It started more than 15 years ago, when Mike Cunningham was taking family trips out to Colorado and wanted to bring a little of that home to Hendricks County.
Fifteen years and 12 restaurants spread across Indiana and Ohio later, he celebrates his maiden lodge-type restaurant voyage in Brownsburg with Boulder Creek Nov. 26 through 30.
“The idea came up at the time when my wife had family in Colorado and we were visiting with our kids, and we got the idea of taking a diner and bringing in a world outside of their own, sort of like a mountain lodge theme restaurant,” said Cunningham, owner of Cunningham Restaurant Group.
“When you go in there, you feel like you’re in Colorado. We wanted to take people away for a little while. With all of our restaurants, we concentrate on decor and make people feel like they want to come in there, and come back.”
But more than ambiance, Cunningham says it’s the service that really drives people to Boulder Creek and has allowed it to be so successful.
“I think we do a good job consistently serving good food,” he said. “I think we do a good job connecting with our guests and with our service level and allowing our guests and staff members to get to know one another. It’s not just an order taker taking a food or drink order.”
Emily Kirby, general manager for the Boulder Creek Brownsburg location, echoes that sentiment.
“The biggest thing for us is we have so many long-term employees and it makes people feel comfortable, I think,” she said. “I just like the family atmosphere, all of the guests and co-workers, we all feel like we’re part of something more there.”
Cunningham says the restaurant climate has seen an uptick in dining out over Boulder Creek’s life span.