Ever-curious Craig Baker, 39, has tried his hand at just about every food- and drink-related venture you can name. When he lived in Portland, he cheffed at some of the finest restaurants and logged time roasting beans for Caravan Coffee Roastery. He even co-owned an Oregon winery with his brother. Now, back at his Westfield pub, The Local, he is teaching his staff to break down whole proteins with a hacksaw.
So it came as no surprise when Baker announced plans for not one, but two new diverse dining concepts in the next year. By spring, he and business partner Derek Means will open Kome in Broad Ripple, offering rice bowls, yakitori, and soups, complemented by lacquered pork belly, Korean short ribs, and quail. “Oh, and a sauce bar,” says Baker.
Just a few months later, they aim to launch Bent Rail Brewery & Coffee Co. in SoBro. The 350-seat spot will feature breakfast at the coffee shop, lunch and dinner in the brewery, and an outside music venue. Whether it’s woks or coffee beans, we’re looking forward to this jack-of-all-trades migrating further intown.
Craig Baker’s Favorite Things
(1) Jell-O: “All flavors, except cherry.”
(2) Music: “Especially alt-bluegrass.”
(3) Old cookbooks: “I have about 200.”
(4) Travel: “I love experiencing how other people farm, eat, and cook. And I always make it a point to catch sunsets at Pennsylvania’s Conneaut Lake.”
Photo by Tony Valainis
This article appeared in the December 2012 issue.