This Northeast-side, somewhat sleepy business district best known for Kingma’s Market, the Cheshire Grill and Northfield Lanes Bowling Alley is about to get an injection of excitement. Three groups are looking at opening bars and restaurants in a cluster in the 2100 block of Plainfield Avenue. As Grand Rapids’ hottest neighborhoods East of downtown become almost too hot to touch, investors and developers keep stretching the boundaries in pursuit of the next hip walkable neighborhood to open shop.
Grand Rapidians Andrew Stob and Adam Wolpa have their eyes set on the old Coral Reef aquarium store at 2124 Plainfield Ave, to turn it into a café that will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. They’re also planning to renovate the upstairs into two market-rate apartments.
The Lee family, who are well known for their ground-breaking restaurants Winchester and Donkey on Wealthy Street, are proposing to turn a now defunct karate studio into a “global-themed” restaurant with a tiki bar and large outdoor seating area, called Citizen.
CDKI Holdings is looking to turn an ugly cinder-block building at 2130 into a restaurant that will feature live jazz and rhythm and blues on weekends. While it will accommodate 50 patrons inside, the outdoor seasonal patio will be able to seat an additional 30. The 2nd floor would also include 3 market-rate apartments.
The Creston Neighborhood
The Cheshire Village business district is actually part of the Creston Neighborhood Association, which grew rapidly along the Plainfield corridor (a popular streetcar line) in the early part of the 20th Century.
It is the largest neighborhood in the city of Grand Rapids, with over 27,000 residents, stretching from Leonard on the South end, Riverside Park on the West, 4 Mile on the North, and East of Fuller on the East.
In addition to its quaint collection of businesses along Plainfield, it’s most loved for its tree- lined, curving streets that stretch West of the business district down the hill to Monroe Avenue and Riverside Park.
According to Creston Brewery, the name Creston was chosen by residents in 1906 due to the “crest” of the hills near Spencer Street and Plainfield Avenue.
We’ll look for your cats and kittens in Cheshire Village in the near future!
Jeff Hill is a contributor to GRNow and a development and economics junkie who likes to keep his finger on the pulse of what’s next for Grand Rapids. You can email him feedback or insider story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.