Water finds a way, and so does Smoke. That’s why Smoketown Blues BBQ and Belle Estanni Bake Shoppe are combining their culinary crafts to become Valpo’s newest cafe. In a move to meet the overwhelming demand for the two culinary establishments, Smoketown Blues and Belle Estanni are combining the restaurant and bakery into one unique cafe called Belle Estanni Bakery and Cafe.

Both Smoketown Blues and Belle Estanni were established around the unique talents of Chef Mireya Rodriguez. While both the bakery and downtown restaurant were only ten minutes apart, maintaining the highest standards in both locations became increasingly more difficult. Great baked goods and great gourmet foods rely on the finest ingredients and culinary greatness. Unfortunately, Chef Mireya could only be at one place at a time!

Belle estanni baked goods on display at Smoketown Blues

Belle Estanni Bakery & Cafe is across the Street from Valpo’s Central Park.

If that wasn’t enough, Chef Mireya hand-picks the ingredients for both her hand-made sauces and baked goods from local sources and farms. The growing demand made it impossible to keep up, and with more and more restaurants serving Belle Estanni Baked Goods, Senior Partner Steve Niemela had to find a solution.

Lowering the standards wasn’t an option, and neither was shutting down either the bakery or the restaurant.

Water Finds a Way… and so does Smoke!

Chef Mireya combines her baking talents with her culinary skills.

But need is the mother of invention and water finds its way….or in this case, smoke finds its way! Belle Estanni and Smoketown Blues have merged to become one very innovative and unique cafe.

With the merger of the two restaurants, which they like to consider marriage,  fans of Smoketown Blues can order mouth-watering meats served on fresh, homemade buns.

But it gets even better, fans of Belle Estanni can now shop Mireya’s legendary cakes, cookies, and pastries in Valpo’s quaint downtown.

But if serving ultra-fresh meats prepared with homemade sauces on fresh buns made sight sounds too good, wait until you try the sauces. Freshly made and just spectacular! The Smoketown Blues sauces and Belle Estanni sauces will even be sold online.

Smoked Meats Served on Homemade Bread | Valpo’s New Attraction

What can be better than the smell of homemade bread? We can’t imagine anything that can improve the downtown experience more than the scent of homemade bread and smoked brisket. But if the idea of serving gourmet food on homemade bread seems like something new, it’s not! It’s been around since before sliced bread. The uniqueness comes from the challenges of creating both food and bread from scratch. Ask any chef, it’s very challenging and beyond the scope of most restaurants.

After all, there’s only room for one chef in the kitchen!

When California restauranteur Steve Niemeli first met Mireya, he immediately saw a gifted culinary talent. According the Niemela, “I’ve seen gifted bakers and talented chefs. but what makes Mireya unique is that she shares the same talent for both.”

We think combining her talents is a marriage made in heaven.

Restaurateur Steve Neimela (seated) brings California cool to his adopted home of Valparaiso.

According to Niemela, “Cooks must constantly use creative thinking skills to amend recipes on the fly, but bakers typically use specific formulas for their recipes. If you enjoy having creativity and flexibility in your work, then you may want to choose cooking over baking and vice-versa. Mireya is classically trained in both, but more significantly, talented in both. We think Northwest Indiana will love our new direction!

Cakes, Cookies, and Craft Beer
picking up the cake will come with enthusiasm

As a cafe with burgers, brisket, and BBQ, and Valpo’s best outdoor dining location, Belle Estanni will continue as a Valpo destination for craft beer.  From the picturesque bar overlooking Central Park to the spirited outdoor dining space, Belle Estanni continues the same spirited experience fans of Smoketown Blues have learned to love.

Overlooking Central Park, a fresh selection of IPAs and craft beers will continue to be offered. But it’s worth circling back to the real superstar of this Cafe. Chef Mireyas gourmet foods and talent for baking.

Belle Estanni Bakery & Cafe | What to Expect

Modern, Southern Kitchen

Delicious made-from-scratch Pancakes, Waffles, or Southern-style Biscuits and Gravy from Belle Estanni Bake Shoppe.

Smoketown Blues Menu

SmokeTown Blues BBQ favorites in our delicious buns

Homemade Bread

Wedding Cakes, Cookies and Pastries

Featured desserts will include our Double Chocolate Cake, Smoked Ice Cream, and more!

Craft Beer and Cocktail Bar

Outdoor Dining in Front of Central Park


wedding catering with one of the Valpo Restaurant members will make the wedding special and memorable

Catering-Learn More 

Private Parties
Pikk's Privaterooms for parties, christmas events

As a member of the Valpo Restaurant Group, we work shoulder to shoulder to create wonderful culinary events and parties. For your next private party, we can cater the event in the private rooms of such restaurants as Pikk’s (pictured) Don Quijote, Schiralli Art, or any other member.

Private Rooms Learn More 

Christmas Parties

The Valpo Restaurants are having a party to raise money for charity and celebrate great community

Christmas Parties-Learn More

Party Platters


Party Platters-Learn More 

Smoketown Blues Website
Belle Estanni Website