A local restaurant franchisee is hoping steak and eggs will prove to be a lucrative combination.
Indianapolis-based Copia LLC, which operates five Ruth’s Chris Steak House locations, including the only two in Indianapolis, is expanding into the breakfast business.
The company has agreed to open 16 Another Broken Egg Cafe restaurants in Indiana, Kentucky and the New Orleans area, with the first slated for Indianapolis’ far-north side by the end of February.
Founded in Mandeville, La., Another Broken Egg Cafe has 23 locations, mostly in the South.
“We feel that we can do more than just operate Ruth’s Chris,” said Kevin Armantrout, Copia’s president and chief operating officer. “It’s a great business. It’s our bread and butter, but we wanted to do something else.”
Armantrout, a former vice president of franchise operations for Winter Park, Fla.-based Ruth’s Chris, became an owner in Copia after partnering five years ago with Larry Griggers, who opened the downtown and East 96th Street Ruth’s Chris restaurants.
For two years, the pair scoped out additional franchising opportunities ranging from burger joints to casual dining options before settling on Another Broken Egg.
Armantrout and Griggers have chosen to open their first Indianapolis location at 9435 N. Meridian Street, in space that formerly housed a La Margarita Mexican restaurant.
Steve Delaney, a principal at the locally based Sitehawk Retail Real Estate brokerage, said the location should do well, considering the mix of residences and office buildings in the area.
“As far as the breakfast segment, it’s one of the most underserved segments in the food-service industry in Indianapolis,” he said. “So there’s room for new breakfast players in this market, no question.”
Another Broken Egg aims a step above run-of-the-mill breakfast joints. A typical ticket runs about $13, and the vast breakfast, brunch and lunch menu features bananas Foster and several varieties of omelets and eggs Benedict.
Patrons can even order up a Bloody Mary.
“There’s nothing like it here,” Armantrout said. “You can get an upscale breakfast without breaking the bank.”
Armantrout and Griggers also are eyeing a couple of downtown sites but have yet to sign agreements, Armantrout said.
Armantrout is a New Orleans native who became familiar with Another Broken Egg about 10 years ago and is a “casual acquaintance” of company founder Ron Green.
After partnering with Griggers in Copia, Armantrout took him to the original Another Broken Egg location in Mandeville, La., north of New Orleans. Griggers, who coincidentally spent 20 years in the city as a chief financial officer of a public company, was unfamiliar with the restaurant but “fell in love with it,” Armantrout said.
“We never thought we’d get into a breakfast concept,” Armantrout said, “but it seems to be the right fit.”