Urban Bistro to offer global fare, music in Valpo
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent January 12, 2013 11:06AM
Updated: February 14, 2013 6:18AM
VALPARAISO — What residents want in a new restaurant is a casual, family-friendly place with home cooking with a global flair, according to a study Valparaiso resident LaVeta Stephens commissioned.
By May, the city should have that across from Old Fairgrounds Park, as Stephens plans to open Parkside Urban Bistro (P.U.B.) at 1305 N. Calumet Ave.
It will offer food such as duck confit pot pies, veal shanks and Vietnamese bahn mi sandwiches. She said the food will be made with fresh ingredients (with nothing previously frozen except the fries), less salt and more spice than many local restaurants.
P.U.B. will also serve wine and beer.
“It’s a contemporary twist on comfort cuisine,” Stephens said. “It’s kind of an uptake on pub food.”
It will also be more affordable than many downtown restaurants, the kind of place to eat at more than once a week or for special occasions, she said.
Although she graduated from Ivy Tech as a chef in May, this isn’t her first foray into the restaurant business.
For the last three years, she has operated Bliss Catering and Special Events Services, and before that she managed for Indi-Illi Mexican Food Co., which owned several Taco Bells.
But this is her dream.
“I’ve waited three years for this spot,” Stephens said.
Because it was an automated laundry before it was a fabric store, it has a solid infrastructure, she said. Also, she noted the location is near a park where families go, as well as residential and commercial areas. The only other dining options in the immediate area are bars and fast-food restaurants, she said.
The recently renovated strip mall also contains a framing store and a computer repair center.
While the storefront has 2,000 square feet, the dining area will take up 1,300 square feet. Stephens plans to have a fireplace, lounge areas in the bar, and live music.
The landlord will have to convert an alley behind the building for parking, and city staff suggested repainting parking lines for more spaces.