Michigan is surrounded by lakes, yet seafood is scarce. Sure, you can find freshwater fish at most restaurants in town, but what about the lobster rolls? The Old Bay? The big, messy seafood boils?
That’s where Beacon Corner Bar comes in.
The newest offering from the owners of San Chez and ROAM, Beacon makes the most of the corner space across the hall from San Chez, previously used for events and catering. Now, you can find all the seafood you ever wanted in a laidback setting with crowd-pleasing food and specialty cocktails in a setting where anyone can feel comfortable.
We sat down with district manager and son of the owners, Nolyn Schneider, to talk about why the family brought Beacon to West Michigan, what a seafood boil is, and what else they have to offer.
How did this concept come about?
We were looking at, what does Grand Rapids not have? And seafood really isn’t a big topic here. So we wanted to do really great seafood, but make it casual and fun. We didn’t want it to be a white tablecloth restaurant. We want to be somewhere you can just go for a girls night or out with some friends, either for lunch or dinner, and really enjoy yourself without feeling like you have to be super fancy with a suit and tie.
Describe the concept of a seafood boil for the uninitiated.
Basically, we take a bunch of fresh veggies, mix it with some shrimp, mussels, clams, sausage, crab legs if you’re bold, mix it with some of our veggie stuff we make in-house and a bunch of spices, and we boil it to perfection. And then when we come out, we kind of put it into a big bucket and we dump it on your table and it’s kind of a free-for-all. It’s a no silverware, just go at it, seafood adventure.
How many people do these feed?
There’s different categories—one that’s for two, for four, and then six. And then there’s a bunch of add-ons you can do as well, if you wanted crab added to it, artichoke, etc.
What’s your favorite part of the boil?
I’m all about the juice. It comes with a side of biscuits, so the biscuits at the end with all the juice and broth, that’s like buttery and spicy. Just dip the biscuits in it or any little extra bits of seafood. I’m a big sauce guy, so anything that I can dip in more sauce makes me a happy boy.
Now that you have three restaurants open in GR, what’s the connective tissue there?
Well, we’re all the same family. Literally, my mother, dad and myself, but we also want to make sure that it’s great service with great food that’s cooked by a bunch of really amazing humans. We get most of our products local besides seafood, and we try to stay as much a local supporter as possible. Like, Sobie Meats is one of our main butchers here. We use them for a lot of stuff, and trying to get that local feel is something we pride ourselves on.
What are the crowd favorite menu items so far?
The favorite is definitely the either the lobster roll (served two different ways) or the seafood boil. We get lobster sent in and we cut it with some delicious butter and serve it on a lobster roll, and that’s been our number one seller.
What else does Beacon have?
We talk a lot about seafood, but we also do a lot of great non-sea things. We have some pastrami that is made for us by Sobie Meats that is just outstanding. And then what I really like is that we take all of the fat from the pastrami and make it into our burgers. It just makes for a really delicious, delicious burger that you won’t find at a lot of other places.
Any final thoughts for the readers?
Just don’t be scared to come in. If you don’t like seafood, we got a bunch of great items on there. But if you’re willing to get down and dirty with some seafood boils, come check us out. It’s the best place in town for it.
Beacon Corner Bar
38 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids