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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, July 24, 2019 1:00 am

Late owner's children sell Friends, Too

Kimberly Dupps | Truesdell For The Journal Gazette

Calling it a bittersweet announcement, Marianthi and George Hatzigeorgiou announced they have sold the family business – Friends, Too.

Friends, Too, which opened in 2009, was owned by their parents, Niko and Ana Hatzigeorgiou. But the past six months have been a challenge for the brother and sister following the death of Niko Hatzigeorgiou in January. He had previously been diagnosed with cancer but was dealing with other health issues at the time of his death. Ana died in 2017.

The restaurant was known for its warm, welcome atmosphere and Niko's big personality, and the family has worked to continue the legacy of Niko and Ana, but they have faced challenges, as Marianthi and George Hatzigeorgiou live in Washington, D.C.

“We can keep so much of the store consistent, but without our dad there, it wasn't the same experience,” the Hatzigeorgious wrote.

Niko Hatzigeorgiou's brother has been operating Friends, Too on Jefferson Boulevard near Jefferson Pointe.

The Puga family, which owns Joanna's Family Restaurant in Leo Crossing, has bought Friends, Too.

Nano brewery to open

A new brewery concept is set to open Aug. 9 on Spring Street after more than a year of planning.

Fortlandia Brewing Co. is a nano brewery, producing beer in one-barrel batches.The ownership is using this concept so they will be able to produce a large variety of new beers and flavors on a regular basis.

“Small batches will allow us to turn out new brews constantly,” co-owner Sam Snyder says. “We expect to have quick turnaround because we will have limited amounts of each beer and 10 fermenters in our brewery.”

Along with Snyder, the brewery is owned by Ken Daly, Jerry Glass, Dan Voors and Ed Whipp. Together, they have more than 40 years of brewing experience.

“After becoming friends and learning about each other's backgrounds, we realized that we all had specialties in different styles of brewing and if we put them together, we could offer a variety of some unique beers that taste great,” says Snyder, who met some of the co-owners through a home brewing association.

Collectively, the ownership group has won more than 20 awards in different home brew-craft beer competitions, and these award-winning beers will be some of their core brews.

“Our beer styles starting out will range from light to robust, and we want to offer our customers the ability to try something new on a regular basis,” Snyder says.

The brewery, 1010 Spring St., will have a tap room that has seating for 25 to 30 people and will offer 10 brews on tap. Additionally, the brewery will begin with limited distribution to some local bars and pubs in the area.

Long-term goals for the brewery are to expand into a larger space that allows for more seating, but starting out, ownership believes the colonial-style pub is a perfect place to offer their beer.

Waiter on move

Waiter on the Way has moved its central headquarters to the historic Baker Street Station.

Owner Derek Berkes says he is rejuvenating the company to meet the needs of customers.

“Over the next 12 months, we will be launching a new website for our amazing customers as we are redefining our processes to deliver food throughout Fort Wayne. We are renewing our commitment to be the best food delivery service in the city. We chose Baker Street Station because we want to remain downtown, and this centralized location is great logistically for our customers and our drivers.”

Waiter on the Way is a local restaurant delivery service that has relationships with more than 100 local spots.

Customers order online at waiterontheway.biz or by calling 442-3663, and the fee is often $5.99.

Joella's coming

Joella's Hot Chicken, a Louisville-based fast casual restaurant known for its hot chicken and made-from-scratch Southern side dishes, will open its fourth Indiana location at 1715 Apple Glen Blvd. by the end of the year.

The newest Indiana location joins two Indianapolis-area restaurants and one store in Bloomington.

Joella's, which first opened in 2015, has been serving up a Southern-inspired menu that includes hot chicken served at six different heat levels and made-from-scratch Southern side dishes, such as macaroni and cheese, green beans with bacon and sweet vinegar slaw.

Joella's Hot Chicken will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, and kids eat free every Tuesday beginning at 4 p.m.

Details for the grand opening will be announced soon, including job opportunities and plans to give away “Free Hot Chicken for a Year” to the first 100 customers in line during grand opening events. For more information about Joella's Hot Chicken or to see the full menu, go to www.joellas.com.

Around town

Junk Ditch Brewing Co., 1825 W. Main St., will have a party for its third birthday from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday. Greg Gunthorp of Gunthorp Farms, which supplies the restaurant with pork and poultry, will be grilling. And there will also be free food from the Affine food truck, live music and games.

Salvatori's West, 10337 Illinois Road, is now serving brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The menu includes Italian takes on this trendy meal service, such as Porchetta Hash; classics, including biscuits and gravy; and a children's menu.

The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears Wednesdays. Fax news items to 461-8893, email kdupps@jg.net or call 461-8304 at least two weeks before event or desired publication.