Gateway Story: Over the River and Through the Wells Street Corridor

Go a few blocks in either direction of Downtown Fort Wayne’s official 99 blocks, and you can find so much new and established local food, retail, and entertainment. And anyone who’s been around awhile will tell you: just across the Ewing Street bridge is a part of the city that’s been flourishing for decades. 


There are shops to explore, restaurants galore, and so much more, including Fort Wayne’s only independent bookstore and new riverfront developments!


Here’s what you’ll find at the Wells Street Corridor—one of DTFW’s vibrant gateways:


Eat & Imbibe

From mom-and-pops to hip bars and brunch spots, Wells has a little something for everyone.


Big Eyed Fish: A Fort Wayne classic. Old-fashioned breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a few modern surprises. Bet you can guess what their specialty is—hint: it’s been voted best in Fort Wayne, and it’s in the name.


Open every day.


Clara’s Pizza King: Legendary Fort Wayne pizza joint with a cult following. Many swear by it, and the building is fun too—with swings and stained glass windows!


Open daily.


Don Chava’s: Hispanic music, complimentary chips and salsa, vibrant Mexican food, and the best margaritas this side of the St. Marys. Visit for lunch specials Monday to Friday, or meet friends after work for a happy hour. ¿Por qué no los dos?


Open Monday through Saturday.


Draft Taproom: 70s aesthetics, beer, coffee, and pizza with locally sourced ingredients. As if you needed more than one reason to make yourself a regular.


Open Wednesday through Sunday.


El Rinconcito Pupuseria: If you love pupusas, this is definitely your place. Even if you’ve never heard of a pupusa, this is about to be your place too. El Rinoncito is a go-to for El Salvadorian, Honduran, and other Central American flavors.


Their menu isn’t limited to pupusas, and the reviews speak for themselves. Open every day from 11am to 9pm.


Hop River Brewing Co.: Among the best brews in town. The community seating, pinball, board games, and so many events make Hop River an indispensable must-visit—and must-frequent.


Bonus: it’s family-friendly. Open Tuesday through Sunday.


Indiana Mexican Bakery: As delicious as it is unpretentious. Pasteles (pastries), churros (churros), y donas (donuts). ¡Venga! (Come on in!)


Open daily from 8am-8:30pm.


Klemm’s: A Fort Wayne staple. A Wells Street institution. A diner where dreams are made—especially if your dreams involve affordable, comforting breakfast classics, served with a side of nostalgia.


Open seven days a week, for the early risers until 1pm!


La Michoacana: Named after the Mexican state of Michoacán, which comes from the Nahuatl word michhuahcān, meaning “place of the fishermen.” Its menu reflects that heritage, with a variety of seafood dishes, including fish tacos and mojarra. Whatever you order, the flavors will make your mouth dance.


Open 12 pm to 9 pm every day.


More Brewing: (Coming Soon) More Brewing, out of Illinois, is building a two-story, 16,000 sq-ft restaurant and brewery two blocks from Hop River, and a short walk from Draft Taproom. Can you say “brew crawl”? Local beer enthusiasts are about to have even more brewing options to choose from. 


Ophelia’s: Brunch, dinner, coffee, and cocktails—all delivered in a cute public house and presented with Instagram-worthy aesthetics. Need I say more?


Open Tuesday to Sunday for brunch

Open Tuesday to Saturday for dinner


Tom’s Donuts: Serving fresh, delicious donuts in Fort Wayne for decades. Once you’ve had Tom’s, you will be hooked. Make it a weekend morning ritual—fun for the whole family!


Open daily at 407 W State Blvd.



Easily walkable and accessible, Wells Street Corridor is a great space for some retail therapy, with a rich history as Fort Wayne’s second oldest shopping district.


Fort Wayne Outfitters: Your trusted shop for all your outdoor adventures. They have bikes, kayaks, canoes, clothing, and all the gear you need to get out and start exploring our region’s natural resources.


G.I. Joe’s Army Surplus: Everything from military clothing to tactical gear. G.I. Joe’s is a unique find for survival products and more—with business dating back to the 1960s.


Honey Plant: The best plant shops are local plant shops. Honey Plant expertly cares for and curates every plant in stock. Pet-friendly, low-maintenance, succulents—whatever you’re looking for, they’ll help you find your perfect match!


Hyde Bros.: If you love books, you’ll love Hyde Brothers Booksellers. Classic bookshop vibes, with plenty of spots to sit and read or visit with the resident cats.


Meraki Co.: Boutique with women’s clothing, jewelry, accessories, home goods, stationery, even kids’ clothing. Picturesque and feminine. Check it out!




Nestled between phase 1 and phase 2 of Riverfront Fort Wayne, the Wells gateway is the perfect starting point for your next outdoor adventure. 


It’s surrounded by the Rivergreenway’s sprawling bike and foot trails. It’s also embossed by the St. Marys River—where you can kayak, canoe, or paddleboard (courtesy of Fort Wayne Outfitters’ rentals) or rent a boat, like the family-friendly Sweet Breeze or one of Rum Runner’s party boats. 


Choose your own adventure! But whatever you do, don’t miss out on one of Fort Wayne’s greatest assets!

Molly Conner is a Fort Wayne native and freelance writer. Having lived in Downtown Fort Wayne throughout her twenties, she loves watching her stomping grounds grow. With her love of storytelling and community in tow, she’s eager to tell Downtown Fort Wayne’s story piece-by-piece—exploring the people, spaces, and organizations that make it thrive.