Three days before the 10th anniversary of opening The Chubby Trout, owner Cam Snyder bought a new building for the future.
The popular restaurant and bar on the north side of Elkhart opened Feb. 15, 2006, and has built a following for its craft beer, sushi, fish and massive desserts.
Snyder has been looking at other properties to potentially move away from the corner of C.R. 6 and Cassopolis Street, where he leases the building.
After looking at seven or eight properties in the last several years, he got a deal done with Angie Dandino. The Dandino family opened D’Antini in 1986 as a white tablecloth restaurant in a former horse stable at 3421 Plaza Court. For a time, it was the Golden Egg Pancake House, but has been vacant for several years.
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Snyder announced the move on Facebook this morning.
Construction starts Monday, Snyder said, and he’s hoping to be open at the new location by mid-June.
“We finally put a deal together,” he said. “We’re excited about the move.”
He’s gathering wood from local barns to be used in the remodeling. The new kitchen will be about the size of the current Chubby Trout dining room and he’s dreaming of ways to capitalize.
The dining room will seat 150 instead of 100. The restaurant will go from being open six days a week to seven, he said.
There will be a standalone sushi bar in the new Chubby Trout, building on the success of that offering over the last 10 years.
The bar overall will be larger and it’ll serve Chubby Trout’s own beers. Snyder has entered an agreement with a Michigan brewery to allow him to brew beer there. Snyder brews in his garage and has hoped to open a nanobrewery, but he’s been interviewing brewers to oversee the process for Chubby and Flippin’ Cow, the burger bar Snyder also owns and operates with his family at 51330 S.R. 19, Elkhart.
On the food side, Chubby Trout will offer Chubby Fresh Express, an express lunch available quicker than usual menu items, he said. There will also be smoked meats, including brisket, salmon, prime rib and pulled pork.
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Snyder has been looking for a new location for a while and rumors have occasionally circulated about a move as new development has happened in the area.
“Sooner or later somebody’s going to come along with a checkbook,” he said.
Snyder said he likes the history of the former barn, which has withstood the development that’s happened around it. “This has history. The Dandino family has history,” he said.