FORT WAYNE – In past years, downtown Indianapolis has been Devoured, and the capitals north side has had its Nights.
In another week, it will be Fort Waynes turn to be Savored.
Beginning Jan. 15, 20 local restaurants will participate in a 12-day dining event being called Savor Fort Wayne.
Six of the Halls restaurants, the Oyster Bar, J.K. ODonnells and a dozen other establishments will offer specially designed three-course menus for $30, all with the intent of luring new patrons and offering discount rates.
Savor Fort Wayne is modeled after similar events in larger cities across the country, including Indianapolis, which hosts Devour Downtown, North Side Nights, Chow Down Midtown and Savor the South Side.
The first event in Indianapolis was 2005.
Visit Fort Wayne president and CEO Dan OConnell says it was time Fort Wayne joined the party.
We pulled together several of our interested partners, like the Halls and J.K. ODonnells and Eddie Merlots, and we briefed them on it, OConnell says. Would you guys like to start something like this? They were very much supportive of it; very much enthusiastically.
Participating restaurants are: Asakusa Japanese Restaurant & Sushi, Bandidos, Bourbon Street Hideaway, Champions at Courtyard Downtown, Chappells, Chops, Club Soda, Cutz at the Hilton, Eddie Merlots, El Azteca, Don Halls Old Gas House, Don Halls Guesthouse Grill, Halls Tavern at Coventry, J.K. ODonnells, Paulas on Main, Takaoka of Japan, Don Halls Factory, The Oyster Bar, Don Halls Triangle Park Bar & Grille and Toscani Pizzeria.
Fort Wayne has been dubbed a lot of things: Summit City, City of Churches, and its certainly been dubbed City of Restaurants, Oyster Bar owner Steve Gard says. I think what we would like to be able to do is give not only the people of Fort Wayne, but the people in the surrounding areas, to see really how great some of the restaurants are here in Fort Wayne.
I think Fort Wayne is very blessed to have the number of independents that they have, and the number of good independents that they have. Thats primarily what we hope to showcase in this.
Susan Decker, spokeswoman for the Indiana Restaurant Association, says Indianapolis has about 130 participating restaurants in its various events. She says she hopes Fort Waynes participants will increase by at least 50 percent to give the city 30 restaurants next year.
Its a great way, when all of the restaurants get together, to promote getting people to go out and try something new, or to go to their favorite restaurant at a discounted rate, Decker says. Its just a really good way to get people out into the community to go to a lot of different restaurants during a certain time period.
Adds OConnell: When we asked (restaurant owners), When would you like to have it? they all agreed to have it in January when everybodys got a little cabin fever.
Menu updates will be posted via Facebook on the Savor Fort Wayne page and on Twitter @SavorFortWayne.