For nearly 15 years, T-Bones Pier-11 has been serving fine food and cocktails at the Blue Heron Inn. Founded by John Diedrich, a long time restaurateur and local entrepreneur with a history spanning nearly a half a century in LaPorte County, T-Bones is now owned and operated by John’s daughter, Ida Kmiecik, and nephew, Tony Schutz. They continue John’s legacy of service and quality. Rooted in tradition, Focused on the future. Welcome to T-Bones!
In the early 90s as a teenager, Chef Tony began his career here in LaPorte, working with his uncle John at the Silver Palace Banquet hall, and then on to Roskoes, a longtime fixture on Pine Lake. His love of food drove him to New York, where he obtained his culinary degree at the Culinary Institute of America. Upon graduation, Tony returned to the midwest as a Sous Chef at MK in Chicago, and on to Las Vegas, a restaurant mecca to this day. He has deep experience as a chef at some of the finest Las Vegas eateries, including Nove Italiano at the top of the Palms, to stripSTEAK at Mandalay Bay. Tony returned to Northwest Indiana in 2021, with a mission to partner with his cousin Ida and carry on his Uncle’s legacy. When you visit T-Bones, know that your meal is being overseen by a true professional, with a passion for his craft.
After years in teaching, Ida was ready to open a new chapter in her life, and the family business was waiting for a fresh perspective and dedication to customer service. Ida delivers on that promise every day. After taking over the Blue Heron’s Boat Rental business in 2019, Ida partnered with Chef Tony to assume operations at T-Bones in 2021. You can always count on a smile and her trademark “Hieeeee”. You can likely see Ida’s husband, Mark, and their 4 children pitch in and help in the crazy summer months.