INDIANAPOLIS — In some places around Central Indiana, it is easier to find an abandoned restaurant than it is to find a new one. But in downtown Indianapolis, I Heart Mac and Cheese is a restaurant defying the odds.
"We're blessed. I mean, one in six, one in five restaurants right around there are going out of business," said Matthew Griffin.
After opening up his first location in Westfield last year, I Heart Mac and Cheese owner Matthew Griffin and his wife Elizabeth are now opening a second location at 10th street and Indiana Avenue, just off the campus of IUPUI. Griffin says the key to getting customers to dine out in a pandemic is to offer them a good experience and a reason to come back.
"I strive for customer service. Getting to know the customers. Getting to know those who come in on a regular basis. What they order. Making it personal," Griffin said.
In his new location that opens this week, customers will be greeted with some unique combinations of mac and cheese and lobster, Philly cheese steaks, and baked buffalo chicken and even grilled cheese sandwiches. Giffin says these days, running a small business in a pandemic is about more than making money it's about supporting a community in more ways than one.
"Right now, I think we have 40 employees that are counting on a paycheck. You know, they have rent. They've got bills. They've got kiddos. School, daycare, e-learning and it's more important than ever now for small businesses to excel," Griffin said.
The grand opening of I Heart Mac and Cheese' downtown location is Wednesday. If you aren't ready to dine indoors just yet, the menu is available on DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats and Postmates.