Curly's Village Inn has been serving up drinks and dishing up eats at our riverside location for more than 40 years.
When David and Tina Brown purchased Curly's Village Inn from David's mother, Mary Armstrong, in 2012, they assumed responsibility for not just a business but the family's commitment to offering good food and drinks in a friendly, inviting atmosphere. Curly Armstrong's local fame, and Mary Armstrong's hard work, established our bar as a perennial favorite among our Waynedale neighbors and throughout the Ft. Wayne area, and our second-generation owners David and Tina are dedicated to continuing, and building upon, this valuable legacy.
David stated in a Journal-Gazette profile of Curly's that "if it works, we stick with it."
"What works" includes our Famous Onion Rings and hand-breaded classic Indiana Pork Tenderloin sandwiches as well as such contemporary twists on traditional pub fare as our lower-fat grilled Pork Tenderloin Sandwich and Chicken Wraps, popular Sliders, and summer cookouts on our recent patio addition.Long-time patrons and new visitors all enjoy our wide selection of domestic and imported beers, creative mixed drinks, sporting events on new HD TVs, Karaoke nights, and live entertainment.
We also continue to offer beautiful vistas of the St. Mary's River and Foster Park from our second floor party room, perfect for birthdays, company parties, anniversary events, reunions, and more.
David & Tina Brown, Co-Owners
After graduating from Bishop Dwenger High School, co-owner David Brown moved to San Jose, California, where he lived and worked until 2009. He moved back to Fort Wayne to manage the bar in 2009, working with his mother, learning the business, and developing a passion for the Village Inn.
Tina Brown has been tending bar part-time at Curly's for more than 20 years, including the 15 years when she also worked full-time for Patterson Riegel Advertising. Now as a co-owner, she is putting her advertising and PR skills to use for the Village Inn. A Fort Wayne native, Tina is a graduate of Wayne High School & attended Ivy Tech to study business management.
Tina and David are committed to expanding and building the Village Inn business, with the hope of one day, like Mary, handing the establishment down to a third Armstrong generation. Their 2011 wedding reception was held in the upstairs party room and was a testament to the couple's dedication to the Village Inn as well as each other
Curly & Mary Armstrong, Founders
Paul "Curly" Armstrong, a retired Indiana basketball legend and Ft. Wayne celebrity, along with his wife Mary Armstrong, founded Curly's Village Inn in 1969.
A charismatic community figure, Curly served up sports stories and suds to regulars and sports fans, while Mary managed the kitchen and office. After Curly's passing in1983, Mary continued as a hands-on owner, working almost daily at the bar for 42 years. She retired in 2012.
A life-long Ft. Wayne resident, Paul "Curly" Armstrong was an Indiana high school, college and professional basketball star in the 1930s and 1940s. He was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980.
At 5'11," Curly played guard and forward at Ft. Wayne's old Central High School, where he led his basketball team to two state Final Four games--the 1936 championship game and a 1937 semi-final game. His star continued to rise at Indiana University. During 1940, Curly's junior year, he helped the Hoosiers win their first national title, defeating Kansas, and earned All-Big Ten Conference honors.
In 1941, Curly signed as a guard with the Ft. Wayne Zollner Pistons (today's Detroit Pistons). He averaged 8.3 points per game during his rookie year and was named MVP at the basketball world championship tournament. After his second season, he joined the U.S. Navy and played on the Great Lakes Navy team under Butler University's legendary coach Tony Hinkle. The Navy team went 47-3 and won the National Service Title.
Returning to the Pistons in 1946, Curly led Fort Wayne to a World Championship against the Oshkosh Stars. His career with the Pistons, which included a 1948-49 role as player/coach, continued into 1951, when he suffered a career-ending knee injury.
After retiring from basketball, Curly helped Fred Zollner manage the Zollner Piston-sponsored Knot Hole Gang, which gave thousands of Ft. Wayne school children opportunities to participate in swimming and skating and to attend free Piston games.