Monday, 29 June 2020 15:45

Biz Beat: July 2020

Written by  Josh Veal
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Morning Belle. Morning Belle. Courtesy Photo

We’ve all seen a lot of change during 2020.

While certain longtime restaurants were forced to come to an end, others managed to open up and fill a hole. Some businesses that planned to launch this spring are going ahead with their scheduled openings — albeit with changes in place.

Since time has lost all meaning, we’re going to help you remember a few of the restaurants and breweries that opened in recent months, including ghost kitchens — unique dining concepts that operate out of another restaurant’s kitchen. We also remember establishments that have recently gone gentle into that good night.

OPENED

Morning Belle opened a second location at 434 Bridge St. NW in Grand Rapids. The brunch restaurant found success on East Beltline and decided to move to the Westside, serving up healthy and interesting breakfast/lunch foods.

Handmap Brewing’s taproom opening was delayed by the pandemic, but the beer is flowing nonetheless, with to-go four packs from the spot at 15 Carlyle Street in Battle Creek. Order ahead for brews like The Hance, a hibiscus lager.

After taking over Zoko 822’s spot at 822 Ottawa Ave. NW, Sandy Point Beach House was finally able to open in June. The menu right now focuses on prime burgers, steaks and fish, along with tacos from sister restaurant MeXo. Plus: The huge patio is open.

In place of Jonny B’z, Royals opened for less than a full day before the stay-at-home order went in effect. Now, it’s back. Head to 701 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids, for a charming neighborhood diner with memorable meals. 

Arvon Brewing finally got its taproom open at 1006 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids, when it was forced to pivot to beer pickup and delivery. The taproom then reopened by reservation for those looking to enjoy a hazy IPA.

Grand Rapids coffee bar MudPenny opened a second location in Ada at 496 Ada Drive SE. The café is known for delicious coffee drinks along with an extensive and creative breakfast/lunch menu. 

Lost Art Brewhouse bravely opened this month in Walker, at 3393 Remembrance Rd NW. At first, the brewery is only offering pickup and delivery, but the taproom is opening soon. Lost Art is kicking this off with classic styles like imperial IPAs and American stouts. 

GHOST KITCHENS

Annika’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese Laboratory operates out of Max’s South Seas Hideaway, offering exactly what you’d expect: gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.

Pronto Pasta and 9th Street Steaks both work out of New Hotel Mertens, the former serving big pasta dishes and the latter with true Philadelphia-style cheesesteaks, fries, and onion rings.

City Built Brewing Company opened Li Grand Zombie, a pop-up featuring Creole-inspired dishes from the chef’s time in New Orleans. The menu offers one amazing item that rotates weekly.

Ghost Kitchen to Go runs out of Linear Restaurant, offering inventive paninis, noodle bowls and salads. 

Blacklist Bagels currently uses The Commons’ kitchen, serving up New York-style bagels from a chef who realized he’d have to make his own bagels if he wanted the really good stuff.

CLOSED

On Cherry Street in Grand Rapids, Grove decided to pull the plug after realizing it wouldn’t be possible to support the concept with limited capacity. Owners Essence Restaurants then tried a pop-up shop, Jimmy Berger’s Chicken Shack, which also closed as the group figures out what comes next for the space.

Madcap has one less location after closing its shop inside Grand Rapids Downtown Market, due to “the pandemic and many other external factors.”

After about 15 years, Grand Central Market & Deli decided to close up shop. The market and deli sold select grocery items along with great sandwiches to the downtown Grand Rapids crowd. 

Marcona on Lyon ended up closing its doors as well. The restaurant next door to Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket Baking Co., and Lyon Street Café served imaginative Mediterranean food that will be missed. However, head chef Matt Overdevest went on to launch Steadfast Supper Club, a service where he goes to homes and prepares unique meals right there.

GR Bagel said the pandemic forced them to close, too. The Eastown shop served all kinds of bagels along with sandwiches and coffee, for seven years.

Longtime seafood restaurant Charley’s Crab closed doors as well. The conglomerate company that owned Charley’s said the pandemic made the restaurant, which has existed since 1982, unsustainable.


KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR

Art Caribbean Fusion Cuisine
55 Monroe Center, Grand Rapids

Wise Men Distillery
Inside McKay Tower, Grand Rapids

Arktos Meadery (new location)
442 Bridge Street, Grand Rapids

Ambiance GR Kitchen & Lounge
106 Pearl NW, Grand Rapids

Olga’s Fresh Grille
Coming to Alpine Avenue, Comstock Park

K-ROK Grand Rapids
169 Louis Campau Promenade NW, Grand Rapids

Wonderland Distilling Co.
1989 Lakeshore Drive, Muskegon

GR Noir Wine & Jazz Room
35 S. Division Avenue, Grand Rapids

MadGrub
1431 Plainfield Avenue NE, Grand Rapids

Pux Cider Taphouse
311 Fuller Avenue NE, Grand Rapids 

West Side Deli 
Inside Bridge Street Market, Grand Rapids

Küsterer Brauhaus 
642 Bridge Street NW, Grand Rapids

The Meat Up Gastropub
11 Ionia Avenue SW, Grand Rapids

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