November First Fridays: Taste of the Town 

About November First Fridays

The November First Fridays theme is “Taste of the Town” and we will be celebrating the flavor and vibrancy of downtown South Bend’s dining, shopping and entertainment. 

Enjoy a progressive dinner as you tour “Flavor Stops” located throughout downtown. Listen to free live music at Chicory CafeSouth Bend Chocolate CafeLaSalle Kitchen & Tavern, Vegetable Buddies, and Fiddler’s Hearth. Children can participate in a coloring contest at South Bend Chocolate Cafe for a chance to help Santa light the downtown tree on December 7!

Free parking and free Transpo shuttle rides are also available. Check out all the details below!

Free Parking

Parking (on-street and in DTSB-managed garages) is always free in downtown South Bend nights and weekends. For full details on downtown parking options, click here.

Free Transpo Shuttle with Entertainment

Transpo will be offering FREE shuttle rides on one of their new CNG buses from 5:00 to 10:30 pm. Click here for a map of the shuttle route. Transpo shuttle service will pass each stop approximately every 15 minutes.

The shuttle will have a special treat this First Fridays – live entertainment by The Music Village Jammers!

The shuttle service also 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

Coloring Contest at South Bend Chocolate Cafe

5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
122 S. Michigan St.

The South Bend Chocolate Cafe will host a coloring contest in the Rockne Room from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. All supplies will be provided. The entries will be displayed in the hallway throughout November for public voting, and the winner will get the chance to help Santa light the Christmas Tree at the Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 7.

The South Bend Children’s Museum will also be in the Rockne Room this First Fridays with free hands-on activities that explore the connection between smell and taste. They will be doing an activity where kids use math to mix together different flavors of Dum Dums dissolved in water to create their own “potions,” and an activity that explores how color affects our perception of different flavors

Also enjoy free live music by Laura Whidden from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., try out their fall beverage specials, and take advantage of their First Fridays special: 2 for $18 any crunch/pretzel combo.


COCO Family Fun Night at The Pigeon & The Hen Pottery

6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
217 S. Michigan St.
Nothing is more important than family fun night and painting together is so much fun at The Pigeon & The Hen Pottery. At the Coco Family Fun Night you can paint sugar skulls and Frida Khalo or create your own masterpiece! Festive treats will be available. Click here to reserve  your spot.

Book Signing at Idle Hours Bookshop

5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
212 S. Michigan St.
Stop by Idle Hours Bookshop for a book signing by author Hillaree Liston for her newest book: The House of the Dead. Hillaree will be there to meet her fans and to talk about her book. Copies of the book will also be available to purchase.

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!

Little Frank w/Jr. & the Igniters at Vegetable Buddies

9:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
129 N Michigan St.

Vegetable Buddies will be featuring a concert by Little Frank with Jr. & the Igniters. Come out early for a great dinner and to make sure you get a good seat. Doors open at 5:00 p.m.  21+, $10 cover.

Tours of the 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.)

John Young: The Ultimate Model Exhibition at Fire Arts

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

Fire Arts Inc. proudly remembers artist/model John Young with an exhibition by various artists. With drawings, paintings and sculptures, this special exhibit celebrating John’s contribution to the art community will be open from November 2nd through the 30th. An opening reception will take place during the November First Fridays, from 5:00 p.m. 9:00 p.m.

Opening Reception at South Bend Museum of Art

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
120 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
The South Bend Museum of Art will be hosting an opening reception for Destination: Latin America this First Fridays. Enjoy free admission and refreshments as you tour this new exhibit, which offers a multifaceted, didactic journey through twentieth- and twenty-first-century Latin American art. Join curator of the exhibition, Patrice Giasson, for a gallery talk beginning at 6:15 p.m.


Day of the Dead Latin Dance Party at Cinco 5

10:00 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.
112 W. Colfax Ave.
Cinco 5 hosts a Latin dance party on the 1st and 3rd Friday of every month, playing bachata, salsa, cumbia, merengue, and more. 21+ only; $3 cover after 11:00 p.m. This First Fridays their Latin Night will also be celebrating Day of the Dead.

Live Music at LaSalle Kitchen & Tavern

5:00 p.m. to midnight
115 W. Colfax Ave.

Enjoy two free live shows at LaSalle Kitchen & Tavern this First Fridays: E-man from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., and After Ours from 9:00 p.m. to midnight.

GALLERY 2910 Events

10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
113 W. Monroe St.
GALLERY 2910 will be having two events/promotions taking place this First Fridays:
Artists You Should Know:  Each month GALLERY 2910  will feature a different artist for your enjoyment with complementary light refreshments. The artists’ work is always for sale and artists are available for commissioned orders.
Energy Friday: Start off your month with their Energy Friday and align yourself with your greatest desires. This holistic art lab features a different modality each month. Practitioners will be available for mini sessions from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Season Opener at The Acting Ensemble

7:30 p.m.
217 S. Michigan St.
The Acting Ensemble will be having opening night this First Fridays for the first play of its 2018-2019 season: ‘night, Mother by Marsha Norman.  This Pulitzer Prize-winning play explores the final hour in the life of a young woman who has decided that life is no longer worth living.

Each performance includes a “talk back” session after the show. Tickets are $12 – $15 per person and are available online or at the door.   Season tickets for Acting Ensemble are also on sale now.


Specials on Retail & Services


Holiday Open House at Ali on the Boulevard

10:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
722 E. Jefferson Blvd.
Ali on the Boulevard will be hosting a Holiday Open House November 1st through the 3rd, with 20% off entire store.

Book Sale at The Brain Lair

5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
714 E. Jefferson Blvd.
Welcome to one of our newest First Fridays participants – The Brain Lair! They will be celebrating the Taste of the Town by featuring Indiana specific books for 20% off. They will also have an regular First Fridays promotion of 25% off a children or teen new hardcover book.

Friends of the Library Book Sale 

12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
333 S. Michigan 

The Friends of the Library Book Sale is back open in their newly renovated space – with extended hours. Enjoy amazing bargains on books, CDs, magazines, and more for both kids and adults from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.



Food & Drink Specials

Flavor Stops

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Enjoy a progressive dinner as you tour the many “Flavor Stops” located throughout downtown. Each stop will have small plates for small prices ($5 or less), and a map of all the stops will be available at the participating locations. The stops include:

Ben’s Pretzels: $2 pretzel
Chicory Cafe: $5 for a combo plate of mushroom flatbread, andouille mac ‘n cheese, and a beignet
Edible Arrangements: $4 Flavor Pack – 16 oz. smoothie  of your choice and a chocolate dipped apple donut
South Bend Chocolate Cafe: $5 combo plate with open face pulled pork w/BBQ sauce on mini pretzel bun, butternut squash soup, and a pumpkin pretzel
Spirited: $5 for chickpea avocado plate

New Beer Release at South Bend Brew Werks

5:00 p.m. to midnight
216 S. Michigan St.
South Bend Brew Werks will be releasing a new pumpkin beer, which they made using the fresh pumpkin from their pumpkin carving event. Pints of this special new brew will be available for just $5.

Fall Drink Special at Spirited

4:00 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
105 E. Jefferson Blvd. (located on Michigan next to Jimmy John’s)
Welcome to our newest First Fridays participant – Spirited! They will be featuring their fall drink special – the Autumn Elyx cocktail, with Absolute, spiced pear liqueur, orgeat, and fresh lemon juice for $10. Also try their Flavor Stop offering of a $5 plate with their chickpea avocado dish.

Fall Drink Specials at South Bend Chocolate Cafe

6:00 a.m. to midnight
122 S. Michigan St.

The South Bend Chocolate Cafe will be having some delicious fall drinks available this First Fridays, and throughout the fall season. Try their Pumpkin Spice Mocha, Pumpkin Spice Latte, Spiced Caramel Apple Cider, Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate, or Spooky Spice Chai.  Also take advantage of their First Fridays special: 2 for $18 any crunch/pretzel combo. They will also have a special on candy – 3 for $13, choice of 4-piece turtles, fall lollipops, or 5-piece assortment.  Ben’s Pretzels (located inside the Chocolate Cafe) will also be offering a First Fridays special: 3 pretzels for $10 (not including sauce.)

Linden Grill

5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
119 S. Michigan St.
Linden Grill will have free face painting from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and live music by Dr. Rob & Reproduction Band from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. They will also be featuring a 4-piece perch dinner special which includes fries, soft drink, and their all-you-can-eat salad bar for just $12. Plus $2 kids meals (reg. $5) – two kids meal specials with each adult perch dinner purchase.


5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
127 S. Michigan St.

PEGGS will be open for special dinner hours this First Fridays.

New Real Services Food Truck at Studebaker Plaza

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Studebaker Plaza
The Real Grille – the new food truck from Real Services – will be at Studebaker Plaza this First Fridays. Check out their menu here.

Ongoing First Fridays Promotions

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.

Ben’s Pretzels

122 S. Michigan St.
3 pretzels for $10 (not including sauce)


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)

Hair Crafters

602 Lincoln Way East
20% off for new guests and 10% off all retail

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 $18 any crunch/pretzel combo

The Brain Lair

714 E. Jefferson Blvd.
25% off a children or teen new hardcover book

Therapeutic Indulgence

904 E. Jefferson Blvd.
20% off gift cards

Tippecanoe Place

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

Event Sponsors: