Member News

Leeds Public House adapts, adjusts during first year
Michigan City, IN
07/27/2020 01:44 PM

Owning a restaurant typically presents many challenges during the first year. Just as Leeds Public House was getting past the early growing pains of opening, the pandemic caused restaurants across the country to shut down - offering up unprecedented issues and changing the landscape of business ownership.

“We were so happy and excited to get our doors open on July 31, 2019, after a year- long process of carefully renovating the building. Like everyone, we could never have envisioned the obstacles that would then come along with the COVID pandemic this spring,” said Leeds Public House owner Denise Burns.

In its first year, the downtown Michigan City eatery has adapted to guidelines and regulations as a result of the pandemic while striving to carry on the history represented by its 100-plus-year-old building.

“When you imagine how our actual space has withstood the test of time, it is inspiring to stay strong today and pave the way for a solid future of being a key neighborhood spot,” Burns said.

Leeds offered carry-out and delivery during the initial shutdown and also had to temporarily halt operations after an employee tested positive for COVID. The team has streamlined its menu and modified its hours as well.

“We have worked to be as transparent as possible while building our business and keeping everyone safe and healthy,” Burns said. “All restaurants and businesses are in the same boat every day, and we have truly appreciated the positivity and support of the community.”

As part of Leeds one-year anniversary, the team has decided to celebrate its guests with a Customer Appreciation Week from July 29 through Aug. 2. In addition to its regular fare, LPH will feature a special three-course menu, wine and cheese tastings, cocktail specials, raffles, and a Sunday DJ brunch. Additional details can be found on the Leeds Public House Facebook page or website.

The restaurant is also remaining connected to nonprofits with its Leeds Project Heart.

“We know that many nonprofits have been negatively impacted by COVID. They have had to cancel fund-raisers and are adapting to a different climate, but still are trying to fulfill their missions and goals,” Burns said. “That is why we now have a month-long Project Heart that helps raise funds for a featured nonprofit by donating proceeds from a special cocktail.

“Our bartenders get creative with a drink that coincides with the nonprofit, and our guests can enjoy a fresh feature every month.”  

Leeds is always looking for new nonprofits to spotlight through its monthly Leeds Project Heart. To become a part of the community-focused initiative, contact Leeds General Manager Dave Roberts at 219-814-4530 or

Leeds Public House, 401 Franklin St., centers on local and fresh ingredients that are crafted into a flavorful menu while serving up specialty cocktails, local and regional brews and weekly specials. At home in a 100-plus-year-old building, the Michigan City spot strives to be a neighborhood beacon that enlivens the historic downtown with an eclectic vibe, outdoor patio, indoor and outdoor bars as well as vigorous community spirit.

Denise Burns
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