Our Story

Shortly after the construction of the Jefferson Street Bridge in 1912, Chris Anwonder opened the first tavern to be housed in our building. During the era that followed, industry and commerce built upon the banks of the river.

Our building has a history that somewhat parallels the economic ups and downs of the South Bend area. The building has been a porcelain works, tombstone factory, and a sign company. For fifteen years prior to the October 1, 1980 opening of the restaurant, it was an empty warehouse.

The reconstruction of the building uses artifacts collected from the area, and most of the restored oak pieces have been uniquely located to provide the atmosphere that is the Emporium. The grand staircase and the oak doors used as paneling are all from an old church. The antique light fixtures, railings, spindles, and oak columns are authentic and add to the beautiful ambience and dining experience.

Key Location

  • Beautiful Views Of Downtown South Bend From the East Bank of the River
  • 10 Minute Walk Across the River to the Century Center and Downtown Hotels
  • The Only Restaurant with Patio Seating Off the St. Joseph River (call for reservations)
  • 5 Minute Drive From Notre Dame
  • Direct Access to the East Bank Trail and Seitz Park

Diverse Dining

  • Featuring all-natural regionally sourced beef and pork
  • Amuse Bouche Presented Nightly
  • Diverse Menu Covering Most Dietary Requirements

Our Head Team

Ben Ganey

Proprietor | Ben has over a decade of restaurant experience as an owner, manager, and operator. He has always loved being in the kitchen and can be found experimenting with new and exciting dishes. His passion for quality food products is executed exquisitely by head chef Mark Lofton.

Mark Lofton

Head Chef | Mark has a strong reputation in the South Bend area having worked as a chef and head chef at numerous local restaurants before becoming the head chef at the Emporium. He lives by the motto: “Great Food and Attentive Service Create a Memorable Restaurant Experience.”

Shawn Dickens

General Manager | Shawn has a long history with the Emporium - working as a server, bartender, and assistant manager before being promoted to General Manager in 2012. He has a passion for the restaurant business and takes pride in making sure that every customer is taken care of.

Mike Fox

Manager | Mike, a retired Indiana Conservation Officer, has served the community he loves for the past 30 years and continues to do so as a manager at the Emporium. He thoroughly enjoys the outdoors and talking with customers.

Amy Grunden

Manager | Amy, has been a manager at the Emporium since 2008 and brings years of knowledge to the table (literally). She knows how to create an enjoyable atmosphere for patrons and takes pride knowing that they have had a memorable experience.

Lauren Unger

Manager | Lauren, has been a manager at the Emporium since 2013 and her youthful exuberance creates an enjoyable environment for all. She manages the restaurant’s social media and holds everyone to a very high standard.

Interested in joining our team?

We are always looking for talented and professional team members. Are you an experienced chef or a master bartender? Come in and apply today!