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Web Exclusive: Winter weather’s impact on South Bend Restaurant Week

SOUTH BEND, Ind.—Eat Drink South Bend’s Winter Restaurant Week kicked off on Monday with deals and exclusive menus at downtown restaurants.

But severe winter weather is leaving dining rooms emptier than they normally are during these events.

Kevin Jakel, general manager of Tippecanoe Place Restaurant and Studebaker Brewing Co., said that typically, local restaurant weeks give the business a  50% increase in reservations.

This year, thanks to icy roads and snow, they are seeing the opposite effect.

“Because of the weather we have probably lost about half of our reservations for Tuesday through Thursday evening. We’ve had people call and cancel. They don’t feel comfortable driving,” Jakel said.

Jakel said that Riley High School’s homecoming court was planning to eat at the restaurant on Friday but due to school closures, they were no longer going to.

Located in the same building as Tippecanoe Place Restaurant, the original home of Clement Studebaker, Studebaker Brewing Co. opened to the public in October 2018.

The two restaurants combined offer meals at all three Winter Restaurant Week price points.

Winter Restaurant Week runs from January 21 until February 3, with many downtown South Bend restaurants participating.

Jakel has hope that the coming weekend will bring in more traffic for the restaurant.

“I think this weekend everyone’s a bit more used to it now that we’re three days into it and they’re just going to deal with it and go out on the weekend,” Jakel said.

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