Kankakee Grille

A depiction of the Kankakee Grille at the Four Winds South Bend.

NEW BUFFALO — Four Winds Casinos is replacing the Hard Rock Cafe with its Kankakee Grille restaurant at the New Buffalo location.

The Hard Rock Cafe will close on Oct. 31. Following renovations, Kankakee Grille will open to the public in late 2020.

A Hard Rock Casino is slated to open in Gary, Ind., in late 2020 or early 2021.

Four Winds Casinos already has a Kankakee Grille at its South Bend location. According to Four Winds, the incoming restaurant offers a diverse menu of food with a modern twist that has become a favorite choice among guests in Indiana.

Kankakee Grille will also offer a variety of live music and entertainment, and feature outdoor seating with access to the Four Winds New Buffalo pool bar.

“We would like to thank Hard Rock International for a very positive working relationship over the last nine years,” Frank Freedman, chief operating officer of Four Winds Casinos, said in a news release. “With the success of Kankakee Grille at Four Winds South Bend, and the great live music acts booked by our entertainment team, we felt it was a natural progression to bring our own restaurant concept to New Buffalo. We are excited to introduce this unique dining and entertainment experience to guests that visit our flagship resort.”

Matthew Wesaw, tribal council chairman and CEO of the Pokagon Gaming Authority, said they plan to announce more details about the new restaurant at Four Winds Casino New Buffalo when the opening date gets closer.

“The Pokagon Gaming Authority and our casino operations team are very proud of the success of the Four Winds Casinos brand we’ve worked so hard to build over the last 13 years,” he said in the release. “We feel the addition of Kankakee Grille will provide us with the added flexibility to make changes and further enhance the unique dining and entertainment experiences that have made Four Winds New Buffalo one of the top casino resorts in the country.”

Kankakee Grille gets its name from the Kankakee River, which begins in South Bend and flows toward Illinois. The Potawatomi people used the Kankakee River’s environment for food, shelter, medicine and clothing.

The name Kankakee Grille honors the Kankakee River and the ancestors of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians.

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