New restaurant opening at former Emporium

NOW: New restaurant opening at former Emporium


SOUTH BEND, Ind.—Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the well-known restaurant that has been around for years, The Emporium on the East Race in Downtown South Bend, closed their doors permanently.

However, those doors will reopen again this month with new owners and a new name.

“I always said I was going to open my own restaurant and I found somebody who has the same dedication and the will and the power to run something,” one of Meek and Melz Curbside Café owner’s Melany Gotsis said.

After working in the restaurant industry for years on end, Meek and Melz Curbside Cafe has been a dream of owners Melany Gotsis and Kimiko Hunt for years.

The original plan was to open up a food truck, but when the building opened up in South Bend, they made their dream a reality.

“It’s been a long time coming, we just recently found this spot couple months ago. This is something that we just thought about at the top of, out of the blue! We’ve been planning this for a couple years now just looking and it’s finally happening and we’re happy,” Gotsis and Hunt said.

The owners said that while COVID-19 has affected many restaurants negatively, that it actually offered new opportunities to them that they otherwise don’t think they’d have.

“A lot of people think it’s crazy like during this pandemic, ‘what made you want to do that,’” Gotsis said. “Does it scare us from opening this? Absolutely not people are still going to be hungry people are still going to come eat and once people see what’s actually on the menu and what we have to serve, they’ll keep coming back.”

The fast-casual cafe will serve homemade breakfast and lunch items, with a vibe to make customers feel comfy and cozy.

Gotsis and Hunt said that they wouldn’t have wanted their restaurant to be in any other place, and that they’re excited to finally open their doors!

“Opening this cafe really means everything to us considering that we worked very hard,” Hunt said.

“We’re here, we’re here to serve and we’re here to be a part of the community, especially in this spot right here we want to make it a great block for everybody to come to and feel safe to come to and just south vends coming up so let’s make the best of it you know,” Gotsis said.

Meek and Melz Curbside Cafe will officially open in two weeks on September 20 from 8 AM to 4 PM.

Regular hours of operation are Tuesday through Sunday from 6 AM to 4 PM.

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