SOUTH BEND – A $1,000, 3-way liquor license!
It was supposed to be the golden ticket to bring more business to downtown South Bend's riverfront district, and it's working.
Some would say Chickory Café makes the best chai tea in town along with many other delicious coffee drinks.
But now, let's spice up their beverage menu.
"I also have a merlot, malbec, reisling in the refrigerator," said Phil Schreiber, owner at Chicory Cafe.
Fine wine, beer and cocktails. Chickory Café is a proud owner of one of downtown South Bend's riverfront liquor licenses.
They qualified because they're 1,500 feet from the St. Joseph River.
"I think there's going to be a lot more activity in a year or two. This will be truly an entertainment corridor," Schreiber said.
Across the street from Chicory, a new bar is set to open this summer in the CBRE Realty building.
It's called "The Exchange." It will be a speakeasy bar with plans to spill out on to the plaza for live concerts and entertainment.
"We're really starting to see some activity in the southern end of the downtown," said Tamara Nicholl-Smith with Downtown South Bend.
So far, Downtown South Bend granted two riverfront liquor licenses to existing businesses. Right now, they have about five more in the works.
Any business growth is good for the city, but these liquor licenses were supposed to act as an incentive to bring new business to downtown's riverfront. So is that happening?"
"Literally, directly on the river, one of the things working against us is actual physical buildings along the river that are retail spaces," said Nicholl-Smith.
Nicholl-Smith with Downtown South Bend said right now their focus is filling up empty spaces in the city. Phase two is actually building along the river.