James Bashir A. Khan is a generally optimistic person.
But even still, the partner in BakerStreet Steakhouse and Hoppy Gnome has been generally surprised by the positive reaction that he and his partners have received after word that they will be taking over the space in the Ash Skyline Plaza vacated by The Golden and opening a Latin-themed restaurant.
“A lot of people thanked us for investing in Fort Wayne,” Khan says. “The fact is that Fort Wayne invested in us first with BakerStreet.”
Proximo is a return on that investment, he says, offering something different and more. It will be an upscale, finer-dining restaurant specializing in Latin cuisine. The food will draw from a variety of regions – Brazil, Chile, Peru and Mexico, just to name a few.
“Fort Wayne embraces a lot of different ethnic cuisines. You just see places stick around,” Khan says. “I don't think there's any high-end Latin, Hispanic restaurants in Fort Wayne.”
Khan and his partners first had the idea for Proximo – which means “next” in Spanish – in 2012 when they were planning for The Hoppy Gnome. However, the costs for the concept ended up exceeding what they could do in the Anthony Wayne Building.
“As it's circled back around, it's always a restaurant concept that we thought would do well in Fort Wayne,” Khan says.
The menu will feature many seafood dishes, such as ceviche, paella and Chilean sea bass, helping to lend to an authentic feel to the menu. There will also be items that feel approachable, such as a steak, but a chimichurri sauce will give it a Latin flair.
Proximo will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Khan, who says he has always been enamored with breakfast, wanted to offer three meal services to better serve the business community downtown.
And by offering breakfast from the beginning, the community will identify Proximo as a place where someone can have a business meeting at 6 a.m.
Meetings will be easier, too, as Proximo will expand into the space where The Find had been. The design calls for cutting into the wine wall that had been in The Golden and creating an entrance. The room, along with other parts of the restaurant, will be carpeted to help absorb sound, and there will also be sound-absorbing material put into the ceiling to create a more comfortable dining area.
Khan expects to start serving meals no earlier than April but, more realistically, by June.
Savor Fort Wayne returns this month
The weather outside might be frightful – actually, it's downright terrifying – but unlike the Christmas carol, there is somewhere to go.
Beginning Jan. 10, Savor Fort Wayne will offer 12 days of restaurant deals at more than 30 dining establishments across the city. The lengthy list includes newcomers such as 07 Pub, Nawa and Sweet Lou's Pizza, as well as standards such as Don Hall's many restaurants and Casa locations.
So, listen up, Mother Nature: It doesn't have to snow.
Fort Wayne's version of a restaurant week is designed to get people out and eating during a time that's typically slow for restaurants. Each spot offers a deal that's no more than $30 a person.
For more tony spots such as Park Place on Main, that means diners can pay $30 a person and choose an appetizer (bone marrow or shrimp ceviche), a salad (house or caesar), an entree (scallops, cassoulet, linguine carbonara or sirloin) and finish off with a dessert (choice of chocolate pot de crème, crème brulée or French lime sorbet).
Some restaurants, though, offer deals where two can dine for $30. At Mad Anthony Brewing Co., pairs have two options. The first includes choice of two pints of Madbrew or soft drinks, a Scooby Snack basket, and any two unwraps. The second choice switches up the entree, and diners can get any two sandwiches or asparagus salad.
Don't think you just have to go to dinner, either. Trubble Brewing on Broadway is offering special deals during Savor Fort Wayne for lunch, dinner and brunch. Lunch prices range from $6 to $8 a person, brunch is $8 a person or two for $15, and dinner is two for $20.
For a full list of participating restaurants, go to www.visitfortwayne.com/savor. Reservations are recommended where available, and some locations may be limited to ages 21 and over. Prices do not include beverages, tax or gratuity.
Dinner for two
Promising a dinner experience of a lifetime, the crew at Bravas is planning a Valentine's Day dinner ... for just two people.
The restaurant announced that it will be shutting down the burger joint on Fairfield Avenue on Feb. 14, one of the busiest nights of the year, to cook dinner for just one couple. The restaurant will run on full staff for the night, which it says will cost $2,000.
The winner will be chosen through a raffle; tickets cost $10, and there's no limit on the number that can be purchased. The winner will be announced Feb. 1.
After being chosen, the winner will work with the Bravas team to design a menu for the evening.
• Nawa announced on its Facebook page that it will begin regular lunch service this week. Hours for the Asian fusion restaurant on the Columbia Street Landing, are 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; and 5 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
• Laycoff's Tavern, 3530 N. Clinton St., is offering free meals to police officers, thanks to a special fund.
The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears Wednesdays. Fax news items to 461-8893, email email@example.com or call 461-8304.