Union Street opens to plenty of fanfare
Bravas seeks help with building, Penguin Point closes 7 restaurants
I joined thousands of others last weekend and gave in to the urge to visit the new Union Street Market at Electric Works. I can tell you the buzz is warranted.
Two themes struck me almost instantly. The East Hall, where the shopping is, was relaxed and inviting. The West Hall, the dining wing, was packed. Sometimes 15 or 20 people deep for Brooks BBQ and Chicken, Johnny Ox Pizzeria, or Pikoso Burrito Co.
If patrons were there to kick the tires and gawk, they were soon more than ready to buy. The fresh, trendy decor only served to drive sales. I was pulled in by the stores.
HercuLean Meal Prep has a solid niche with frozen but healthy entrees. Sort of a consumer version of military MREs (meals ready to eat), but much tastier and specialized. I’ll definitely swing back to try them out.
On this visit, the star was B&B Meat and Seafood Market. It’s hard to ignore sausage-sized prawns, pigs ears, and fresh rabbit meat. They are brightly displayed under glass like a trophy case. The butcher shop is the brainstorm of Jason Brown and Andrew Burkhart. Their passion for the artistry of food is clear. They’ll quickly tell you they want people excited about food, not just high-priced food.
“Everyone wants to be a foodie, but they think you have to spend a lot,” Brown said. “But that’s not what great food is!”
Burkhart talked about spyder steak, also called oyster steak. It’s a delicacy tender meat often overlooked by conventional meat cutters.
Expert advice, even practical instruction on how to enjoy the good stuff, is something both say will be their specialty.
“I’m OK with eclectic,” Brown laughed. “I’m OK with pushing consumers a little.”
He says his crew loves to educate and share their passion. Part educator, part customer service, and about being more than the typical supermarket.
Bravas asks public for aid on building
It’s been done frequently for startups and underfunded product rollouts, especially in tech industries, and popular local food truck, Bravas is doing it, too.
In their quest to convert a vacant building into a restaurant near their old one on Fairfield Avenue, they’ve gone to the crowd source funding site Indiegogo.com to raise $20,000.
They are heading into the home stretch and are just a few thousand short of the final goal. If all goes to plan, they should wrap it up before the end of the year.
According to their campaign webpage, the money will go toward final interior design work, prep kitchen, and equipment.
To learn more, go to indiegogo.com and search for Bravas.
There are several donation levels and each comes with perks. Some include a meal and merchandise as a thank you.
Doughnut franchise coming to Summit City
A new kind of doughnut shop hopes to open up shop in Fort Wayne.
By summer, Parlor Doughuts expects to be ready to serve up their first treats from a location at Lima and Carroll roads.
The chain is a self-described craft doughnut shop that features a variety of doughnuts, such as gluten-free, vegan, and keto-friendly. Artisan breakfasts, specialty coffee, and milkshakes are also on the menu.
Local businessman Darrin Vogt and his son, Gaven, are behind the local effort, which is designed to be spot to hangout out. They say more stores could be coming to the city over the next few years.
Parlor has franchises in 17 states, including six in Indiana. The closest are in Indianapolis and Valparaiso.
Starbucks settles into Southtown Centre
A long-awaited Starbucks at Southtown Centre is now open.
The City of Fort Wayne says the Starbucks location opened for business last week, bringing the national coffee chain to the Southtown area for the first time.
Penguin Point closes 7 restaurants
Warsaw-based fast food restaurant chain Penguin Point has closed seven northern Indiana locations, including the last one in Fort Wayne, near the intersection Lower Huntington and Winchester roads, and the Lake Street restaurant in Warsaw.
Officials announced the move last week, but did not give a reason for the immediate closures. They said nine locations remain open including two spots in Warsaw, as well as Auburn, Wabash, North Manchester, Syracuse, Columbia City, Elkhart, and South Bend.
Popular for their tenderloin sandwich, Penguin Point began as a summer carhop drive-in on June 6, 1950, with the first restaurant opening in Wabash.
Off the Eaten Path is the Whatzup weekly column that covers Northeast Indiana’s restaurant and food news. Send your news items to email@example.com.