Bridget's obliterated

Author: Ed Cohen

The bar near campus that became synonymous with underage drinking before it became a coffee shop has now become . . . a vacant lot.

The University purchased the former Molly McGuire’s Coffee House after it closed last summer and demolished it earlier this year. Also torn down was its neighbor across Eddy Street, the former offices of Shilts Graves & Associates Inc., an engineering firm. The University purchased that property in 2002.

A Notre Dame official said the University has no plans to build on the lots, which are at the Five Points intersection where South Bend Avenue, Eddy Street and Corby Boulevard come together. He said the buildings were demolished because they were vacant and Notre Dame didn’t want them to become liability to the neighborhood. Both properties are close to the Robinson Community Learning Center, which Notre Dame opened in the former Goodwill store on Eddy Street in 2001 as an outreach to South Bend’s Northeast Neighborhood.

The state of Indiana plans to reconfigure the Five Points intersection and widen Indiana 23 (South Bend Avenue) to four lanes, but construction is not expected to begin before 2007.

Notre Dame has been working with community groups on a proposed redevelopment of Eddy Street between campus and the Five Points area. The concept calls for new retail stores and possibly student apartments above the shops.

Molly McGuire’s Coffee House opened after a 1998 raid at what was then called Bridget McGuire’s Filling Station cost the bar its liquor license. Law enforcement personnel found that of the 172 patrons inside (maximum fire-safety capacity was 110) 165 of them were under 21.