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The Dish

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Upscale restaurant, nightspot due downtown

Todd Smith is a self-professed “today” kind of guy.

And, if he had his way, Main St. Bistro and Martini Lounge would be open, well, today. Instead, he’s looking at late August or early September.

“Companies aren’t like that today,” he says. “It’s six to eight weeks for furniture. Six to eight weeks for lighting.”

While the local restaurateur is keeping mum about the details for the 200 E. Main St. establishment, those finishing touches – lighting, furniture – promise to transform the former Park Place restaurant into a swanky, upscale hotspot. He says it will be a restaurant by day (and early evening) and will offer nightlife after 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

The menu will be small but supplemented by a list of weekly specials from the chef, who has a creative spirit and experience in Chicago kitchens.

“There is a buzz,” he says. “Believe me, I’ve done a lot of projects in the last 20 years, and this is probably one of the best ones. And it’s downtown. There’s a lot going on downtown. A lot of revitalization in the last three years, and there will be a lot in the next three years.”

Curly’s reopens

It’s been a frustrating summer for David and Tina Brown.

The owners of Curly’s Village Inn, 4205 Bluffton Road, were just about to celebrate the one-year anniversary of taking over the family business when a lightning strike set a small blaze June 1. The fire was on an exterior wall of the second-floor party room, but the tavern shut down for a few days for repairs.

But that was just the beginning. Two more minor electrical fires sparked during the repairs, plaguing the reopening and forcing the owners to shut down for several weeks and rewire the building.

Curly’s Village Inn has reopened to the public, and the Browns are planning a re-opening party at a later date.

“The outpouring of support while we were down was phenomenal,” Tina Brown says. “At some point later this year, we want to celebrate and thank everyone for their continued business.”

Curly’s Village Inn is open 1 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 9 p.m. Sundays, offering views of Foster Park and the St. Marys River from its deck.

The kitchen, famous for its onion rings, is open 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturdays and 4 to 8 p.m. Sundays.

Teas, sodas popular

Paper Lantern opened its doors July 15, serving Vietnamese and Chinese dishes, but it’s been its drinks that have been popular.

The restaurant at 4610 Coldwater Road has an extensive menu of boba teas – more than 20 flavors, including a honeydew melon smoothie with lychee jelly – and lemon-lime sodas with fruit topping. The teas cost $3.75 for 16 ounces and $4.25 for 20 ounces; the sodas are $2.99 and $3.49.

On the food side of the menu, popular items are orange chicken, sweet and sour chicken and pho – a Vietnamese beef noodle soup.

The restaurant, near JoAnn Fabrics, is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is 471-4990.

Around town

•Giver’s Pizzaria has opened at 3412 Fairfield Ave., just south of the former Casa D’Angelo. Available for carry-out and delivery, the restaurant offers pizza, sausage rolls, pasta and sandwiches.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. The phone number is 203-3292. Find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GiversPizzaria.

•The Breadstick for Hunger Tour will stop in Fort Wayne on Thursday and will make stops through Friday. The Fazoli’s/Feed the Children charity food truck will be handing out Fazoli’s breadsticks in an effort to raise awareness and money for Feed the Children.

As part of the tour, Fazoli’s created a new flavor of lemon ice, Giving Grape Lemon Ice, and will donate $1 to Feed The Children for every one it sells throughout the summer. Tour locations can be found by following www.facebook.com/Fazolis or www.twitter.com/Fazolis.

•McAlister’s Deli, 1310 Illinois Road S., is hosting its fifth annual Free Tea Day on Thursday. Guests who visit McAlister’s will receive a free 32-ounce McAlister’s Famous Sweet Tea.

The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears Wednesdays. Fax news items to 461-8893, email kdupps@jg.net or call 461-8462.

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