FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A Fort Wayne family restaurant is settling into its new digs. Willie’s Café opened on Monday, Oct. 4th at its new location at 3434 North Anthony Blvd. Their new location replaces the Chrome Plated Diner.
Owner Kim Campbell says the move from their old location on St. Joe Center Road has been in the works for a long time. The pandemic also delayed the move by roughly a year. The old restaurant stands on a piece of property that has been sold to Fort Financial Credit Union. The old location was branded as ‘Willie’s Family Restaurant’ and was a part of Campbell’s life for 21 years. While it was hard to leave, the staff and customers are enjoying this new chapter.
The restaurant set out to create a new brand and identity at their new location. They decided to rename the new place ‘Willie’s Café.’ Campbell says the restaurant has been blessed with very loyal customers. They have been sent floral arrangements and the surrounding area has embraced the new place. They have been very busy during their first week of operation, with a steady stream of old and new customers. Campbell says they have tied the old and the new together by paying homage to the past. Their old sign and pictures of the business from many years ago are displayed in a corner of the restaurant.
The process to move into the new location was not easy. They gutted the place and had to hire new staff members. The staff worked as a team to design a new modern look and implement new features. An exciting addition is the community table in the center of the restaurant. It allows for larger groups to gather around a long table.
Wille’s Café is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Friday night fish fry continues as well, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. They offer a full menu for all business hours, which was something they did not offer in the past. They also cater and you can order carryout. They have several new menu items, including fried food for breakfast, in-house hash, and Florentine Benedict. Campbell is also planning on adding some of her hometown favorites, including Kentucky Hot Brown and homemade Kentucky Derby Pie. Campbell’s son, Nick, is also working on adding some new dishes of his own to the menu soon. Mariah Coates, the Front of House Manager, likes the addition of avocado toast to the menu.
Campbell is proud to own a small business that employs individuals from all walks of life. Small businesses are the backbone of the community and she encourages you to eat local. Campbell is appreciative of the support and considers her loyal customers like family.
If you would like to learn more about the restaurant, including daily specials, visit their Facebook page.