Thursday, 23 May 2019 12:33

West Michigan Biz Beat: A Roundup of Openings, Closings and other Local Business News, June 2019

Written by  Josh Veal
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After years of waiting on licensing and certifications, Wise Men Distillery finally was able to open on May 31, with five spirit s ready to go. The tasting room at 4717 Broadmoor Ave., Kentwood currently offers vodka, rum, gin, white whiskey and apple pie moonshine. It all started years ago with a successful test batch of moonshine and has grown into a full-fledged distillery with craft cocktails and award-winning spirits. The building is right by Cascade Winery and Jaden James Brewery, so you can experience the libation trifecta in one trip.

Bliss and Vinegar has joined the Downtown Market (435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids). The salad and wrap shop has become well-loved at its original location in Forest Hills, but the new location also offers fresh produce, unique kitchen gadgets and other cooking items. The goal is to fill the affordable, quick-service salad hole in West Michigan (R.I.P. Saladworks). Bliss & Vinegar has more than 60 ingredients and all the dressings are gluten-free housemade vinaigrettes. Even non-vegans love the Vegan Bliss, with baby kale, quinoa, broccoli, corn, chickpeas, avocado, walnuts, dried cherries and honey dijon vinaigrette. 

The Grand Rapids bar at 741 Leonard St. NW has been through some big changes in the last year, going from the longtime dive bar Kuzzins to a somewhat less divey bar, Local 741, with some appetizers and a focus on punk shows. Now, the bar has rebranded as The Iron Well, with plans to keep upgrading the interior and switch the live shows to “a little bit of country and a little bit of rock n’ roll.” 

Cakabakery is taking over Holland, opening its third location at 82 W. 8th St., on the same road as hotspots like HopCat, New Holland Brewing and Hops at 84 East. You can stop in to pick up cupcakes, cookies, cake by the slice and more. The flavors are endless, from vanilla chardonnay to maple bacon and triple salted caramel. If you’re looking for something bigger, Cakabakery is all about making amazing desserts for your special event, whether it’s weddings, corporate events, galas or even small parties at home. 


Sovengard is tweaking its concept with the introduction of HØST, a new “slow-food” dining experience in the upper floor. The menu changes daily and is meant to highlight the local farms and producers Sovengard works with, as well as “the whims of our culinary team.” Meanwhile, the lower level and biergarten are shifting toward a more casual approach, with a slightly smaller (but still not too small) menu that focuses on snacks, boards, sandwiches and salads.

—Compiled by Josh Veal

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