FORT WAYNE – In past years, downtown Indianapolis has been Devoured, and the capital’s north side has had its Nights.
In another week, it will be Fort Wayne’s 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 Hall’s restaurants, the Oyster Bar, J.K. O’Donnell’s 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 O’Connell says it was time Fort Wayne joined the party.
We pulled together several of our interested partners, like the Hall’s and J.K. O’Donnell’s and Eddie Merlot’s, and we briefed them on it, O’Connell 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, Bandido’s, Bourbon Street Hideaway, Champions at Courtyard Downtown, Chappell’s, Chops, Club Soda, Cut’z at the Hilton, Eddie Merlot’s, El Azteca, Don Hall’s Old Gas House, Don Hall’s Guesthouse Grill, Hall’s Tavern at Coventry, J.K. O’Donnell’s, Paula’s on Main, Takaoka of Japan, Don Hall’s Factory, The Oyster Bar, Don Hall’s Triangle Park Bar & Grille and Toscani Pizzeria.
Fort Wayne has been dubbed a lot of things: Summit City,’ City of Churches,’ and it’s 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. That’s 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 Wayne’s participants will increase by at least 50 percent to give the city 30 restaurants next year.
It’s 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. It’s 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 O’Connell: When we asked (restaurant owners), When would you like to have it?’ they all agreed to have it in January when everybody’s got a little cabin fever.
Menu updates will be posted via Facebook on the Savor Fort Wayne page and on Twitter @SavorFortWayne.