Elkhart Travel Guide

  • Tip to Owners, put Now Hiring sign BACK UP QUICK
    Tip to Owners, put Now Hiring sign BACK...
    by Phlebas2
  • Elkhart
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  • Things to Do
    by gkitzmil

Elkhart Things to Do

  • Phlebas2's Profile Photo

    by Phlebas2 Updated Jan 10, 2012

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    Grab a piece of hisotry in Elkhart. or atleast a brick or two..
    Of Elkhart's Manufacturing history.
    I have made a point over the years of grabbing a brick or two everytime Elkhart decides to bulldoze its history away. Now carefull inscribed with a magic marker as to their origin. I now have enough bricks to build a nice tribute to my childhood hometown.
    If it's big, old and made of brick, in Elkhart, it's doomed.

    One of the latest crumbling edifices to Elkhart's "last turn of the century" manufacturing efforts..
    Elkhart's own little Studebaker..

    The "new" Elkhart Carriage & Harness Manufacturing Co / Pratt / Elcar Factory
    (The 1913 Elcar not the 1970's one)

    If Elkhart were South Bend, it would have been either senior housing, pricey loft condos, or bulldozed by now..
    If this were Goshen it would either be a "Bag Factory" full of quirky shops or atleast dismantled for its bricks like the old Western Rubber plant..

    But HEY this IS Elkhart..
    They let the owners defer maintaince for decades then condem it finally when it starts falling.
    (Anyone remember the Bucklin Opera House??)
    In Elkhart where a home owner who doesn't repaint their garage quick enough, gets a fine from the Elkhart building inspector. It takes a massive collapse of a highly prominent seriously deteriorated 4 story building to get the city's attention?
    Go figure.

    What a sad sight now.. for the last 2 or three years to see its roof and tallest wall sections collapsing and its bricks falling behind a screen of orange snow fence.

    I wisely got myself a few bricks back in the 1970's from a portion of the smokestack and then crumbling powerplant.
    Even in the 1970's on a tour of the building, its ominiously unmaintained roof was leaking heavily and rotting the roof timbers, so this really comes as little surprize 35 years later.

    Back in 2006 "the Former Walter Piano Building" - 700 W. Beardsley Ave., Elkhart, IN. 166000 SF Industrial was For Sale on LoopNet.com.
    "One of Elkhart's historic industrial buildings. Former home to Elcar Automobiles, Walter Pianos and many othe rmanufacturers. Many conversion possibilities - Flex space, lofts, warehousing, studios, etc. Near downtown at corner of Beardsley Ave. & Michigan St.
    Highlights Great Conversion Potential
    Floor Plans available
    Multi-use potential "

    Hurry, it's now off the market and awaiting demolition, even it is just demolition by neglect.
    Soon short of the book:
    "Elcar and Pratt Automobiles: The Complete History By William S. Locke"
    It's going to be another memory.

    But don't worry even if you miss out.. never fear, the original 1870's factory at Pratt and East Streets downtown still is standing, and likely to someday soon be knocked down for a nice not so historic parking lot, so you may still get a brick or two..

    Sadly (or Gladly) Elkhart's latest auto manufacturer didnt even stick around long enough to leave much of a trace. So in a 100 some years no one will have to look at its decaying facilities and "THINK" about that too much.. lol

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Photography
    • Architecture

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    by Phlebas2 Written Jul 9, 2008

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    An intersting collection of historic rail cars , engines, and related items.
    Sure to stir the heart of any railroad enthuisist.

    Located in the old Downtown Elkhart Freight terminal, just across the tracks from the historic Elkhart Train Depot. Enjoy the displays while numerous modern Freight trains roar by on the adjacent tracks through out the day, and night.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Trains

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  • gkitzmil's Profile Photo

    by gkitzmil Written Oct 4, 2002

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    The other reason to visit the Elkhart area is to have a good hotel while visiting the Shipshewanna Flea Market on Tuesday! It is the LARGEST FLEA MARKET I've ever attended (it can take a full day to browse everything!)

    Opening Day
    May 1, 2001

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Elkhart Restaurants

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    by Phlebas2 Updated Jan 10, 2012

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    I went to stop in last week, and its called ChiCago something or another now,
    so I didnt stop. I assume Greg is gone, dead, lost it in a divorce or gambing thing, or something.

    I used to go to GUBI's long before they moved to "Landmark" even,
    way back when they were at Simonton Lake Tavernville. Way before Lynn bought the old place, before, .. well its still changing names out there, and apparently at Gubi's newer digs too

    Why would anyone in Elkhart even refer to ChiCago in a name?
    Elkhart IS NOT ChiCago. at all..
    ChiCago is in ILL In Nois. Elkhart is in a Corn Field in Indiana. I know, Ive lived there.
    Sounds pricey to put ChiCago in a name of an Elkhart bar?
    Tells me that I either can't afford it, or don't want to.
    If I want Chicago, I'll drive there and enjoy it.

    Favorite Dish: The big stuffed Gubi Burger and Fries.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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Elkhart Nightlife

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    Tip to Owners, put Now Hiring sign BACK UP QUICK

    by Phlebas2 Updated Jan 10, 2012

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    You can't help but just stand and stare.. And wonder what happened...
    and I am not sure exactly how to describe it..

    Like the Elkhart Truth reported..
    "There's something oddly familiar about Mad Anthony's... ".
    And, I have to agree, but perhaps "disturbingly familiar" might be a better phrase to describe the place. Or perhaps "disturbingly uncomfortable", like a pair of childhood Buster Brown shoes that don't fit quite right.

    The beers seem to pretty good, certainly better than most microbrews I've had in Elkhart.
    Nicely chilled and rather fresh tasting.. But something about the place's theme reminds me of a Rocky Horror Picture Show party. with Freddy Mercury hosting. Many of the decor references are a little too " dated " a little too "camp" too feel comfortable. Sort of like an "Alien Probing" of my youth..

    Overall not a bad experience if you can overlook the obvious under staffing and organizational problems.
    The menu's (Yes, multiple Menus) can be confusing and are in very small print on a hard to read distracting background when you are trying to read them in the dark., while being bombarded by Karaoke.

    MAD Anthony's seems to be a great name for the place, and the camp references to "It's a MAD MAD World" appropriate.. It was a zany Military struggle to get service, and I was pretty MAD when I had to keep taking my glass back to the bar in order to get my server to bring me back a beer 20 minuets later. I spent over an hour waiting for a total of 3 beers And the Pizza, once we deciphered the menu took another 45 minutes.. Not a "bad pizza" at all, appeared to be fresh, but for $16 and change i could have spent the 45 minutes it took to arrive driving to Kroger's to pick up a Freschetta , taken it home, baked it and returned, and still been waiting for my 2nd beer.

    Hopefully the place will survive long enough to work out some of its quirks. It could be a very fun place with good food, beer, and some zany entertainment. But at this point I would have to say that my "return to battle" them for service , will dissuade me from a repeat evening visit. Perhaps I might try lunch sometime.. and hope that I can get my food and drinks in under an hour.

    The beers are generally pretty good. The " Almost Famous Gourmet Pan Pizza, a deep dish Chicago style pizza " like the service in general, could have generally good IF it hadn't taken so long to get. But hey, it IS Elkhart after all?

    The Old State Theater has been though many regrettable episodes of reincarnation in the last few decades, let's hope that Mad Anthony's tenure isn't going to be another.

    Just like the Realtors say..Location Location Location
    I think they would have been a lot better off in The South Bend "Old" State Theater,
    than the Elkhart "old" State Theater.

    Like Fox Mulder said "I want to Believe" Almost.. But hey, it is ELkhart after all.

    2011 update.. "11:44 PM Jan 27, 2011
    Mad Anthony's Old State Alehouse closes unexpectedly
    Elkhart, Ind. Another blow to Elkhart's economy as a downtown restaurant has unexpectedly closed. Reporter: Rich Molina
    Email Address: rich.molina@wndu.com"

    Anybody wanna buy a old theather reovated into a "brewhouse"?
    Bet you can get a god price on this place.
    In a classic "Dine and Dash" the owners skidded out in the middle of the night leaving Elkhart to foot the bill for tax abatements and loans.
    etruth reports: For Elkhart businesses, the name for low-interest loans is Aurora
    Posted: 04/25/2011
    "Mad Anthony's was given a $50,000 Aurora loan. It's unclear from court documents how much of that loan still is owed. "They will be leading the charge in how to dispose of that," Garrett said of the city's legal department. "At this point, it's in legal's hands."
    The restaurant also was given $95,000 in forgivable downtown development loans by the city, of which $47,000 remains and is being sought in court.
    The primary lender, First State Bank, is seeking foreclosure and sheriff's sale against Mad Anthony's. If there is money left over after property taxes and bank debt are paid, the city will be paid for its loans."


    Update Jan 2012 : Our friends at Loopnet tell us
    Former Mad Anthony's
    528-532 S. Main Street, Elkhart, IN 46516
    Turnkey restaurant for sale. 6,220 SF restaurant space with banquet room for private parties, outdoor patio dining area and full basement. Sale includes all restaurant equipment, fixtures and furniture. Three apartments upstairs with total of 2,146 SF of space.
    Several flexible options available for lease or purchase.


    Hey Elkhart give us a forgiveable loan.. lol

    Dress Code: Appears to be very casual, but feel free to get you cowboy gear and a feather boa out

    Related to:
    • Theater Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Road Trip

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Elkhart Favorites

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    by gkitzmil Written Oct 4, 2002

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    Favorite thing: The ONLY reasons to visit Elkhart:

    1) you have family there

    2) You have business there - musical instruments, RVs, light manufacturing, custom vans

    3) you want to learn about the Amish

    4) you want to go to the Flea Market in nearby Shipshewanna (see below)

    Fondest memory: While downtown Elkhart is not really vibrant it at least is still a functioning downtown

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    by gkitzmil Written Oct 4, 2002

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    Fondest memory: Elkhart was named for a 'heart shaped' island in what is now called the Elkhart River. That Island is now a nice park in the Center of town

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