Restaurant, Winery Continue to be Roanoke Draws

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ROANOKE -

A Huntington County town of around 1,700 has made a name for itself as a culinary destination. A Fort Wayne Town Hall edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick featured Joseph Decuis and Two EE's Winery in Roanoke, two attractions that have gained acclaim inside and outside the state. Joseph Decuis Chief Executive Officer Pete Eshelman talked about the restaurant's early beginnings in the mid-1990s as a private dining facility for his sports and entertainment insurance business. Since 2000, the restaurant has been open to the public and Eshelman says the insurance business was a catalyst for the town's rebirth.

"What's kind of cool, though, is that the insurance company created -- really the money, the wherewithal to fix up the town -- but the restaurant and what Two EE's is doing is really the draw, turning that little town into a destination town," he said. Joseph Decuis is more than a location for fine, "farm to fork" dining experience, it has branched out to the family's nearby farm, which produces Wagu beef and includes a bed and breakfast, and an inn in Roanoke.

Two EE's is located on 40 acres with trails and vineyards. Its amphitheater, owner and head wine maker Eric Harris says, has turned into a draw for 600-700 visitors during summer weekend nights. The winery's popularity is also growing and Harris says Two EE's is on pace to produce 40,000 gallons this year.

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