RESTAURANT NOTES EXTRA: Fort Wayne Food Tours completes season

Fort Wayne Food Tours' first year ended with nearly 400 local and northeast Indiana guests on its three-and-a-half-hour outings. (Illustration courtesy of Fort Wayne Food Tours)
Randy Harter, far right, points out a place of interest to the group on his inaugural Fort Wayne Food Tours in March. (File photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of
Gina Thomas holds up a halved Black and White Truffle at DeBrand Fine Chocolates, the last stop in March of Randy Harter's first Fort Wayne Food Tours outing. (File photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of
Participants on Randy Harter's first Fort Wayne Food Tours outing in March snap photos of each other at the Golden. (File photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of

Randy Harter has hosted a movable feast, and 387 people have attended.

Harter, a local historian/author who started the Fort Wayne Food Tours in March with his daughter Sarah Arnold, just completed the first season. Guests on the 3½-hour walking tours of downtown Fort Wayne sites made stops for dishes at Hall’s Gas House, Hoppy Gnome, the Dash-In, the Golden and DeBrand Fine Chocolates. Most participants who paid $60 each came from within 50 miles of Fort Wayne, with several from Columbia City, Auburn, Angola and Decatur, but with the vast majority being Fort Wayne residents, according to Harter.

Many groups consisted of six to 12 friends or co-workers and, “oddly enough, the largest occupations represented were nurses and teachers … and they were all generally in groups with co-workers and their spouses,” he said. Several people over the season brought their out-of-town company on the tours for a taste of Fort Wayne’s history and restaurants.

Harter said he only got rained out once and that was during the first stop at Hall’s, so he rescheduled everyone and started from the parking lot there the next time. He carried in a backpack enough rain ponchos for everyone during the 43 trips, but never had to use them.

“I was surprised how little folks knew of local history/architecture, and how engaged they seemed learning about it,” he said.

He’s scheduled next year’s tours to begin March 17 and plans a change in one of the restaurants. For details and to reserve a spot, see

Have restaurant news? Call Lisa M. Esquivel Long at 260-461-8354, send email to or a fax to 260-461-8817 or write Restaurant Notes, C/O The News-Sentinel, PO Box 102, Fort Wayne, IN 46802.