La Dolce Vita

Arbor at The Bradley hotel in downtown Fort Wayne offers a modern take on the quintessential eats of northern Italy, combined with the classic American steakhouse.
Sep 12, 2022
Karla St. Myers

La dolce vita — An expression that translates from the Italian as “the sweet life.” Many associate the phrase with a vague idea of a picturesque life in Italy and, when you visit Arbor at The Bradley hotel in Fort Wayne, you’ll find just that.

Located on The Bradley’s ground-level, Arbor is the hotel’s culinary heartbeat, serving the finest Italian-American classics in a chic, modern setting. While the hotel has been in business now for a little over a year, Arbor opened for dinner recently in April 2022. 

“The vision was to create an Italian steakhouse to fulfill an opportunity to bring an elegant, yet comfortable Italian restaurant to the downtown Fort Wayne market,” says Brent Pope, general manager at The Bradley. “Hotel guests and locals alike are pleasantly surprised to find such a gem located right inside the hotel.”

On par with the rest of the boutique hotel’s furnishings, Arbor boasts exceptional décor, courtesy of co-owner Barbara Bradley Baekgaard. Local artwork adorns the walls throughout the hotel, and the Arbor private dining room features artist Theoplis Smith III, known as Phresh Laundry, who is recognized widely for his murals downtown. You’ll find subtle nods to Fort Wayne everywhere, even in the restaurant’s name, which is rooted in the city’s abundance of treelined trails and parks. 

The restaurant’s design isn’t the only thing that’s rich in flavor. Arbor’s menu is impressive, curated using only the highest quality ingredients like fresh, seasonal produce and prime cuts.

“Our pizza dough is made in our beautiful, brick pizza oven and we make all of our pastas in-house,” says Pope. “The menu is a la minute. The stuffed ravioli dish is a delicate, light seasonal delight and the Bolognese is served with wide, flat noodles that just melt in your mouth.” 

Guests can choose from a variety of dining options, including the whimsical main dining room and bar, seasonal dining al fresco on the patio or, for larger gatherings, the private dining room.

The restaurant is open for breakfast, too, featuring delectable dishes like the bananas foster French toast, a croissant with fried egg, crispy prosciutto, basil, burrata and tomato, a variety of pastries, or go for the mashed avocado toast with charred peppers and herbs. No matter your craving, Arbor can deliver. 

Located on the corner of West Main and South Harrison streets, The Bradley is proud to be a part of downtown Fort Wayne’s tremendous growth and development.

“This city was a great place to grow up in,” recalls Pope, a Fort Wayne native. “It had many offerings of a larger city while still providing the charm of a small town. That being said, there was rarely an occasion to visit downtown since so many of the attractions were held on the outskirts. Upon my recent return to Fort Wayne, I was blown away by all of the amazing developments; Parkview Field, The Landing, riverfront trails, Promenade Park, a growing arts campus, various festivals and so much more. I knew The Bradley was positioned for long-term success being in such a growing and enthusiastic downtown environment.” 

Portland-based hotel owner and operator, Provenance Hotels, appointed Pope as general manager of The Bradley in May 2022. He brings with him nearly two decades of hospitality experience and has worked in various cities with national brands, most recently as the general manager of the Courtyard and Fairfield hotels in Noblesville, Indiana. He is confident, though, that The Bradley is truly something special.

“Having the guidance and support of both Barbara and Provenance was the clinching factor in my decision to join The Bradley Hotel,” he says. “Through this partnership, the team here has full confidence and the ability to make decisions needed to offer our guests and visitors an exquisite, first-class experience.” 


Address: 204 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802

Phone: (260) 800-8685



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