By Mark Ambrogi
David Klain is a custom homebuilder and developer by trade. So before he opened his first restaurant, he made sure to do his research.
Klain, who lives in Carmel’s Village of West Clay and owns DB Klain Construction, surveyed his neighbors before opening Zing Cafe, 12710 Meeting House Rd., in August.
“We bought this building, and we were committed to putting in a service-related business, not just another office space, but something that would serve the community,” said Klain, a 1990 Carmel High School graduate. “We also did it to prove that done properly things can succeed out here (in West Clay). We’re proving that.”
Klain said the restaurant has surpassed projections at the start. The restaurant, which serves lunch and dinner, is open from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
“Seventy-six percent (of the survey responders) said that a sandwich and coffee shop was the next place they want,” Klain said.
When Klain didn’t find a restaurant to come in with the right vision, he decided to do it himself.
“We created a broad menu base that was priced appropriately,” Klain said. “You might go to other breakfast and lunch places where it’s a $12 omelette. We wanted to be a place where people can come multiple days a week with their families and their kids and not feel like they are breaking the bank every time they go out to eat.”
Klain said they have brought in an unbelievable management staff to help. Among the part-time employees are his sons, Brady, a CHS senior, and Mason, a freshman.
There is seating for 28, online ordering for to-go items and outside seating for approximately 26.
“It’s an active community,” Klain said. “Everyone is out walking their dogs. We’ve got a bunch of regular groups, like a knitting group, that come in each week.”
Klain said he knew businesses can be successful in West Clay because his wife, Sherri, has owned Basket Pizzazz, a gift basket/candy store in West Clay, for six years.