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The Dish

  • Updates continue on Lima
    If you drive along Lima Road, it's hard to miss the changes to the restaurant scene.
  • Updates continue on Lima
    If you drive along Lima Road, it’s hard to miss the changes to the restaurant scene.As I wrote in a March column, LongHorn Steakhouse is opening a restaurant at 5050 Value Drive in front of Costco.
  • Vanilla Bean shifting to orders only
    In most cases, closing up shop is bad times.  But for Sandra Wharton and Debbie Smith, the move from retail to production is a good thing for their business, Vanilla Bean Unique
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Coney Island announced that for the first-time in its 100-year history that it would accept credit cards.

Credit cards create buzz at Coney Island

It was the swipe heard ’round the world.

Last week, Fort Wayne’s Famous Coney Island announced that for the first-time in its 100-year history that it would accept credit cards.

The news, which I first saw on its Facebook page, caused quite a stir. Many responses were enthusiastic, co-owner Kathy Choka says. Others were less so, as “we have the few whose hearts are very attached to the old-school essence of the old Coney Island.”

Regardless, it was a change that got people talking – on social media, in the office, for a half-mile of my Sunday run. Choka says that a customer came in and shared that he spoke with a friend in California who had heard the news, and that Californian had spoken with someone in New Zealand who was also in the know.

“This was something we did discuss for up to two years,” Choka says. “It was something we looked forward to but things had to fall in place. It turned out that this was the time.”

The restaurant at 131 W. Main St. has seen an influx of business since the announcement.

“It’s a real slow part of the year – complicated by the weather,” Choka says. “It was like a spark was generated by this. An enthusiasm. People were real cheerful (this weekend).”

Festival set

Beer, bourbon and bacon.

It’s hard to go wrong with any of those items but a local event is putting the three of them together for what is sure to be a tasty night.

The Beer, Bourbon and Bacon Festival will feature more than 40 local, regional and national beers; Indiana and Kentucky bourbons; and bacon-centric food offerings from Fort Wayne restaurants.

It will take place 5 to 8 p.m. March 29 at Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun St. Tickets go on sale Friday at BrownPaperTickets.com. The $35 cost includes unlimited sampling of beer and bourbon; food will cost $2 to $6 an item.

Events

•Bourbon Street Hideaway, 135 W. Columbia St., will open March 4 for a special celebration: Fat Tuesday. The New Orleans-inspired restaurant will have chef features available. For reservations, call 422-7500.

•For Deer Park Irish Pub, 1530 Leesburg Road, the countdown is not to Lent but St. Patrick’s Day. The Clover Classic will be a four-day event, March 14-17, and will feature Irish dance lessons, a Saturday tent party, Irish food, a family day and the People’s Parade.

Around town

•The food court at Glenbrook Square has seen a couple of changes in its offerings. The Bourbon St. Grill has closed, and a new place has opened. In the former Burger King spot, Eats Diner is serving grilled fare such as gyros and burgers.

•Angola sandwich shop Ambrosia Bella appears to be closed. A recording greets callers, saying the phone number is unavailable, and diners have commented that they go to the restaurant during operating hours only to find it closed.

Quiznos, 4728 Coldwater Road, is closed.

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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