Vegan grill nearing its grand opening

The Fort Wayne dining scene is about to get a little healthier – or at least a little friendlier to those who prefer to eat a plant-based diet.

While an exact date has not been announced, the grand opening for Savery Vegan Grill is getting closer.

The restaurant on Taylor Street, near Broadway across from Mad Anthony Brewing Co., is the concept of Brittany George and her family.

George, along with her mother and brother, transitioned to a vegan diet about a year and a half ago. Motivated by animal rights, they were committed to eating in a plant-based manner but quickly discovered how limited the options were.

“When we made the switch, eating the traditional – a lot of vegetables, fruits,” George says. “But we were sacrificing the things we were used to eating.”

So George and her brother asked their mom to make “meatloaf,” a dish they really missed.

“She really got into cooking vegan dishes and that’s where the idea (for a restaurant) increased even more,” George says.

The menu at Savery will feature comfort-food favorites with a vegan twist. Think beef and noodles, chicken fried steak and pot roast. The fast-casual restaurant will also serve brunch on the weekends, offering items such as biscuits and gravy, breakfast burritos and pancakes.

The name Savery is a combination of “save” and “savory,” a nod to the restaurant’s commitment to animal rights and flavorful food.

It’s definitely not the menu George has seen at most vegan restaurants she has visited – causing a bit of anxiety.

But an appearance at the Fort Wayne Veg ‘n Brew Fest in October helped calm her concerns. George says Savery had a great response from visitors.

“We want to show you can be totally normal and eat totally normal and eat a vegan diet,” she says.

George and her family are waiting for a few projects to be completed but is hopeful that the restaurant will be open close to Nov. 17.

Hours are tentative but she expects they will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and open on the weekend for brunch.

News coming

Remember the other week when I teased that the owner of Ragin’ Cajun was planning a big announcement?

Well, I got the details in a by-chance meeting at a local restaurant.

I was standing in line to pick up carryout (chicken pho and chai bubble tea, if you are interested) when I spotted John Maxwell in his chef coat.

“Boy, have I got a scoop for you,” he said after I said hello.

While he’s not quite ready to share it for print’s sake – papers have to be signed and details finalized – I can tell Fort Wayne fans this: If you were afraid that you would miss his jambalaya and po’ boys, don’t worry.

Maxwell might be ditching the truck but he’s not leaving the city’s culinary scene. And he’s bringing something more.

Stay tuned.

Juice Jar moving

Walk into The City Exchange on West Wayne Street and you’ll be welcomed into the center for local shopping by the Juice Jar counter.

But the purveyor of cold-pressed juices, smoothies and bowls will soon be moving out of the space as owner Jill Howard prepares to open a brick-and-mortar location.

The shop’s last day will be Nov. 15.

Howard, who owns Juice Jar with her husband, Scott, hopes to have a new shop open in early 2019 on the southwest side of the city, near Covington Plaza.

But she doesn’t plan to leave downtown for good, with a second location expected to open downtown in late 2019, according to a post on Facebook.

The City Exchange, which has been open for three years and is home to shops such as Poptique and Narwhal & Manatee, is undergoing a renovation of sorts. The tenant spaces will be redesigned to create more retail space for shopping during 2019.

The City Exchange will be open during the fall and holiday shopping season, including during the Holly Trolley event.

Veterans Day deal

Texas Roadhouse will offer veterans and active members of U.S. military a free lunch Sunday.

It’s the eighth year that the restaurants will participate in the free lunch event.

All veterans, including active, retired or former U.S. military, can choose one of 10 entrees from its special Veterans Day menu, including a 6-ounce sirloin and two sides plus a choice of any Coke product, sweet tea/iced tea or coffee during lunch.

Proof of service, including military or VA card or discharge papers, is required.

The offer is available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is a Texas Roadhouse location at 710 W. Washington Center Road.

The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears Wednesdays. Fax news items to 461-8893, email [email protected] or call 461-8304.

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