Kokomo tenderloin restaurant gets historic landmark plaque

KOKOMO, Ind. — A central Indiana restaurant that specializes in tenderloins and is believed to be Kokomo’s longest continuously operated restaurant is now a historic landmark.

A plaque unveiled Thursday at Artie’s Tenderloin by members of the Kokomo Historic Review Board recognizes the historic status the eatery achieved in June.

The building was built in 1910, but Artie’s Tenderloin opened its doors in 1938 after Artie Gillespie turned the space into his tenderloin restaurant.

The Kokomo Tribune reports that Artie’s current owners, Robin and Danny Kelley, hope the historic status will attract new customers to the eatery in the city about 40 miles north of Indianapolis.

The couple has owned the restaurant for about 20 years and have a solid base of regulars that Robin Kelley says “are more like family.”

Some of those regulars are Thomas Tolen and his daughter Aggy, who have made it a tradition to eat breakfast at Artie’s on the first day of school each year. They even take a photo in front of the restaurant each time.

“Not sure if she’s going to go for picture bit when she gets in high school, but I imagine that Artie’s will still be around,” said Thomas.