INDIANAPOLIS — Construction of a second location of The Mug, a Greenfield restaurant that specializes in locally sourced food, is finishing up in a nearby Indianapolis neighborhood.
Crews are putting the finishing touches on a three-unit strip center at 130 S. Audubon Road in Irvington, a historic district east of downtown Indianapolis; The Mug’s second location is expected to open there in June, owner Chris Baggott said.
The Greenfield restaurant, located at 117 N. Apple St. across from Riley Park, reopened in 2014 after the Frosty Mug, which dated back to the 1950s, went into foreclosure in 2013.
Baggott, owner of The Mug and Tyner Pond Farm in Greenfield, which supplies the restaurant with pasture-fed beef and pork, purchased the new location in the fall.
Alongside the second location of The Mug, Baggott plans to open a small grocery store selling Tyner Pond Farms products, as well as a sit-down restaurant called Grigsby Station that will serve farm-to-table fare. Final architectural designs for those businesses haven’t been finalized, he said.
The Greenfield location of Grigsby Station, 101 W. Main St., is slated to open in late March.
Though The Mug’s new location won’t duplicate the drive-in element of the Greenfield restaurant, it will seat as many as 50 guests inside and 30 in an outdoor dining area, said Abi Tambasco, vice president of operations for The Mug, who’s overseeing the expansion.
The prices and menu items, which range from a classic tenderloin to a jalapeño cream cheese bacon burger, will mirror those offered at the Greenfield location, Baggott said.
Baggott said he’s eager to spread The Mug into other communities. In the next few years, he anticipates opening several other locations across the state, he said.
As the operation begins to expand, its focus — serving up locally-sourced meals that supporting nearby suppliers — will remain the same, Baggott said.
Irvington seemed like a natural fit for the expansion, Baggott said. The small community, which hasn’t seen much development in recent decades, is experiencing a resurgence, he said.
“It’s an area that was pretty depressed for a while, but it’s on the cusp of becoming really successful,” Baggott said, adding that he prefers to serve small markets with few dining options aside from national chain restaurants.
And there’s certainly demand for the restaurant’s food coming from outside Hancock County, Tambasco said.
“I have regulars coming in from all over — Greenwood, Fishers, Carmel,” she said.
Tammy Cunningham, manager at The Mug in Greenfield, will lead operations at the new location, Tambasco said, adding that the company hasn’t yet begun hiring new staff.
Meredith Chandler of Greenfield, a regular at the Mug in Greenfield, was happy to hear the restaurant is expanding.
The Mug has proven that local establishments serving up affordable food from local vendors can thrive, she said.
“You can’t beat it,” she said. “It’s delicious food, and by eating it, you’re supporting your community.”