BBQ and Tex-Mex at the Salty Cowboy

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The East Oak Street building is being prepped for a new restaurant. (Submitted photo)

The East Oak Street building is being prepped for a new restaurant. (Submitted photo)

By Zach Manges

Zionsville is about to get its fix for sizzling barbeque and southwestern style with the upcoming opening of the Salty Cowboy restaurant. For owner Shari Jenkins, who is also owner of Noah Grant’s Grill House, this newest venture is a thrilling opportunity not just for varied cuisine but also for a welcoming community.

“I love people and I get to see new faces every day. I’ve always been part of different restaurant ‘families’. I love that part of my job most,” Jenkins said.

Located at 55 East Oak Street, the Salty Cowboy has a projected opening day in April.

On Feb. 19 the Zionsville Plan Commission approved plans for the building to be reconstructed for use of a restaurant. It was formerly a location for Le Dolce Vita bakery.

The construction will include a 100 square-foot addition inside the building. This addition will allow guests of the restaurant to move more easily from the front of the building to the back of the building.,There will also be an additional restroom built.

David Rausch represented the plans for the proposed restaurant and said no exterior changes to the building will be done.

“The scope of the project is minor interior renovations,” Rausch said.

The Tex-Mex restaurant will seat up to eighty guests in both a family-friendly dining room and a separate bar area for the twenty-one and over crowd. Jenkins assures that only a high quality of service will remain constant between the two venues.

“I will have no crossover at all on recipes or menu items,” Jenkins said. “Depending on what one is craving: beer, tequila, and barbeque brisket or a buttery chardonnay and lobster, there will a place for all cravings and price points.”

Originally a middle school teacher, Jenkins also waited tables on the side at Proffit’s Restaurant, the site of which is now the home of Noah Grant’s. Due to her background in teaching, Jenkins has a passion for fostering student employees in the business. Many Zionsville High School students make up her staff.

“I usually do not hire students who have restaurant experience, and I prefer it that way,” Jenkins said. “Their personalities and watching them learn and grow under our roof, is a joy that substitutes my teaching career.”

Jenkins hopes to have a personable environment and mouth-watering fare, so that residents have a lot to look forward to in the impending arrival of the Salty Cowboy.

“I love making Mexican food at home, not out, because I use fresh ingredients,” Jenkins said.  “For years I’ve been playing with recipes and know that I’m not the only one who will appreciate the fresh food the Salty Cowboy will offer.”

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