Tuesday, 27 November 2018 13:47

12 Months of Biz Beat: Openings and closings across West Michigan

Written by  Josh Veal
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Even with businesses closing here and there, we have more dining, drinking and shopping options than ever. Restaurants are opening so fast, they’re having trouble finding workers, but it’s all to the diner’s benefit. The food scene here is increasingly diverse, with cuisine from all around the world finding a home in West Michigan. Here’s a look back at all the restaurants, breweries and other shops that have arrived or shuttered in 2018.


Wikiwiki Poke Shop (1146 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids) brought a unique dish to Wealthy Street, serving up poke and Rap Snacks. The Hawaiian dish has been described as “deconstructed sushi,” with raw fish being the key ingredient.

The Basque-inspired Zoko 822 incorporated its address, 822 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, into its name. Offering more than 30 varieties of gin, the restaurant also has small plates ranging from patatas bravas to Spanish sandwiches and empanadas.

Georgina’s Fusion Cuisine (724 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids) arrived from Traverse City. The Asian and Latin restaurant has garnered a following up north for its unique and delicious menu, and the Grand Rapids location looks no different.

DeHop’s Brewing Co. (363 Cummings Ave. NW, Walker) opened in Standale, bringing more craft beer and food to the area, along with a couple pool tables. The tap list has more than 10 beers spanning a variety of styles, and the menu features burgers, salad and authentic tacos.


Westside Social Tavern (2802 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, Grand Rapids) brought a new food experience to Standale, with the goal of celebrating the community via beer, craft cocktails, food and a warm atmosphere.

Jolly Pumpkin (428 Bridge St. SW, Grand Rapids) joined the Bridge Street renaissance, opening with plenty of its signature wild, farmhouse and sour beers, along with some North Peak taps for the more guarded palate. The Dexter-based brewery took over Black Heron’s previous space, converting the modern space to a comfortable taproom.

What once was Crooked Goose became Stan Diego (355 Wilson Ave. NW, Grand Rapids), a new “Baja taco kitchen” in Standale. The a-la-carte menu offers a wide variety of tacos, along with tamales, flautas, tlayudas and much more. You’ll find margaritas and cocktails as well, along with a repurposed 1973 orange Volkswagen bus and a foosball table.

The owners of Zoko 822 have followed up the Basque-inspired hit with another unique concept: MeXo (118 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids), a restaurant combining modern Mexican and pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican cuisine. It’s like nothing else in West Michigan, plus: tequila craft cocktails. 

ROAM by San Chez (250 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids) opened doors across the street from DeVos Performance Hall. ROAM offers “street food” from all over the world, including India, Mexico, Netherlands, China, Canada, New Zealand and more. The restaurant offers takeout, but also has a full-service dining room, where you’ll find craft cocktails, beer, wine and board games.

The Intersection (133 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids) opened two new venues: Elevation and The Mint. The former is in the building’s basement and can hold up to 800 people, twice that of The Stache. Meanwhile, The Mint is the venue’s VIP area, designed for after-parties, meet-and-greet events and intimate performances for about 150 people.

Linear Restaurant (1001 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids) arrived with a patio overlooking the Grand River. The restaurant is serving up experimental, modern, seasonal American cuisine. You’ll also find a large beer, wine and cocktail menu.

Coppercraft Distillery and Ridge Cider (both owned by Windquest Group) opened a joint satellite tasting room and restaurant at 340 Water St., Saugatuck, right on the Kalamazoo River. The two brands are in one segmented tasting room, in the same building as Mermaid Bar & Grill, which provides small plates for the space. 

Harmony Brewing (1551 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids) expanded into the former Subway location next door, providing a second kitchen, more than double the seating and an indoor/outdoor beer garden. The expansion also brought delivery for pizza, merchandise and beer-filled growlers.

The long-awaited Bridge Street Market (405 Seward Ave. NW, Grand Rapids) arrived. Owned by Meijer, the new grocery store is part of a larger development that also contains apartments, parking, the new West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology office and more.

Hopland Brewstillery (977 Butternut Dr., Holland) is now offering original beer and spirits, including Blue Waves, a blueberry brandy, and Boat Bouncer, a spiced rum. Hopland plans to add alcoholic kombucha, cold brew nitro coffee and more. The taproom has 40 taps for beer and six flatscreen TVs. 

Tantrick Brewing Co. (633 Hooker Dr., Allegan) opened with a solid selection of classic brews, like the Tilted Kolsch, Golden Mosaic Smash and Hopademic IPA. Musicians gather to perform, while local food trucks offer food for the laid-back taproom out in Allegan.

Rad Dads’ Tacos and Tequila Bar (470 W. Western Ave., Muskegon) joined the party, offering unique tacos like the Cracklin Me Up, with smoked pulled chicken, house verde sauce and chicken cracklins. The full bar is stocked with tequila, moonshine, beer and more. 

Waypost Brewing Co. (1630 Blue Star Highway, Fennville), founded by a brewer and winemaker couple, has joined the beverage scene out in Fennville. The small brewery is based on a farm, which provides some of the beer’s ingredients, much like a winery.

Juju Bird opened in Grand Rapids’ Downtown Market (435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids). Owners Blon Hang and Yang Hang also own Rak Thai, but Juju’s food is entirely different, focusing on buttermilk fried chicken. The menu has chicken sandwiches, wings, mashed potatoes and more.

Danzon Cubano (1 Carlton Ave. SE, Grand Rapids) joined the ranks of Eastown, presenting “a tribute to the Cuban people, their history, their culture.” The menu features authentic Cuban food like Spicy Oxtail Stew and Pargo Entero Al Horno, an entire roasted snapper.

Speciation Artisan Ales (3721 Laramie Dr. NE, Comstock Park) was finally able to open up its taproom for good. The brewery is open Thursday through Sunday, offering up its unique tap list of complex sour and wild ales.


HopCat Knapp’s Corner 
2183 E. Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids

2115 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids
Closed for renovation

Brass Ring Brewing 
2404 Eastern Ave. SE, Grand Rapids

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit 
380 E. Division St. NE, Rockford

Fox Naturals 
619 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids

Big Lake Brewing’s new spot at 13 W. 7th St., Holland 

Pulp & Stem, from the owner of The Paper Studio, has opened in the Downtown Market 435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

Escape Allegan
264 Western Ave., Allegan

Go Java 
442 Bridge St., Grand Rapids

Sapporo Ramen & Noodle Bar
5570 28th St. SE, Cascade

Forty Pearl 
40 Pearl St., Grand Rapids 

Fowling Warehouse 
6797 Cascade Rd. SE, Grand Rapids

Garage Bar & Grill opened a second location down in Godwin Heights at 3766 Division Ave., Grand Rapids

Waverly Stone Gastropub 
20 W. 8th St., Holland

Railtown Brewing Company 
(3595 68th St. SE, Dutton) expanded

Three Blondes Brewing
1875 Phoenix St., South Haven

19 N. 7th St., Grand Haven

Schaendorf Brewing Co.
412 Water St., Allegan

1635 Beidler St., Muskegon

1405 Lake Dr., Grand Rapids


Crooked Goose 
355 Wilson Ave. NE, Grand Rapids

Firehouse Guitars 
1032 E. Sternberg Rd., Muskegon

Mazzo Cucina D’Italia 
122 Monroe Center St. NW, Grand Rapids

25 Ottawa Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

Gallery Brewery 
143 Kent St., Portland

4255 Alpine, Comstock Park

Marie Catrib’s 
1001 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids

Hemingway Lounge 
15 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

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