Ever wonder how Fort Wayne, Indiana became a city?

It’s simple, really— in the 1800s, as the Eerie-Wabash Canal was being built and accessed as a major route, Fort Wayne became a major docking point for boats (hence the name “Dock Street”—the one that runs behind Columbia Street).

That activity put Fort Wayne on the map. Nicknamed “The Landing,” Columbia Street was the first major hub of activity in downtown Fort Wayne. It was home to the first post office, theatre and hotel (and probably many, many more things). It really was Fort Wayne’s first “main street,” where people gathered to dine, shop, play and so on.

Over the years, as Fort Wayne continued to grow, that activity moved elsewhere. The Landing was a staple for many, many years…   but as a city, we continued to grow in all kinds of directions, really outward from The Landing as the core.

But, now that excitement and activity is returning to The Landing.

The Future of The Landing in Fort Wayne, Indiana

The Landing Under Construction April 2019 in Fort Wayne, Indiana

The Landing is currently being redeveloped by the same people who brought life back to Over the Rhine in Cincinnati, OH.

Rendering of The Landing in Downtown Fort Wayne, IN

What does that mean we can expect? Well.

The vision for The Landing is that it becomes the center of activity. Expect it to be home offices of innovative startups and hardworkers. It’ll be home to 70 apartments

But what I’m most excited for are the street-level dining and shops.

The Bar at Nawa on the Landing in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Currently, one of my favorite places to dine downtown happens to be Nawa, located on The Landing. The Asian-fusion concept restaurant always delivers delectable plates and cocktails in a relaxed but scaled environment. And, the service is always great, which is especially important to me.

Chicken Pesto Dinner at Tolon - Fort Wayne, Indiana Restaurant

Another great restaurant that already exists on The Landing is Tolon. Fort Wayne’s first farm-to-fork restaurant, Tolon really hits the nail on the head when it comes to a warm, inviting experience with food to match.

So that’s what’s there now, as of spring 2019. But what else can you expect to experience once development has been completed?

The Landing has announced several additional concepts that will be coming to The Landing, which include:

  • Utopian Coffee
    Utopian Coffee is a coffee producer and wholesaler—and now they’re going to be opening up their first coffee shop on The Landing. I mean… more coffee. Need I say more?
  • "BBQ/Brewery"
    Another concept that has been announced is a BBQ/Brewery concept. Can you ever really have enough of either of these things?
  • "Modern American Cuisine"
    Most recently, The Landing has announced that the popular Cunningham Restaurant Group of Indianapolis will open a modern American cuisine restaurant on The Landing.

More information on all of these restaurants are expected to be released closer to their opening.

Rendering of The Landing in Downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana

And that’s all not to mention the general vibe of The Landing. The goal is for it to be pedestrian-focused, with the sidewalk level with the street. I imagine it becoming a prime place to hang out and experience the best of what Fort Wayne has to offer.

You might have to exercise your imagination to be able to truly understand what the possibilities are here. But, not for long—we'll be experiencing The Landing as soon as September 2019.