Quick Bites: Battle erupts as Elkhart restaurant closes
Posted: 12/10/2012 at 1:15 am
By: Marshall V. King
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The sign on the door last week at 17 Cuisine indicated that customers weren't welcome. (Truth Photo By Marshall V. King)
News broke last week of two restaurants closing.
In Goshen, Mario Garber announced on Facebook that he and his family are closing Il Forno on Dec. 21 after seven years in business. The restaurant at 127 S. Main St., Goshen, served pizza and Italian food and was a popular spot with many families.
In Elkhart, a sign appeared on the door of 17 Cuisine, 54595 C.R. 17, Elkhart, warning people not to trespass. The restaurant opened in October after owners Becca and Darren Cornell opened and closed DC's Pizza and DC's Burgers along Goshen Avenue.
I reported on my blog that the restaurant appeared to be closed because of the sign, its phone number not being connected and its Facebook page being gone.
Becca Cornell said in an email they were closed to remodel to better serve their customers. Building owner John Lapierre said he spent $36,000 to remodel the space before they opened and they weren't doing any remodeling.
Lapierre also said Thursday he had the locks changed and threw out the Cornells, whom he said owe him money, owe employees money and lied to him. He said they didn't have the ability to run a lemonade stand.
The Cornells are claiming it was an illegal eviction and are threatening to sue.
Their version of the story and his version of the story don't match. And all this happened at the same time a Living Social coupon was being offered online for 17 Cuisine, which some people bought.
You can read the full tale here
Since July 2011, the Cornells have opened three restaurants in Elkhart. All are closed at this time. They've had disputes with at least two landlords. They owe employees money. Darren Cornell said Thursday they plan to leave Elkhart and reopen a restaurant elsewhere.
A number of people on the Dining A La King Facebook page made it clear they wouldn't support another restaurant of theirs in this community.
• Larry Libey, owner of Gateway Cellar Winery, is working to open Back Alley Brewery by the end of January if he can. He's been working to secure the proper permits and do the construction needed to open a taproom with nine taps and a few simple food items. He'd like to be open by the Super Bowl, but isn't sure it will happen. You can read more at my blog
• The wait list started last week for the Dining A La King California wine trip. Thirty spots were available when we announced the trip two weeks ago and we're working to bump that up slightly. If you're at all interested, you should still get on the list for the trip, which will go to Sonoma and Napa Feb. 7-11. There's still a decent possibility you'd get to go along. You can call Dorothy Shirk at Menno Travel, 574-534-1521 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Candy Castle, 109 W. Washington St., Goshen, has a sign in its window that it'll be closing in January.
• Three of the five major awards presented at the Goshen Chamber of Commerce annual meeting Thursday went to food businesses. Mattern's Butcher Shop & Corner Deli won the small business of the year award. Olympia Candy Kitchen and Martin's Super Market won the Maple Leaf awards. Congrats to all of them.
• Eccentric Day, the annual holiday at Bell's Brewing, was Friday at the Eccentric Cafe in Kalamazoo, Mich. Larry Bell's brewery has become one of the best craft brewers in the country over the last couple decades. On Friday, fans and customers dressed up and went to be eccentric while tasting some of the 60 or so brews tapped throughout the day and evening.
• If you haven't seen the new blog page on eTruth.com, you need totake a look. Reporters, editors and others from The Elkhart Truth/eTruth.com staff are writing about what tea partiers think of smoking bans, their plans to do the SNAP/Food Stamp Challenge and how our police reporting has changed. My own blog at blogs.etruth.com/diningalaking will have posts soon about a meal at BellyQ, PiesGiving and the latest restaurant news.
Marshall V. King is news/multimedia editor and food columnist for The Elkhart Truth/eTruth.com. You can reach him at email@example.com, 574-296-5805, on Twitter