Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

JAN-FEB 2016

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Page 86 of 135

For over 15 years, Sangiovese Ristorante occupied a premium spot on the north side of 82nd Street at Clearwater Crossing, a choice location by most standards with its easy access, high-end shopping and steady volume of trafc. Restaurateur Gino Pizzi opened the upscale-casual spot in 1994 and sold it to Kostas Protopapadakis in 2000. Chris Evans, who worked for Pizzi from 2001-2006, purchased Sangiovese in 2007. At the time, the restaurant was still at its former location east of White River. With the opening of the new Ironworks at Keystone, he seized the opportunity to move in alongside one of the busiest restaurants in the state: Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. Te move has proven to be a success in every way. "Te new location is so much better," Evans enthuses. "In terms of visibility, access and volume, it is a far better place for this kind of restaurant." No stranger to international dining, Evans grew up in a military family. He spent much of his early life in Belgium, with frequent side visits to soak up the culture in Germany, Britain and Italy. "Te dollar was very strong back then," he remembers, "so it was a good time to explore other countries." Upon his return to the States, Evans attended North Central High School, subsequently studying at Indiana University for a while until the travel bug once more got the better of him. Heading to Missoula, Mont., with hopes of becoming a snowboard instructor, Chris found work in restaurants as a cook, dishwasher and bartender. Unfortunately, no realistic opportunities presented themselves, so he returned to Indiana in 2000. He resumed his studies and, replying to a want ad in a local paper, suddenly found himself in Pizzi's employ at Ambrosia. Te rest, more or less, is history. Pizzi couldn't be more proud of Evans' success. Spicy Italian meatballs are not on the menu, per se, but are available every day. 85

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