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The Dish

If You Go
What: “An Indiana Farm to Fork Celebration: The Joseph Decuis Story,” a documentary by the owners of Joseph Decuis
Where: Cinema Center, 437 E. Berry St.
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday
Cost: $10; proceeds go to Cinema Center

Documentary tells story of Joseph Decuis

After spending years behind a desk in a suit and tie, Pete Eschelman now works in a place that is a little more low-key.

For one, his desk is a bar. Behind the bar is a beer tap. The seats are tall and comfortable. He can wear flannel jackets in the office. On Sunday afternoons, he might disappear to his office to spread out on the couch with a book and light the old-fashioned stove in the center of the room.

Eschelman and his wife, Alice, own Joseph Decuis in Roanoke. They opened the restaurant initially to have an appropriate place to bring business clients when Eschelman was in insurance, recruited by Lincoln Financial. It was a restaurant meant not for the public but for businesses.

But that didn’t stop the public from stopping in and trying to get a seat.

That evolution is part of the story told in “An Indiana Farm to Fork Celebration: The Joseph Decuis Story,” a documentary film that will debut Tuesday at Cinema Center.

Eschelman originally wanted to tell the restaurant’s story – from its inception to its business practices – in a book. In 2003, he published a book on Roanoke history, “Roanoke: The Renaissance of a Hoosier Village.”

In the research process, he got a different idea. Kyle Miron, who was engaged to Eschelman’s daughter at the time, suggested Eschelman do a documentary instead.

The documentary is scheduled for one showing at Cinema Center, Eschelman says, but he’s hoping to do more with the piece – perhaps showing the film at an Indianapolis restaurant paired with a dinner and/or some film festivals. He’s got his eye on a food film festival in Chicago.

“We want to pursue taking (the documentary) regionally and nationally and internationally,” he says.

Ali Baba’s closed

After less than a year in business, Ali Baba’s Grille on Coldwater Road has closed.

Its final day open was Sunday. Business was too slow to stay open, co-owner Rula Anas says. She and her husband, with whom she co-owns the restaurant, are planning to move back to North Carolina.

Ali Baba’s was in a small strip mall on Coldwater Road north of Dupont Road. There was no easy way to access the restaurant – it required a turn-in from a side street either before or after the strip, and customers had to pull into the parking lot from behind the building.

Free tasting today

This week’s tasting at Cap n’ Cork will be from 5 to 7 p.m. today at the retailer’s Broadway store, at 1031 Broadway.

It will include 14 wines, ranging from Moscato and a chocolate dessert wine to Chianti and Cabernet; 16 beers, including two ciders and four Christmas or winter beers; and 17 liquors, including four fruit-flavored liquors.

The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears Wednesdays. Fax news items to 461-8893, email or call 461-8462. For more restaurant news, go to The Dish blog at