Hall’s Restaurants has announced that after 75 years of operation, it’s closing its Original Drive-In.

The restaurant at 1502 Bluffton Road, Fort Wayne, will close Dec. 23, the company announced Nov. 30.

It’s the second property Hall’s has closed since the COVID-19 pandemic began. In March 2020 it announced the closure of its Don Hall’s Guesthouse Hotel and Conference Center, 1313 W. Washington Center Road, which the family owned since 1981. It’s being converted by new owner YWCA into space for its offices and addictions recovery program.

Like Gardner’s restaurant downtown, the Original Drive-in, which was remodeled in recent years, was a meeting place for cruising teens who liked to “buzz Hall’s” and took generations of their families there.

It was my go-to sit-down restaurant when I lived in the 46807 ZIP code. I remember going there when I was little and getting the Big Buster platter. Getting a spot on Sunday was always hard because of the crowds.

Hall’s Restaurants said on Facebook that it was “a proud fixture of the renaissance of the Quimby Village.”

Don Hall was a visionary, always looking forward, and we, his descendants, must do the same. Today we are announcing that the season for the Original Drive-In is coming to an end. December 23rd, 2021 will be Hall’s Restaurants last day of operation at 1502 Bluffton Road.

“The Hall Family has made that decision as part of a transition to support new endeavors, for new generations, and hopefully 75 more years serving our loyal customers at our other locations, both current and future.

“Thank you to all our employees, past and present, for your efforts and dedication. Thank you to our customers for your past and continued patronage and for understanding the difficulty of this decision.”

Gift of the city

Want to give a taste of Fort Wayne to a client, new employee or a friend? Visit Fort Wayne has plenty of goodies, many made by local artists and businesses.

Go to the visitors center at 927 Harrison St., or check out www.visitfortwayne.com and click on Shop.

You’ll find well-known favorites Vera Bradley totes and accessories and DeBrand Fine Chocolates, along with artwork, apparel and other items.

Sniff a bit of Christmas with Cedar Creek Candles, a woman-owned business in Grabill, in scents of Gingerbread Latte, Merry Grinchmas and Gnome of the Holidays. Each $20.

VimAnnVigor Ornaments, made by a local graphic designer, include the Fort Wayne skyline on metal with a ribbon for $15.

Wear the city over your heart with the Fort Wayne Skyline Long Sleeve Tee Shirt, $28, made in Indianapolis by United State of Indiana.

Make-A-Wish pop-up sho

p planned

The Northeast Indiana Make-A-Wish Council will host a Holiday Pop-Up Gift Shop at Fort Wayne’s Jefferson Pointe.

The pop-up shop will be in space H-7 next to Bath & Body Works at the mall, 4130 W. Jefferson Blvd. The shop, which will feature affordable home décor items, will be open 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Dec. 3, 4, 10 and 11 and 10 a.m.– 6 p.m. Dec. 5 and 12.

All proceeds will benefit Make-A-Wish, which grants life-changing wishes to critically ill children. Currently, 87 children in Northeast Indiana are waiting for wishes to be granted. Wishes granted have included a wide variety of experiences and gifts, including trips, shopping sprees, playsets and electronics.

Those who are not able to visit the pop-up shop can also donate at www.oki.wish.org/popup.

Lisa Esquivel Long is a veteran Fort Wayne journalist and Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly editor. To submit items, send email to llong@kpcmedia.com or call 260-426-2640. ext. 3311.

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