New restaurant planned for South Bend

SOUTH BEND A new restaurant is coming to South Bend, and a wildly popular restaurant chain in Michiana is leading its development.

The Hacienda Mexican chain is opening a new brand, "BarBici Italian Street Food." Connoisseurs explain it as fast, casual Italian food.

Right now, the developers are still finalizing the details, but the new eatery is tentatively planned to open in June in Eddy Street Commons. They are working out a lease at the retail space between Old National Bank and the 7-11.

Its name, BarBici, symbolizes the restaurant's over arching message of a healthy lifestyle. Bar references the open food bar style of the eatery, and "bici" is short for bicileta, the Italian word for bicycle.

The designers are already working out a deal with the city to work directly with Bike the Bend, and help promote cycling throughout the community. Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Hacienda, Jeff Leslie, says this theme is what helps BarBici stand out.

"There's a real concern in our communities about health," said Leslie. "And what you eat, what you get at the restaurant, is part of that equation, but it's only half of it. Having an active lifestyle is the other half. We want this restaurant and this brand uniquely to be about both."

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