One of Fort Wayne’s best-kept secrets is Curly’s Village Inn on Bluffton Road. Well, maybe not so well kept to those of us who visit the quaint Irish pub. The owner, Mary Armstrong, and her partner, Irishman Dudley O’Carroll, lend a down-home and extra touch to the long-time establishment which sits high above the St. Marys River just across from Foster Park.
The Inn can be entered from one of two entrances – one fronting onto Bluffton Road and the other at the north end. What is noticeable as one looks around is that the Inn has no windows on the street side, but that is no loss. The views are at the back of the restaurant and lounge, and what magnificent views they are.
Although the Waynedale News just recently did a story on the completion of the deck, it has been around for about three years. The deck, with a capacity of 40, perches above the St. Marys River with a view that rivals Nick’s Riverside Lounge on Superior Street albeit on a smaller scale. Small tables with umbrellas to shelter the patrons are located on the deck with extra seating around a ledge with a lip wide enough to hold drinks and dinner fare. An all-weather TV completes an atmosphere of informality and friendliness.
Mary and Dudley and their employees welcome all who enter as though they have known them for years. The Irishman still has his lilting accent, and Mary will give you a history of the Inn and her late husband’s role in basketball.
Most of the activity takes place on the first floor; however, a trip upstairs past photos of its previous, well-known owner, Curly Armstrong, leads to a nice-sized room which can be rented for private parties. Again, the view is amazing from an even higher lookout over the river.
Few establishments recognize the value of our rivers as natural and beautiful attractions. Most discussions focus on changing the river environment to accommodate businesses – Curly’s does just the opposite as it seamlessly integrates itself into the environment of the St. Marys River. Curly’s attractive but modest-sized deck provides its patrons with an even greater opportunity to appreciate not only the Inn and its friendly staff but also the peacefulness and tranquility of a stroll onto a deck hovering over the St. Marys River – truly all-decked out.