Local Man Does His Part to Rejuvenate Downtown (NBC33 VIDEO)

By Eric DeFreeuw

April 24, 2013 Updated Apr 24, 2013 at 5:46 PM EST

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.nbc33.com) – It is well known by now that the city of Fort Wayne will be renovating and redeveloping land west of Parkview Field within the next few years. But one local man is taking it upon himself to freshen up the neighborhood right now.

The land falls in the downtown block between Jefferson and Brackenridge (north to south) and Fairfield and Ewing (east to west). But across from that zone along Brackenridge you’ll find a one-of-a-kind shop named “Rudy’s.” It’s owned by Rudy and Sue Mahara, and it appears to be just the beginning of a rehab to the downtown neighborhood.

Rudy Mahara says he actually stumbled upon the area after leaving a TinCaps game on opening weekend six years ago. After walking out of the ballpark he says, “I thought to myself what a shame, we have the best of Fort Wayne next to the worst of Fort Wayne.” So roughly three years ago he and his wife decided to purchase property on Brackenridge to convert to an office space for his company. Then as they often do, plans changed so the space instead became home to their new business venture.

"Downtown Development was very helpful and excited about seeing us try to do something to start the ball rolling here,” Mahara describes. “After Harrison Square started to pan out it was great to see that the city got behind this effort by wanting to do something with the houses across the street."

The Maharas have encountered their fair share of road blocks along the way, but hope to open the doors to Rudy’s by the first weekend in August.

The vision of the shop is to offer a family-friendly place for tasting wines and beer from around Indiana as well as chocolates from DeBrand’s. Rudy’s also includes a humidor fully stocked with cigars and a back patio where patrons can have a smoke or spend time enjoying the beer garden.

Eventually Sue Mahara has hopes of using living room space in the front of the shop for various crafting activities like knitting and scrapbooking as well.




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