“What?!”

I had to exclaim that after my co-worker, Cindy Larson, told me the owner of Taiwan Express, 820 Goshen Ave., Fort Wayne, is closing the restaurant Aug. 31.

The design of the planned roundabout going in at the area known as Five Points, where Goshen, Sherman Boulevard and Lillian Avenue spiral off, isn’t affecting the restaurant’s building, but takes a portion of the parking lot.

Nonetheless, owner Joanna Ea said they’ve decided after 21 years on Goshen and seven years before that elsewhere that they don’t want to own a restaurant anymore. They haven’t renewed their building’s lease and will be looking for jobs, she said.

It’s my neighborhood Chinese restaurant, where I can stop after work to get the sweet and sour shrimp combo platter with an added order of crab Rangoon.

“They make the best crab rangoon, I could go there just to eat those!” says Yelp reviewer Leslie D. of Burbank, California.

Me too!

Another Yelp reviewer says it serves “Americanized Chinese food.” Hence, probably the “Express” in the restaurant name, Sarah L. of Chicago. Just sayin’ I have been known to enjoy a good Taco Bell Nachos BellGrande on an occasional late night and not confuse it with some “authentic Mexican” dish.

I’d only started getting the Thai iced tea, and I just tried the large round Chinese doughnuts.

Goodbye, $5.59 lunch specials 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Sweetwater unveils unique music vending machine

Sweetwater has unveiled what it’s calling a one-of-a-kind resource designed to help musicians when they need it most.

Designed with touring and gigging music-makers and technicians in mind, the first Sweetwater 24-Hour Gear Store is now open for business inside the lobby of the Clyde, a state-of-the-art music, performance and arts venue in Sweetwater’s hometown of Fort Wayne.

The Sweetwater 24-Hour Gear Store is an extension of the elements that have helped propel the retailer to become the top choice of musicians and pro audio experts of all types, according to a company statement. A highly curated assortment of gear and accessories is available at the push of a button. Included are 20 different items ranging from guitar strings and microphones to batteries and gaffer’s tape.

“We want to make sure that nothing stands in the way of a performance,” according to Sweetwater Chief Marketing Officer David Stewart. “If an artist needs something at the last minute, we can provide it on the spot. This reinforces our commitment to do all we can to help our customers make music and to always exceed their expectations.”

The Sweetwater 24-Hour Gear Store isn’t a typical vending machine. It features a dynamic touch screen that hosts pictures and short descriptions for each item available. Additionally, customers can pay with all major credit and debit cards as well as both Apple and Google Pay. Customers can also obtain a copy of Sweetwater’s 600+- page gear resource, ProGear, from a display stand immediately next to the machine.

“This is a great way to combine innovation and convenience to help better serve our customers,” explained Sweetwater founder and CEO Chuck Surack. “Touring musicians might find themselves with an emergency just before or during a show. We can provide essentials and they never have to leave the venue.”

Sweetwater hopes to install similar 24-Hour Gear Stores in other locations.

More Laundry to air

I found out more about the refurbished Canton Laundry sign on Broadway.

Plenty of Broadway Stroll shoppers got a chance to see the rehabbed sign July 28, but the work wasn’t planned for any event in particular, Julie Wall, owner of the Hedge, who a few years ago bought the Broadway building where the sign is, told me via email.

“It was something that needed done a long time ago,” she wrote. “It ... was a project that Chris Henry wanted to take on. He wanted to bring the sign back to life!”

It may have been the sign for the Frank Ning Laundry (1935-70) before the Canton Laundry (1975-96), she wrote.

Pro Strip did the work, which includes some new parts that could not be repaired and the white letters are now lighted at night.

“It hasn’t been a lighted sign for some years now, probably since the 90’s. It had neon added at one point and now has LED lights,” she wrote.

Wall said she plans this summer to add a plaque under the sign that will tell of the history of the building.

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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