pub visits and pub crawls over there and just fell in love with the fact that it was really an integral part of the community,” he says. “It wasn’t a place where people went to go get smashed — it WestfieldMag.com / MAY 2018 / WESTFIELD MAGAZINE / 7
was an extension of the community.” After wanting to start his own English-style pub here in the States, he was eventually bitten by what he calls the “craft beer bug,” deciding to combine the two into a business model that’s now Grand Junction Brewing Co. “At that point in my life, there were two things that I really enjoyed, which were English pubs and also craft beer,” he says. “I thought to myself, ‘I’d love to be able to combine the two.’ So I decided to open up Grand Junction Brewing Co.” From its inception, there was a community-first mindset with Grand Junction Brewing Co. “My wife has been a teacher at Westfield High School for close to 20 years, so we’re heavily engrained in the community,” Knight says. “My wife and I both have sat on
different commissions and government committees and have been involved in that regard. It’s just something that we’ve always been very passionate about.” Knight is most proud of the fact that Grand Junction Brewing Co. still remains heavily active in giving back to the Westfield community. With Rock the Junction 2018, for example, a significant portion of proceeds will continue to help fund the Grand Junction Brewing Co. Scholarship Fund, which was established in 2017. This fund was created to award two scholarships to deserving graduates of Westfield High School, one of which to be given to a student pursuing a traditional fouryear degree and the other to a student pursuing a less traditional two-year trade program.
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“There may be someone who’s wanting to pursue a two-year trade program,” Knight says. “They’re still pursuing post-secondary education, but they’re typically not eligible for scholarships. So because it’s underserved, it’s something that we wanted to focus on as well.”
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Rock the Junction Craft Beer & Music Festival 2018 takes place on Saturday, May 19 on the streets of downtown Westfield (in front of Grand Junction Brewing Co. at 110 S. Union Street). For more information on the festivities, visit RocktheJunction.com or call Grand Junction Brewing Co. at 317-804-5168.
8 / WESTFIELD MAGAZINE / MAY 2018 / WestfieldMag.com
MOM OF THE YEAR
PHO TO C ONT E S T E N T R I E S THANKS MOMS FOR ALL YOU DO!
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY:
SUSAN KNIGHT, FISHERS
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY:
JENNY HOMAN, PLAINFIELD
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PHOTO SUBMITTED BY:
EMILY BROSIUS, FISHERS
Marketing and Human Resources Director Meredith Reinker, and owner Bruce Pallman.
THROUGH THE LENS ROBERTS CAMERA CELEBRATES 60 YEARS IN BUSINESS Writer / Jon Shoulders Photographer / Brian Brosmer
Roberts Camera’s ability to thrive in the photography, lighting and electronics retail business for 60 years has involved much more than just keeping up with industry technology that seems to evolve almost daily. Meredith Reinker, marketing and human resources director, says the Indianapolisbased, family-owned company’s willingness to adapt its business model to customer habits and shopping methods has been just as important to its success as keeping up with the camera and lighting industry’s ongoing technological advancements.
“The jewelry wasn’t doing great at the time so they started to pick up additional lines – service merchandise catalogs were how people shopped back then so they basically became a catalog showroom,” Reinker says. “One of my grandfather’s employees at the time was a high schooler who was taking a photography class and told my grandfather he could sell cameras. It was good timing in the sense that film was really evolving at that point and film cameras were getting popular, and then, of course, eventually digital took us into the next era.” Since its founding, Roberts Camera has continually found effective ways to reach beyond its Indy customer base, from a thriving mail-order business through the 1970s and 1980s to a successful sales presence through its official website, which was launched back in 1997. In 2012 the Roberts staff began a buy, sell and trade sister company called UsedPhotoPro, which deals exclusively in used camera equipment primarily online.
The company, which offers a full range of new and used photography, audio, video and lighting gear and currently operates two brick-and-mortar locations in Carmel and downtown Indianapolis, was founded by Reinker’s grandfather Robert Pallman as a modest jewelry business on South Capitol Avenue in August of 1957. Almost Reinker says her father Bruce, who has immediately, Pallman began adjusting his run the company for the past 45 years, business concept to meet customer demand. has brought an open-minded approach to INDY METRO / MAY 2018 / TownePost.com
sales and customer service that has helped Roberts Camera stay in business in a time where many camera shops have closed their doors due to dwindling sales. “Over the past 10 years, the evolution has been going fast with how people shop,” Reinker says. “Retail has changed so much as it’s gone from people having to walk into a retail store to shopping online – our sales now are about 60 percent online and 40 percent retail. So again, it’s that combination of staying with the technology and then how people actually approach retail.” To commemorate 60 years of service in Indianapolis, Reinker and her 64 full-time and part-time Roberts co-employees – many of whom have been with the company for 20-plus years – held an in-store celebration in August with special deals and promotions as well as free photography classes and camera cleanings. “Twice a year we also do a spring and fall photo expo where we bring in our manufacturer representatives, and tech reps from Nikon, Canon, Panasonic and all those types of brands,” Reinker adds.
“We offer free classes all day long, which helps to promote the classes that we offer regularly. We usually have anywhere from 10 to 12 classes a month for every level of photographer from fundamentals of photography up to specialty lighting and that kind of stuff.” Reinker adds that the explosion in iPhone camera use has had a twopronged effect on her industry, phasing out less expensive, pointand-shoot cameras while at the same time increasing interest in higher-end equipment and accessories. “The iPhone has gotten a lot of people interested in photography that otherwise might not have been, especially with social media where everybody is a photographer now,” she says. “So, we have people coming in now that have been using their iPhone for a long time but want to take that next step and get better images with better equipment.” Reinker believes the company is primed for another 60 years of success as long as it remains adaptive and flexible in the face of an ever-changing marketplace. “As Indianapolis has grown we’ve received a ton of support. Indianapolis has a very strong and vibrant community of photographers,” Reinker says. “In a time where photography has changed drastically, I think our customer base and the support we get from Indiana as a whole is awesome. Indy is a great place to be.”
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For more information on Roberts Camera including details on equipment rental and photography classes, visit robertscamera.com. Roberts Camera’s downtown store is located at 220 E St Clair St or you can call them at 317-636-5544. The Carmel store is located at 12761 Old Meridian St, or you can call them at 317-818-9800.
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SERVICE PLUS HEATING, COOLING, & PLUMBING 7520 E 88th Place Indianapolis, IN 46256 317-218-7929 ServicePlusNow.com
Writer / Seth Johnson Photographer / Ron Wise
Chris and Emily Cunningham truly value quality customer service. In fact, it’s why they started their own customer-service focused heating, cooling and plumbing company, Service Plus, in the first place. “Before we started Service Plus, we were a couple of kids, fresh out of college and at our first real jobs,” Emily says. “We owned our first home and needed to have some repairs done, and I was appalled at how incredibly hard it was for me to find a company to do the repairs, show up when they said they would, and get the work done properly. I said to Chris, ‘Honey, don't you know how to do a lot of this stuff? I think we could really make a difference in the home repairs industry.’”
Service Plus owners Chris and Emily Cunningham
they even have their 9-year-old daughter and so well that our customers become raving 12-year-old son help around the business fans,” Emily says. when possible. As for providing fulfilling careers for their “Our family is totally involved in this employees, Service Plus ensures that all its business — we love it,” Emily says. workers are adequately prepared to do their Ultimately, anyone who interacts with job with confidence. Service Plus becomes a part of the company’s family too. “We want to have the best trained and Through this realization, Service Plus was qualified employees, so our strategy is to born. Although running the company “We love the customers we serve,” Emily consistently offer technical training and was certainly a learning experience in adds. “We love the team we work with, customer service training to make sure the beginning, Chris and Emily quickly and that's what it all boils down to — the repairs are done properly the first time and picked up on the ins and outs of the home people.” that the excellent customer experience maintenance world, all the while keeping carries through from beginning to the end customer service at the heart of everything. At the heart of Service Plus are two core of your repair,” Emily says. values: Providing excellent service from “Once we were both working for Service the best trained and qualified technicians Having recently moved to a new location Plus full time, which was within four and staff members, and providing fulfilling just south of 96th Street on I-69, Service months of when we took our first service careers that employees joyfully embrace. Plus will now be able to serve both its call, we were 100 percent committed and customers and employees even better. we knew it was sink or swim,” Chris says. To inquire about heating, cooling and “We were determined to make it work and When it comes to excellent service, the company has a standard they’ve set for plumbing needs, be sure to give them a be the best at what we do, and we still feel themselves. call at 317-434-2627, or visit them online that way today.” at ServicePlusNow.com. The Service Plus “We define ‘excellent service’ pretty simply: team would love to help with any heating, Now 15 years and three kids later, Service cooling and plumbing needs you may have. Plus is still proudly a family business. In fact, we do what we say we will, and we do it INDY METRO / MAY 2018 / TownePost.com
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APRIL SHOWERS REALLY DO BRING MAY FLOWERS Writer / Carrie Petty
Oh May, your glorious month. Time to get busy! If April is the time when the garden is emerging from sleep, then May is the time in the garden when she has had two full cups of coffee and ready for high gear, time to bloom! Where to begin. Let’s talk lawns first. Make sure that mower blade is sharp people, and do not ever mow when it is wet. This is the first step to preventing diseased lawns. Also, to prevent moles set out multiple traps along the moles trail. An old American Indian trick — it is said that the moles move to the surface on a warm, sunny day at high noon. You can get them with a garden spade if you have the constitution to do so. I call the hubby for that trick.
Saturday worth of mulching and gardening chores, make sure you give the old body a good stretch and warm up a bit. Your back will thank me in the morning. At the age of 54, I have settled for one of those seat thingies that you can flip over and kneel on too. It has saved my gardeners back from strain. Visit all your local gardening centers and pick up something new. I suggest every year adding a new tree or bush to the landscape and at least a couple of new perennials to the flower garden. Always, always, try new veritable varieties. So many cool ones come out each year. If you have not tried Purple Kohlrabi, then you need to.
When planting any newly purchased pot grown specimen, a good tip is to scrape off the top half inch of soil out of the pot If you did not get your crab grass and toss it in the trash, not the compost preventative down in April, do it as soon as bin! This is where the weed seeds reside. possible. And make sure you cut your lawn Taking that soil off the top of the pot will to the highest setting on the mower, this way help prevent the introduction of new weeds you are shading out weed seeds in the soil in your garden. Particularly, the hard to and will have a much healthier lawn. The eradicate Thistle-It is a monster. taller the blade, the deeper the root! Many Indiana landscapes now have Hostas Now, when it comes to general gardening peeking up through the soil, their tall green chores for the month of May, first things spikes curled into a cone format, this is the first, stretch. Before you head out for a full perfect time to divide them and make more TownePost.com / MAY 2018 / INDY METRO
plants. Place your spade two inches away from the growth and dig down deep, tip your spade back to unearth the root ball to loosen. Do this all the way around the plant base and pull the entire thing out of the ground. Then divide each green spire into a new plant, making sure you capture a good rootstock as you go. This is the easiest and cheapest way to increase the size of one’s garden. This is the very act of ‘gardening’ itself! If you do this, I give you permission to call yourself a gardener. Bravo! Dividing Daffodil bulbs is a great chore to do now, and your garden will reemerge in the spring with a fresh facelift of yellow blooms. Just dig up a clump of foliage left behind after the blooms fade, and pull apart the bulbs with your hands. Again, be sure to capture a good rootstock with each bulb if you can. If not, they will survive. Replant one-by-one in a new hole elsewhere about six inches deep. This is also a great time to use a granulated fertilizer on your Tulips and bulbs to strengthen their roots for next year’s bloom. Gardening is always about looking forward. It is the most optimistic duty. So get going my friends. And as always, I hope I have helped you “Grow a More Beautiful Life!” Cheers.
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fa t w m a m
BALLET DANCER, SHEA ASHLEY HEINEMEYER
Writer / Matt Keating Photographer / Amy Payne
Shea Eggleston, a senior at Westfield High School, is being recognized for her outstanding work at Student Impact of Westfield.
hang out and get mentorships and guidance. and extracurriculars, to be where I am today, but it has been more than worth it. With all the hard work, receiving this award is even Eggleston says she is excited to be recognized by Student Impact of Westfield. more special.”
“I feel extremely humbled and honored to win,” Eggleston says. “My high school journey has been far from easy. During Student Impact, 536 North Union Street, my freshman year, I was diagnosed with Zionsville, is a safe place where students Crohn’s Disease, and missed a lot of school from grades 5-12 can build relationships because of it. I get sick easily and miss more that bring hope and healing. It was started in school than most people. It has taken a 1999 to be an environment where kids can lot of hard work and dedication to school
Eggleston plans to study zoology in college. “Ever since I can remember, my favorite thing has always been animals, particularly of the mammal species, but still animals in general,” Eggleston says. “My dream job has always been something to do with animals, whether that was a veterinarian or a zoo keeper, I did not really know, but I knew it had to be with animals. “Once I started trying to narrow down my dream job, I knew I did not want to be a veterinarian, but that is about all I could figure out. I hope one day I can figure out what career I want, but for now, I know it must be working with animals.” Eggleston noted that Westfield has some of the best teachers.
BALLET DANCER ASHLEY HEINEMEYER LANDS LEAD ROLE IN SWAN LAKE Writer / Matt Keating Photographer / Amy Payne
Ashley Heinemeyer, a high school freshman, began taking ballet classes at a recreational studio just before she turned three, and her years of hard work have paid off. She has the lead role in Swan Lake at The Ballet Theatre of Carmel. “I tried cheerleading, tap, and tumbling, but dance was always something I stayed with,” Ashley says. “When I turned eight, I
practice, muscle memory, and precision in asked my parents if I could enroll in a preto tell a story or convey professional ballet program. After some “Almostevery everymovement single teacher I have had since emotion,” she says. searching, I landed at Ballet Theatre of first grade I have really liked.“The Withultimate Westfieldreward isyou performing on awant stage in front Carmel, where I can train during the day.teachers ” can tell they every singleof an audience. ” to succeed, and they one of their students Ashley has been there since she was 11. try to make that happen. I have had so many teachersAshley inspireauditioned me, and make want to at Ballet for me Swan Lake be a better person and student. ” “The instructors are kind and encouraging,” Theatre of Carmel, and when the cast list she says. “They have helped me become was released, she was ecstatic. Eggleston has a favorite teacher. the best performer I can be, and they continue to push me for improvement. I am “I am honored to dance the role of Odette, that will forever have a place competitive and enjoy working hard.” “One teacher alongside many other talented dancers at in my heart and will forever be my absolute Ballet Theatre of Carmel,” she says. “I don’t Ashley says that she loves ballet because think people really understand the history “it is a beautiful illusion. It takes years of when they see a performance like this. The
“ s a o c a li h t w E h
“ a s E o a d
choreography was revised in 1895 and we/ Ballet Theatre of Carmel perform Petipa’s and Ivanov’s original choreography, with some adaptations from our directors.” Ballet Theatre of Carmel will perform Swan Lake in four acts at the Westfield High School Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. May 12 and 2 p.m. May 13.
BON JOUR To further her ballet career, Ashley is moving to France. “Most dancers want to further their training by auditioning for Summer Intensive programs,” Ashley says. “These programs are offered through some of the most prestigious schools, where a dancer can train with professional dancers and instructors outside of where you live.” Most programs are five days a week, and the students dance six to eight hours a day. “Last summer, I spent five weeks with family in Washington, D.C. training at The Washington Ballet,” Ashley says. “This year, I was offered a five-week Summer Intensive Scholarship to train in France. I am very excited about the opportunity to travel abroad and train in Europe.” Ashley has some strong advice for younger students just starting out in ballet. “Take care of your body,” she says. “Ballet, or dance in general, takes time, dedication and determination. Stretch your muscles and learn to like ice baths.” Ashley currently attends Classical Conversations, which is a homeschooling program. “The two classes I enjoy the most are Economics and Debate,” Ashley says. “I’m in my third year of Latin, and I also take French offered at the Westfield Public Library. My French teacher is great. “ Ashley says she is so busy she doesn’t have much time for outside hobbies.
“In an average week, I spend 24 hours at the studio, training. In my spare time, I love to draw or practice calligraphy, and I enjoy learning to play songs on the piano, even though I don’t take lessons.” Ashley loves Westfield and says she makes time for Westfield’s Friday Night Lights. “I usually have ballet until 8 p.m, so I pack a change of clothes, and run out of the studio to get to Westfield High School’s second half of the football game,” she says. “I love how so many people come out to support the players and the cheerleaders. I love Westfield, and I love how it is safe, clean and friendly. “ Ashley says she is “grateful to her instructors and mentors that pour themselves into my training and believe in me. I want to thank Jane Hachiya-Weiner, Frank Weiner, So Yon Nam, Janessa Touchet and Sara Woolgar, for investing in me. When I dance, I dance for you.”
534 East State Road 32 Westfield, IN 46074
Chiba Restaurant owner, Keith Dusko
The Chiba Experience WESTFIELD SUSHI BAR IS A LOCAL FAVORITE Writer / Suzanne Huntzinger Photographer / Amy Payne
There’s so much to love about Indy, and Chiba Restaurant owner, Keith Dusko, is about to give you even more reasons to love it. Dusko opened Chiba Indianapolis just about a year ago, bringing with him all the Asian flavors and culture from his Chiba New Orleans restaurant, and celebrating all the excellence that Indy has to offer. Tucked away off the beaten path in Westfield off Park Street, Chiba invites you to an international experience, mixed with a New Orleans vibe transplanted to a worldclass city. The restaurant has three dining areas. The main dining room where you enter is modern and sleek, then back doors lead to an open patio for casual seating during warmer weather. Just beyond the
patio are two separate, enclosed seating areas. The full bar, an ideal spot for a quiet date night, is cozy and relaxed. Next to the bar area is an area for guests to listen to Chiba’s featured musical guests. “We have a great happy hour every day 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and we feature live music with bands from New Orleans featured regularly,” Dusko says. Some might be skeptical that Indy is ready for a restaurant of Chiba’s kind, but Dusko says the timing is perfect. “Chiba NOLA was part of the post Katrina renaissance in the city, and we’re trying Chiba in Westfield,” he says. “I want to integrate what Indy deserves. Indy is the best-kept secret in the country. It offers a great sense of community, great schools, and it’s a great place to raise a family. Not to mention the whole racing scene.” 20 / WESTFIELD MAGAZINE / MAY 2018 / WestfieldMag.com
While Chiba Indy is new to the area, Dusko is no stranger to the Circle City. The self-proclaimed surfer dude and beach boy has been all over. Born in New Jersey into a military family, he spent time in California, New York, New Orleans and Hawaii. He was introduced to Asian flavors at 10 years old. “I was raised to eat what was put in front of me,” he says. “My Dad put sushi in front of me and told me to eat it. I tried it and loved it. Since then, I’ve been fascinated by the Japanese culture, their cuisine, sense of honor and precision.” That first sushi encounter sparked a successful career in the restaurant business. Starting at Haru Restaurant, a Japanese sushi restaurant, Dusko mastered every job from bussing tables and washing dishes to line cook and waiter. “I had some amazing mentors,” he says.
In the beginning, Dusko stuck with the restaurant business to make extra money for his racing dream. Dusko was part of the Road to Indy program, an elite scholarship-based driver development program to break into Indy Car racing. He completed the program and enjoyed some success, but stuck with the restaurant business instead, ultimately becoming the Senior Director of Haru Holding Group. Then in 2011, Dusko and a partner from Haru joined forces to open Chiba NOLA. While launching Chiba, he met his future wife who worked for Andretti Motorsports at the time. But a couple years later after they married, his wife got a new job in a new city — racing mecca, Indianapolis. With an entrepreneurial spirit, Dusko contemplated his next venture and found the perfect home for Chiba’s next location in Indy. While scouting properties for Chiba Indianapolis, he found Park Street in Westfield, a street being primed for revitalization. The property Dusko found was 135 years old and needed a complete rehab. He worked with the landlord, getting permission to completely gut it and rebuild the inside from scratch. Chiba Indianapolis opened February 2017, and just over a year later, he’s turned it into a tremendous success. “It’s eerily similar to Chiba NOLA, and I want to share that culture with Indy,” he says. Making food from scratch is just one of the things that makes Chiba so popular. The chef cuts every piece of fish to order, prepares the sushi rice and sauces from scratch, and the short ribs are braised in house. Although the phenomenal sushi bar is a large part of Chiba, it’s not the only thing. “We’re a restaurant with sushi and we do it well. It’s a pristine product, always flown in fresh from Honolulu,” Dusko says. “But we have a full menu of steaks, chicken, duck, and pork.” Among their popular dishes is their Bridgewater
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roll with salmon, avocado, mango, yellowtail, and crunch, and the divine Braised Short Rib Tempura. But don’t forget to leave room for dessert. Once you try the Banana Tempura Bread Pudding, you’ll never stop craving it. Chiba seems to have everything going for it with outstanding food, drinks, and live music. But Dusko’s standards go deeper. “We strive for perfection, but even simpler, we want to take care of our guests,” he says. “Whether they’re out celebrating a special occasion, or they’ve had a bad day, they want to be taken care of, and it’s our job to do that. We want guests to walk away thinking they just had the most amazing experience. That’s how I want to run the restaurant.”
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Dusko has a full plate with two Chiba locations. Although it’s a juggle traveling back and forth from Chiba NOLA monthly to check in, he says he’d like to expand in the Indy area. “It’s got to be the right situation. I have a loyal customer base, and I want that to continue,” he says. “I have a great team and we’re truly symbiotic. I don’t know what’s ahead. Life happens, and we just keep pushing forward.” Experience Chiba today. They’re open Thursday through Saturday for lunch, and Tuesday through Saturday for dinner. You can make your reservation online at chiba-indy.com, or call 317804-5367. Visit Chiba’s Facebook page for updates on musical guests and specials. Chiba Indianapolis is located at 228 Park Street in Westfield.
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There’s so much to love about Indy, and Chiba Restaurant owner, Keith Dusko, is about to give you even more reasons to love it.