Downtown South Bend Municipal Riverfront Development District Liquor License

The downtown South Bend Municipal Riverfront Development District (District) is a project district where 3-way liquor licenses are made available to eligible dining, entertainment, and cultural establishments for $1,000 as a way to spur development along and near our river. This District was made possible via state legislation and an Ordinance passed by the City of South Bend Common Council that designated the District and adopted eligibility requirements.

Eligibility Requirements for Businesses in the Municipal Development District

Download Eligibility Requirements and Evaluation Criteria

In addition to complying with all building, health, zoning laws, ordinances and all rules and regulations of the Indiana State Alcohol and Tobacco Commission (ATC), local, state, and federal governments applicants must also meet the following local requirements annually in order to be eligible to apply or renew:

  1. Applicant’s establishment must be located within the Downtown South Bend Municipal Riverfront Development District boundaries.
  2. Focus of operation must be on a dining, entertainment or cultural experience rather than an alcohol consumption experience.
  3. Beverages must be served in glass containers.
  4. Patrons consume food at either a counter or table.
  5. Must be a non-smoking establishment (exception made for upscale cigar lounge).
  6. Cannot be a private club, nightclub, or adult entertainment venue.
  7. No temporary exterior signage will be permitted. Permanent, attached signage is required.
  8. Establishments located within the district with an existing 3-way license may not sell their existing license in order to apply for a 221-3 Riverfront license. There will be a minimum 1-year wait between the time any business with an existing license sells their license and will be able to apply for a new license.
  9. Fees
    • For Downtown Businesses: Applicant must agree to become a full-paying member of the Downtown Dining Association and/or community partners with Downtown South Bend, Inc. The dues for the Dinning Association or required commitment to Downtown South Bend Inc. shall not exceed $200 per month per establishment (as of Spring 2013 current Dining Alliance dues are $1,325 annually).
    • For Businesses Outside of Downtown, and within the Municipal Development District: Applicant must agree to pay a $300 annual administration fee to Downtown South Bend, Inc.

District Map

Evaluation Criteria:

The recommendation to the mayor will be based how strongly the committee determines: 

  1. Granting of the license will benefit the purposes of the district, i.e. to become a cultural and dining destination for the region.
  2. Granting of the license and the business activity will not be detrimental to the property values and business interest of others in the district.

The above will be evaluated based on the strength of the following:

  1. The Physical Location
  2. The Operation Itself
  3. The Economic Impact
  4. Reputation/Experience of Ownership

Application Process

Application

Contact Information

For questions about the requirements and for an overview of the process, contact:

Krista Keirnan
Downtown South Bend, Inc.
574-282-1110