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The Journal Gazette

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Parker Lee Shelton of 3 Feather Custom Woods made Tolon's unique patio tables.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette The natural beauty of the wood is allowed to show through in the tables on Tolon's new patio.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette A sun god design is featured in the tables by Parker Lee Shelton, of 3 Feather Custom Woods, for Tolon's patio.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Tribal art is featured in the tables by Parker Lee Shelton, of 3 Feather Custom Woods, for Tolon's patio.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Parker Lee Shelton, of 3 Feather Custom Woods, combines three pieces of wood to make one of the tables for Tolon's patio.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Tolon has added a patio featuring tables created by local carpenter Parker Lee Shelton of 3 Feather Custom Woods.

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Tables featuring a live edge, created by local artist Parker Lee Shelton of 3 Feather Custom Woods, are on Tolon's patio.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017 1:00 am

Tolon adds hand-crafted wood to patio

Kimberly Dupps Truesdell | For The Journal Gazette

It's been about three weeks since the patio at Tolon opened.

Black fencing surrounds the sidewalk area of the farm-to-fork restaurant on 614 S. Harrison St., large red umbrellas offering shade from the summer sun.

But it's not the patio itself that is particularly of note, as al fresco dining seems a standard option these warm days – at least for downtown venues.

Instead, it's the tables. Initially, the patio opened with ubiquitous black round tables for servers to place dishes such as one with buratta, country bread, pesto, marcona, beet jam and black sea salt. The tables have since been replaced, though, with hand-crafted wood surfaces. No two are alike at Tolon: One has a dark inlay in the middle, another features a geometric design running down the middle.

The tables were designed by Parker Lee Shelton of 3 Feather Custom Woods, a local furniture-maker who has made tables for the likes of the Gas House and Junk Ditch Brewing Co. Many of 3 Feather's projects feature reclaimed wood and unique details such as the live edges on the five white oak pieces on Tolon's patio.

Shelton has been a woodworker his entire life. In a third-grade paper, he said he wanted to be a carpenter.

He says he lets the wood speak to him as he works instead of going into a project with a preconceived idea of what it needs to be.

“You look at a piece of wood and it tells you what to do,” Shelton says. “You just have to watch and listen.”

Tolon co-owner Nicky Nolot says the design of one of the tables honors her Cherokee heritage, while another is the symbol for an ancient sun god. One of the pieces is named “The River” because it looks like a flowing body of water.

“The designs on the tables were a total surprise,” she says. “I told him to have fun with them and make them his thing.”

Shelton is also designing an indoor host stand to greet restaurant guests.

Diners can check out the tables during Tolon's regular hours 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday.

Return of Hop On

Plans are underway for the second Hop On Fort Wayne Brew Tour.

From 1 to 5 p.m. Sept. 23, fans of local breweries will be able to hop on and off CTN vans and sample some of the city's best brews.

Among the participants are Chapman's Brewing Co., which is in Fortezza Coffee on Calhoun Street. The Angola-based beer maker will offer $1 off pints, 1-ounce samples and a coupon for a free growler glass with purchase of a growler fill to Hop On guests.

Mad Anthony Brewing Co. will offer a tour of its brewing facilities, a discount for a menu item, a coupon for their next visit and free samples.

During the event, CTN vans will drive in a continuous loop, arriving at each location every 15 to 20 minutes.

For tickets, go to

New Casa features

A new features menu was rolled out at Casa restaurants this week.

The dishes, which will be available through September, are a celebration of summer. The Lake Como Salad features Fuji apples, grilled chicken breast, Roma tomatoes, red onion and hard-boiled egg over a bed of greens. The Summer Pizza is topped with alfalfa sprouts, avocado, red onion, sliced cucumber, grilled chicken, tomatoes and a garlic and buttermilk sauce.

For those looking for a heartier dish, the feature menu also includes stuffed pepperoni rolls, prime rib sandwich and banana cream cheesecake. “Everything”-crusted salmon and blackened shrimp risotto round out the options.

Around town

• After my column a few weeks ago about upcoming restaurant openings was published, I got a lot of inquiries about Blaze Pizza. The fast-casual chain, which will take up residence at the northeast corner of Coldwater Road and Coliseum Boulevard, is getting close to opening its first restaurant in the city. However, a spokesperson for the company says the target is late summer/early fall but an exact date cannot be set until construction is a bit further along.

Caliente Cuban Cafe opened a second location this week on West Wayne Street in the former Toscani Pizzeria space. Hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The East State Boulevard restaurant is changing its hours and will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

• Opening day for the Maplecrest location of Shigs in Pit was Tuesday. Hours for the barbecue restaurant, which got its start on Fairfield Avenue, are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Yummi Bunni, 123 W. Main St., has expanded its hours for summer to host the lunch crowd. It is now open from 1 to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday; and noon to 1 a.m. Saturday. The ice cream shop, which is known for its “buns” (ice cream sandwiches made with a doughnut), is closed on Sundays.

Corey McMaken of The Journal Gazette contributed to this report.

The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears Wednesdays. Fax news items to 461-8893, email or call 461-8304.