March First Fridays: Downtown Curiosities

Come explore the unique aspects of downtown South Bend this March First Fridays, where the theme will be "Downtown Curiosities."

We will have tours of some off-the-beaten path places that you may have always wanted to visit, but have never had the chance. Take a tour of the South Bend Cubs locker room, explore the basement brewery at South Bend Brew Werks, and check out the newly renovated Hoffman Hotel Apartments.

We'll also be showcasing some unique food and retail selections this First Fridays, such as peculiar produce at Purple Porch, and kitschy pottery at The Pigeon & The Hen Pottery. Also be sure to check out some unique performance art by Crimson Pulse Fire+Flow in Studebaker Plaza.

Plus, as always, enjoy live music, dining specials, and much more. Check out all the details below!







Transpo will be offering FREE shuttle rides on one of their new CNG buses from 5:00 to 9:00 pm., and just last month they launched  their new shuttle route, which includes the South Bend Museum of Art! Click here for a map of the brand new shuttle route. Transpo shuttle service will pass each stop approximately every 15 minutes. 

The shuttle service now has First Fridays Tour Guides! They will tell you all about the different activities and promotions that are taking place downtown at First Fridays, as well give general info about the downtown businesses, mixed with historical tidbits and fun facts. Grab a seat on the new First Fridays Transpo Tour, and enjoy the informative ride! 

If you're interested in being a First Fridays Tour Guide, click here for more information.

Entertainment & Activities

Flow Art Light Show in Studebaker Plaza

6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Corner of Michigan & Jefferson

Come see some unique performance art this First Fridays! Violet Ray and The Fireball Kid of  Crimson Pulse Fire+Flow will be performing in Studebaker Plaza spinning their LED flow props for your viewing pleasure from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Flow artists dance and move with props that create visually stimulating shapes and colors. If you've never seen a flow art performance, now is your chance to do so. (Photo credit: Richard Warner)

"Once" at the Morris Performing Art Center
8:00 p.m.
211 N. Michigan St.

Take in some theater this First Fridays at the Morris Performing Arts Center. Winner of 8 2012 Tony Awards® including Best Musical, "Once" is a truly original Broadway experience. Featuring an impressive ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments onstage, "Once" tells the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician who's about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. The show opens First Fridays, with repeat performances Saturday, March 4 at 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Downtown Dignity Giving Box: Community Foundation of St. Joseph County 
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Between the Gridiron and South Bend Chocolate Cafe
The Downtown Dignity Giving Box is an opportunity for community members to educate themselves and give to the resources available to those in need in Downtown South Bend. Downtown South Bend staff and board members will be present at the Giving Box to provide materials, information and outline the importance of supporting homelessness organizations versus individuals. For more information, click here.
Artist Reception and Gallery Talk at South Bend Museum of Art

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
120 S. St. Joseph

The South Bend Museum of Art is hosting an artist reception for Katie Hudnall, including a gallery talk (at 6:15 p.m.) with the artist about the work in her exhibition, "Tools for Problems Real and Imagined": a collection of furniture and tool-like objects that play with the idea of functionality by inventing solutions for problems that don’t exist, and carrying solutions for real problems to absurd or impossible ends. The Scholastic Art Awards Exhibition is also still on display in the Warner and Jerome J. Carmichael Galleries. Additionally, you can save 10% in the museum shop, The Dot Shop. Admission is free, and you can also enjoy live music by Eta Carinae (7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.) and free refreshments provided by Granite City Food & Brewery.

Kennedy's Kitchen at Fiddler's Hearth

9:00 p.m. to midnight
127 N. Main St.

Enjoy free live music at Fiddler's Hearth by local Irish band Kennedy's Kitchen from 9:00 p.m. to midnight every First Fridays!

Exhibit Opening at Fire Arts

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
305 E. Colfax Ave.

Fire Arts, Inc. invites the public to an exhibit by ceramicist and papier maché artist Sandy Ridge. Her exhibit "Politics in Paper," will open March 3 and run through April 28, with an opening reception on March 3, 5:00 - 9:00 p.m. This show will feature her recent work in papier maché, which includes caricatures of policitians. Ridge makes and sells custom pinatas for people all around the world.

Dave Van Dyke at Chicory Cafe

8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
105 E. Jefferson Blvd.

Enjoy a free, all ages concert by Dave Van Dyke from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. at Chicory Cafe. Also enjoy their First Fridays specials of $1.50 one scoop gelato, and 16 oz. Hurricanes for $6.00.

Kevin Scott Joiner at South Bend Chocolate Cafe

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
122 S. Michigan St.

Kevin Scott Joiner will be performing a free concert at the South Bend Chocolate Cafe from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Also take advantage of their First Fridays special: 2 for $17 any crunch/pretzel combo. 

Southside Denny and the Snyders at Vegetable Buddies 

129 N. Michigan St.
10:00 p.m.

Southside Denny and the Snyders are coming back to tear the roof off of Vegetable Buddies! This amazing band features Denny's daughter Lorrie on bass and his son Phillip on drums. Come out early for a great dinner and to make sure you get a good seat. Doors open at 4:00 p.m. with a 10:00 p.m. showtime. $10 cover.

Wes B. Miller at A.R. Drew Art

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
121 S. Niles Ave.

Check out downtown South Bend's newest art gallery at A.R. Drew Art - located inside the Emporium building. Live music by Wes B. Miller will also be providing extra ambience to the gallery space this First Fridays, and a cash bar will be available with craft beer and wine.

Three Live Shows at The General

5:00 p.m. to midnight
609 E. Jefferson Blvd.

Enjoy live music from three different bands this First Fridays at The General Deli & Cafe: Flannel Matadors, Dad Jokes, and Ryan Kerr. No cover, but band donations are always welcome. 

Food & Drink Specials

Peculiar Produce and Curious Roasts at Purple Porch

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
123 N. Hill St.

Sample some peculiar produce at Purple Porch Co-op this First Fridays, and also enjoy the curious roasts of Dagger Mountain - a small coffee roastery located in Valparaiso, IN focused on roasting and brewing exceptional black coffee. They will be offering pour over coffee this First Fridays.

LOGAN Irish Red at South Bend Brew Werks

5:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.
216 S. Michigan St.

South Bend Brew Werks releases a new brew every First Fridays, and this month they're unveiling an Irish Red: malty, light-hopped and red hued. This month they're partnering with the LOGAN Center for their big Nose ON fundraiser event. In addition to their usual donation, they will be making a matching donation to LOGAN for each LOGAN Irish Red that they sell. Brew Werks will also be featuring a special "curiosities" flatbread with a baba ganoush base and curried chicken. The baba ganoush will also be available with toasted flatbread as an appetizer.

$2 TV Bars and Pink Ladies at Cops & Doughnuts

5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
231 S. Michigan St.

Enjoy these unique pastries at Cops & Doughnuts for just $2. TV Bars are made with moist chocolate cake, white buttercream frosting, and covered in chocolate ganache, while the Pink Ladies are made with white cake, white buttercream frosting tinted pink, and covered in melted white frosting.

Green Specials at Le Peep

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
127 S. Michigan St.

Le Peep will be doing green specials to support the LOGAN Nose-On: green chocolate chip pancakes and green mint milkshakes. $1.00 from each of those items sold will go back to LOGAN Center.

$4 Pints at Barnaby's

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
713 E. Jefferson Blvd.

Barnaby's will be offering $4 pints every First Fridays this year, and they are also featuring a First Saturdays special each month: any large 2 topping pizza, an order of breadsticks, and a pitcher of pop (or a 2 liter on carry out orders) for only $19.95 plus tax. 

Retail Specials

Kitschy Galore Sale at The Pigeon & The Hen Pottery

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
217 S. Michigan St.

The Pigeon & The Hen Pottery are having a Kitschy Galore Sale this First Fridays, celebrating some of their more unique items by offering 10% off boxes, banks, and their fun salt & pepper shakers (pictured above.) They will also be offering a First Fridays special on their Moonlight & Birch Tree Canvas Class. Step by step instructions from artist Christina and all materials will be provided, for only $30. The class takes place 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and reservations can be made online by clicking here.

St. Patrick's Swag at Idle Hours Bookshop

4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
212 S. Michigan St.

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day early at Idle Hours Bookshop. Spend over $25 and get some St. Patrick's Day swag to wear on the big day, like necklaces and head bands (while supplies last.) Their sale table will also be out.

50% Off Sale at Luxe Wagon

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
121 S. Niles Ave.

Luxe Wagon is a new retail shop located inside the Emporium Building, and they will be offering up to 50% off select items this First Fridays to make room for their spring items.

60% Off Sale Items at Ali's

10 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
722 E. Jefferson Blvd.

Ali on the Boulevard is hosting a spring cleaning sale. Take advantage of 60% off sale items. New sale items have been added both in store and on their website.

Friends of the Library Book Sale 

4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 
333 S. Michigan 

Enjoy amazing bargains on books, CDs, magazines, and more for both kids and adults at the Friends of the Library's First Fridays Book Sale from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.


Curiosity Tours

Take advantage of behind the scenes tours of downtown South Bend hidden gems. All tours are free, with no tickets or reservations required. Please note that some tours have space restrictions and are limited to the first set number of participants who arrive. See details and times below.

1920s Downtown South Bend

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
DoubleTree Atrium (123 N. St. Joseph St.)

Explore downtown South Bend as it appeared in the 1920s with this unique immersive 3D virtual tour, presented by Building South Bend (BSB). They will be located in the DoubleTree atrium from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., right next to the historic clock. BSB is a collaboration between the Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame’s Architecture Library, the History Museum of South Bend, and the Historic Preservation Commission of South Bend and St. Joseph County. The goal of the project is to create an online resource to study the past, present, and future architecture in the city of South Bend.

Century Center Skywalk

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Enter from DoubleTree or Century Center

If you haven't already checked out this downtown curiosity, you should definitely do so. Visit the Century Center Skywalk by entering either from the Century Center or the DoubleTree atrium. There is a set of stairs located right near the clock in the atrium, where the Building South Bend display will be set up. Enjoy unique views of downtown as you stand high above St. Joseph Street. Be sure to view the Green Bridge Growers installation while you're there. It's also a fun way to get to the South Bend Museum of Art event that's taking place this First Fridays.

Fire Arts

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
305 E. Colfax Ave.

Fire Arts is a not for profit organization dedicated to the creation and appreciation of the three dimensional arts of sculpture, pottery, and jewelry. Tours of their studio space will be given from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. this and every First Fridays. While you're there, check out the opening reception of their newest exhibit "Politics in Paper" by ceramicist and papier maché artist Sandy Ridge.

Historic Hoffman Hotel

5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
120 W. LaSalle Ave. 

The Hoffman Hotel will offer free tours of their renovated historic apartment spaces and free refreshments. The tours will be given every half hour (5:00, 5:30, 6:00, etc.) Irish musician Bryan Edington will also be performing from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Notre Dame Center for Arts & Culture

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
1045 W. Washington St.

The Notre Dame Center for Arts & Culture is a cultural center on West Washington Street with a gallery space, a fine art printmaking studio, educational programs, and more. This Friday they're offering tours of their three art exhibitions starting at 5:00 p.m., the most curious of which is the exhibition being held in their basement/lower level called "INTRO".  Guided tours of their lower level will be given every 30 minutes starting at 5:00 p.m. with the last tour at 7:30 p.m.  The main floor gallery may be visited at any time during the First Fridays event.

South Bend Brew Werks

5:30 p.m. & 6:00 p.m.
216 S. Michigan St.

Take an exclusive look at the basement brewery of South Bend Brew Werks, where all the magic happens. Two 15 minute tours will be given, one at 5:30 p.m. and one at 6:00 p.m. Tours will be limited to the first 15 participants for each tour.

South Bend Cubs

5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
501 W. South St.

Take a behind the scenes tour and see the locker rooms, Performance Center, Stadium Club, Home Plate Suite, production room, and Team Store. Tours will last approximately 20 minutes and will be given every half hour 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., limited to the first 25 people per tour. Enter from the double glass doors of the home plate side of the stadium. 

St. Paul's Memorial United Methodist Church

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
1001 W. Colfax

St. Paul's Memorial United Methodist Church is a truly beautiful gem in the historic district of downtown South Bend. Tours will be given from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., pointing out the stained glass and other architectural details, and giving visitors information on the history of the church and its connection to the Studebakers. The church is currently in the middle of a fundraiser to renovate its facility, and will have pizza from Holy Smokes Pizza, soft drinks, water, and coffee available for sale to help raise money for their cause. 

The Music Village

5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
301 S. Michigan St.

Come explore The Music Village's new home! 20 minute tours will be given every half hour from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., limited to 6 people per tour. They will also have stations set up for you try out some different instruments while you are there.


Baker's Bar & Grill

123 N. St. Joseph St. 
Buy one appetizer, get one 50% off.


713 E. Jefferson Blvd.
$4 pints every First Fridays; also featuring a First Saturdays special each month: any large 2 topping pizza, an order of breadsticks, and a pitcher of pop (or a 2 liter on carry out orders) for only $19.95 plus tax. 


131 S. Michigan St.
Get one 14" 1-topping pizza for $12

Chicory Cafe

105 E. Jefferson Blvd.
Live music, $1.50 one scoop gelato, and 16 oz. Hurricanes for $6.00

Edible Arrangements

123 S. Michigan St.
50% off a box of dipped fruit (pick-up)

South Bend Brew Werks

216 S. Michigan St.
New seasonal beer release and food pairing

South Bend Chocolate Cafe

122 S. Michigan St.
2 for $17 any crunch/pretzel combo

South Bend Museum of Art

120 S. St. Joseph
Free refreshments, entertainment and admission

Therapeutic Indulgence

904 E. Jefferson
20% off gift cards

Tippecanoe Place

620 W. Washington St.
1/2 price appetizers In the Studebaker Lounge or Patio

Event Sponsors