Tuesday, 25 February 2020 13:05

West Michigan Biz Beat: March 2020

Written by  Josh Veal
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Pinktail Poke. Pinktail Poke. Courtesy Photo


The poke wave is here — no, not Pokémon again, but bowls of diced raw fish served with other ingredients. Pinktail Poke opened in the Downtown Market at 435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, right alongside High Tide Sodas. The shop’s owner also runs Fish Lads and Carvers, meaning they already have access to super high-quality fish. It’s all customizable, so you can order a signature bowl and tweak it or build your own from the base up. Try the Yuzu Salmon, with soy, yuzu marmalade, gochugaru, cilantro, edamame, cucumber and crispy onions.

You can finally get your barbecue on when you’re downtown, thanks to Sparks BBQ. Opened at 15 Ionia Ave. SW in Grand
Rapids, the new shop has come down from Traverse City after years of building a reputation up north. Sparks has all the meat you could ask for, alongside classic sides like mac ‘n’ cheese, sweet & spicy corn, broccoli slaw and more. Get it as a sandwich, taco, nachos or big plate of meat. Sparks also has beer, wine and cocktails.

Sometimes, you just need to bounce some balls around: That’s why a bunch of bars in West Michigan now feature pinball machines. But if you’re looking for a place to bring the family, you’ll want to head to Pinball Land at 114 Courtland St. Rockford’s new arcade offers 12 machines that are a mix of retro and more modern technology. Just pop in and get a wristband and you can play to your heart’s content, all day! You can even feel free to head out for some ice cream and hot dogs, then come back for more.

Plainfield finally has Thai food in the form of Paul Thai Restaurant, open at 3912 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids. The new spot is already getting good reviews, and seems to offer some unique dishes you wouldn’t find anywhere else, like the
Avocado Curry: shrimp, squid and scallops with avocado, bell peppers and basil in a special curry sauce. They’re open Monday to Saturday for dine-in or take-out.



Zoko822 has temporarily closed while it heads to a new home, as Sandy Point Beach House is moving into the space at 822 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids. The owners said it makes sense to open this second Sandy Point — which has been successful in West Olive — here because of the outdoor patio, container bar and food truck court. The menu will feature burgers, halibut, steak, mussels and weekly specials. Sandy Point also comes with some new events, including Live Jazz Thursdays, Easy Listening Music Fridays and Reggae Saturdays. The owners plan to relocate Zoko822 to 2130 Plainfield Avenue, in the Creston Neighborhood.

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