The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, December 30, 2020 1:00 am

Landing eatery, Bravas return await in 2021


Reflecting on 2020 and the effect of COVID-19, there was one thing I kept coming back to: a lack of hope. It could be discouraging to look forward to things, only to have plans change or canceled.

But as we look toward 2021, there are some things to get excited about – especially when you are talking about Fort Wayne's restaurant scene.

For example, Mercado Restaurant on the Landing is getting closer to its opening, although a date has not been announced yet.

Operated by Johnny Perez, the restaurant will offer lunch and dinner options that build on the offerings of its sister food truck – Mercadito Taqueria. There will also be steak and seafood options, as well as a cocktail menu for dinner.

It will be a hybrid service format; lunch will be counter service and dinner will be full service.

Also on deck for the new year: Bo Gonzalez is planning a Bravas comeback.

A request has been filed to transfer his two-way liquor license, and Gonzalez has posted on his social media. However, when I chatted with Gonzalez last week, he was not yet ready to share the details.

Gonzalez closed his Fairfield Avenue burger restaurant in July. It had opened in 2014.

“This was the year that Bravas was going all in. We had secured a new building, were working with our architects and designers, and were going through all the right steps to build out our dream space. It was going to be a massive risk, but one we were willing to take as part of the next phase of Bravas' story,” he said when the restaurant closed.

“But as we sit in the middle of a global pandemic – where restaurants are fighting to stay alive and reimagining their dreams – that risk simply does not make sense anymore.”

He did hint, though, that it might not be the end for Bravas. Gonzalez was going to take time off and work on his next vision for Bravas.

And he's done just that. He took some time off, joined the crew at Hop River Brewing Co. and hosted a couple Bravas pop-ups.

New Year's Eve

• Mark Melchi says it will be the wimpiest New Year's Eve for Wimps he's ever hosted. However, there will be several dinner specials and a dessert crepe station at the Lucky Moose, 622 E. Dupont Road, to help you ring in 2021.

Among the features are an 11-ounce grilled prime rib; 6-ounce flat iron steak with a bacon-wrapped shrimp skewer; and an 8-ounce grilled mahi mahi with lobster sauce and lobster cake. Each feature, which will cost $17.77, comes with a side salad, side dish and a dessert crepe.

The regular menu will also be available, and entrees will also come with a dessert crepe.

Dinner will be available from 5 to 10 p.m.

Ruth's Chris Steak House, 224 W. Wayne St., will be open for carryout or in-person dining from 3 to 11 p.m. on New Year's Eve.

Steak dinners for two, as well as options, will be available for curbside pickup and delivery where available.

To order, go to

Around town

Starbucks at Jefferson Pointe has closed. A new cafe, with drive-through, has opened at 4716 Illinois Road.

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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