About 50 restaurants and eateries have already signed on to participate in 2021's edition of Savor Fort Wayne.
The 12-day event, which is organized by Visit Fort Wayne, encourages people to explore the city's restaurant scene. The event will take place Jan. 13-24.
While the idea behind Savor was to encourage people to dine out during a typically slow period, the upcoming event could be a way to sustain businesses.
“I had numerous meetings with sponsors and restaurant owners asking if hosting a Savor Fort Wayne in January was helpful or harmful, or if we should postpone the event,” says Emily Stuck, director of visitor and partner services for Visit Fort Wayne. “It was a resounding answer to please host Savor Fort Wayne in January and help restaurants now.
“The need was immediate. And if more help did not come soon, (restaurants) may not make it much longer.”
She points to a recent Ball State University study, which reports more than 2 out of 5 restaurants in Indiana are at danger of closing because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recognizing that some people are choosing to utilize carry-out more, restaurants have the option to offer their menu to go. Icons on www.savorfortwayne.com indicate whether the menu is available for carry out. Visit Fort Wayne will also highlight restaurants that are being creative with outdoor seating.
And there will be several gift card promotions running, Stuck says, which will allow people to support restaurants if they don't feel comfortable dining in or utilizing carry out.
Stuck says that while some parts of Savor are different this year, the concept is still the same. Restaurants offer a special menu, many three courses, that is a deal to diners.
“We have 11 new restaurants signed up who have never participated in Savor Fort Wayne, in addition to the 39 restaurants who are our tried-and-true supporters of Savor Fort Wayne each year,” Stuck says.
Alto Grado is a new restaurant for 2021, and its Savor deal includes a two-for-$24 option that includes an order of Parmesan sticks, pizza and a dessert pizza. Summit City Brewerks will have a three-course menu for $25, which includes an appetizer, entree and dessert. Diners also have the option of selecting a beer for their appetizer or dessert.
To encourage participation and support restaurants, Visit Fort Wayne is giving its partners a discount on registration. For restaurants that are not partners, the group has given them a free restaurant listing on www.visitfortwayne.com.
“This pandemic has been hard on our whole community – so we appreciate anyone who is comfortable participating in Savor Fort Wayne in any fashion, may it be dine in or carry out,” Stuck says.
Christmas is fast approaching. But if you have not planned dinner or, as the case might be, don't want to plan a meal, local restaurants will be open for dine-in and carry-out.
• Ruth's Chris Steak House, 224 W. Wayne St., is offering holiday dinners for two through curbside takeaway. The meals, which cost $150, include shrimp cocktail, salad, two 11-ounce filets, creamed spinach, mashed potatoes and cheesecake to share. Orders can be picked up curbside. Go to www.ruthschris.com for information.
Ruth's Chris will also be open for dine-in guests on Thursday, Friday and Dec. 31.
• Hainan House, 1820 Bluffton Road, will be open for carry-out from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday. Call 747-3936.
• Han Dynasty, 6401 W. Jefferson Blvd., will be open 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday.
• Nori Asian Cuisine, 2882 E. Dupont Road, will be open from 4 to 8:30 p.m. Friday for carry-out orders. Call 739-5387. The restaurant will also be open 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday.
• Sakura, 5828 W. Jefferson Blvd., will be open from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday. Reservations are recommended; call 459-2022.
• Wu's Fine Chinese, 4411 Coldwater Road, will offer carry-out from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday. Call 483-0899. The restaurant will also be open 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Thursday for dine-in and carry-out.
Girl Scout cookies
Northern Indiana will get its first taste of Girl Scout cookies in the new year Jan. 15.
Joining popular favorites such as Thin Mints and Peanut Butter Sandwiches will be a new cookie called “Toast-Yay!” The cookie is inspired by French toast and features a cinnamon flavor and a layer of icing.
This is the last year that Girl Scout S'mores cookies will be sold.
Cookies cost $4 a package. Go to www.gsnim.org and use the “Find Cookies!” tool to learn where to buy cookies.
• A second Exquisite Energy location opened at 9910 Illinois Road. The shop offers smoothies, teas and energy bombs.
• Fort Wayne has a new mobile bar. A 1977 French Citroën H van has been converted into a unique mobile bar aptly called Bar Citroen. The van will be available for private events. Follow them on Instagram at @barcitroenfw.
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 at least two weeks before event or desired publication.