Local restaurants participate in Downtown South Bend Restaurant Weeks


Starting next week, fourteen restaurants in downtown South Bend will participate in a two-week special that many know as Restaurant Week.

In its 10th year, Restaurant Week was created by the Downtown Dining Association and Downtown South Bend, Inc. as a way for restaurants to collaborate with each other and inspire patrons to come downtown. town of South Bend and trying the local restaurants they normally have. wouldn’t. The hope, then, is to create an impression with the guests that will bring them back often. Restaurants create specialty menus for the event priced at $ 11, $ 22, or $ 33.

“We’re trying to keep people away from Grape Road,” said Mark McDonnell, owner of LaSalle Grill, in 2011 when it was created. “We can’t control what people think of downtown and their perception of downtown, but we can try to change it. We have to harness the great things that we have and (Mishawaka Channels) don’t. Like connectivity, the ability to walk and the river.

And for the most part, it worked.

“We thought it was important to support all of our local restaurants and make ourselves a foodie destination,” said Peg Dalton, co-owner of PEGGS. “When I talk about PEGGS and its success over the years, this is one of the five things I highlight that has helped our growth. “

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Typically, the biannual event occurs in summer and winter and only lasts a week. However, due to the coronavirus, last summer’s event was canceled and organizers opted for a special month last November to give customers time to make reservations and visit restaurants despite capacity limits. that were in place at the time.

PEGGS in South Bend will be one of 14 downtown restaurants participating in Restaurant Week from July 26 to August 8.

With the lifting of capacity limits and other restrictions, customers are eating more restaurant meals than ever before, and organizers have chosen to extend this summer’s event by two weeks to meet anticipated demand. The Downtown Wine Walk events, which are also hosted by DDA and DTSB, were sold out for the last two events of the summer with 400 attendees.

“It’s clear people want to get out,” McDonnell said.

But the restaurant industry is already facing its fair share of hurdles this year. Staff shortages have plagued the industry, with many restaurants having to limit hours or menu options during regular operations. Food costs have increased and some ingredient shortages have also occurred, raising questions about when supply will come in and whether to increase menu prices.

Given the challenges, some operators have chosen not to participate this year.

“I want to be a part of the downtown community, but I don’t think Restaurant Week is good for my restaurant,” said Eamonn McParland, owner of Roselily.

Since Roselily’s recent opening on Lafayette Boulevard., McParland has said he has been able to keep menu prices reasonable despite rising food prices. With its current structure of offering a menu at a reduced price, participating in Restaurant Week would be counterintuitive in his mind. McParland said it’s also not worth changing an experience he’s passionate about to offer a good deal.

“It is difficult for us to properly represent what our restaurant is according to Restaurant Week guidelines,” he said. “I should modify the experience and I would hate modifying the experience of people who come regularly. Restaurant week can be so hectic and I’m understaffed like everyone else. We’re in a good flow and we don’t. let’s not. I don’t want to disturb him. “

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Alain Helfrich of Fatbird has expressed similar concerns and said he has taken a strong stance against food reduction in the past. The chef at the contemporary Southern restaurant next door to the Morris Performing Arts Center said his prices were already in line with what’s on offer during Restaurant Week and the promotion only really benefits high-end restaurants like LaSalle Grill and Café Navarre.

Café Navarre will be one of 14 downtown South Bend restaurants participating in Restaurant Week from July 26 to August 8.

“It only benefits the people who started it,” Helfrich said. “You can already get an appetizer, main course, and dessert and stay around that $ 22 bar (at Fatbird). Fil-A and I can’t give you a $ 1 sandwich. “

But given the outside factors, said Hilary Maich, owner of Render Meat & Potatoes, participating is one way to show unity.

“Now is not the best time or the cheapest for Restaurant Week,” she said. “But because of COVID and the support we’ve received, I feel like we need to stay together.”

Restaurant week will run from July 26 to August 8. Participating restaurants are Café Navarre, Chicory Café, Cinco 5, Fiddler’s Hearth Public House, Howard Park Public House, LaSalle Grill, LaSalle Kitchen and Tavern, PEGGS, Render Meat & Potatoes, South Bend Chocolate Café, Spirited, Studebaker Brewing Co., Tippecanoe Place Restaurant and Woochi Japanese Fusion & Bar. Reservations are encouraged and more information, including menus, can be found online at eatdrinkdtsb.com.

Changes at University Park Mall

Here is a list of several recent changes to the University Park Mall in Mishawaka.

  • Shoe shop Aldo is in its last days of operation. This is the last day will be Saturday. Light fixtures and shelving are also for sale as it approaches its closing date.
  • Women’s clothing store Boujee Bar Boutique opened in the former Ann Taylor space near Barnes and Noble.
  • Finishing line closed but reopened like JD Sports. The athletic shoe company merged with JD Sports in 2018 and the new store offers athletic clothing and footwear for men, women and children.
  • House of Snaps will soon open on the north side of the mall near JCPenney. According to its website, the selfie “museum” offers an interactive 3D photo studio with 15 different sets available. Tickets are available from July 28 and more information is available at houseofsnaps.com.
  • Metro closed in the food court. We did not immediately know what would replace him.
LaSalle Grill on Colfax Ave.  will be one of 14 downtown South Bend restaurants participating in Restaurant Week July 26 through August 8.

Did you hear? Botany opens permanent location, El Rancho Viejo opens new locations

Botanical opened in a permanent location in the Near Northwest neighborhood of South Bend. The local plant shop first opened at the Thyme of Grace restaurant in River Park, but moved to 909 Portage Ave., across from the Ward Baking Co. building. Botany is open Wednesdays from 5 to 8 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is also open by appointment only on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and information can be found online at Botanorbust.com. … Operators of El Rancho Viejo in Goshen are planning to open two additional sites in the region. Fernando Hernandez said they plan to open their new location in Mishawaka at 5823 Grape Road by mid-August. The building was once a Bob Evans. The opening of a second site in Goshen is scheduled for six months. Hernandez said that because the building was once a Panera bread, a lot of construction will take place to match it with the other restaurants. Operators were behind the recently closed Tequilas Jalisco restaurants on Cleveland Road near University Park Mall and El Padre Mexican Bar and Grill on Main Street near downtown Mishawaka. …Unity Gardens will have a barbecue and craft event in the west this Sunday. The event with local barbecue, craft and music vendors will take place from noon to 4 p.m. at 3701 Prast Blvd. in the south bend.

Contact Mary Shown at 574-235-6244 and mshown@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter: @maryshownSBT and @marketbasketSBT.


Gladys T. Hensley

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