Kurt Janowsky said he wants to open three new restaurants in 2014.
Artisan is one of them. The high-end spot will be at 505 S. Main St. in downtown Elkhart. Janowsky, who also owns Cafe Navarre, The Exchange and Matterhorn and oversees the catering at Lerner Theater, had hoped to open it in June. He said it'll likely open in July instead, but could still host a patron party for the Elkhart Jazz Festival and perhaps another event before then.
The bigger news is that Janowsky is taking over the Granger location where Tilted Kilt has been operating, after it closes its doors May 31.
"We're going to go in there and do farm-to-table, as much as that's possible in our market," he said.
The new restaurant, Rocky River Tap, 1032 E. University Drive, Granger, will offer good quality and healthy food, he said. And it could open by late June.
The menu will feature perch, whitefish and trout from the Great Lakes and Gunthorp pork and chicken from LaGrange, as well as beef from within 60 miles.
"We'll chase the seasons," he said, noting as an example that tomatoes won't be served in February. "Hopefully there's enough good stuff available."
Planned offerings also include risotto fritters, shrimp potstickers and roasted cauliflower. Vegetarian and vegan items will be among them as well.
"We'll have a really, really good burger," he said. Rocky River's burger will have 25 percent pork, including trimmings from what's used to make bacon. "There's nothing better than pork fat," he said.
He's in the process of figuring out who will cook there, but it may include some of the staff from Tilted Kilt. He said he ate corned beef at six places on March 17 and the Kilt's version was the best.
In addition, he's adding Eamonn McParland to the culinary team. McParland has been a chef at LaSalle Grill and LaSalle Kitchen & Tavern. McParland is talented and Janowsky will figure out where and how to best use him.
Rocky River Tap, named for a tributary of the St. Joseph River in Michigan, will be in a prime location for a farm-to-table restaurant. "That Granger market is a strong market," he said.
It'll be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.
Readers on elkharttruth.com reacted to the news by lamenting Tilted Kilt closing or celebrating that and welcoming Janowsky's new venture.
In addition to Rocky River and Artisan, Janowsky is taking over O'Rourke's Public House in University Commons across from the University of Notre Dame. An out-of-town owner was looking for a partner and found Janowsky. The former Kildare's is a busy restaurant, but needed someone who could manage it locally, he said.
He plans to improve the food and service. "That'll happen yet this summer," he said.
Janowsky could sit back and operate the spots he has. But he wants to do more. And his success means that opportunities are coming his way.
He's looking at what may come after that. I predict he'll open a spot in Goshen, but it won't be until 2015.
• Asia Market is planning a new Thai and Cambodian restaurant alongside its grocery store in Dunlap.
Jeff Parrott reported on Flavor574.com that Sinin Um, who owns the store with her husband, Ohm Um, said she is still working on the menu and is targeting a June 1 opening. The couple has removed part of an interior wall and is locating the restaurant in space they formerly leased to a nail salon.
Because of limited parking at the site, at the southwest corner of Shaffer Avenue and U.S. 33, zoning regulations will only allow a couple of dine-in booths, Sinin Um said. Most of the food will be carryout, while delivery will be available for orders of at least $50.
Um said her customers have increasingly said the area needs more Asian carryout options, especially since the closing of Golden Monkey Cafe in Goshen in January. She likes her location in the retail corridor.
"If they come into my store while they're out shopping, they can have some coffee and an egg roll, and carry out if they don't feel like cooking," she said.
Um said she is excited for customers to try her Cambodian desserts, like sweet rice with mango. She also hopes people will like her rice noodle soup, fresh seafood like lobster tail and fried fish, egg rolls and spring rolls, which are rice paper wrapped around vegetables.
The carryout will keep the same hours as the store, which is 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
• The annual customer appreciation day and open house at Rise N Roll Bakery and Deli in Middlebury will be the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, May 24.
The popular bakery offers free samples of its foods and often has ice cream made from scratch. This is the 13th year the bakery is doing this. It's a tradition that started at the original location down the road.
The business is located at the deli located at 1065 N. 1150 West, but is really along U.S. 20 between Middlebury and Shipshewana. Hours that day will be 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Specials will be announced on Rise N Roll's Facebook page as the event gets closer, the bakery said on Facebook.
• Linton's Enchanted Gardens has a new cafe with organic and locally-grown ingredients into its menu.
The Garden Cafe opened recently. Sarah Duis visited last week and posted a report on Flavor574.com. The items are made with fruits, herbs and veggies grown nearby in Bristol at a 40-acre nursery. Some of the herbs are grown right outside the café kitchen's back door, according to information provided by Jennifer Keen, executive assistant at Linton's, 315 C.R. 17, Elkhart.
Breakfast is served from 8 to 11 a.m. and features items like gourmet oatmeal, a seasonal fruit kabob, a banana wrap and freshly baked croissants, Duis reported.
Lunch is available after 11 a.m. with garden-inspired salads, sandwiches and wraps. There are also specialty soups and focaccia bread baked with herbs, olives, roasted red peppers and asiago cheese.
Breakfast items cost between $1.49 and $4.29 and lunch and dinner items are priced from $1.99 to $9.99.
The Garden Café also boasts a robust drink lineup with specialty coffee drinks, teas, retro soda and soy milk options. The children's menu includes grilled cheese with fresh-baked bread and a veggie and fruit plate with sliced cheddar cheese, wrote Duis.
Café hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
• Elkhart's oldest barbecue joint is adding a second location. Bill's Bar-B-Que plans to open in the former Long John Silver's, 2426 Benham Ave., Elkhart.
"We're in the early stages," said Will Lee, who owns and operates the barbecue restaurant with his family.
He said they plan to "continue the tradition of good barbecue" at a second location, but they also want a larger menu with macaroni and cheese, baked beans and cornbread muffins.
The 1592 W. Franklin St. location opened in 1988. It closed in 2005 and reopened in 2009.
Business is steady at the Franklin Street location, which has no seating. It's rebounded after the construction on Nappanee Street, he said. Hours recently expanded to 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, Lee said.
He's still working on logistics, but he may use the barbecue pit at the Franklin Street location to supply the Benham Avenue restaurant.
A sign is in front of the new restaurant, but a lot of work needs to be done on the building Bill's is leasing. He's hoping to open at the end of June, he said.
In 2000, the Lees announced they planned to open in Dunlap in a former Taco Bell. That never happened, but a location on Cassopolis Street was open for a time. Other restaurants opening in the area and other factors led to that closing, Lee said.
Before the second Bill's opens, Greater Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church, 1829 Oakland Ave., will have its first barbecue sale of the year. The church will sell barbecue starting at 11 a.m. Friday and Saturday, May 16 and 17. Tickets will be given away on the Flavor 574's Facebook and Twitter.
• Founders Brewing Co.'s KBS will take another place by storm this week.
The celebrated imperial stout, touted as one of the top beers in the world, will be tapped at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 14, at Scotty's Brewhouse, 4340 N. Main St., Mishawaka.
John Ravenscroft of Scotty's sent along word. He said, "We are doing 10-ounce snifters for $8 and we have a quarter barrel (7.75 gal)."
I don't know what will happen at Scotty's, but at Constant Spring, the bar filled at 4 p.m. and the small keg was gone in about two hours. It was a huge day for the bar.
Beer geeks gathered. They got pours of the rich, thick and sweet ale, and enjoyed the flavors that are so rounded and yet distinct.
In addition to KBS, which is aged in bourbon barrels, the Spring had several other Founders Brewing Co. beers on tap that day and usually has at least one on. Someone also brought a bottle of Utopia, an epic beer from Samuel Adams, to sample. That was pretty amazing too.
I'm glad to see more KBS coming to the area. And Scotty's has some interesting menu items and a good beer menu, so this should be a fun event.
Krystal Vivian, Jeff Parrott and Sarah Duis contributed to this report this week.