Operator of city’s newest restaurant eager to dig in
— James D. Wolf Jr. August 10, 2013 11:04PM
Updated: September 12, 2013 6:38AM
VALPARAISO — For the recipient of Valparaiso’s 10th three-way liquor license, opening Main + Lincolnway is a homecoming of sorts.
George Djurovic grew up in Valparaiso and graduated from Valparaiso High School in 1995.
“I had no idea I’d end up here, but I couldn’t be happier,” Djurovic said. “The town really supports the restaurants. People here, it seems to me, really enjoy going.”
He’s been back in the city since 2011, working at The Valley restaurant and learning what Valparaiso’s palate has become since he attended the Cordon Bleu in Paris and worked in restaurants in New York and Chicago.
Djurovic just began gutting the place over the weekend, and the menu is still being considered.
However, Main + Lincolnway will be a balance of traditional and new American cuisine, and even its name reflects Valparaiso’s past and present.
Lincolnway was the Main Street, he said.
The cuisine will pull from all the American cultures and traditions.
“We’re trying to find the balance between what’s new and the standards,” Djurovic said.
Main + Lincolnway will go into the building at 210 E. Lincolnway that housed Cornucopia Coffee Company until early this summer.
Cornucopia’s owners and Djurovic’s new landlords said they’re closing the coffeehouse after about five years because they want to retire.
“We’re ready to go have some fun,” said Rich Halstead, who bought the building with wife, Wendy, about 10 years ago.
“We ran two successful businesses out of it,” he said, referring to the antique business that was there before the coffeehouse.
Djurovic said he was looking for the right place, and the building is 30 feet wide where others downtown are mostly 20 feet wide, and the northeast corner window gives a good feel, and he wants the dining experience to begin when customers walk in.
“I want people to come in here because they want the entire experience,” he said.
Valparaiso is the place to open a restaurant and seems progressive with energy and an interest in the new, Djurovic believes.
“It’s really an exciting time to be here,” he said.