Michigan Comfort Food Comes to 28th Street
by GRNow staff, posted April 24, 2015
If you haven't stepped inside the former Hilton Hotel on 28th Street & Patterson recently, you may be in for a bit of a surprise.
Now rebranded as a DoubleTree, the entire facility just put the final touches on a five-month renovation that included major updates to the lobby, all 200+ guest rooms and the pool area.
Turn left from the lobby and you'll be greeted by perhaps the most significant renovation of all: a brand new casual eatery called Ganders. Recreated from the ground up, the former location of the Spinnaker was gutted to create a much larger open space with contemporary furniture, a new bar, TVs, new booths and even new tables with embedded power outlets.
"In order to make the transformation, we needed to knock down exterior walls and brought a bobcat into the building," said Lisa Calhoun, DoubleTree's Director of Sales and Marketing. "Chunks of concrete were dug out of the floor and it was literally down to the dirt. Once the concrete was out, we built the brick walls back up and installed windows in that space. Walls and ceilings were torn down and everything from lighting to sound was rewired."
With a focus on locally-sourced Michigan comfort food, Ganders' cuisine is also a major departure from the seafood-themed entrees offered at the Spinnaker. Customers can now choose from dishes inspired by our area like the Michigan cheese display, Heffron Farms chicken wings, Otto's chicken quesadilla and a take on a Philly cheesesteak that uses flank steaks from Creswick Farms.
Specialty burgers have also become a sizable part of the menu with new creations like the Beer Hangover Burger, a beef patty topped with made-from-scratch Bell's Brewery beer cheese, Founder's All Day IPA Beer chili and a Michigan fried egg. Handcut fries accompany most sandwiches and burgers, and have proved to be so popular that the restaurant is already going through 300 pounds of potatoes per week.
The emphasis on local also carries over to the newly finished bar. Along with local beers on tap from Founders and Bell's, Ganders has a fairly extensive Michigan cocktail list that features playful concoctions like the GR Gin N' Juice (New Holland Knickerbocker Gin, orange liqueur and orange juice) and the Peninsula Punch (New Holland Freshwater Rum, lemonade and Faygo Red pop). The bar, too, has a number of power outlets to charge phones and laptops, and free wifi, even if you're not a guest at the hotel.
For those in the mood for seafood, variations of a few of the former Spinnaker entrees like the Great Lakes Walleye, the perch tacos and a spiced ahi tuna have been carried over to Ganders' menu.
"Spinnaker had been a great destination for out-of-town guests because many people look for a restaurant that gives the flavor of the local area or gives a unique dining experience. We have a lot of "road warriors" that stay with us," Calhoun said.
"Imagine how boring it would be if they didn't have options when they travel. Our chef has always been very passionate about sourcing products locally as much as possible. Those ideas morphed into each other [to inspire Ganders]. Food and drinks are a great way for people to get to know the area and it also gives local diners another option to support those businesses in our community."
In an area saturated with chains, Ganders now offers a unique way for visitors and locals alike to explore Michigan cuisine without leaving 28th Street.
- Reservations Accepted
- Alcohol Served
- Banquet, Meeting or Rehearsal Dinner Facilities
- Free On-site Parking
4747 28th Street Southeast, Kentwood, MI, United States