Uzma Rezvi and John Leuthner started dating in high school. When the two went on their first date, they shared a banana split as an Elvis song played in the background.
Ever since, ice cream and Elvis have brought back a feeling of nostalgia for the newly transplanted Fort Wayne woman.
“Music and food have a way of taking you back to a time that was just better,” says Rezvi, who moved here a year ago from the Chicago area. “We kind of want to re-create that.”
Jukebox Ice Cream Parlor, on East State Boulevard near Parkview Randallia, will have a refurbished jukebox loaded with music from the 1950s and 1960s. There will be vinyl-booth seating and bar stools with a retro look. Pictures paying homage to old Fort Wayne will be hung, including shots of old Lakeside Park and the area near the hospital. To add to the nostalgic theme, candies such as Chuckles and Turkish Toffee will be available for purchase.
Rezvi hopes the shop, which was built in 1925 and most recently housed Carousel Ice Cream, will become a neighborhood ice cream spot. She and Leuthner, who had always hoped to own a business, anticipate opening this weekend. While their furniture delivery was delayed, it should arrive today.
“I've always wanted a restaurant – but those take a lot more work,” Rezvi says. “Ice cream is something we both love, and I think a lot of people agree.”
Hours, which are subject to change, are expected to be noon to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The shop plans to be open year-round.
Chapman's Brewing Co. will open its fifth taproom at the end of the month in southwest Fort Wayne.
Taking over the space vacated by Salud Tapas N Tequila, 5735 Falls Drive, the taproom will be the biggest yet for the Angola-based brewery. Not only that – it will feature a full menu.
Ben Lane, manager of the taproom, says Chapman's has brought on a chef to help design the food offerings. The menu isn't finalized yet, but diners can expect to see dishes like gourmet burgers and soft pretzels with house-made beer cheese.
The sizable bar left by Salud is there “but nothing about it looks the same,” Lane says. The mirrors have been taken down, and it has been refaced. It will feature 10 taps, eight of which will be reserved for Chapman's brews. The signature beer list includes Harvester blonde ale, Enlighten kolsch-style ale, Englishman brown ale, Valiant American stout, Wry American red rye and Undaunted IPA. The two remaining taps will spotlight beers from other craft breweries.
The inside of the restaurant has been remodeled for a more modern look, Lane says. There is a lounge area with couch seating and tables and a private room for parties and banquets. The taproom has a capacity of about 150 diners. There is also an outdoor patio.
The Chapman's crew is targeting June 29 for an opening date and anticipates hours to be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Salud Tapas N Tequila closed at the end of 2017, after about two years of operation. It was owned by brothers Jerry and Chris Rongos, who also own three Salsa Grilles in Fort Wayne, including one that shared a building with Salud. The southwest Salsa Grille is still open.
The Lucky Moose, 622 E. Dupont Road, is paying homage to dads this weekend with two buffets on Sunday.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., a brunch buffet will be available. Items include omelets made to order, scrambled eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, biscuits and gravy, French toast, pancakes, pulled pork, ribs, coconut shrimp, dessert and salad bar.
In the evening, from 4 to 8 p.m., a buffet with beer-battered fish, pizza, pulled pork and salad bar will appeal to dads who don't want to barbecue.
The brunch buffet will cost $13.13. The evening buffet will cost $11.11. Call 490-5765 for more information.
New Casa specials
A new lineup of specials has made its way to Casa restaurants, including a “Construction Special” menu for the Dupont Road store.
Construction at the north-side restaurant has affected business, causing sales to dip 20 percent. Trying to bring people in, the restaurant has added daily specials.
Available every day, a lunch-size portion of lasagna with Casaburo side salad is $6.99. Other specials include a dinner-size spaghetti con polpette, $9.99, Sunday; lunch-size spaghetti Parmigiano, $7.99, Monday; lunch-size pasta con Verdura, $8.99, Tuesday; petto di pollo al Palermo (served with two sides), $11.99, Wednesday; lunch-size mostaccioli al forno, $7.99, Thursday; sogliola fritti (fried sole), $8.59, Friday; toasted ravioli appetizer, $4.99, Saturday.
Casa specials, available at all of the restaurants, include a Mediterranean salad, which features field greens and diced grilled chicken breast tossed with a poppy seed dressing, diced cucumbers, Roma tomatoes, diced mushrooms, red onions, craisins, mozzarella, provolone and feta cheese, bacon and croutons.
The roast beef sandwich is made with thinly sliced roast beef, tomato, avocado, lettuce, fontina cheese and a mild horseradish mayo. Pollock starts with a fillet fried crisp in a buttermilk panko breading and then topped with a strawberry salsa. For dessert, there is strawberry shortcake cheesecake.
Veg'n Brew Fest
Fort Wayne Veg'n Brew Fest will host a fundraiser June 21 at Hop River Brewing, 1515 N. Harrison St.
During the event, which is from 5 to 8 p.m., 10 percent of the proceeds from vegan food and two beers (to be announced) will be donated to the nonprofit festival, which will have its inaugural event Oct. 6 at Headwaters Park.
Hop River, Fort Wayne's newest brewery, has become a hot spot for vegetarians and vegans, as its menu features a large selection of vegan options.
Current selections include muhamarra dip, vegan sloppy nachos, vegan sloppy Joes, Philly cheese “fake,” and collard greens and roasted sweet potatoes.
The Fort Wayne Veg'n Brew Fest committee will be on hand to answer questions about the festival and sell shirts, stickers and buttons.
Attendees can also register to win two VIP passes to the festival, which will allow access to all of the food, brews and vendors one hour before the general public. A gift basket filled with vegan goodies will also be raffled off.
For information, go to FWVegFest.com.
• Yummi Bunni, the downtown ice cream shop known for its buns, is expanding to Indianapolis. Makenna Click will be opening a second shop this summer in the Fountain Square building.
• Food trucks will be gathering from 5 to 8 p.m. today in the Snider High School parking lot as part of a fundraiser for the performing arts program. Among mobile units in attendance will be Wicked Good Cupcakes, Kona Ice, Amanda Lee Coffee, Big Apple Pizza, Flora & Lily, Bravas, Fork & Fiddle, Hawkins Famous Fish, Triple B's BBQ and Ziffles.
• Holiday Inn Fort Wayne-IPFW & Coliseum, 4111 Paul Shaffer Drive, will be hosting special patio dining 7 to 9:30 Wednesday nights during the summer, beginning today. There will be cocktails and live music.
• A sign is up for Restaurante Ecuatoriano at 1645 Wells St. There is butcher paper in the window, as well as a poster with different menu items. Stay tuned.
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.