It is aimed at diners as well as Chicago-bound concert- and festival-goers. The occasional shopper on the Miracle Mile is also expected to take advantage of the new late night South Shore train.
After all, whether you're headed to the Windy City for the day or a night on the town, how many times did you wish you didn't have to drive home?
Now, you can catch a ride.
The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District is offering an alternative new late-night weekend train this summer from Chicago to South Bend.
"Late Night on the 513" departs at 11:15 p.m. CDT from Millennium Station at Randolph Street and Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago, and arrives at 2:46 a.m. EDT at the South Bend Regional Airport.
The South Shore initially launched the late-night train in time for the holiday season back in November 2009, and it averaged between 30 and 40 passengers on Saturday and Sunday nights.
But low ridership this past winter prompted its temporary discontinuation.
"Sometimes it was even empty," says John Parsons, planning and marketing director for the Chesterton, Ind.-based train district. "We hope it takes off and stays strong. We're committed to providing this train for a complete summer here."
Without any promotion, Parsons says 21 passengers rode the South Shore last Saturday night.
The later departure gives riders an extra two hours in Chicago, compared to taking the 9:15 p.m. train home.
"It's primarily diners and a younger population," says Parsons, about evening ridership. "It's people going to concerts. Sometimes after Cubs games fans will walk around Wrigleyville, and the station is near the theater district and the Rush Street night club district."
More information about the train and the South Shore can be found at www.mysouthshoreline.com.
Have you heard?
Passport Woodfire Grill, 1290 Ireland Road, South Bend, is scheduled to open at 8 a.m. Sunday at Erskine Village. Regular hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. ... Capri Italian Restaurant is now open at 50827 Princess Way in Granger. The restaurant, which is located behind Between the Buns, opened softly on Wednesday. Its hours are 3 to 10 p.m. seven days a week. More details about Capri are planned for an upcoming column. ... Panda Express has filed a state construction report for its new 2,635-square-foot freestanding restaurant with a drive-through planned on an outlot at Meijer, located at 5020 Grape Road. ... Golden Corral is planning a new restaurant location at the southeast corner of Main Street and Douglas Road in Mishawaka. Read Sunday's column for our interview with the local franchisee, which provides more details about the opening.
Heidi Prescott's column runs in the South Bend Tribune on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. When she's not shopping, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-235-6070. You can also talk retail at Facebook.com/thebasket and at Twitter.com/marketbasket.