Life's Better Here: Kendallville 2013 (VIDEO)

By Eric Olson
By Jason Meyers

May 30, 2013 Updated May 30, 2013 at 11:47 AM EDT

KENDALLVILLE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) -- It’s been a busy year for Kendallville, more businesses moving in downtown…and sprucing things up thanks to a new city grant program that helps storeowners pay for improvements to their facades.

Kendallville’s downtown is fast becoming known for designer eateries and great food but other parts of town are growing as well…explosive growth in fact along the newly rebuilt U.S. 6 corridor, and new industry moving in to the Eastside Industrial Park and elsewhere…Wolfpack Chassis is a newcomer. The company builds chassis's for the RV industry.

“So they're hiring welders as they're coming out of school,” says Mayor Suzanne Handshoe. “They go to the graduation class and recruit right there.”

Wolfpack CEO Robert Frost says moving to Kendallville was an easy choice.

“Strategically it's a great location because it's centrally located, close to all our customers,” he says. “We think Kendallville’s a great community and it's got an excellent workforce.”

Industry is in Kendallville’s DNA thanks in part to the early arrival of the railroad, which early on helped convince two world class manufacturers to set up shop here. Flint and Walling began manufacturing windmills and hand-operated water pumps in the 1860's. The company's still here, still making quality pumps and accessories. McCray Refrigeration opened in 1890 and soon became one of the largest refrigeration companies in the world. For many years one-third of Kendallville’s residents earned their living at McCray Refrigeration. So Kendallville will have much to celebrate next week during its sesquicentennial…150 years of manufacturing, creating…growing. And really, no end in sight.

People in Kendallville have to eat as well. There are a couple entrepreneurs who've recently opened restaurants in the area.

Right downtown, you'll find 7 Scoops and a Bun. While you're there, you can get a hot dog, a Chicago Dog, or something called a Chupacabra dog - if you're brave enough. And as the name of their shop says, you'll be able to find some ice cream for a cold treat on a hot Summer day.

At the north end of Kendallville, Dawson's American Grill recently opened. It's the same Dawson's from Fort Wayne, but they're trying new things and adding items to the menu. They even came up with a "Fat Kid Menu," or "FKM." Nearly everything is deep fried and delicious. This is just a sampling of the good eats in Kendallville that make life a little better.

So whether you're looking for something hot or

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