Grand Rapids Magazine January/February 2022

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You voted, we counted. The coveted list highlighting the city’s best is here.

Iconic Michigan Local photographer’s

new book showcases our state’s beauty

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Tourism Experience GR talks tough times

12/14/21 12:04 PM


With four distinct restaurants, staying in doesn’t have to mean leftovers.

Our chauffeur lets you enjoy the best of Grand Rapids dining without looking for a parking spot.


Whether you let us serve you or let us drive you, we’re here to make your evenings exciting — and easy. Give us a call at 616-245-9179 or visit our website at to explore independent living at Beacon Hill.


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10/12/21 11/3/21 6:38 7:35 PM

41 6 1 O L D H AW K C O U R T — G R A N D R A P I D S

K ATI E - K T E A M | 6 1 6 . 2 9 1 . 3 5 52 | K ATI E@ K ATI E- K .CO M | W W W. K ATI E- K .CO M 1555 Arboretum Dr. SE, Suite 101, Grand Rapids, MI 49546 | Each Office is Independently Owned and Operated

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11/16/21 11:03 AM


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11/15/21 10:05 AM

Thank You for voting Dr. Bengtson

GR's "BEST" Plastic Surgeon for 12 Consecutive Years

2021-22 Readers Poll


Your Natural Beauty

ELEVATED Dr. Bengtson*, Dr. Alfonso and our Aesthetic Team are focused on providing patients personalized beauty plans that combine advanced non-surgical technologies, state-of-the-art surgical techniques and recovery programs, as well as on-site accredited surgical suites. From Surgery to Wrinkle Relaxers and everything in between, we’ve got you covered. / 2155 East paris avenue se, GRand rapids / 616.588.8880

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11/22/21 10:29 AM


Ellen Bacca, voted best female TV personality in the Magazine's Readers' Poll.






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11/30/21 3:05 PM


Winter is the perfect time to sneak way for a rejuvenating getaway Winter Winterisisthe theperfect perfecttime timetotosneak sneakway wayfor fora arejuvenating rejuvenatinggetaway getaway to Pure Ludington. Whether you are a winter enthusiast looking for totoPure PureLudington. Ludington.Whether Whetheryou youare area awinter winterenthusiast enthusiastlooking lookingfor for outdoor activities that will enliven you like taking on snow-covered outdoor outdooractivities activitiesthat thatwill willenliven enlivenyou youlike liketaking takingononsnow-covered snow-covered trails on a fat-tire bike, or just looking for a recharging getaway to trails trailsonona afat-tire fat-tirebike, bike,ororjust justlooking lookingfor fora arecharging recharginggetaway getawaytoto reconnect and enjoy good food and craft beer, there is a place for reconnect reconnectand andenjoy enjoygood goodfood foodand andcraft craftbeer, beer,there thereisisa aplace placefor for you here. Don't hide from winter. Make plans to embrace all that a you youhere. here.Don't Don'thide hidefrom fromwinter. winter.Make Makeplans planstotoembrace embraceallallthat thata a Pure Ludington winter has to offer! Pure PureLudington Ludingtonwinter winterhas hastotooffer! offer!


11/30/21 4:41 PM

contents • janua y/feb ua y

every issue 8 75

editor's letter dining guide

A guide to the area's best eateries

104 gr gems

Looking back at barrier breaking in Grand Rapids.

people + places 10




Brewing pioneer has new owner The pandemic brought tourism

14 16 18

a screaming halt.


CEO Sandy Jelinski pushes the LMCU to new heights.


50 years of Michigan photos.


George Walker is living his best life with wine.

look + feel







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Bring color into the winter.


Stay well.


Grand Rapidians get social with sports and games.






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Johnny Agar pushes through life's challenges with book.

food + drink



How a hairdresser stays hip.

62 63

Vander Mill evolves with the times. White Chicken Chili.


Maggie's Kitchen serves up tasty Mexican staples.


Rose's keeps the lakeshore trendy.

top five

Heart warming soups.

cheers Tequila!


11/24/21 9:24 AM

Covering Grand Rapids Since 1964 | Publisher: John Balardo | Associate Publisher: Jason Hosko

We asked our staff: Coming off the holidays, it’s likely that we all indulged a bit too much... In true New Year fashion, tell us your favorite fitness activity to help your pants fit a little looser.

Walking my dog and doing yoga are my favorite ways to stay active year-round. In cold, winter months I love attending hot yoga classes at Funky Buddha in Grand Rapids! MICHAELA BUNGER

Editorial Gemini Media Editor: Tim Gortsema Managing Editor: Pat Evans Digital Editor: Ehren Wynder Contributors: Ann Byle, Sam Easter, Megan Sarnacki, Pasha Shipp, Julie Tabberer, Lindsey Van Hekken, Rachel Weaver

In the fall, we bought a Peloton and that's been a fantastic, entertaining way to keep the flab off! PAT EVANS

Design Creative Director: Lindsay Richards Art Director: Keagan Coop Editorial Designers: Michaela Bunger, Robin Vargo Contributors: Michelle Cuppy, Bryan Esler, Stacy Feyer-Salo, Teri Genovese, Hannah Rushton, Alfield Reeves, David Sparks, Ashley Wierenga Sales General Inquiries: Advertising Director: Jenn Maksimowski Account Executives: Todd Anderson, Jessica Laidlaw, Renee Looman, Maddy Messerly Office Assistant: Elissa Stong To Order Reprints: Receptionist – (616) 459-4545 Production Production Director: Jenine Rhoades Senior Production Artists: Stephanie Daniel, Robert Gorczyca Advertising Coordinator: Ramona French Web Digital Director: Nick Britsky Digital Development Manager: Matthew Cappo Web Project Assistants: Mariah Knott, Luanne Lim, Bart Woinski

I like to walk more. RENEE LOOMAN

Aerial acrobatics classes! Not only is it a killer arm and core workout, but it’s FUN! It can be a little intimidating (sometimes you’re 17 feet in the air), but it’s truly the only workout I’ve ever enjoyed. STEPHANIE DANIEL

IT IT Director: Jeremy Leland Circulation Director Of Audience Development: Michelle VanArman Circulation Manager: Riley Meyers Circulation Customer Service: (866) 660-6247 My husband and I just ordered a Peloton, so stay tuned. Both dancing and yoga are my fitness activities of choice! They cover every base (mental, physical, etc.) for leading a healthier lifestyle. KELSEY COCKE

Marketing Marketing & Events Manager: Melissa Novak Marketing & Events Coordinators: Kelsey Cocke, Drake Lambright Marketing & Events Interns: Ahmed Aljanabi, Dana McDonald, Maryan Toma Administration Director Of Business Operations: Kathie Gorecki Publishing and Sales Coordinator: Kristin Mingo Assistant Office Manager: Natasha Bajju Senior Accounting Associate: Andrew Kotzian Accounting Associate: Estefano Lopez Accounting Assistant: Samantha Dick


EDITION! “Everything you need about condo living.” — GLENN HAEGE, AMERICA’S

to know


CONDO LIV2ING E THE AUTHORITATIVE GUID to Buying, Selling, and ium omin Cond Operating a


Published By Gemini Media, LLC CEO: Stefan Wanczyk | President: John Balardo

A BOOK BY BINGHAM FARMS, MI ATTORNEY ROBERT M. MEISNER, ESQ. Grand Rapids Magazine (ISSN 1055-5145) is published bimonthly by Gemini Media. Publishing offices: 401 Hall St. SW, Suite 331 Grand Rapids, MI 49503-1444. Telephone (616) 459-4545; fax (616) 459-4800. General e-mail: General editorial inquiries: Periodical postage paid at Grand Rapids, MI and at additional mailing offices. Copyright ©2019 by Gemini Media. All rights reserved. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Grand Rapids Magazine, 1965 E Avis Dr., Madison Heights, MI 48071. Subscription rates: one year $24, two years $34, three years $44, in continental U.S.; Alaska, Hawaii, Canada and U.S. possessions, one year $35. Subscriptions are not retroactive; single issue and newsstand $4.95 (by mail $7.50); back issue $7 (by mail $9), when available. Advertising rates and specifications at or by request. Grand Rapids Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited contributions.



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11/29/21 11:12 AM

editor's letter / connect

A guide for Grand Rapidians Each year, we entrust our readers with the task of choosing the Best Of pretty much everything in Grand Rapids. It’s certainly not a scientific or fully accurate representation of what truly is the best in West Michigan, but it’s a great way to guide not only the rest of our readership, but our coverage. Thanks to the vote tallies, we get a good vibe of where to eat, drink and shop or who to watch and listen to. The annual practice is an opportunity for readers to discover new people and places to check out, or a reminder to revisit an old haunt. It’s a massive list of Best Of winners and runners-up, so keep it throughout the year or make a list and keep it in mind as the next vote is right around the corner. As for the rest of this issue, we stay true to a pledge to keep the magazine fresh and provide something for everyone, from a look at the havoc the pandemic wreaked on Grand Rapids tourism for nearly two years to former Grand Rapidian George Walker, who’s carved out an amazing career as a sommelier. He’s now with former NBA star Dwyane Wade’s wine company! Writer Ann Byle profiles Johnny Agar, an amazing athlete with cerebral palsy who has a new book out, and former GRBJ reporter Jesse O’Brien returns with a profile of Chris Wessely, the founder of Grand Rapids Sport & Social Club, now known as JAM Sports, and a Q&A with Lake Michigan Credit Union CEO Sandy Jelinski. As we dive into food, we grab some smash burgers and hard cider at Vander Mill and some tacos at Maggie’s Kitchen. With the cold settling in, we offer up a delicious chicken chili recipe and some of our favorite places to get hot soups to warm the soul. Finish off the issue by raising a glass of anejo tequila, an underrated spirit — particularly if you enjoy whiskey. So, let’s toast 2022 and hope for better days ahead!

Next issue

We tackle the Best Restaurants of Grand Rapids. Who's the best of the best in West Michigan? We're eating to find out!


Pat Evans

Sam Easter What are you looking forward to accomplishing in 2022? I'm looking forward to doing some more gardening. My wife and I bought a house in Midtown in early 2021, and we can't wait to fix it up and plant a few more flowers. Where's your favorite place to spend time in Grand Rapids? My favorite place in the city is Riverside Park. It's a wonderful place to take a morning walk, feed the ducks and get a few fishing tips from the regulars by the boat launch.

Managing Editor, Grand Rapids Magazine

There are tons of ways to reach us. By mail: Editor, Grand Rapids Magazine, 401 Hall St. SW, Suite 331, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Email: Be sure to include your name, address and daytime phone number. Or @grmag @grmagazine @grmagazine follow us online at or on social media:


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11/23/21 1:02 PM

people+places THE GUIDE TO YOUR CITY

50 years of Michigan photos are the subject of a new book by local photographer.



Michigan, the beautiful page 16


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11/23/21 1:02 PM

people + places / city

University Club has new general manager Since 1923, the University Club of Grand Rapids has helped socialites maintain a vibrant lifestyle while building business networks. In the waning months of 2021, the club hired a new general manager: Mark Canak. Canak, a trained sommelier, is hoping to grow the membership base by tapping into the city’s younger and diversifying population. Located on the 10th floor of the Fifth Third Center, 111 Lyon St. NW, members of the University Club can enjoy meals, meeting rooms, a gym and exclusive events.


New era for Bell’s Brewery

Garfield Park in line for updates

Michigan's pioneer beer maker launches into a new chapter. The West Michigan beer world was shaken in November when news broke that Michigan beer pioneer Larry Bell sold Bell’s Brewery. Bell’s was one of the nation’s largest independent and familyowned breweries, brewing up some of the most beloved beers in the industry, like Two Hearted Ale. Bell regularly called out breweries that sold to large corporations. While his cantankerous attitude helped grow the 10

Michigan beer industry, it also ruffled feathers. Now, Bell — who started Bell’s in 1985 — can retire comfortably, selling to Australia’s Lion Little World Beverages for an undisclosed amount. The new owner has complex layers, as it’s owned by the Japanese beverage giant Kirin. Lion, however, has established roots in the American craft beer scene, as it purchased Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing in 2019.

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Larry Bell started Bell's Brewery in 1985, but he's sold the company and heading into retirement.

The Grand Rapids City Commission approved multiple updates to Garfield Park, 250 Burton St. SE, including improved facilities and concrete pathways. Perhaps the highlight is a new, universally accessible splash pad and new landscaping.


11/23/21 1:01 PM

Experience Grand Rapids CEO Doug Small is ready to welcome tourists back to West Michigan.


Back on the map Experience Grand Rapids works to repair damage done by COVID-19. BY PAT EVANS


January and February 2020 appeared to set a great trajectory for tourism growth in West Michigan. Experience Grand Rapids was celebrating 10 consecutive years of increased tourism in the community, and it looked like 2020 would be more of the same. But then the world shut down as the COVID-19 pandemic ripped across the globe. “January and February were better than normal, and then the floor fell out,” said Doug Small, president and CEO of Experience Grand Rapids, West Michigan’s convention and tourism organization. “We were expecting to have an 11th-straight record year of hotel room revenue.” Small said the organization no longer focuses so much on room occupancy, but the numbers were startling. Downtown hotels, which were running at about 72% occupancy right before the pandemic, plummeted to less than 10% full for several months in the depths of 2020. The organization had a budget of $11.7 million for the year and Small GR M AG .CO M

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11/23/21 1:10 PM

Doug Small said the pandemic was one of the most challenging times of his career in tourism.


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11/23/21 1:10 PM

people + places / issues

was forced to make as many cuts as possible as Experience Grand Rapids lost approximately 50% of its revenue. That meant permanently letting go of 13 dedicated staff members. “That day was the toughest of my career and I’ve been through a lot in my 39 years in the tourism industry,” said Small, who worked in the hospitality field during the 2001 terrorist attacks, and also suffered through multiple recessions. “We couldn’t keep everybody. But there wasn’t enough to do, even though we wouldn’t let the brand die. We had to keep it alive.” The rest of 2020 was difficult as Experience Grand Rapids shifted its marketing tactics for the region. Small said the organization still pushed the Grand Rapids tourism campaign nationally, but rather than “Visit now,” it was “When the time is right, we’re here for you.” It wasn’t until last March that signs of life started to emerge in the industry. “In the second quarter, I’d get my weekly reports seeing occupancy numbers increase and really started to see a ray of light in the summer months, where we were using occupancy (totals) that were similar to and better than 2019,” he said. Part of that was attributable to the West Michigan Sports Commission, which still was able to host tournaments that brought athletes and families to town. It also had a lot do with people saying, “I’ve had it, I need to get out,” Small said. But sports events and transient weekends weren't enough to push West Michigan tourism back to 2019 levels. The region lost more than 500 groups that were scheduled to come to Grand Rapids during the pandemic, resulting in the loss of more than $230 million in direct spending in the community. “It’s very devastating,” he said. Experience Grand Rapids staff were able to reschedule approximately 80 of those groups to a different year. Small serves on the board of the United States Travel Association, which has predicted a full recovery to pre-pandemic levels in 2024. Small, on the other hand, believes West Michigan can get back to prepandemic levels before the end of 2023. Some of that will be challenged by many businesses greatly reducing their corporate travel allowances and budgets. “We’ll have to make that business up with more leisure business and group business,” Small said. With that caveat, however, Small, who also serves on the

2022 Grand Rapids highlights

The pandemic certainly slowed down tourist visits to West Michigan, but it’s also kept Grand Rapidians more wary about heading out and about. Here are some activities to keep in mind for 2022: Already a major attraction to West Michigan, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park opened a new, $115 million expansion in late 2021, which includes a rooftop sculpture garden and enhanced amphitheater for its summer concerts. "Hamilton," the hit musical, makes a tour stop at DeVos Performance Hall from Feb. 8-20. Also in line for the 2022 Broadway Grand Rapids season are "Hairspray," "Ain’t Too Proud," "Dear Evan Hansen" and "Mean Girls." Grab a beer at Founders Brewing Company to celebrate its 25th year helping shape the Grand Rapids beer scene. Take in the amazing work of Jim Henson at the Grand Rapids Art Museum’s Jim Henson: Imagination Unlimited, opening Oct. 1, 2022.

Gerald R. Ford International Airport board, said the airport staff is fairly bullish on the return of corporate travel. Group business is still light, as Small said it was approximately 55% of its normal rate. A group that met in October had attendance about 75% of its pre-pandemic levels. As Small said, “That’s better than 50%.” In 2022, Small said there already are 120 groups scheduled to meet in West Michigan, a number that’s getting back to “normal” figures for the region. “Our group business is looking pretty solid, barring any other variant that pops up and throws everything for a loop again,” Small said. “In 2022, we’re not going to be at 2019 numbers, but that’s why I feel by 2023, we’re getting back to close to normal.” Just looking at the hotel occupancy and room revenue from 2020 to 2021, there’s already a major upswing that is cause for plenty of optimism. In September 2020, hotel occupancy settled in at 40%. In September 2021, occupancy in Kent County hotels hit 59%. That 19-point swing was enough for Small to call it “huge.” Even more significant, revenue jumped 105% year-over-year. That revenue is even more cause for excitement. As Small mentioned, the organization no longer is too concerned with room occupancy. Instead, he likes to see the upward trend in hotel room rates, which he said now are as good as they were in 2019. Part of that is hotels, like much of the rest of the nation’s industries, are struggling with staffing. Hotels might not even want full occupancy as they risk under-servicing guests and potentially killing future business. With fewer rooms open because of staffing issues, the supply-demand curve allows hotels to keep prices up. It’s that workforce issue, however, that concerns Small moving forward. He said he was heartbroken seeing his friends in the hospitality industry, including many of the city’s restaurants, struggle throughout the pandemic. Now, they’re still struggling as many continue to fight to fill up their staffs. Small said Experience Grand Rapids helped host a job fair for the region’s travel and hospitality companies. There were more than 1,000 positions available for jobseekers who came ready to work. Seventy people showed up. “The biggest challenge is workforce,” Small said. “It was already starting to see a struggle before the pandemic. Now, it’s devastating.”

"In 2022, we’re not going to be at 2019 numbers, but that’s why I feel by 2023, we’re getting back to close to normal." Doug Small


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11/23/21 1:10 PM

people + places / voice

Lake Michigan Credit Union took over the naming rights of the West Michigan Whitecaps' ballpark in 2021.


Growing a financial brand LMCU is building on its West Michigan roots. BY JESSE O’BRIEN

Sandy Jelinski has been the Lake Michigan Credit Union chief executive officer for more than two decades, helping the credit union grow into a major West Michigan financial institution. Jelinski and LMCU have hit multiple milestones recently, including the 500,000th member, expanding to Florida and her induction into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame. That all goes with GR Magazine readers voting LMCU best credit union and best bank in this very issue. GR Mag caught up with Jelinski to get the scoop on what is new at LMCU. Congratulations on your recent induction into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame! What does it mean to you to be honored by your peers for your work in West Michigan? That honor truly meant everything to me. It was nothing that I had expected and really came out of nowhere. We’ve always partnered with Junior Achievement through the credit union for many years because they do so much for our youth. When I received word that I had won this wonderful accolade, (I) really studied up on other people in our community that had been past winners. When I saw Doug DeVos, Rich DeVos, Hank Meijer, some of these people I never thought I would be on a page with, I was truly humbled. What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned along the way at the helm of LMCU? I learned a lot because I had worked there for quite a few years before the board gave me this opportunity. You learn what works and what doesn’t and what I believe is the best way to do business. For me, it is integrity and honesty and the golden rule, and that’s what we try to do here at Lake Michigan. Our members are always first, that’s basically our culture here. How has LMCU been able to successfully grow here in West Michigan? I think what really sustained and built the growth significantly was after the debacle of the housing crisis in 2008. At the end of 2008 our asset size was $1.4 billion and today we’re $11 billion. That’s significant in a credit union world because credit unions can’t raise capital, they only grow if earnings sustain growth. We had a number of members in 2009-10 reach out to ask why we didn’t do mortgages. That was when we hired people who worked in the mortgage industry and I think it’s one of those things where if you hire good people, you can get good products to our members and that has really generated a significant amount of our growth. 14

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"Personally, it [seeing LMCU Ballpark on the scoreboard] meant the world to me and when we heard the Whitecaps had chosen Lake Michigan it was truly a dream come true." Sandy Jelinski


11/23/21 1:10 PM

expansion for a Michigan-based credit union? We did a member survey in 2012 and 25% of our members who had left Michigan had moved to Florida. Arizona was the next. But historically, credit unions are tied to occupations. So, I was attending a meeting in Naples with a credit union group, and we did some investigating and we drove around and tried to find a credit union. And I couldn’t. Because 20 years ago that area didn’t have large employer groups, so they didn’t have a homegrown credit union. So, we bought some bank buildings and now we have about $1.5 billion in business down there. The pending acquisition of Pilot Bank will continue to further LMCU’s footprint in Florida. In addition to extending your reach, what further benefits will this acquisition bring to LMCU? It’s really a great fit for Pilot as well as LMCU. They’re a bank serving their community and they’re more of a commercial bank with (Small Business Administration) and aircraft lending, so they don’t dabble much in mortgage and consumer. So put the two of us together and we’ll be a fullservice institution. SBA and aircraft lending is something that Pilot has done for many years and they do it very, very well. We’ll be adding three or four service lines to our business that we’ve never been able to offer before. It’s really a perfect fit between the two organizations. This past Whitecaps season was LMCU’s first as naming sponsor of the ballpark. What does that partnership do for you from a marketing perspective? It’s achieved more than we had even imagined. I think, you know, we all love this ballpark, but my father after he retired ushered at the ballpark for a while and he would take all the grandkids to games there. They’ll say their favorite memories with him were the Whitecap days.

(Above) Judith McKay, right, was honored as Lake Michigan Credit Union's 500,000th member in May 2021. (Left) LMCU's 28th Street branch shows the now familiar brand.

In May, LMCU opened a new branch in Grand Haven and shortly after celebrated your 500,000th member who happened to apply at that same branch. What does reaching that milestone say about the growth and longevity of the credit union in the region? Wasn’t that great? And they lived a block from the new branch. I thought that was such a great story. Really along the lakeshore — Holland, Muskegon, Grand Haven — our business is becoming No. 1 in the industry. And that’s a great thing to see. A couple years back LMCU made the decision to expand into Florida. What made Florida an attractive market for JUDITH MCKAY COURTESY LAKE MICHIGAN CREDIT UNION

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It must be quite a feeling for you to look at that stadium and see “LMCU Ballpark” on the scoreboard. Personally, it meant the world to me and when we heard the Whitecaps had chosen Lake Michigan it was truly a dream come true. So far, it’s exceeded every expectation that we had and what the Whitecaps had as well. We did member specials, member discounts and our members did come. And I think it’s going to continue to get better next year. What sort of things can we look forward to at LMCU Ballpark over the next decade? We will continue to do more; we had a number of member nights where our members would get a discount. We had staff nights where we would fill 200 seats, which is good for camaraderie, good for relationships and for the company. It’s just a really great partnership and I know we’ll do more with it every year. In the wake of COVID-19, how do you see the future of banking and financial institutions evolving? When this hit, none of us could have ever dreamed how hard it would hit. But as a team I was so proud of our staff here. No. 1, people’s concern is their money. But after a couple weeks of drive-thru only service, we remained open. We extended our hours and I think that’s why we’re one of the few financial organizations that did not close. Again, we do have the mobile app, we have home banking, we have online services, we have been improving them as we go, and we’ve improved a lot from where we were a year and a half ago. But our belief at Lake Michigan is when a member wants to do something on a machine or computer, they can do that at home. But when they need to talk to someone for advice or leadership, they need a branch. So, we’ll continue to expand and be able to talk to people and they can know that they’ll be taken care of. GR M AG .CO M


11/23/21 1:10 PM

people + places / spotlight


Images of Michigan Photographer’s book features 50 years of beautiful outdoor scenes. BY PAT EVANS

For more than 50 years, Todd Reed has photographed the beautiful scenery in Michigan. Reed has snapped more than 1 million photographs of the Mitten State’s natural beauty, and now he’s released a book: “Todd Reed: 50 Years Seeing Michigan Through A Lens.” Reed owns a gallery in Ludington with his son, Brad. The 384-page book features photos from his 23 years as a Ludington Daily News photographer and 33 years with the U.S. Coast Guard on the Great Lakes. The coffee table book features many of his best-selling pictures and the stories behind them, but Reed also included 67 never-before-seen images from his 50th year: 2020. Based in West Michigan, many of Reed’s photos show the awesome landscapes and life the region has to offer, but he also has photographed most of the counties across the state. Favorite shots include the northern lights from Isle Royale and a storm hitting the Ludington North Breakwater Lighthouse. Still others are simply West Michigan, like stunning images of the beautiful tulips of Holland. Ludington-based LakeFX Media also produced a 21-minute documentary to go with the book.

(Left) Todd Reed taking a photo in winter through the St. Joseph Pier (Above) One of Reed's 10 favorite images in his new book shows a big storm rolling in on the lakeshore.


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11/23/21 1:07 PM





ANGELA WILLIAMS GORRELL The Gravity of Joy Underwritten by Holland Home and Howard Miller





L. GREGORY JONES Trusting Institutions: Rediscovering the Power of Christianity’s Surprise Underwritten by Howard Miller and the deVries Institute for Global Faculty Development






We’ve Been Sneaking into Your Brain: The True Impact of Social Media

Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation Underwritten by Larry & Mary Gerbens and Liza & Khan Nedd



Underwritten by Miller Johnson


SARAH STEWART HOLLAND AND BETH SILVERS Keeping it Nuanced: How to Have Grace-filled Political Conversations Underwritten by the Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity & Politics



ADMIRAL JAMES STAVRIDIS Geopolitical Security Concerns in a Technologically Transforming World

Encore Event 7:00 p.m. (in person only)

Underwritten by Bruce & Mary Okkema and the Peter C. and Emajean Cook Foundation






Wrestling with the Word: Biblical Interpretation through Church History

Simply Three in Concert & Conversation

Underwritten by the Stob Lecture Series


Underwritten by Holland Litho Printing Services


COL. NICOLE MALACHOWSKI Harnessing Headwinds of Change Underwritten by Barnes & Thornburg, LLP




Community partners




Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration

Why Travel Makes Us Better Global Citizens

Underwritten by I.C.N. Foundation



Underwritten by Covenant Living of the Great Lakes





Making Peace with Stories

Galatians in Three Dimensions

Underwritten by Patrick and Maria O’Hare

Underwritten by the Center for Excellence in Preaching







Becoming Better Grownups

In the Tangles of Our Minds: Why Stories Move Us

Underwritten by GMB Architects + Engineering and Samaritas

Encore Event 7:00 p.m. (in person only)

Covenant Fine Arts Center 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. EST free admission


Underwritten by the Center for Innovation in Business and Pioneer Construction

For more information, visit us at, call 616-526-7018, or email us at The Covenant Fine Arts Center is barrier-free. A parking shuttle is available from the Prince Conference Center.



Creative partners

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11/15/21 3:53 PM

George Walker pours the Wade Cellars chenin blanc at GRNoir Wine & Jazz.


Wine for the people Popping bottles of history with George Walker. BY SAM EASTER


Here is something important to remember about George W.C. Walker III: Before he was 21 years old, he was in West Michigan, already studying for his sommelier exam. Years have passed, but Walker always has had the same precocious talent. It’s taken him from culinary school in Muskegon to personal projects — like a WGVU series on food and a community cooking class — to working in the Michigan wine industry. Now in his late 20s, he’s joined Wade Cellars, the Napa Valley winery helmed by former NBA superstar Dwyane Wade. Wine is perhaps the central focus of Walker’s life, taking him all over the world. In late October, he’d just returned from a trip to France, and he was electric with enthusiasm — for not only the drink itself, but the little histories in every bottle. 18

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people + places / p ofile

“Wine, to me, it’s able to tell a story,” he said. “(It has) a connection to people in so many different ways — whether that be the person or the people who are harvesting it in the field, down to the people in the cellar who are making the wines, or down to the family who may own it.” Walker grew up in northwest Indiana, jumping into a high school culinary trade program. He wasn’t the type to sit still and learn by explanation. That steered him toward culinary school at Baker College’s Michigan Culinary Institute, which plugged him into the West Michigan food scene and beyond. “Culinary (study) was a way for me to be able to see the world through the lens of food and be able to see different cultures through food,” Walker said. He couldn’t travel to France, but he could learn how to make the “mother sauces” that continental cuisine is built on. He couldn’t go to Italy, but he could study pasta-making. He might have been in Indiana, but cooking was his passport, as he calls it, to the rest of the globe. “Through the food, I could understand a little bit more about these cultures and a little bit more about the world.” One of Walker’s favorite stories about wine — a moment he remembers falling in love with it — came when he learned about the Chateauneuf du Pape, a wine that traces its history back to 14th century France. The politics of the era had put the Pope in Avignon, where successive church fathers with a taste for wine helped further a tradition that still exists in the area today. That story is key to understanding Walker’s enthusiasm. Listening to him talk about food and drink, there’s the classic culinary belief that mealtime brings people together. But he’s clearly also excited about the depth of the history a bottle can put in your hands. Wine is the drink of ancient kings and of the popes of the Middle Ages — and it’s right here on the table! That’s not to say Walker’s vision is stuffy — far from it. Part of Walker’s mission is to take the world of wine and make it more accessible. When he’s asked about his favorite wine, yes, he does point out a specific region of France. It’s Loire, which he said is “diverse in what it can offer,” and produces an “amazing cabernet franc,” plus some other wines with some names that are hard to recognize. But when he’s asked how he rates good wine, he’s as accessible as a friend walking down the beverage aisle. “The first and foremost thing is does it taste good, do I actually like it? That’s the most important thing, right?” he said. “Find something that you actually like and gravitate toward, and then go from there.” That down-to-earth approach is different from what most people have probably heard about wine, which sometimes has to fight against that drink-of-kings reputation to win more every day, mainstream attention. Traditionally, wine is chic and expensive and maybe even a bit stuffy. It’s the kind of perception Walker is working against. “Wine is for the people, by the people,” he said. “And we need to take the ‘bougie’ out of it.” And the world of wine is — both in pop culture and at the vineyard — a very white place. The Association of African American Vintners in 2020 estimated that only about 0.1% of U.S. winemakers and wine brand owners are Black. Given that wine is widely understood as a high-class luxury good and rated with its own language of taste (oaky, vegetal), it’s not surprising that its producers make up something of an exclusive club. Walker mentions in particular the work of the Roots Fund, a group that helps support people of color as they enter the

Walker with co-owner of GRNoir, Shatawn Brigham. Walker hosted a Wade Cellars tasting at GRNoir in November 2021.

"Culinary (study) was a way for me to be able to see the world through the lens of food and be able to see different cultures through food." George W.C. Walker III

wine industry — through scholarships, mentorship and more — as one example of the ongoing work to make the industry more diverse. Eddie Tadlock is the assistant general manager at DeVos Place, and helps organize the Grand Rapids Wine, Beer and Food Festival. He recalls watching Walker work his way up through the wine world, organizing local wine events with dinner and music — a series called “Graped Out” — and eventually working with the festival to host a famous Oregon vintner. Tadlock recalls being impressed with Walker, a young Black man who had an impressive interest in the drink and a talent for making it accessible. He’s an early member of a likely wave of change in the industry, Tadlock said, that’s bringing wine to entirely new demographics and expanding what the world of wine can do. “I think wine along with food is the magic that brings people together,” Tadlock said. “When you go around the world — you go to Italy or France, wine is part of the culture. You start drinking wine at the dinner table when you’re frickin’ 9 years old. It’s not like it’s anything foreign — it’s very accessible. Here in the U.S., there’s this stigma that if you drink wine, you’re hoity-toity.” Walker already is making a name for himself. He’s been featured in Imbibe Magazine among its “75 People to Watch.” He’s also been named to a 40-under-40 list by Wine Enthusiast magazine. It’s an auspicious start to Walker’s wine career — though he doesn’t know where it will take him yet. Right now, he sounds happy enough traveling the world for a basketball star’s winery. “I don’t know where I’ll be in 10 years,” Walker said. “I definitely want to be an inspiration for anyone else.” GR M AG .CO M

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11/23/21 1:07 PM


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11/23/21 1:05 PM

look + feel / style Hairdresser Sydney Spellis shows off her layered, coordinated fashion on a rainy afternoon.

"... layering is important, but be creative about it. I love wearing sweaters over silk dresses. Also, don’t be afraid of patterns, colors and textures." Sydney Spellis


From the salon Sydney Spellis has style tips for every occasion — and season. BY SAMANTHA SUAREZ


Braving Michigan winters is a feat in itself, but coming up with outfits that keep you warm and look good? That’s a totally different game. Here, Grand Rapids hairstylist Sydney Spellis shares her favorite winter trends, her unique perspective as someone in the beauty industry, and her answer to the great side part versus middle part hair debate. Does being a hairstylist inform what you decide to wear at all? In general, I have to know what haircuts are trendy and what clothes look good with them. I think everyone should think of their hair as part of their outfit, especially if you’re going for a certain look. For my clients, I think about how 22

they typically dress when brainstorming hairstyles with them. If they’re more of a classic-dress type of person, I might talk them out of trends like the wolf cut or the ’70s shag, since those two styles don’t really match up. For myself, I like to start with my hair and then complete my outfit. If I’m having a bold day of patterns, I'll normally do a sleek low bun, a low ponytail, or a cute messy top knot so my outfit is the main focus. If I want my shirt to steal the show, I can't be hiding behind 20-inch hair! I also love fashion colors on hair. Over the last six years, my hair has been lavender, teal, mint, silver, and more. I generally pick icier colors in the winter and warmer colors during the spring and

summer. It’s pink right now because I’m going on vacation. What are some tips you have to look chic while staying cozy this winter? Right off the bat, my biggest worry is hat hair. So, I would say cute earmuffs are a great option if you're walking around outside when it’s cold but also trying to not ruin your hair. As for the rest of the outfit, layering is super important, but be creative about it. I love wearing sweaters over silk dresses. Also, don’t be afraid of patterns, colors and textures. I feel like an animal print is a must during the winter. I have a leopard blazer that I wear all the time. Of course, don’t forget your big scarves, over-the-knee boots and fun mittens. What’s a staple that’s in your closet year-round? Blazers. I have five different blazers that I rotate around because I feel like you can make them classic or funky depending on how you wear them. If you want a casual look, you can wear it with a graphic tee and jeans. If you’re trying to dress it up a bit, wear it over a crop top and some fun patterned pants, like plaid.

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11/23/21 1:04 PM


The impossible mile Parents help son become the ‘athlete he wanted to be.’ BY ANN BYLE


Johnny Agar loves sports. He loves watching baseball, hockey, football, basketball, and just about every other sport. He loved sports as a child when he thought of his physical therapies as workouts. He wore jerseys of his favorite Red Wings players — Steve Yzerman, Sergei Fedorov, Brendan Shanahan —during therapy and watched them on TV every chance he got. But playing sports in the usual sense was not part of the picture. Johnny, 27, was born with cerebral palsy. His body is twisted, and his arms and legs don’t work the same way most people’s do. When he gets excited, his arms move up and his fingers tighten. Yet this sports fan doesn’t sit in his wheelchair on the sideline. He participates in Iron Man events and running events regularly, his dad with him every step of the way and his family and friends cheering them on. GR M AG .CO M

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11/23/21 1:13 PM

look + feel / wellness

Here’s Johnny

• Visit to inquire about Johnny speaking at your event, races he’ll participate in and other information. • “The Impossible Mile” is available at Baker Book House and Schuler Books, as well as via online booksellers. • Visit YouTube and search “Johnny Agar” to see videos of Johnny’s races and interviews.

Johnny and his father Jeff have worked up to completing triathlons. Now, Johnny and his mother, Becki, wrote a book.

Jeff Agar, Johnny’s dad, pushes him as he runs, pulls him or rides back-to-back tandem in bike races, and pulls a kayak with Johnny in it when swimming. The pair have been all over the United States — as well as Germany for the Challenge Roth triathlon — running, swimming, and biking together, each event a test of endurance and a symbol of the love between them. “It’s an incredible experience to do races alongside your son, especially when no one could have predicted he would participate in any competitive sport and I would never have thought of being involved in endurance sports at any level,” said Jeff, who pitched in the Detroit Tigers minor leagues as a young man. “I began to realize as Johnny got older that he wasn’t all right with not being an athlete. Running together and then racing together became a way for him to feel like the athlete he wanted to be.” New endeavor Now Johnny, who lives with his parents and sister Gracy (sister Annie lives in Chicago) in Rockford, has taken another big step by writing a book with his mom, Becki Agar. “The Impossible Mile: The Power of Living Life One Step at a Time” released late last year and is a testament to a young man’s drive to succeed and his family’s love and unending encouragement. The title comes from Johnny’s dream of walking a mile in the St. Patrick’s 5K walk/run, a yearly event to raise money for the parish church on Parnell Avenue in Ada. Up to that point, Johnny had walked only 23 steps with his walker at one time. He trained for a year, building the muscles and coordination needed to walk the 24

"And then I reached the finish line. All the training I had done, and the support I had received, had pushed me to this point. More people were waiting for me at the finish, cheering me on." Johnny Agar

final distance. Race day finally came, and Johnny did the first miles with his dad pushing him in his racing chair. Then came that last mile when he pushed forward using his walker. Here is how he describes it in the book: “Teens, children, moms pushing babies in strollers, dads holding toddlers on shoulders, race participants, parishioners … I had an army at my back. There were even elderly folks with folding chairs who were walking ahead, sitting down, cheering me on, and then standing up and carrying their chairs forward again. And there ahead — I could see her now — was Mom. “And then I reached the finish line. “All the training I had done, and the support I had received, had pushed me to this point. More people were waiting for me at the finish, cheering me on. I stepped across the timing strip and let go of the walker—and Dad caught me before I fell.” “The Impossible Mile” describes a number of such events, as well as Johnny’s childhood, introduces his family, and reveals Johnny’s dreams, struggles, and thoughts about life. “Writing the book gave me a new appreciation for what Mom and Dad went through to get me to this point in my life,” he said. “Some of the stories I hadn’t heard until writing the book. My parents raised me as a typical child when I wasn’t a typical child.” Johnny and Becki decided to write the book after Johnny’s 2019 graduation from Aquinas College with degrees in sports management and business administration. They had a well-established routine from years of homeschooling and college — Johnny dictated and Becki typed. The first version of the book was 120,000 words long, which they eventually pared down to its current length. “Johnny didn’t like talking about how his body moved, but I told him people need to see his struggles,” Becki said. “We

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walked a fine line, wanting people to see Johnny’s struggles but also the importance of seeing how he overcame those struggles and challenges.” The book took about a year to write, the pair eventually connecting with local literary agent Tom Dean, owner of A Drop of Ink. Dean got them connected with publisher Dexterity Books. Johnny’s friendships with sports figures helped him gather endorsements for the book, including words from Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, professional multisport athlete Tim Tebow, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and ABC news correspondent Bob Woodruff. ESPN SportsCenter anchor Scott Van Pelt wrote the foreword. Inspiration and advice “The Impossible Mile” is far more than Johnny’s life history up to now. The book is full of inspiration for those attempting what seems impossible — whether in sports or in life. It’s also full of advice for those facing struggles and even failure. “I see failure as a steppingstone, not a roadblock, to where you want to go,” Johnny said. “I’ve experienced failure over and over again with simple tasks such as taking off a shirt or brushing my teeth. It takes me multiple times to learn how to do simple things.” But anyone can overcome anything by taking it one step at a time. “What racing with Johnny has shown me and many other people is that, with the right motivation, you can do things beyond what you ever thought possible," Jeff said. "The fact that I can help Johnny fulfill his dream and we can live out his dream together has been such a blessing.” Becki said that Johnny’s cerebral palsy “has shown us what he has to go through, which makes us appreciate life. He has such a positive attitude and he’s so patient. He’s a reminder all the time that you can be happy with that you have.” Johnny and his team competed in the Reeds Lake Triathlon and other events. Johnny and his dad, with help from sister Annie and other family members, have run in the Amway River Bank Run, the Ludington Lighthouse Triathlon and Mitchell’s Run Thru Rockford, which raises money for Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy. He’s been featured on ESPN’s E:60 show and in the Under Armour “Will Finds a Way” campaign. One of his biggest “pushes” was the 2016 Iron Man event in Kona, Hawaii. Swimming in the ocean was difficult for Johnny’s dad, who also had to pull Johnny in a kayak. They trained for the event, making it through the swim and halfway through the biking portion before being pulled because they wouldn’t make the necessary cutoff time. “Johnny said, ‘Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.’ Here’s Johnny, again teaching us because he knows how learning is a process,” Becki said. “Johnny is always teaching us and gives us such a beautiful perspective on life.” Johnny isn’t done yet. His long-term goals include finishing the Kona Iron Man by walking by himself that last mile. He’d also like to do a 5K by himself “to give Dad a break.” He also dreams of living independently. “As much as I love my parents and they love me, I want to be able to show them I can be self-sufficient and independent,” he said. “That’s what they ultimately want me to be, and I hope to reach that goal.” His advice for those facing struggles of any kind is the same advice he gives himself: “Face your fears; it won’t be as bad as you thought” and “You’ll sell yourself short if you don’t do what you can do. So many people are afraid of trying new things.”

Excerpts from “The Impossible Mile”

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“By myself, I am just whistling a tune, but with my parents, I add a brass section, giving me the confidence and power I need. My sisters become my percussion — keeping me in rhythm and adding excitement to my life; my friends become my woodwinds section — often taking on a supporting role and providing the harmony; and my community becomes the strings section — the most numerous of the groups who help carry the melody. “(Michael) Phelps inspired me, not just because of his talent and all his gold medals, but because he had also risen, fallen, and risen again. The athletes whom my parents had encouraged me to emulate were not the ones who were always on top. They were the ones who had experienced failure and yet were able to rise again, who had made their way back up to the top victorious — not defeated.”

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11/23/21 1:14 PM

look + feel / home


Pop of color Add a splash of pizzazz at home to spice up winter.

I hear is choosing the right size rug, and all too often homeowners go too small. A safe bet for most main rooms is to try either an 8x10 or a 9x12. In your living room, a good rule of thumb is it’s important that your rug is large enough that the front legs of all your furniture are able to touch it, and in a dining room, you don’t want half of your chair hanging off the rug when you’re sitting at the table.


Home is where we make our most precious memories, but your home’s aesthetic could be keeping you from remembering them long-term. Neutral spaces have become a huge design trend in recent years, but did you know there’s scientific proof that color helps us store and process memories more effectively than colorless scenes? Surrounding ourselves with color also can help combat Seasonal Affective Disorder, a common struggle here in Michigan this time of year. The good news is, adding color to your home doesn’t have to be a permanent, all-encompassing design element. For a lot of homeowners, it can be intimidating, but if you’re feeling sick of your neutral-on-neutral spaces, here are six easy, noncommittal ways to incorporate color into your home.


I love using draperies and window shades to add a pop to a room. With drapery fabric, focus more on the colors than the fabric’s pattern as you often lose the subject matter in the undulating folds. In addition, make sure to have them backed with white or ivory fabric to create a cohesive look from the outside of your home.


Colorful artwork can be a beautiful focal point in an otherwise neutral room. It also can be a wonderful starting point for creating a color palette for your space. Artwork is very personal, and everyone connects with it differently. Find a piece that speaks to you and use it to inspire the rest of your décor.


Pillows often are the most popular way to add a pop of color to your space because they’re so easy to swap in and out seasonally. You also can change the entire feel of your space just by switching the pillows, and they can typically be purchased on a tight budget.


It feels a little cliché to say bring the outdoors in, but it’s actually a striking way to inadvertently incorporate color into your home. Are you surrounded by windows and colorful views? Take advantage of those blues,


greens and browns and find ways to weave those same tones throughout your décor. If you don’t have a scenic landscape, you still can embrace nature by incorporating plants into your home. Did you know indoor plants have magical powers? There’s scientific evidence that they have the ability to reduce stress and increase productivity, so get your green thumbs ready!


Rugs are a great, functional way to incorporate color into your home. If you have hard surface floors, a rug can warm up your space during the colder months as well as protect your flooring. The biggest challenge

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Lamps, trays and vases — oh, my! There are endless ways to incorporate small pops of color using accessories. Something as simple as a colorful lamp shade or a decorative box on a console can be just what a room needs, and no space is too “unimportant” to be accessorized. Even a hallway or passthrough deserves to feel unique and well-designed, and colorful accessories can make an otherwise neutral space a little happier. INTERIORS COURTESY FUCHSIA DESIGN

11/23/21 1:13 PM

Grand Rapids Magazine Daily is our curated e-Newsletter highlighting the best food, drinks, experiences and more in Grand Rapids! Monday through Friday, we send out the latest stories on all things happening in GR right to your inbox.

Head to GRMAG.COM to sign up today!

look + feel / expe t

I can envision a future where … we will be able to do a lot of the things that we previously enjoyed, but I also think this is a wakeup call for our world on how quickly a virus can change our lives.” Mary Wisinski


Double threat Staying healthy in a new flu season. BY SAM EASTER

A year ago, Michigan was deep in the grip of a surge in COVID-19 cases. Hospitals were full of patients — and with vaccines in their early phases, there wasn’t much to do but stay masked and wait. This year is different, but still dangerous. Health experts in West Michigan point out that, as the country’s adherence to masking and distancing and other COVID-19 precautions start to fade, this winter will likely see a resurgence of the flu. Coupled with the lingering threat of the coronavirus, that constitutes a double threat. And Michiganders should be careful. “I think this winter, in my own personal opinion, is a lot more dangerous than last winter,” said Mary Wisinski, a nurse and immunizations supervisor with the Kent County Health Department. She said it’s impossible to know what this flu season will look like. But by the time you read this, flu season almost certainly will have proved more dangerous than last year’s. Wisinski’s fears have been echoed by public health officials nationwide, who still are urging Americans to get vaccinated — if not to protect themselves, then to protect people around them. Wisinski said there’s no “contra-indication” for coronavirus vaccines and for flu shots, meaning Americans can get them on the same day if they’d like. 28

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The best practices for this winter, local health experts say, are the same as they’ve always been. But one more time with feeling: Keep your distance from other people if you can and keep wearing a mask when you’re around them — especially if it’s a big group. Stay home if you’re feeling unwell. And it even helps to practice the most mundane safety precautions, like coughing into your elbow. Erin McNeely is an internal medicine physician with Spectrum Health. She points to mask use in other cultures that was the norm long before the coronavirus struck — something that, if it became more normal here, could save countless patients from infection and serious danger. It’s hard to know what happens next with the virus — partly because of the unpredictable nature of COVID mutations and spikes, but also because the vaccine rollout for young children was still in its infancy this fall. “I can envision a future where … we will be able to do a lot of the things that we previously enjoyed, but I also think this is a wakeup call for our world on how quickly a virus can change our lives,” Wisinski said. SICK ISTOCK/JULKIRIO

11/23/21 1:12 PM

look + feel / expe ience


Getting social with sports Chris Wessely’s multiple passions come together in West Michigan. BY JESSE O’BRIEN



e didn’t realize it at the time, but Chris Wessely’s calling dialed him up while he was a poor college student studying abroad in Japan. Wessely didn’t find his inspiration in his political science or Japanese language textbooks. Instead, the Grand Rapids native whose primary culinary specialty was inexpensive ketchup and mayonnaise sandwiches, got a jolt from cooking for his international housemates. “About halfway through the semester, one of the English guys asked me to cook them something American and offered to buy the groceries,” Wessely said. “So I cooked them something fun — stuffed peppers, nothing fancy — but these English guys went wild for it.” The effusive praise for his simple meal spread among the housemates and not long after something of a guerrilla kitchen was born. One of the students on scholarship would

Chris Wessely poses with a flag football game in the back.


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11/23/21 1:12 PM

look + feel / expe ience

bankroll the meal while Wessely would take on cooking duties, and another housemate would clean up after. “It became this rhythm in the house — and I actually got to eat in Japan,” Wessely said. After his brief stint as an in-home international chef, Wessely returned to finish his education at Aquinas College, where he graduated with a degree in communications and political science and a minor in Japanese. The plan was law school. Wessely already had taken the LSAT and was set on attending Fordham University in the Bronx. But those plans were waylaid when he and his now-wife Kim discovered they were expecting. At 23, Wessely was going to have to find a way to provide for a young family. He took a job doing outside sales, but continued to constantly dream up new businesses, working on them during his free time. None stuck, however, and after a few years he was hired to do sales and marketing for a local manufacturing company. It appeared that sales was becoming Wessely’s career, but shortly after starting his new job, another curveball knocked him back from the plate. Like millions of other Americans, Wessely lost his job during the Great Recession. The hits kept coming, as the Wesselys’ little starter home in Rockford plummeted in value when two other houses on the block foreclosed — theirs was soon to follow. To top it all off, Kim was pregnant with their third child and once again, Wessely

"I feel confident, but I’ve also got a little fear factor in this next venture. But if you’re not scared, there’s something wrong." Chris Wessely

Chris Wessely keeps busy, from JAM Sports to his new venture: Noodlepig, a fastcasual ramen concept.


was unsure of how he would provide for his growing family. After a couple weeks looking for sales and marketing jobs, Wessely recalled something his sister had mentioned a couple years earlier. She had recently moved to Baltimore and joined a sports and social club there. Her experiences clicked with something in the perpetually turning wheels in Wessely’s mind. Why shouldn’t an up-and-coming city like Grand Rapids also offer a social club? But he still had one hurdle to clear — his wife’s approval. “She asked me, ‘So, wait, you’re just going to play games and drink with your buddies and that’s a career?’” Wessely said. So, they came to an agreement. Wessely could pursue the club concept, but he also had to go back to school for a “needed” career. “Kim’s very logical, so she was thinking of a career that would always be needed,” he said. “They’ll always need nurses — they don’t need another sales guy — but I love to cook and people always need food. So that

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JAM Sports — formerly Grand Rapids Sports & Social Club — keeps Grand Rapidians active and, well, social.

was something that combined a passion of mine and there was job security there.” Wessely got to work on Grand Rapids Sports & Social Club, while simultaneously searching for a way to attend culinary school. As the club started to materialize, Wessely prepared for an inaugural season featuring more than 300 participants. But despite his grandiose plans, the inaugural season garnered less than 30 players. “I was anticipating 330 people to play but at our orientation meeting we had 35 show up,” Wessely said. “Then two teams left because it wasn’t big enough and we were left with 27 players. So, I begged them, if they just stuck it out, they were going to have a great time. And if they told their friends and word of mouth continued, we’d get to where we wanted to be.” Wessely’s instincts were right and by summer they had more than 100 players. As the club began to succeed, he gained acceptance into the Secchia Institute for

Culinary Education program at Grand Rapids Community College, where he would eventually graduate with valedictorian honors. Never content to keep just one plate spinning, it wasn’t long before Wessely found another project to work on, marrying his newly honed culinary skills with his marketing prowess. Partnering with one of his instructors from culinary school, Wessely co-founded The Personal Chef Group, offering in-home cooking services. “I realized it’s hard to approach the marketing aspect and accounting, and all the back-end stuff when all you really want to do is cook,” he said. “So we built the Personal Chef Group as sort of a placement agency for these chefs.”

Eventually, the workload with Grand Rapids Sports & Social made it too difficult to maintain both ventures. So Wessely gave up his stake in the Personal Chef Group and committed to the league — leaving open some spare time to teach cooking and mixology classes on the side, of course. Now in its 13th year, Grand Rapids Sports & Social Club has experienced tremendous growth and boasts more than 10,000 players each year. It recently partnered with the Toronto Sport and Social Club and rebranded as JAM Sports. And after helping to navigate the league through the worst of the COVID-19 shutdown, Wessely decided it might be time to take a backseat and return to his first passion. Enter Noodlepig — Wessely’s upcoming restaurant to bring fast-casual ramen noodles to Grand Rapids. He’s already locked in a lease at 601 Bond Ave. NW and plans to open for dining and takeout by spring. With Noodlepig, Wessely can continue to chase his passion for cooking, but he also has a grander plan in mind for the restaurant. He’s partnered with several charities, including West Michigan-based Hand2Hand and Faith In Deeds, as well as nationally focused No Kid Hungry, in an effort to curb child hunger. Each bowl of ramen sold at Noodlepig will cover the cost of a meal for three children — one in West Michigan, one in the U.S. and one overseas. Wessely anticipates his store will sell about 120 bowls of ramen each day with plans to rapidly scale up and expand its footprint. If Noodlepig grows to its first benchmark of 10 locations operating 50 weeks a year, it could provide more than 1.2 million meals each year for hungry children. “I feel confident, but I’ve also got a little fear factor in this next venture,” Wessely said. “But if you’re not scared, there’s something wrong.” It’s a position Wessely has been in a few times before and that experience has helped give him a baseline to approach this new challenge. He’s gone from feeding a handful of hungry exchange students American food in Japan to bringing an authentically Japanese concept to West Michigan and hopefully feeding the world. “Now I’m able to pair my culinary with the business side and the marketing side, and scratch that entire itch I have — this time with a mission,” he said. “I look at my kids, and as they’re getting older I want to show them that we can help people with our passions.” GR M AG .CO M

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By Pat Evans & Lindsey Van Hekken

Photography by Michelle Cuppy, Bryan Esler, Teri Genovese and Stacy Feyer-Salo


E A C H Y E A R , Grand Rapids Magazine readers get to declare the Best Of Grand Rapids winners. Readers then get to add a long directory of people, places and things to eat and drink to their see-and-do list, courtesy of suggestions from people with similar interests. The past year was still a strange time, still a difficult go for many businesses because of effects from the COVID-19 pandemic. In the poll’s 19th year, these people and businesses stood out to West Michigan residents, so check out the winners in more than 100 categories and let us know your thoughts on social media, using #bestofgr.

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11/24/21 9:11 AM

food+ drink

Best BBQ


hile the two Scotts behind Two Scotts Barbecue describe themselves as regular guys, their barbecue skills are anything but. When Scott Hartmann and Scott BARBECUE STACY FEYER-SALO

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Leucht were setting up shop in an old root beer stand at 536 Leonard St. NW, they wanted to make sure Grand Rapids had a barbecue restaurant that could hang with the joints they visited in travels across the country. The meats are well worth the wait that sometimes accompanies a visit to

Two Scotts, and those delectable meats are the reason the restaurant was voted Best Barbecue in Grand Rapids. From the delicious chicken and full racks of ribs to melt-in-your-mouth brisket and the piled-high sandwiches, Two Scotts is a place to satisfy those carnivorous cravings. GR M AG .CO M


11/24/21 9:11 AM

food+ drink

Calories Don’t Count


The Salted Cupcake The Salted Cupcake serves a variety of delicious, creative cupcakes baked fresh each day, with classic cupcake flavors served daily and additional flavors that change weekly. From walk-in orders and online ordering to wedding catering and a rentable cupcake truck, The Salted Cupcake provides dessert for anyone and any occasion.

DOUGHNUTS Marge’s Donut Den

From the wide range of doughnuts and cookies to custom cakes and cupcakes for any special occasion, Marge’s Donut Den has offered fresh, high-quality baked goods and a warm, welcoming environment for all customers since 1975.

FROYO SHOP The Pump House

With more than a dozen ever-changing flavors of custard, yogurt, sorbet and gelato and what feels like endless toppings, The Pump House provides do-it-yourself dessert at four different locations in a bubbly, casual atmosphere.

ICE CREAM PARLOR Jersey Junction



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Established in 1963, Jersey Junction is an old-fashioned ice cream parlor in East Grand Rapids that offers a wide range of Hudsonville Ice Cream. From the school benches covered in customer signatures to the model Polar Express that wraps around the shop, Jersey Junction creates a nostalgic, welcoming atmosphere for all.


11/30/21 3:05 PM

food+ drink Appetizers San Chez

Bloody Mary Rockwell Republic

experience everyone can enjoy.

Bakery Nantucket Baking Co.

A lively gastropub located in the Heartside district of Grand Rapids, Rockwell Republic offers a casual yet energetic environment alongside a menu filled with a variety of seasonal, handcrafted cuisine.

Brewery Founders Brewing

Bar/Pub Stella’s Lounge BBQ Two Scotts Barbecue Beer & Wine Store Martha’s Vineyard

Breakfast Anna’s House

From its collection of international and local craft beers and wide selection of global wines to its custom deli trays and cut-to-order cheeses, Martha’s Vineyard is Grand Rapids’ best beer & wine store and specialty grocer for a number of reasons, all of which you’ll enjoy.

Since 2002, Anna’s House has provided West Michigan with a bright, homey atmosphere and an extensive breakfast and brunch menu that fits a variety of dietary lifestyles. The hand-painted murals, high-quality service, and fresh, local dishes create a retro diner

serve as an excellent brunch setting for everyone.

Burger Stella’s Lounge

As one of the largest craft breweries in the country, Founders has been a staple in Grand Rapids for over two decades. Founders offers one-of-kind beers and a deli menu full of classic shareable plates, sandwiches, and pizzas.

Brunch Morning Belle Morning Belle creates a vibrant, friendly atmosphere with a brunch menu full of fresh dishes for any palate. With one location on the East Beltline and another on Bridge Street, both Morning Belle eateries

Burrito Beltline Bar Butcher Shop Sobie Meats Since opening in 2004, Sobie Meats has become famous for its ready-to-serve pulled-pork, friendliness to patrons, and endearing slogan: “Home of the Free Butt Rub,” in honor of its signature rub for smoked pork butts.

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Caterer Martha’s Catering After years of public clamor, Martha’s Vineyard began

IT'S FIVE O'CLOCK SOMEWHERE Stop by your local watering hole to curb your thirst.






Stella’s Lounge

Long Road Distillers




With old-school arcade games, more than 250 kinds of whiskey, and giant stuffed burgers voted the Best Burger in America by GQ in 2012, Stella’s Lounge has a lively yet easygoing atmosphere like no other.

Along with the world-class spirits made at the distillery, Long Road Distillers' cocktail program also creates drinks that tickle taste buds. Long Road also packages some of its more popular cocktails, for at-home enjoyment.

In 1996, Faro Uccello opened the first Uccello’s Ristorante Pizzeria & Sports Lounge. There are six Uccello’s locations across West Michigan today, each serving a mixture of classic Italian dishes and bar food.

The 2017 Grand Rapids Magazine Restaurant of the Year, Reserve prides itself on an impressive wine list. The restaurant has been recognized by Wine Spectator multiple times since 2012.


offering catering services a little over 15 years ago and opened Martha’s Catering. That proved to be a wise move. Martha’s Catering strives to create memorable weddings, corporate and social events for all customers with its talented team of chefs and event planners.

Chef Chef Jenna Arcidiacono, Amore Award-winning chef Jenna Arcidiacono opened Amore Trattoria in 2010, serving Italian cuisine that combines both her diverse culinary experiences with her mother-in-law’s old familial recipes. Chef Jenna creates remarkable dining experiences with her passion for food, charisma and hard work.

Coffeehouse Madcap The creative and highly skilled team of coffee-bean growers and baristas at Madcap Coffee Company have provided coffeelovers in Grand Rapids and Detroit with high-quality coffee and a lively, welcoming atmosphere since 2008.

Craft Cocktails Long Road Distillers Cupcakes The Salted Cupcake GR M AG .CO M

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11/24/21 9:11 AM

food+ drink Date Night Restaurant Butcher’s Union Butcher’s Union has served an extensive and diverse selection of food, cocktails and whiskey since 2017. Butcher’s Union is passionate about serving locally sourced ingredients, being a positive influence in the community, and creating a welcoming and intimate atmosphere for guests.

Dessert Leo’s Since 2004, Leo’s Seafood Restaurant and Bar has provided guests with a sophisticated dining experience in the heart of Grand Rapids through exquisite seafood cuisine, an elegant dining room and a more laid-back (yet vibrant) bar and lounge area.

creative, gourmet burgers and sides, Patty Matters travels all over the state and is the first food truck in West Michigan to operate year-round, specializing in large events while being available for private events as well.

French Fries HopCat In 2008, the original HopCat location opened in Grand Rapids, offering a unique food and beverage menu and an environment that varies between its nine locations throughout the Midwest. HopCat’s famous fries were voted one of the top 10 French fries in America by Food Network Magazine.

Froyo Shop The Pump House

Diner Real Food Cafe

Hangover Food Grand Coney

Since the first location opened in 2000, and the second in 2006, Real Food Cafe has offered guests an inviting and cozy environment for breakfast and lunch, serving a wide-ranging menu of fresh, handcrafted, classic diner dishes.

Distillery Long Road Distillers

Grand Coney Diner serves classic diner dishes and creates an enjoyable, laid-back environment for all. Grand Coney has two locations in West Michigan, one in Allendale and one in Grand Rapids, with the latter open 24 hours a day on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. A perfect schedule for those hangover blues!

Doughnuts Marge’s Donut Den

Happy Hour Rockwell Republic

Food Truck Patty Matters

Hard Cider Vander Mill

Serving a variety of

Since its humble


beginnings in 2006, Vander Mill has become one of the biggest cider makers in the Midwest. Along with the significant cider operation that has grown with demand and cultivating a great supply of heritage apples, its taproom offers up a fine selection of food.


Hot Dog Yesterdog A Grand Rapids favorite since 1976, Yesterdog provides both classic and creative hot dogs in a lively and unique environment filled with vintage posters, pictures with celebrity icons and sports memorabilia.

Ice Cream Parlor Jersey Junction Late Night Drinks & Dining Stella’s Lounge Mac & Cheese Electric Cheetah In The Electric Cheetah’s vibrant and unique atmosphere, it serves a menu packed with innovative, made from scratch, savory dishes and a variety of drinks, including its famous draft root beer.

Mediterranean Sheshco Mediterranean Grill Since opening its doors in 2012, Sheshco Mediterranean Grill has provided a wide-ranging menu of traditional Mediterranean dishes

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ger Best BAu'rS LOUNGE

made fresh daily and fosters a family-friendly, inviting setting for all guests.

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Outdoor/Deck Rose’s Opened in 1992 and sitting on the shore of Reeds Lake in East Grand Rapids, Rose’s serves a combination of Italian, American and Mediterranean cuisine and provides a stunning, serene view of the lake from its four-season deck.

Pizza Mitten Brewing Mitten Brewing Company is a microbrewery and pizzeria with an old-fashioned

baseball theme, serving a variety of specialty pizzas and hand-crafted beers in the restored Engine House No. 9 since 2012.

Restaurant Service Amore Rooftop Dining Mertens Prime Mertens Prime, located in a renovated hotel built in 1914, provides French cuisine in an elegant dining room and stunning views of the city on the Mertens Rooftop.


11/24/21 9:12 AM

food+ drink

Might get messy

BURGER Stella's Lounge Stella's gained notarity for its burgers when it was higlighted by by GQ in 2012. The burgers are big, juicy and messy. Bring a napkin.

Best Taco



Beltline Bar

Since 1953, Beltline Bar has served Grand Rapids with an extensive Tex-Mex menu, including its signature, award-winning wet burrito. While it has expanded and evolved throughout the years, Beltline Bar continues to use original recipes from 1966 and provides the best burritos in Grand Rapids.


Donkey Taqueria Donkey has gifted Grand Rapids with modern Mexican dishes and beverages made with the freshest ingredients since opening its doors in 2009. From dining-in to catering events, Donkey creates a lively and entertaining atmosphere for all guests.


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11/24/21 9:12 AM

food+ drink

alk into Nantucket Baking Company’s Lyon Street storefront and prepare for a sensory overload that will baffle the decision-making process. From a hearty loaf of sourdough to a delicate pastry, the bakers at Nantucket have figured out what Grand Radians like out of an oven. Regular customers are sure to have their favorites, but here’s a quick guide for a first-time visitor. Start with the bread selection: 38

• Polish rye • Challah • San Francisco sourdough • Six-grain • Garlic parmesan • Brioche Nantucket also recently opened a new facility on Fuller Street NE to help keep the fresh supply of baked items flowing in West Michigan. The bakery also supplies plenty of other Grand Rapids Best Of honorees with its baked goods, including Founders Brewing, Mitten Brewing Co. and Two Scotts BBQ.

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11/24/21 9:12 AM

food+ drink

Best Steak



teaks are tricky. While a slab of meet is perfectly tasty after a stint on the grill, there are few ways to get more out of that perfect cut of beef. Andrew Verburg, chef at The Chop House, takes us through a few easy ways to amp up a steak.

No. 1

We do aggressive seasoning. I’ve noticed cooking with family or people who are not too accustomed to cooking, they don’t use as much salt. We use an abundance of salt (and) a little black pepper. That’s it, just keep it clean and highlight the flavor of the meat.

No. 2

The equipment we use here, we keep very hot. A really good sear is key to ensuring a really flavorful steak.

No. 3

We like to temper the meat for an hour. What we do is bring it up to about 60 degrees and then we put it on the grill or broiler. I think tempering the steak is more important than the rest.

No. 4

Getting a good instant read thermometer is an incredibly useful tool. Whenever I train a new broil cook, I make them use it on every steak to get that touch and feel of a steak. They like to do that hand thing, but that really only works on filets or certain sirloins. Every meat is different, different toughness and fibers. A good instant read will not lie to you.

No. 5

I always go for a good Napa cab if I’m having steak. I really like a nice, melted cheese and a little bit of sauce. That’s what I go for. We have a number of sauces, too many for this space.


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11/24/21 9:12 AM

food+ drink

Best Appetizers


Offering an extensive selection of classic deli sandwiches made from locally sourced ingredients, the world-famous Schnitz Deli has been a staple in Grand Rapids for decades, providing something good for all tastes.

Seafood Leo’s Sports Bar Uccello’s Faro Uccello opened the first Uccello’s Ristorante Pizzeria & Sports Lounge in 1996. Now there are six Uccello’s locations across West Michigan, each serving a mixture of classic Italian dishes and bar food in a casual setting.

Steak The Chop House Sushi Maru

n the early 1990s, Spanish tapas were all the rage. So, when San Chez, a Tapas Bistro opened in late 1992 — when downtown Grand Rapids was but a glimmer in the eyes of those who made it what it is today — West Michigan patrons loved it. They still love it. Tapas are meant to be shared, and the menu at San Chez can read like a big selection of appetizers, which helps explain why readers voted it Best Appetizers in Grand Rapids. While the appetizer-esque menu is a hit for dinner, the 2004 addition of San Chez Café allows the restaurant to offer more substantial breakfast, brunch and lunch options, as well. The Spanish tapas menu has something for almost everyone, from meats, cheeses and breads to a full lineup of vegetarian items and plenty of seafood selections. For a nice hearty meal in the same Spanish style, go for paella, which can take a bit longer to prepare than other menu items but is well worth the wait. While San Chez offers perhaps the best appetizers in Grand Rapids, the eatery is capable of creating an ample meal for dinner customers.

Founded in Okemos in 2009, Maru Sushi & Grill offers a variety of sushi dishes made with the freshest fish and vegetables, made-from-scratch sauces, and premium sushi rice from California in six different locations across the state of Michigan.

operated Brick Road Pizza Co. offers an extensive menu full of pizzas, sandwiches, and pasta made with locally sourced ingredients, along with a large selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes as well.

Gaia As Grand Rapids' first and only vegetarian restaurant, Gaia offers a complete and diverse menu of vegetarian dishes while providing a tranquil, classic cafe setting where guests can enjoy a meal and share various forms of art.

Wine Bar Reserve The 2017 Grand Rapids Magazine Restaurant of the Year, Reserve prides itself on an impressive wine list. The restaurant has been recognized by Wine Spectator multiple times since 2012, showing West Michigan diners the curation is on point.

Tacos Donkey Taqueria Vegan/ Veggie Burger Stella’s Lounge Vegan/Veggie Menu Brick Road Pizza Co. The family-owned and


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11/24/21 9:12 AM


Annual Festival ArtPrize Since it first began in 2009, the open art competition has featured artists from all over the world and their various forms of art. For 18 days, the art is displayed throughout Grand Rapids, inviting visitors from near and far to view and discuss the various pieces.


Female TV Personality Ellen Bacca Golf Course Thousand Oaks Golf Club Rated a “4 ½ stars Places to Play” by Golf Digest, Thousand Oaks Golf Club provides a challenging and one-of-a-kind golfing experience on its four stunning courses, all offering a peaceful and enjoyable golfing environment for all skill levels.

GR-based Band/Musician Brena

Karaoke Bar Z’s Bar & Restaurant

Hike/Bike Trail Fred Meijer White Pine Trail

Live Music Venue GLC Live at 20 Monroe

Improv Group River City Improv Since 1993, River City Improv has kept the laughs coming. With the art of improv more widely known now than when it started, the company has started to thrive more than ever. They don’t stick to West Michigan, either, as the troop has performed across the country.

Local DJ Tony Gates Local Music Series Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Local Radio Show Free Beer and Hot Wings A longtime syndicat-


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ichael Pfleghaar came to Grand Rapids in 1983. His art education resume is impressive, from his youth at Toledo Art Museum and Toledo Artist Club to his formative higher education at Kendall College of Art and Design and Grand Valley State University, followed by his master of fine arts at Lesley University College of Art & Design in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Now, his art can be found throughout Grand Rapids — including Steelcase, Varnum and GRAM collections — enough so that he’s voted the best visual artist in Grand Rapids. GRM: Do you have a favorite project or piece you’re particularly fond of that Grand Rapidians can visit? Pfleghaar: I have many favorite projects throughout my years in Grand Rapids. Working with students through Artworks at UICA, creating murals and other projects. But as far as public art that Grand Rapidians can visit, Grand Valley State University probably has the largest public collection of my work and people often mention the large painting “Wide Interior 1,” which currently hangs on the Pew Campus, downtown in the DeVos Center, second floor. GRM: What is your dream project? Pfleghaar: My dream project would be world peace. On a more realistic level, I would like to do a large-scale public painting or mural. Even though I feel murals are becoming over used in some cases, it still is a great way for an artist to leave a semi-permanent mark on a city, whether that be Grand Rapids or afar. GR M AG .CO M


11/24/21 9:12 AM


Best FemaCleCAT V



ed radio show out of Grand Rapids, the Free Beer and Hot Wings Show has plenty of Americans laughing every morning on their way to work. It’s not all about entertainment, either; each winter they “break into” homes of families in need to provide holiday cheer.

wart of local media. Steffen has informed West Michiganders about the weather since 1974. He stepped aside to become chief meteorologist emeritus at WOOD TV 8 in summer of 2021, but his mustachioed smile still frequents local TV screens.

Local Visual Artist Michael Pfleghaar

Meteorologist Bill Steffen

Male TV Personality Bill Steffen Bill Steffen is a stal42

Museum Grand Rapids Public Museum Founded in 1854, the Grand Rapids Public

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llen Bacca was named WOOD TV8’s chief meteorologist in July 2021, heading up an esteemed crew of weathercasters. Now, she’s been voted Best Female TV Personality in Grand Rapids. GRM caught up with Bacca to see what makes weather so special to people in this area. GRM: How did you get interested in the weather? Bacca: When I was little, I was actually terrified of thunderstorms. I would watch the sky and the news like a hawk when a severe thunderstorm watch was issued. One day, when the weather was looking particularly bad, I remember turning to my mom and saying, “I hope it’s not a bad one!” She, in her mom wisdom, said, “I hope it's a really big one! If it is big enough maybe the power will go out, and we will have to eat all of the ice cream out of the freezer!” What a change in perspective! What kid doesn't love ice cream?! Sure enough, the power went out, and we got our reward. From then on, my fear turned into a passion that I was lucky enough to follow through life. GRM: What’s the best way to start learning more about the weather? Bacca: Observation and information. Meteorology is an observational science. The more observations you have and can make, the more you learn. Watching Storm Team 8 every day — shameless plug — really will give you so much additional information about our weather here locally. There is also a ton of great information on NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) sites. One of my favorites is one for kids called “Scijinks.” From there you can find excellent meteorological books and follow lead scientists from across the globe on social media, if you are looking for more. GRM: What’s it like working with, and now leading, a team of iconic West Michigan meteorologists at WOOD? Bacca: It honestly is incredible. Our team at WOOD TV is so good. What's more, we actually all really like each other. It is so nice working with a team you trust, and you know has your back in every situation. We collaborate, we share, we work together. It makes going to work fun, and far less stressful. I have learned so much from each person on the team, from Bill (Steffen) to Terri (DeBoer) to Emily (Schuitema) to Matt (Kirkwood), and I know when I come to them with an idea or a project they each will help to make it better. I trust them completely, and I am so honored to lead the team in this next chapter. GRM: What’s your favorite part about West Michigan? Bacca: How can I choose?! OK, I have to say the hiking and the food! But to be honest, the people here are pretty dang incredible, too.

Museum is the oldest museum in Michigan and provides a vast collection of artifacts and various temporary exhibits. GRPM aims to provide knowledge of and inspire visitors with the stories told through the artifacts and exhibits displayed.

Orchard Robinette’s Applehaus & Winery Originally established as a peach farm in 1911, Robinette’s opened the Applehaus & Winery in 1973 and has been a Grand Rapids favorite since. Open year-round with activities and events for each season, Robinette’s Applehaus & Winery offers a oneof-a-kind experience and delicious, homegrown produce and baked goods.

Park Millennium Park Expanding across four West Michigan cities, 1,400 acres of land, and six miles of shore on the Grand River, Millennium Park is one of the largest urban parks in the United States with amenities including nearly 18 miles of trails, a 6-acre beach, splash pad and boat rental.

Performing Arts Organization Grand Rapids Symphony Since 1930, the Grand Rapids Symphony has kept the city entertained with an eclectic array of ELLEN BACCA MICHELLE CUPPY

11/24/21 9:13 AM


ony Gates has them, too. When people tell me we made been with WLAV them smile, or better yet laugh, that's a win for 36 years and he’s kept for me. We go good with cereal. mornings fresh for thousands What is your favorite concert you’ve of commuters every day. Gates attended? and his crew do their best Two of the most memorable in to keep the infectious my life: Stevie Ray Vaughn's laughter flowing out last show ever at Alpine of the speakers. Valley. He was clean and What is the best sober and surrounded S E T TONY GA part about hosting a by friends for his encore, morning radio show including Eric Clapton and in Grand Rapids? Buddy Guy. I’m a morning person. The No. 1 for me came at the Park best part of hosting a morning radio show is West in Chicago. I was hired by Clive Davis helping the non-morning people get up and and Arista Records and invited to a private get going. The morning people are up, but a showcase for one of the label’s new voices lot of them don't like their jobs or the people three months prior to her debut release. they work for or with, so we like to help Ladies and gentlemen: Whitney Houston.

Best DJ

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Place To Go Dance Mojo’s Mojo’s claims to be one of Grand Rapids’ most dynamic nightlife options, and with its dueling piano attraction, it might be hard to dispute that. Dancers at Mojo’s can request songs from the pianists, which keeps the evening (and dancers) moving.

Professional Sports Team West Michigan Whitecaps

Where to go and what to see when you're out on the town.


music. Each year, the symphony presents more than 400 shows and helps reach thousands of students with its music.






Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Z’s Bar & Restaurant

GLC Live at 20 Monroe

Touting themselves as West Michigan’s premier party band, Brena’s six members can trot out a wide range of instruments and play pretty much anything to keep parties flowing. Along with rocking out, Brena also offers a string quartet and DJ services.

Since 1995, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park has provided guests with one of the best botanical and sculpture experiences in the nation. From self-guided tours to wedding ceremonies and its summer concert series, Frederik Meijer Gardens promotes a remarkable appreciation for various art forms and the natural environment. The annual summer concert series draws well-known acts from around the country.

Established in 1987, Z’s Bar & Restaurant provides a classic American bar atmosphere with a food and beverage menu full of pub favorites and entertainment in the form of Trivia Night on Mondays, and live karaoke every Tuesday through Thursday night. Measure your vocal chops against Grand Rapids’ finest!

Established in 2017, GLC Live at 20 Monroe hosts a variety of live entertainment, music and other special events. The venue can hold over 2,500 people but has the unique ability to make nearly any event feel intimate, with most events being general admission and reserved balcony seating.

Founded in 1994, the West Michigan Whitecaps are the longest-tenured sports team in West Michigan. Since its inception, the baseball team has won six Midwest League titles and sent dozens of players to the Major Leagues.

Rock Climbing Gym Terra Firma Bouldering Co. The Terra Firma Bouldering Co. creates a challenging and fun environment for climbers of any skill level with its 12,000-squarefoot facility and 6,000 square feet of climbing terrain along with the help of a team made up of passionate, experienced climbers.


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11/24/21 9:13 AM


he Fred Meijer White Pine Trail offers a 92-mile long stretch of uninterrupted trail for West Michiganders to explore. That awesome length helped it secure the best trail position by readers. Its size and the natural beauty found throughout the path also helped the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail achieve state park status. A “rail trail,” the White Pine Trail was once the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources eventually took control of the railroad land and started converting the rail beds to trails for the public. For much of the 92-mile section between Comstock Park and Cadillac, the trail is a combination of natural and hard-packed gravel and paved asphalt. From biking and running in the summer to cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter, the trail is a fantastic refuge for active residents. The trail has waypoints throughout, offering parking and restrooms, but part of the joy is also venturing throughout the communities the trail passes through, including Rockford, Cedar Springs, Big Rapids and Sand Lake.

Tourist Attraction Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park TV Station WOOD TV 8 The NBC affiliate has served West Michigan since 1949 — it was the first Michigan TV station outside Detroit. Its anchors have been trusted faces in Grand Rapids for decades, including a sweep this year with Best Male TV Personality, Best Female TV Personality and Best Meteorologist among Best Of GR voters.

Wedding Venue Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

e T rail k i B / e k i H ITE Best ER WH EIJ FRED MRAIL T PINE

inky’s Place slipped into several categories of the Best Of poll this year. Perhaps that’s because at Pinky’s Place, there’s a little bit of everything. Open daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Pinky’s Place, 4790 Alpine Ave. NW, features 130 booths and 145 vendors offering pretty much anything a customer might be looking for, from antiques and vintage goods to Michigan-made foods, sports memorabilia and home decor. 44

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Best Women’s Clothing Boutiqu e

Antiques Pinky’s Place


Auto Dealership Fox Motor Group Since 2000, the knowledgeable and compassionate employees of Fox Motors have provided customers in over 50 locations throughout the Midwest with new and used vehicles of more than 47 brands in a safe, friendly environment.

Bike Shop Freewheeler Bike Shop Constantly growing and expanding since opening in 1978, Freewheeler Bike Shop carries a tremendous amount of bikes, accessories and apparel from a wide range of brands and offers a full-service bike repair shop.

ince 2007, Lee & Birch has provided shoppers with a great selection of women’s clothing and accessories. Now, Lee & Birch stretches its inventory across four locations in West Michigan — Grand Rapids, Grand Haven, Rockford and Kalamazoo. The store prides itself on a “personalized shopping experience to each and every customer that walks into our stores and visits us."

Bookstore Schuler Books

Best Antiques/ Home Décor CE PINKY’S PLA

Pinky’s is a “whatnot shop,” a term used by Bert “Pinky” Anderson, who died in March 2021 from dementia. She was the anchor of Pinky’s Place, opened in 2013, which is an offshoot of the nonprofit Pinky’s Palace. The nonprofit uses proceeds from the sale of gently used items to help Kent County families struggling with dementia. Along with the daily market, Pinky’s Place also hosts a variety of events, including a holiday open house in November. WOMAN'S STORE COURTESY OF LEE & BIRCH

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Schuler Books creates a unique and enjoyable bookstore experience for all guests with a collection of over 150,000 book titles and 50,000 music titles, its full-service Chapbook Cafe and a spacious children’s area.

Bridal Shop Renee Austin Wedding For over a decade, Renee Austin Wedding has offered an extensive selection of wedding dress and accessory styles from top bridal designers in a comfortable, inviting

showroom for all brides-to-be.

Comic Book Shop Vault of Midnight

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Consignment Shop Georgie’s Consignment Clothing Located in the historic post house in the village of Ada, Georgie’s opened in 1981 when owner and namesake Georgie decided to sell the entirety of her pro-

fessional wardrobe. Today, Georgie’s sells very gently used clothing from countless brands.

Florist Kennedy’s Flower Shop Awarded “Retail Florist of the Year” by Florists' Review Magazine, Kennedy’s Flower Shop provides exquisite, professionally designed floral bouquets for any occasion using the freshest flowers in Grand Rapids. GR M AG .CO M


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Furniture Store Talsma Furniture Founded in 1948 in Hudsonville, Talsma Furniture has provided a broad selection of furniture products that fit a variety of styles, budgets and comfort levels. It now has four locations across West Michigan.

Garden Center Romence Gardens Romence Gardens has been a family-owned and operated retail greenhouse for over 80 years and offers a variety of plants, as well as assistance in the care and upkeep of gardens.

Gift Shop Rebel Rebel is a modern gift shop that offers a variety of gifts including jewelry, self-care products, home decor, games, candles and more. In its vibrant, charming environment, Rebel provides products from all over the world that aim to bring joy and inspire.

Grocery Store Meijer With strong community values such as family, freshness, health and safety, and more than 240 locations throughout the Midwest, Meijer strives to provide customers with high-quality products and services, as well as a safe and successful shopping experience. 46

Hardware Store Great Lakes Ace Hardware Great Lakes Ace Hardware supplies customers with a variety of services and nearly any product needed to repair and maintain a home. While Ace Hardware has over 5,000 stores worldwide, the majority of its stores are run independently by local entrepreneurs, aiming to provide helpful hardware advice, tools and services.

Home Decor Pinky’s Place Jewelry Store DeVries Jewelers One-hundred years after opening its doors, DeVries Jewelers continues to surpass customer expectations by providing high-quality pieces and extensive jewelry knowledge. DeVries Jewelers is an affiliate of several of the jewelry industry’s most esteemed organizations and offers custom jewelry design, appraisals and repairs.

Men’s Clothing Store Fitzgerald’s Men’s Store With over 40 designers sold in-store and services including custom tailoring, hair styling by Groomed, and shoe-shining with Harley’s Shoeshine, Fitzgerald’s Men’s Store creates a oneof-a-kind shopping experience for men in Grand Rapids.

Place To Purchase Local Artwork LaFontsee Gallery Originally established in 1987 as the Underground Studio and expanded in 1994, the award-winning LaFontsee Gallery has been a leader in West Michigan art culture for over 30 years. Carrying work by more than 60 artists, LaFontsee creates a casual environment with an appreciation and understanding for artwork.

Specialty Grocer Martha’s Vineyard Women’s Clothing Boutique Lee & Birch

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Best Comic Book Store VAULT OF MIDNIGHT

n the past two decades, comics have grown in public consciousness thanks to the blockbuster Marvel and DC universes. Need a primer behind those stories? Head to Vault of Midnight, 95A Monroe Center St. NW, the best comic book store in Grand Rapids, according to readers. While comic books were deemed geeky for years, the new era of movies and TV shows have turned them into mainstream popular culture and nearly everyone wants a piece of them. Beyond comic books, however, readers can discover a variety of graphic novels — give them a shot, much more literary than you might think! — and collectibles. They also hold special events and perform appraisals, just in case you’re sitting on a secret stash. When Vault of Midnight opened in downtown Grand Rapids, it helped usher in a new era of retail storefronts in the area. Vault of Midnight is not unique to Grand Rapids either, with stores in Ann Arbor and Detroit. COMIC STORE BRYAN ESLER

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Mid-life Crisis

TATTOO PARLOR Sovereign Arms Tattoo Co. Specializing in Japanese, Blackwork, Traditional and Neo-traditional tattoos, Sovereign Arms Tattoo Co. creates a professional, hygienic environment for each client. With talented, experienced tattoo artists Gareth Hawkins and Brady Alberts, Sovereign Arms aims to provide the best tattoo experience in Grand Rapids.

FITNESS INSTRUCTOR Amy Kwaiser and Brianna Cummings, Zumba With Amy & Bri Licensed Zumba instructors Amy Kwaiser and Brianna Cummings strive to make health and fitness fun by offering a mix of in-person and virtual classes ranging in difficulty, all while fostering an inclusive, loving environment for all participants.

PLASTIC SURGEON Bengston Center for Aesthetics & Plastic Surgery


Bengtson Center for Aesthetics & Plastic Surgery aims to provide its patients and clients with safe, stateof-the-art products and procedures, as well as lead in the field of aesthetics and plastic surgery.


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Animal Clinic Family Friends Veterinary Hospital

are Best DoggieEDDICayALC

The experienced and passionate veterinary team at Family Friends Veterinary Hospital are committed to providing top-notch care for pets throughout Grand Rapids. As a full-service veterinary with a staff of 11 doctors, Family Friends Veterinary Hospital creates a safe, comfortable and positive experience for families and their pets.


Bank Lake Michigan Credit Union With a mission to help businesses grow and communities thrive, Lake Michigan Credit Union is committed to providing financial help to all members through banking, borrowing and investing services.

Child Care Provider Milestones ince 1983, the Animal Medical Center of Wyoming has helped treat the pets of West Michigan residents, ensuring high quality health care for those who keep them company. Accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association, the Animal Medical Center of Wyoming is a place that offers veterinary care for animals large and small. But readers also love the extra services the animal center offers it lovable fur babies. From grooming to boarding, the Animal Medical Center of Wyoming seemingly offers it all. But it’s the doggie day care that readers want to highlight. With a turfed outdoor play area — complete with pool for the summer heat — dogs can run and play to their heart’s content. It can be hard for pet owners to leave their animals in the care of another person, but sometimes it’s just as hard leaving them at home when work calls. A quality doggie day care can help solve those nerves and readers say the Animal Medical Center of Wyoming hits all the right notes. 48

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The quality staff at Milestones helps each child further his or her development socially, emotionally, physically and cognitively through its play-based program. Milestones has five locations throughout West Michigan, offering accessible child care and a wide range of programs for varying ages.

Chiropractic iChiro Award-winning iChiro offers safe, natural health care to patients all over Grand Rapids. Since 1998, DOGS TERI GENOVESE

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achieving their estate planning goals.

Family Law Attorney Connie Thacker At Thacker Sleight, Connie Thacker works to take care of family law with a high level of care and discretion. Thacker has more than 20 years of experience and has been named Lawyer of the Year multiple times for divorce and family law. hether you’re looking to start your fitness journey or mix in some flexibility, mobility or mindfulness into a workout routine, readers love Funky Buddha Yoga. Since 2010, Funky Buddha has pioneered hot yoga in the region and stretched out Grand Rapidians now at four different locations across West Michigan — downtown, Eastown, Forest Hills and Holland. There’s even a virtual studio so you can stretch out your hamstrings at home. Ready to take yoga to the next level? Funky Buddha offers teacher training, to help yogis reach another step along their mindfulness path. Not sure yoga is for you? Funky Buddha offers an affordable 30-day trial of unlimited classes to try it out.

Fitness Instructor Amy Kwaiser and Brianna Cummings, Zumba With Amy & Bri Hair Salon Jeffrey Richards Salon

Best Yoga



iChiro has provided patients with modern computerized and manual chiropractic techniques, health and lifestyle advice, and massage therapy.

Credit Union Lake Michigan Credit Union Day Spa Design 1 Salon Spa For over 40 years, Design 1 Salon and Spa has provided clients with exceptional and innovative spa treatment experiences. With five locations in West Michigan,


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Design 1 offers a variety of salon and spa services beautifully executed by talented, committed professionals.

Dentist Practice Dr. Thomas Lambert Dr. Thomas Lambert provides patients with safe, high-quality dental care, focusing on cosmetic and implant dentistry. Lambert has served as adjunct professor at the Grand Rapids Community College of Dental Hygiene for over 10 years

and chair of the Michigan Dental Association’s Committee on Continuing Education for four years.

Dermatologist Dr. Richard Ashack In the ever-changing field of dermatology, Dermatology Associates of West Michigan’s Dr. Richard Ashack is known for his skill and compassion for patients requiring various forms of treatments and services. Ashack specializes in pediatric and cosmet-

ic dermatology, as well as laser and skin cancer surgery.

Doggie Day Care Animal Medical Center of Wyoming Estate Planning Alexandre Zucco Estate planning attorney Alexandre Zucco of Dickinson Wright focuses on the design of customized estate plans and is passionate about assisting clients at varying stages of life in

Since opening its doors in 2000 as an Aveda concept salon, Jeffrey Richards Salon has provided guests with a unique, sensory salon experience while being committed to giving back to the Grand Rapids community.

Hotel Amway Grand Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton From its award-winning restaurants to its serene salon and spa, the Amway Grand Plaza’s knowledgeable and friendly staff has created a captivating environment that has given guests a luxurious, one-of-akind hotel experience since 1981. GRM A G .MIKE C OBUCK M CHARCUTERIE BOARD


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Best Interior Design


Home Refresh

INTERIOR DESIGN Fuschia Design Specializing in custom home renovations and luxury construction, Fuschia Design provides a variety of interior design services for Grand Rapids homeowners. The Fuschia Design team focuses on the idea that a strong relationship with the client is the most important aspect of every project.

LANDSCAPING Tender Lawn Care Inc.

Interior Design Fuschia Design Landscaping Tender Lawn Care Inc. Mani/Pedi Design 1 Salon Spa Plastic Surgeon Bengston Center for Aesthetics & Plastic Surgery


Residential Cleaning Service Cascade Fresh Cleaning Services

Michigan with the core belief that the relationship between homeowner and agent is the key to success.

Residential Real Estate Firm Five Star Real Estate

Retirement Community Holland Home

Opened in 1996 by broker and owner Greg Carlson, Five Star Real Estate has become a leading real estate firm in West

Holland Home has provided Grand Rapids seniors with assisted living services, vibrant independent living and skilled

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nursing facilities since 1892. A commitment to care with compassion and love creates the best retirement experience for seniors with varying needs of assistance.

Tattoo Parlor Sovereign Arms Tattoo Co. Yoga Studio Funky Buddha Yoga Hot House

Tender Lawn Care has been family-owned and operated since 1949 and provides high-quality landscape and snowplowing services to both commercial and residential clients throughout the greater Grand Rapids area.

RESIDENTIAL CLEANING SERVICE Cascade Fresh Cleaning Services Whether it’s a weekly cleaning or a special event, Cascade Fresh Cleaning Services has all customers covered. There’s a baseline cleaning to get in all the nooks and crannies, but the company also offers a variety of special-occasion cleaning services. ROOM COURTESY OF FUSCHIA DESIGN

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runners up

Food & Drink APPETIZERS Rockwell Republic


SUSHI Ju Sushi & Lounge

What the Truck

TACOS El Cunado

Pizza Parliament

BAKERY Field & Fire

FRENCH FRIES Stella’s Lounge


BAR/PUB O’Toole’s Public House


BBQ Daddy Pete’s BBQ

HANGOVER FOOD Wolfgang’s Restaurant


BEER & WINE STORE Rishi’s International Beverage

HAPPY HOUR Queen’s O’Clock

House of Wine

HARD CIDER Farmhaus Cider


HOT DOG Mad Dogz

ANNUAL FESTIVAL Festival of the Arts



BLOODY MARY Sundance Grill & Bar BREAKFAST Real Food Cafe BREWERY Mitten Brewing BRUNCH Michigan Drag Brunch BURGER Noco Provisions BURRITO Cantina Mexican Grill BUTCHER SHOP Louise Earl Butcher CATERER Kangaroo Kitchen CHEF Kevin VanderMeer, KJ Catering Oscar Moreno, MeXo COFFEEHOUSE Sparrows Coffee & Tea CRAFT COCKTAILS Eastern Kille CUPCAKES Cakabakery DATE NIGHT RESTAURANT MDRD


WINE BAR Cooper’s Hawk

Terri DeBoer

LOCAL MUSIC SERIES WLAV Blues on the Mall Listening Lawn

COMIC BOOK SHOP Tardy’s Collectors Corner

LOCAL RADIO SHOW Gray and Green Show

CONSIGNMENT SHOP Rock Paper Scissors


Elevated Grand Rapids


FLORIST Eastern Floral

METEOROLOGIST Ellen Bacca MUSEUM Grand Rapids Art Museum ORCHARD Ed Dunneback & Girls Farm PARK Riverside Park


GOLF COURSE Saskatoon Golf Club

PERFORMING ARTS Organization Civic Theatre

MEDITERRANEAN Zeytin Turkish Restaurant

The Golf Club at Thornapple Pointe

PLACE TO GO DANCE Rumor’s Night Club



The B.O.B.

PIZZA Harmony Brewing





KARAOKE BAR Fulton Street Pub


Playstation Pub

SANDWICH Two Beards Deli

LIVE MUSIC VENUE The Intersection

SEAFOOD Fishlad’s

LOCAL DJ Adrian Butler

PROFESSIONAL SPORTS TEAM Grand Rapids Griffins ROCK CLIMBING GYM Higher Ground Rock Climbing Centre TOURIST ATTRACTION John Ball Zoo

DISTILLERY Eastern Kille DOUGHNUTS Sandy’s Donuts


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GROCERY STORE Forest Hills Foods HARDWARE STORE Kingsland Ace HOME DECOR Kennedy’s Flower Shop JEWELRY STORE Almassian Jewelers Bauble Patch Jewelers MEN’S CLOTHING STORE A.K. Rikk’s PLACE TO PURCHASE LOCAL ARTWORK Pinky’s Place SPECIALTY GROCER Horrock’s



t s e B st Be

GIFT SHOP Kennedy’s Flower Shop


STEAK Ruth’s Chris

DINER Royals









BRIDAL SHOP Bridal Elegance

ANTIQUES Wallie’s Treasures Antique Mall AUTO DEALERSHIP Kool Chevrolet/ Toyota BIKE SHOP Village Bikes BOOKSTORE Books and Mortar

ANIMAL CLINIC Animal Medical Center of Wyoming

DAY SPA The Woodhouse Day Spa DENTIST PRACTICE Stonecastle Dentistry DERMATOLOGIST Dr. Rebecca Jansen DOGGIE DAY CARE Whiskers Resort & Pet Spa ESTATE PLANNING Linsey Gleason FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY Melissa Neckers Carpenter & Judd Attorneys & Counselors Varnum LLP FITNESS INSTRUCTOR Chad Hughes HAIR SALON Design 1 Salon Spa HOTEL JW Marriott Grand Rapids INTERIOR DESIGN Janel Joppie, Designer Kathryn Chaplow LLC LANDSCAPING Rooks Landscaping MANI/PEDI Emily @ Palace Flophouse Salon PLASTIC SURGEON Plastic Surgery Associates Grand Rapids RESIDENTIAL CLEANING SERVICE Pinnacle Cleaning Services Inc. Taylor Maids

BANK Huntington Bank


CHILD CARE PROVIDER Appletree (and Gliden Woods)


CHIROPRACTIC Kooistra Chiropractic

TATTOO PARLOR Mos Eisleys Tattoo Studio

CREDIT UNION Adventure Credit Union




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“The best atmosphere, service and food we’ve had in a very long time.” - OpenTable user


1123 129th Ave | Wayland, MI 49315 269.792.7777 | 269.792.7792 Certain restrictions and availability may apply. © 2021 Gun Lake Tribal Gaming Authority.

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The Cure Martini at Rose's, which won Best Deck Seating in Grand Rapids in our readers' poll.



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Paul and Amanda Vander Heide love a good apple.

Pressing matters TABLE

Vander Mill learned from the pandemic and evolved. BY PAT EVANS


For most small businesses, the pandemic presented some incredibly challenging times. While owners shifted and pivoted through the tough situations, the past 20 months or so also offered a chance for reflection and reinvention. When Vander Mill opened its Grand Rapids production facility and taproom, 505 Ball Ave. NE, in 2016, the taproom menu was trending toward an upscale farmhouse-type cuisine. A recent stop found a vastly altered menu, one that’s much simpler, and yet, fitting. The main draw: a variety of smash burgers. The straightforward and delicious burgers were an easy way to keep food streaming 54

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out of the kitchen as staffing challenges and lockdown uncertainties kept owners Paul and Amanda Vander Heide on their toes. The menu has continued to evolve, staying true to the scaled-down tone the smash burgers set. That’s not to say Vander Mill’s original Grand Rapids menu did not shine in its own right, but the new menu accompanies a tall pint of hard cider a bit more naturally. The smashed burger patties and their caramelized edges help cut through the fruitiness of the ciders — sweeter or drier depending on the pour — while the toppings vary and complement and contrast the ciders. The Classic Deluxe with a double patty, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, mustard, pickle and onion hits all the right notes of a diner classic, while the Totally Roaster amps up the spice levels a bit with pepper jack cheese, pickled jalapeños, roasted red pepper mayo and beer-battered onion rings. The Bluish Gold rolls in blue cheese, bacon, caramelized onions and a sauce made with the cidermaker’s Bluish Gold Cider. The menu also serves of a variety of sandwiches, including a Monte Cristo, a fried chicken sandwich, two oven-roasted turkey sandwiches and a pulled pork sandwich. Order a crispy side of fries or onion rings and it’s a simple and delicious dinner with world-class cider. “Coming out of the pandemic, it was making sure we could make a product that we were pleased to serve that we could execute with a limited staff,” Paul Vander Heide said. “We started with kind of a smash-burger-only style menu, a lot of unique variations of a smash burger and utilizing our products, promoting our ciders and the flavor profiles and how they can cross in a contrasting way — sometimes complementary way — with our food. “Then as we were building out and our staff and people started coming back, the menu has gotten a bit broader.” Staffing is tight across restaurants in West Michigan and kitchens have scaled back many menus. That all plays into the changes at Vander Mill. “Being shut down that long, trying to reopen again, we didn’t have the staff come back for the most part,” Vander Heide said. “You kind of went week to week at points where you’re sitting at the bar as you watch Facebook Live, wondering whether or not you’re going to open the doors, close the doors. It certainly brought Amanda and I down to the nitty-gritty details of

Ciders (top); Clockwise from top left: The Mill, a cider flight, The Totally Roasted, Loaded Cheddar Bacon Fries, The Classic Deluxe, The Dabinett, Four Cheese Fritters

"We started with kind of a smashburger-only style menu ... Then as we were building out and our staff and people started coming back, the menu has gotten a bit broader." Paul Vander Heide


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Along with a broad selection of ciders — they're not all sweet — Vander Mill also offers a selection of beers and other beverages.


everything it takes to run a business.” One major change at Vander Mill came with the sale of the original Spring Lake location — where the Vander Heides started Vander Mill in 2006. It wasn’t because of the pandemic; in fact, the sale was in the works before then as a neighbor expressed interest and the pandemic actually slowed the transaction down. With the sale, multiple pieces of that original location now have made the trip to Grand Rapids, from decor pieces inside the taproom to a stage outside on a vastly expanded patio area — where Vander Heide said concerts will amp up again in the summer. When outdoor seating proved popular during the pandemic, Vander Mill expanded its options with big tents surrounding the outdoor fire pit. Each tent comes with a wood-fire stove, and Vander Heide said it’s easy to crank the temperature up to nearly 100 degrees inside. Unlike a lot of small restaurants, Vander Mill does have the advantage of distributing its line of hard ciders across the Midwest. Plenty was made about the increase in alcohol consumption during the pandemic, but Vander Heide said that wasn’t quite the case for smaller craft brands. In fact, a can shortage hit those small manufacturers hard at the height of the pandemic. “We were on the phone daily, trying to align when we can get cans and when we’re going to be able to sell,” Vander Heide said, explaining he eventually switched suppliers. With challenges coming from every

direction, Vander Heide said it was almost a new start every week. “It seems like how many lifetimes can you have owning a business for 15 years?” he said. “For Amanda and me, it’s been like starting over a couple of times. In a way, COVID is not unlike any other challenges we’ve faced. But it was certainly a big one and now we’re starting to invest, not just in keeping the facilities, but building a team for growth.” Vander Mill brought on a new vice president of sales and marketing manager, putting a renewed focus on the “ABCs of getting product to a shelf and getting people to have fun again.” “We’re in the business of expressing ourselves and Michigan and agriculture through a beverage that’s meant to be had when you’re having fun, right?” Vander Heide said. “So, what we talk about a lot here is that things can be hard, and you can work hard and it can be frustrating, but in the end, we need to be doing the things that are fun.” Vander Mill, as recognized by the Grand Rapids Magazine’s Best Of poll results, has had a lot to do with the growth of hard cider in the West Michigan market. Still, Vander Heide said the taste of cider drinkers hasn’t evolved to heritage apples. He’s pushed orchards to expand the growing of apples traditionally used in ciders but that had fallen by the wayside over the years of changing tastes and economies of scale. While Vander Mill’s core ciders, like Bluish Gold and Totally Roasted, are delicious in their own right, some of the company’s shining products are made with those heirloom apples. “They bring something more akin to wine,” he said. “You get to experience the complexity and terroir, mouth-feel and things you won’t get from a modern cider.” Regardless of the type of cider Vander Mill is pressing, a consumer can be assured they are drinking Michigan products. Vander Heide wants to share a style of beverage consumers still are working to understand. “People can come here and experience the ciders and talk to us and it’s a lot of fun,” Vander Heide said. “A lot of times people forget, even relative to local breweries, we’ve got 100% of this liquid coming from fruit grown within 10 miles of where we all live. Even within that, you get different apples from different areas applying different techniques. We’ve got a great opportunity for people, a variance here in local agriculture in a fun way.”

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"People can come here and experience the ciders and talk to us and it’s a lot of fun. A lot of times people forget, even relative to local breweries, we’ve got 100% of this liquid coming from fruit grown within 10 miles of where we all live." Paul Vander Heide

Loaded Cheddar Bacon Fries are a great way to fight off the chills of winter.

The Classic Deluxe (left); bar area (above). Vander Mill opened its Grand Rapids taproom in 2016, but the pandemic has given it a new feel.


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food + drink / c eate


Chicken chili on the stove This hearty mixture will chase away the winter blues. BY PAT EVANS


Winter is a great time to spice up dinner, or a weekend lunch, with some chili. But rather than a traditional beef-and-bean-driven recipe, consider a hearty white chicken chili to pull through a dreary, snowy day in the depths of winter. Ingredients 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 diced yellow onion 1 small can diced green chilis 1 diced jalapeño 32 ounces of chicken broth 1 can cream of chicken soup 2 pounds chicken breast tenderloins 3 cans of white beans of chef’s choice (navy, cannellini, pinto, etc.) 1 tablespoon of cumin 1 teaspoon chili powder 1 teaspoon garlic powder Juice of 1 lime Optionals: 1 diced squash or zucchini, bag of frozen corn; red chili pepper and cayenne pepper (if you like it spicy.)


Toppings Anything you like on chili! Sour cream, tortilla chips, lime wedges, avocado, jalapeño slices, cheeses — shredded or cojita. Preparation Heat a large pot, add olive oil. Saute onion and peppers (other veggies if using after about 5 minutes) Add broth, soup, spices and lime juice. Stir well. Drain beans and add them.Add chicken tenderloins and let simmer for six to eight hours (can be done in crockpot with other ingredients.) Shred chicken with a fork. Serve with toppings.

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food + drink / on-the-go


Don’t miss Maggie’s Nondescript storefront belies authentic Mexican fare. BY PAT EVANS


Bridge Street has absolutely exploded the past few years and Grand Rapidians can find pretty much all they want along a tiny stretch of it just west of the Grand River. If you’re cruising the thoroughfare for food and drink, make sure you get far enough west to include a longtime staple — Maggie’s Kitchen — near the intersection with Stocking Avenue. The little restaurant nestled into a fairly nondescript storefront on the south side of Bridge Street serves up traditional food from the Michocán region of Mexico. Diners can expect traditional Mexican offerings with a wide array of tacos, burritos and tortas, all served in an authentic fashion. A favorite is the Puerto en salsa roja, or a spicy pork taco. The burritos are meaty, juicy and about the size of a human head, so keep that in mind when deciding how hungry you really are. All of the lunch selections (the restaurant is only until 3 p.m. and it is closed Thursdays) are delicious and worth trying, so just work your way down the menu. But what sets Maggie’s apart is its original breakfast menu. The breakfast burrito and breakfast tacos are a great place to start, but consider expanding beyond those to explore the egg-centric plates. These hearty meals are a great way to start the day, but since they’re also available anytime, breakfast-for-lunch isn’t a terrible idea, either. Maggie’s Kitchen did recently raise its prices, which is not unusual for a restaurant in these COVID-19 times. But based on quality and quantity, it’s still a steal. A breakfast of two eggs with potatoes and chorizo, served with rice and beans, is $12. Tacos are $3.85. If you decide you’ve got more time than you thought and to-go become to-stay, part of the Maggie’s mystique are the red food trays stacked with Styrofoam plates, washed down by a glass bottle of Coca-Cola. Either way, the authentic food will keep you coming back.

Tacos (above) Carne asada burrito (left) The food is simple and inexpensive at Maggie's, but it can be some of the most delicious fare in Grand Rapids.


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food + drink / must-t y

While the deck is welcoming at all times of the year, the cozy booths are nice too.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken and The Cure Martini at Rose's.


All hands on deck Reeds Lake's own dining room. BY PAT EVANS


On the shores of Reeds Lake in East Grand Rapids sits an eatery both steeped in nostalgia and current with the desires of today’s diners. Rose’s, 550 Lakeside Drive SE, has served the community in a building that actually dates back to the days when Reeds Lake was an entertainment destination for those from near and far. Ramona Park was an amusement park on the lake from 1897-1955 that thrilled visitors, complete with the Jack Rabbit Derby Racer, one of only two double-track rollercoasters in the country at the time. Rose’s arrived in 1901 and offered park-goers hamburgers and some especially tasty caramel corn (which still is served today at the end of every meal). 60

While the amusement park gave way to developers more than 60 years ago, the former hamburger stand has morphed into dining establishment that’s still worth a trip to the lake. In this month’s Best Of poll, readers voted Rose’s as the best deck seating area for a restaurant in the region. The Gilmore Collection, parent company of Rose’s, certainly understands that and several years ago expanded its patio section to be even bigger and better. Perhaps the best part about that deck is its four-season capability, allowing diners to revel in sailboats during the summer and ice fishing in the winter. There’s a certain comfort level at Rose’s, which started its current journey in 1992. Seemingly little inside the restaurant has changed over the years. With that comes a familiarity for the regulars and a nice, cozy feeling for new visitors. Rose’s also seems to have settled into a nice niche for itself. Despite its lakeside location in an affluent community, it doesn’t flout fine-dining aspirations. It’s not absurdly priced, and while at times some of the prices do outstretch what maybe they should, it certainly could be a more expensive stop for a bite to eat. Instead, it’s a spot one can feel comfortable stopping at after a day in the yard, ready for a delectable burger. But really, no matter the occasion, Rose’s can cover it.

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11/23/21 1:22 PM

Lakeside dining often is not complete without proper fish dishes: Potato Crusted Walleye (left) Sesame Seared Yellowfin Tuna (below)

It’s probably best to start with Rose’s house-made root chips. The chips are served up with a warm goat cheese and red pepper aioli. They’re a tasty way to start a meal, accompany a sandwich, or simply snack on while enjoying a happy hour beverage. Each of the salads make a full lunch at Rose’s, but the chicken salad is a particularly attractive endeavor for many diners. The creamy chicken salad is served up in the middle of a plate, flanked by banana bread and raspberry sorbet — sweet enough to almost make diners feel guilty. Patrons, however, would be remiss not to partake in a burger on a visit to Rose’s. As noted, burgers run deep in Rose’s heritage and they’re still well-made and juicy. The pizzas, too, are worth a try. In fact, the pizzas became so popular, Rose’s opened an outpost a stone’s throw away in EGR called Rose’s Express that served up the wood-fired pizzas to-go. Unfortunately, the pandemic seems to have ended that outlet. There is also a wide range of Rose’s signature dishes, which feature a slate of entrees that seem to fit well in a lakeside community restaurant that welcomes back a host of regular customers. From salmon and walleye to a pork tenderloin and bistro steak, there’s plenty on the menu to satisfy

In this month’s Best Of poll, readers voted Rose’s as the best deck seating area for a restaurant in the region.

whatever craving might pop up. The angel hair pasta is a refreshing mix of chicken, pancetta, tomatoes and green beans with pops of roasted garlic, all while bathed in a light butter sauce. Then the entrees veer a bit off what one might assume the clientele would gravitate toward, with a chilled shrimp and scallop ceviche, sesame seared yellowfin tuna and blackened mahi tacos, all three of which fit well with the lakefront location. The desserts are fairly standard, but delightful: chocolate peanut butter pie, tiramisu, creme brûlée. The pièce de résistance, of course, is the little cup of caramel popcorn provided for each diner with the check. That thank you gift caps what is usually a satisfying visit, and if the small taste is not enough, the restaurant does offer the caramel corn for sale. Despite its position in the Gilmore Collection, a sizable hospitality group in West Michigan, Rose’s generally keeps to itself and seems to slide under the radar when thinking of great restaurants in Grand Rapids. While a theme park and big ferries no longer dot the shores of Reeds Lake, the community still is well-served by Rose’s, making sure to keep visitors to the area more than satisfied. GR M AG .CO M

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11/23/21 1:22 PM

food + drink / top picks


Soup’s on for Grand Rapids

editor's pick

Variety marks the delicious liquid-based offerings. BY PAT EVANS

The weather is cold, but thankfully Grand Rapids restaurants are serving up a tasty array of soups to keep diners warm. From a hearty stew to a broth-y ramen, here are some of the best the city has to offer.

Cottage Bar The Cottage Bar is known for its chili, but the beef stew that finds its way onto the menu is ideal for a cold night in one of those cozy booths. The beef is tender, the veggies are plentiful and this mainstay will put meat on your bones.


Uncle Cheetah’s A go-to place for Grand Rapidians when they want soup, because that’s what they do: soups and grilled cheeses. The soups change regularly, but one of the best we’ve seen is the Reuben, complete with a Swiss cheese and cream base, corned beef and sauerkraut.

Ando A giant bowl of ramen is a great way to turn up the heat on any day. The pork belly ramen at Ando Sushi has thick slices of slow-cooked pork belly and a delicious broth that washes umami goodness over the tongue.

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Leo’s Seafood in Grand Rapids is not widespread, but Leo’s has been a staple in downtown for nearly 30 years. While summer is a good time to dive into a delectable gazpacho in the dining room, don’t forget the clam chowder and lobster bisque when it’s time to warm up.

The Green Well When only comfort food will do on a snowy winter afternoon, head to The Green Well, which features a grilled ham and cheese sandwich and tomato soup combo. A fried egg adds another layer to the old-time classic (on the sandwich, not the soup!).

In July 2021, I moved back to Michigan after four years away. My wife and I bought a house, and while it was perfectly movein ready, there is of course plenty to do to make it “ours” and ensure upkeep. Thankfully, the house is less than a mile away from Great Lakes Ace Hardware, 1234 Michigan St. NE. While it’s not a giant box store with everything under the sun like a Home Depot or Lowe's, Ace does have everything you might need for a home project, from a great selection of paint to the best electric lawnmower on the market. (Editor’s note: Ego all the way.) It is large enough to spend hours perusing the aisles and grabbing things throughout the store you forgot you needed. Plus, sometimes there is a hot dog cart outside! After all, Ace is “the helpful place.”


11/23/21 1:21 PM

food + drink / chee s

Anejo tequilas offer up a great way to expand a whiskey drinker's palate. Here is a selection of tequilas at MeXo, a tequila and mezcal bar in downtown Grand Rapids.


Coming of age There’s more to tequila than you think. BY PAT EVANS


There’s a secret in the spirits world for fans of great whiskeys: anejo tequila. Tequila often gets a bad rap, but in truth there’s an immense range of types of tequila and a great variety of flavors as well. The agave-based spirit has been made for at least 500 years in Mexico, but it’s only been the past 30 years or so tequila has increased massively in popularity. Traditionally, tequila has been sipped out of a snifter or a shot glass. More recently, even in Mexico, 60% of tequila is consumed through cocktails, according to Ruben Aceves, international business director with Brown Forman, the parent company of Herradura Tequila. (Hint: Aceves says to try Paloma made with tequila and Squirt or a char negro, a tequila with Coke.) “The more traditional, older people like me, we drink blanco before lunch, reposado with lunch and anejo, more like an aperitif

A tequila primer Blanco: What a distiller gets out of the pot still from distilling agave. Some distillers do age it for a period of time, but no more than 60 days.

Reposado: A tequila that rests in an oak container for at least two months, but no more than a year. Anejo: A tequila that is aged for at least 12 months in an oak container no bigger than 159 gallons.

after dinner,” Aceves said. An anejo tequila is aged in oak barrels and, depending on the distillery, that could mean new American oak barrels or used bourbon barrels. The aging process is from 12 months up to 35 months. Herradura was one of the first brands to release an anejo tequila, back in 1962, shortly after Sauza’s anejo release. Herradura was the first to release an extra anejo, which is aged for 36 months and only further accentuates the flavors from the wood. When sipping on an anejo tequila, Aceves said the notes of vanilla and cinnamon should generally pop, along with the agave flavors, which are similar to that from agave syrup. “I get a lot of cinnamon, chocolate, dark chocolate,” Aceves said. “It’s very smooth, sweet and spicy with a very long finish that’s peppery with pineapple and banana on the fruit side.” GR M AG .CO M

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11/23/21 1:21 PM




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Behind every thriving city is its people, and in Grand Rapids — one of the fastest-growing economies in the nation — many of those individuals are women. They lead WEST MICHIGAN teams of hundreds of employees; they run small businesses; they provide medical, dental, and child care; they feed, counsel, house, finance, and educate members of the community. They’re networkers and relationshipbuilders. They’re advocates and mentors. They’re wives, mothers, and daughters. These are the Women Who Move Grand Rapids. In this special section, Grand Rapids Magazine brings you the stories that celebrate local women who are trailblazers in their industries and make a difference in a variety of meaningful ways. Maybe you know her — she’s the one who creates colorful jewelry to brighten up your style and put a strut of confidence in your step. She sets your children up for success with early learning programs. She works in what was once a male-dominated industry and paves a smoother path for the women who come after her. She uses her instincts, intuition, and experience to find you the housing of your dreams. She gives you peace of mind by helping you plan your retirement and your legacy. She nourishes your neighbors and those in need, with food and with empowerment. She puts a healthy smile on your face. She volunteers, sits on committees and boards, and juggles family and professional life seemingly with ease — but it isn’t always easy, and that’s what makes what she does all the more amazing.

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Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge .........................................................................Pg. 65 Ageless Beauty .......................................................................................................Pg. 66 WEST MICHIGAN Center for Physical Rehabilitation ..................................................................Pg. 67 Destination Consultants .....................................................................................Pg. 68 GreenCup Digital ...................................................................................................Pg. 68 Lighthouse Group .................................................................................................Pg. 69 Lima .............................................................................................................................Pg. 70 WEST MICHIGAN Lachman King PLC ...................................................................................................Pg. 71 Milestones Early Learning ...................................................................................Pg. 71 Mindscape ................................................................................................................Pg. 72 NAI-Wisinski of West Michigan ...................................................................... Pg. 73 R3 Continuum ......................................................................................................... Pg. 74


Smith Haughey’s Women Who Move West Michigan

SHRR.COM | 616-774-8000

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11/30/21 11:45 AM



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There are feel-good spa facials that focus on relaxation and a short-term glow, and there are specialized, medically-backed treatments that give noticeable results with a more lasting effect. Felicia Steimel, owner of Ageless Beauty, which she opened in 2012, wants you to know that there’s a difference — and the services you receive at her spa can give you the change in your skin you’ve been seeking. In her 18-plus years as a master esthetician, Steimel has continuously sought out the knowledge, training, and certifications in the services her clients are asking about, whether it’s chemical peels, acne treatments, filler enhancements, or nonsurgical face-lifts. She’s the only certified acne specialist and the only Plasma Fibroblast Skin Tightening provider in Grand Rapids, and the only dualcertified specialist — Face Reality and MBK

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Acne Detective — in Michigan. She’s also one of the few who offers new-to-the-industry Neuramis® hyaluronic pen treatments. More than just offering services clients can’t get anywhere else, Steimel also uses medical-grade ingredients and equipment — and it’s those, along with her exclusive training, that truly create a visible transformation. Whether it’s a teenager struggling with acne, an adult experiencing hormone-related flare-ups, or anyone — including men — who desires more attractive skin, Steimel will design an individualized plan. “I want people to come to me with their skin issues, concerns, and vulnerabilities and have a safe space where they’re heard and listened to,” Steimel says. “I’m where I am today because when people invest in me, they get the results they’re looking for.”

Felicia Steimel Owner

Ageless Beauty 1144 Wealthy St. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506 616-706-6292

11/15/21 10:23 AM

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At the Center for Physical Rehabilitation, the patient experience is elevated by the empowerment clients receive from the entire staff, which includes a number of women who serve in leadership and administrative roles. Women who are members of the leadership team include Mandy Miedema, Center regional manager; Victoria Grey, Mindy Simon, and Rebekah VanZegeren, clinic directors; Sue Wester, practice manager; Lee McLaughlin, wellness coordinator; and Wendi Corelli, director of athletic training services. Each excels in their specialty and seeks out continuing education, while being encouraged by the Center’s mission: “We will create opportunities for our employees, their families, and the community through integrity, in an atmosphere of compassionate care.” These women, all working mothers and one soon-tobe mom, benefit from professional growth while

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maintaining a balance in their personal lives. The result is a profound level of satisfaction that leads to superior outcomes for the people they serve — and the community as a whole. The Center has locations in Belmont, Byron Center, Cascade, Downtown, Greenville, Jenison, Kentwood, Okemos and Walker. Clients include people of all ages, from infants to seniors, and treatments and services range from physical, pediatric, and aqua therapy to women’s health care, chronic pain management, sports medicine, wellness facilitation, and community health partnerships. In addition to these services, the leaders and administrators featured here play key roles in employee and program development, and manage the day-to-day operations of a multivenue company. They strive for excellence in patient care, business, and themselves — and that makes all the difference.

Mandy Miedema,

Regional Manager

Victoria Grey, Clinic Director

Sue Wester,

Practice Manager

Lee McLaughlin, Wellness Coordinator

Mindy Simon, Wendi Corelli, Clinic Director

Rebekah VanZegeren,

Director of Athletic Training Services

Clinic Director

The Center for Physical Rehabilitation 616-954-0950 11/18/21 8:39 AM

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Amy Young, founder of Destination Consultants, didn’t know if her travelbased event business would survive the pandemic. Faced with the possibility of losing everything, and concerned about the livelihoods of her staff, she did the only thing she could: get creative. It’s that tenacity, along with the ingenuity of her exceptional, all-female team, that kept her business alive — and helped many organizations continue to hold their events, whether virtually, in person, or hybrid. Destination Consultants, event management experts, specialize in conventions, conferences, incentive trips, and more in Grand Rapids and around the world. From site selection to on-site implementation, they handle it all. As a testament to Young’s determination and the steadfast partners she and her team serve, Destination Consultants is thriving.

Amy Young, CMP President/Owner

Destination Consultants, LLC 220 Lyon St. NW, Ste. 212 Grand Rapids, MI 49503 616-805-3057

Being a woman-owned business, especially in the tech realm, is part of what attracts many clients to GreenCup Digital. The digital marketing agency, owned by Joanna Chulick, sets itself apart in a number of ways. Chulick and her team cover everything under the digital marketing umbrella, from SEO and social media to web development, content marketing, and more to support clients throughout their entire marketing strategy. They also approach each project with the goal of positive empowerment, enabling clients to confidently take the reins when a project is complete. Finally, the team at GreenCup Digital collaborates with its clients as realistic dreamers. This is an area where Kendra Higgins, director of marketing and client experience, shines. Partnering with their clients to provide innovative, creative solutions with real-world practicality is a balance GreenCup Digital strikes expertly.

Joanna Chulick Owner/COO

Kendra Higgins

Director of Marketing & Client Experience GreenCup Digital Grand Rapids, MI 49503 616-929-0181

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11/30/21 4:46 PM

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Jaclyn Brussee, vice president of sales for Lighthouse, An Alera Group Company, brings energy and a spirit of fun to an industry that outsiders often see as mundane. She understands the importance of building good personal relationships with clients, and maintaining a positive and upbeat working culture. Brussee has a dynamic personality that inspires and empowers, focusing on celebrating successes as well as challenging her staff members to go big. With eight years in leadership at Lighthouse and 10 years in the insurance field, she confidently and competently leads a 40-person sales team, supporting them in their goal of offering the most innovative insurance options available. Lighthouse, An Alera Group Company, is a full-service insurance agency offering comprehensive solutions in personal protection, commercial insurance, and

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employee benefits. It maintains local services and relationships backed by Alera Group’s national pool of industry-leading resources. Brussee, who attributes much of her professional success to her mentor, Tom Helmstetter, founder of Lighthouse, ensures her team is growing and developing new skills, and has paved the way for female leaders in what has traditionally been a male-dominated industry. Through Brussee and others, Lighthouse has become known for promoting women; 50 percent of its executive leadership team are women, and the company overall is 65 percent female. Outside of the office, Brussee volunteers with 100 Women Who Care and Special Olympics of Michigan. She’s also an MSU fan and loves the LA Rams — she says she’d love to see them go to a Superbowl!

Jaclyn Brussee

Vice President of Sales Lighthouse, An Alera Group Company 56 Grandville Ave., Ste. 300 Grand Rapids, MI 49503 616-698-7373

11/18/21 9:21 AM



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Walk into any boutique or gift shop and you’re likely to encounter a selection of candles. Candles have a way of beckoning shoppers to pause and take a sniff; as gifts, they add a warm, inviting scent to any space. But when is a candle more than a candle? In the case of LIMA candles, it’s when they’re part of a greater community conversation. LIMA was founded by sistersin-law Maria Zambrano Curtis and Linsey Jones, both moms with full-time jobs in addition to the candle business. Although they started the endeavor mostly to spend more time together, it quickly grew into something much more meaningful. Today, just two years after its inception, LIMA has become a force to unite, empower, and give back through its thoughtful candles and gifts — and to cultivate kindness, one candle at a time.

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The company’s mission has been achieved thanks to a series of campaigns to support local, women-founded nonprofits. The first campaign, in March 2020, benefited the YWCA. Since then, LIMA has engaged in several more campaigns, donating all profits to organizations such as Beautiful You by Profile, i understand, and Grace’s Table. To date, the company has sold 20,000-plus candles stocked by nearly 40 retailers, and raised about $30,000 for causes Curtis and Jones care deeply about. “What we’re most proud of, above the quality and appeal of our products themselves, is that our candles are recognized as instruments of kindness and love,” Curtis says. “They bring people together and inspire area businesses to come to us to get involved.”

Maria Zambrano Curtis and Linsey Jones Co-founders

LIMA Instagram: @limaunitedbylove

11/10/21 12:52 PM

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Sara Lachman, owner of Lachman King, PLC, recently learned that only 3 percent of women business owners ever hit $1M-plus in revenue — and that struck her. Her boutique law firm was able to achieve that in its first year. Lachman credits her firm’s success to a number of factors, each with their own significance. Talking with Lachman, you can feel her passion for real estate law. Specializing in real estate law allows Lachman King to tailor each client’s experience. Working as a team and taking a client-centered approach, the firm strives to get the best results for those they represent, whether it’s a businesses or an individual. Lachman is also proud of the phenomenal culture at her firm. She says they’ve built strong relationships based on respect and value for one another — and it shows.



Sara Lachman Owner/Founder

Lachman King, PLC Real Estate Law & Litigation 161 Ottawa Ave. NW, Ste. 111 Grand Rapids, MI 49503 616-274-3002

Founded in 2005 by Kelly Russell, Milestones Child Development Center is a locally owned, award-winning institution serving 1,000-plus families at six program locations across West Michigan. Russell has a background in child care and preschool education, and a passion for working with young children. As the creator, developer, and owner of the center, her mission is to provide a safe and nurturing environment that meets the developmental needs of young children. The programming at Milestones, curated by Russell and the certified and degreed teachers at the center, lays the foundation of early education and furthers every facet of children’s development. As a pillar in the world of education, Russell “moves” anyone she comes into contact with. Moves to educate. Moves to impact. Moves to change their future.

Kelly Russell

Owner/Acting President Milestones Child Development Center, Central Office 4527 Cascade Rd. SE, Ste. B Cascade, MI 49546 616-551-3200 MilestonesDev.1-2Hss.GRM.indd 1

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11/16/21 12:47 PM

11/30/21 4:45 PM



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With a background in health care, education, leadership, and business development, Amanda Brand brings a wealth of experience to her role as vice president of MINDSCAPE, where she leads the team’s sales division and provides strategic direction and vision as a member of the company’s leadership team. When prospective clients reach out to MINDSCAPE, Brand is their first point of contact. In these initial consultations, she calls on her varied experience to get to the root of what the client is trying to achieve. “It’s like investigative reporting,” Brand says. “Through my natural inquisitiveness, I’m able to walk them back to the actual problem and determine how an updated website can be a tool to solve that problem.” When Brand joined MINDSCAPE five

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years ago, she brought to the business a number of strengths, including openmindedness, a love of business, and an instinct for process and procedure. The company was once known for its beautiful website designs, coupled with intentional user experience path planning. Over the past 20 years, however, it has matured beyond just websites, as it realized the significant impact of having a clearly defined and executed end-to-end digital marketing strategy. In addition to being the only female leadership team member at MINDSCAPE, Brand sits on the board of Family Promise of Grand Rapids and is a trustee at the Rockford Education Foundation. She appreciates the flexibility and time afforded her to serve in other areas that are meaningful to her and to the community.

Amanda Brand Vice President

MINDSCAPE 331 Glenwoods Ct. NE Rockford, MI 49341 616-818-7100

11/29/21 10:39 AM

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NAI Wisinski of West Michigan (NAIWWM) was founded in 2011 after the merger of NAI West Michigan (founded in 1989) and The Wisinski Group (founded in 1986). The merger represents collaboration, rich traditions, innovative technologies, unique cultures, and a diversity of skills and specialties — all of which ultimately benefit its clients. The focus is simple: building client relationships for life by offering market-appropriate advice, and then executing. NAI Wisinski of West Michigan is proud to be the largest commercial real estate firm in West Michigan. It also has the highest number of female agents and property managers in West Michigan. Its team of female brokers and property managers are market leaders in experience, knowledge, and service.

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The women of NAIWWM have created a rare and insightful competitive edge for the company as they lead the way for generations to come. Their strength provides inspiration and encouragement for young women looking to enter what was once regarded as a male-dominated industry. Mother, wife, entrepreneur, real estate agent — the women at NAI wear many hats and proudly work through the unique challenges and barriers faced by women in the commercial real estate world. They think differently and take a different approach to problem-solving and conducting business. More women today are in the C-suite or are business owners, so having a team of women as commercial real estate advisers is an advantage. The women of NAIWWM bring a new dimension to commercial real estate that adds value to their team and clients.

NAI Wisinski of West Michigan 100 Grandville Ave. SW, Ste. 100 Grand Rapids, MI 49503 616-776-0100

11/18/21 9:16 AM




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For more than 30 years, Grand Rapids-based R3 Continuum (R3c) has been providing goldstandard, behavioral health-focused disruption response to businesses in West Michigan and across the globe. This has been entirely possible because of the company’s mission-driven employees, who embody R3c’s core purpose: making tomorrow better than today by helping people thrive. Three such employees are Jessica Cooper, Sarah Thompson, and Michele Folkema, key members of R3c’s senior leadership team who have been a driving force in delivering on the company’s mission — something that’s been especially apparent throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. These three women each played key roles in making it possible for R3c to be able to seamlessly handle increased caseloads, ultimately ensuring that more companies — many of which are right in their backyard, and

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whose people needed mental health support following a workplace disruption — were able to get it. Cooper, R3 Continuum’s director of operations, ramped up her department’s capacity to impact as many affected people as possible. Thompson, director of information technology, quickly worked to optimize all of R3c’s systems to handle more cases and allow employees to work remotely and provide virtual support. Folkema, director of accounting, ensured the company’s finances kept pace with the additional work. The pandemic meant R3c needed to shift parts of its business in new directions. Cooper, Thompson, and Folkema used their innovative and collaborative leadership styles to quickly adjust existing processes and effectively manage an average of more than 2,500 cases each month through seamless, end-to-end service delivery.

Michele Folkema

Director of Accounting

Sarah Thompson

Director of Information Technology

Jessica Cooper

Director of Operations R3 Continuum 4115 Ayrshire Dr. Wyoming, MI 49418 616-724-5820

11/16/21 11:07 AM

dine / estau ants


OUR STAFF'S GUIDE TO THE AREA'S BEST EATERIES For any additions or changes: // Please email or write to Grand Rapids Magazine, c/o Dining Guide, 401 Hall St. SW, Suite 331, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

Downtown GR ANGEL’S THAI CAFÉ Extensive Thai fare. Menu includes your-choice stir-fry option. Vegetarian friendly. No alcohol. Open daily. // 136 Monroe Center NW, 454-9801. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ APERITIVO A wine bar with a small menu that includes cheese and charcuterie plates and monthly sandwich specials. The retail section includes tinned fish, which can be enjoyed on-site with pickled veggies, cultured butter and Field & Fire bread. It is located within the Grand Rapids Downtown Market. Open Daily. // 435 Ionia Ave. SW, 259-7045. Lunch, Dinner $$ BANGKOK TASTE CUISINE Thai fare with lunch buffet and kids menu. No alcohol. Closed Sun. // 15 Jefferson Ave SE, 356-5550. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ BEIJING KITCHEN Hunan, Szechuan and Cantonese cuisines. Lunch and dinner specials. No alcohol. Open daily. // 342 State St SE, 458-8383. Lunch (SunFri), Dinner $-$$

2021 DINING AWARD WINNER BISTRO BELLA VITA Big-city casual; modern French and Italian cuisine, locally sourced and prepared over a wood fire. Mammoth martini bar, nice wine selection. Open daily. // 44 Grandville Ave SW, 222-4600. Lunch, Dinner $$-$$$ BOBARINO’S AT THE B.O.B. Grill on second floor of The B.O.B. offers everything from wood-fired pizza to upscale entrées. Lunch menu has deli sandwiches, salads, burgers. Full bar. Outdoor seating. Closed Sun. // 20 Monroe Ave NW, 356-2000. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ BRICK & PORTER Appetizers, burgers, salads, sandwiches and a nice selection of entrées; 20 beers on tap (“the darker, the better”). Open daily. // 47 Monroe Center NW, 2266928. Brunch (Sat-Sun), Lunch, Dinner $-$$

BRICKYARD TAVERN Located inside the historic Boardwalk Building, BrickYard Tavern offers a varied menu with items including a selection of burgers, sandwiches and entrées such as beer-battered salmon and chips, fish tacos and rib eye. Enjoy cocktails and 24 beers on tap. Open daily. // 940 Monroe Ave NW, 805-3280. Lunch, Dinner $$ BULL’S HEAD TAVERN Large selection of appetizers, soups and salads. Entrées include pasta, fish, chicken and steak along with burgers and sandwiches. Full bar. Closed Sun. // 188 Monroe Ave NW, 454-3580. Lunch (Mon-Fri), Dinner $$-$$$ THE CHOP HOUSE Aged prime beef, seafood, pork, lamb chops, chicken and more. Downstairs is La Dolce Vita dessert and cigar bar. Closed Sun. // 190 Monroe Ave NW, 451-6131. Dinner $$$ CITY BUILT BREWING CO. Taproom featuring a variety of craft beer. Plus, Puerto Rican-inspired appetizers, small plates, entrées, soups and salads. Closed Mon. // 820 Monroe Ave NW, 805-5755. Lunch, Dinner $$ CINCO DE MAYO Offers the usual Mexican fare plus carnitas and steak asada. Full bar. Open daily. // 114 Monroe Center NW, 719-2401. Lunch, Dinner $$ CITYSEN LOUNGE Soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers and small-plate creations. Beer and wine; happy hour 4-7 pm. Open daily. // CityFlatsHotel, 83 Monroe Center NW, 6081725. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $-$$ COTTAGE BAR Longtime favorite since 1927. Famous Cottage burgers and fries, signature chilis and more. Full bar. Closed Sun. // 18 LaGrave Ave SE, 454-9088. Lunch, Dinner $ DIVANI European-inspired food includes small plates for sharing and a variety of entrées. Full bar. Closed Sun. // 15 Ionia Ave SW, 774-9463. Dinner $$-$$$

2021 DINING AWARD WINNER FIELD & FIRE CAFÉ This farm-to-table breakfast and lunch spot offers allday breakfast items like breakfast burritos and skillet


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meals as well as lunch items including sandwiches, soups, salads and toasts. It also offers an array of pastry items including croissants, muffins and tarts. On weekends brunch is available. No alcohol. Open daily. // 820 Monroe Ave NW Suite 100, 616-608-4533. Breakfast, Lunch $-$$ FLANAGAN’S Downtown Irish pub features imported beers, entrées with Irish influence. Frequent live music. Open Daily. // 139 Pearl St NW, 454-7852. Lunch, Dinner $ FORTY PEARL A wine bar serving oysters, cured meats and cheeses, baked goods and sweets, soups and salads, shareables, sandwiches, rice bowls and entrées like salmon, seared scallops and Cornish hen. Open daily. // 40 Pearl St. NW, 608-7741. Lunch, Dinner $$$ FOUNDERS BREWING CO. Spacious taproom, serpentine bar and live music Thu and Sat. Menu features appetizers, deli sandwiches. Outdoor beer garden. Open daily. // 235 Grandville Ave SW, 776-1195. Lunch, Dinner $ FRIESIAN GASTRO PUB A cozy neighborhood eatery offering comfort food items with an eclectic twist. Menu items include handhelds like the harissa hot chicken sandwich and vegan Rueben, as well as entrées including ramen bowls and Korean short ribs. Full bar. Patio and rooftop deck. Open daily. // 720 Michigan St NE, 825-3001. Lunch, Dinner $$ GILLY’S SMOKEHOUSE Twelve rotating craft beers from The B.O.B’s Brewery paired with smokehouse fare, including smoked beef brisket, Amish chicken, pork butt and more. Closed Sun-Mon. // 20 Monroe Ave NW, 356-2000. Dinner $-$$ GINZA SUSHI & RAMEN BAR Wide selection of authentic Japanese cuisine, sushi, ramen, poke bowls, hibachi dinners, appetizers, soups and salad. Open daily. Catering available. // 1015 Michigan St NE, 272-4116. Lunch, Dinner $$ GRAND RAPIDS BREWING CO. Organic brews, hard cider, wine and spirits. Farm-totable menu includes sharable plates, sausages, soups, salads, sandwiches, entrées. Open daily. // 1 Ionia Ave SW, 458-7000. Lunch (SatSun), Dinner $-$$



11/23/21 1:17 PM

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GRAND RAPIDS GARAGE BAR AND GRILL “All-American grub” includes burgers, nachos, sandwiches, soups and salads, full bar. Live entertainment Fri and Sat. Open daily. / 819 Ottawa Ave NW, 454-0321. Lunch, Dinner $

LINEAR Riverfront eatery featuring seasonal menu with fresh modern American fare and outdoor-seating options; plus, a display of rotating works by local artists. Full bar. Closed Mon. // 1001 Monroe Ave NW, 200-4343. Lunch, Dinner $-$$

GRAND WOODS LOUNGE Eclectic menu with upscale comfort foods. Live entertainment, pool tables, spacious full bar. Year-round alfresco dining with fireplace. Open daily. // 77 Grandville Ave SW, 451-4300. Lunch, Dinner $-$$

LITTLEBIRD Café-style restaurant featuring made-from-scratch breakfast and lunch, including a full coffee menu, house-made sodas and egg creams, and pastries. Full bar. Open daily. // 95 Monroe Center NW, 4194168. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Tue-Sat) $

HERITAGE HILL PIZZA Offers traditional, stuffed and specialty pizzas. No alcohol. Open daily with a few tables for dining in. // 340 State St SE, 742-4773. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ THE HERITAGE GRCC culinary students prepare gourmet dishes from steaks to vegan. Menu changes weekly. Wine and beer. Open Tue-Fri during school year. // Applied Technology Center, 151 Fountain St NE, 234-3700. Lunch, Dinner $$-$$$ HONG KONG EXPRESS Szechuan and Cantonese. All-you-can-eat lunch buffet. No alcohol. Open daily. // 150 E Fulton St, 235-2888. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ JAMAICAN DAVE’S Chicken, goat, oxtail, beef, fish and vegetarian fare in Jamaican style. No alcohol. Closed Sun. // 530 S Division Ave, 458-7875. Facebook. Lunch, Dinner $ J. GARDELLA’S TAVERN Massive full bar and gargantuan menu includes hearty appetizers, salads, burgers, entrées. Three floors of seating. Closed Sun. // 11 Ionia Ave SW, 459-8824. Lunch (Mon-Fri), Dinner $ JUDSON’S AT THE B.O.B. Award-winning steakhouse offers steaks, seafood and chops. Notable wine list. Closed Sun. // 20 Monroe Ave NW, 356-2000. Dinner $$$ THE KITCHEN BY WOLFGANG PUCK Comfort fare and global classics in a casual atmosphere overlooking the Grand River. Menu includes appetizers, gourmet pizzas, salads and entrées. Full bar. Open daily. // Amway Grand Plaza, 187 Monroe Ave NW, 776-3230. Lunch, Dinner $$-$$$ LEO’S Fresh seafood, soups, salads and more in elegant yet casual atmosphere. Early dinner menu 4:30-6 pm Mon-Fri. Closed Sun. // 60 Ottawa Ave NW, 4546700. Lunch (Mon-Fri), Dinner $$-$$$


2021 DINING AWARD WINNER LUNA TAQUERIA Y COCINA Upscale Latin American menu pairs with locally sourced meat and produce. Full bar. Closed Sun. // 64 Ionia Ave SW, 288-6340. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ MARGAUX A contemporary French bistro. Fine wines and cocktails. Alfresco dining overlooking the Grand River. Open daily. // JW Marriott, 235 Louis St NW, 242-1448. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $-$$$ MAX’S SOUTH SEAS HIDEWAY A tiki-themed restaurant that includes a raw bar, hot appetizers, salads, sides, land and sea dishes, and vegan options. Appetizers include ceviche and puhahana rock shrimp, and entrées include a poke bowl, citrus-glazed faroe and an island lobster roll. Full bar. Open daily. // 58 Ionia Ave SW, 551-0016. D $$-$$$ MDRD Overlooking the Grand River from its location on the 27th floor of the Amway Grand Plaza, this restaurant serves modern Spanish cuisine including tapas and paella. Reservations available. Closed Sun and Mon. // 187 Monroe Ave. NW, 776.6425. Dinner $$$

2021 DINING AWARD WINNER MERTENS PRIME French-inspired, upscale dining on restored historic site of original, early-20th-century-era hotel. Steaks, chops, seafood, pasta, entrées and small plates. Local wine options. Open daily. // 35 Oakes St SW, 551-1713. Brunch (Sat-Sun), Breakfast (Mon-Fri), Lunch (Mon-Fri), Dinner $-$$ MEXO Features tequila/mezcal bar and a modern touch on classic pre-Hispanic foods of Mexico. Full bar. Open daily. // 118 E Fulton St, 828-4123. Breakfast (Sun), Lunch, Dinner $$ MOJO’S DUELING PIANO BAR & RESTAURANT Lively downtown spot opens for dinner at 5 pm Wed-Sat. Appetizers, sandwiches, salads, flatbread

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pizzas, full bar. Shows start at 8 pm Wed-Fri, 7 pm Sat. Closed Sun-Tue. // 180 Monroe Ave NW, 776-9000. Dinner (Wed-Sat) $$-$$$ ONE TRICK PONY GRILL & TAPROOM Eclectic menu with vegetarian, Mexican and European cuisines. Dine alfresco on street-front, dog- friendly patio. Full bar. Closed Mon. // 136 E Fulton St, 2357669. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ ONE TWENTY THREE TAVERN Part of Studio Park, One Twenty Three Tavern offers starters, small plates and handhelds, large plates, and a kids menu. Offering elevated American fare, including a fried chicken sandwich, jackfruit carnitas, meatloaf, veggie meatballs, quinoa bowl and more. Full bar. Open daily. // 123 Ionia Ave SW. Lunch, Dinner $$$ OSTERIA ROSSA Casual Italian-inspired cuisine with Michigan roots from executive chef/owner Chris Perkey. Wood-fired pizzas, handmade pasta. Full bar. Open daily. // 16 Monroe Center NE, 988-9350. Lunch (MonFri), Dinner $-$$ PALACE OF INDIA Indian cuisine with a sizeable menu including vegetarian selections. Lunch buffet 11-3. Open daily. // 138 E Fulton St, 913-9000. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ PARSLEY MEDITERRANEAN GRILLE Appetizers, salads, soups, pitas, combos. Catering available. No alcohol. Open daily. // 80 Ottawa Ave NW, 776-2590. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ PIND INDIAN CUISINE A fine-dining Indian restaurant offering traditional dishes, such as tandoori, biryani, chicken tikka masala, malai kofta and samosas with gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options. No alcohol. Open daily. // 241 W Fulton St, 805-4767. Lunch, Dinner $$$ RESERVE Wine bar offers extensive by-the-glass selections and culinary options to match, including charcuterie. Closed Sun. // 201 Monroe Ave NW, 855-9463. Lunch (Mon-Fri), Dinner $$-$$$ ROAM BY SAN CHEZ BISTRO The San Chez Bistro team introduces global street food, including cuisine from China, Morocco, Spain, France, Poland, U.K., Indonesia and more. Full bar. Closed Sun. // 250 Monroe Ave NW, 288-9129. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $$ ROCKWELL REPUBLIC Diverse menu emphasizes local ingredients from sushi to comfort food. Upper-level outdoor seating. Full bar. Open daily. // 45 S Division Ave, 551-3563. Dinner $$-$$$


11/23/21 1:17 PM

Special Advertising Section

Voted The Best

ai163718833737_11888 2021 Voted Best CU by GR Mag Readers 7.125x4.5_FINAL.pdf



5:32 PM

Voted BEST Steak

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RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE Classic American steakhouse in the Amway Grand Plaza. Serves alcohol. Closed Sun. // 187 Monroe Ave NW, 776-6426. Lunch, Dinner $$$ SAN CHEZ BISTRO Spanish fare focusing on tapas-style small plates; sides and entrées. Wine and beer list includes Spanish varieties and sherry. Open daily. // 38 W Fulton St, 774-8272. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $$-$$$ SANDY POINT BEACH HOUSE GR Originating in West Olive, dishes include “traditional beach house favorites,” such as prime beef burgers, fresh halibut, steak and frites, and roasted chicken and mussels. Full bar. Open daily. // 822 Ottawa Ave. NW, 828-1118, Brunch (Sat-Sun), Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $$-$$$ SLOWS BAR-B-Q Detroit-based restaurant offers extensive menu, including barbecue, sandwiches and sides. Michigan and national craft beers on tap. Open daily. // Downtown Market, 435 Ionia Ave SW, 454-1588. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ SOCIAL HOUSE A casual pub serving American-style food. Menu features a variety of offerings: starters such as veggie, meat and cheese shared platters, goat cheese fritters, spicy tuna wontons and avocado toast; soups and salads; burgers and sandwiches; and pizza. Full bar. Closed Mon. // 25 Ottawa Ave. SW, 551-1412. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $$$ SPARKS BBQ Offering barbecued meats by the pound, à la carte, sandwiches, appetizers, salads, sides, specialty entrées and desserts. Sparks BBQ originated in Traverse City. Full bar. Open daily. // 15 Ionia Ave. SW, Suite 140, 888-2170. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ SPEAKEZ LOUNGE Casual pub setting with eclectic menu, including vegan and gluten-free. Creative starters, soups, salads, entrées (after 4 pm). Full bar. Open daily. // 600 Monroe Ave NW, 458-3125. Lunch, Dinner $$ STELLA’S LOUNGE Award-winning stuffed burgers, plus vegan and vegetarian items. Full bar, known for its whiskey selection. Open daily. // 53 Commerce Ave SW, 7424444. Lunch (Fri-Sun), Dinner $-$$ TAVERN ON THE SQUARE Tapas-style fare, plus house specialties. Patio seating. Full bar, happy hour 3-7 Mon-Fri. Open daily. // 100 Ionia Ave SW, 456-7673. Facebook. Lunch, Dinner $-$$


Z’S BAR & RESTAURANT Sports-themed eatery known for its BBQ ribs. Soups, salads, sandwiches, entrées. Carry-out available. Open daily. // 168 Louis Campau Promenade NW, 4543141. Lunch, Dinner $-$$

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JOLLY PUMPKIN PIZZERIA & BREWERY Dexter-based brewery offers salads and sandwiches in addition to pizza. Kids menu available. Open daily. // 428 Bridge St NW, 419-4676. Lunch, Dinner $$

West Side ANDO SUSHI + BAR Asian fusion eatery featuring small plates, bentos, rice bowls, raw bar, noodles, soup, salad and more. Wide selection of wine, plus local, domestic and international beer. Full bar. // 415 Bridge St NW, 608-0789. Lunch, Dinner $$ BLUE DOG TAVERN West Michigan craft brews on tap. Good selection of tots, dogs and burgers. Open daily. // 638 Stocking Ave NW, 608-6050. Lunch, Dinner $ BROADWAY BAR & GRILL Neighborhood bar known for burgers and holiday decorations, especially at Christmas. Outdoor grilling during summer. Hours change seasonally. // 740 Broadway Ave SW, 454-0565. Facebook. Lunch, Dinner $ BUTCHER’S UNION Meat-and-whiskey-centric gastro pub. Full bar. Outdoor seating available. // 438 Bridge St NW, 551-1323. Brunch (Sun), Lunch, Dinner $$ EL GRANJERO Mexican fare from steak and shrimp to menudo on weekends. No alcohol but tasty virgin coladas. Open daily. // 950 Bridge St NW, 458-5595. Facebook. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $ EL SOMBRERO Offers “the original” wet burrito. Weekly specials. No alcohol. Closed Sun. // 527 Bridge St NW, 451-4290. Lunch, Dinner $ FRATELLI’S KITCHEN & BAR Italian cuisine based on family recipes from Sicily with a “modern twist.” Full service bar. Open daily. // 443 Bridge St NW, Suite 2. 389-4963. Lunch, Dinner $$ HARMONY HALL West Side brewpub with a German beer hall atmosphere serves comfort food including sloppy joes, grilled cheese sandwiches, hamburgers and a variety of dishes based on French fries, including poutine. Sausage menu. Vegan and vegetarian options for every dish on the menu. Open Thurs.-Sat. // 401 Stocking Ave NW, 2339186. Dinner $-$$ THE HOLIDAY BAR Established in 1905, menu features appetizers and

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sandwiches. Seating includes 40-foot horseshoe bar, tables and a beer garden in warm months. Open daily. // 801 Fifth St NW, 456-9058. Lunch, Dinner $

THE KNICKERBOCKER – NEW HOLLAND BREWING Craft brewery featuring a variety of locally sourced shared plates, sandwiches, soups, pizzas, barbecue and more. Open daily. // 417 Bridge St NW, 3455642. Brunch (Sun), Lunch, Dinner $-$$ LONG ROAD DISTILLERS Craft, small-batch distillery featuring variety of house-made snacks, sandwiches and entrées. Open daily. // 537 Leonard St NW, 228-4924. Brunch (Sat-Sun), Dinner $-$$ MAGGIE’S KITCHEN Mexican fare in café setting, cafeteria-style ordering. No alcohol. Closed Sun and Mon. // 636 Bridge St NW, 458-8583. Facebook. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $

2021 DINING AWARD WINNER THE MITTEN BREWING CO. Vintage baseball-themed nanobrewery pairs handcrafted beers with gourmet pizzas. Open daily. // 527 Leonard St NW, 608-5612. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ MONARCHS’ CLUB Starters, sausages, hot dogs, panini, Italian beef sandwiches and Grand Rapids Stackers. Michigan beer on draft. Open daily. // 646 Stocking Ave NW, 233-9799. Lunch, Dinner $ ONE BOURBON Trendy, two-level restaurant serving creative shareable plates, burgers, hot sandwiches and entrées. Full bar features more than 120 whiskies. Closed Sun-Mon. // 608 Bridge St NW, 608-5766. Dinner $-$$ O’TOOLE’S PUBLIC HOUSE Pub grub includes appetizers, sandwiches and burgers served on a mountain of fries. Open daily. // 448 Bridge St NW, 742-6095. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ PEARL STREET GRILL Bright, contemporary restaurant features diverse menu in downtown Holiday Inn. Full bar. Open daily. // 310 Pearl St NW, 235-1342. pearl-street-grill. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $$


11/23/21 1:18 PM

Special Advertising Section

Voted The Best



Dickinson Wright congratulates our colleague

ALEXANDRE ZUCCO on being selected amongst the ‘Best of Grand Rapids’. AZUCCO@DICKINSONWRIGHT.COM




Scan with your smart phone camera to customize your own dining set!

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1428 Plainfield Ave NE Grand Rapids, MI 49505 616.459.4167

11/30/21 3:04 PM

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SALVATORE’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT Sicilian and southern Italian fare. Separate sports bar; patio seating. Food, beer and wine available to go. Delivery and catering. Open daily. // 654 Stocking Ave NW, 454-4280. Lunch (MonFri), Dinner $-$$ THE SOVENGARD Midwest heart meets New Nordic spirit. This cozy West Side farm-to-table restaurant focuses on seasonal and local sourcing and offers two separate dining spaces/ menus with an outdoor biergarten. Closed Mon. and Tues. Open for brunch Sat. and Sun. Reservations accepted. // 443 Bridge St NW, 214-7207. Dinner $-$$ TWO SCOTTS BARBECUE Authentic barbecue smoked in-house daily with homemade sides and sauces. Features draft root beer and weekly specials. Catering and food truck available. Closed Sun. // 536 Leonard St NW, 608-6756. Lunch $-$$ WESTSIDE SOCIAL “Reimagined” American-style tavern with locally sourced, house-made appetizers, burgers, seafood and other entrées. Full bar. Happy hour specials available Mon-Fri. Open daily. // 2802 Lake Michigan Dr NW, 453-5877. Lunch (Tue-Sun), Dinner $-$$

Uptown BASALT Modern Tex-Mex cuisine with a relaxed atmosphere. The menu focuses on breakfast tacos, quesadillas and tortas. Closed Mondays. // 1450 Wealthy St. SE, 719-2146. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Thurs-Sat) $ BOMBAY CUISINE Traditional Indian dishes with spices and flavors from northern India. Full bar. Open daily. Takeout available. // 1420 Lake Dr SE, 456-7055. Lunch, Dinner $$

5038. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Wed-Sat) $

breweries. Open Tue–Sun. // 924 Cherry St SE, 8083566. Lunch, Dinner $$-$$$

CHEZ OLGA Caribbean and Creole fare. Veggie/vegan options. Takeout available. No alcohol. Closed Sun. // 1441 Wealthy St SE, 233-4141. Lunch, Dinner $-$$

HANCOCK Nashville hot chicken restaurant with sandwiches, fried chicken, an assortment of Southern picnic sides, salads and desserts. Also serves breakfast. Open daily. // 1157 Wealthy St. SE, 805-4232. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $-$$

THE COMMONS 1970s-themed restaurant with “retro comfort food.” Full bar, including craft beer and ’70s-inspired cocktails. Takeout available. Closed Mon. // 547 Cherry St SE, 458-2704. Facebook. Lunch, Dinner $$ DANZÓN CUBANO Authentic Cuban fare, including vegetarian and vegan options, as well as locally made and Cuban sodas. Full bar; happy hour specials Mon-Thu. Open daily. // 1 Carlton Ave SE, 988-9788. Lunch, Dinner $$

2021 DINING AWARD WINNER DONKEY TAQUERIA Authentic Mexican food, including tacos, tostadas, botanas and tortas in a former 1920s service station. Full bar. Open daily. // 665 Wealthy St SE. Breakfast (Sat-Sun), Lunch, Dinner $-$$ EAST WEST BREWING CO. Traditional American-style beers. Fresh, made-to-order American-style food and seasonal vegetarian menu items from local vendors. Open daily. // 1400 Lake Dr SE, 288-5250. Lunch (Fri-Sat), Dinner $-$$ ELK BREWING CO. Brewery with rustic industrial interior. Menu includes innovative sandwiches and snacks. Open daily. // 700 Wealthy St SE, 238-5227. Lunch (Fri-Sun), Dinner $ ERB THAI Thai fare; will accommodate vegetarian, gluten-free, no MSG. No alcohol. Open daily. // 950 Wealthy St SE, 356-2573. Lunch, Dinner $

BREWERY VIVANT Beer and food in tradition of French and Belgian country dishes. Housed in a renovated funeral chapel. Most dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Open daily. // 925 Cherry St SE, 719-1604. Lunch (Sat-Sun), Dinner $$-$$$

FORTY ACRES SOUL KITCHEN “Authentically American” southern comfort food, featuring po’boys, grits, gumbo and more. To-go catering available. Closed Mon. // 1059 Wealthy St SE, 481-6971. Lunch, Dinner $$

BRICK ROAD PIZZA Traditional, gourmet and vegan pizzas (glutenfree crusts available); also soups, salads, pastas, sandwiches. Sun Brunch Bar. Full bar. Closed Mon. // 1017 Wealthy St SE, 719-2409. Lunch, Dinner $-$$

GOJO ETHIOPIAN CUISINE & DELI Authentic dishes including vegetarian options. Watt (stew) dishes served with injera flatbread. Carry-out available. No alcohol. Closed Sun and Mon. // 421 Norwood Ave SE, 459-3383. gojoethiopian Lunch, Dinner $$

BROWN BUTTER CREPERIE & CAFÉ Locally sourced, made-from-scratch sweet and savory crepes and liege waffles. // 1436 Wealthy St SE, 288-

THE GREEN WELL GASTRO PUB Not your run-of-the-mill New American fare. Full bar with more than 20 rotating draft beers, many from local


KCM A Japanese/Korean fusion restaurant specializing in sando (Japanese cut white bread sandwiches or openfaced toast with meat, egg salad or other filling); curry and other rice bowls; tonkatsu (Japanese deep-fried tenderized pork loin, tenderloin and shoulder cutlets); chicken katsu; and kimbap (Korean-style fish and vegetable hand rolls wrapped with seaweed). Open Tues.-Sun. // 209 Diamond Ave. SE. Lunch, Dinner $$ LITTLE AFRICA ETHIOPIAN CUISINE Hearty vegetable stews; sauces and fixings served on Ethiopian flat bread. No alcohol. Cash or checks only. Closed Sun and Mon. // 956 E Fulton St, 222-1169. Facebook. Lunch, Dinner $ MARU SUSHI & GRILL Large menu of Japanese cuisine with a twist, from sushi to hibachi grilled items. Vegetarian options. Full bar. Open daily. // 927 Cherry St SE, 458-1900. Lunch, Dinner $$-$$$ MATCHBOX DINER & DRINKS Breakfast all day, deli sandwiches, burgers, appetizers and seasonal entrées. Also, milkshakes and malts. Carry-out available. Open daily. // 1345 Lake Dr SE, 774-8641. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $$

2021 DINING AWARD WINNER QUARANTINO’S Detroit-style pizza restaurant offering unique pizza options finished with Satori Wisconsin Parmesan. Vegan and gluten-free options are available. No alcohol. Closed Sun and Mon. // 1444 Lake Drive SE, 734-6833. Dinner $$ THE PUB AT PADDOCK “Happy hour all the time” with elevated pub fare. Full bar. Closed Mondays. // 1033 Lake Dr SE, 3562627. Dinner $-$$


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HARMONY BREWING CO. Custom brews with a full bar, wine and wood-fired pizzas. Sandwiches served 11 am-4 pm. Dog-friendly patio. Open daily. // 1551 Lake Dr SE, 233-0063. Lunch, Dinner $$

TERRA Eastown eatery features food from local, ethically raised and sustainable sourcing. Specialty cocktails,


11/23/21 1:18 PM

Special Advertising Section

Voted The Best Thank you for voting us


More to be thankful for.

For the third consecutive year, we were voted Best Senior Living Community by Grand Rapids Magazine readers. Thank you to everyone who voted and to our community for helping to make Holland Home the energetic, active, and welcoming place that it is! If you’re interested in moving to the “Best of GR” Senior Living Community, visit or call 616-643-2730.

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11/29/21 10:14 AM

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Michigan craft beers, wines from small wineries. Open daily. // 1429 Lake Dr SE, 301-0998. Brunch (Sat-Sun), Lunch (Mon-Fri), Dinner $$-$$$ WEALTHY STREET BAKERY Breakfast pastries; sandwiches, salads and soup; pizza available after 4 pm. Beer and wine. Kids menu. Closed Sun. // 610 Wealthy St SE, 301-2950. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $-$$ WIKIWIKI POKE SHOP Fast-casual seafood restaurant featuring customizable poke bowls, plus oyster bar and rotating specials. Carry-out available. Closed Sun. // 1146 Wealthy St SE, 288-5646. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ THE WINCHESTER Locally sourced menu includes sharable plates in century-old space. Craft brews on draft. Full bar. Open daily. // 648 Wealthy St SE, 451-4969. Breakfast (Sat-Sun), Lunch, Dinner $-$$ YESTERDOG Specializes in the “good old-fashioned hot dog.” Cash or check only. Catering available. Open daily. // 1505 Wealthy St SE, 336-0746. Lunch, Dinner $ ZIVIO Modern European tavern and grill serving Bosnian cuisine melded with Turkish, Greek and other Central European countries' cooking traditions. Salads, wraps, gyros, dinner entrées. Full bar. Open daily. Catering available. // 724 Wealthy St SE, 608-3534. Lunch, Dinner $$$

East Grand Rapids

JOSÉ BABUSHKA’S Starters, salads, burritos, chimichangas, flaming fajitas, tacos and special plates. Full bar. Open daily. // 2232 Wealthy St SE, 272-4472. Lunch, Dinner $$

CHEER’S GOOD TIME SALOON Menu offers something for everyone in a log-cabin environment. Takeout available. Full bar. Open daily. // 3994 Plainfield Ave NE, 363-1188. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $

OLIVE’S Seasonally inspired menu of creative fare and comfort foods featuring local produce and meats. Full bar. Alfresco balcony. Closed Sun. // 2162 Wealthy St SE, 451-8611. Lunch, Dinner $-$$

CRESTON BREWERY More than a dozen house-brewed beers on tap at all times; plus, seasonal menu, featuring chicken, pork and beef entrées; tacos, burritos and quesadillas; soups and salads. // 1504 Plainfield Ave NE, 805-4523. Lunch, Dinner $-$$

ROSE’S Dockside dining on Reeds Lake with varied menu, including pastas and wood-fired pizzas. Three-season porch. Serves beer and wine. Open daily. // 550 Lakeside Dr SE, 458-1122. roses. Lunch, Dinner $$

DETROIT WING CO. Serves classic wings, boneless wings and chicken tenders with 19 house-made sauces. Its menu also includes mac n’ cheese, poutine, coleslaw, cornbread muffins and cheesecake. Detroit Wing Co. was founded in Detroit. Open daily. // 2004 East Beltline Ave. NE, 214-8331. Lunch, Dinner $

Northeast GR

FLO’S PIZZERIA RISTORANTE & SPORTS BAR Pizzas, sandwiches, salads, Italian and Mexican entrées, full bar. Big screen TVs; takeout available. Open daily. // 1259 Post Dr NE, Belmont, 785-1001. Lunch, Dinner $-$$

7 MONKS TAPHOUSE Beer bar with more than 50 taps and gastropub food, including pretzel bites, burgers, salads. Open daily. // 740 Michigan St NE, 265-5417. grand-rapids. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ BIRCH LODGE Menu includes wet burritos, sandwiches, burgers, gyros, fish baskets. Daily specials. Full bar. Open daily. // 732 Michigan St NE, 458-1918. Facebook. Lunch, Dinner $ BLUE WATER GRILL Entrées include steaks and fish, wood-fired pizzas. Nice wine selection. Lakeside views, outdoor patio. Beer, wine and cocktails. Open daily. // 5180 Northland Dr NE, 363-5900. Lunch, Dinner $$-$$$

BIG BOB’S PIZZA Neighborhood pizza parlor in EGR’s Gaslight Village also offers appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, subs. Full bar. Open daily. // 661 Croswell Ave SE, 233-0123. Lunch (Tue-Sun), Dinner $-$$

BUD & STANLEY’S Extensive menu includes Mexican specialties, pasta, burgers and more. Daily specials. Takeout available. Serves alcohol. Open daily. // 1701 Four Mile Rd NE, 361-9782. Lunch, Dinner $-$$

BOWDIE’S CHOPHOUSE An upscale steakhouse “perfect for date nights, business dinners and late-night cocktails.” The restaurant serves various items: starters; soups and salads; shareables; and entrées, including chicken, salmon and steak. Full bar. Open daily. // 2237 Wealthy St. SE, 805-5044. Dinner $$$

CAFÉ MAMO An American restaurant inspired by grandma's garden. Classic Midwestern dishes paired with tasty wine in a warm, comfortable setting. Open daily. // 1601 Plainfield Ave. NE, 350-3430. Brunch (Sat-Sun) Dinner (Mon-Sat) $-$$

CAROLINA LOWCOUNTRY KITCHEN Coastal South Carolina-inspired fare, including seafood, chicken, pork, beef and greens. Full bar. Open daily. // 2213 Wealthy St SE, 805-5231. Dinner $$


CHARLIE’S BAR & GRILLE Well-rounded menu features dinners from ribs, steaks and seafood to kielbasa and kraut. Also, Mexican fare and sandwiches. Full bar. Closed Sun. // 3519 Plainfield Ave NE, 364-0567. Lunch, Dinner $-$$

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FRED’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT Longtime favorite offers Italian fare, including fresh pasta and gourmet pizza. Full-service bar. Closed Sun. // 3619 Plainfield Ave NE, 361-8994. fredsitalian. net. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ FUJI YAMA ASIAN BISTRO Hibachi grill tables or eat in dining room with Chinese, Japanese and Thai selections. Full bar. Open daily. // 1501 East Beltline Ave NE, 719-1859. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ GAIA HOUSE CAFÉ A neighborhood vegetarian café offering items like the Mean Green Burrito and Gaia cookies, as well as freshpressed juices and specialty coffees. Open Wed-Sun for take-out only. // 1553 Plainfield Ave. NE . Visit on Facebook. Breakfast, Lunch. $ GOLDEN WOK Chinese cuisine with some Hunan-spiced dishes. Sunday specials. Full bar. Open daily. // 1971 East Beltline Ave NE (Knapp’s Corner), 363-8880. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ GRAVITY TAPHOUSE GRILLE Menu items pair with craft beer suggestions. 64 craft beers on tap. Open daily. // 3210 Deposit Dr NE (East Beltline at I-96), 719-4944. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ GRAYDON’S CROSSING Global pub serves traditional English pub food and world-inspired dishes. Full bar with large selection of microbrews and imported beers. Open daily. // 1223


11/23/21 1:18 PM

Special Advertising Section

Voted The Best


IT’S NOT COMPLICATED. BUT IT’S NOT SIMPLE. Our Bottled in Bond Michigan Straight Bourbon is distilled in small batches and aged for a minimum of 4 years in our federally bonded warehouse under the supervision of the U.S. Government. We hand select a small number of barrels, distilled in a single season, to create each unique batch of our Bottled in Bond Michigan straight Bourbon Whiskey. The result is a premium spirit crafted with Great Lakes pride that Michiganders can call their own.

E A S T E R N K I L L E .C O M

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Plainfield Ave NE, 726-8260. Lunch, Dinner $$ JAKU SUSHI Japanese and Korean fare, including a large selection of sushi; plus, bento, bibimbap, hibachi, katsu, udon and more. Open daily. // 2289 East Beltline Ave NE, 6490407. Lunch, Dinner $$ KITCHEN 67 Large menu uses Michigan ingredients and includes Brann’s sizzling steaks, sandwiches, salads, small plates, pasta and more. Full bar with craft beers. Open daily. // 1977 East Beltline Ave NE, 272-3778. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ LA HUASTECA Authentic Mexican restaurant offering burritos, tacos, enchiladas, flautas and more. No alcohol. Closed Sun. // 1811 Plainfield Ave NE, 447-7733. Facebook. Lunch, Dinner $ LAI THAI KITCHEN Vietnamese, Thai and Japanese fare. No alcohol. Closed Sun. // 1621 Leonard St NE, 456-5730. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ LICARI’S SICILIAN PIZZA KITCHEN Specialties include thick-crust Sicilian pizza and stuffed pizza with a crispy crust. Also pasta, entrées, calzones and desserts. Full bar. Open daily. // 2869 Knapp St NE, 608-6912. Lunch, Dinner $$ LUCY’S CAFÉ Family café offers breakfast, lunch and baked goods. Crepes, omelets, deli sandwiches and build-yourown breakfast plates. Open daily. // 1747 Plainfield Ave NE, 591-3149. Breakfast, Lunch $$-$$$ MAI’S THAI Thai fare for counter service only. No alcohol. Closed Sun. // 820 Michigan St NE, 451-3441. (Mon-Fri), Lunch, Dinner $ MILL CREEK TAVERN Comstock Park eatery offers appetizers, soups, sandwiches, full dinner options. Full bar with separate dining room. Closed Sun. // 3874 West River Dr NE, Comstock Park, 784-3806. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ NICK FINK’S Mexican fare and burgers in historic tavern. Draft beer, wine, sangria and cocktails. Closed Sun and Mon. // 3965 West River Dr NE, 784-9886. Dinner $$

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POKE TOKI Build-your-own bowls featuring a fusion of Hawaiian, Japanese and Korean cuisine. Catering available. Closed Sun. // 5150 Northland Dr NE, 729-4414. Lunch, Dinner $$

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PALIO Ann Arbor-based eatery with an expansive menu of Italian fare. Full bar and happy hour. Open daily. // 545 Michigan St NE, 719-0660. Lunch, Dinner $$-$$$ REDS AT THOUSAND OAKS Large menu features sandwiches, salads, artisan pizza and entrées. Extensive wine list, craft beers, full bar. Patio with fire pits and covered deck. Open daily. // 4100 Thousand Oaks Dr NE, 447-7750. Lunch, Dinner $$-$$$ REZERVOIR LOUNGE Full menu of appetizers, pizzas, sandwiches and entrées, some with Cajun flavor. Serves alcohol. Open daily. // 1418 Plainfield Ave NE, 451-0010. Lunch (Tue-Sun), Dinner $-$$ RIO GRAND STEAK HOUSE & SALOON Texas-style barbecue ribs, steaks and more. Full bar. Open daily. // 5501 Northland Dr NE, 364-6266. Lunch, Dinner $$-$$$ RIVER NORTH PUBLIC HOUSE A “family-friendly” pub serving a variety of shareables, burgers and sandwiches. You’ll also find entrées, including Knapp Mac & Cheese and grilled sirloin tip steak. Full bar. Open daily. // 2115 Plainfield Ave NE, 288-7888. Facebook. Lunch, Dinner $$$ THE SCORE Restaurant and sports bar with large menu, more than 100 beers on tap. Open daily. // 5301 Northland Dr NE, 301-0600. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ SHESHCO GRILL Mediterranean cuisine, including surf, turf and vegetarian options. No alcohol. Open daily. // 2121 Celebration Dr NE (Knapp’s Corner), 364-0600. Lunch, Dinner $$ THAI CHEF Knapp’s Corner restaurant has large menu, including duck, seafood and vegetarian options. No alcohol. Closed Sun. // 1971 East Beltline Ave NE, 570-0032. Facebook. Lunch, Dinner $$ VANDER MILL Seasonal menu with locally sourced ingredients. Starters, salads, entrées and large plates served family style. Hard ciders on tap. Open daily. // 505 Ball Ave NE, 259-8828. Lunch, Dinner (MonSat) $$-$$$

Northwest GR 2021 DINING AWARD WINNER AMORE TRATTORIA ITALIANA Regional Italian dishes using local products and Italian imports. Italian wines and liqueurs. House-made


12/3/21 12:34 PM

Special Advertising Section

Voted The Best

6555 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546 | | 616.575.6520

Family Owned Practice Best in Grand Rapids for 7 years in a row! Family Friends Veterinary Hospital has experienced veterinarians to serve you.

2021-22 Readers Poll

Veterinary Services • After Hours Urgent Care available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

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desserts. Banquet facility. Closed Mon. // 5080 Alpine Ave NW, 785-5344. Dinner (Tue-Sat) $$ CHINA CHEF Family-style restaurant with Szechuan-style entrées and Hunan choices. No alcohol. Open daily. // 4335 Lake Michigan Dr NW, 791-4488. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ CHINA CITY Chinese cuisine; lunch prices all day. No alcohol. Open daily. // 1140 Monroe Ave NW, 451-3688. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ DEHOP’S BREWING CO. AND CAFÉ Specialty and build-your-own burgers, “authentic Mexican” tacos, salads and sharable appetizers. Closed Sun-Mon. // 363 Cummings Ave NW, Walker, 805-3363. Dinner $$ EMPIRE CHINESE BUFFET II All-you-can-eat buffet. Seafood buffet Sat-Sun. No alcohol. Open daily. // 4255 Alpine Ave NW, 785-8880. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ FRANCO’S PIZZA Italian entrées, stromboli, pizza and subs. Takeout available. No alcohol. Open daily. // 2103 Alpine Ave NW, 361-7307. Dinner $-$$ FRICANO’S PIZZA RESTAURANT Famous for its thin-crust pizza. Pasta dinners with sauce that made its way to the retail market. Full bar. Closed Sun. // 5808 Alpine Ave NW, 785-5800. Dinner $-$$ HIBACHI GRILL & SUPREME BUFFET Pan-Asian cuisine, including Chinese, Japanese, Mongolian and American. No alcohol. Open daily. // 785 Center Dr NW (Green Orchard Shopping Center), 785-8200. Lunch, Dinner $$ HOME TEAM GRILL Sports-themed eatery with a selection of local, domestic and international beers. Open daily. // 4322 Remembrance Rd, 551-3457. hometeamgrill. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ HUMMUS & FALAFEL MIDDLE EASTERN GRILLE Located near the Allendale campus of Grand Valley State University, eatery serves “healthy and tasty” Mediterranean food, including hummus and falafel starters; salads; lentil soup; sandwiches, entrées and more. Closed Sun. // 10897 48th Ave., Suite B100, Allendale. Lunch, Dinner $ HUNAN CHINESE RESTAURANT Full menu of Chinese options. No alcohol. Open daily. // 1263 Leonard St NE, 458-0977. Lunch, Dinner $-$$


THE LANDING Casual atmosphere with views of the Grand River. All-American favorites and monthly specials. Full bar. Open daily. // 270 Ann St NW (Riverfront Hotel at U.S. 131), 363-9001. dining/the-landing-restaurant. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $$

BELTLINE BAR Americanized Tex-Mex menu, including wet burritos. Full bar. Curbside service. Open daily. // 16 28th St SE, 245-0494. Lunch, Dinner $$

MR. GYROS Family-owned restaurant offers Mediterranean specialties. Drive-thru, takeout, delivery and catering available. Closed Sun. // 2260 Alpine Ave NW, 7916660. Lunch, Dinner $-$$

BRASS RING BREWING Small-batch, style-specific brewery in the Alger Heights neighborhood. // 2404 Eastern Ave SE, 460-1587. Lunch, Dinner $$

PERRIN BREWING CO. Comstock Park craft brewery/taproom menu includes tacos, salads, burgers, panini and more. Kids menu available. Open daily. // 5910 Comstock Park Dr, 5511957. Lunch, Dinner $

BROAD LEAF LOCAL BEER Pub fare including snacks, meat and veggies on a stick and entrées like drunken noodles, burgers, tempeh and more. Open daily. Brunch on Sun. // 2885 Lake Eastbrook Blvd. SE, 803-0602. Lunch, Dinner $$

STAN DIEGO BAJA TACO KITCHEN Baja California-inspired menu, featuring a-la-carte taco menu, chorizos, tamales, handcrafted margaritas and kids menu. Full bar. Open daily. // 355 Wilson Ave NW, 591-9806. Lunch, Dinner $-$$

CABANA TRES AMIGOS Authentic Mexican fare including vegetarian selections. Full bar. Takeout available. Open daily. // 1409 60th St SE, 281-6891. Lunch, Dinner $-$$

SWAN INN RESTAURANT Home-cooked meals, huge breakfasts. Cygnet Lounge offers cocktails and nibbles. Open daily. // 5182 Alpine Ave NW, 784-1245. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $-$$ THREE HAPPINESS RESTAURANT Cantonese, Mandarin and Szechuan fare. Daily specials. No alcohol. Open daily. // Green Ridge Square, 3330 Alpine Ave NW, 785-3888. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ WALKER ROADHOUSE Diverse menu with interesting twists on classic fare. Full bar. Closed Sun. // 3272 Remembrance Rd NW, 791-9922. Lunch (MonFri), Dinner $$

Southeast GR 7 MARES Authentic Mexican dishes including breakfast. No alcohol. Closed Mon. // 1403 Kalamazoo Ave SE, 301-8555. Facebook. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $-$$$ AL-BOS EUROCAFE-BAKERY Authentic southeastern European cuisine. Menu includes appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, pasta, entrées and kids options. Daily specials. Open daily. // 2930 Shaffer Ave SE, 325-2800. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ ASIAN PALACE Chinese and Vietnamese fare with extensive menus for

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each. No alcohol. Closed Mon. // 141 28th St SE, 5347770. Facebook. Lunch, Dinner $-$$

CAFÉ DE MIRO A café offering Kurdish, Armenian and Greek foods. The menu consists of traditional Mediterranean breakfast and side dishes, such as skillets, scrambles and acai bowls; pastries; toasts; soups; sandwiches; salads; Turkish coffee; tea; desserts; and more. No alcohol. // Breton Village Shopping Plaza, 1878 Breton Rd SE, (616) 719-1462. Facebook. Open daily. Breakfast, Lunch $ CANTINA MEXICAN GRILL Menu offers extensive Mexican specialties. Full bar. Drive-thru window. Outdoor patio. Open daily. // 2770 East Paris Ave SE, 949-9120. Lunch (Sun-Thu), Dinner $$ DADDY PETE’S BBQ Slow-smoked ribs, pulled pork, brisket and other meats. No alcohol. Catering available. Closed Sun and Mon. // 2921 Eastern Ave SE, 81 8-5522. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ EAST GARDEN BUFFET Cantonese, Hunan, Szechuan cuisine. Daily buffet. No alcohol. Open daily. // 6038 Kalamazoo Ave SE, 698-8933. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ EL ARRIERO MEXICAN GRILL Extensive menu offers specialty dishes, à la carte selections. Mexican and domestic beers, margaritas. Open daily. // 2948 28th St SE, 977-2674. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ EL GLOBO RESTAURANT Authentic Mexican fare; weekly specials. No alcohol. Closed Mon. // 2019 S Division Ave, 734-6869. Facebook. Lunch, Dinner $-$$


11/23/21 1:18 PM

Special Advertising Section

Voted The Best

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FIREROCK GRILLE Guests can cook signature dishes on 500-degree lava stone. Offers soups, salads, sandwiches and entrées. Full bar. Brunch on Sundays. Open daily. // 7177 Kalamazoo Ave SE, 656-9898. Lunch, Dinner $$ FLORENTINE PIZZERIA RISTORANTE & SPORTS LOUNGE Italian fare with American and Mexican choices and thin-crust pizzas. Full bar. Open daily. // Towne & Country Shopping Center, 4261 Kalamazoo Ave SE, 455-2230. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ GANDERS Features American cuisine with a twist and Michigan products, including craft brews. Open daily. // 4747 28th St SE (inside DoubleTree Hotel), 957-1111. Facebook. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $-$$$ GOLDEN GATE Chinese fare with all-inclusive lunch combination plates, some hot and spicy choices. No alcohol. Open daily. // 4023 S Division Ave, 534-7087. Facebook. Lunch, Dinner $ GURSHA ETHIOPIAN RESTAURANT Authentic Ethiopian dishes, traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony. Buffet lunch and dinner on Sat. No alcohol. Open daily. // 4301 Kalamazoo Ave SE, 350-0009. Facebook. Lunch, Dinner $$ HALL STREET BAKERY Breakfast pastries; sandwiches, salads and soup served for lunch and dinner. Beer and wine. Kids menu. Closed Sun. // 1200 Hall St SE, 2147604. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $-$$ INDIA TOWN Indian fare including vegetarian and vegan. Lunch buffet Mon-Sat. No alcohol. Open daily. // 3760 S Division Ave, 243-1219. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ LA TAQUERIA SAN JOSE Authentic Mexican fare in a casual, takeout setting. No alcohol. Closed Sun. // 1338 S Division Ave, 284-2297. Facebook. Lunch, Dinner $$ LAST CHANCE TAVERN AND GRILL Appetizers, soups, burgers and sandwiches and a huge selection of Michigan craft beers. Open daily. // 1132 Burton St SE, 719-4270. Lunch, Dinner $ LE KABOB Soups, salads, sandwiches, large choice of entrées and combos. Kids menu. Carry-out available. No alcohol. Open daily. // 3122 28th St SE, 272-4135. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ MI TIERRA Traditional Mexican, eat in or drive-thru. No alcohol.


Open daily. // 2300 S Division Ave, 245-7533. Facebook. Lunch, Dinner $

options. No alcohol. Closed Mon. // 2055 28th St, 246-7000. Facebook. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $

MIKADO SUSHI Sushi and sashimi à la carte. Dinners offer full range of Japanese cuisine. Lunch specials. Serves alcohol. Closed Sun. // 3971 28th St SE, 285-7666. Lunch (Mon-Fri), Dinner $-$$

THAI EXPRESS Thai specialties, spiced to customer specification. No alcohol. Closed Sun. // Towne & Country Shopping Center, 4317 Kalamazoo Ave SE, 827-9955. Lunch (Mon-Fri), Dinner $

NU-THAI BISTRO Appetizers, soups, Thai salads, fried rice, seafood, duck, curries. No alcohol. Open daily. // 2055 28th St SE, 452-0065. Lunch, Dinner $-$$

THAI FUSION Thai cuisine and fusion specials with good selection of starters and salads. Kids menu. No alcohol. Closed Sun. // 3097 Broadmoor Ave SE, 301-8883. Lunch, Dinner $-$$

THE OLD GOAT Creative cuisine from Electric Cheetah owner Cory DeMint includes appetizers, entrées, sandwiches and salads. Kids menu. Full bar. Open daily. // 2434 Eastern Ave SE, 288-6976. Breakfast (Mon-Fri), Lunch, Dinner $-$$ PAL’S INDIAN CUISINE Authentic Indian food, including lunch buffet 11-3. No alcohol. Open daily. // 2915 28th St SE, 957-2271. Lunch, Dinner $ PHO ANH TRANG Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai cuisine. Daily specials. Catering. Open daily. No alcohol. // 3633 Eastern Ave SE, 246-9966. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ PHO SOC TRANG Wide selection of Vietnamese offerings. No alcohol. Open daily. // 4242 S Division Ave, 531-0755. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ PIETRO’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT Regional and contemporary Italian cuisine. Tuscan wines, desserts and cappuccinos. Kids menu. Takeout available. Open daily. // 2780 Birchcrest Dr SE, 452-3228. Lunch, Dinner $$ SHANGHAI ICHIBAN Chinese and Japanese cuisine. Food prepared tableside by hibachi chefs in Japanese area. Serves alcohol. Open daily. // 3005 Broadmoor Ave SE, 942-5120. Lunch, Dinner $$-$$$ STEAK & SPICE BY CURRY KITCHEN Authentic Indian cuisine. Daily lunch buffet. Open daily. No alcohol. // Located inside the Plaza Hotel Grand Rapids at 5700 28th Street SE. 957-1775. Lunch, Dinner $$ SUSHI KUNI Japanese and Korean cuisine, Asian fusion fare. Traditional Japanese tatami room for groups. Serves alcohol. Closed Mon. // 2901 Breton Rd SE, 2414141. Lunch, Dinner $-$$$ TAQUERÍA EL RINCÓN MEXICANO Wide variety of Mexican breakfast, small plates, dinner dishes and soups, including several vegetarian

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TOKYO GRILL & SUSHI Tatami rooms, sushi bars. Hibachi, teriyaki, udon, tempura. Sake, Japanese and American beer and wine. Open daily. // 4478 Breton Rd SE, 455-3433. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ VILLAGE INN PIZZA & SPORTS GRILLE Longtime favorite for pizza, pasta, burgers, chicken, Mexican. Daily specials. Mon-Fri pizza lunch buffet. Full bar. Open daily. // 2215 44th St SE, 281-1444. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ WEI WEI PALACE Chinese seafood restaurant features Cantonese cuisine, dim sum and barbecue. No alcohol. Open daily. // 4242 S Division Ave, 724-1818. Lunch, Dinner $$ YUMMY WOK Cantonese, Hunan and Szechuan dishes. No alcohol. Open daily. // 4325 Breton Rd SE, 827-2068. Facebook. Lunch, Dinner $-$$

Southwest GR 84TH STREET PUB & GRILLE American fare from pizzas to steaks. Full-service bar. Kids menu. Daily specials. Open daily. // 8282 Pfeiffer Farms Dr SW, 583-1650. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ ALEBIRD TAPHOUSE AND BREWERY Community-focused brewery offering creative sandwiches along with a variety of burgers and entrées, including summer chicken and pea ravioli. Open daily, lunch on weekends. // 2619 84th St SW, 288-7888. Lunch, Dinner $$$ BLUE GINGER ASIAN KITCHEN Noodle-based Thai dishes, chicken, seafood, beef and pork entrées, curries. Vegetarian options. No alcohol. Open daily. // 5751 Byron Center Ave SW (Bayberry Market), 261-8186. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ FAR-EAST CHINESE RESTAURANT Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean dishes. Carry-out


11/23/21 1:19 PM

Special Advertising Section

Voted The Best There aren’t enough words of thanks to our awesome Crew that have remained working and keeping our business open and thriving during this challenging time. To our Loyal Customers thank you too for all your continued support. Because of you we are very blessed to still be in business. Most of all we thank God for guiding us to keep the faith and God speed to end this pandemic for Everyone. Wishing you all a healthy, happy, meat filled 2022!! All our gratitude, Tim & Teresa

3450 Remembrance Rd NW Walker | (616) 453-7201

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2021-22 Readers Poll

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and catering available. No alcohol. Open daily. // 3639 Clyde Park Ave SW, 531-7176. Facebook. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ FRANKIE V’S PIZZERIA & SPORTS BAR Appetizers, subs, stromboli, pizza, pasta, burgers and Mexican. Outdoor patio. Full bar. Open daily. // 1420 28th St SW, 532-8998. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ GOLDEN 28 Szechuan, Hunan, Mandarin, Vietnamese cuisine. No alcohol. Open daily. // 627 28th St SW, 531-2800. Lunch, Dinner $$ KITZINGEN BREWERY German-style appetizers and entrées, plus kids menu and some American classics. Selection of wine and locally made German craft beer. Closed Sun-Mon. // 1760 44th St SW, 805-5077. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ LINDO MEXICO RESTAURANTE MEXICANO Fresh food with “real Mexican flavor.” Kids menu. Serves alcohol. Open daily. // 1742 28th St SW, 2612280. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ LITTLE BANGKOK Extensive Thai standbys plus some unique items. Kids meals available. Serves beer and wine. Closed Sun. // 2359 Health Dr SW, Suite 140, 929-2306. Lunch (Mon-Fri), Dinner $-$$ MAIN STREET PUB Varied appetizers, salads, soups, sandwiches and entrées. Full bar. Open daily. // 1730 28th St SW, 532-2510. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ MI CASA RESTAURANTE Fresh, authentic Dominican appetizers, dishes and seafood, plus weekly specials, in Dominicanthemed, family-friendly atmosphere. No alcohol. Closed Mon-Tues. // 334 Burton St SW, 350-9123. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ MONELLI’S ITALIAN GRILL & SPORTS BAR Southern Italian cuisine. Sports bar plus family-friendly dining room with fireplace. Open daily. // 5675 Byron Center Ave SW, 530-9700. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ NOBLE Breakfast favorites along with vegan and gluten-free options, handhelds, burgers and small bites. Open daily. // 1851 44th St SW, Wyoming, 530-8750. Breakfast, Lunch $$ PETE’S GRILL & TAVERN Casual bar and grill with tavern burgers, Detroit style pizza, sandwiches and entrees. Open daily. // 2588 84th St SW, Byron Center, 878-9582. Lunch, Dinner $$


WOODY’S PRESS BOX Complex includes two bars, patio and bowling. Sandwiches, pizza, Mexican and more. Full bar. Open daily. // 5656 Clyde Park Ave SW, 530-2400. Breakfast (Mon-Sat), Lunch, Dinner $$

JU SUSHI & LOUNGE Sushi and sashimi, Japanese hibachi, tempura, soups, salads and entrées in elegant surroundings. Full bar, huge sake selection. Takeout, catering and banquets. Open daily. // 1144 East Paris Ave SE, 575-5858. Lunch, Dinner $-$$$

Ada/Cascade/ Lowell Area ARYANA RESTAURANT & BAR Comfortable dining room in Plaza Hotel Grand Rapids offers breakfast buffet, lunch and dinner selections from a seasonal menu and a full bar. Open daily. // 5700 28th St SE, 957-1775. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $$-$$$ BIG BOILER BREWING Brewpub features a wide selection of original beer and cider. Plus, new American cuisine, including burgers, fish, sandwiches and kids menu. Open daily. // 318 E Main St, Lowell, 987-3155. Dinner $$

LA LAGUNA Authentic Mexican dishes including shrimp, wraps, salads, kids menu. No alcohol. Open daily. // 6250 28th St SE, 805-8821. Facebook. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ LITTLE BANGKOK Extensive Thai standbys, plus some unique items. Kids meals available. Serves beer and wine. Closed Sun. // 850 Forest Hill Ave SE, 808-3153. Lunch (Mon-Fri), Dinner $-$$

CASCADE ROADHOUSE Relaxed atmosphere with a diverse menu of traditional fare. Full bar. Closed Sun. // 6817 Cascade Rd SE, 259-7439. Lunch, Dinner $-$$

MAIN STREET BBQ Wood fire used to smoke ribs, brisket, chicken, sausage and pork. Rubs and sauces are gluten-free. Also serves sandwiches, wings, salads and soups. Catering. Takeout/delivery at 1539 Plainfield Ave NE. Full bar. Open daily. // 210 E Main St, Lowell, 9873352. Lunch, Dinner $-$$

CORK WINE & GRILLE Contemporary dining with indoor and outdoor seating. Seafood, steaks, burgers, fish, sandwiches, salads. Extensive wine list, specialty cocktails. Open daily. // 5500 Cascade Rd SE, 949-0570. Lunch, Dinner $$-$$$

MARCO NEW AMERICAN BISTRO French country casual offers small, medium and large plates for dinner fare; salads, sandwiches and mains for lunch. Full bar. Takeout menu. Closed Sun. // 884 Forest Hill Ave SE, 942-9100. Lunch, Dinner $$-$$$

EMONAE KOREAN BBQ Korean delicacies and tabletop grills allow patrons to grill meats and veggies to their liking. Soups, chicken, beef, pork, vegetarian, seafood. No alcohol. Delivery available. Closed Mon. // 6246 28th St SE, 649-3984. Lunch, Dinner $$-$$$

MYNT FUSION BISTRO Thai, Korean and Chinese. Renowned for its curries. No alcohol. Closed Sun. // 800 W Main St, Lowell, 9879307. Lunch, Dinner $-$$

THE EURO BISTRO European bistro fare includes entrées, small plates, salads, wood-fired pizzas. Takeout available. Full bar. Closed Sun. // 6450 28th St SE, 719-2017. Lunch (Mon-Fri), Dinner $$-$$$ FLAT RIVER GRILL Casual atmosphere in turn-of-century building. Comfort food, wood-fired pizzas. Full bar plus The B.O.B.’s House of Brews beers. Alfresco dining on patio. Open daily. // 201 E Main St, Lowell, 8978523. Lunch, Dinner $$-$$$ HAMBURGER MARY’S This LGBTQ-friendly burger franchise offers an open-air burger bar along with 40 beers on tap. Drag events

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such as karaoke, game night and trivia night, as well as drag shows, occur most days of the week. Outdoor patio seating. Full bar. Open daily with brunch hours on Sat and Sun. // 6240 28th St. SE, 551-2305. Dinner $$

2021 DINING AWARD WINNER NOCO PROVISIONS Laid-back, regionally inspired comfort cuisine. Outdoor seating on the patio. Full bar. Open daily. // 4609 Cascade Rd SE, 747-0300. Lunch, Dinner $$ NONNA’S: THE TRATTORIA Fresh, European-style pastries, salads, soups and entrées made from scratch. Breakfast and lunch served seven days a week. Pizza available during lunch TuesSat. Brunch specials available Sat-Sun. // 584 Ada Dr SE, Ada, 920-7028. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Tue-Sat) $-$$ NOTO’S OLD WORLD ITALIAN DINING Elegant décor, extensive classic Italian menu. Special wine cellar dinners. Lounge menu features lighter fare. Closed Sun. // 6600 28th St SE, 493-6686. Dinner $$-$$$


11/23/21 1:19 PM

Special Advertising Section

Voted The Best


Grand Rapids! 2481 32nd St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512 616-990-9300 |

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11/16/21 10:35 AM

To This Ye2ar3s


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OSAKA STEAKHOUSE & JAPANESE RESTAURANT Asian fare, including sushi, hibachi, shabu-shabu and more. Full bar. Open daily. // 4977 28th St SE, 4194628. Facebook. Lunch, Dinner $$ SAPPORO RAMEN & NOODLE BAR Fresh, traditional Japanese “soul food” with an innovative twist. GF options available. No alcohol. Takeout available. Closed Mon. // 5570 28th St SE, Cascade, 608-6657. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ SCHNITZ ADA GRILL Schnitz Deli by day, casual fine dining by night. Full bar, happy hour 3-6. Closed Sun. // 597 Ada Dr SE, Ada, 682-4660. Lunch, Dinner $-$$$ SHEPARDS GRILL & TAVERN Bar food with flair, from appetizers to sirloin. Open daily. // 6246 28th St SE, 350-9604. Facebook. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ THORNAPPLE BREWING CO. Brewpub features a wide selection of original beer, cider, wine and spirits brewed in seven-barrel brewing system. Plus, artisan pizza, appetizers and dessert. Brunch on Sun. // 6262 28th St SE, 288-6907. Lunch (Sat), Dinner $$ TRAILHEAD CAFÉ Family-owned and -operated café with specialty breakfast items, plus gourmet burgers, wraps, sandwiches, salads, soups and more. // 1200 East Paris Ave SE, 284-3664. Breakfast, Lunch $ VINTAGE PRIME & SEAFOOD Intimate setting with upscale menu that includes prime steaks and fresh seafood. International wine list. // 5500 Cascade Rd SE, 949-0570. Dinner $$$ ZEYTIN Turkish and Mediterranean cuisine. Full bar, beer and wine lists. Takeout. Open daily. // 7437 River St, Ada, 682-2222. Lunch, Dinner $$

Grandville/ Hudsonville Area BANGKOK TASTE Thai fare. No alcohol. Closed Sun. // 674 Baldwin St, Jenison, 667-8901. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ THE DUNGEON Mexican food and American favorites. Specialty burgers. Full bar with Michigan craft beers. Kids menu. Open daily. // 3594 Chicago Dr SW,


Grandville, 538-1360. Lunch (Fri-Sun), Dinner $-$$ EL BURRITO LOCO More than 70 Mexican selections, plus a few American options. Daily food and drink specials. Full bar. Open daily. // 4499 Ivanrest Ave SW, Grandville, 5309470. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ GRANDVILLA Steaks, all-you-can-eat fish, specialty burgers, daily specials, salad bar. Kids menu. Full bar. Open daily. // 3594 Chicago Dr SW, Grandville, 538-1360. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ HUDSONVILLE GRILLE Varied menu includes Mexican favorites and breakfast. Full bar, catering and banquet services. Closed Sun. // 4676 32nd Ave, Hudsonville, 6629670. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $-$$ MICHIGAN MOONSHINE DISTILLERY A distillery with starters, sandwiches, salads and sides with a barbeque theme. Many of the items include Bobby Q sauce. Closed Sun. and Mon. // 4005 Chicago Dr SW in Grandville, 259-1000. Dinner $$ OSGOOD BREWING CO. Craft brewery serves shareables, specialty pizzas, sandwiches, pasta and salads. Kids menu. Open daily. // 4051 Chicago Dr SW, Grandville, 432-3881. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ PIKE 51 BREWING CO./ HUDSONVILLE WINERY Craft brewery and winery under one roof. Appetizers, salads, sandwiches and entrées. Open daily. // 3768 Chicago Dr, Hudsonville, 662-4589. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ RAINBOW GRILL Breakfast, soup and sandwiches, daily lunch specials, chicken, fish and other dinner staples. No alcohol. Closed Sun. // 4225 32nd Ave, Hudsonville, 8960033; 4158 Chicago Dr SW, Grandville, 534-8645. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $-$$ RUSH CREEK BISTRO Diverse menu in club-like surroundings. Weeknight and happy hour specials at full-service bar. Open daily. // Sunnybrook Country Club, 624 Port Sheldon Rd, Grandville, 457-1100. Lunch, Dinner $$ SONDER EATERY Focused on fresh foods including greens, sandwiches and shareables. Items include deviled eggs, chicken and waffles, sloppy Joes and more. Full bar. Daily specials and weekend brunch. Closed Mondays. // 3380 Chicago Dr, Hudsonville, 616-202-6379. Breakfast, Lunch $$

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WHITE FLAME BREWING CO. Small production brewery with taproom. Sandwiches, wraps, appetizers and a couple twists on the classic macaroni and cheese. Open daily. // 5234 36th Ave, Hudsonville, 209-5098. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ THE WIN TAVERN A family-friendly restaurant offering fresh ingredients and cooked-to-order meals, including starters and salads, burgers, sandwiches, and steak and onion meals. It also offers a Sunday breakfast from 10 a.m.1 p.m. with a build-your-own hash bar and more. Full bar. Open daily. // 7628 Georgetown Center Dr, Jenison, 734-6724. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $$

Rockford Area BOSTWICK LAKE INN Menu includes steaks, pork, fish, chicken, mac and cheese, pizzas, sandwiches, soups and salads. Large deck. Full bar. Open daily. // 8521 Belding Rd, 8747290. Lunch (Sat-Sun), Dinner $$-$$$ BOULDER CREEK RESTAURANT Golf Club restaurant has varied menu. Golf course views from inside or deck. Serves alcohol. See website for seasonal hours. // 5750 Brewer Ave NE, Belmont, 363-1330, ext 2. restaurant. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ CEDAR SPRINGS BREWING CO. German-style brewery features American pub and traditional Bavarian menu. Open daily. // 95 N Main St, Cedar Springs, 696-2337. Lunch, Dinner $$ GRILL ONE ELEVEN American-with-a-twist menu, full-service bar and lounge. Open daily. // 111 Courtland St, 863-3111. Lunch, Dinner $$-$$$ HONEY CREEK INN Pub setting offers beyond pub fare and daily specials. Closed Sun. // 8025 Cannonsburg Rd NE, Cannonsburg, 874-7849. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ MARINADES PIZZA BISTRO Wood-fired pizzas, salads, pastas, sandwiches. Michigan craft beer. Catering. Open daily. // 109 Courtland St, 863-3300. Lunch, Dinner $ RAMONA’S TABLE Gourmet sandwiches, salads, soups, burgers, small plates, homemade desserts. Farm-to-table specials. Michigan beers, wine. Kids menu. Open daily. // 17 Squires St Square NE, 951-7100. Lunch, Dinner $-$$


11/23/21 1:19 PM

Special Advertising Section

Voted The Best

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11/29/21 10:32 AM

dine / estau ants

ROCKFORD BREWING CO. Located alongside Rogue River. Menu features wings, salads, gyros, burgers, as well as gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options. Handcrafted brews on tap. Open daily. // 12 E Bridge St, 951-4677. Brunch (Sun), Lunch, Dinner $-$$

BAGEL BEANERY Bagel and coffee cafè offering healthy whole grain and sugary sweet bagels, breakfast and lunch sandwiches. Magnum coffee. No alcohol. Open daily. Catering available. // 455 Michigan St NE, 235-7500; 2845 Breton Rd SE, 245-4220; 5316 Clyde Park Ave SW, 249-9500. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $

TIMBERS INN Appetizers to meat ’n’ potatoes fare in lodge-like surroundings. Full bar. Open daily. // 6555 Belding Rd NE, 874-5553. Lunch (Wed-Sun), Dinner $-$$ THIRD NATURE BREWING COMPANY Located near the White Pine Trail and the Rogue River, Third Nature Brewing is a rustic brewery and taproom offering “comfort foods” such as pizzas and hot sandwiches, as well as healthier options like power bowls and salads. Open daily. // 7733 Childsdale Ave. NE in Plainfield Township, 616512-9314. Lunch, Dinner $$

Multiple Locations ANNA’S HOUSE Breakfast, sandwiches, baked goods and exceptional desserts; dinner menu, too. No alcohol. Open daily. // 3766 Potomac Circle, Grandville; 3874 Plainfield Ave NE; 2409 East Beltline Ave SE, (866) 672-6627. Breakfast, Lunch $$ ARNIE’S BAKERY & RESTAURANT Breakfast, burgers and sandwiches. Menu includes extensive gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian options. No alcohol. Open daily. // 722 Leonard St NW, 454-3098; 2650 East Beltline Ave SE (Centerpointe Mall), 956-7901; 777 54th St SW, 532-5662; 34 Squires St, Rockford, 866-4306. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $$

BRANN’S STEAKHOUSE & SPORTS GRILLE Famous sizzler steaks, small plates, sandwiches, salads, gluten-free and vegetarian choices, bar munchies. Full bar. // 401 Leonard St NW, 4549368; 3475 Fairlanes Ave SW, Grandville, 5316210; 4157 S Division Ave, 534-5421; 5510 28th St SE, 285-7800. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ ELECTRIC CHEETAH Eclectic menu with an emphasis on locally grown fare and creative combinations. Beer and wine available. Open daily. Cascade location closed on Sun. // 1015 Wealthy St SE, 451-4779; 6450 28th St. SE, 2655301. Brunch (Sun), Lunch, Dinner $-$$ FIRST WOK Mandarin, Hunan, Szechuan cuisine. Full bar. Open daily. // 2207 44th St SE, 281-0681; 6740 Old 28th St SE, 575-9088; 3509 Alpine Ave NW, 784-1616. Lunch, Dinner $$ GRAND CONEY Classic diner offering custom hot dogs, traditional breakfast items and comfort foods. No alcohol. Open daily. Downtown location open 24 hours. // 809 Michigan St NE, 776-5580; 5121 28th St, 930-3596; 6101 Lake Michigan Dr, Allendale, 895-9999. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $ HERB & FIRE PIZZERIA Fast-casual atmosphere with Italian accent. Signature

The Michigan Dogman: A Diary by Scott Devon

IS THE DOGMAN REAL? “Devon cleverly writes ‘AS’ the Michigan Dogman, which indeed makes for a most intriguing work of fiction.” 5 Stars - T. Ruggler


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and create-your-own pizza options, flatbread sandwiches and salads. // 3180 44th St SW, Grandville, 773-1443; 2121 Celebration Dr NE, Suite 250, 773-1895. Lunch, Dinner $$ HOPCAT Crafted brews with some 50 beers on tap and 150 bottled. Full bar and creative fare, including sharables, signature fries, burgers, wraps and more. Open daily. // 25 Ionia Ave SW, 451-4677; 84 W. Eighth St in Holland, 965-9780; 2183 East Beltline Ave NE. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ MORNING BELLE This “garden-themed” brunch spot is part of Meritage Hospitality Group. Its menu features breakfast entrées; lighter options, such as salads and grain bowls; glazed doughnut waffles; specialty beverages, such as freshly squeezed orange juice and breakfast cocktails; and more. Limited bar. Open daily. // 1600 East Beltline Ave NE, 301-8171; 434 Bridge St NW, 855-6907. Breakfast, Lunch $$ MR. BURGER Breakfast, burgers, chili dogs, sandwiches, homemade soups and desserts. // 2101 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, 453-6291; 950 44th St. SW, 538-0363; 1750 44th St. SE 455-8604; 5181 Northland Dr. NE, 363-3888; 2300 28th St. SW; 538-4439; 5835 Balsam Dr., Hudsonville, 662-5088. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $ MUDPENNY Coffee bar with all-day breakfast, sandwiches, burgers and salads. Catering available. Closed Sun. // 570 Grandville Ave SW, 259-5353; 496 Ada Dr SE, 2595353. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $ PEPPINO’S PIZZERIA AND SPORTS GRILLE Italian/American menu. Full bar. Open daily. // 130 Ionia Ave SW, 456-8444; 1515 Eastport Dr SE, Kentwood, 554-8880. Lunch, Dinner $-$$$ PITA HOUSE Sami’s gyros, Middle East specialties. No alcohol. Open daily. // 1510 Wealthy St SE, 454-1171; 3730 28th St SE, 940-3029. Lunch, Dinner $ REAL FOOD CAFÉ Fresh, locally sourced traditional favorites, scrambles and made-from-scratch baked goods; plus, soups, sandwiches and salads for lunch. Cash only. Closed Mon. // 2419 Eastern Ave SE, 241-4080; 3514 Plainfield Ave NE, 361-1808. Facebook. Breakfast, Lunch $ RED GERANIUM Breakfast and lunch favorites, omelettes, pancakes and burgers. No alcohol. Open daily. // 6670 Kalamazoo Ave SE, 656-9800; 5751 Byron Center


11/24/21 11:24 AM

Special Advertising Section

Voted The Best




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dine / estau ants

Ave SW, 532-8888. Breakfast, Lunch $ SUNDANCE BAR & GRILL Southwestern-infused cuisine, margarita bar. Open daily. // Waters Building, 151 Ottawa Ave NW, 776-1616; 5755 28th St SE, Cascade, 956-5644. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (MonSat) $$ TACOS EL CAPORAL Mexican fare, with menudo Sat and Sun. No alcohol. Open daily. // 1260 Burton St SW, 246-6180; 1717 28th St SW, 261-2711. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner $ TACOS EL CUÑADO Fajitas, tacos, burritos and other Mexican fare. No alcohol. Locations are individually owned and operated. // 1342 Grandville Ave SW, 452-1266; 455 Burton St SW, 248-9099; 1024 Bridge St NW, 475-800. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ TAMALES MARY Tamale-centered Mexican restaurant featuring 18 types of tamales, plus other Mexican dishes and daily buffet specials. No alcohol. Open daily. // 1253 Burton St SW, 288-5007; 1551 Wealthy St. SE, 724-4269. Lunch, Dinner $ THE OMELETTE SHOPPE Fourteen signature omelettes, selection of quiches and baked goods. No alcohol. Open daily. // 545 Michigan St NE, 726-5800; 1880 Breton Rd SE, 7267300. Breakfast, Lunch $ UCCELLO’S RISTORANTE, PIZZERIA & SPORTS LOUNGE Italian specialties, including pizza, entrées, burgers, sandwiches. Full bar. Open daily. // 122 Monroe Center NW, 773-1687; 2630 East Beltline Ave SE, 954-2002; 3940 Rivertown Pkwy SW, Grandville, 249-9344; 4787 Lake Michigan Dr NW, Standale, 735-5520; 8256 Broadmoor Ave SE, Caledonia, 891-1100; 19 N Main St, Rockford, 866-0666. Lunch, Dinner $-$$ VITALE’S PIZZERIA Multiple locations serving pizza, pasta and more from family recipes. Full bar. // 6650 E Fulton St, 676-5401,; 5779 Balsam Dr, Hudsonville, 662-2244,; 834 Leonard St NE, 458-8368,; 3868 West River Dr NE, Comstock Park, 784-5011. Lunch, Dinner $-$$


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11/23/21 1:20 PM

Special Advertising Section

Voted The Best

How do you get those prospects back? By grabbing their attention! It’s called retargeting and we’ve been doing it for years. You’ve seen those ads that seem to follow you around the internet, offering just what you were previously searching for. We know it’s a little strange, but let’s face it, it’s effective! Targeted Display Advertising focuses on users who previously visited your website. As your future customers browse the Internet, we will display your ad message to remind them of your brand. When they’re ready to make a purchase, customers will remember your business above other options. Another painful statistic – 72% will abandon their cart with items in it. Without retargeting, only 8% will go back to complete a purchase. With retargeting, 26% will return! Successful marketers spend 10 - 50% of their digital budgets on retargeting and 7 out of 10 business owners currently use retargeting. Will those customers be returning to you?

Adding digital marketing to your campaigns will increase your touch points and ROI.

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11/29/21 10:45 AM

Special Advertising Section

Voted The Best π

Congratulations Connie Thacker On Being Awarded GR’s Best Family Law Attorney Kicking your ex’s ass for over 25 years.

Attorney, entrepreneur, spouse, mom, friend, mentor, ordained minister, and now voted by the community as Grand Rapids’ Best Family Law Attorney. We are so proud of you, Connie!


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11/30/21 10:45 AM


Grand Rapids

HOME If there’s one aspect of the American Dream that’s persisted for generations, it’s that of home ownership. Even in a booming—and sometimes challenging—housing market like West Michigan’s, many of us are still eager to begin or grow our lives in a dwelling we can call our own. Having a place where we can entertain guests, tend a garden, raise a family, or just lay our heads at the end of the day can be incredibly rewarding. When it comes to making important

decisions, putting the right people in our corner can make all the difference. Whether appealing to buyers, winning a bid, or just feathering our nests, the benefits of expert guidance, support, and resources are tangible. And, for those of us buying or selling, it can make the difference between the one we got and the one that got away! The businesses featured in this section want to make it all easier. Call on them when you need a hand.


6744 Cascade Rd. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546 616-957-1969 | TruKitchens is a cabinetry design studio in Grand Rapids specializing in custom kitchens, bathrooms, closets, outdoor kitchens, and home remodeling. With a full spectrum of design expertise, commitment to a seamless process, and a talented team of designers and installers, they’re confident that if you can dream it, they can do it. TruKitchens’ team is there from start to finish, to ensure your project runs smoothly and reflects your personal style. Contact them today. ■

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12/1/21 2:56 PM


Romanowski Homes, Inc. | Greenridge Realty EGR 2213 Wealthy St. SE | East Grand Rapids, MI 49506 616-318-0065 |



100 Grandville, Ste. 300, Grand Rapids MI 49503 | 616-552-5705 | Northpointe Bank works to be a different kind of bank with people at the center of everything they do. This means listening and understanding its customer’s financial goals and developing a plan that specifically meets their home financing needs. Northpointe customizes its products and services offered using a client-focused approach. This includes low- and no-down payment options for first-time and repeat homebuyers, alternative financing for self-employed borrowers, and streamlined construction loan options to build a dream home. Plus, for a limited time, Northpointe Bank is giving $1,000.00 off closing costs with loan applications received on or before March 31, 2022 for homes financed in Clinton, Kent, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, and Ottawa Counties. More details can be found at home. ■


2213 Wealthy St. SE, East Grand Rapids, MI 49506 | C-616-318-0065, O-616-458-3655 Typically, Realtors recommend waiting for spring to list your home, but not in this market! With inventory so low these days, now is a great time to list your house. This is traditionally a time when buyers are getting a jump on their searches, and that means sellers should be prepared to respond. The advice from the Romanowski Homes team is this: Don’t wait. Contact the Romanowski team today and they’ll walk you through the process and help you determine your best move. ■

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11/30/21 10:46 AM

B R I N G I N G YO U H O M E As one of the nation’s highest performing banks, we’ve helped more than 124,000 families finance their home. With our low- and no-down payment options, financing a home may be more affordable than you think. Plus, receive $1,000.00 off closings costs with applications received before March 31, 2022. Visit to get started today.

Member FDIC

$ 1,000 OFF


*$1,000 off closing costs for loan applications received on or before March 31, 2022 and properties located in Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, Kalamazoo, Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa and Shiawassee Counties.

$1,000 off closing costs promo�on may not be combined with other promo�onal offers. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. This is not a commitment to lend.

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11/22/21 3:51 PM



Q: Why is the Petoskey Area considered Michigan’s Winter Funland? A: What sets Petoskey apart from other destinations in the state is that you truly can do it all in the combined communities of Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Boyne City/Boyne Falls, Alanson, and Bay Harbor. There are other places where individuals or families can go for a single activity, such as snowmobiling or downhill skiing, but nowhere else offers the breadth of winter recreation options the Petoskey area does. The region has three of the top ski areas in the Midwest — Boyne Highlands, Nub’s Nob, and Boyne Mountain — as well as unique experiences including winter biking, winter rafting, and winter ziplining.

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In addition, community parks in Petoskey, Harbor Springs, and Boyne City have sledding and ice skating — with warming huts! Snowshoeing and winter hiking in one of the area’s beautiful nature preserves are other popular and affordable activities. Back for the 2021/22 season is the popular Enchanted Trail at Boyne Highlands — an illuminated, two-mile loop for walking or snowshoeing that concludes with s’mores, a bonfire, and warm drinks. For those who aren’t as interested in the outdoor activities, the Petoskey Area has shopping, spas, and wineries galore!

Diane Dakins Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau 401 East Mitchell St. Petoskey, MI 49770 231-348-2755

11/23/21 8:55 PM

gr gems / histo y

Lamar Reevers, the first Black city bus driver, shown with a passenger on the Grand Rapids Motor Coach in 1952. Reevers worked with the Urban League to find employment after facing discrimination with his taxi service venture.

Breaking a barrier A look back at how progress is made. BY RACHEL BURNS & JULIE TABBERER, GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC LIBRARY

In 1947, employment options for Black Grand Rapidians were limited mostly to hotels, restaurants, domestic work or hard labor. That year, Paul I. Phillips became executive director of the Grand Rapids Urban League. During the next decade, he focused on this problem, launching efforts to open employment options for nonwhite people. With no equal opportunity laws to leverage, Phillips said, “All we had to work with was our persuasive powers.” His work resulted in real gains and many new opportunities. 104

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African Americans were matched with jobs as telephone operators, registered nurses, cabinetmakers, firemen and engineering researchers. In the early 1970s, Phillips looked back and recognized progress had been made, but also there was more work to do. “Now the most difficult job is not opening the doors but upgrading a person once (they get) in the door,” Phillips said. Today, it’s clear that African Americans still face many of the same barriers and challenges. BUS COURTESY GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC LIBRARY

11/23/21 1:17 PM

truLY coNNECTED tOTALLY chILL thisistc.

Winter in Traverse City…or TC. The one place to Truly Connect with your friends or special someone. Around a bonfire. Over dinner. Or anywhere your heart leads. TC in winter– a Pretty Great Place! _FP_GR0921.indd 1 TraverseCityTour.fp.GRM.1121.indd 1

11/19/21 10/5/21 4:43 2:11PM PM

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