Sol Kitchen Food Truck and Birdboy Brewing Co. can drink a toast to themselves for teaming up on a restaurant-taproom.
On Aug. 1, Ben Thompson of Birdboy and Jerry Perez of Sol Kitchen made it official for the co-branded place to be called Sol Kitchen/Birdboy Brewing Co., which will be in the former Friends location at 1824 W. Dupont Road. The site is undergoing a total remodel, Perez said.
“The menu is currently being developed, but will offer some food truck favorites along with introducing casual brew pub menu items that complement and often incorporate Birdboy Brewing Co. beer,” Perez said in a message.
Sol Kitchen buys a lot of its ingredients from local farms, it says. It blends chorizo, goat cheese and grilled poblano peppers into some of its dishes.
The food truck, seen Saturdays at Fort Wayne's Farmers Market at Barr and Wayne streets, will continue to hit the streets after the restaurant opens, Perez said.
Birdboy, named for Fort Wayne's adventurous pioneer aviator Art “Birdboy” Smith, opened in 2015. It has beer samplings 5-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays at 210 Collins Road. Among its recent brews is Loose Goose, a Berliner Weisse made with local gooseberries.
The duo hopes to open the new restaurant by Thanksgiving.
Raimondo's expanding kitchen
Cindy Clark is excited about the possibilities of expanding the kitchen of her Raimondo's Pizza, 2608 W. State Blvd.
Clark runs the business with her two daughters and Frank Raimondo. She and Raimondo met over 20 years ago while both worked at Don Hall's. The couple later worked for Casa D'Angelo before she set up her own business, and she's been in love with the place and serving her customers for the 18 years since.
“I'm married to my business,” she said last week while showing the area where her kitchen will expand. She's hoping in about a month that work will be completed and was discussing with Raimondo about when to order the oven.
The larger oven will make it possible for her to fill gigantic orders. Sometimes places like nearby Dana or General Motors will call in an order for 90 pizzas. “I tell them, well, I can do 50.” After the remodel that shouldn't be a problem.
On this day, the head cook, Raimondo and another staff member worked in the tiny kitchen as Clark and one of her two daughters, whom she says will take over one day, went in and out to take orders and serve. Fresh dough, which is made each day, was on the counter. However, pizza isn't the only thing Raimondo's serves. It has a variety of pasta dishes, including manicotti, ravioli and chicken Alfredo, as well as sandwiches, including chicken cordon bleu, clubs and grinders. Cheesecake is available, too.
Nuevo Charros closed
Nuevo Charros Bar & Grill, which opened last fall at 1329 W. State Blvd., has closed. Owner Antonio Moreno had hoped it would be the first of a string of restaurants, but things did not work out. The Mexican restaurant served breakfast, lunch and dinner with a variety of food that included omelettes, tacos, pizza and burgers along with platters such as The Charro with a taco, tostada, enchilada and burrito served with beans and rice.
The site is next to West State Plaza and has had a number of restaurants there in recent years: Keliah's House of Pancakes, West State Cafe, Rich's Cafe and Charky's. That area of State has a variety of chain restaurants. What do you think would be a good fit there? And we're talking restaurants, so don't say a mini Trader Joe's!
Have restaurant news? Call Lisa M. Esquivel Long at 461-8244 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or write Restaurant Notes, C/O The News-Sentinel, PO Box 102, Fort Wayne, IN 46802.