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South Side continues to draw national acclaim -- and new fans

The clocks changed. The seasons seem to be. Why shouldn't restaurants change too? New stuff is in the offing at several local restaurants. * South Side Soda Shop in Goshen is in the new "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" book that came out last week. * John's Bagels in Elkhart is changing hands but staying in the family. * Adam and Maggie Williams opened a new place in Elkhart that's an extension of

Posted on Nov. 3, 2008 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Nov. 3, 2008 at 4:21 a.m.

The clocks changed. The seasons seem to be.

Why shouldn't restaurants change too?

New stuff is in the offing at several local restaurants.

* South Side Soda Shop in Goshen is in the new "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" book that came out last week.

* John's Bagels in Elkhart is changing hands but staying in the family.

* Adam and Maggie Williams opened a new place in Elkhart that's an extension of their original restaurant, Unique Blends

* Chef Paul Duley is taking over management of Stirred in Elkhart and the new menu is available.

Nick and Charity Boyd are thrilled to have South Side appear in the new book. They're expecting even more customers from outside Elkhart County based on another national bump.

Guy Fieri, host of the show, visited with a crew in spring 2007. The show first aired on Food Network in July 2007 and since then business has doubled. New customers appear almost daily, Nick said. Many of them travel several hours to visit the diner at 1122 S. Main St., Goshen.

The book includes a recipe for Charity's meat loaf, though not Nick's lemon meringue pie that won the Truth's Pie Quest five years ago. The text about South Side is taken from the script of the show.

"It has reminded people we're there," Charity said of the show. "It has reminded people of the small restaurant instead of the box chains."

The soda shop has books available for $19.95 each. And Nick and Charity are happy to sign copies.

John Kramer opened John's Bagels in Elkhart in 2006 and gained fans of the bagels and cinnamon rolls. He has had a passion for baking and growing a business in the spot of the Exchange Bakery, 109 W. Lexington Ave.

But he was ready for a change, so he's selling the restaurant to brother Chris.

John will still bake for the place that bears his name, but he's gone to work at Starbucks in South Bend, which provides health benefits and is showing him a new side of the restaurant business. "Their quality is unbelievable. Their consistency is unbelievable," he said.

He'll still be at John's at crucial times, he said. Meanwhile, brother Joe will work the front counter and Chris is buying the place and putting his mark on it.

Chris sells plastics and is excited to dig in to the marketing and sales aspect of the restaurant business. "I think we're going to exploit the cinnamon rolls a little bit more," he said, noting that they may sell unbaked rolls.

Already, the selection at the bakery and restaurant is bigger and they're slicing their own meats. Hours are 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, when lunch is now available.

"We wanted to get the word out we are changing some things up," he said, noting that the name won't change.

Adam's Bistro is open at 1600 W. Beardsley, Suite 105, Elkhart. Adam and Maggie Williams opened Unique Blends on Bower Street several years ago and family members are helping operate that while Adam and Maggie focus on quick, fresh food at the new spot.

Maggie said the menu features soups from scratch and a lot of vegetarian items. Fruit, sandwiches, wraps and salads are on the menu.

"We were already busy, but it feels good. Totally different than Unique Blends," she said.

Hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday. Adam also wants to do cooking classes at the new location.

Paul Duley is managing Stirred, 115 E. Lexington, Elkhart. After several years of making desserts and pastries for that restaurant, he's taking on a larger role. Robert Hubbs will continue to make desserts.

The new menu was unveiled last week and feedback was great, according to owner Tanya Bleiler. The restaurant took its 16 top sushi rolls and is highlighting them, alongside a new wine list. She and Duley are working to add more appetizers to the menu.

Bleiler said diners still want to go out to eat but are cutting back spending, so she too is looking at ways of offering options that fit.

All orders, whether sushi, a tuna burger or a nonfish entrée, are customizable so diners can get exactly what they want, Bleiler said.

Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday and 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

QUICK BITES

* Mad Anthony's is on the march. The new location in downtown Elkhart is expected to open in December, according to Eric Brewer, who will operate the brewpub and restaurant. He hasn't set an opening date.

* I plan to eat at the Harrison Township Fire Department hog roast on Saturday. The event is 4 to 8 p.m. at Harrison Christian School, which is on C.R. 11 north of C.R. 38. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for children and free for kids 5 and younger. Carry-outs are available. Money raised will help buy new equipment for the volunteer department.

* Mattie's Nightclub is expected to have a grand opening Friday, according to owner J.R. Johnson. The nightclub in Parkmor Plaza, 1130 W. Bristol St., will be in the remodeled spot that The Zoo was in. It won't have much food but will have 14 beer taps. The focus will be on music and dancing. A light and sound system will highlight live entertainment, DJs and karaoke, Johnson said.

* The Vine will celebrate 10 years in South Bend with a wine tasting at 7 p.m. Nov. 10 in the Palais Royale Ballroom, South Bend. Tickets are $30 per person and available at any location of The Vine, including the one in downtown Elkhart.


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