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New bar at Valpo’s Strongbow Inn sips on microbrew popularity

Updated: January 9, 2014 9:56AM



VALPARAISO — One of the city’s oldest dining institutions has joined the small brewery scene in the city.

On Friday, Strongbow Inn at 2405 U.S. 30 celebrated the opening with a ribbon-cutting for the Bow Bar on the west side of the building.

The new bar features 20 draft beers and 30 bottled beers, and co-owners Ryan Richardson and Tom Collins Jr. plan to begin brewing beer at their County Line Orchard in Hobart and bring it over.

“We were looking to draw a younger crowd” by adding small brewery beers, Collins said. “This would give us an opportunity to open a new customer base.”

The two bought the restaurant, which has been a part of Valparaiso’s history, in July.

Richardson said they want to preserve favorites, such as the annual turkey dinners, while growing.

Although the Bow Bar’s patio is new, the bar itself has been around for a while.

Some will recall it as the old bakery area before that was moved to the customer entrance five or six years ago.

“It was 13,000 square feet of dead space,” Richardson said.

They added the 13,000-square-foot club room to the dead space to create the bar, and they are converting the old bar into a new club room.

Collins said the old bar couldn’t handle overflow from weddings and events, but it is being turned into the new club room.

To commemorate the 28 seats that were part of the original dining room (which still exists in the center of the current restaurant), Strongbow will honor 28 Valparaiso institutions in photos in the new club room.

The Bow Bar officially opened the Friday after Thanksgiving, a week before the grand opening.



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