Monte's Closes Its Doors E-mail
by LeAnn Secord

Monte's has been an institution in the Grand Rapids nightlife scene since November of 2001. But on October 29, 2011, Monte's closed its doors for good. Celebrating a long run as well as Halloween, Monte's went out with style with an evening of tricks, treats and the Trolley of Terror.

Catering to the 20-something nightlife enthusiast, Monte's touted itself as "blending an ultra-hip environment with a comfortable, easy-going bar scene." Located on the west side the city, Monte's offered a unique option "off the beaten path" with close proximity to the downtown area.

Brothers Dave and Paul Reinert dreamt up Monte's while at Davenport University. They were pursuing accounting degrees and took a class on small business management. The course objective was to write a business plan, the product of that project was Monte's Lounge.

"Monte's Lounge was named after our Dad. He thought it was pretty cool to have a hip club named after him. Now Mom wants a place named after her. Her name is "Denise." That's harder to work with. There are no present plans to incorporate Mom's name yet, but who knows?" says co-owner, Dave Reinert.

The Reinert brothers were big fans of the west side. Being only twenty-four years old, they worked with a limited budget, but the west side area offered venue options such that they could purchase instead of lease a space. The space they found was known as Aftershock at the time. The goal and vision for Monte's was to bring the original charm back to the space by reviving the original details of the building itself. Dave and Paul restored the hardwood floors, stripped the walls and removed the drop ceilings.

Dave and Paul sought to appeal to a clientele their own age when they opened Monte's. It was a reflection of their tastes and interests at the time. Being ten years older since Monte's first opened, those tastes and interests have evolved. On November 17, 2011, The Establishment will open its doors revealing the efforts the Dave and Paul Reinert's latest brainchild. The Establishment will feature an atmosphere catering to the demographic of clientele aged twenty-one to forty. The feeling and vibe will be more timeless than before; enlisting the design expertise of Ashley Cole of Ashley Cole Design, the decor will most certainly impress.

The Establishment will appeal to a broader demographic than Monte's did. But this requires a more dynamic business plan. Monte's was one dimensional. "We were only really busy for twelve to fifteen hours per week," Dave says. The plan is to not only broaden the clientele, but broaden the duration of business as well. To help accomplish this, The Establishment will feature live music three days a week in addition to DJs two to three days a week; bringing in different styles of music and entertainment.

The Establishment will be unique because of the physical space itself in addition to being located in the growing west side. It will feature a large craft beer list and craft cocktail menu. Starting in March of 2012, The Establishment's kitchen will go live featuring a niche food menu as well.

Despite the fact Monte's is closing after a decade of memories, Dave and Paul Reinert will have the west side hopping again soon enough. "The west side offers more parking than downtown. There is even a great little Irish bar down the road called 'O'Toole's' that seems pretty great," Dave reminds us throwing in brilliantly-played, self-promotion for one of his other venues. In a few short weeks, The Establishment will open as "the spot to re-claim Bridge Street, a distinctive urban hangout; a comfortable place with a spice of style." In the company of Rockwell's, Republic, O'Toole's, and Monte's, The Establishment will increase Dave and Paul Reinert's increasing impressive repertoire of local hotspots.

Like The Establishment on Facebook to keep up to date on the grand opening details.


Published: November 1, 2011

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