Washington Street Tap Room is now pouring craft beer in downtown Valparaiso.
The craft beer bar opened at 11 Washington St., celebrating with a grand opening with the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce last week.
"The Washington Street Tap Room is a new gather and entertainment establishment which further expands citizens' choices to dine downtown," Valpo Chamber of Commerce President Rex Richards said. "Valparaiso has become a dining destination in Northwest Indiana."
Washington Street Tap Room offers a selection of more than 60 beers. It has the slogan "Indiana, Independent, Education, Beer."
It serves a rotating tap of craft beers from craft breweries, including local breweries like The Chesterton Brewery and Ironwood Brewery in Valparaiso. It also serves beer from Hoosier breweries like Peoples Brewing in Lafayette; Hop River, Trubble Brewing, and Mad Anthony Brewing in Fort Wayne; and Metazoa, Black Acre and St. Joseph Brewery in Indianapolis.
The taproom also has beer in a variety of styles from breweries like Surly Brewing in Minnesota and Chimay and Brasserie Fantome in Belgium.
The highly curated selection includes brews from smaller microbreweries like Hoosier Brewing Company in Greenwood, Lawson's Finest Liquids in Vermont and Grand Strand Brewing Company in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It's constantly offering new beers, updating its current roster on social media.
Washington Street Tap Room is currently open 3-10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 12-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 12-6 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, find the business on Facebook or Twitter.
NWI Business Ins and Outs: Nothing Bundt Cakes, Basecamp Fitness, Northwest Health doctor's office opening; Fresh to Order closed
Nothing Bundt Cake will soon open its second Northwest Indiana location on U.S. 30 by the Southlake Mall in Hobart.
The bakery focusing on bundt cakes opened its location in Shops on Main in Schererville a few years ago. Now it's looking to bring something sweet to the former Helzberg Diamonds at 2871 E. 81st Ave., in a strip mall next to Hassleless Mattress.
"Right now we're looking to open in the first week of July," said Tammy Oliver, who owns the local franchise along with Valerie Warnell.
The building required extensive renovation to turn it from a jewelry store into a bakery. While most of the interior construction is complete, not all of the equipment has arrived because of shipping delays.
The new bakery will be about 2,500 square feet or about 1,000 square feet bigger than the current Schererville location. It will employ about 25 to 30 people.
"There will be more room for baking and frosting," Oliver said. "We'll be able to have more staff. Our location here is so tiny in the back. We'll be able to work there with a larger staff."
Closer to customers
Nothing Bundt Cake specializes in cakes ranging from bite-sized to tiered.
"We sell bundt cakes in four different sizes," she said. "We have a different seasonal flavor each month. This month is blueberry. Next month it will be completely new and you'll just have to wait and see. Most of the seasonal flavors are regular like pumpkin spice in the fall or peppermint chocolate around Christmas. We just had strawberry, which was huge."
The Las Vegas-based chain was started in 1997 and has grown to 400 locations worldwide.
"I would attribute our success to the product," Oliver said. "It's moist, flavorful and high-quality. Anyone who tastes our cake knows."
The Nothing Bundt Cake in Schererville draws customers from as far away as Valparaiso and Michigan City. The franchisees decided to put a second location closer to some of their more far-flung customers.
"We've had so many requests for another location," she said. "Customers coming in from further, from Valparaiso and Hobart, have had so many requests. It's finally time to open in that area, so customers don't have to travel 30 or 40 minutes."
'A lot of visibility'
Nothing Bundt Cake searched for some time for a new location in Hobart or Merrillville and finally found one along a highly trafficked stretch of U.S. 30.
"It has a lot of visibility off U.S. 30," Oliver said. "Not everyone has tried our cakes so that visibility helps. It's a busy route."
Nothing Bundt Cakes makes cakes for birthdays, weddings, graduations, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving and other holidays. It's especially popular around Thanksgiving and Christmas both as gifts and for people cooking at home who want one less thing to worry about, Oliver said.
All of the cakes are baked fresh on-site daily.
"We make homemade cakes. People like the quality of the cake and the taste of the cake," she said. "People who sample our cake are never disappointed. It's the richness, the moisture and the flavor. It's all handmade in our bakery."
For more information, visit
nothingbundtcakes.com, call (219) 300-8570 or follow the business on Facebook.
Fresh to Order recently closed after a run of a few years on U.S. 30 near Broadway in Merrillville.
The "fine-fast" restaurant merged the convenience of a fast-casual restaurant like Panera Bread or Chipotle with the chef-driven culinary experience normally offered at a white tablecloth restaurant.
The menu featured prime steak medallions, flame-grilled shrimp, salmon, ahi tuna, crispy calamari, salads and paninis. It dramatically showcased open flames in its open kitchen to emphasize its food was flame-grilled.
A South African native of Greek descent started the small chain in Johannesburg. It now mostly has locations in the Atlanta metro, including at the CNN Center, the Cumberland Mall and the Atlanta Airport, which is the busiest in the United States.
Fresh to Order opened in 2018 at 540 81st Ave. in Merrillville, in a strip mall shared with Planet Fitness and Catch Table and Tap.
Northwest Health broke ground on the construction of a new Northwest Medical Group office in Valparaiso.
The health care provider is investing $8.3 million in the new medical facility by the intersection of Calumet Avenue and Vale Park Road in Valparaiso. It will house primary care physicians with the Northwest Medical Group.
"Northwest Health is implementing a multi-phase strategic investment to enhance patient care and address the need for access to health services throughout the Region," the health care system said in a news release. "The strategy will result in integrated electronic medical records, convenient locations, the addition of more physicians and other caregivers, and easier access to providers."
The new medical office should open in Valparaiso early next year.
"The new location in Valparaiso marks the culmination of the first phase of the investment," Northwest Health said in a press release. "Other projects in phase one, totaling more than $38 million, are new patient access points in LaPorte, Michigan City and Portage."
Basecamp Fitness recently opened its new Schererville studio near the IHOP at the Crossroads of America intersection.
The gym at 1906 U.S. 41 offers High-intensity Interval Training that mixes core, cardio and strength training. Coaches lead group classes that "push you from start to finish, helping you reach your personal best through a 35-minute hyper-efficient program."
The workouts are frequently switched up to ensure they remain challenging so people don't get stuck in the rut of a fitness plateau.
First Indiana location
The Schererville location is Basecamp's first in Indiana. It also has gyms in Illinois, Minnesota, Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, and Wisconsin.
For more information, call 219-301-2111, email
schererville_IN@basecampfitness.com or visit basecampfitness.com.
The White Castle at 800 W. Lincoln Highway at the Crossroads of America intersection in Schererville has been undergoing interior renovations.
The dining room has been temporarily closed during the construction but the drive-thru has remained open for anyone craving a sack full of sliders.
Nicky's Gyros permanently closed at 5455 US-6 in Portage earlier this year after the property was sold.
The long-running fast-food restaurant sold gyros, hot dogs, rib tops, tacos, tortas, burritos and dinner plates.
The owners sold the building, which is now Deep Blue Seafood and Chicken. The new restaurant offers seafood boils, fish, lobster tails, sandwiches, tacos and southern sides.
Bibi's Bites Wood Fired Pizza closed late last year at 302 Melton Road in Burns Harbor after the owners opted to pursue another opportunity that came along.
Available for rent
The restaurant opened shortly before the coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020 and specialized in gourmet pizza baked in a wood-fired oven. It also had smash burgers, Philly steaks, Italian beef and other sandwiches.
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