JK O’Donnell’s Irish Ale House – Let It Pour
Mar15

JK O’Donnell’s Irish Ale House – Let It Pour

When Irish eyes are smiling, they are usually up to something and JK O’Donnell’s Irish Ale House has some smiling eyes as they are getting ready to kick off their annual St. Patrick’s Day bash on Saturday, March 17. They will be open all day and all ages are welcome until 7PM so be sure to bring the littles for some family fun under the tent. There will be live music from 12 to 11 PM and admission is only $5! For those of you wanting to check out the bar and toast St. Patty with an Irish brew, the pub will be 21 and over only. And if you are in desperate need of a kilted bagpiper, be sure to check out The O’Tooles, who will be dropping in for a few performances. Check out all you need to know about the upcoming celebration here. While JK O’Donnell’s will be full of Irish cheer this Saturday, they have a lot more to offer than St. Patty’s Day shenanigans. One of their most recent changes is a newly vamped menu. Check out our interview! What inspired you to choose these dishes?  We have to change it for us and the customer.  There are dishes that will always be standards here but there’s a desire to keep things fresh and interesting. How often does the menu change? About every 6 months. It used to be that we would change the menu once a year, but I would like to see us on a more predicable timeline to provide heartier, comfort food in the colder months and then provide more lighter options during the warmer months. What are the gluten free/vegan/vegetarian options? Our hummus is gluten free and vegan.  Our veggie burger is now served on a pita which makes the dish both vegetarian and vegan.  We offer gluten free buns as an option on any of our sandwiches. Several of our other dishes can be made gluten free or vegetarian with minor adjustments. Are there any other changes you’d like to highlight? What precipitated the menu change? We have been getting a great response from all of our new dishes.  The mussels are a great addition as well as the lamb meatloaf.  The chicken bacon mac and cheese has been a huge hit. Any new drinks to highlight?  We specialize in a providing a wide variety of craft beer along with ciders and meads. Our large selection of drafts and bottles is designed to provide an option for almost everyone, while highlighting some of the more unique craft beer creations. Check out the menu and hours on their website. May your...

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Our Top Posts from 2017
Dec29

Our Top Posts from 2017

Fort Wayne in 2017 was full of intriguing stories from new dining options to familiar festivals to people who make you think, laugh or both. Living Fort Wayne set several new readership and social media records, which will go down as the social media hub’s most popular year to date. Take a look at our top posts LFW readers loved the most this year as we switch to my “imaginary radio DJ countdown voice!” Number 5 – 07 Pub A post shared by Living Fort Wayne (@livingfortwayne) on Jul 3, 2017 at 10:18am PDT Starting us off at number five – a ZIP code experiencing a renaissance in Fort Wayne is 46807 (or the ’07). Our popular “Food & Drink” writer Reneta Thurairatnam took a look at 07 Pub – your new favorite place to hang out. Have you been there yet to hang out? Number 4 – Abode A post shared by ASHLEY CLAUSS (@bluebird_photo) on Mar 31, 2017 at 1:45pm PDT Great new things in our area aren’t just within Fort Wayne’s city limits! Writer and photographer Ashley Clauss gave us an inside look at one of the area’s trendiest home decor boutiques. This boutique is located in – surprise – Leo-Cedarville!  Take a gander at Ashley’s aesthetically-pleasing writing and photography in our number four post of the year, Abode: A Trendy Home Boutique in Leo?! Number 3 – Umi Seafood and Sushi Fort Wayne   A post shared by Living Fort Wayne (@livingfortwayne) on Jan 4, 2017 at 8:30am PST We started off 2017 with a bang with Reneta’s hot scoop on Umi – a new sushi restaurant located in southwest Fort Wayne. That helped make January 2nd one of our most popular days ever and this post our third most popular post of the year! Number 2 – Pumpkin Patches and More Fall Fun A post shared by Living Fort Wayne (@livingfortwayne) on Sep 24, 2016 at 12:13pm PDT Each year our leadership team eagerly awaits our annual “pumpkin patch” readership bump. Or maybe it’s just me? This year was no different as pumpkin patches and fall fun ruled our autumn nights and finished number two for the year. Look for our 2018 edition in September. Number 1 – Just Cream Ice Cream Boutique It may be freezing cold in Fort Wayne to close out 2017, but our hottest post of the year is all about ice cream. Just Cream is an ice cream boutique on the north side of the city located on Dupont Road. This piece was authored (once again) by Reneta, our venerable “Food & Drink” writer. Fort Wayne folks really love their ice cream! Top Posts –...

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07 Pub – Your New Favorite Place to Hang Out!
Jul26

07 Pub – Your New Favorite Place to Hang Out!

When I first moved to Fort Wayne, I found it interesting that people refer to their neighborhoods by zip code. The ’05, the ’07, etc. It was one of those quirky things like “going to the lake” (which I assumed was one massive lake considering how many people went there) that I never truly understood until I became a fellow “Citizen Wayne” myself! The pride and passion with which people identify their neighborhoods is remarkable to see and as Fort Wayne starts to witness a revitalization of the downtown area, the residents of the ’07 are certainly a huge part of that.   If you live, work, or drive through the ’07 you will have noticed a recent addition that graces the streets of Broadway. The new, aptly named 07 Pub opened with little fanfare in early June and has been hopping ever since!   I popped into the pub to chat with owner Marcus Spillson to get the scoop on the Pub. Marcus grew up in Fort Wayne, his parents both went to South Side High School, and he was a ’99 graduate of Bishop Luers, where he played football with his co-owner and partner in the pub, Clancy Shank (’97 graduate of Bishop Luers).  Marcus has always had a passion for the south side of Fort Wayne and although he left for ten years, when he came back for a wedding in town, he was drawn to a bar (the former Lombardo’s Lounge) that was for sale. The oil and gas company he worked for in Houston had just been sold and he was intrigued by this new possible venture. “I kept thinking about it and the next day I went and put an offer in. They countered, and the next think I knew, I owned a bar!”   The food and drink industry is in Marcus Spillson’s DNA. His great-grandfather, Nick Spillson, owned Berghoff Gardens, and was the proud holder of Fort Wayne’s very first liquor license after prohibition ended. A cut out from the newspaper article from April 6, 1933 is prominently on display at the pub. Marcus’ grandfather owned Fort Wayne’s famous 4 star French restaurant, Café Johnell, and his father ran the kitchen at Johnelli’s Pizza. Marcus’ first job was washing dishes at Café Johnell. With his family history, it is easy to see how Marcus came to be the owner of the bar, but he was quick to point out that this wasn’t just any bar. “I wanted a neighborhood bar. I wouldn’t have done this anywhere else but here in the south side of Fort Wayne. We live in this neighborhood,...

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LFW Member Spotlight – Reneta Thurairatnam
Apr05

LFW Member Spotlight – Reneta Thurairatnam

Have you ever wondered who the people behind Living Fort Wayne are? Or maybe you’re curious about the different things our team does every day that make Living Fort Wayne the go-to destination for all the great things happening in our city. In this spotlight series, we’ll be featuring a few of our amazing contributors who will share a bit about their role in Living Fort Wayne and what they do outside of their work with us. Today we are spotlighting the woman behind our popular Living Fort Wayne “Food & Drink” series, Reneta Thurairatnam! What is your role with Living Fort Wayne and why did you decide to write for our blog? I serve as a features writer for anything food and drink related that is happening in the Fort! A dear friend who knows I have a penchant for eating out (mostly because I cannot cook anything more skilled than ramen) recommended me for the role. It’s fun to get the inside scoop on what’s going on in the food and drink scene. I love chatting with new business owners, because they are so passionate about what they are doing! Tell us one thing about your life outside of Living Fort Wayne. By day I am a Wealth Advisor for Lake City Bank, which I absolutely love. I get to help people achieve their financial goals, and it’s a pretty fun gig! I am married to Steve AKA “the biggest Packers fan in the world” and am mummy to Kitty (my first born cat, who eats all things bacon), Raji (my rescue goldendoodle) and Jordy (Raji’s sheepadoodle). You can follow the doglets on Instagram at raji_parker.and.jordy where they do things like beg for treats and look cute. If you could live any other place in the world besides Fort Wayne, where would you live and why? Gah! I have to pick one place?! I love to travel so this is tough. At this moment, I would pick Italy. Amazing food, wine, people, and the language is beautiful. I have a daily calendar with Italian phrases in my office. Today’s phrase is “Porta sempre i tachhi alti,” which means “She always wears high heels.” This is so appropriate, because I ALWAYS wear high heels! If you had a friend coming in from out of town, what is the one can’t miss thing you would show them or do with them in Fort Wayne? Downtown obviously! Food trucks, amazing farm to fork restaurants, art shows, coffee shops, the local ballet, shows at the Embassy, events at the Grand Wayne, outdoor markets, boutique shopping, and parks – all within 99 blocks! If you...

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Faces of the Fort: Reneta Ushana Thurairatnam
Jul14

Faces of the Fort: Reneta Ushana Thurairatnam

By Ashley Motia The featured Face of the Fort for this month is Reneta Ushana Thurairatnam. Reneta works in the private wealth management industry by day, which affords her many adventures as a foodie by night. She loves the big city amenities Fort Wayne offers while still feeling like she can easily make a difference in the community around her. Find out more about Reneta and what she loves about our city below. 1.) Tell me about your roots: when did you move to Fort Wayne and what brought you here? I moved here in 2002 for a job, but I was already familiar with Fort Wayne because I went to Huntington University and the Fort was the closest city with decent shopping! My husband Steve is Fort Wayne born and raised–and his father before him and his father’s father before him. He’s never really ventured beyond northeast Indiana, so sometimes he feels like he’s missing out. I think I have given him an appreciation for the city through my eyes. While my sister and I were born in the United States, we definitely didn’t have a traditional American upbringing! My parents immigrated from Sri Lanka in the 70s prior to a 26 year civil war. The effects leading up to war started much sooner for my parents, who were part of the Tamil ethnic group which at that time was being persecuted by the Sinhalese ethnic group. My dad left his job as an attorney to come to the United States and start all over again, bringing his family over once he had established a life here. 2.) What’s your favorite thing about Fort Wayne? I am a foodie. I absolutely love Fort Wayne’s restaurants, and I love the food truck scene. One of the things I love the most is that while Fort Wayne cuisine is predominately American, over the past several years we have opened our arms to several ethnic restaurants including Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Korean, and even Burmese! Fantastic! Now if only we had a Sri Lankan restaurant… 3.) What makes the Fort stand out among other cities? Many people think Fort Wayne is small, but it’s not to me. While I love cities like New York and Toronto because they are constantly active and culturally diverse, I grew up in a town of a couple thousand. With a graduating class of 48, that’s small. What I love about Fort Wayne is that we do things like big cities (festivals, crazy 5k races, and social media events), but we are small enough that your voice can be heard. If I want to be involved in...

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