Niles Restaurant Week deemed a success

NILES – With Niles’ first Restaurant Week event having come to a close on Sunday, the Niles Downtown Development Authority/Niles Main Street is gathering information on how businesses were impacted by the event. In the early process of gathering feedback, reports are looking like it was a successful event for businesses involved.

“We are still getting reports in from all of the restaurants. We asked them to track, as best they could, their sales,” said Justin Flagel, vice chair of the Niles DDA. “We are seeing anywhere from sales being up 33 percent, to up to numbers in the 70 percent and higher.”

Flagel also reported to the Niles City Council on Monday evening that visitors from surrounding communities, like South Bend and Granger, and as far away as Grand Rapids, had visited the city specifically for the event.

For Niles DDA Director of Marketing and Administration Lisa Croteau, she said the feedback she had gotten was very positive.

“From watching [social media] posts from the restaurants, everybody says it was amazing,” Croteau said. “From going to the restaurants and talking to [the owners] through the week, everybody said it was amazing.”

The Niles Restaurant Week was a collaborative effort between the Niles DDA, the Greater Niles Chamber of Commerce and the participating restaurants. Now, those behind the event are looking to make Restaurant Week a recurring promotion, aiming to host it twice a year.

“We are looking to do another in the fall,” Croteau said.

Linda Skwarcan, general manager at Veni’s Sweets Shop, located at 228 E. Main St. in Niles, said she saw an increase in customers over the week.

“I know we had some first-time people,” Skwarcan said. “We had people in that had heard about Niles Restaurant Week and came here especially for that reason.”

She said the shop would “definitely” participate again, should there be more events.

Iron Shoe Distillery, located at 3 N. Third St. in Niles, had a post on its Facebook page thanking its customers and staff for the busy week.

“It was amazing to see so many of you out and about downtown Niles, supporting local business,” the post said. “If you haven’t heard, the entire month of March has been declared ‘Restaurant Month’ in Berrien County. So, get out there and eat some more delicious food.”

Brew Ha Ha, located at 920 Broadway St. in Niles, had a social media post on Saturday thanking supporters from throughout the week.

“You came out in spades and showed us love,” the post said.

Both Flagel and Croteau said the Niles DDA was looking into ways to support other industries with similar events as well, in the future.

Cass County

PHOTO STORY: Niles’ Reske takes home Cass County cat show title

Berrien County

Berrien County commissioners pass resolution supporting Indiana Michigan River Valley Trail project

Dowagiac

Dowagiac schools make masks optional for students, staff

Dowagiac

Ascension Borgess Lee Foundation golf outing raises $19,000

Cass County

Two injured in Howard Township crash

Cass County

Cass County Fair hosts Law Enforcement Day

Berrien County

Heroin, meth, firearms seized during search warrants in Niles, Buchanan

Cass County

PHOTO STORY: Niles teen takes home three first place wins in Cass County Fair youth horse, pony show

Dowagiac

PHOTO STORY: Dowagiac Police Department hosts National Night Out event

Berrien County

Junior Achievement of Berrien, Cass counties announces Tapas on the Green event

Cass County

PHOTO STORY: NTPA Tractor Pull wows crowd at Cass County Fair

News

Niles Riverfest begins Thursday

Cass County

Cass County Conservation district announces 2020 awards

Berrien County

Spectrum Health Lakeland Foundation awards $75,000 in scholarships, grants

Giving

Niles church nearing fundraising goal for new community playground

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 906,538 cases, 19,947 deaths

Cass County

PHOTO STORY: Dowagiac’s Stockwell named champion swine showman at Cass County Fair

Berrien County

Registration now open for Lory’s Place Run, Walk, and Rock

Berrien County

BCF Arts Challenge seeking support for Berrien County arts venues

Berrien County

Community members encouraged to donate blood, save lives

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: July 28-Aug. 2

News

Niles Township reconsiders document scanning project, rescinds special meeting vote

Giving

Niles church to host Family Fun Fest Saturday

Cass County

PHOTO STORY: Niles’ Tharp wins Cass County Youth Dairy Show