BROWNSBURG — Jeff Aldridge has always loved two things: basketball and cooking. So when he decided to make the leap and open his own restaurant, he knew he had to give it a high school basketball theme.
Hoosier Pizza and Subs opened in Brownsburg on Dec. 1.
“I drove trucks for 22 years over the road,” Aldridge said. “Then I was a chef at Milano Inn down in Indianapolis for a couple of years and cooked at a few other restaurants. My aunt and uncle have a restaurant in Thorntown, and I’ve always loved to cook. It’s always been in my blood to do something like this.”
Aldridge says the restaurant has a “Hoosiers” basketball theme, and he even sought the council of Bobby Plump, star player on the famed 1954 Milan High School team that the movie was fashioned after. The decor, however, is a homage to his late father.
“My dad was a really big basketball fan,” Aldridge said. “He was a big star at Lebanon when he played. I lost him last year and went ahead with the basketball theme because it’s something he enjoyed. We’d always sit and watch basketball games together.”
Aldridge says he knows opening such a venue will be a challenge. Hoosier Pizza and Subs is the fifth pizza restaurant to attempt to make a go of it at the location along U.S. 136 where it intersects with Northfield Drive. But he says it’s the uniqueness and the ingredients that will set him apart.
“Everything we do is fresh,” he said. “I’m in here at 10 a.m. every morning. We cut our veggies every day. We don’t reuse anything. I don’t like getting vegetables in a bag and just dumping them out. Our sauce is home made, a recipe my wife and I came up with. With our sandwiches, our meatballs are homemade. Nothing is shipped in. Everything is fresh and I want to keep it that way.”