New day dawning for Noblesville's Uptown Cafe

September 13, 2013
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The landmark Uptown Café in downtown Noblesville is expected to reopen next month with new operators behind the counter.

Scott and Jennifer Horsfield, owners of Sunrise Café in Fishers, have signed a five-year deal for the space in a 130-year-old building at the corner of Conner and 8th streets on the courthouse square. They’re calling the Noblesville location Sunrise Café @ Uptown.

The breakfast-and-lunch spot closed Aug. 31, at the end of previous operator Kristie Whitesell’s lease. Whitesell told customers on Facebook that she is “moving on to get married and have a family and start the next chapter of my life.”

Whitesell took over the café in 2008, soon after Noblesville businessman Jay Merrell bought the building in hopes of preserving it—and its longstanding restaurant, which had been closed for about nine months at the time.

Uptown Cafe, NoblesvilleThe Uptown has been on Noblesville's courthouse square since the mid-1930s. (IBJ Photo/Andrea Muirragui Davis)

“You have to be really, really old to remember when that was anything other than the Uptown Café,” he said. “With all the other development occurring away from downtown, it’s nice to have a good, solid business on the square.”

The building, erected in 1883, started out as a shoe store and saw other uses before the Uptown opened its doors in the mid-1930s, Merrell said.

The Horsfields, who live in Noblesville, have high hopes for continuing its long run.

Scott Horsfield, 50, grew up working in his father’s restaurants, including Noble Roman’s and Arby’s. He started Sunrise Café near Keystone at the Crossing after graduating from college 28 years ago, and moved to Fishers in 2003 after a lease dispute. (His brother owns Sunrise Café Carmel.)

Horsfield said the 38-seat Uptown will keep its small-town feel despite some equipment upgrades. The most noticeable difference: It will be open on Mondays.

"This will always be the Uptown,” he said.


That's welcome news in the community.

“Any of us who grew up in the area grew up with the Uptown,” Chamber of Commerce chief Sharon McMahon said, adding that she has photos of her family eating there over the years. “We are very pleased that the restaurant is going to continue. It’s well-recognized as an anchor in downtown Noblesville.”

  • They didn't keep enough of the original
    I decide to go try the new uptown Cafe on a weekend and there's nothing special about it. The old version that they bought had a twist on classic items and everything tasted fresh.. The new ownership has not kept with standard. Everything was loaded with butter and grease. one of my previous favorites for the Uptown with the biscuits and gravy. The new owners has seriously missed the mark. Hash browns were burnt. Just not the same. Not sure they'll last unless they make some changes.

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  1. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

  2. 85 feet for an ambitious project? I could shoot ej*culate farther than that.

  3. I tried, can't take it anymore. Untill Katz is replaced I can't listen anymore.

  4. Perhaps, but they've had a very active program to reduce rainwater/sump pump inflows for a number of years. But you are correct that controlling these peak flows will require spending more money - surge tanks, lines or removing storm water inflow at the source.

  5. All sewage goes to the Carmel treatment plant on the White River at 96th St. Rainfall should not affect sewage flows, but somehow it does - and the increased rate is more than the plant can handle a few times each year. One big source is typically homeowners who have their sump pumps connect into the sanitary sewer line rather than to the storm sewer line or yard. So we (Carmel and Clay Twp) need someway to hold the excess flow for a few days until the plant can process this material. Carmel wants the surge tank located at the treatment plant but than means an expensive underground line has to be installed through residential areas while CTRWD wants the surge tank located further 'upstream' from the treatment plant which costs less. Either solution works from an environmental control perspective. The less expensive solution means some people would likely have an unsightly tank near them. Carmel wants the more expensive solution - surprise!