The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, January 13, 2021 1:00 am

Ice cream shop using 1980s as inspiration


Even as a child of the 1980s, I can struggle with what made the decade so special. Was it the sky-high bangs and perms? Or the legwarmers and fluorescent track suits? The decade was also the era of “Ghostbusters,” “Gremlins” and “Back to the Future.”

The '80s were also a time where you could spend summer days riding around on a sparkly banana seat bicycle with your pet bunny in the basket. Wait, maybe that was just me.

But it's hard to deny the nostalgia of the decade. And that's what Rusty Ammerman is hoping for.

Remodeling is underway for Rusty's Ice Cream, which will be in White Swan Plaza off Lima Road between Till and Wallen roads. The shop will have a 1980s theme, from the geometric murals on the walls to the ice cream menu.

“We're really trying to create an experience,” Ammerman says. “We want you to walk into Rusty's Ice Cream, ... and feel like it's the summer of 1989 – one full decade of influence around you.”

The ice cream cooler will have 10 signature flavors with names like Milli Vanilla and Chocolate Chunk Truffle Shuffle. There will also be a menu of rotating flavors, with seasonal varieties like eggnog and peppermint.

A swirly machine will allow the staff to make everything from shakes to blizzards, as well as give hand-scooped ice cream the texture of soft-serve. Syrups and a non-dairy shake base will be combined to create a smoothie-like drink. Plus, there will be sundaes like the Bananarama Split.

The ice cream is made exclusively for Rusty's at a creamery in Anderson. It's a super premium ice cream, Ammerman says.

“My girlfriend and I have always really enjoyed ice cream,” he says. “When we travel and go on the road, we frequent ice cream shops. We became ice cream snobs – if there is such a thing.”

The shop will also have a jukebox with a thousand or so 1980s songs. He also hopes to add a video game machine or two.

An opening date has not been set.

Country at Club Room

The Club Room at the Clyde is launching its weekly Country Music Night. These free events will be from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursdays.

The launch of Country Music Night coincides with The Club Room's participation in Savor Fort Wayne, which begins today and runs through Jan. 24.

Hosted by Visit Fort Wayne, the seventh annual event allows diners to take advantage of three-course, value-priced menus at some of Fort Wayne's restaurants, including The Club Room, 1806 Bluffton Road in Quimby Village.

The Club Room's Savor menu includes seasonal features and the regular full menu for both lunch and dinner. Dine-in and carryout options are available. Carryout orders may be placed from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. by calling 407-8530, ext. 2.

Seasonal features include crab cakes, grilled Atlantic salmon, savory squash lasagna, braised short ribs and sea scallops, brought back by popular demand. Bottles of wine have been specially selected to pair with the Savor menu this year to round out the dining experience.

During the 12 days of Savor, The Club Room will provide a livestream of music Monday through Saturday.

“This is something special we're adding during Savor. If fans cannot get to The Club Room in person, they can still enjoy our entertainment from wherever they are,” Clyde executive director Gregg Coyle says.

The livestream can be found on The Club Room's Facebook page.

Giving back

Portillo's has announced a new charity partnership with No Kid Hungry. Coinciding with Valentine's Day, Portillo's will offer its Heart-Shaped Chocolate Cake, a limited-time holiday spin on the brand's iconic Famous Chocolate Cake.

The Fort Wayne Portillo's is at 295 Coliseum Blvd. W.

As part of the partnership, Portillo's will be donating $5 from each cake purchase – up to $25,000 – to No Kid Hungry, whose mission is to end child hunger in America by ensuring that all children get healthy food.

The single-layer cakes will be available in restaurants from Feb. 5 to 14. Guests can pre-order their cake for pickup at or call 866-YUM-BEEF.

The heart-shaped cake can also be ordered on for $43.99, which includes two-day shipping.

Around town

Ted's Beerhall, 12628 Coldwater Road, is partnering with Double Dragon Arcade to create an arcade in the wine bar. The “beercade” will allow visitors to play games while ordering from the Beerhall menu. Double Dragon Arcade, 4606 Parnell Ave., recently went “into hibernation” as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The partnership allows Double Dragon to operate and Ted's to use its wine bar space.

Hours for the beercade are 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. Visitors must be 21 and older, and there is a $5 cover charge.

• A new Famous Dave's ghost kitchen will open Jan. 28 in the local Granite City Food & Brewery, 2809 Coldwater Road. Ghost kitchens function solely as a kitchen for delivery and pickup, giving customers access to the Famous Dave's barbecue menu. Adam Lehr, vice president of operations for Granite City, and the Famous Dave's team have plans to continue expanding these ghost kitchens in Granite City locations across the country in the coming months.

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

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