Five new businesses to open in Downtown South Bend - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Five new businesses to open in Downtown South Bend

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There's something happening in Downtown South Bend, a spark we haven't seen in years.  It's a stream of businesses that will soon call Downtown South Bend home.  More and more people are investing in downtown.  Thursday we told you about major renovations to the Double Tree Hotel.  And now five new businesses have committed to Downtown, and people are loving it.

Lifelong South Bend resident Pat Spychalski said, "I used to come down everyday after school and there were stores and shops and eateries and drug stores and everything down here."  She has seen Downtown South Bend transform throughout her life.  "then they all moved out to the malls and the big stores on grape road, which is fine, but nothing was down here anymore."

The desolate Downtown is something others remember well.  "10 years ago there was nothing here," said Jim Geisel.  He is now part of the revival of Downtown South Bend.  He's opening up Studio 217, a theater company, on Michigan street.  It's important for a city to have a theater company right in the heart of the city," said Geisel.

He's not the only one who thinks it's an ideal location.  More and more "open" signs continue to show up in Downtown windows.  Just within the past month five new businesses, Geisel's included, have announced they're moving into the downtown area.  The other businesses include South Bend Brew Werks, Bicycle Gallery, Edible Arrangements, and Garcia's Mexican Restaurant.  So why the sudden spark in Downtown?  Well it may not be so sudden.  Tamara Nicholl-Smith with Downtown South Bend said, "A lot of people have been working hard for many years and now we're seeing the fruits of those labors."

Nicholl-Smith said that hard work is aided by a cultural change, "millennial's and boomers are embracing a return to the urban core of city's.  They want to live here, they want to be in a place that's walk able with a concentration of restaurants, retail, and culture."

And Mayor Pete Buttigieg said the more businesses Downtown the better.  "Maybe somebody is making a decisions on whether or not to live her or invest here, the first thing they are going to do is come downtown and check it out.  If they see a lot of people enjoying the downtown they're going to have a better impression of our community."  And that's Exactly why Spychalski hope the open signs keep popping up in Downtown.  "Downtown can be great."

The big elephant in the room so to speak is the now newly empty College Hall of fame.  Both the Mayor and Nicholl-Smith South Bend talked about that.  They both said they get new ideas for the space everyday from people.  They said a new tenant will just add to this chapter of change and new things for South Bend.

To learn more about each of the new Downtown South Bend businesses check out their  Facebook pages and websites:

Bicycle Gallery

Edible Arrangements

Garcia's Mexican Restaurant

South Bend Brew Werks and South Bend Brew Werks Website

Studio 217 by The Acting Ensemble Stage Company

 

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