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Monday, 11 July 2022 13:05

Biz Beat: July 2022

Written by  Claire Chapin
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Monsoon Vietnamese Cuisine. Monsoon Vietnamese Cuisine. Courtesy Photo

Openings, closings and other local business news in West Michigan.

OPENED: Monsoon Vietnamese Cuisine says that they are combining Vietnamese classics with midwestern hospitality! While they are serving up charcoal-cooked traditions out of 55 Monroe Center, the sleek interior design combines with the fresh local ingredients to deliver a unique dining experience to Grand Rapids. 

Where a car wash once stood at 755 Michigan St., a lively taco restaurant now brings Latin American and Hispanic food traditions to Grand Rapids. Taco Borracho features an indoor-outdoor bar and seating, where taco connoisseurs can pick from the culture-rich menu and wash it all down with a margarita tower to share. 

Life has so much to celebrate, but your living room can only hold so many people. Luckily, The 1530 has moved into 1530 Madison Ave., providing Grand Rapids with a variety of wood-beamed rooms and spaces to give a background for every type of event, from weddings to company meetings. 

Real Seafood Company has five locations across the country, but originated just across the state in Ann Arbor. The Grand Rapids location recently made its home at 141 Lyon St. NW. Immediately inside the door, you’ll see a massive mural by a Saginaw artist, and a few steps further brings you to fresh seafood sourced from the Great Lakes, New England and the Gulf of Mexico, express-delivered to the restaurant. 

As a complement to the local Long Road Distillery, Less Traveled is showcasing all the Long Road spirits, bitters, vermouth and everything else in a carefully crafted and extensive cocktail menu. Keeping it local, the food menu is sourced from a variety of Michigan growers and suppliers, and has a little something for everyone, The intimate space at 959 Cherry St. has indoor-outdoor room for about 80 people. 

Ice cream has become more inclusive thanks to the creation of Tastefull Vegan ice cream brand. Every item is Big 9-allergen-free, dairy-free, and gluten free, bringing ice cream to everyone! The storefront is newly opened at 2265 Porter St. SW, and is open only on weekends. If you can’t wait ‘til Friday, Tastefull is available at all Harvest Health stores, Forest Hill Foods, Bridge Street Market and Fulton Street Farmers Market. 

Le Macaron will crush any cravings for French desserts. The newest location of this national patisserie whips up gelato, cakes, pastries and, of course, the titular macarons out of their kitchen downtown Grand Rapids at 132 Monroe Center St.

A new boutique has hit 40 Monroe Center St., providing inclusive sizing in women’s and men’s clothing, gifts, jewelry and home goods from various local vendors. The rotating inventory at Courage and Soar ensures that you’ll never step into the same store twice. They also host various workshops, such as learning how to make the cloud-shaped light fixtures that fill the ceiling of the store, providing everything but the bulb! 

Social House, a Grand Rapids favorite, is opening a second location at 248 Broadway St. in South Haven. Popular staples will remain on the menu, but new creative dishes are planned to join the lineup. Local DJs spin every Friday and Saturday starting at 10 p.m., for more adult fun.

A dynamic sibling duo is opening their sixth pizza restaurant, expanding to 1551 Wealthy St., bringing Franca’s Pizza to Grand Rapids. Pizza, salads, subs, strombolis and much more are available in-store, or via delivery and online orders. Try one of their specialties, like the Mac n’ Cheese pizza!

Inspired by one guy’s love of homebrewing, Brewery Outré provides unique and creative house-brewed beers to the Kalamazoo community in a cozy taproom at 567 E. Ransom St. If you’re looking for dinner, you’re going to want to stop before you get there. They do not have a kitchen and encourage you to DoorDash or pack food to bring! In the future, they hope to collaborate with food trucks to direct the community to more local businesses.

Egyptian traditions have arrived at 125 Ottawa St., the second full-service location for the husband-and-wife owners. A Taste of Cairo focuses on traditional koshery, the national dish of Egypt. Baklava, spinach pie, baba ghanouj and more are also served up all week long, providing Grand Rapids with a true taste of Cairo!

As part of the new wave of restaurants hitting downtown Rockford, Kawa Sushi brings a sleek interior with high-quality ingredients to 8 E. Bridge St. The soft opening in late spring was met with warm welcome and rave reviews, boding good things for Kawa’s future in Rockford. 

CLOSED: 

After four years serving Grand Rapids, Wikiwiki Poke Shop (1146 Wealthy St. SE) closed its doors. According to the owner, the economic and social atmosphere of the world has become unconducive to the “wild creative atmosphere that inspired [him] to start Wikiwiki.” As far as what’s next, he says first a nap, and then searching for new projects to apply his talents to

ELK Brewing (700 Wealthy St. SE) has provided local brews to Grand Rapids for eight years. They had to permanently shut down operations in May as a result of these ever-referenced unprecedented times. They went out with a bang, introducing a new stout entitled “Extinction of Elk” and throwing a party before locking up.

If you have closings, openings or other business news for REVUE, e-mail josh[at]serendipity-media.com.

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