Mexican and seafood restaurant El Tecate opens on west side of South Bend

Mexican and seafood restaurant El Tecate opens on west side of South Bend

Market Basket

As a waitress at Taste of Mexico and other area restaurants, South Bend resident Hilda Garcia never really thought she would own her own restaurant. But when the opportunity presented itself, she thought “why not.”

After two years of renovations and anticipation, Garcia and business partner Maria Gonzales opened El Tecate last week at 450 S. Carlisle St., in the same west-side South Bend neighborhood Garcia grew up.

A block south of Western Avenue and four blocks east of Olive Street, El Tecate features a menu that Garcia says is mainly Mexican, but also offers a wide variety of seafood not common to the area.

“When I used to travel to Chicago the restaurants there would have a lot of the seafood that I liked,” she said, “and I know that there is nothing around here like that.”

Seafood options such as ceviche, a medley of seafood steamed and mixed with red sauce called molcajete and shrimp or fish tacos topped with red cabbage and an avocado sauce cover the menu. But there’s plenty more.

“We didn’t want to do just seafood because it is so expensive and not everyone likes it,” Garcia said. “We also have carne asada, tacos and burritos. We have a large variety of seafood, but we wanted to do both.”

There are about 30 different items on the menu (“which for me is a lot,” Garcia said) including breakfast items to be served all day during the restaurant’s 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. hours.

“Just for people who are like me and want pancakes at night,” she laughed.

Garcia said she wanted a place on the west side where customers can watch their favorite sports on TV. There will be about eight flat-screen televisions in the 1,700-square-foot restaurant that will primarily have any kind of game.

“We wanted to do something,” she said, “to offer people on the west side a nice, new and clean restaurant.”

Using family recipes and providing a warm atmosphere, Garcia hopes customers find a place similar to home. She also hopes that their success of opening a restaurant — something she calls a surreal experience — is a sign of encouragement for other entrepreneurs on the west side of South Bend who may be looking to open their own businesses.

“I wanted to do something fresh and clean and hopefully that will give the other businesses encouragement to keep up with the city,” she said. “It’s not just Western Avenue — we want to open the whole west side. Maybe others will be inspired by us.”

Garcia says customers can expect to spend between $6 and $25 and the restaurant will sell beer and wine. There are plans to expand hours once the opening kinks are worked out.

El Tecate will be the host of West Side Wednesday on Nov. 6 from 11:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m. For more information, visit

Stock + Field to fill former Menards in Erskine Plaza

Months after Menards moved to its new location on the south side, another retailer will fill its former space in Erskine Plaza.

Stock+Field, the farm, home and outdoor retailer that was once known as Big R, will fill the vacancy at 902 Erskine Plaza next spring, a representative with the company said. Banners at the location will soon be posted encouraging those interested to apply for jobs. The retailer plans to fill the entire space.

Earlier this year, the company changed its name from Big R to Stock + Field to allow for a clearer message to customers about what it offers. It also has stores in Elkhart, Michigan City, Rochester, Wabash and Warsaw.

Have you heard?

Jubilee’s Boutique has opened inside the University Park Mall. The new store in the former Gymboree storefront features children’s and pre-teen clothing and is open from 11 a.m to 8 p.m. Hours will extend to follow mall hours in November. A grand opening is planned for Nov. 1. Keep an eye out on a future Market Basket about the new store. … There have been slight delays to the new restaurant, Howard Park Public House, at the Howard Park development near downtown South Bend. South Bend Chocolate Co. founder Mark Tarner said he hoped to open the restaurant and bar by the grand opening of the park, but said he has been busy opening a new store in Carmel, Ind., and building his new production facility and dinosaur museum on the city’s far northwest edge. The concession stand for the skating trail at Howard Park, “South Bend Chocolate Café Express,” will be ready for the premiere event.

What: El Tecate, a Mexican restaurant that offers an expansive seafood menu

Where: 450 S. Carlisle St., South Bend

Hours: Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m to 9 p.m. Hours are expected to expand soon. 

Price: $6 – $25

More information: Visit