Busy weekend in South Bend leads to big financial gain

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- After one of the worst winters in recent memory, local restaurant owners welcomed this weekend's warm weather.

Patrons were out and about all over South Bend; not only enjoying the many activities around town, but also spending money.

And it was well worth the wait.

Carol Meehan, Co-Owner of Fiddler's Hearth, said, "All week has been really, really good. The weather is bringing everyone out. There's stuff going on downtown giving us a lot of foot traffic."

And while there were plenty of activities to keep people occupied, it was Mother's Day that stole the show.

"It was crazy in the morning," Lauren Unger, Assistant Manager at Emporium, said. "It was like a zoo here."

"We had a record Mother's Day here," Meehan said. "I always keep track of number of buffets we sell and this was off the charts."

Mother's Day typically gives local restaurants a spike in revenue, but after one of the worst winters in recent memory, it was Mother Nature who got the biggest thanks this year.

"The streets have been littered with people," Ryan Jankowski, employee at South Bend Chocolate Factory, said. "It's fantastic with the hustle and bustle. Everybody's coming in here."

"We're a little bit up from last year by about five or ten percent," Kevin Jakel, General Manager of Tippecanoe Place Restaurant, said. "We've had about 1,000 guests."

"We were very glad to have the patio open for Mother's Day," Unger said. "It was relaxing and people love coming out here to look at the river."

Sunday also marked the final day of South by South Bend, a four day festival featuring 60 different bands in 20 different venues. The event broke up the lull in the evening.

"The music definitely brings in a lot of people," Unger said.

"People are running down the streets left and right," said Jankowski. "We're out there sampling telling them to come on inside and have a good time, get some chocolate and they're leaving with smiling faces, so you know we're doing something right.

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