Warmer weather brings patio dining options

Sunshine, shades and umbrellas. After what seemed to be the longest winter ever, it looks as if the warmer weather is finally here to stay.

What does that mean? Patio season is officially here.

Whether you're looking for a place to enjoy a casual dinner, split an appetizer with friends or enjoy a fruity cocktail, there are plenty of options for dining al fresco.

Here are a few of the patio – and deck – options that are now serving guests:

Nearly a rite of summer in Fort Wayne, The Deck at the Gas House has opened for the season. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. While there is construction in the area, guests can still access the Deck's parking from Superior Street.

The patio at Catablu Grille, 6372 W. Jefferson Blvd., is available for dining from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For reservations, call 456-6563.

Black Dog Pub & Restaurant, 6320 Covington Road, is serving guests al fresco. The patio is dog friendly, too.

While it has not set an opening date, the Sidecar is teasing its start to the season. The outdoor bar next to the Copper Spoon is promising that it has something new this summer.

Kekionga Craft Co., 7328 Maysville Road, has its patio open.

Ale House closes

Mad Anthony Brewing Co. announced that it is permanently closing the Angola Lakeview Ale House.

“This decision was not an easy one as we enjoyed serving guests in Angola and around the lakes area for the last 10 years,” owners Blaine Stuckey, Todd Grantham and Jeff Neels wrote in an email.

They cited the current climate of the restaurant industry, as well as staffing, have been a formidable challenge.

Mad Anthony will continue to operate six restaurants in the area.

Wild Crab to open

Cajun flavors are about to turn up the heat in southwest Fort Wayne. Wild Crab will celebrate its grand opening with a public ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Wild Crab, 6282 W. Jefferson Blvd., is a Cajun-inspired seafood restaurant, specializing in seafood boils. Guests start by choosing their favorite catch: crab or crab legs, lobster tail, crawfish, clams, mussels, shrimp, or scallops; adding sauce; and selecting a spice level from plain to fire. Po' boys, fry baskets, and desserts are available, as are lunch specials. Wild Crab is family-friendly, with a kids' menu for children ages 10 and younger.

The restaurant is the brainchild of Amber Wu, who first experienced the Cajun seafood boil concept while on vacation in Florida.

“I loved the taste and the concept so much, I decided to learn how to open a Cajun restaurant of my own,” Wu says in a written statement. “Our team is very excited to bring our unique flavors to Fort Wayne. We promise a meal to remember.”

The Fort Wayne location is Wild Crab's second; the first store opened last year in South Bend.

Bakery visits town

Vegan Fort Wayne is hosting Indianapolis vegan bakery, Yes, It's Really Vegan, for a special one-day popup.

The event will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at 5401 W. Washington Center Road.

Yes, It's Really Vegan Bakery will have baked goods for purchase, including churro cookies, chocolate chip espresso cookie sandwiches, blueberry muffins and apple cider doughnuts.

In addition to the vegan baked goods, there will also be a garage sale. There will be vintage items, home goods, antiques and more.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy their treats on the lawn.

Yes, It's Really Vegan Bakery is a full-service vegan bakery selling online and at various locations around Indianapolis.

4 new slushies

McDonald's restaurants are inviting customers to chill out this summer with four frozen drinks.

The drinks will be available at restaurants across greater Indiana and southwest Michigan.

The fan-favorite Minute Maid Strawberry Watermelon Slushie is coming back, along with three other satisfying frozen drinks – Coca-Cola, Fanta Blue Raspberry and Tropical Mango Slushie.

You can vote for your favorite flavor on the Facebook page for McDonald's of Greater Indiana and Southwest Michigan.

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