West Michigan Biz Beat: July 2023

A round-up of the biggest openings, closings, and other changes for local businesses.

Michigan Nature Co. joined Sparta at 201 E. Division. This new Michigan apparel and lifestyle brand also has an online store, and focuses on retro designs showing off the great outdoors of Michigan. You’ll find T-shirts, hoodies and hats, along with handcrafted candles, cocktail kits and more.

You are cordially invited to an immersive tea time experience at High Tea, now open at 1522 Wealthy St., Grand Rapids. This highly curated shop offers the full Afternoon Tea spread, which includes your tea of choice, deliciously simple tea sandwiches, scones, clotted cream, preserves, pastries and more. They also have Children’s trays for the little ones. Reservations are encouraged!

After a long career as a pharmacist, owner Kevin Romanyk achieved his dreams to open a music store with the arrival of Vinyl Alchemy Records in Eastown, right next to Yesterdog. Visit 1505 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids for a big selection of both new and used vinyl, art, and pop culture collectibles. 

Near West Michigan University’s campus in Kalamazoo, B-Side Social House opened doors at 2727 W. Michigan Ave. Head there for a uniquely creative vibe and casual breakfast, local coffee, gourmet sandwiches and late-night food—like the Pearl Jam, a deep-fried PBJ.

Under the helm of James Beard Award-winning Chef Paul Berglund, Ada has an impressive new pizza and pasta restaurant called Myrth. Visit at 7423 River St. SE for bold, satisfying meals, with offerings like a fennel sausage/summer squash/basil pizza, or a radiator/eggplant/prosciutto/Castelvetrano olive pasta.

In the Sheraton Grand Rapids, local chef Trimell Hawkins opened his newest venture and passion project: Solace - Comfort 365. Located at 5700 28th St. SE, this restaurant shines the spotlight on French Creole-inspired cuisine with high-end comfort food, such as Fried Jambalaya Bouletts, a Smoked Chicken Cassoulet, and Slow Braised Short Rib Mac & Cheese. They also have an excellent breakfast menu and craft cocktails.

For a morning or afternoon pick me up, head to the new Vibe Energy Café, which just opened doors at 900 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids. Their energy drinks start with a housemade Vibe Energy base, then are infused with flavors like orange, peach, coconut, lemonade, even caramel apple. They also offer sodas from Detroit City Soda and a full coffee/espresso menu—along with a few breakfast wraps and biscuit sandwiches.

Pursuit of Happiness Co. came out swinging recently, quickly gaining fans thanks to the good vibes and great drinks. Located in Eastown at 1426 Robinson Rd SE, this casual-yet-chic champagne and cocktail bar also offers charcuterie plates, toasts and tinned fish—not to mention espresso drinks and mocktails! Make sure to try their signature bubbly brand: Pursuit of Happiness Blanc de Noirs.

Welcome to a whole new world of cotton candy. Fluff Buckets opened doors at 3917 Leland Ave. NE, Comstock Park, offering not just cotton candy but also cereal milkshakes. Head into the store for dozens of unique cotton candy flavors and colors, from Sour Grape to Orange Soda, Smores, Cherry, Cola and so much more. You may or may not be surprised to learn the Pickle flavor is a top seller. There’s also limited time flavors for the brave like Cornbread and Eggnog.

A ”creator-first, genre-inclusive premium concert room” is bringing an intimate listening room experience to Muskegon. The Starlight Room at 4765 Airline Rd makes sure to provide multi-track audio and multi-camera footage to every act to grace the stage, which brings the experience to another level for both artists and audiences alike. Head to their website to check out a variety of concert series planned.