HomeBussinessNWI Business Ins and Outs: Coppolillo's Italian Steakhouse, Peach Cobbler Factory, That's...

NWI Business Ins and Outs: Coppolillo’s Italian Steakhouse, Peach Cobbler Factory, That’s a Cake, Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant, Wingstop, Physiopoint and Crew Car Wash coming; Panini & Company no longer coming; Irish Lion closing for dine-in


Related stories


The owner of the high-end Rosebud Steakhouse just off the Magnificent Mile in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood and the much-buzzed-about Rosebud in Munster’s Centennial Village will soon open a new steakhouse concept in Crown Point.

Managing partner and corporate chef Steve Coppolillo, a Dyer native, plans to open Coppolillo’s Italian Steakhouse at 1550 E. Summit St. in June.

Coppolillo and his partners bought Rosebud Steakhouse in Chicago in 2020 and have been looking to expand around the country, targeting markets like Florida, Arizona and Las Vegas. He also opened a Coppolillo’s Italian Steakhouse in Libertyville.

The 6,000-square-foot Coppolillo’s Italian Steakhouse in in Crown Point will seat about 150 diners and employ about 70 people. The restaurant will have a dining room, bar, outdoor patio and private dining room.

It will specialize in high-end steaks from Meats by Linz, the longtime Calumet City-based supplier that serves some of the the finest steakhouses around the country like St. Elmo’s, Shula’s, Jeff Ruby’s and Maple & Ash. It also will serve rustic Italian pasta dishes that were inspired by the family meals Coppolillo experienced growing up in Dyer. His mother and grandmother used to make marinara for 10 hours, letting it slowly simmer.

The menu at the Coppolillo’s Italian Steakhouse in Libertyville also features chicken calabrese, brick chicken vesuvio, pork chops marsala, lamb chops oreganato, rigatoni vodka, short rib Bolognese, tortellini carbonara, ricotta stuffed ravioli, linguini with clam sauce, dry-aged steak Italiano and peppercorn-encrusted New York Strip. Desserts include tiramisu, gelato, sorbeto, cannoli and cheesecake. 

For more information, visit coppolillos.com.

Coming soon

The much anticipated Peach Cobbler Factory will celebrate its grand opening in Merrillville on May 18.

The southern dessert restaurant will have a grand opening celebration at its new location at 610 W. 81st Ave. from 12 to 6 p.m. that day. The celebration of the new sweet shop on U.S. 30 will include free samples, music from DJ Mike DUB and gift card and prize giveaways.

The Nashville-based chain has been growing quickly across the country. It serves 12 different cobbler flavors, banana pudding, cinnamon rolls, cookies, brownies, Churro Stix, Pudd-N Shakes and Belgian waffles. All of the cobblers can be served a la mode. Drink options include sweet tea, cold brew coffee, milk and bottled water.

Local franchisees Cornelius and Cheri Henderson are opening the restaurant on U.S. 30 across from Meijer. 

For more information, find the Peach Cobbler Factory Merrillville on Facebook.

Coming soon

That’s a Cake is graduating from being a dessert trailer to a brick-and-mortar sweet shop in Hammond.

The bakery, which specializes in pound cakes, red velvet cookies and cupcakes, took over the former Paleteria Gostlin ice cream shop at 629 Gostlin St. in north Hammond. It will celebrate a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 p.m. May 23.

That’s a Cake is known especially for its double butter pound cake and has the slogan “the home of the double butter.”

Owner Kesha Mills started baking after her 90-year-old grandmother had a craving for her aunt Gloria’s pound cake while she was visiting. She invited Aunt Gloria over to bake it and learned the recipe. Originally based in Chicago Heights, it proved to be such a hit with friends, family and fellow church members that she started a catering business when her home daycare business closed.

“I had her show me how to make it,” Mills said. “People kept telling me how good it was. I love to make food that brings people together.”

She quickly gained a reputation as “the cake lady,” selling the succulent pound cakes at Ruby’s Soul Food Restaurant in Country Club Hills and farmers markets across the south suburbs. It’s been featured on WGN, “The Black Foodies” and “Black People Eats.”

Mills always hoped to have a brick-and-mortar location, and the opportunity came up to move to Hammond.

That’s a Cake makes more than 60 flavors of pound cake, including a deep-friend pound cake and seasonal flavors like pumpkin. Popular flavors include double butter, strawberry shortcake crunch and key lime.

“It’s the best cake experience you’ll ever have,” Mills said. “Everything is made with love.”

That’s a Cake sells slices of cake to go and makes custom orders for cakes. The business also offers catering, such as for weddings. It still plans to do some farmers markets and events like the Juneteenth celebration in Homewood.

It also plans to host events like ice cream socials for kids.

For more information, visit thatsacake.com, call 708-803-2128 or find the business on TikTok or Instagram.

Coming soon

Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant aims to open its latest Region location at Parish Avenue and U.S. 231 in St. John this summer, hopefully in July.

The longtime staple of Region Mexican cuisine bills itself as “a famous Chicago original.” It was founded by Mario Dovalina and Edwin Ptak in 1967 and has grown to more more than 40 restaurants across Chicagoland, with the biggest presence on the South Side in the south suburbs.

The traditional Mexican chain has seven other locations in Indiana, including in Schererville, Merrillville, Hammond, Griffith, Lafayette and Frankfort. Each is individually owned and operated. It has two restaurants in Merrillville but recently closed its longtime Valparaiso location.

It serves tacos, burritos, bonatas, fajitas, quesadillas, nachos, ensaladas, guacamole and flautas, always served with refried beans and rice. 

Physiopoint Physical Therapy is opening its fourth Northwest Indiana location, in Valparaiso.

The physical therapy clinic is opening on U.S. 30 about a mile west of Valparaiso University. It’s across from Zao Island, behind the Applebee’s.

The local physical therapy provider also has locations in Highland, Crown Point and Cedar Lake. The new clinic will employ a team of therapists who will develop individualized treatment plans to help patients move better and feel better.

It will offer services like trigger point dry needling, sports injury rehabilitation, manual therapy, post-surgical rehabilitation, chronic pain management, neurological rehabilitation, geriatric rehabilitation, medical exercise therapy, orthopedics and Pilates.

“We are thrilled to bring Physiopoint Physical Therapy to Valparaiso and to become an integral part of this community,” said Nate Kloosterman, founder and owner of Physiopoint. “Our mission is to provide hope and physical wellness through compassionate care and world-class therapy to our clients and to our team, and we look forward to serving the people of Valparaiso with the same level of dedication and excellence as our other locations.”

For more information, visit visit physiopointtherapy.com.

No longer coming

Panini & Company planned to move in next to Squigi’s Pizza on Kennedy Avenue on Highland’s north side.

But the pressed sandwich spot is no longer coming after being slapped with a stop work order by the town of Highland. Town Building Commissioner Ken Mika said the restaurateurs never got permits to work on the building.

“The stop work was initiated to get the occupant’s attention regarding some things that were going on there, and their not being responsive to phone attempts,” Mika said. “It is our understanding that the party who was to open the location got sick, and wasn’t able to proceed with following through with the business. It is our understanding that the space is for rent.”

Coming soon

Wingstop is coming to the Duneland.

Jim Dye of the Merrillville-based commercial real estate firm Commercial In-Sites represented Wingstop, which leased space in the The Galleria of Chesterton at 761 Boundary Road. The restaurant plans to open in October.

It sells Buffalo wings, chicken sandwiches and chicken thighs with a variety of sauces ranging from mild to tongue-scorching.

“Wingstop Inc. is an American international chain of restaurants that primarily sells chicken wings. With 50+ locations in Chicagoland, Northwest Indiana and South Bend, Chicagoland Wing Kings is excited to be a part of the Chesterton community and continuing to spread flavor throughout Northwest Indiana,” Commercial In-Sites said in a press release. “The Chesterton location will join their other Northwest Indiana restaurants, located in Gary, Hobart, Hammond, Merrillville and Michigan City.”

Coming soon

Crew Car Wash will open its latest Region location in Schererville.

The chain plans to invest $3 million to build a 6,238-square-foot car wash at at 637 U.S. 41 by the Lowe’s home improvement store, Town Manager Jim Gorman said. Boyer Construction Group will handle the buildout.


Vegas Vegas Restaurant and Bar closed in downtown Griffith. 

The restaurant and nightclub, at 213 N Broad St., opened in 2018.

By day, it served diner breakfast, traditional American, Mexican and Mediterranean cuisines. By night, it became a nightclub with DJs and themed nights like Chicago House Parties, Mexican Independence Weekend Parties and Lingerie Parties.

Closing for dine-in

Indiana University alumni in the Region may be disappointed the next time they return to Bloomington to hit up old haunts from their college days.

The Irish Lion Restaurant & Pub at 212 W. Kirkwood Ave. has operated in 1982 in a historic tavern dating back to 1882. The venerable establishment is not far from the square known for its pints, whiskey, scotch and traditional Irish fare like fish and chips, Celtic stew, mutton pie, coddle and Blarney Puffballs.

But it’s converting to a delivery-only restaurant, basically a ghost kitchen, after the owner retired.

“The owner of the Irish Lion has retired. Rest assured, pub favorites will still be available after two weeks and throughout the summer as the Irish Lion transitions to delivery-only, beginning on or before May 22nd,” the Irish Lion posted on social media. “We extend our heartfelt thanks to our amazing team, loyal guests, and valued business and community partners for their unwavering support, which has been instrumental in the ongoing success of the Irish Lion. Sláinte!”

If you would like your business to be included in a future column, email joseph.pete@nwi.com.

- Never miss a story with notifications

- Gain full access to our premium content

- Browse free from up to 5 devices at once

Latest stories