Guys, get yer ears raised at Foremost Barbershop (152 Fulton St. E). Located around the corner from the Cottage Bar in downtown Grand Rapids, Foremost is a convenient spot for dudes who work in the area to stop in on their break, or after work, and get their lettuce cleaned up. Shop owner Andrew Theile was born and raised in Owosso, Mich. (home of the cutting-edge Steam Railroading Institute) and graduated from Lansing Barber College in 2005. Then he moved to Chicago to be closer to his girlfriend (now wife). Awww. He made his bones at the Belmont Barbershop and Chicago Barbershop over the next six years. Let’s just say he knows his way around a pair of scissors. The pull of the Mitten State and decent beer was too great, so they moved to Grand Rapids. His intentions for Foremost are simple: open a three-chair, traditional-style barber shop that caters to men only, and offer classic services that only a genuine barber can: haircuts for $16, and straight razor shaves for $25. No frills, just skill.
Muskegon’s masterful music makers, the West Michigan Symphony, has a new home. This spring, the professional regional orchestra moved into its new headquarters on the second floor of 360 W. Western Avenue. Called The Block, the building provides an intimate, up-to-date concert experience where the focus is on the music. The 1,800-square-foot concert space will have seating for 150 along with a chic lounge. Two-stories high, The Block boasts a balcony, windows facing Muskegon Lake, and the capacity to add an outdoor deck. “Our vision is to bring music of all kinds to The Block – an intriguing, cross-pollinated mix of music that can be intimate or explosive, but always entertaining,” said Carla Hill, WMS president and CEO. “We are trying to reach a more empowered customer who has a wide range of music interests."Look for Michigan soprano Diane Penning’s Broadway inspired cabaret-style performance on August 17. There will also be pizza.
Jagger Madison by A. Peters (40 Monroe Center) is a new fashion and home furnishings store in the MoDiv Pop Up Shop Mini Mall across from the Grand Rapids Police Department. Jagger Madison is the brainchild of audacious Amber Peters, who also owns Mulick Floral in Ada. Amber intended to open up a flower shop, but Eastern Floral had that locked up with Bokay. She then turned her attention to selling unique clothing and gift items. “Jagger Madison is not just about merchandise. We believe in quality and building long-lasting relationships,” Amber said. Jagger Madison offers luxurious casual clothing by Desigual, which Amber has been wearing for six years. The colorful Barcelona-crafted line complements the elegant candles, moisturizers and reed diffusers by Votivo. Dishware by Julia Knight is an artisan-inspired line that uses organic forms as well as wood, metal and mother of pearl. This ain’t your mom’s busted Corelle casserole. “We’re just very excited to be part of downtown Grand Rapids, which has become very metropolitan and diverse,” Amber said.
Stoner Taco is the crispy, crunchy, tie-dyed side of Grand Rapids. Located mostly on the sidewalk outside of McFadden’s (58 Ionia Ave. SW), Stoner Taco is like a food truck if the chef was too mellow with the Messiah moss to get a truck, or even a cart, dude. The concept came about in the kitchen of Mark and Michelle Sellers, owners of the more capital-intensive HopCat, Stella’s Lounge and Grand Rapids Brewing Company. “We really liked Michelle’s tacos,” said Garry Boyd, Ringleader of BarFly Ventures, LLC. “We realized it could be its own business and it evolved into our version of a food truck.” Think two tacos for $5 with lots of local ingredients. Chefs throughout the company came up with their own Stoner Taco recipes that revealed an affinity for the hellacious herb: Doritos Tacos, Peanut Butter and Jelly Tacos and Ice Cream Tacos. The winner was the Fricken Chicken Taco. “We like to take a regular recipe and give it a twist,” Garry said. Follow Stoner Taco on Facebook as they “Keep on Truckin’.”
Electric Cheetah owner Cory DeMint’s empire continues to expand with the opening of Uncle Cheetah’s Soup Shop (1133 Wealthy St. SE), two doors down from the old Uncle Cheetah’s Soup Shop. The new digs now features a barbecue shack with tasty pulled pork and saucy smoked brisket served by the same hipsters.
The old Sandmann's Kitchen will be replaced by a Little Caesar’s Pizza franchise (1200 Wealthy St. SE).
The Michigan T-Shirt Co. recently moved to the former Warner Vineyards location at 206 College Ave. “We really wanted to be on the main level so our customers didn’t have to walk up the stairs,” said owner Mark Whitney. How exhausting.