Restaurant menus and hours are available at www.eatdrinkdtsb.com.
Mark McDonnell, founder and proprietor at LaSalle Grill, acknowledges the business climate for restaurants has been challenging since the recession's onset.
"(But) we get a lot of guests who come in for the restaurant weeks who we don't see other times," McDonnell says.
Janowsky says December sales at Café Navarre topped November sales, November sales topped October sales, and October sales topped September sales.
"We're not in the honeymoon phase anymore either," he says optimistically. "I would like to see even more places come in and be successful. I'm very committed to downtown."
Neither Janowsky nor McDonnell support offering Restaurant Week any more than twice per year, however.
"You offer it too frequently and people won't go unless it's Restaurant Week," Janowsky said.
Tamara Nicholl-Smith, South Bend's director of downtown business recruitment, says city officials have been thrilled by the number of participating diners at both the winter and summer promotions.
"Even months after the fact, people are still talking about it," she says. "The restaurants have continued to diversify both their offerings and their pricing, and there is a positive residual effect."
Carol Meehan, co-owner of Fiddler's Hearth, says the current promotion is beneficial to her restaurant and bar, and to customers.
"Restaurant Week has helped increase our average check at Fiddler's since it entices people to try something more than just the fish and chips," Meehan says. "It's a great opportunity for restaurants to flex their culinary wings and for their customers to get a great deal."
Have you heard?
LaSalle Grill's Mark McDonnell revealed plans to transform Club LaSalle into a moderately priced gastropub during our live chat last week. "We'll be cooking up a new, more casual menu in our third-floor kitchen," McDonnell says about the concept that he's had in the back of his mind for several years. ... Join our next live chat at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Heidi Prescott's column runs on Fridays and Sundays. When she's not shopping, contact her at email@example.com or 574-235-6070. You can also talk retail at Facebook.com/thebasket and at Twitter.com/marketbasket.
Your table is waiting
The following locally owned restaurants are participating in Winter Restaurant Week, which starts Monday and runs through Feb. 3.
For more information, including restaurant hours and menus, go to www.eatdrinkdtsb.com. Reservations are recommended for some restaurants.
Baker's Bar & Grille, 123 N. St. Joseph St., at the DoubleTree by Hilton.
Café Navarre, 101 N. Michigan St.
Ciao's Lounge, 119 N. Michigan St.
East Bank Emporium, 121 S. Niles Ave.
Fiddler's Hearth, 127 N. Main St.
LaSalle Grill, 115 W. Colfax Ave.
LePeep, 127 S. Michigan St.
South Bend Chocolate Cafe, 122 S. Michigan St.
Sunny Italy Cafe, 601 N. Niles Ave.
Tippecanoe Place, 620 W. Washington St.
The Vine, 103 W. Colfax Ave.