Cooking Up a Business

Opening a new restaurant can be expensive, and finding a good location to set up shop isn’t always easy. That’s why the Main Course Restaurant Challenge is offering up to $250,000 in start-up cash and gifts in-kind to the individual with the best restaurant business model.

The idea behind the competition is to create more unique dining options in the city and attract more visitors to the Downtown area. The committee was formed in late 2013 after South Central Communications CEO J.P. Engelbrecht and Old National Bank President and CEO Bob Jones saw the benefits of adding a new restaurant Downtown.

The winner will set up their restaurant at 330 Main St. Joshua Armstrong, director of the Downtown Alliance (a recently-launched program of the Southwest Indiana Chamber of Commerce), says nearby businesses and restaurants are looking forward to a new neighbor, which will open its doors next September.

“A new restaurant Downtown is going to drive business, not create competition,” says Armstrong. “The feeling is the more, the merrier.”

The winner of the Main Course Restaurant Challenge will be announced Nov. 24, after the final four competed in a taste-off before a panel of judges.

For more information on the Main Course Restaurant Challenge, visit

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