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Located about 3 miles northwest of downtown South Bend, IN, the Council Oak neighborhood features attractive single-family homes with manicured lawns.

The proximity of the neighborhood to the University of Notre Dame and Bethel College means there are plenty of activities and entertainment options. The St. Joseph River sits just to the east of the neighborhood, making this area a playground for people who love water sports.

The AM General plant, manufacturer of vehicles for military and commercial applications, remains one of the largest employers in the area. The plant resides in Mishawaka, a small city east of South Bend and a short commute away from Council Oak.

The Council Oak neighborhood has a nice mix of long-term residents and recent arrivals. A quarter of the area's population has lived there for more than 5 years, and the median age is 41. Thirty-nine percent of the neighborhood's population consists of single parent homes and the median household income averages just under $50,000 per year.

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Rent Trends

As of August 2017, the average apartment rent in South Bend, IN is $588 for one bedroom, $690 for two bedrooms, and $879 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in South Bend has increased by 5.6% in the past year.

Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent
1 BR
650
$588
2 BR
888
$690
3 BR
1,220
$879
Beds
Avg Sq Ft
Avg Rent

Ratings

34 Walk Score® Car-Dependent
0 Transit Score® Minimal Transit
0 Bike Score® Somewhat Bikeable

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Restaurants

Weiss' Gasthaus sits just across the St. Joseph's River from Council Oak, serving German favorites to enthusiastic diners. Dishes like potato pancakes, herring salad, weiner schnitzel and beef stroganoff provide an authentic German experience, especially when washed down with a cold German beer. Sunday brunch features filling dishes like the farmer's breakfast and schnitzel with gravy.

Cafe Navarre in downtown South Bend sits in a refurbished building highlighted by Old World architecture. Here you can find simple European food made with fresh local produce and quality ingredients. Dinner appetizer offerings include grilled quail with chestnuts and fried pork belly. Market fish, cornish hen, duck breast and lamb shanks provide local diners with a high-end eating experience. Private rooms are available for meetings or special occasions.

For a healthy option, consider Elia's Mediterranean Cuisine, located on the city's northeast side. Meat-lovers and vegetarians alike rejoice at the wide variety of options available, including appetizers such as hummus, baba ghannouge and meat pie. Vegetarians enjoy the midardara entree, a mix of rice, lentils and sauteed onions. Chicken or beef shawarma proves popular with the meat-loving crowd.

Cheers Pub creates a welcoming atmosphere for a late evening drink, game of pool or a chance to listen to some live rock music. Located just north of downtown South Bend, this bar not only books top groups, but offers locals a chance to perform. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the stage opens up for open mic nights, and Wednesdays give patrons a chance to perform air band karaoke. Drink specials run every night of the week.

As the home of the Fighting Irish, it makes sense to have an authentic Irish pub in South Bend. Fiddler's Hearth fills the bill with real Irish food accompanied by plenty of whiskey and beer. A good place to listen to live music, Fiddler's Hearth provides acoustic and folk performers on most nights of the week. When the music's not playing, chances are there's a soccer match on one of the big screen televisions.

History

Council Oak was named for a huge oak tree which marked the spot where the French explorer LaSalle met with Native American chiefs, which eventually led to the Miami Treaties. Though disease and a lightning strike destroyed the tree in the late 20th century, the area retains the name.

The 19th century was a time of great change for the entire area. Easy access to Lake Michigan via the St. Joseph River spurred an industrial boom that included companies such as Studebaker and Bendix. The establishment of the University of Notre Dame in 1842 added to the population explosion.

The Studebaker National Museum in South Bend pays homage to the short-lived car company, where ever-changing exhibits keep the museum experience fresh. The Snite Museum of Art on the Notre Dame campus and the South Bend Museum of Art showcase modern and historical works.

Transportation

South Bend Transpo provides bus service to greater South Bend, including the Council Oak neighborhood. An express service to the Blackthorn Industrial area has fewer stops, and creates shorter commutes for people who work there.

Taxi service to Council Oak requires a phone call to one of several South Bend companies, but don't expect to hail a cab from the street. Uber provides ride sharing service to Council Oak through a smart phone application.

Council Oak sits just off an entrance to Interstate 90, a major east-west freeway that runs through the Midwest. It connects with U.S. Routes 20 and 31 to make getting around the area quick and easy.

Public parking in Council Oak costs nothing. Portage Avenue, the main route to downtown South Bend, provides a safe lane for bicyclists and connects to a lengthy bike trail that runs along the St. Joseph River. Although walking in Council Oak poses no threats, there are no businesses within walking distance.

Cost

The cost of living in the Council Oak neighborhood runs about 15 percent below the national average, but slightly above South Bend. A bus ticket to downtown South Bend costs only $1.

A one-bedroom apartment in South Bend runs about $560 a month, while a domestic beer in a local pub sells for $4. Gas prices hover about 7 percent less than the national average.

Shopping

For the latest fashion trends and contemporary styles, local shoppers head to Inspire Me, an independent boutique near downtown South Bend. Inspire Me began as a gift shop 15 years ago, but slowly evolved to fill the needs of local women desiring modern clothing and accessories. Designer clothing now creates the majority of the store's sales.

Hammes Bookstore on the Notre Dame campus provides visitors with a taste of the local flavor inspired by the Fighting Irish. You must go on the day of a home football game to really get a sense of the fervor inspired by the local team. Along with many shelves filled with Notre Dame apparel and souvenirs, this store has all the things your college student needs to survive life in a dorm.

Located just north of Route 90 in Mishawaka, University Park Mall creates a regional shopping experience with major retailers such as Apple, J. Crew, Banana Republic and Forever 21. A number of popular eateries reside in the mall, which also has a large food court.

The South Bend Farmers Market sits in a permanent location on Northside Boulevard, and provides fresh produce, dairy, poultry, eggs and handcrafted items all year long. It remains open on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday throughout the year, adding Friday hours during the summer. Although the location has changed, the market has been running continuously since 1924.

For staples and offerings from a major grocery chain, Council Oak residents head to Kroger, Martin's, Walmart and Meijer.

Parks

There are three parks in the Council Oak area run by the South Bend Parks and Recreation Department. Pinhook Park covers almost 43 acres with picnic tables, playgrounds and one volleyball court. Pinhook Lake borders the park on three sides, providing local adults and children with an opportunity to fish within the city limits. Pinhook Park also hosts the Angel of Hope Memorial Garden, a place for grieving parents to go and remember deceased children.

Boland Park sits on the northwest side of Council Oak and provides three softball fields, one football field, two tennis courts and four picnic tables. The playgrounds in Boland Park meet all the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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Council Oak Apartments for Rent

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Apartments for Rent in Council Oak, South Bend, IN

Located about 3 miles northwest of downtown South Bend, IN, the Council Oak neighborhood features attractive single-family homes with manicured lawns.

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