Blue Stack Smokehouse opened recently at 3620 N. Clinton St., near Glenbrook Square.
Owner David McLaughlin says the dine-in and carry-out restaurant serves ribs, brisket, pulled pork, half chickens, and sweet and spicy smoked sausage. The eatery, which has three smokers, serves its barbecue with a selection of sides: coleslaw, potato salad, macaroni salad, baked beans, green beans and macaroni and cheese.
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Phone: 755-6328. Website: http://bluestacksmokehouse.com. Blue Stack also is on Facebook.
The former Higher Grounds coffee shops at St. Joe Village and IPFW are now operating as Bon Bon's Coffee Co.
The new owner, Brian Kieffer, purchased the two stores in July. He still gets his beans from Higher Grounds, and stressed Bon Bon's uses the same beans and will offer mostly the same products as Higher Grounds. Bon Bon's will sell coffee and espresso-based beverages, as well as shakes, smoothies, frappes and pastries.
The St. Joe Village location has been updated with new paint, flooring and furniture. The new sign is going up this week. He plans to expand the St. Joe Village menu with chocolates and more desserts eventually, but doesn't “want to get too far away from the coffee aspect.”
The IPFW store will remain mostly the same as it is, because the space is smaller and doesn't lend itself to a huge pastry case.
He changed the name “to make it my own, start off fresh, and differentiate ourselves from them.”
The name comes from his younger brother, who couldn't say Brian when he was little, so called him “Bon.” It became his nickname growing up.
Addresses and hours:
•The St. Joe Village Bon Bon's is at 6122 St. Joe Center Road. Hours: 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday; 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; and 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday.
•The IPFW location is at 2101 Coliseum Blvd. E. in the lobby of the Engineering, Technology and Computer Science building. Hours: 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday; and 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday.
The former Rick O'Shay's Irish Pub — before that it was Broadripple Place — at 4610 Parnell Ave. has been reincarnated into a restaurant geared for children ages 2-12.
Jungle George's serves pizza, salads and a few other items, and has an ice cream bar. Inside are bounce houses and arcade games to entertain the youngsters. It opened Dec. 31. George Kotsopoulos is general manager.
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. seven days a week.
I discovered an interesting store when I was out northeast the other day. Nolt's Marketplace in Leo Crossing, 10370 Leo Road, sells Amish deli meats and cheeses and baked goods from Rise 'n Roll, a bakery in Shipshewana. It also sells a variety of bulk goods and grocery items, and sells gluten-free breads from Good Grains bakery in Roanoke on Thursday through Saturday. The store/deli also makes sandwiches and salads to go.
Owner Doug Nolte said the store has been there about four months. Hours: 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Phone: 471-0377.
Zia's Italian Café and Tea House, 300 E. Washington Blvd., recently obtained a license to serve beer and wine. Owner Anna Barile says she hopes to start serving wine and beer within the next couple of weeks. She is thinking of changing the hours and tweaking the menu as well. Barile envisions people stopping off for wine or beer and something light to eat after work.
Wednesday is Toscani Pizzeria's seventh anniversary. As we reported in December, the restaurant is staying put at 120 W. Wayne St., having renegotiated its lease. The restaurant will be celebrating this month with daily specials. Stop in, or follow Toscani on Facebook and Twitter to see what's going on.
The Bob Evans restaurant chain has made some menu changes, such as $9.99 three-course dinners under 450 calories, which include a starter, entrée and dessert. Bob Evans also has introduced a new gluten-free menu. The chain also has partnered with the National Restaurant Association through its Kids LiveWell program to help parents quickly identify healthy menu items for children.
Bob Evans also has started a tobacco-free workplace policy at all its restaurants.
Nick's Kitchen in Huntington will be featured on the Travel Channel show “Food Paradise” at 11 p.m. Wednesday for its breaded pork tenderloin sandwich on the show's “pork paradise” episode.
Local food truck JumBy's JoiNt is in the running for 2012 Food Truck Rookie of the Year. Mobile Cuisine, an online resource destination for the mobile food industry, is conducting the contest. To vote, go to www.mobile-cuisine.com/ features/who-is-the-2012- food-truck-rookie -of-the-year.
Voting will remain open until 1 a.m. Saturday.
This weekend, the Fresh Market, 6306 W. Jefferson Blvd., is hosting a Big Game Taste Fest Sampling Event to familiarize shoppers with what it has to offer for Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 3. The event is 1-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
A sign on the window of the former location of Ali Baba's Grille and Maza Grille at 10812 Coldwater Road in Valley Centre says Los Cabos Mexican Grill is coming soon.
Olive Twist is presenting some demonstrations:
•6:30-9:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at 6410 W. Jefferson Blvd. in Covington Plaza: The Skill of Risotto includes several ways of preparing risotto and will be paired with wines from WineTime. Must be 21. Cost: $75. Call 436-3866 to register.
•6-7:30 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun St.: Olive Oil 101 and Simple Appetizer Class. Cost: $9 or $7 for members or volunteers. Register at www.botanicalconservatory.org.
•10-11:30 a.m. Jan. 26 at the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun St.: Olive Oil 101 and Simple Breakfast Class. Cost: $9 or $7 for members or volunteers. Register at www.botanicalconservatory.org.
Something happening at your eatery? Call Larson at 461-8284, fax 461-8817, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write Restaurant Notes, C/O The News-Sentinel, PO Box 102, Fort Wayne, IN 46801. This column is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of The News-Sentinel. To read other columns, go to www.news-sentinel.com/ section/LARSON.