"At this point, there are really quite a few good restaurants down here," said Chris Frangiadis, owner of Piatto 614.
Frangiadis says since he opened his doors four months ago, he's been staying pretty busy on the weekends.
He's been back and forth with business in downtown St. Joseph and says now, business is steady.
"I think that downtown is really picking up and there are really kind of a lot of new food options down here for people," said Frangiadis.
But, it's still not bustling like he feels it should be.
"I think a lot of the people in St. Joseph really don't have the mentality that downtown is an option to come and eat," said Frangiadis.
The St. Joseph Downtown Association says at least 10 new businesses have popped up in downtown St. Joseph in the last five years.
Even though new options are available, some business owners say they're surprised customers aren't flocking to their restaurants.
"There's been a slow progression upward for downtown St. Joseph," said Vincent Daunay, owner of Bad Art Bistro.
Daunay says attracting customers to the downtown area is a constant battle for a number of reasons.
"Convenience, bad reputation, proximity, and if you look at a map of St. Joseph, everything grows out of St. Joseph on the east side because of the river so there is an imbalance in the structure in the way the city grows," said Daunay.
He says the area is developing slowly. But, once people visit, they notice a unique experience.
"People enjoy the difference. People who come downtown expect different. They don't come downtown to find a corporate big chain," said Daunay.
Daunay hopes that desire for something different helps boost business for him and those around him.
The Downtown Association is currently working on the 11th Annual Mardi Gras Parade, which will be held on February 9.