United Coffee – Bringing Europe to Fort Wayne
Feb11

United Coffee – Bringing Europe to Fort Wayne

Coffee is the quintessential universal language. No matter where you go, no matter what country you are in, a coffee shop is the place you go to meet friends, study, and hang out. It can be the home to new beginnings and chance encounters and it was certainly by chance that I stumbled upon Fort Wayne’s newest local coffee shop, United Coffee. Tucked away in a shopping plaza at 6447 W. Jefferson Blvd. that houses Buffalo Wings & Ribs, Pak Mail, and Chops Steak & Seafood, is the cutest coffee shop on the corner lot where a credit union used to stand. Owners Tony and Marina Horani greet their customers by name as they enter the cozy shop with its cheerful yellow chairs and twinkling fairy lights. Their goal is for people to feel welcome – like they have invited them into their home for a cup of coffee. Marina, a native of Kaliningrad (which was German until the end of WWII and is now a part of Russia), laughed as she told me she feels like she knows more people in Fort Wayne than in her homeland. Tony, a native of Fort Wayne, had told her how welcoming his hometown was  and that was one of the things that drew them back. Tony is a graduate of IU’s Kelley School of Business and armed with a degree in accounting moved to the nation’s capital to work in real estate investment. Marina was studying at a university in Russia that had an exchange program for English immersion which she was taking in DC, which is how the two met and fell in love. The two loved traveling and had a love for coffee and local businesses. “I’ve always wanted to own a family business and we have such a great economic environment in Fort Wayne.” Tony explained. “Fort Wayne is the NYC of small businesses…but with training wheels. People want to see you succeed. The competition isn’t as stiff and the city is willing to let you figure things out.” United Coffee is a culmination of products that the Horanis explored in their travels. “We wanted to build something we would enjoy,” Marina noted. One year ago while they were on a layover in Amsterdam, they tried their now signature waffles, the Liège waffle. These waffles come from a local baker in Brussels, Belgium. Waffles are one of Belgium’s most famous exports, yet they do not have what we consider a Belgian waffle. Instead they have two categories of waffles that have existed for hundreds of years: the Brussels waffle (which is similar to our American version of a Belgian...

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LFW Weekly Fun File
Feb09

LFW Weekly Fun File

Looking for fun things to do in Fort Wayne? We compile a list of events and activities every week! This is by no means an exhaustive list, and if you don’t quite see what you’re looking for, check out our events calendar. If you’d like to see your event featured in the Weekly Fun File, or added to our events calendar, let us know! Email us at info@livingfortwayne.com or you can go ahead and submit your event to our calendar! Click on the event for more information about times, locations, cost, etc. 1. My Cold Hearted Valentine: Season 3 Friday, February 10 at 6 p.m. A night of mystery and mingling. Find out who the murderer is! There will be food and drinks available for purchase. Such a fun, off-beat date night idea! 2. 97.3 WMEE Baby Fair & Family Expo Saturday, February 11 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Products, prizes and babies! There will also be activities available for the whole family! 3. 2017 Weather the Fort Saturday, February 11 at 4 p.m. This annual winter festival is a 21+ event. Enjoy food, drinks and fun! 4. Galentine’s Day Brunch at Trubble Saturday, February 11 at 11 a.m. Regular menu (already delicious) plus waffles (yum) and girly drinks. 5. Heartland Sings: Let’s Fall in Love Saturday, February 11 at 7:30 p.m. Romantic ballads and upbeat love songs at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Complimentary champagne will be served! 6. Turnstone Mile Saturday, February 11 at 7 a.m. Whether it’s your first mile of your life, of your season, or of a new beginning … run it on Saturday with Turnstone! This is for all ages and all abilities. 7. Fort Wayne Polar Plunge Saturday, February 11 at 10 a.m. All funds raised benefit the Special Olympics Indiana. Don’t miss your chance to jump in a cold lake to benefit a great cause. 8. Fairytale Brunch Sunday, February 12 at 12 p.m. Princesses will make an appearance. There will be singing and face painting. This would be a wonderful Valentine’s day date with your little princess lover. 9. Family Valentines Day Singalong Sunday, February 12 at 3 p.m. Grab pizza with the kids and let them sing while you relax. Bring a kid, an instrument, and an appetite. 10. Educational Series: History of Our Rivers Monday, February 13 at 6:30 p.m. The next in this free educational series, the topic will be the History of Our Rivers. Check it out! Remember, this isn’t all Fort Wayne has to offer. Get out and have some fun this weekend! We can’t wait to see you around our...

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Brunch So Hard – Junk Ditch Brewing Co. Raises Fort Wayne’s Weekend Brunch Game!
Jul21

Brunch So Hard – Junk Ditch Brewing Co. Raises Fort Wayne’s Weekend Brunch Game!

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to brunch on weekends. Preferably with a bloody Mary or mimosa in hand. So imagine my delight when Junk Ditch Brewing Company opened its doors for brunch this past Saturday and Sunday.  There was no fanfare, no grand announcement, yet there wasn’t an empty table in the place. My husband and I were able to find some great spots at the bar where we shared in the community feel, chatting with other patrons and the incredibly friendly bar staff. It’s no surprise that they were busy despite their discreet opening as they have quite the fan following! Junk Ditch is affiliated with Affiné Hospitality, which has brought us the amazing Affiné Food truck (pronounced ah-feen-nei) that can be found cruising around the area bringing us mouthwatering Banh Mi creations and locally sourced fare. Affiné joined the food trucks on the streets of Fort Wayne four years ago with the goal of eventually adding a brick and mortar restaurant to its fleet. In order to whet the appetites of its loyal fan base, partners Andrew Smith, Dan Campbell, and Jack May commandeered the kitchen of the Green Frog Inn for Sunday brunch for several months this past year serving up Junk Ditch brunch that was beyond amazing and slightly addicting! (I’m pretty sure I attended most, if not all, of their brunches.) Their years of hard work has manifested with the addition of Junk Ditch Brewing Co at 1825 W. Main Street. Named for the ditch that winds behind the building, Junk Ditch Brewing Company kept an industrial theme throughout the restaurant with wide open spaces, exposed brick walls, and a distressed feel that compliments their menu and style perfectly. While Junk Ditch will offer brunch, lunch, dinner, and late night dining (you can check out the hours here), I am here to tell you all about the brunch! Served from 10-2PM on Saturday and Sunday the brunch consists of delicious culinary concoctions such as Croque Madame, Potato Rosti, Chicken and Waffles, and Benedict…as in eggs, not Arnold. The pastries as well as all the bread are freshly made from scratch by Grace Kelly owner of GK Baked Goods and fiancée of partner Jack May. The entire menu is locally sourced in a farm to fork concept that is quickly becoming the trend in Fort Wayne. Pictured here is our brunch of choice in the new digs. Chicken and Waffles, Croque Madame, Chocolate Doughnuts (the cinnamon roll was sold out, because it is life changing!). While all the dishes we tried were tasty, the chicken and waffles were beyond amazing. I mean it’s fried chicken...

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LFW’s Top Picks for Best Breakfast/Brunch Spots
Feb08

LFW’s Top Picks for Best Breakfast/Brunch Spots

Pancakes, bacon, waffles, eggs and, my personal favorite, mimosas. I think everyone can get on board with breakfast (or brunch if you’re a late riser) as being the best meal of the day. Fort Wayne is truly gifted with places that serve some pretty impressive breakfast/brunch plates. We at Living Fort Wayne are BIG fans of the morning grub, so we’ve compiled a list to help you pick the perfect spot to enjoy a nice mimosa or to recover from the night before.   Jade Kelsey picks… Ted’s Market (12628 Coldwater Rd.) I don’t mind driving across town to Ted’s Market for their weekend brunch! The cinnamon rolls and sticky buns are large enough to share, if you are feeling generous. They also offer an omelet bar for dine-in or take out. The omelet bar includes pretty much anything you can think of to fancy up your eggs. Add some Utopian coffee and it’s perfection! Also if you need to pick up any ingredients for dinner, Ted’s has you covered!   Tim Zink picks… Cosmos Restaurant (3232 St. Joe Center Rd. & 9807 Lima Rd.) This is coming from someone who used to work at a national breakfast chain in my younger days. Whenever I want to grab a hearty breakfast, I like to head over to Cosmos Restaurant. They have huge (I mean HUGE) omelets people should really eat in two sittings, not to mention their terrific pancakes! They have two locations, but I usually travel to the one in the Marketplace at Canterbury.   Rachelle Reinking picks… Klemm’s Candlelight Café (1207 E. State Blvd.) Its “mom and pop shop” feel adds to the quaintness. The service is always fast and friendly, and my staple of two eggs with corned beef hash and rye toast is perfectly complemented by the classic diner coffee. Plus, they have muffins, pies, and cakes that are made in-house. I would recommend you try their famous “Garbage” plate.   Travis Bartlett picks… JK O’Donnell’s Irish Pub (121 W. Wayne St.) My favorite thing to do on Saturday mornings when I don’t have to work is grab breakfast down at my favorite bar. They serve the best Irish breakfast I have ever had and have an amazing staff that keeps me going back. Not to mention that their Bloody Marys are also a top notch item that I pair with my breakfast every time. They also serve a stellar cup of coffee from Utopian Coffee Company as well with cream and the fixings. Klemm’s Kafé (1429 N. Wells St.) When I’m thinking of breakfast places in Fort Wayne, I instantly think of Klemm’s Kafé on Wells St....

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Ditch the junk and taste “Homemade Everything” at Junk Ditch
Nov20

Ditch the junk and taste “Homemade Everything” at Junk Ditch

One day, just maybe, Fort Wayne will have a “brewery on wheels.” But until then, you can look forward to the next best thing: a brick-and-mortar brewery launched by the talented team who brought you the Affiné food truck. Sometime soon (in the first half of 2016, fingers crossed), Dan Campbell, Andrew Smith and Jack May will launch Junk Ditch Brewing Company. Located off of Main Street, the Junk Ditch building is tucked away, east of Leesburg Road and west of O’Sullivan’s. It takes its name from the actual Junk Ditch, which winds behind the brewery on its meandering path from Waynedale to Swinney Park.   Junk Ditch Brewing Company will be another entrepreneurial adventure for Dan, Andrew and Jack, but it won’t replace the food truck. While Affiné continues to supply duck confit tacos and pork belly bahn mis along its usual route, Junk Ditch will have its own unique menu. But just as they did with Affiné, the passions of the three chefs – handcrafted beer, seasonal flavors, locally sourced ingredients, and a “from scratch” philosophy – will shine through. “Ultimately we enjoy beer and we enjoy creating,” says Jack. “Food and drink go hand in hand, and we wanted to bring the ‘everything local and in-house’ philosophy to Junk Ditch. For Andrew, the idea for Junk Ditch had been brewing for quite awhile. “When I was on a vacation in Seattle I saw some local neighborhood breweries, and was very intrigued by the concept of a brewery in a city neighborhood. When I returned we started working on finding a building that would work.” While the inspiration happened 2,000+ miles away, Andrew says they intend to keep the flavors close to home. “We will change menu items to showcase our Indiana farms. We want to be known for fresh ideas that are always changing.” To wash down all the homegrown deliciousness, the Junk Ditch taps will feature a variety of beers, ready to drink by the pint or take home in kegs or growlers. The tap list will include an even mix of house-made brews and taps from the team’s favorite guest breweries. Whether they’re making their own beer, featuring another brewery, or creating a new dish – quality and variety will drive the Junk Ditch approach. “The focus of in-house beers will to produce very high quality product,” says Andrew. In addition to featuring the best brews, that approach also means continuing what they started with Affiné – including from-scratch breads, house-cured and processed meats, and fresh herbs and produce from a garden behind the Junk Ditch building. “The menu and beer list will be continually...

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