Bishop and Bae’s Soul Food Restaurant opens in South Bend

When you visit Bishop and Bae’s Soul Food Restaurant, owners Erskine and Diona Jones want customers to leave feeling one thing—full.

“Soul food is comfort food. It’s food that your mama would cook, and especially the African American family. It’s home food where you come here and before you order, you smell it,” Erskine said. “When you leave here, you should be unbuttoning your pants, pulling back from the table … and have to sit another 15 minutes (to let it digest).”

But the owners of South Bend’s new soul food restaurant want to go beyond filling customers’ stomachs. They also want to fill their hearts.

“I want them to feel at home,” Erskine said. “What we’ve really worked on is, even though the Bishop and Bae’s name is on it, it’s really the community’s restaurant.”

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Diona and Erskine Jones talk about the neighboring clothing store next to their new restaurant, Bishop and Bae's Soul Food Restaurant, in South Bend.

Erskine (the “Bishop”) and Diona (the “Bae”) are both active in the Sweet Home Ministries church and are behind several rehabilitation and recovery programs, reaching and helping hundreds of community members. In 2020, they opened a clothing store called The Closet that provides clothing for people part of the Fresh Start Friday program, which works to have the records for past offenders expunged. Regular shoppers are also able to shop in the store for items.

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