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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, September 26, 2018 1:00 am

Chappell moving on to 'next chapter'

Kimberly Dupps Truesdell | For The Journal Gazette

On Jan. 14, 1985, Gary Chappell opened his namesake restaurant on Broadway.

For the next 33 years, he would spend his time owning and operating 11 different restaurants. It's not something, he says, that he expected to do this long – most people don't stay in the food industry that long.

But he did. At least until a quiet day in July, when he sold the balance of Chappell's Coral Grill to Tim and Lily Polk.

He had originally sold out half the company two years ago to the couple but decided to leave the business entirely this summer.

“It's time to hang that up and move onto the next chapter for me,” he says.

His last day was July 20 at Chappell's, and leaving the restaurant he's spent more than three decades building was the second-hardest thing he's ever had to do, he says.

The first? Letting go of the Broadway restaurant. “I spent 28 years standing in that restaurant, and it's what made me.”

Chappell, who is licensed to sell real estate in Indiana, Florida and the Caribbean, plans to leave the restaurant industry behind.

While he's done some consulting work for Bill Bean for the former Hamilton Public House, “I just feel like for me and my family, it's time to try something else.”

Wine Down renamed

Three and a half years after bringing a unique concept to downtown Fort Wayne, Wine Down will be rebranding itself and introducing a new chef.

The restaurant at the Harrison, which has been primarily known as a wine and tapas spot, will be renamed Copper Spoon.

“This is us rebranding to a name that does not confine us to a category or present limitations and pretense,” owner Gary Skeel shares on Facebook.

“We have been and will continue to be far more than just a 'wine bar' or a place to stop for some cheese and crackers. We are a restaurant that turns into a cocktail bar.”

James Beard-nominated chef Aaron Butts, who made a name for himself at Joseph Decuis and opened The Golden, will create a new menu for Copper Spoon.

On his Instagram page, Butts shared a photo of a hefty burger – three patties topped with cheese, thinly sliced red onion and sauce – all held together with a skull-topped toothpick. The tagline: Coming soon.

Wine Down will close after service Saturday and reopen Tuesday as Copper Spoon.

Decuis honored by Beard group

Joseph Decuis was recently awarded the James Beard Foundation's Smart Catch Leader status.

Joseph Decuis is the first restaurant to receive this designation in Indiana, and the owners are hopeful that many other Indiana restaurants will join this movement.

Ninety percent of the world's fisheries are either fully fished or overfished, which means sustainable seafood sourcing is more important now than ever. Restaurants play a major role in the sourcing of fish as the vast majority of seafood purchased in America is served in restaurants. Smart Catch recognizes restaurants and chefs who source sustainable seafood that is either fished or farmed in environmentally responsible ways.

“Smart Catch fits perfectly into our Joseph Decuis value system,” says Pete Eshelman, owner of Joseph Decuis. “As a farm-to-table restaurant, we have the advantage of sourcing foods that are grown on our farm or sourced from like-minded farms who believe in our values of sustainability, eco-responsibility, drug-free and humane.”

Smart Catch was created by Paul G. Allen, of Microsoft fame, to help protect the world's fisheries. Smart Catch is currently part of the James Beard Foundation's Impact Programs, which aim to establish a more sustainable food system through education, advocacy and thought leadership.

“In Indiana, we can grow just about everything but large varieties of seafood, and we want our seafood to have the same sustainability values as our farm-raised foods. We are very proud to have earned James Beard Foundation's recognition as a Smart Catch Leader,” says Marcus Daniel, executive chef at Joseph Decuis.

Science Central, Hop River team

Science Central and Hop River are teaming up to unveil the brewery's newest creation: FrankenBrew.

The second part of FrankenBrew kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at Science Central. Visitors will get the chance to taste the FrankenBrew beer created at Hop River.

Several Frankenstein-themed activities, including make your own stage makeup scar, a re-animation demonstration, and a microscopic look at the yeast used to make beer, will help mark the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's “Frankenstein.” Participants will also get a special historical tour of Science Central, and get to enjoy its hands-on exhibits.

Also, special guest presenters Matt Smith from the University of Saint Francis and Purdue University Fort Wayne professor Troy Bassett will speak.

Advance tickets are available through Saturday. Tickets cost $40 and include two drinks and a FrankenTaco buffet. Ticket prices increase Sunday. Go to to purchase. The event is for adults ages 21 and older.

Fall Blizzards

Dairy Queen kicked off the fall season with its first-ever fall Blizzard menu.

There are five flavors for the season, including the Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough Blizzard Treat, made with Snickerdoodle cookie dough chunks sprinkled with sweet cinnamon and sugar and with vanilla soft-serve. There's also the Pumpkin Pie Blizzard Treat, Oreo Hot Cocoa Blizzard Treat, Reese's Outrageous Blizzard Treat and the Dipped Strawberry Blizzard.

Dairy Queen also introduced a new $4 Burger & Blizzard deal, available at participating Dairy Queen and DQ Grill & Chill locations. For $4, fans can choose from a DQ Cheeseburger or KC BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger to pair with a Mini Blizzard Treat, including flavors on the Fall Blizzard Menu.

Other news

The downtown Starbucks location will close for two weeks beginning at 3 p.m. Sunday. The store will undergo a complete renovation, including changes to its drive-through.

To celebrate National Coffee Day, Pilot Flying J is treating guests to a free cup of Pilot coffee (any size) Friday and Saturday through the myPilot app.

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