Thursday, August 26, 2010

#9: Bonnie Doon

South Bend is certainly a temporally paradoxical city – simultaneously caught in the past and rushing into the future.  There are tech parks being built upon the sites of old industrial factories, HD jumbo-trons across the street from century old office buildings, and nano-technology labs next to abandoned warehouses.  The Studebaker symbol can still be found atop downtown buildings, while a complex black fiber network runs in conduits beneath our feet.  And yet…I would have to say that that perhaps the best example of this strange mélange of our past and present is a small diner on Lincoln Way, just east of Ironwood Ave in Mishawaka.

Bonnie Doon is a classic 1950-esque diner that allows you to slip back to a very different moment of our South Bend past – a moment of Studebakers, chocolate malts, and maybe even poodle skirts.  This diner, founded in 1948, still has an all year round car-hop – so it’s not difficult at all to imagine yourself sitting in your 1957 Studebaker Packard and ordering a Bonnie Burger Deluxe.  Complete with juke box and red/white checkered floor, it’s an uncommon look at a time in South Bend history when the car industry ruled the streets and fast food still meant good food.

Location: 2800 Lincolnway West, Mishawaka, IN 46544 – just east of Ironwood on Lincolnway West
Also check out their Drive-Thru location: 2704 Lincolnway West, Mishawaka, IN 46544, a little farther east on Lincolnway
Tip: Save room for dessert!  Bonnie Doon has a huge and delicious selection of ice cream, featuring special flavors of the month.  My personal favorite: Blue Moon

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