Breweries, great food, the arts, a coast — West Michigan has everything you could ever ask for.
Well, except a few things. As much as we love what we do have, there’s always room to grow and niches to fill. A decade ago, the area didn’t have a single poke bowl in sight. Now they’re everywhere! We don’t know what the next trend will be, but we can at least do some wishing.
We asked Revue’s staff and readers what West Michigan is missing, and here’s what they had to say.
Events like Festival of the Arts and Irish On Ionia prove that Grand Rapids specifically needs a nice, walkable area downtown, like The BELT in Detroit — a super cool alley full of art, with entrances to bars and dining. No cars allowed. Honestly, we should just turn Ionia Avenue into one big sidewalk.
We’re missing a permanent, robust artists market. With all the pop-up vintage sales and handmade goods around here, you’d think we’d have a year-round artist haven of our own by now. Not going to lie, I’m a little jealous of the East side’s Rust Belt Market in Ferndale. While the Arts Marketplace at Studio Park is great, I think something huge like that would do great Downtown.
I want an awesome arcade for adults. Stella’s and The Pyramid Scheme are cool, but the machines are more of a perk than the main attraction. A hip arcade for adults that happens to have drinks would be a perfect place to hang out.
As an Eastsider, West Michigan is missing the following: National Coney Island, White Castle, bottomless mimosas, and an old-school pool hall.
I would love to see a place that has coffee flights!
Since GR is going to bring back the rapids, we also need a giant Ferris Wheel overlooking said rapids.
This is true of most cities, but we’ve been without a lesbian bar for far too long.
Someday, we need a cannabis lounge — a place to smoke, chill out and converse with friends and strangers.
Grand Rapids needs what can be found nowhere, which is to say a labyrinthine stone bookstore, whose stock consists of every book written; pull one at random, and you’ll discover a volume you had thought lost in childhood. Hours later, thirsty and dazed, you’ll emerge through a door onto a familiar downtown street, purchase in hand. That, or a really good Brazilian steakhouse.
I want a bar that takes advantage of Michigan winters. Build some real igloos, serve hot cocktails, host snowy yard games — encourage people to get outside not in spite of winter, but because it’s winter.
A place geared for adults that has miniature golf and other outdoor activities (batting cages, badminton, volleyball, cornhole, etc.), serving food and adult bevvies to enjoy while playing the games.
A teahouse! Either Japanese- or English-inspired.
The much-talked-about outdoor concert amphitheater (we got this one three times).
An IKEA (we got this one four times).
A club that books heavy metal bands exclusively.
A place to dance that isn’t ultra “clubby.”
Foodie walking tours.
A dine-in-the-dark restaurant.
A Colombian Tejo bar.
More downtown retail stores. ν