Ah, normalcy… we’re slowly but surely heading in your direction.
We’ve finally reached the point where enough people are vaccinated that we can celebrate with our annual Dining & Drinking Issue, showing you the best places to return when ready.
Just remember, everyone in the service industry has already been running a marathon for a year, and now we’re asking them to handle the busy season with a major staffing crisis across the board.
If there’s one way you can help, it’s being patient and empathetic. Your food may not come out as fast as you’re used to, or the place might have rules you don’t agree with, or your server might not be in the best mood. These things are happening for a reason, and it’s not that everyone in the industry is lazy — in fact, they’re some of the hardest working people I know.
That said, it’s definitely time to get out and support your local businesses, which is what this issue is really all about! As for dining, we have scrumptious seafood, luscious lunch, tasty Thai, and a survey of what West Michigan is missing.
For drinking, we’re focusing on bars, with a GR Bar Guide to suit your mood, a dive bar tour centered on Michigan Street, and an interview with a local bar manager on how you can help make the return fun and painless.
This month, we also have our usual cannabis coverage, featuring an article on how to start growing your own grass! Music is on the way back too, which is positively invigorating. We have a story on local artist Patty PerShayla and a music festival that you’ve already missed if you’re reading this after 4th of July — don’t worry, there are plenty more on the way.
Moving forward, restrictions will loosen even more, music venues will return and maybe masks will disappear altogether (though I’ll likely keep using mine to hide at the grocery store). As that happens, let’s all remember to support local not just with our dollars, but with our kindness.
'Til next time,
Josh Veal, Managing Editor
On the Cover: The Dining & Drinking Issue
Sounds: Patty PerShayla & The Mayhaps
Visual arts, classical and jazz music, theater, arts event previews and more. (See inside this issue - beginning on page 18.)
December: Last-Minute Gift Guide
November: The Holiday Issue
October: The Beer Issue
September: The Arts Issue
August: The Best of the West Issue
July: The Dining & Drinking Issue
June: Summer to Re-Discover
May: Feel the Love Issue
April: Cannabis Issue
March: The Funny Issue
February: The Sweet Issue
January: 50 Things to Do in 2020
*For earlier issues, contact Courtney for the linked archive.