In 2013, I purchased my very first home in Historic Southwood Park on the South side of Fort Wayne. I immediately fell in love with the tree-lined streets and various styles of architecture. Barnhart
Since then, my love for the area has only grown. I now volunteer on our neighborhood’s Board of Directors as the Beautification Chair and maintain the neighborhood’s 10 pocket gardens. I am also a member of the Packard Area Planning Alliance (PAPA), and I chair the Marketing and Communications Committee. PAPA is a coalition of 18 member neighborhoods located in the 46807 and 46802 zip codes that work towards a set of collective goals to help make and keep south-central Fort Wayne an idyllic place to live, work and play.
The 07 is filled with front porch communities where you know your neighbors' names, can view a wide variety of public art, and take in the beauty of our historic homes, tree-lined streets, and public greenspaces. We are also fortunate enough to have a wide variety of locally owned small businesses to patronize.
As someone who has lived in The 07 for more than 7 years, here are 7 things to do, eat, and see in my part of town, even during the pandemic.
1. Explore neighborhood greenspaces
Because I have frequented it in nearly every stage of my life, Foster Park
drips in nostalgia for me. Access to such beautiful and well-maintained greenspace has been invaluable to my family, the surrounding neighborhoods, and city at large during the pandemic.
Because we live so close, we can walk or ride bike to and around the Foster Park loop straight from our home. My kids love to make a pit stop at the playground and gardens before heading back home. In addition to Foster Park we have Kettler Park
, Packard Park
, and the Lutheran Park Gardens and Fountain
Barnhart's daughter enjoys a day at Foster Park.
Stroll the gardens at Foster Park.
Kettler Park in The 07 provides local families with entertainment during COVID-19.
Barnhart's daughter enjoys the swingset at Packard Park.
Children will enjoy the splash pad at Lutheran Park.
2. Grab a bite to eat (and drink) at the Friendly Fox
I have enjoyed frequenting the Friendly Fox
over the years, and this year has been no different. The Friendly has frequently served as a meeting spot for PAPA and neighborhood business, but of course, the pandemic has changed all of that. Throughout 2020 and into the new year, The Friendly has made sure to take every step they could to keep their staff and patrons safe. This has not gone unnoticed or been undervalued by area residents.
Along with coffee and pastries, this neighborhood favorite serves breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner throughout the week. The Friendly just opened a limited number of seats for dining in during COVID-19, too, and you can reserve a table by calling ahead. If you’re not comfortable with that, you can still order food and coffee to go! In the warmer months, they have an expansive outdoor patio that's open for dining, as well. Our family favorites are the snickers latte, blueberry lavender lemonade, housemade eggrolls, and their delectable made-from-scratch cheesecakes.
A mural on the side of the Friendly Fox at 4001 S. Wayne Ave.
Grab a hot drink at the Friendly Fox.
Barnhart shared an uplifting experience at The Friendly on social media.
3. Make your own public art tour
The 07 is home to many artists and arts-minded residents in Fort Wayne, so in addition to our beautiful greenspaces, we get to enjoy a wide variety of public art. For instance, the Better Together mural by artists Theopolis Smith and Matt Plett on the side of Tasty's Pizza
at 4302 Fairfield Ave. brought me great comfort and hope in the early days of the pandemic.
What's fun about living in this neighborhood is that if you wander the winding neighborhood streets, you'll find lots of interesting pieces of public art, from decorated fire hydrants to full-scale murals, and elaborate touches on the architecture of area houses.
To enjoy other striking murals, visit Wunderkammer Company
at 3402 Fairfield Ave. and Growing Minds LLC
right across the street.
The Better Together mural by artists Theopolis Smith and Matt Plett on the side of Tasty's Pizza at 4302 Fairfield Ave.
Murals on the side of Wunderkammer Company at 3402 Fairfield Ave.
Murals in The 07 at the corner of Fairfield and Nuttman Ave.
4. Pick up brunch or lunch at Davey’s Delicious Bagels at the Summit
The Summit can be a slightly confusing place to navigate if you’ve never been there. Formerly owned by Taylor University, the campus is now home to a variety of ventures and organizations, including a commissary kitchen space called CookSpring
, which helps local foodies turn their ideas into restaurant concepts. This brings me to my next point: You need to check out a startup at the Summit serving delicious steamed bagel sandwiches: Davey's Delicious Bagels
Dave offers a special "07" sandwich
featuring a locally made GK Baked Goods
everything bagel, griddle egg, turkey bacon, avocado, and American cheese! And you can order bagels and soups safely during the pandemic, too. Simply place your order online, and you’ll receive text messages from Dave and his staff with an ETA for when your order will be ready as well as where to go for masked curbside service.
Davey's Delicous Bagels serves a variety of creative steamed bagel sandwiches.
5. Treat yourself (and your pooch) to Feders Meats
Something you'll notice around The 07 is that many residents in these neighborhoods own dogs. Luckily, Feder’s Meats
(formerly Albrights), a family-run meat processor and market, offers the best bones you can buy for your pooch. These raw, frozen bones drive my dogs crazy and are an inexpensive, nutritious treat that come in small, medium, and large sizes.
While you’re there, pick up some jerky, Feders bacon, and midnight blue popcorn for yourself. I promise it won’t disappoint!
Feders meat dog bones and midnight blue popcorn.
6. Rejuvenate at the Health Hut
With a household full of curly heads, high-quality natural hair products are high on my necessity list. This black-owned business
has a variety of natural health and wellness products, but my favorite I’ve tried so far is the Repair and Restore Hair Milk. It works well on our three different hair textures and has a delightful scent. The Owner, Dave (also an 07 neighbor), is incredibly personable and can help you find the natural wellness products you’re searching for!
The Health Hut is a black-owned business that carries a variety of natural health and wellness products.
7. Keep an eye out for the return of Bravas & The 07 Pub!
The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on small businesses, particularly restaurants and pubs. Bravas
and The 07 Pub
are two local gems that are currently closed, but plotting comebacks in 2021. Over the years, they have made extraordinary commitments to The 07 community, and I can't wait to be able to hang out with them again soon.
Bravas makes my all time favorite burger, The Snooooop (smoked gouda, bacon, aioli, lettuce, onion), and as a potato lover, their Bravas Patatas (thrice fried chunks of potato) hit the spot every single time. The 07 Pub serves up delicious bar food in a cozy neighborhood atmosphere. I bet you’ll make friends there as soon as you walk in the door. Watch their social media accounts for details this year.
See you soon, guys!
Bravas closed its doors in 2020, but is plotting a return for 2021.
The 07 Pub is a neighborhood favorite at 3516 Broadway.