Ever wondered what the color purple would taste like? Brooke Donegan can show you.
At Spirited, customers can find out when they order the signature cocktail: It Tastes Purple? from the bar’s eclectic menu. The downtown South Bend establishment opened this summer with the effort to be a place where people can sip from an artfully crafted cocktail or an ice-cold beer. No matter what the selection, customers are likely to get in the spirit anyevening in downtown South Bend.
FAVORITE DRINK TO MAKE…Off of the menu here, I like making It Tastes Purple, because [customers] are always really excited to see that it is actually purple and how pretty it ends up being. My least favorite drink to make is anything in a blender and there is not a blender here for that reason. Aside from that, I think people should be able to drink whatever they want. I don’t have a giant opinion about what people should drink.
THE STRANGEST DRINK ON THE MENU IS the Adult Milk and Cookies. It is not that strange but it comes with a warm, cast iron cookie and the drink gets to them before the cookie does. It’s usually met with, ‘well, where’s my cookie?’ And I’m like, ‘Just wait. I promise you will be excited when it comes out.’ People get very excited about that. It’s like warm, gooey deliciousness.
My favorite food on our menu is probably all of the taco options and the different options on Tuesday when we have a special taco.
The vibe at Spirited is casual. Our vision was that there are high-end places in South Bend and there are college bars. We wanted to be in the middle: a fun, chill place to come that you can spend like $4 on a vodka soda or a cool mezcal or whiskey. Because I feel like ever since I moved here people are definitely complaining about how expensive everything is. We need a low-price option, but without the sticky floors. So, I would say casual.
One misconception about South Bend’s bar scene is…people saying that everything is really expensive, but you have to price things so that you can keep the lights on and your door open. We are very close to Chicago, and I guarantee you everything here is cheaper.
My personal hangover cure is Diet Coke and toast.
The biggest hazard behind the bar is…I hate everything being dirty and sticky, and I’m OCD about everything being clean and in its place. Everyone wears non-slip shoes, so you can’t slip.
South Bend is a great place to be a bartender because you get everyone from people who have just turned 21 to people who are downtown for business or a Notre Dame game. There’s just like a lot of different people that you encounter here which is interesting. I worked in Bloomington for a long time and it was either students or parents [that I would see].
Photos by Emily Sobecki