West Michigan Biz Beat: October 2023

A round-up of new businesses in West Michigan, along with closings, relocations and other changes for local businesses.


Right off the piazza at Studio Park (123 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids), you’ll find the new eatery
Caribbean Bite. What began as a catering operation turned into this restaurant with an authentic and flavorful Caribbean menu, including delicious marinated steak and chicken served with rice and beans, stuffed plantains, tacos, burritos, fresh island green salad, and sides of mango, pineapple and chips. The restaurant also offers “hot and ready” lunch specials accompanied by natural juices.

There’s a new ballet-focused dance program in town called Verity Ballet, offering classes for both new and experienced dancers, ages 6 to adult. From ballet technique classes geared towards training at a professional level to classes that welcome complete beginners, they’re committed to developing important skills that make a lasting impression. Summer classes take place at Cascade Yoga Studio, and “Moonlit Ballroom Classes” at The Old Theater in Lowell.

Celeste Salon & Spa joined the family of businesses at Amway Grand Plaza (187 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids). From Swedish massage to hair styling, manicures, and bridal hair and makeup, their services provide lavish self-care and the active pursuit of mindfulness for a wonderfully radiant you. “Step into Celeste, where subtle meets soulful.”

Jade Tea recently opened doors in Celebration Village at 2090 Celebration Drive NE. Jade Tea specializes in boba tea drinks with freshly prepared tea, made to order with specialized toppings. The name is inspired by a nickname for matcha: liquid jade, and their boba menu has not just matcha but taro, cherry blossom, lychee and much more. They also have frozen yogurt, slushie and smoothie drinks, plus a wide variety of boba to choose from.

A new bridal business joined the Westside in the form of Wed Co. Wedding Wear, at 744 Leonard NW, Grand Rapids. Wed Company was founded in 2023 by Tami Parks, owner of Great Lakes Wedding Gown Specialists and former owner of September’s Bride in Holland. The boutique focuses on curating a collection of inclusive and body-positive wedding wear options. Styles include nontraditional cuts and styles, extended sizing, vintage pieces, gender neutral styles, couture from the UK, and made in the USA gowns.

Farewell to Zoko822 and Sandy Point Beach House’s GR location, as Chicago Beef Joint has moved in at 822 Ottawa Ave. NW. Owner Krupp is bringing classic Windy City flavors to West Michigan with Italian Beef sandwiches, Chicago Dogs, Polish Sausage and more. 

Serendipitously, we also gained another Chicago-style Italian beef spot with Jack Danger’s opening at 1499 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids, the former site of Eastown Café. With a varied menu of Italian beef, Italian sausage, Vienna beef hot dogs, chili, fries and old school shakes & malts, Jack Danger’s is the real deal, “with an eclectic vibe of ‘80s music videos, Chicago sports and real Chicago street food.”

Rake Beer Project opened their new location in Downtown Muskegon at 500 W. Western. This brewery focuses on “progressive farmhouse ales,” crafting unique brews like a Crawler, a black Kolsch, and Pickle Joose, a golden sour conditioned on cucumber, dill and sea salt. 

Caledonia welcomed a new restaurant specializing in barbecue and bourbon: Butcher Block Social. Head to 9900 Cherry Valley Ave. SE for this collaboration between Wildwood Family Farms and Saladino Smoke. It’s a communal atmosphere, where guests are free to roam about and socialize, while enjoying smoked meats and roughly 200 varieties of bourbon. 

The former Chinatown restaurant at 69 28th St., Grand Rapids is now RIO Peruvian & Mexican Cuisine. Owner Andy Rosario has been working on the sizable space since May 2022, and the restaurant can seat nearly 280 customers with a full bar and two dining rooms. Head here to try out a number of Ceviches, a large seafood menu, grilled entrees, burritos, tacos and much more, all drawn from Peruvian and Mexican cuisine.

Ever wish there was a place for friends and family alike to hang out and play darts, pool, foosball, cornhole, beer pong and other games—without the dive bar atmosphere? Check out The Hangout Spot, now open at 3901 Chicago Dr. SW, Grandville. It’s just $10 per hour, per person, for full access to everything in the Spot.