His Place Eatery to open restaurant on 86th Street

His Place 2
James “Mackie” Jones

James “Mackie” Jones and his wife, Shawn Jones, had been looking for a second location for their restaurant, His Place Eatery.

“We decided years ago we want to do multiple locations,” James said. “We’ve been preparing for that for years. Officially, we started looking four years ago. My wife and I just could never come to an agreement on a location. When we came across this location, it was the first time we decided simultaneously we liked the location, so that’s the reason we chose it.”

The second His Place Eatery will be at 86th Street and Ditch Road in Northbrook Center in Indianapolis. James said it is expected the restaurant, 1411 W. 86th St., will open in late May or early June. The first His Place Eatery opened in March 2009 at 37th Street and Shadeland Avenue in Indianapolis. Then it moved nearby to 6916 E. 30th St.

“Our goal was to be the opposite of where we are now,” said James, who is a chef. “We’re on the northeast side, so ideally northwest is where we wanted to be. It was my wife’s idea to be inwards of Michigan Road. We know a lot of our customers come from the surrounding areas — Zionsville, Carmel and the west side. The goal was to extend the brand.”

His Place Eatery is known for chicken and waffles, barbecue ribs, pork chops and soul food.

“We opened this after I graduated from Ivy Tech,” James said. “All the recipes are ones I’ve developed through the years, either on my own or some family dishes that I grew up with and had to come up with recipes for.”

There are some recipes he had to learn with family members. In addition, there are some recipes influenced by other chefs on staff.

The second restaurant is 4,000 square feet, nearly twice as large as the current restaurant. James said seating capacity will be approximately 100, and he expects to have 45 employees. The original location has 30 employees.

 “We’ll have a full team at both locations, and we’ll oversee operations as we do today,” James said

James said he doesn’t do much cooking now at the restaurant.

“I do a lot of tasting and menu creating,” James said. “I work with the chefs that we have to come up with ideas and processes and procedures. I do some cooking once in a while, but mostly because I feel like it, trying to teach somebody or work on processes. We have an established team in charge of the day-to-day prep work.”

For more, visit hisplaceeatery.com.