Customizable bowls have been a big trend at fast-casual restaurants like Chipotle, Qdoba, Big Bowl and any poke place for years, and an East Chicago entrepreneur hopes to make it even more convenient for today's busy lifestyle, where people are often on the road from one errand to the next.
In The Cup Restaurant in East Chicago offers everything in cups for convenience, whether meals, salads or desserts.
The restaurant, at 821 Main St., lets customers customize their cups with whatever ingredients they choose. It specializes in soul food and seafood, including shrimp and crab.
Owner Kelvin Bride came up with the concept because he was always on the go.
"We put anything in a cup: pizza, tacos, potatoes, popcorn," he said. "It's in-and-out so you can be on the go."
In The Cup also offers curbside pickup, delivery and dining in, including for small private parties.
"Everything is cooked to order," he said. "You build your own cup. We have a king sized cup that's 32 ounces and the regular cup that's 16 ounces. We stuff them high. Basically our promise is we will make your cup overflow."
Customers can get breakfast in a cup, vegan fare in a cup, keto cuisine in a cup, loaded potatoes in a cup, rolled ice cream in a cup, and even food that's traditionally served in cups — like elote and fruit — in a cup. Popular items include stuffed waffles, skillets, shrimp and grits and The Trinity, which combines steak, chicken and shrimp.
"It's an elegant location," Bride said. "This is my hometown. I try to locate all my businesses in my hometown. I want to help people and give them opportunities to have a job. My motto is to try to give people something they never had before. Right now, I'm just getting the word out. I'm trying to give hope to people in my hometown."
In The Cup Restaurant also sells coffee, tea and Frappuccino drinks.
So far, people have gravitated to the concept, with many returning in a few days to try something else on the menu.
"People love it. We've even asked if some would like some items on a plate, like nachos," he said. "Our customers love getting their food in a cup and getting it personalized. It's really a concept that shakes it up."
In the Cup Restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.
For more information, call 219-256-8125 or find the business on Facebook.