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The downtown South Bend Municipal Riverfront Development District is a project district where 3-way liquor licenses are made available to eligible dining, entertainment, and cultural establishments for $1,000 annually plus an annual $1,000 community partnership contribution to Downtown South Bend, Inc. This District was spearheaded and is administered by DTSB as a way to spur development along and near our river by saving businesses $58,000 or more in start-up costs. This program 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.

After reviewing all eligibility requirements and application process, contact Courtney Kubly for additional information and questions at


(Updated requirements will be posted soon)

Applicants must 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. License holders must pay an annual community partnership or administrative fee to Downtown South Bend, Inc. 


For downtown businesses, applicant must agree to maintain an annual

$1,000 community partnership with Downtown South Bend, Inc., per establishment. 

For businesses outside of downtown, and within the Municipal Development District,

applicant must agree to pay a $1,000 annual administration fee to Downtown South Bend, Inc., per establishment. 


Your application will be evaluated based how strongly the committee recommendations:

  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.

Among other factors, the committee will consider the below.

Physical Location


Economic Impact

Ownership Reputation & Experience

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