Restaurant Notes: Hobo’s Bar & Grill among new places to try this year

Hobo's Bar & Grill, a family-friendly restaurant at 2701 W. Jefferson Blvd., has seafood dinners that include the Alaskan king crab platter, which can also come with lobster or crayfish. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of
Hobo's Bar & Grill, a family-friendly restaurant at 2701 W. Jefferson Blvd., has a menu that includes hobo potatoes and seafood. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of
Hobo's Bar & Grill, a family-friendly restaurant at 2701 W. Jefferson Blvd., has a menu that includes hobo potatoes and seafood. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of

The calendar year has turned over, so what’s new in 2018? Here’s a look at a few places that recently opened or are planned in the coming months:

*Hobo’s Bar & Grill opened in mid-December at 2701 W. Jefferson Blvd., where RedRok BBQ & Bourbon Saloon was most recently. RedRok closed there in November and plans to open on Wells Street in a few months.

Hobo’s takes its name from the potato recipe that loads on the vegetables, a choice of meat and shredded cheese that we like to get during Three Rivers Festival. Now it’s available all year round, thanks to Alfred Lockett and Bernard Calmes.

“I just started cooking out of my house,” said Lockett, who took the advice of family and friends and opened the restaurant, which has Soul Food Sundays and a menu that includes four seafood dinners that included snow crab ($26.99), fried lobster tail ($19.99), oysters on the half-shell ($22) and Alaskan king crab ($49.99), salads ($8.99-$10.99), chicken meals, sandwiches and appetizers that include fried okra, pickles and green tomatoes ($5.99-$6.99).

The two have several family members working in the family-friendly restaurant. It had its grand opening over the weekend.

It’s open 2 p.m.-3 a.m. seven days a week. For more, call 260-209-2179 or see

*Sweet Lou’s Pizza should be opening in the next couple of weeks. Lou Henry bought the Rib Room, 1235 E. State Blvd., and plans to turn it into a pizzeria featuring Chicago-style deep dish pies along with the same ribs, salad and fries that the Rib Room was known for. The Facebook page has been flaunting the sauce-topped pizzas that it will be serving soon. We’re free for taste-testing. Just throwing that out there.

*Salsa Grille has opened its newest location at 5709 YMCA Park Drive E. The owners, the same family who owns George’s International Market, recently closed their Salud Tapas N Tequila at 5735 Falls Drive saying on Facebook that they were “closing its doors to make way for a new look and venture coming sometime in 2018.”

*It looks like the booths, light fixtures and bar redo are completed at Jack N Johnny’s, 1137 N. Wells St. Owners Christina Mills and Jeff Witcher started work there last spring but found renovating the 2,500-square foot bar in the 9,000-square-foot, 102-year-old building had lots of surprises. Their latest report is that it will have the old bar phone number installed next week to keep the curious updated on the work.

*Construction is still taking place on a couple of brewery projects. Hop River Brewing Company looks like it might open by the end of January. Co-owners Ben Jackson and Paris McFarthin are building their “production-style brewery” in the 1920s Rousseau building at the corner of Harrison and Fourth streets in the midst of the riverfront development. Meanwhile, Three Rivers Distilling Co. is hoping the company’s tasting room will be ready by mid-January. Fort Wayne’s first craft distillery makes bourbon, corn whiskey, vodka, gin and some other spirits at 224 E. Wallace St.

RELATED STORY: Restaurant Notes extra: Hop River Brewing Company hoping to open in December

RELATED STORY: UPDATED: Restaurant Notes: Birdboy Brewing opening Roanoke taproom; Three Rivers Distilling tasting room almost ready

*Proximo, an upscale Latin restaurant is planned for the former Golden spot in Ash Skyline Plaza. The partners in Hoppy Gnome and BakerStreet Steakhouse hope to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner there by summer.

RELATED STORY: Restaurant Notes extra: Hoppy Gnome-BakerStreet group to put Latin flare in The Golden space

*Metro Diner, which has six restaurants in Indianapolis and Louisville, plans to open in April in the former Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon spot at 5525 Coldwater Road in Coldwater Crossing.

*Another springtime arrival will be Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Skyline Tower on Wayne Street. The company, based in Winter Park, Fla., has been showcasing photos of its steaks, lobster mac & cheese and more on its Ruth’s Chris Fort Wayne Facebook page.

*Work is still going on at the Sol Kitchen Food Truck and Birdboy Brewing Co. collaboration at 1824 W. Dupont Road. The former Friends location has been undergoing a total remodeling, but no grand opening date has been set yet.

*We’re still waiting to see what’s going to replace Flanagan’s, 6525 Covington Road, since its owners retired and closed it in September. No word on what plans the new owners have.

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.