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 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.

After reviewing all eligibility requirements and application process, contact Kylie Carter for additional information and questions at kcarter@downtownsouthbend.com or



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.

  9. 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.


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 Dining Association or required commitment to Downtown South Bend, Inc. shall not exceed $200 per month, per establishment.

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.


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