24 Restaurants, Breweries and Distilleries Opening in Grand Rapids in 2016

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Image courtesy of IRON
Image courtesy of IRON

It’s shaping up to be another huge year for Grand Rapids’ culinary, brewing and distilling scene. Here’s a look at two dozen restaurants, bars, microbreweries and distilleries slated to open in 2016.

City Built Brewing Company – 820 Monroe Ave NW – This microbrewery opening in the hot North Monroe neighborhood will produce beers that utilize unusual herbs and spices, along with Puerto Rican-style small dishes including tacos and sandwiches. The owners are hoping to open in May or June.

Creston Brewery1504 Plainfield Ave NE – The microbrewery, restaurant, entertainment venue and banquet hall taking over the historic DeKorne Furniture Showroom is planning to become another anchor of the revitalizing Creston Neighborhood when it opens this spring. 

New Holland Brewing CompanyBridge St NW & Broadway NW – Construction is underway on the multi-million dollar mixed-use project that will feature New Holland’s first move into the Grand Rapids market. Targeted to open later this year, the space will have a brewpub, restaurant and distillery.  

The Waldron Public House – 58 Ionia Ave SW – On February 13, the public will get its first look at the renovated and relaunched space formerly known as McFadden’s. The English Commonwealth-themed pub will boast homemade cuisine, cocktails, European and American craft beers and a late night dance floor.

Greyline Brewing Co. – 1727 Alpine Ave NW – With a target opening date set for sometime this spring, the microbrewery on Alpine near Richmond will have a 55-seat tasting room, a small kitchen serving deli fare, and an outdoor patio with about 20 seats. 

Social Kitchen & Bar – 435 Ionia Ave SW – The Birmingham, MI-based eatery will be the second full-service restaurant inside the Downtown Market. When it opens, expect high-end comfort food  like meatloaf, burgers and chicken & waffles. Social Kitchen will also operate a satellite catering company out of the Market. 

Unnamed Essence Restaurant – 820 Monroe Ave NW – Essence Restaurant Group, which operates Bistro Bella Vita, The Green Well and Grove, will create a new restaurant concept that will be built from the ground up right next door to the renovated 820 Monroe mixed-use project. 

Gray Skies Distillery – 700 Ottawa NW – At the former Rim and Wheel Building just north of downtown, owners Brandon Voorhees and Steve Vander Pol will serve unique cocktails made from their small, on-site batches of gin, rum and vodka (tentatively) beginning March 1. 

IRON – 25 Ottawa SW – Chef Chris Perkey from Osteria Rossa plans to open his second downtown GR restaurant inside the recently renovated 25 Ottawa building. By the beginning of February, IRON will begin serving up modern Midwest-themed seasonal fare made from seasonal produce and regional proteins. 

The Wheelhouse Restaurant – 67 Ottawa Ave SW – Just down the street from IRON, Meritage Hospitality (Twisted Rooster, Crooked Goose), will open its newest concept on the ground floor of the all-new Arena Place tower. Aiming to open between April and summer, The Wheelhouse will feature scratch-made, locally-sourced food and beverage options. 

Venue at 12 Monroe – 12 Monroe Ave NW – The B.O.B.’s proposed flex space next door includes plans for a indoor concert venue that will host ticketed events, as well as an outdoor beer garden. Initial construction is currently underway.  

Atwater BreweryMonroe Ave NW & Michigan NW – Detroit’s Atwater Brewery will open its first Grand Rapids location on the first floor of The Rowe, currently under reconstruction. The 6,000 square foot space will have 40 taps, indoor and outdoor seating and a full kitchen, according to John Serba

MiraBella Patisserie & Cafe – 955 Cherry St SE – In early spring, the local bakery known for custom wedding cakes and confections for special occasions will expand into a new patisserie and cafe  space on Cherry Street in East Hills. 

Yet-to-be-named No Tipping Restaurant – Wealthy St SE Paul Lee, the creative force behind The Winchester and Donkey Taqueria, is planning to open Grand Rapids’ first no-tipping restaurant somewhere on Wealthy Street this spring. The menu will have fried chicken, mac & cheese, house-made biscuits and liquor. 

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers – 3777 Plainfield Ave NE – The Wichita, Kansas-based chain will open its first Michigan location on Plainfield Ave near Meijer. The classic diner menu will feature burgers, hot dogs, patty melts, shakes and frozen custard. 

The Sovengard – 443 Bridge St NW – Billed as a modern kitchen and beer garden, GR’s first Scandinavian eatery will have an outdoor eating area, craft beer, fresh juices, small batch wines and perhaps even pickled herring when it opens in early spring. 

Lightfast Coffee Bar + Art Collective – 944 East Fulton – After an early-December soft launch, the coffee shop and art gallery space on Fulton (just west of Diamond) just opened yesterday, January 18. Coffee aficionados can select from espressos, cappuccinos and lattes, as well as tea, sodas and baked goods.

Pieology Pizzeria – The Village at Knapp’s Crossing – The fast casual personal pizza place will open a second Michigan location inside the expanding Village at Knapp’s Crossing on the East Beltline. Customers can create their own topping combinations or select from special concoctions like Mad to Meat You or Smokin’ Buffalo Chicken. 

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt The Village at Knapp’s Crossing – Next to Pieology, the frozen yogurt stand based in Encino, California will welcome its first West Michigan location later this spring. Once open, choose from a wide variety of non-fat, low-fat and low carb flavors like Milk Chocolate Mania and Premier Pistachio.  

Bravo Cucina Italiano – The Village at Knapp’s Crossing – Another addition to Knapp’s Crossing (and West Michigan), the Italian-themed chain will open in February.  Specialties include veal parmesan, chicken scaloppini, pork chops, pasta and pizzas. 

Wok Box – 3325 28th St SE – The Canadian-based fast-casual Asian spot will soon open next to The Gold & Silver Exchange at Woodland Mall. The menu will have butter chicken naan-wiches, sweet Mongolian noodles, rice and curry boxes and Vietnamese beef pho. 

MadCap’s 2nd Location – 1039 East Fulton – The popular downtown GR coffee shop will open a second location directly adjacent to the company’s all-new roast works just west of the Farmers Market. The new retail space will take up about 1,500 square feet of an auto garage building originally constructed in the 1930s.

Vandermill Cider Mill – 505 Ball Ave – The Spring Lake cider mill will open the restaurant, tap room and production facility on Ball, just north of Michigan, in February or March.

New Kava House incarnation – 1445 Lake Dr SE – After 23 years of service in Eastown, the owners of Kava House sold their interest in November. New tenants Rowsters Coffee and Joel Wabeke, a former chef at Terra, will announce the plans for their joint venture in the near future.

Monte’s Replacement – 438 Bridge St NW – In business for 14 years, the owners of Monte’s closed down the bar & lounge last month to make way for their proposed full service restaurant. An announcement with specific details could be made as early as February.

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