Thirteen new businesses opening in downtown South Bend

Thirteen new businesses in downtown South Bend are bringing more than 100 jobs to the area.

The new businesses range from an art gallery to a natural wellness center, plus a few restaurants.

Owners said business incentives offered by the city made DTSB seem like a great location.

“We can apply for the riverfront liquor license which saves us a lot of money,” said Jeremy Young, managing partner of the new Woochi Japanese location on West Washington Street. “We did not put that money back in our pockets.”

Instead, much of the money went to renovations at the former Buffalo Wild Wings location. The laid back restaurant was transformed into a chic eatery.

“We spent a lot of energy thinking about how we could change it,” Young said.

Woochi has two dining areas plus a colorful bar. The grand opening is scheduled for Tuesday.

“It’s not every day you get to welcome a new business to downtown South Bend – let alone thirteen,” said Aaron Perri, executive director for DTSB Inc. “So, it’s exciting for us.”

Perri said he hopes to see business interest spread beyond the main stretch of Michigan Street.

“You can start to think of areas like the East Bank, Main Street and Lafayette,” he said. “See how that fits into the puzzle.”

The concept is already starting to take shape over at the Emporium Building. People are making their way inside for more than just food.

Dancehipology, a new dance studio, is filling up with students of all ages.

“It’s been a great response,” said Velvet Canada, Dacehipology owner. “Every day we’re getting some new. They’re excited there is something different in this area.”

The thirteen new businesses involved about $2 million in private investment.

Two additional businesses may open up in South Bend before the end of the year.

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