Create bar and grill niles mi

In this Nov. 2020 Tribune file photo, general manager Nate Barnett poses inside Create Bar and Grill in Niles. The new restaurant is participating in the Niles Restaurant Week the first week of March.

This story was originally published November 1, 2020 in the South Bend Tribune.

A new restaurant that aims to provide a creative outlet for artists is opening in Niles.

Create Bar and Grill will open at 1245 S. 11th St. in Niles at the former Supper Club building later this month.

General manager Nate Barnett said Morris Estate owners, who opened the Supper Club as a banquet space in 2014, saw a need for a full service restaurant in the Niles area.

“There’s nice places to eat in Niles but more often than not, people end up going to downtown South Bend or Grape Road,” Barnett said. “So we wanted to give something a little closer to home that people can enjoy with their family.”

As the name suggests, the concept behind Create is to provide a space for artists of all capacities — painters, musicians, graffiti artists, tattoo artists, poets, etc. — to showcase their work. A large colorful mural created by a local tattoo artist currently hangs front-and-center of the restaurant and Barnett plans to hang other paintings and work all along the restaurant’s walls. A small stage and dance floor will also be added to allow for dancing, music and poetry readings. Inside the food menus, customers can scan QR codes to read profiles of the artists and even purchase paintings that hang on the walls.

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“We are really embracing the concept of getting the space for people to have their work seen by the public and even sold to the public,” Barnett said. “It’s not that I just want (work) on the wall to be looked at, but I want to give it some engagement as well.”

The creativity will also reach to the exterior of the building. Black fencing will line the perimeter of the restaurant with each space available as a canvas for an artist, and, Barnett said, every so often, the fencing pieces can be purchased or donated to the community.

Create Bar and Grill in Niles will open later this month.

But the restaurant even takes the artistic outlet a step further by encouraging customers to participate in their own creative outlook.

Butcher paper will line each table and colored pencils will be offered to allow customers to create their own pieces at the table. Barnett said families can then take the papers home if they wish.Drawings that show extra skill can be hung on a restaurant’s wall. Barnett said he sees the space routinely changing art as time goes by.

The food aspect of the restaurant will feature items that Barnett calls “familiar.” Gourmet grilled cheeses, mac and cheese with different mix-in options, as well as hamburgers and a chicken entrée will also be offered. The bar will also offer craft cocktails, beer and wine.

Barnett said menu options will be flexible and can change depending upon what customers request.

Currently, management is looking to work with local artists to fill the restaurant in anticipation for its opening at the end of November. Barnett said he is anxious to connect and collaborate.

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“It’s just going to be a fun, exciting space, and we are all kind of trying to find things to do and be active and engaged, and I couldn’t think of a better way to do that,” he said.

Create Bar and Grill will open later this month. Artists or collaborators interested in participating can contact Barnett by emailing or calling 574-222-0000.

Notable changes at UP Mall

Several stores inside the University Park Mall have made some updates.

The Apple Store has reopened with an express bar. Similar to bank tellers, employees can now serve customers from windows in a wall partition. Customers are not able to try out any shared devices but can speak with an employee about it.

Sweet Treats Candy is moving from its large location near JC Penney into the former Walking Store Company location across from the Apple store. The new location is significantly smaller than its former location. It is not clear what will fill the now vacated larger space.

Storefronts between the Apple store and Aeropostale have been blocked out and appear to be under construction. The space once held the store Organic Bubbles, which closed earlier this year.

Skin care business Lavelier has moved into a larger storefront. The business used to be in the former Shii by Journeys space near Build-A-Bear but is now next to Hot Topic.

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Children’s clothing store Jubilee’s Boutique is moving. Owners said they have found a location near Target on University Drive and plan to reopen in the new location soon. Keep an eye out for more information regarding the move.

And interior storefronts that once held Disney, Justice and Motherhood Maternity stores still remain vacant inside the mall.

Downtown Dining Association offers Restaurant Month

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, downtown South Bend restaurant events such as wine and beer walks and Restaurant Week in the summer had been canceled.

However, the Downtown Dining Association of DTSB has organized a Restaurant Month this November.

Throughout the month, customers can chose from a special discounted menu from 15 locally owned downtown South Bend restaurants. The specials are available for dine in, and new this year, also for carryout and delivery options. Each restaurant has pledged to the “Hoosier Hospitality Promise” to provide customers with socially distanced seating, masked employees and disinfected environments. There are currently no state-mandated capacity restrictions for indoor dining at restaurants, but social distancing and the statewide mask mandate are still in place.

Participating restaurants include Café Navarre, Chicory Café, Chocolate Café, Cinco 5 International, Fiddler’s Hearth Public House, LaSalle Grill, LaSalle Kitchen & Tavern, The Lauber, PEGGS, Render Meat & Potatoes, Roselily, Spirited, Studebaker Brewing Co., Studebaker Grill and Woochi Japanese Fusion & Bar.

The promotion will expire at the end of the month, and menus with pricing and more information can be viewed online at and under the “Restaurant Weeks” tab.

South Bend Tribune Market Basket Columnist Mary Shown
Great Food. Great Times. Get Hook’d!

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