What do a 19th-century brewery and a wet burrito have in common? Why, Hacienda, of course!
The History: The Hacienda restaurant is now found in what was once the private residence of the Kamm family. Now if you were around Northern Indiana before 1951, you would be familiar with the Kamm-Schellinger Brewery that was once situated here. It was an enormous complex that ran from 1870-1951 brewing beer and soft drinks during that horrible time known as Prohibition. During the late 19th Century, both the Kamm and Schellinger families built beautiful mansions on the grounds of the brewery where they were able to live and work. The brewery was transformed into the 100 Center, a place for local restaurants and small businesses and saw its heyday in the 1970s. In 1978, Hacienda converted the former Kamm family’s home into a successful Mexcian restaurant and has managed to remain an anchor at the 100 Center even after 40 years.
The Haunting: Like most hauntings that come from the late 19th Century, this one is about a tragic love story gone horribly wrong. According to the legend of the mansion, the owner was having an affair with one of the maids. When he found out he had gotten her pregnant, he turned his back on the maid, leading her to hang herself in the attic. Overwhelmed with the guilt he felt, the man shot himself down in the basement. Paranormal claims have run rampant ever since Hacienda opened the mansion’s doors to the public. Employees have claimed to see a hazy apparition of what looks to be a young woman, believed to most likely be the maid in our tragic tale. Other ghostly claims involve soda machines working on their own and bathroom stall doors opening and closing on their own up on the second floor.
I was originally going to give this place a higher spooky rating. It definitely has an eerie feel as you walk through the various different dining rooms and up the stairs to the bathrooms. There is no denying that this was once someone’s home, you just get that feeling as you look into each of the rooms. However, I had to drop a point simply because it’s ghost story doesn’t have much history or physical evidence to back it up. According to the local historical society, the mansion was built for one of Adolph Kamm’s children, Albin Kamm. The young heir to the Kamm-Schellinger brewery might have had a maid, and if that was the case, he very well might have had an affair with her. But there are no records that tell us when Albin died, much less how (seriously, I found Adolph and all of his other children on Find a Grave, but there is nothing on Albin) so there’s no way to know if he did shoot himself in the basement.
Hacienda is famous for their wet burritos and carefree, friendly vibe. I was a bit nervous about visiting a restaurant in a restored mansion (I assumed it would be expensive), but I was more than pleasantly surprised by my experience! Of course, I had to get the wet burrito since that is Hacienda’s claim to fame. The downside: it wasn’t nearly as saucy as I like. The upside: this thing is the size of a baby. It is enormous, with more than enough food for two sittings… and best of all, it was only $10. Prices are not bad at all with the most expensive thing being $15.49 on the lunch menu and their specialty margarita that day (sangria!) was only $3.75. The menu is impressive with a slew of unique and original dishes that I haven’t seen at other Mexican restaurants (make sure you order the Fry-Yi-Yi!). With an interesting variety of food, a beautiful location, and lower prices, the next time I find myself in Indiana, I am making a pit stop at Hacienda… and maybe then I’ll find it a bit spookier…
Type of Experience: Restaurant and Bar
Dining Style: Casual
Price Range: $$3.29-15.49 (lunch prices)
Address: 706 Lincoln-Way West, Mishawaka, IN
Phone Number: (574) 259-8541
Hours of Operation:
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Thanks for the article!
We have a few claims from a former 100 Center Hacienda manager about the spooky encounters. One story regarding a child who was seen running amongst ‘the back of house’, the manager followed the child to the basement only to find the child had disappeared towards an area where a former brewery tunnel once was…. 👀