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Fresh menu kicks off changes at Flanagan’s

Last month, Flanagan’s (6525 Covington Road) debuted a new menu – its first total menu revamp since the restaurant opened in 1989.

“We’ve gone from the ’80s to 2012, just like that,” says owner Pete Giokaris, who opened the restaurant.

The menu now has photos and a new font, and it was printed in a print shop. The previous menu had clip art and was made on Flanagan’s office printer.

“The response has been huge,” Giokaris says.

The restaurant has seen an immediate difference; Flanagan’s is known for its ribs and, since including a photo of the ribs on the menu, sales have increased from 300 pounds of ribs a week to 500. New York strip steak sales have increased 40 percent since adding images.

While plenty of old favorites are still on the menu, Giokaris estimates there are about 25 new dishes. New customer favorites have been the loaded waffle fries (two kinds of cheese, bacon, green onions, ranch and sour cream), chicken bruschetta (chicken breast topped with spinach, red onion, tomato, garlic and two kinds of cheeses) and the Guinness burger (which is marinated in Guinness and toped with onions, mushrooms, bacon and cheddar).

The menu revamp is the first step in a year of changes for Flanagan’s, Giokaris says. The restaurant has plans to remodel its restrooms, refinish the bar floor, ditch the wallpaper and lighten some of the wood throughout the building. Giokaris also wants to update the antiques on the walls. The décor now ranges from the 1700s to the 1940s; he wants to add more items from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.

He’s currently looking for a 1978 microwave.

New menu items

•Renaissance (1033 E. Tillman Road) debuted a new menu last month, along with new hours of operation. The restaurant is now open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. New menu items include a variety of wraps, including gyro and chicken cordon bleu wraps, a ribeye steak sandwich and breakfast options such as an egg sandwich and chicken breast omelets.

•McAlister’s Deli (1310 S. Illinois Road) debuted some new menu items recently. The new King Club includes smoked turkey, Black Forest ham, bacon, two types of cheese, lettuce, tomato, light mayonnaise and honey mustard. The sandwich is served on toasted ciabatta bread. The deli also offers blackened-chicken salads, sandwiches and spuds.

New restaurants

At least two new restaurants have been approved to operate by the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health, though phone calls made to both establishments Monday were not answered: Ichiban (4036 Coldwater Road) and Blue Stack Smokehouse (3620 N. Clinton St.)

At least two restaurants have filled out a receipt for plans at the health department. A receipt for plans is necessary before any construction can begin on a new restaurant: Pita Village, at 511 E. Dupont Road, and a Subway at 4935 Bluffton Road.

Closings

The health department has filed out-of-business reports for the following restaurants:

•El Asadero, at 3422 N. Clinton St.

•Chi Town Fish & Chicken, at 7505 S. Anthony Blvd. Originally, the restaurant had been closed for construction with plans of reopening but hadn’t filed the proper paperwork with the health department. When the department contacted Chi Town, the owner indicated the restaurant would instead close with the possibility of reopening.

The Dish features restaurant news and food events and appears Wednesdays. Fax news items to 461-8893, email jyouhana@jg.net or call 461-8462. For more restaurant news, go to The Dish blog at www.journalgazette.net/thedish.

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