The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, December 18, 2019 1:00 am

Grabill Dairy Sweet gets new owner


A place like Grabill Dairy Sweet is a small-town staple. 

For 21 years, Dave and Mary May have owned the cozy eatery at 13305 State St. The menu features the obvious – sweets. Soft-serve ice cream and hand-scooped hard ice cream can be served on their own or transformed into favorites like the peanut butter milkshake or waffle cone sundae.
There are also more than 20 sandwiches and 20 appetizers available – such as the crab rangoon that Mary May makes from scratch.
But when the couple close the restaurant Saturday for their annual holiday break, it will be for the last time.
The Mays have sold Grabill Dairy Sweet to Ron Gillhouse, who will reopen the restaurant Jan. 12.
The process to sell the Dairy Sweet has taken two years, Dave May says. As the couple looked forward to retirement and traveling, “closing it was not an option.” The Mays had bought the Dairy Sweet from Mary's aunt, so it had been in the family for 31 years.
But keeping it in the family wasn't going to happen, so the Mays were patient as they looked for a prospective buyer.
In a phone call Wednesday, Gillhouse's wife, Trisha, says her family will be upgrading, painting and cleaning the building, but it will have basically the same menu. They hope to have a grand opening celebration in the spring after a chance to work on the exterior of the building in warmer weather. 

The Dairy Sweet will also be delivering within an 8-mile radius after the January reopening.

Bistro adds breakfast

Bistro Nota, which opened on South Calhoun Street this year, will expand its hours to include breakfast.

The casual French bistro will open at 7 a.m. today to kick off the morning service. Breakfast will be available until 11 a.m.

Menu items include steak and eggs, biscuit sandwiches, croque Madame and brioche toast.

Bistro Nota is open Monday through Friday, with lunch service until 3 p.m. There are extended hours to pick up Nota @ Home prepped meals.

Chocolate benefit

The John Chapman Kiwanis Foundation has something sweet on its mind – and it's not candy canes and iced sugar cookies.

The group is preparing for the fifth annual Kiwanis Chocolate-Fest, which will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Orchid Events Center in New Haven.

The evening includes three chocolate dipping stations (dark, milk and white chocolate) with other chocolate desserts, a full dinner, live entertainment, cash bar and even a build-your-own ice cream sundae bar. A silent auction will also take place.

The money raised at the event will go to Riley Hospital for Children and other area charities programs and projects.

Tickets are $40 each and will include the whole experience. Companies or groups can buy a VIP table of eight seats for $500.

For more information, to reserve your tickets or donate silent auction items, call the foundation at 749-4901. There will be limited tickets available for purchase at the door. Tickets are also available at

Around town

• A Fort Wayne location of Nothing Bundt Cakes is on its way. The bakery will be at 6409 Lima Road. The bakery, as the name indicates, offers bundt cakes in a variety of sizes and flavors, as well as bundt towers. Typically, a limited number of cakes are available for purchase by walk-in customers. An email requesting comment from the new franchise was not immediately returned.

Trubble Riverside, which is in Promenade Park, is getting in the holiday spirit. There's frozen hot chocolate and plans for Santa to visit from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday.

JK O'Donnell's Irish Ale House, 121 W. Wayne St., will have a cocktail brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Menu options will include a root vegetable frittata, wagyu breakfast burger on an English muffin, and Irish oatmeal pancakes with orange cranberry maple syrup.

Teds Beerhall, 12628 Coldwater Road, will host a Christmas brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. The menu will feature several Christmas-themed items.

The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears Wednesdays. Fax news items to 461-8893, email or call 461-8304 at least two weeks before event or desired publication.

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