Matt Billings can hardly stop smiling. Now that he has the first week of running the Green Frog Inn under his belt, he can breathe a sigh of relief.
"We did very well," he said of that first week. "I was very nervous. Also very excited."
Matt and his wife, Carrie Billings, bought the Green Frog Inn, 820 Spring St., from Cindy Henry, wife of Mayor Tom Henry.
He had a problem the very first day the business was under his ownership — the fryer broke. He was nonchalant about it, and had it rebuilt quickly. "I bought a restaurant, what are you gonna expect?" he said.
Matt plans to make no significant changes to the cozy neighborhood bar. "This is the Green Frog and the Green Frog stays the Green Frog," he said.
However, the bar is only open to those 21 and older now. He has a 5-year-old daughter, and it bothers him that she can't ever come to work with him. He may rope off an area from the bar in the future to create a space where those under 21 are allowed. He's also considering opening on Sundays for those who want to watch football.
Matt is putting in 12-hour days now but hopes to take off a few nights once he's comfortable. Carrie works full time elsewhere as an accountant.
For more information, go to www.greenfrognation.com or find them on Facebook by searching for Green Frog Inn. Hours: 10 a.m.-1 a.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; 10 a.m.-3 a.m. Wednesday and Friday; and noon-3 a.m. Saturdays. Phone: 426-1088.
Two new restaurants we've previously reported on are now open on the north side of Fort Wayne.
*Hideout 125, modeled after a speakeasy during Prohibition, is open at 10350 Coldwater Road. I'm told it's hard to get into without a reservation. The menu has a nice touch; each food item has a suggested cocktail, beer and wine pairing. To see the menu go to http://hideout125.com.
Hideout 125 opens at 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Phone: 206-6192.
*Black Canyon is open at 1509 W. Dupont Road. The restaurant is described as a "New American, full service restaurant specializing in custom, in-house, from scratch cuisine. Steaks, seafood, poultry and pork as well as craft salads."
It is open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday; and 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sundays. Phone: 203-5900. Black Canyon is on Facebook; just search for Black Canyon Restaurant.
Two long-shuttered restaurants are showing signs of life:
*The former O'Charleys at 6709 Lima Road is being worked on. The Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission website shows there will be a hearing in September for the transfer of the liquor licence at that location. The applicant is Koze Thai Cuisine and Bar.
*Work is being done on the long-closed Outback restaurant at 4910 N. Clinton St. It's been closed since 2008. I hear it's going to be the location for Bar 145, which we reported back in March was coming to Fort Wayne. The Toledo, Ohio-based gastropub puts the focus on burgers, bands and bourbon. Don't expect it to open until late this year. To learn more about it go to www.bar145toledo.com.
A local woman has less than $1,000 to go on her Kickstarter campaign to open up an organic juicery. Sherina Collier is trying to raise $6,000 to open Beet Street Organic Juicery in a former pizza shop at the corner of Berry and Fulton streets downtown.
As she explains on her Kickstarter page, her dad's death from cancer inspired her to be more mindful of nutrition, and to pass that knowledge on to others in the form of fresh, organic, cold-pressed juices and smoothies.
She plans to sell in-house or locally made snacks and foods, including Paleo, vegan and gluten-free options.
To learn more, go to www.beetstreetjuicery.com. That will lead you to a link to the Kickstarter campaign as well.
Fort Wayne's Famous Coney Island is planning a "huge" Main Street block party for the iconic eatery's 100th anniversary. Mark Sept. 20 on your calendar and stay tuned for more information.
Main Street Bistro and Martini Lounge is partnering with the Hotel Fitness Championship golf tournament Aug. 25-31 at Sycamore Hills Golf Club. Main Street Bistro will manage the Main Street Lounge pavilions on the ninth and 16th greens, providing sheltered seating with a view of golf as well as cocktails and food for purchase.
Those who purchase the tournament's upgraded tickets will get both grounds access and entry into the Main Street Lounge pavilions. Giveaways and prizes will be distributed each time a player records a birdie on holes 9 or 16.
The upgraded ticket options are:
* One day championship round Main Street Lounge ticket $50, valid one day of your choice, Aug. 28-31
*Four day championship round Main Street Lounge ticket $115, valid each championship round, Aug. 28-31
The annual Hospice Home fundraiser is coming up. A Toast to Life: Specialty Beer & Food Pairing Dinner for Hospice Home will be 4-7 p.m. Sept. 14 at Club Soda, 235 E Superior St. The event features beers from around the world, paired with an international menu. Club Soda has created a six-course menu to complement six unique specialty beers.
A Toast to Life toasts the lives and memories of family and friends who are no longer with us. The event also includes a silent auction of leisure and beer-related items.
Seating is limited. Tickets are $125 per person and are available at Visiting Nurse, 5910 Homestead Road in Fort Wayne. For information, call 435-3212.
Proceeds benefit Hospice Home, the area's only free-standing, inpatient facility dedicated to end-of-life care of patients and their families.