Given what we know about inflation and the chances for a recession, you could assume this isn’t the best time to start a business that depends on consumer discretionary spending.
Shari Jenkins isn’t too concerned. She’s the restauranteur behind the Zionsville mainstays Noah Grant’s Grill House & Oyster Bar and Salty Cowboy Tequileria. She’s now in the process of opening a new restaurant in Zionsville that’s designed to make patrons feel like they’re on vacation and don’t have a care in the world. It’s called Tipsy Mermaid Conch House & Cocktails, and getting it open this spring will require a seven-figure startup investment.
Jenkins has faith in her customer base in her native city of Zionsville. Their support helped keep Noah Grant’s going during the Great Recession, and patrons remained loyal to both of her restaurants during the worst of the pandemic. Jenkins also overcame a devastating fire at the original Noah Grant’s during a key period in which she was relocating the restaurant to a new spot in Zionsville. Fears of a mild recession don’t give her much pause.
IBJ reporter Daniel Bradley featured the plans for Tipsy Mermaid in the latest issue of IBJ, and Jenkins joined IBJ Podcast host Mason King for a deeper conversation about her emergence as a restauranteur after working as a teacher in Indianapolis Public Schools. She also explains how she surmounted a litany of obstacles over the last 14 years, although elevated food costs continue to be a problem.
You can also listen to these recent episodes:
IBJ Podcast: Four important races to watch on Election Day
Looking for another podcast to try? Check out IBJ’s The Freedom Forum with Angela B. Freeman, a monthly discussion about diversity and inclusion in central Indiana’s business community.