Restaurant Notes: Caliente Cuban mojitos on the way? Germanfest featuring GK Baked Goods; 07 Pub turns 1; and more

Gus Rodriguez works on making nachos for the dinner service at Caliente Cuban, 120 W. Wayne St., the second restaurants the Cuban immigrant's family has in Fort Wayne. The restaurant is awaiting a liquor license that will expand its offerings further. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of
Changes to Caliente's kitchen on West Wayne Street forced the restaurant to close for 17 days. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of
Caliente will add an alley entrance if it gets a liquor license. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of
Who can resist a sign outside DeBrand Fine Chocolates that's for chocolate-covered strawberries? (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of
Freshly dipped chocolate-covered strawberries from DeBrand Fine Chocolates is a great way to get a serving of fruit. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of
The Indiana Popcorn Tasting Bar at DeBrand Fine Chocolates is a great blend of salty and sweet. (Photo by Lisa M. Esquivel Long of
Marcus-Daniel has been named the executive chef at Roanoke's Joseph Decuis. (Photo courtesy of Joseph Decuis)
(Courtesy of Germanfest)
GK Baked Goods will prepare freshly baked pretzels at Germanfest's beer tent, which runs Wednesday-Sunday. (Courtesy of Germanfest)
Mad Anthony Brewing Company owners Blaine Stuckey and Jeff Neels presented Fox Island County Park’s Park and Education Manager Ron Zartman, center, with a donation of over $3,900. (Photo courtesy of Mad Anthony Brewing Company)

Nestor Rodriguez can’t wait for Fort Wayne to try a real Cuban mojito.

If his family’s Caliente Cuban restaurant gets approval for the liquor license at a hearing June 25, that and other drinks will be added to the recently revised menu. The restaurant, 120 W. Wayne St., was closed for 17 days for some renovation work and celebrated the changes last weekend. Part of the work involved creating a doorway to a back room that’s storage now. However, with the liquor license, it will be a bar area. The interesting part, Rodriguez said, will be the entrance in the alley. It will be similar to the Alley Cat Lounge in Indianapolis’ Broad Ripple Village, he said.

“Like a speakeasy,” he said.

The menu changes include adding some main courses, such as the Ropa Vieja of shredded beef in a Creole sauce with rice, soup and a choice of plantains or boiled yucca for $17.95. The menu also includes the restaurant history from dad Gus Rodriguez’s journey from being an economist to a journalist exiled from Cuba to the family’s opening of the original Caliente, 1123 E. State Blvd., in 2009 and the opening of the second location last August.

Germanfest has new eats

Germanfest will be getting pretzels from GK Baked Goods this year. The celebration of Fort Wayne German heritage will have a tapping of the keg after the beer tent opens at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in Headwaters Park Festival Plaza.

Before you take to the floor to enjoy some chicken dancing you can try the traditional brats, homemade sauerkraut and potato salad. New this year will be schnitzel and fries, Oktoberfest roast chicken and pretzels baked fresh daily from GK Baked Goods. The festival will run through 5 p.m. Sunday.

Proximo sets hours

We told you about Proximo’s planned opening Monday in the Ash Skyline Tower. Now, here are the hours the Latin American restaurant has set: 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 6 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday.

The restaurant began taking reservations Monday.

RELATED STORY: Restaurant Notes extra: Proximo grand opening set for June 11

DeBrand for Dad

We like strawberries, but we like chocolate-covered strawberries even more. So when we saw the sign outside DeBrand Fine Chocolates, 878 S. Harrison St., we felt a magnet pulling us in.

No matter how bad a day is, just walking into all that chocolate makes us feel better. No strawberries were ready, but never fear. The woman behind the counter said she’d dip some if we could wait. Well, we could wait a few minutes, and we’re glad we did. Those plump juicy berries under milk chocolate made a great afternoon snack. We also got a small raspberry gelato that was smooth, creamy and bursting with flavor without the seeds. We topped off our purchase with an Indiana Popcorn Tasting Bar, the perfect mix of salty and sweet.

DeBrand is selling tie-draped boxes of chocolate for Father’s Day. The Father’s Day Tower includes the 12-piece Truffle Collection, 14-piece Classic Collection, a tie and a Happy Father’s Day Chocolate Thoughts Bar for $76.

Well, at least Dad might get the tie.

07 Pub has 1st anniversary

Happy birthday, 07 Pub!

The 07 Pub will celebrate its 1-year anniversary Saturday. The event starts at 4 p.m. and will feature a beer tent, games, giveaways, and more. Musicians Dave and Rae will perform 9 p.m.-midnight.

The pub has been serving Sunday brunch for about a month and has added wine slushies that can be enjoyed on its new outdoor patio. Add to that its infused liquor drinks, with its summer cocktail menu to include a watermelon mojito, said Marcus Spillson co-owner.

“We have been modifying our pizza dough recipe. We are starting to do a specialty pizza of the month,” he told us in an email.

It also has a variety of salads, starters, wings, wraps, flatbreads, burgers and sandwiches.

More information can be found on the 07 Pub’s Facebook page.

Fort Wayne native, Ivy Tech grad new Joseph Decuis chef

Marcus Daniel, a Fort Wayne native who graduated from Ivy Tech’s culinary program, has been promoted to Joseph Decuis’ executive chef. Daniel joined the farm-to-fork Roanoke restaurant in 2016 from New York City’s Michelin star restaurant The Breslin Bar & Dining Room and The John Dory Oyster Bar where he worked under the tutelage of James Beard-awarded chef April Bloomfield. He worked locally before heading to Los Angeles and New York City.

Hall’s ‘beer trough’ going up

Hall’s Gas House is putting up an adult “lemonade stand” again this year.

“Instead of lemonade, it will be serving beer,” said Jeff Hall.

Last year the restaurant, 305 E. Superior St., had a structure put up in about 4-5 hours. This one is “a little more thought out,” Hall said.

The beer shack will be open Thursday-Saturday evenings when the Deck by the St. Marys River is at its busiest. Patrons waiting for a table or diners can get beer in bottles and cans there. Those looking for cocktails will still have to get their drinks from the bar.

“It’s temporary without looking temporary,” Hall said of the beer structure, which is being built on a steel frame with casters and can be moved in the off-season when other seating in the parking lot is put away so the driveway can reopen.

Food Truck Rally

The Food Truck Rally has begun 5:30-8 p.m. Tuesdays at Northrop High School, 7001 Coldwater Road.

The weekly community event features around 10 food trucks including Amanda Lee Coffee, Big Apple Pizza, Brain Freeze, Bravas, Hawkins Famous Fish, Kona Ice, Rick’s Smokehouse BBQ, Triple B’s BBQ, Street Chef, Wicked Good Cupcakes and Ziffles.

Fox Island gets Mad money

Mad Anthony Brewing Company owners Blaine Stuckey and Jeff Neels met with Fox Island County Park’s Park and Education Manager Ron Zartman on May 30 at the Fox Island Nature Center to present a check totaling over $3,900. The donation comes through proceeds from Mad Anthony’s participation at Fox Island’s Sol Fest, a two-day music festival benefitting the Allen County Parks Youth Scholarship Fund.

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.

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