Correction: An earlier version of this story identified Sunshine Cafe as the name of the previous restaurant instead of Sunrise Cafe.
Jonathon Smith has been in the restaurant business since he was 16.
“I’m 40, so I literally grew up in this industry,” Smith said.
The 2000 Hamilton Southeastern High School graduate began working at Sunrise Cafe at various locations. He stayed with the business before opening his first restaurant in Noblesville in 2013.
Now, Smith is set to open his third Uptown Cafe. He said he is planning for the new restaurant in Carmel at 2271 Pointe Pkwy., near 116th Street and Keystone Parkway, to begin serving customers in early November.
The breakfast and lunch restaurant, which will be open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. seven days a week, will be in the former location of The Egg and I, which closed in the fall of 2019.
“It will be a good fit for us and the community, because it replaces the same concept that was there,” said Smith, who lives above his restaurant in Noblesville. “I ended up buying all the furniture and equipment from The Egg and I. We’ve been putting on fresh paint and building a stainless steel countertop. We’re just basically getting it cleaned up and ready.”
Smith bought his first restaurant from the Sunrise Cafe owners. It was originally called Sunrise Cafe at Uptown, but he rebranded the restaurant when it expanded in 2019. Another Uptown Cafe opened in Indianapolis in 2017.
Although he is the sole owner of the Indianapolis and Noblesville restaurants, Smith has three managing partners in Carmel. They are Steve Echols, Kyle Helpling and Pat Baron.
“They’ve all worked for me for a long time,” Smith said. “What I’m trying to do is, if you’ve been around with us and want to continue your career and help us grow, that’s what we’re trying to do, open restaurants for the employees. It touches your heart more to know you are helping your employees that have been around you for a long time.”
Smith said it helps that the employees all know the area and people well.
“What is kind of cool is the transition on Day 1 in Carmel is like opening a restaurant like we were there for 10 years already,” he said. “We have to get used to the surroundings in that building and get to know the community, but when it comes to our routine inside the restaurant, we’ve pretty much got that down.”
For more, visit uptowncafes.com.