SOUTHSIDERS Bob Sendelbach and Willie Roegner had a specific kind of customer in mind when they hatched the idea for their Greenwood restaurant, Antilogy. The two friends who met through church were members of a men’s breakfast group that got together every Saturday. It wasn’t necessarily a Bible study, Sendelbach says. “Just five or six of us who enjoyed waking up early on the weekend and having a spot where we could sit and talk.” On date nights, they would take their wives somewhere downtown for a nice dinner. But that was often tedious. “We would get a babysitter for three hours on a Friday night and then spend 45 minutes driving downtown to park for dinner. Then, we had to drive back home,” Sendelbach says.
Wouldn’t it be nice, they thought, if guys like them (men who brunch) had somewhere comfy yet chic on their side of town where they could meet up with friends for casual weekend coffees and avocado toasts? If they could also stop by in the evening for a bourbon flight and some parmesan truffle waffle fries or a hunk of flourless chocolate cake with balsamic-marinated strawberries, even better. So that’s the restaurant Sendelbach, Roegner, and their wives (Rachel Sendelbach and Andrea Roegner) opened in February at the end of a Kroger-anchored strip mall in the middle of Johnson County. They focus on breakfast and brunch before 4 p.m. and shared plates and cocktails after 5 p.m. and simply left out everything that comes between the chai latte and the espresso martini—lunch specials, full dinner menu, happy hour. It’s a unique business model but not a surprising one to anyone who has cracked open their Merriam-Webster for a definition of the restaurant’s unusual name. Antilogy (noun): a contradiction in terms or ideas.
That explanation tracks. Housed in a new but nondescript corner space, this surprisingly sleek newcomer does a lot with its 3,500 square feet of real estate. Tufted leather booths line one wall that is papered in an elegant cornflower-blue print. The bar is tucked inside a cozy alcove lit by glass pendants that give off a golden glow. And some posh sofas, chairs, and low coffee tables are arranged in tasteful vignettes at the center of the room, aka “the lounge.” As in, “You are welcome to have a seat in the lounge while you wait for your table.”
You are also welcome to eat your entire meal in the lounge, awkwardly leaned over a row of spicy deviled eggs decorated with candied bacon or a plate of cornmeal-and-poblano Johnny cakes topped with cilantro crema, jalapeño-infused syrup, and slivers of smoked Norwegian trout—while simultaneously balancing a cup of coffee sourced from Fountain Square’s Bovaconti on your knee. That was the Pilates-like alternative we went with one Saturday morning, instead of waiting 45 minutes in the crowded vestibule for a two-top to become available.
Clearly, Sendelbach and Roegner found their customer niche, because the place was packed. Though Antilogy is the first restaurant either of them have owned, Roegner has been in the business since 1996, having worked at Texas Roadhouse and Apple American Group (an Applebee’s franchisee), and served as executive chef at Firebirds Wood Fired Grill in Carmel, and then director of operations for Barefoot Restaurant Concepts in Greenwood. He developed the menu at Antilogy after months of tinkering with dishes and ingredients in his own kitchen. He eventually arrived at this playful lineup of omelets, breakfast sandwiches, and even pancakes served charcuterie-style on a board with various fruits, syrups, and butters. Among the Belgian waffles, a fried chicken–topped version is a deconstructed savory-sweet parfait of hand-breaded buttermilk pieces, bacon, slaw, syrup, and hot sauce.
Roegner used his mother’s recipe for the biscuits and gravy, and he plans to introduce a seasonal dish from his wife’s side of the family this summer. “It’s called tomato shortcake,” he says. “It’s traditionally done with a homemade biscuit, but I’m going to change it to a jalapeño biscuit with garlic-cheese-thyme sauce and beefsteak tomatoes.” You expect those plot twists from someone who also thought up vanilla bourbon French toast, an addictively gooey baked spinach-and-gruyere dip, and panko-crusted crispy burrata. There are a few missteps, including oddly flavorless cheddar grits under blackened shrimp and some oversalted crostini. But the food is inventive, fun, and easy to love—even more so when paired with a frothy honey-lavender latte or a double-smoked Old Fashioned prepared behind the bar with enough fire and flourish to make the crowd go wild.