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May Foodie: Justin Jones

Mr. Coffee: After a stint setting up kitchens for star chefs in New York City, Justin Jones readies his second cafe, Bovaconti Coffee, in one of Fountain Square’s landmark buildings.

Since late 2016, the line outside Justin Jones’s slender storefront coffee shop on downtown’s Georgia Street has been a morning tradition. With all of his attention to detail, it’s no wonder. Three different locally roasted coffees blended in house? He’s got them. Doughnuts from Al’s in Plainfield on Fridays? He wouldn’t think of skipping a week. But Jones, who also hails from Indy’s far-west side, never dreamed he would be steaming lattes and icing mochas for the workday crowd. A onetime biomedical-technology major at Indiana State University, Jones got the bug to get out of the Midwest, so he headed to New York City, hoping to hit it big. But when the job leads didn’t materialize, he went to work in event production and catering, eventually setting up remote kitchens for such culinary luminaries as David Bouley and Masaharu Morimoto.

After returning to Indiana to direct banquet operations at the JW Marriott when it opened in 2011, Jones eventually started a family and wanted to free up his evenings. This spring, after nearly three years of pulling espresso at the former downtown gelato shop he turned into Georgia Street Grind, Jones is opening a second, more spacious location on Virginia Avenue in Fountain Square, Bovaconti Coffee. With breakfast flatbreads, outdoor seating, and a bocce court, the new cafe will repurpose the iconic Bovaconti Jewelers spot, from which the coffee shop takes its name. “We’re definitely keeping the sign,” Jones says.

Click here for Jones’s Chorizo Breakfast Flatbread recipe.

Terry Kirts joined Indianapolis Monthly as a contributing editor in 2007. A senior lecturer in creative writing at IUPUI, Terry has published his poetry and creative nonfiction in journals and anthologies including Gastronomica, Alimentum, and Home Again: Essays and Memoirs from Indiana, and he’s the author of the 2011 collection To the Refrigerator Gods.

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