Tapas Cafe closed Merrillville location, moving to Crown Point

Seafood paella is one of the highlighted recipes at Tapas Cafe in Merrillville.

Tony V. Martin, The Times

Lake County's only Spanish restaurant is moving south from Merrillville to Crown Point.

The Tapas Cafe, a cult favorite that promises "serious Spanish tapas cuisine" and an "exotic trip to the Iberian Peninsula without leaving Northwest Indiana," has closed its longtime location in a strip mall at 2486 Lincoln Highway in Merrillville.  

But the small sit-down restaurant on U.S. 30, which required reservations to get a table on busy weekend nights, hasn't served its last small plate. Tapas Cafe plans to bring its paella and small plates including bacon-wrapped scallops, bacon-wrapped dates and goat cheese baked with tomato sauce to a new location at 518 N. Main St. in Crown Point.

A grand opening in Crown Point is slated for sometime this month, according to the restaurant's website. The eatery said it will rebrand itself as Tapas International Grill.

Along with Don Quijote Restaurant in Valparaiso, it's one of the few eateries in the area that serves traditional Spanish food such as tapas, which evolved from small plates inns placed over cups of sherry for travelers. The Tapas Cafe is especially known for its paella, a rice dish that's slow-cooked in a pan that originated in the Valencia region of Spain.

For more information, visit www.tapascafe.net or call 219-769-7008.

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Business reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.