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CURRENTS Dig into Duneland: Eat, Play, Shop, and Stay
13 LAUNCH PAD 16 Welcoming New Members
MAKING WAVES Duneland Chamber Events
ON THE COVER Tracy, Kevin, and Henry Scott
MEET THE TEAM
DUNELAND TODAY IS PUBLISHED BY Duneland Chamber of Commerce 220 Broadway • Chesterton, Indiana 46304 www.dunelandchamber.org 219.926.5513 Publisher/ Duneland Chamber of Commerce Contributing Editor/ Heather Augustyn Managing Editor & Graphic Designer/ Beth Kelly, Duneland Chamber of Commerce Photographer/ Kyle Telechan Copy Editor/ Kelly Sieman
TO ADVERTISE: Contact Linda Crawford at 219.926.5513 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Heather Augustyn / Contributing Editor Heather Augustyn is a Chesterton native. She is a continuing lecturer of composition at Purdue Northwest and was a newpaper journalist for 12 years. She has published seven books on ska music and lives in Chesterton with her husband and their two sons, Sid and Frank.
Kyle Telechan / Photographer
Kyle Telechan, photographer, has done freelance work for the Times of Northwest Indiana since graduating from Indiana University in 2007 and has over 11 years of experience in photojournalism. His interest in nature, architecture, and urban decay drives much of his non-photojournalistic work. Kyle currently lives in Portage with his wife, Elise. Beth Kelly / Managing Editor & Graphic Designer Beth has over 16 years of experience in the design and publishing industry. A lifelong resident of northwest Indiana, Beth currently lives in Chesterton with her children, Jacob and Everly.
CURRENTS: DIG INTO DUNELAND
Whether you’re a culinary connoisseur or a classic chowhound, the cornucopia of restaurants in Duneland is sure to delight. Challenges have only made Duneland restauranteurs more resourceful and stronger. The doors, and outdoor spaces, are open with new selections on the menus, as well as favorites flying from the kitchen. LUCREZIA 428 S. Calumet Rd. Chesterton, IN 46304 (219) 926-5829 www.lucreziacafe.com
LEMON TREE MEDITERRANEAN GRILL 356 Indian Boundary Rd. Chesterton, IN 46304 (219) 926-8733 www.lemontreegrill.com
At Lucrezia, owner Nada Karas is grateful to loyal customers and an exceptional staff in helping to get through the past year. “After 21 years of running a well-oiled machine, we, like many other places, had to reinvent ourselves. We will never be ‘normal’ again. There will be a ‘new normal’ for the restaurant industry. New restaurant design will space tables further apart and outdoor dining space will be more common and desirable. Our outdoor dining space has always been popular, but we see that it has become even more popular due to the pandemic. This lends us to believe that we will need to expand our outdoor dining to accommodate the ‘new normal’ customer preferences,” she says. Customers respond enthusiastically to the quality and service at Lucrezia, as Karas notes. “We have received so many favorable accolades for Lucrezia from many news publications like the Chicago Tribune and Midwest Living Magazine. We appeared on the trendy Chicago foodie show, Check Please! and we have won The Best of the Region for #1 Italian Food for many consecutive years. We are pleased to announce that we were voted the #1 spot again in 2021, plus the #1 Best Chef is right here in Chesterton—our own Jeremy Branshaw. Jeremy is doing great things at Lucrezia and is a major asset in the role of executive chef. Also, our executive at our Crown Point location, Dylan McRae, was voted #2 Best Chef in the Region. We also won #1 Best Wait Staff and Matt Roper at our Crown Point location was voted #1 Best Male Bartender. We are happy for our staff who works hard to have received the recognition. It is a strong acknowledgement that we are doing something right.” Lemon Tree Mediterranean Grill is also a local favorite and owner David Wodrich says summer will be bursting with flavor. “Our patio area is a popular dining spot, especially as summer gets warmer, so we’re adding more tables to our outdoor seating and we invite people to come and hang out with us. We’ve worked hard to make it a safe environment and we also cater to the carryout crowd. This keeps our business afloat and keeps our customers safe,” he says. For summer seasonal selections, make sure to try the sizzling shrimp protein.
A server pours a glass of wine for patrons on the patio at Lucrezia Café in Chesterton.
CURRENTS: DIG INTO DUNELAND
CRAFT HOUSE 711 - 2 Plaza Dr. Chesterton, IN 46304 (219) 929-5570 www.crafthouse.beer
ABBIOCCO AND LUNA 600 Gateway Blvd. North Chesterton, IN 46304 (219) 728-1442 www.abbioccoeats.com
WAGNER'S RIBS 361 Wagner Rd. Porter, IN 46304 (219) 926-7614 www.wagnersribs.com
Dana Malone, co-owner of Crafthouse, welcomes guests outside this summer as well, in addition to safe indoor space. “People are itching to get back out and things have turned around. We have more outdoor seating and we offer the same quality we always have. We are consistent and you know if you come here, you will get good food and good service every time. Our staff is dedicated. Even though the supply chain has been disrupted considerably, we have revised to balance value, so we had a temporary menu during those times, but we have added customer favorites back in the menu,” Malone says. Drea Ailes, executive manager at Abbiocco and Luna, says the challenging times have not impacted business. “We have been super fortunate. We have a good regular base who supports us really well. We do weekly features to change up the menu with seasonal specials. We do live music upstairs and we encourage people to go up there because it is open air. We have our tables downstairs spread apart so people feel comfortable, too. We also offer curbside carryout and have been doing catering to be accessible to everyone including business lunches. Everything from here is made from scratch, from our sauces to pizza dough, pastas, desserts, and it’s all quality food.” Wagner’s Ribs is always a hometown favorite. Dine-in, take-out, and even catering options make delicious ribs, kabobs, steaks, sandwiches, burgers, salads, and entrees like meatloaf and barbecue chicken easy to grab on the go, or with friends at the outdoor patio. All food is homemade and this family-owned business serves over 150,000 pounds of ribs every year. Since 1988, Wagner’s Ribs has served the most award-winning ribs in the State of Indiana. El Salto Mexican Restaurant, owned and operated by the Mendoza family, is known for their famous margaritas as well as their authentic Mexican food and superior service. The fiesta continues this summer on the patio and safe indoors, so bring your appetite for queso fundido, sizzling steak fajitas, or tacos Michoacanos. You can also bring the fiesta home with El Salto’s catering which includes complete food preparation, beverages, and full china service. There is also a professional design team for floral and lighting, and staff and equipment ready for every need.
Abbiocco interior bar area.
EL SALTO MEXICAN RESTAURANT 757 Indian Boundary Rd. Chesterton, IN 46304 (219) 395-9890 www.elsaltorestaurant.com
Chef's Special platter at El Salto Mexican Restaurant.
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CURRENTS: DIG INTO DUNELAND
CHESTERTON BREWERY 1050 Broadway Chesterton, IN 46304 (219) 728-6558 www.chestertonbrewery.com
MAIN STREET TAP HOUSE 119 S. Calumet Ave. Chesterton, IN 46304 (219) 250-2364 www.mainstreettap.com
Vernon Brown, owner of Chesterton Brewery, says summer is hopping with activity, all for a good cause. “We are having more outdoor activities which are in conjunction with Duneland Distillery, which will be open end of July. We have a parking lot at the distillery and so you’ll start seeing more outdoor events featuring cooking from our barbecue grill. We also have outdoor seating at Chesterton Brewery which is open and in the center of the Factory. There’s a nice breeze and we have shady and sunny spots for people. Plus, what’s special about our business is that we give a lot of money to nonprofit organizations, so every time you spend a dollar here you are helping someone in need,” says Brown. Brandon Bennett, owner of Main Street Tap House, has brought the self-serve industry to Duneland and is partnering with other locations to host monthly pub crawls. He states, “This is a one-of-a-kind adventure and opportunity to explore craft beers, wines, seltzers, and cocktails from our self-service beverage system. Main Street Tap House enables faster, more efficient access to beverages by allowing customers to pour their own drink and pay by the ounce. Also, we offer Main Street Tappetizers such as wings, fries, onion rings, fried pickles, and soft pretzel sticks but also allow you to carry in food from any of our local restaurants. We host live music on the Main Street stage and host open mic every Thursday night that attracts many local musicians. Additionally, we offer a large private event space on the second level that can be rented out for any party you are looking to host. Lastly, we have monthly themed Pub Crawls where we partner with Running Vines and (219) Taproom. We sell tickets for each Pub Crawl and guests dress up to be able to win gift cards and prizes.
Bar at Chesterton Brewery
RUNNING VINES WINERY 101 Broadway Chesterton, IN 46304 (219) 771-9463 www.runningvines.com (219) TAPROOM 109 S. 3rd Street Chesterton, IN 46304 (219) 728-1381 www.219taproom.com
Nicole Caylor, owner of Running Vines, pours a glass of wine.
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CURRENTS: DIG INTO DUNELAND
Everyone knows that one of the best features of Duneland is, well, it is dune land—natural landscapes created by the hand of glaciers and time. Nothing soothes the spirit like solitude and communion with nature and the outdoors invites us all to take a walk on the wild side. WESTCHESTER BIRD SANCTUARY 1150 S 11th St Chesterton, IN 46304 (219) 808-2700 www.westchesterbird.org
The Westchester Bird Sanctuary has literally transformed a public dumping ground into a respite and destination for flora, fauna, and folk through the dedication and labor of volunteers. It is now a gorgeous landscape for hikers, picnickers, and, of course, dozens of species of birds. Board President Mary Kaczka says that one of the main attractions of this preserved land is its accessibility to Duneland. “It’s really in the middle of Chesterton and it’s accessible to the people. We’re pretty much surrounded by neighborhoods and homes and schools. I always like to see the kids from the neighborhoods who ride their bikes on our trails and see this natural area. It’s a sanctuary for not only the birds, but the people. A lot of people come and park and spend a little time here. It’s open from dawn to dusk for anybody to come. We have a picnic shelter and people come to eat and be outdoors. We even have a group of ladies who come and play cards and have lunch here.” Kaczka says that the restoration of the land continues through the labors of their volunteers. “We’ve had a lot of support from Rotary, Kiwanis, Boy Scouts, and we certainly couldn’t have done this by ourselves. It really has been a community of people who have helped us make it what it is. Our garden areas on the north side of the parking lot were planted by one of our volunteers, Terry Hoover, who has been working this perennial garden. Each year it just gets better and better. He is now working on a butterfly garden on the west side of the parking area. He will save plants and transplant them from other areas and come summer those two garden areas will really be beautiful. The Chesterton Garden Club did some initial planting there but Terry has really been working it,” she says. She continues, “One of our other volunteers, Bonnie Swarner, and her daughter Susan have held educational events out here, like scavenger hunts, and the whole idea of these educational programs is to have the family get outdoors. We’ve also been doing programs with the area schools, especially Westchester Intermediate since they’re across the street, and high school biology classes.” But the land has really gone to the birds. One volunteer spotted 21 different birds at the Sanctuary, Kaczka says, which bodes well for those who come with their own set of binoculars and spend some time on the edge of the open water.
Canadian geese and a variety of other bird species frequent the preserved and restored wetlands at the Westchester Bird Sanctuary.
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CURRENTS: DIG INTO DUNELAND
INDIANA DUNES TOURISM 1215 N. St. Rd. 49 Porter, IN 46304 (219) 926-2255 www.indianadunes.com
INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL PARK 1050 N Mineral Springs Rd Chesterton, IN 46304 (219) 395-1882 www.nps.gov/indu/index.htm
INDIANA DUNES STATE PARK 1600 N. 25 E. Chesterton, IN 46304 (219) 926-1952 www.in.gov/dnr/state-parks/ parks-lakes/indiana-dunesstate-park
Attracting visitors to the beaches and beyond is a labor of love for the staff of Indiana Dunes Tourism, but Michelle Senderhauf, communications director, says that Dunelanders are exceptionally fortunate to have such splendid escapes at their doorsteps every day. “We’re really lucky to live where we do, right by the Indiana Dunes National Park and the Indiana Dunes State Park. There are 15,000 acres of space alone in those two parks and a lot of other places in the country don’t have those assets, so it’s a perfect place for outdoor activity,” she says. New this year is the Diana of the Dunes Dare, which Senderhauf explains is the sister challenge to the 3 Dune Challenge. “The 3 Dune Challenge is a 1.5 mile climb up the three tallest sand dunes at Indiana Dunes State Park. The Diana of the Dunes Dare is a trail at West Beach in honor of Alice Mabel Gray, also known as Diana, and there is signage explaining who she was and displaying photos. The dune has been renamed Diana’s Dune and there is a selfie station at the bathhouse. We are hoping to get people out to that beach because the Indiana Dunes State Park gets so busy in the summertime. The Indiana Dunes National Park will also begin hosting events again this summer, so there will be ranger-led tours by appointment only.” At the Indiana Dunes State Park, former Property Manager Michael Rea says there have been a number of improvements. A half mile of Trail 2 will feature a raised boardwalk that has been recently installed. There is also a new bird feeder pond and waterfall at the nature center, as well as a new flowering savanna species flower bed installed in front of the nature center. For those who have accessibility issues, the park has acquired three new ATV trail-accessible chairs that have been generously donated by Friends of Indiana Dunes.
Hikers walk through the woods on trail 10 at the Indiana Dunes State Park.
CURRENTS: DIG INTO DUNELAND
Shopping by ordering online and receiving a box on the front porch gets pretty dull pretty quickly. It’s always more fun and fulfilling to touch and try on before purchasing the things we adorn our homes and ourselves with, so step into Duneland to shop ‘til you drop. Machelle Wagner, owner of Chelle’s, says they have some exciting new products and workshops this summer. “We 211 Broadway brought in a new line of handbags from Spartina. They say, ‘Greetings from Lake Michigan’ and they show spots like Chesterton, IN 46304 Chicago and Ogden Dunes, and they have a little dot saying, (219) 928-3001 ‘You are Here’, and you can put that on your purse if you had www.chellesonline.com a great time at these locations. We also carry Hey Dude shoes and personal care items like bath bombs from Cait + Co and the Patchology line of facial masks, lip gels, and eye masks, and Hello Mello loungewear which is great for sleep or street since you can wear these outfits out and still be comfortable.” She says they have also been introducing some new features, including Second Love consignments. “People can bring in consignment pieces if they’re not wearing something anymore. The highest priced item is $40 and the lowest is $5 and it works out really nicely. We started it in November. We have also started our workshops again for creative release. We have workshops on birdhouse painting, window refurbishing, furniture painting, metal flower buckets, trinket dishes, and more.” O’Gara & Wilson Antiquarian Booksellers, a store that Saul Bellow once called the best bookstore in America, is a welcoming place to browse and spend some time. Jill Wilson, owner of O’Gara & Wilson along with her husband Doug Wilson, explains, “Every time someone comes into our shop, they will find something different, as we are constantly refreshing Founded in Chicago in 1882, O'Gara and Wilson Antiquarian our stock with new acquisitions of secondhand books, Booksellers is located in downtown Chesterton. prints, maps, art, and small antiques, continuing a tradition that dates back to our founding in 1882.” Flower Cart brings sunshine into every season, but this summer there is more blooming than just flowers with plenty of ways to bring nature inside and keep it outside. The garden is both a personal and communal sanctuary and the Flower Cart offers merchandise to accent these natural spaces. Statuary and sculptures take gardens to the next level and make wonderful gifts, as does the selection of jewelry, accessories, and household items throughout the store. CHELLE'S
Flower Cart is blooming with gifts for home and garden, and, of course, flowers.
Gifts, clothing, and other items await shoppers at Chelle's in Chesterton.
O'GARA & WILSON, LTD. ANTIQUARIAN BOOKSELLERS 223 Broadway Chesterton, IN 46304 (219) 728-1326 www.ogaraandwilson.com
FLOWER CART 145 S. Calumet Chesterton, IN 46304 (219) 926-8615 www.flowercartchesterton.com
CURRENTS: DIG INTO DUNELAND
Duneland has always been a destination for visitors as well as locals looking to explore the region. Despite the challenges over the past year, Duneland’s lodging locations are active and welcoming those who want to get away, even if it’s just outside one’s own home. RILEY'S RAILHOUSE 123 N. 4th St. Chesterton, IN 46304 (219) 395-9999 www.rileysrailhouse.com HILTON GARDEN INN 501 Gateway Blvd Chesterton, IN 46304 (219) 983-9500 www.chesterton.hgi.com
SPRINGHOUSE INN 303 N. Mineral Springs Rd. Porter, IN 46304 (219) 929-4600 www.springhouseinn.com
DUNESWALK INN 1491 N. Furnleigh Ln. Chesterton, IN 46304 (219) 728-6393 www.duneswalkinn.com
Richard Riley, owner of Riley’s Railhouse with his wife Annmarie, says they have been embracing travelers throughout the pandemic and they always have their welcome mat out for new guests. “We are fully open. We have five rooms and last summer was one of our busiest summers, Covid notwithstanding. We had a lot of local visitors looking to escape, though not any international visitors. We look forward to this summer and the new market and easing the mask requirements so we can get back to normal.” At Chesterton Hilton Garden Inn, Sales Manager Hailee Norton says they have gone to great efforts to keep guests safe and cozy. “We invite guests to stay with us amid the pandemic with the help of the Hilton Clean Stay program. We go above and beyond the standard expectations to keep our hotel safe for our loyal guests. After a challenging year, we are the place in town to come relax in a safe and clean environment where you can take advantage of our indoor pool and hot tub, as well as our Garden Grill Restaurant and Bar,” she says. Cara Howard, manager at Springhouse Inn, says they are also working hard to cater to guests and they have big plans for the future. She states, “Our strength is that we are secluded and tucked in the woods, but we’re still located near the highways and near downtown Chesterton and Porter. We recently took possession of the Speakeasy so we have a lively bar and we’re looking to get the kitchen open to offer food, too. The banquet center is fully operational and can seat up to 240 people. All of our rooms have scenic views of the woods and river.” Stephanie Killian, owner of DunesWalk Inn with husband Ari, invites guests to stay for a retreat in the Dunes. “We are seeing great enthusiasm from our guests and everyone feels more comfortable getting out and about and exploring the world again. The Dunes is still enjoying its infancy as a National Park and people are excited about it. DunesWalk borders the National Park so our guests are steps away from hiking and biking trails, three minutes to the beach, a short drive away from the National Park’s Visitor Center, and very close to the Indiana Dunes State Park as well. DunesWalk has always been a place for family and friends to gather together and this year we have a substantial increase in the number of full building rentals. We are the perfect place for your vacation. We are seeing the Dunes as a stopover for longer road trips across country and travelers are seeking adventures along their routes and choosing the Dunes and DunesWalk Inn to explore,” she says.
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RESPOND. RECOVER. REBUILD. United Way of Porter County
Whether it’s a flood, a fire or a financial crisis, recovery doesn’t happen overnight. In the midst of everyday emergencies, United Way and our partners support residents with local resources and practical solutions to real problems. We’re helping to combat crisis every day. Will you help?
DONATE TODAY Visit unitedwaypc.org/donate YOU LIVE HERE. YOU GIVE HERE. IT STAYS HERE. ©2020 United Way of Porter County
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