Executive Chef Brandon McCarthy and General Manager Barry Jenkins Tapped to Open New Midwest Comfort Food Concept in Fort Wayne  FORT WAYNE, IN (January 21, 2019) – Conner’s Kitchen +…

Executive Chef Brandon McCarthy and General Manager Barry Jenkins Tapped to Open New Midwest Comfort Food Concept in Fort Wayne

 FORT WAYNE, IN (January 21, 2019) – Conner’s Kitchen + Bar, Fort Wayne’s newest downtown restaurant, is set to bring Midwest comfort food and an energetic and approachable destination this March. The lively and welcoming restaurant and bar will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with offering hangout-worthy happy hours and weekend brunch.

Conner’s Kitchen + Bar is located in downtown Fort Wayne on the corner of West Jefferson Boulevard and Harrison Street, immediately next to the Courtyard Fort Wayne Downtown and the new Hampton Inn & Suites Fort Wayne Downtown set to open in July.

Following a complete remodel, it replaces Champions Sports Bar and is the concept’s second location in Indiana. White Lodging developed the concept in-house and first launched Conner’s Kitchen + Bar in downtown Indianapolis in 2018.

Bright and airy by day and colorful and warm by night, the décor is built around a beautiful open bar centering the restaurant. One side of the restaurant will offer soft-seating with low-lying lounge-style couches and chairs perfect for socializing with friends. Seating also will include oversized banquettes along the windows. A private dining room will be available for groups of up to 30.

“Comfort food, craft beer and craft cocktails, we’re going to serve food and drinks that everyone loves – only better,” said Barry Jenkins, general manager. “We’re aiming to offer our guests the best happy hour and weekend brunch spot in Fort Wayne. It’s a high bar, but we’re up to the challenge.”

Jenkins is an army veteran and joins Conner’s Kitchen + Bar with more than 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry, including his most recent experience as the general manager of Tucanos Brazillian Grill.

The menu will be directed by Executive Chef Brandon McCarthy, who joined Conner’s Kitchen + Bar from the Tippecanoe Lake Country Club in Leesburg, Indiana, where he served as executive chef for the past three years. He previously worked in culinary roles at the Oak Hills Country Club and Hilton Hotels in Omaha, Nebraska. He is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Arts.

 Nosh from Sun Up to Sun Down

Starting from sun up, Conner’s Kitchen + Bar will offer Lemon Buttermilk Pancakes that are sweet, but not too sweet, and topped with fresh blueberries and lemon syrup. Feeling nostalgic? Try the thick-cut Bacon, Egg and Cheddar – a twist on your classic drive-thru breakfast sandwich with aged cheddar and peppered bacon.

House-made Cornbread Muffins, Lump Crab Hushpuppies and Smoked Chicken Wings will make the weekend brunch buzzworthy. The must-try Fried Chicken and Waffles come complete with honey butter and bourbon maple syrup.

For a lighter lunch fare, Conner’s Kitchen + Bar will offer its Green Goddess, complete with kale, snap peas, celery, avocado, pistachios and herb dressing. Or for the mightier appetites, guests will be able to try the P.I.G., an in-house smoked pulled pork sandwich with thick-cut bacon, aged Swiss, Carolina gold sauce and bread and butter pickles.

Guests will find comfort at dinner with Hickory Smoked Baby Back Ribs or Southern Fried Chicken with a hot-honey drizzle. Not to be undone by the favorite Baked Mac and Cheese, complete with cavatappi noodles, thick-cut bacon, English peas and a parmesan crust. Lighter dishes include the Grilled Salmon with brown butter mustard glaze, snap peas and quinoa pilaf, and Fish Tacos topped with pico de gallo, guacamole, baja sauce and elote-style creamed corn.

Crafted Cocktails

Happy hour and brunch are nothing without something to clear the palate. Conner’s Kitchen + Bar will offer expertly crafted cocktails alongside craft beer and old standbys. Try a Blackberry Pineapple Sidecar with Starlight Bourbon (distilled in Starlight, Indiana), lemon juice, pineapple and blackberries, or maybe the Toasted Apple with mescal, toasted cinnamon syrup and apple cider soda.

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White Lodging, established in 1985, is one of the leading ownership, development, and management companies in America. An innovative trendsetter, the organization’s portfolio includes convention, urban lifestyle, and suburban select hotels with more than $1 billion in managed revenue. White Lodging operates more than 90-premium hotels, 30 restaurants and 30 brands in 20 states. Success knows no boundaries at White Lodging, where associates and leadership have consistently earned superior guest satisfaction scores, top market share and industry-leading profit margins while recruiting the best, brightest, and most passionate professionals in every discipline for three decades. White Lodging is a proud winner of the 2018 & 2019 Gallup Great Workplace Award.