Ruhe152 – Towne Post Network

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Bistro, Brewery & Ddistillery is a local favorite

Screenwriter / Amy Lant-Wenger
Photographer / Jubilee Edgell

Many returning customers, as well as new customers, have said that Ruhe152 has become the restaurant Nappanee never realized it needed.

The lush, progressively designed and elegant environment of Ruhe152 sits prominently in the heart of the historic downtown district. The building in which this establishment is located has been an integral part of the downtown commercial landscape for more than a century. Ruhe152’s experienced and award-winning staff have worked tirelessly to create a dynamic and welcoming atmosphere, where visitors won’t just enjoy a meal. They are most certain to bask in the total immersion of the full Ruhe152 experience. Even the name chosen for the company, the use of the word Ruhe, alludes to a feeling of relaxed camaraderie, derived from a German expression. The 152 refers to the block address.

Zach Lucchese, who served as executive chef for nearly a year, is always keen to showcase his culinary skills with traditional dishes like burgers and chicken, as well as more seasonal dishes. Since its opening in 2019, Ruhe152 has become a destination location for customers near Wa-Nee and remote metropolitan areas. The brasserie, distillery and bistro combination invites diners to unique flavor combinations and menu options that often feature locally sourced ingredients. And the staff brings together a wealth of expertise to serve entrees and appetizers as sophisticated as cold cantaloupe soup, tipsy toddlers with beer-infused queso and miso-ginger glazed salmon, for to name a few.

Another popular Ruhe152 company attraction that lends a welcoming ambience is the spacious bar and adjacent distillery. The bar also offers more than a few distinctive tastes and treasures straight from the Ruhe Brewery. The beers are handcrafted, which brings out the talents of David Michael, who leads the creative process as head brewer. Bartenders are ready to serve a diverse range of cocktails, using homemade whiskey, rum and vodka. The Ruhe Distillery also includes “Tranquila,” which features 100% agave spirits like tequila, but since it’s not created in Mexico, the distillery staff had to change the name a bit. All of these liquors can be mixed into custom cocktails for a drink that cannot be found or replicated elsewhere.

Beers from the Ruhe brewery are also in high demand and quickly satisfy every discerning palate. Many beers hailing from the local brewery have been showcased at various public venues, such as beer festivals, and the awards and accolades keep pouring in.

Ruhe152Ruhe152 owner Scott Tuttle reflected on how far he’s come in bringing the distillery to its premiere in 2021, a situation that has come with some unexpected surprises.

“We were able to fully open our distillery in 2021, after having to wait 18 months after opening (Ruhe152), due to an archaic Indiana regarding breweries that also happen to be distilleries,” says Tuttle. “It was exciting. We have our own vodka, run, spiced rum, gin, white whiskey and our traditional whiskey, which has been in barrels for almost a year now, with about another year left. All house drinks contain our house-brewed spirits, unless specific brands of alcohol are requested, and these have all been accepted by our customers. In fact, some said they liked ours better than their previous favorites. All our spirits are available by the bottle at Ruhe152.

As Ruhe152 begins to transform its menu into one with a fall twist, Lucchese and Michael sat down with General Manager Bobbi Gongwer to talk about another highly anticipated development that sits just around the corner, for so to speak. It could be considered Ruhe152 with a twist.

The building adjacent to Ruhe152, directly to the west and located at the corner of Market and Locke streets, has been purchased by the owner, and major projects are underway. The new space will be transformed into a relaxed local bar, where people can spend time relaxing with friends over shared aperitifs and sipping the famous Ruhe beer. The menu will consist of lighter dishes designed to pair well with specific types of beer.

They hope that by summer 2023 the kitchen will be extended to accommodate the addition of pub favorites and banquet preparations, the latter allowing Ruhe staff to launch a catering function. They envision a “brasserie” space, a more relaxed pace, and amenities like big-screen TVs for sporting events. Eventually, they said, there are plans to add music from live bands and game material, with special themed events like trivia nights also being considered. Ruhe 152 also embarked on a recent collaboration with Biebs and Ash of Goshen, which was very well received and generated tremendous attendance. They are optimistic that these local partnerships will continue in the future.Ruhe152

Ruhe152 is open Tuesday to Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. They are closed on Sunday and Monday. To make reservations or for more information, call 574-832-7843 or visit them online at The restaurant is located at 152 W. Market Street in downtown Nappanee.

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