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The Journal Gazette

  • Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette Hamilton Public House is in the former Bar 145 location.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 1:00 am

New bar embraces city's sports history

Kimberly Dupps Truesdell | For The Journal Gazette

On May 4, 1871, the Fort Wayne Kekiongas hosted the Cleveland Forest Citys for what would be the first professional baseball game.

The Kekiongas won that day, with a score of 2-0, but so did the city of Fort Wayne.

And that's the story that Brian Shreffler and Bill Bean want to tell when the Hamilton Public House opens Friday in the former Bar 145 property Friday at 4910 N. Clinton St.

“We want to give people a sense of civic pride and tell the story that Fort Wayne really is a cool place,” says Shreffler, who oversees restaurant operations for Bean.

The upscale sports bar, which needed minimal renovations as the building was two years old, is filled with Fort Wayne memorabilia such as Berghoff beer signs and pictures of the city in its early years.

When it comes to the menu, the nod to Fort Wayne's role in baseball history is evident.

Diners can run to First Base and order appetizers such as candied bacon deviled eggs, tempura broccoli and queso, which features pimento cheese and fried biscuit rounds.

At Short Stop, the Hamilton Public House's wings are featured, which can be ordered with one of 10 sauces.

In the Bullpen, there are burgers made with 28-day dry-aged prime beef, including what Shreffler anticipates will be one of the signature items at Hamilton Public House.

The Royale with Cheese has two beef patties, a house-made sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion cheese and pickles. It's the restaurant's version of a popular fast-food burger.

“I wanted to build a place that I really wanted to go to,” says Shreffler, who is in his mid-30s. “(I wanted it to be somewhere) where the focus is on food and properly made cocktails and I am still able to watch a game.”

The menu also features salads, sandwiches, entrées and desserts.

Winery in running

Two-EE's Winery is among 20 wineries nominated for USA Today's 10 Best contest for tasting rooms in the United States.

The nominees were selected by a panel of wine experts.

“This is a great honor for our local winery to be included in this prestigious list of wineries acknowledged for their superior tasting rooms,” says Tina Bobilya, executive director of the Huntington County Visitor Bureau.

“Two-EE's Winery is an integral part in our area tourism, drawing people from across the country and will need the public's help in winning the final designation as the best in the nation.”

Area residents are encouraged to go to the USA Today site and vote daily until the polls end at noon Aug. 14. Go to

Around town

• On Friday, Parkview Field will play host to the JA Wine & Beer Festival. More than two dozen wineries and breweries will participate, offering samples from 6 to 9 p.m. Food will be available from Parkview Field.

Tickets cost $35 and include a tasting glass. VIP tickets are $75 and include tasting glass, designated VIP area, early admission from 5 to 6 p.m. and complimentary food from 5 to 7 p.m.

Tickets are available online: or at select Cap n' Cork locations.

• On Saturday, food trucks will take over Headwaters Park. Food Fest will feature more than a dozen mobile units, a kids corner and live entertainment. Festivities will be from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears Wednesdays. Fax news items to 461-8893, email or call 461-8304.