Decuis coming to Electric Works

May 3, 2019

Joseph Decuis, the fine-dining restaurant in Roanoke, has joined the roster of tenants for Electric Works in Fort Wayne with a new, high-concept eatery.

Pete Eshelman, a Decuis owner, on Thursday told The Journal Gazette the new restaurant planned for the former General Electric campus just south of downtown will feature a casual style with an extensive wine list, small plates and Wagyu beef.

The beef will come from animals raised with traditional Japanese practices at the Joseph Decuis Wagyu Farm near Columbia City, he said.

It’s a “Wagyu and wine bar,” Eshelman said, adding the restaurant will be “affordable” with offerings in the $10 range and up. 

No name was announced for the restaurant, but Eshelman said it would continue the Decuis brand.

Decuis is also affiliated with the Farmstead Inn, a country inn at the farm, and the Inn at Joseph Decuis, a bed-and-breakfast in Roanoke.

“The fit is I think Electric Works is going to be a huge boon to northeast Indiana. It’s taking an iconic property and breathing new life into it. It’s going to be awesome,” Eshelman said.

The restaurant plans to start small and lease about 2,000 square feet, he said. Plans are to build on Electric Works’ emphasis on culinary arts, as wells as Decuis’ focus on farm-to-fork cuisine. 

Under consideration is having food cases at the eatery so patrons can buy what they try and prepare it at home. That’s similar to the concept at the Decuis’ Emporium in the same block as the Roanoke restaurant. 

Eshelman said Decuis had been in conversations about opening a Wagyu eatery in other cities : New York, Chicago and New Orleans among them.

“We were just about to do that when we were approached by Kevan (Biggs, a partner in the Electric Works development) and said, ‘We’ve got to do it here.’ 

“We’re really committed to building a local food economy,” added Eshelman, who owns Decuis with his wife, Alice, and his brother Tim.

In a statement, Biggs called the vision of the Eshelmans “inspiring.” 

He added: “Indeed, we’re thrilled to work with Pete, Alice and Tim to further and more fully develop the role Electric Works will play in bringing more healthy, affordable and accessible food options to our community.”

The Electric Works complex along Broadway south of downtown contains more than 1.2 million square feet in 18 historic buildings on 39 acres.

The developers must meet leasing deadlines that are outlined in their agreement with the city.

Developers envision office, educational, innovation-related, retail, residential, hotel and entertainment uses for Electric Works space.