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Celebrating years of city life

History, trivia, heroes, photos and more! The Artifact Project: Poking through the past

APRIL 2014


Nosh & Sip: Favorite wines

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Two Plate: Uccello’s



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Goodbye, Cabin Fever. Hello, Spring Fever!

Celebrate Spring with a romantic getaway for two or a fun weekend with friends in Traverse City! | 800-TRAVERSE

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Contents aPril 2014 / Vol. 51 / no. 04

40 FeAtUreS 40 / a grand history as Grand rapids magazine celebrates its 50th anniversary, we look back at five decades of the city’s history. BY Ann BYLe

4 \ aPril 2014

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Drift Away Knowing...

Drift away each night knowing that details of your modern bedroom have been impeccably executed in the fabric, wood and metal you chose. And while choosing from 16 wood finishes, 20 metals and 100 fabrics may not be easy, the satisfaction of knowing it was made for you is so rewarding. Fabric lined drawers, with touch latch opening, and smooth concealed drawer glides, are quality pleasures you will enjoy everyday. Design Quest 4181 - 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512 616-940-9911

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contents April 2014 / Vol. 51 / No. 04


departments back & forth 10 / From the Editor 10 / Letters, social media and more 12 / Contributors

132 / HeFedSheFed: Lunch at Logan’s Alley

Life & style 16 / Noteworthy items include The Gallery @ A.K. Rikk’s; Grand Rapids Running Tours; Poet Laureate L.S. Klatt; Easter chocolates from Patricia’s Chocolate and Desiderio Chocolates; Earth Day celebrations

134 / Pints of Interest: Founders’ Kentucky Breakfast Stout


17 / Dumela Beads 18 / Living Local: Local Hero Jamiel Robinson 20 / Pamella by Pamella Roland 22 / Zeigler Maserati

If these events of the last half-century seem overwhelming in retrospect, nothing could have prepared the community for ArtPrize.

134 Near & far 136 / Ottawa Hills neighborhood Out & about 140 / April highlights

24 / Reading Room: The Artifact Project

141 / Calendar

Art & Design 28 / Gallery Profile: MercuryHead


142 / Nightclub & comedy venue listings and highlights

30 / Art gallery listings and highlights

144 / Joshua Burge, a.k.a. Chance Jones

32 / Frame Works: Michigan Modern in GR

148 / Museums & attractions listings and highlights 150 / Snapshots

36 / Justagirl: Create a focal table

152 / After Thoughts: Q&A with John Zwarensteyn, Gemini Publications

38 / Art Talk: From Alten to ArtPrize Food & Drink 108 / Dining Review: Cygnus 27 110 / Restaurant listings for West Michigan

On the cover: Grand Rapids Magazine celebrates 50 years this month by sharing highlights of the past five decades in the city.

120 / Chef Profile: Tommy Brann 126 / Nosh & Sip: Amy’s favorite wines



Cover design by Kelly J. Nugent

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Bay Harbor Waterfront 1110 Vista Drive, Bay Harbor This boathouse is perfectly located in the heart of Bay Harbor and features, 6,230 square feet on Bay Harbor Lake. The main house features an amazing foyer entry, 3 bedrooms, generous closet space and an elevator. The gourmet custom kitchen includes luxury custom cabinetry, and granite countertops with separate wet bar. For the boat enthusiast, there is a 50 foot indoor boat slip with hydraulic lift that is the perfect spot to store your boat all yearround, and as a bonus, there is also a large L-shaped dock outdoors. The 2 bedroom carriage house is spacious and has a cozy great room with sitting area, dining nook and full kitchen. $3,600,000

Bay Harbor Waterfront 4250 Peninsula Drive, Bay Harbor This beautiful 13,500 square foot home is located on the very prestigious Peninsula at Bay Harbor and features six bedrooms, all with private bathrooms, three half baths, hardwood floors, custom kitchen with granite countertops, three fireplaces, and a finished lower level that includes a theater and bar. Also included is 130’ of waterfront on Bay Harbor Lake where you have a 134’ foot private deep water dock, and 130’ of Lake Michigan waterfront where you can enjoy beautiful sunsets over the bay. $4,990,000

(231) 838-6700 Mobile

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BRING ON BRING ON (v): To produce action or cause change. MVP members are driven in everything they do, including the commitment to healthy living. And we know you never stop looking for a new challenge. That’s why we offer more than just a place to work out. Our world-class facilities provide everything you need to satisfy your passion for fitness and an active lifestyle, so you look and feel your best. So go ahead.

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Grand Rapids | Downtown Grand Rapids | Holland | Rockford Best of 2013-14 Readers Poll

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Top 50 Practices in the United States

From left: David R. Alfonso, MD, John D. Renucci, MD, Marguerite E. Aitken, MD, Douglas L. Vander Woude, MD

Plastic Surgery Associates has been named one of the Top 50 practices in the United States by Allergan Inc. for: Breast Aesthetics, Botox速 and Juvederm速 Plastic Surgery Associates is the only practice in West Michigan to receive this honor.

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back & forth CONNECT WITH US

Life in GR: community building and inclusion

Join Managing Editor Marty Primeau at 9:45 a.m. Thursdays as she presents City Beat with Shelley Irwin on WGVU Radio FM 88.5 and 95.3.

“A PARTY 50 YEARS IN THE MAKING.” That’s the theme for Grand Rapids Magazine’s 50th anniversary celebration to be held May 29 at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts. It’s a community celebration like no other because GR Magazine represents this city like no other. It is and always has been about you, the people of this place. From this perch for the past 27 of those 50 years, I’ve observed countless communitybuilding activities, neighbor-to-neighbor initiatives, rare partnerships and a vibe so consistent, it is the mantra in 2014: securing new opportunities and economic well-being for those living in the metropolitan area. It’s a story 50 years in the making, as our masthead on the cover indicates: Celebrating City Life. The magazine’s celebration of city life is not accomplished wearing blinders but in reporting on the issues that challenge the region. It may surprise some readers to know of GRM’s national awards for investigative reporting. No one spoke of the victims dying of AIDs in the ’80s, but GRM noted the disease and then, in a three-part series, the community’s reactions, resources and finally healing. Few recognized the local undercurrent of racial prejudice, but GRM reported on its causes and effects in the series “Are You Racist?” and created a panel of local leaders of various ethnicities to discuss it. As suburban police records swelled with the number of children under 18 charged with drug violations, GRM reported on “Kids, Drugs and Crime.” GRM has been criticized for photographs of multi-racial couples and even,

recently, for its inclusion of gay couples. The issues do not disappear, but residents come together with ideas, plans and programs to build the community. Community building and inclusion are the hallmarks of how it feels to be a Grand Rapidian. This year development of the Arena South area will begin to show itself, after years of efforts by a wide cross-section of individuals. This year downtown residential units will continue to build out, some of it the work of Derek Coppess and his “Tribe” of downtown community. This year, the airport that opened its doors 50 years ago will begin new concourse construction. That Grand Rapids Magazine is able to hold a community celebration at UICA is a testament to community building. The toll of the recession on UICA after moving to its brand-new location nearly brought the 37-year old institution down. Then, last year, Ferris State University/ Kendall College of Art & Design created a tremendous partnership to assist. UICA now is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ferris/Kendall but maintains its own board of directors, mission and community. It was only possible after tremendous fundraising and community collaborations. We are GR. We Celebrate City Life. Carole Valade Editor, Grand Rapids Magazine @valadester


“Composting.” — Alejandro Peña

“As a landscape professional, I try not to use chemicals that affect the soil composition.” – Cindi Jordon McCoy

“Recycle everything! Including batteries and plastic bags.” — @littledittygirl

Spring cleaning: Do you love it? Hate it? What do you do? Respond at


“Recycle is key. Bring your own bags when you grocery shop … buy eco light bulbs.” — J.R. Burnett


What are you doing to be earth friendly?


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Photography courtesy thinkstock

For 117 years, Klingman’s has offered the very finest in quality home furnishings. From casual lifestyle to luxurious leather, from rich traditional to gleaming contemporary, you will discover all of the latest styles at Klingman’s. So come enjoy the value that has made Klingman’s your home furnishings store of choice since 1896.

2984 28th Street SE | Grand Rapids, Michigan 1-8-klingmans | GRM_04.14_PG01.15.indd 11

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contributors BEHIND THE SCENES


imagine it.


create it.

the spark






Custom Cabinetry & Furniture







“A GRAND HISTORY,” page 40


“A STEP BACK IN TIME,” page 136

In my spare time, I … “Enjoy baking — I make a wicked amazing butterscotch oatmeal cookie. I also enjoy attending upbeat cardio classes and going for walks with my energetic, 3-year-old cocker spaniel Nola.”

My favorite Michigan getaway: “Camping in the Frankfort area and anchoring off the shore of Lake Michigan on a calm, sunny summer day.”

Most interesting decade: “I enjoyed learning more about the 1980s. It was such a vibrant, growing time in Grand Rapids.” Book I just finished: “Your Life Calling: Reimagining the Rest of Your Life” by Jane Pauley. Inspiring, challenging and a joy to read.” My favorite breakfast: “A whole-wheat English muffin with butter and homemade strawberry jam.”

My working motto: “In everything, find a purpose.” My favorite snack: “Semi-healthy: sourdough pretzel bites with peanut butter. Guilty pleasure: Mini Chewy SweeTarts and anything dark chocolate.”


What I love about spring: “A return to regular walks with my dog, and hiking in my favorite state park and watching the woods come alive.” Last thing I googled: “Hormones and weight gain.” We’re all ears … tell us what you like or dislike in this issue. Please include your name, address and daytime phone number. Send to Editor, Grand Rapids Magazine, 549 Ottawa Ave. NW, Suite 201, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 or email to Letters may be edited for reaFollow us Visit us Like us on @grmagazine sons of space and clarity. Facebook 12 GRMAG.COM \ APRIL 2014

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Covering Grand Rapids Since 1964

PUBLISHER: John H. Zwarensteyn


Ira Craaven, Pat Evans, DK Hamilton, Elissa Hillary, Mark F. Miller, Amy Ruis

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Julie Burch, Chris Carey,

Alexandra Fluegel, Juliet and Jeremy Johnson, Marla Miller, Tricia van Zelst

DESIGN PANEL: Joseph A. Becherer, John Berry,

Kevin Budelmann, Jim Caughman, Timothy Chester, Sam Cummings, Oliver Evans, James Ludwig, Ray Kennedy, Henry Matthews, Wayne Norlin, Wayne Visbeen


Scott Sommerfeld


Chris Pastotnik


Melissa Brooks, Kristen Van Oostenbrugge, Robin Vargo CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS:

Adam Bird, Michael Buck, Jim Gebben, Johnny Quirin SALES GENERAL SALES MANAGER:

Randy D. Prichard


General Inquiries: Emily Bernath, Theresa Henk, Kathie Manett, John Olsa ADVERTISING SALES ASSISTANT/COORDINATOR:

Karla Jeltema


Welcome to the world Evelyn Grae. 2.17.2014

Scott T. Miller


Alex Fluegel


Shane Chapin



Pamela Brocato, CPA


General Inquiries: Lorraine Brugger


(616) 459-4545

Grand Rapids Magazine (ISSN 1055-5145) is published monthly by Gemini Publications, a division of Gemini Corporation. Publishing offices: 549 Ottawa Ave. NW, Suite 201, Grand Rapids, MI 49503-1444. Telephone (616) 4594545; fax (616) 459-4800. General e-mail: grminfo@grmag. com. General editorial inquiries: Periodical postage paid at Grand Rapids, MI. Copyright Š 2014 by Gemini Publications. All rights reserved. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Grand Rapids Magazine, 549 Ottawa Ave. NW, Suite 201, Grand Rapids, MI 49503-1444. 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 $3.95 (by mail $6); back issue $6 (by mail $7.50), when available. Advertising rates and specifications at or by request. Grand Rapids Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited contributions.

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See every moment. ®

Grand Rapids Ophthalmology Physician Team The future of eye care is here. As West Michigan evolves into a medical destination, Grand Rapids Ophthalmology continues to be the regional leader in medical eye care with 12 world-renowned ophthalmologists and 15 optometrists. In spring 2014, Grand Rapids Ophthalmology welcomes new retina specialist, Dr. Parin Goehel, MD to our team. Grand Rapids Ophthalmology services include advanced medical and surgical treatment such as Laser Vision Correction, Cataract, Cornea, Retina, Glaucoma, Pediatric and elective procedures including cosmetic and reconstructive eyelid surgery, as well as routine eye care. For the convenience of patients, Grand Rapids Ophthalmology has seven locations throughout West Michigan so excellent care is never far from home. An eighth location in Rockford will open in fall 2014. The East Beltline and Walker locations have AAAHC accredited surgical care centers that provide the highest level of care in a warm and comfortable environment.

Seven optical boutiques offer everything from designer frames to budget-conscious solutions. To provide competitively-priced glasses with fast turnaround times and superior quality, optical lenses are produced at Grand Rapids Ophthalmology’s state-of-the-art laboratory. Exclusive optical lens options include ALLVUE® progressive lenses and LasAR™ anti-reflective coatings. All opticians at Grand Rapids Ophthalmology are certified to ensure expert care for every person’s unique eye care needs. Since 1982, patients and families throughout West Michigan have trusted Grand Rapids Ophthalmology for a lifetime of complete eye care.


East Beltline | Grandville | Walker | 68th St. SE | Ionia | Greenville | Holland | Rockford

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Protect our planet

Lot’s going on to celebrate Earth Day, from river cleanups to a Brewery Challenge on April 22. Beer enthusiasts who pledge to Earth Day Network’s Billion Acts of Green get $1 off beers at Brewery Vivant or Harmony Brewery. WMEAC is throwing its 2nd annual Earth Day party from 6-9 p.m., April 23, with music, local food, inspirational words and spring butterflies at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. For information on all events, visit

Celebrate Easter with Benjamin and

MR. AMBASSADOR Prize-winning poet and Calvin College professor L.S. Klatt begins his three-year term as Poet Laureate of the Greater Grand Rapids area this month. As a poetry ambassador, he will create programs and projects to encourage the writing and reading of poetry by the public. His new volume of poetry, “Sunshine Wounded,” will be published later this year.

SIGHTSEEING RUNS Caroline Cook is a running ambassador who combines an aerobic workout with a bit of sightseeing around downtown in her Grand Rapids Running Tours. Itineraries include Lapping the Landmarks, Market to Market, Cemetery History, Art Dart and a variety of seasonal runs. She’ll also design a custom tour to suit individual or group interests. All runs start and end at the JW Marriott. Cost is $20 for 5Ks, $35 for 10Ks, plus $5 for each additional mile. Visit

Fashionable art A.K. Rikk’s isn’t just a place to buy hip fashion. Inside the store at 6303 28th St. SE is a 14,000-squarefoot gallery featuring works by local and nationally renowned artists, priced from $200 to $5,000. Featured this month are paintings by GR’s Kaitlyn Zylstra. In a show of support, The Gallery @ A.K. Rikk’s purchases one piece from each artist who exhibits in the gallery.


Buster, chocolate bunnies from Patricia’s Chocolate. Made by Patty Christopher in her Grand Haven kitchen, the sweets are 58 percent dark chocolate combined with handmade butter toffee. Sold locally at Art of the Table, Santo Stefano del Lago in Grand Haven and The Seasoned Home in Holland. Visit Add some Vanilla Vegan Marshmallow Eggs by Desiderio Chocolates. Vanessa Dionne layers salted caramel onto her marshmallows and dips them in dark chocolate in the kitchen at Grand Central Market on Monroe Center. Check out the full selection of goodies at DesiderioChocolates.


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PhotograPhy by johnny quirin

PhotograPhy courteSy Patricia’S chocolate (toP miDDle); DeSiDerio chocolateS (miDDle); anDrea horn (toP right); ruDy malmquiSt (bottom right); jaSon glerum (miDDle leFt)

Pay it forward with Dumela Beads

“I want people to embrace the meaning attached to the bracelet even more than the bracelet itself.” — Jacqui Volkmann

AS AN UNDERGRADUATE student at Western Michigan University, Jacqui Volkmann found solace in the greeting she heard at the beginning and end of one particular class. “Dumela” (pronounced doo-may-la) the professor would say. Simply put, “dumela” is a greeting used by the Basotho people native to Botswana and South Africa. The term translates directly to “Good day” but connotatively it implies, “I affirm you, I believe in you, and I see the great potential in you.” Dumela became Volkmann’s personal mantra and she transformed it into a way to pay it forward. “I always like to find a way to communicate positivity and community,” she said. “Dumela held a lot of significance for me throughout the years. One small little word has the ability to communicate so much. It can literally turn a person’s day around.” While working as an entertainment promoter in Atlanta in 2008, Volkmann’s skill for making eye-catching beaded bracelets caught the attention of friends, coworkers and strangers. In 2012, she decided to launch a small jewelry line with the meaning of dumela at the helm. A number of up-and-coming artists, musicians and producers on the Atlanta entertainment scene embraced the concept and bought her bracelets. In the summer of 2013, Atlanta singer-songwriter Chinua Hawk, who is known for his acoustic-driven soul sounds, contacted Volkmann to customize special bracelets for his supporters and fans. Now living in West Michigan while earning a master’s degree from WMU, Volkmann describes her Dumela Beads as “jewelry with a message.” Her bracelets can be customized or made to order and are stretchy and stackable. She uses a variety of beads, natural gemstones, charms and crosses. And each bracelet comes with a small card defining the dumela concept. “I want people to embrace the meaning attached to the bracelet even more than the bracelet itself,” she said. Volkmann hopes Dumela Beads will grow to sustain itself as a small business. She also wants to establish a nonprofit partnership where a percentage of her proceeds can be donated to help others. Bracelets are made for kids and adults and range in price from $10 to $45. Check out the selection at or at


April 2014 / 17

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Local Hero Jamiel Robinson

living local

Elissa Hillary is executive director of Local First, a nonprofit organization supporting locally owned businesses in West Michigan.

CHECK oUt JAmiEl roBinson’s FAVoritE loCAl BUsinEssEs: All City Kicks 1500 Wealthy St. SE 242-1307 First Class Cakes 309-3831 G.W. Greetings 1471 Kalamazoo Ave. SE 988-0102

onE oF tHE HiGHliGHts of the year at Local First is the LocalMotion Awards ceremony, where we honor businesses and individuals who exemplify Local First values and a commitment to our West Michigan economy. The Local Hero award is given to an individual or family who has demonstrated a significant shift toward local purchasing and sustainable living. This year, we were honored to give this award to Jamiel Robinson, founder and CEO of Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses. “(I want) to bring economic equity to underserved black neighborhoods by patronizing, connecting and helping businesses become sustainable,” he said. In today’s market, both community and economic development are equally important as they relate to community revitalization.” As part of his commitment to locally owned business and economic equity in the black community, he has championed GRABB’s 30 Days 30 Dollars initiative, which challenges participants to shift $30 each month to local black-owned businesses. Robinson also has led GRABB to publish a free directory of Grand Rapids-based black businesses to help like-minded citizens make this change in their spending habits. Though such a shift may seem daunting, he was sur-

prised by how easy his lifestyle change was to maintain and grow once he began. Here are a few of his favorite local finds: All City Kicks — “This is my favorite place to get shoes for myself and my family. A sneaker and apparel boutique, ACK is the definition of style.” First Class Cakes — “For birthdays and special events, we order from First Class Cakes. All their items are baked fresh from scratch.” G.W. Greetings — “This is where I like to get calendars, educational games and other stationery items. They have the largest selection of African-American greeting cards, gifts and more in the Greater Grand Rapids area. In addition, they feature gifts by African-American companies such as Carol Joy, Mahogany and Frederick Douglass and have a large selection of fraternity and sorority merchandise.” malamiah Juice Bar — “Located in the Downtown Market, Malamiah is one of Grand Rapids’ newest businesses. They create fresh, made-to-order juices and smoothies, using local produce when in season.” sweet nature By Eddie — “One of the easiest things to do is buy our hair care products locally. Sweet Nature carries products for people with curly, wavy or afro-textured hair.” — ELISSA HILLARY

Malamiah Juice Bar Downtown Market GR 435 Ionia Ave. SW 730-1532

Jamel Robinson, left, talks to Edwin Victory, owner of All City Kicks in Eastown.

PhotograPhy by johnny quirin

Sweet Nature By Eddie 2015 Kalamazoo Ave. SE 245-1045

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Photography by johnny quirin

Create a unique look for your home with custom upholstery by Rowe Furniture. Hundreds of fabrics, endless possibilities.

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life & style PeoPle / trenDS / bookS / FaShion / FitneSS

2 Designed for daughters


— MARTY PRIMEAU PhotograPhy by michael buck

Anna Oostema -Deboer models a pink shadow lace overlay dress with ribbon and jewel neck detail ($595) at Grove restaurant in East Hills. At right, beaded detail of a blush-and-gold dress that sells for $725. Both dresses available at Leigh’s in Breton Village.

Her Pamella Roland designer gowns are worn by some of the best-known celebrities and fashionistas. Now New York-based designer Pam DeVos has launched Pamella, a line of contemporary cocktail and evening dresses “offering the daughters of the world the same beautiful fabrics, details and styles that Pamella Roland is recognized for.” The Grand Rapids native and mother also is helping encourage GR’s young designers with a $1 million Pamella was created in gift to the Kendall College response to demand for the of Art and Design’s Fashion easy, yet elegant attitude Studies program. She hopes and silhouettes from the the donation, made last fall Pamella Roland runway by the Dan and Pamella collection at a more DeVos Foundation, will accessible price point. allow KCAD students to stay in Grand Rapids, training in the program and establishing their own fashion businesses here. Locally, Pamella is carried at Leigh’s in Breton Village.

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2008 2006 Proud supporter of Grand Rapids Magazine’s Design Home since 2004






Photography by michael buck


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“Maserati is something different in the West Michigan market. It’s luxury with an athletic feel.” — Rik Conkey

I am Maserati, hear me roar Mercedes and BMWs who might be looking for a new ride. Ghibli sedans are priced in the mid$60,000s, while the Quattroporte starts in the low $100,000s. He expects to get a Levante SUV — priced similar to a Land Rover — later this year. “Maserati is something different in the West Michigan market,” Conkey says. “It’s luxury with an athletic feel.” The only other Maserati showroom in Michigan is two and a half hours away in Troy; Conkey says West Michigan is long overdue. “Now people who want to drive one of these cars won’t have to drive to Detroit or Chicago,” he says, adding it will take a couple of years to really get established. But Maserati’s participation at the International Automobile Show in Grand Rapids in January gave the brand great exposure. “We really got our name out there,” Conkey said. About 6,000 Maseratis were sold

worldwide last year, but by 2015, the Italian automaker expects to sell 50,000. “We’re never going to sell the volume of our German counterparts,” he said. “Last year BMW sold 283,000 5-series, so Maseratis will still be very exclusive. If you see two on the highway, it’s probably the same one coming and going.”


Photography by Johnny quirin

It’s not “zoom zoom.” Certainly not a purr. The sound of the Maserati Ghibli as it zips onto I-196 in Grandville is more like a roar. “Isn’t it one of the most beautiful sounds you’ve ever heard?” asked Rik Conkey, sales manager of Zeigler Auto Group’s new Maserati showroom. “It’s a Ferrari engine,” he explained during a February test drive. “That really helps sell these cars.” The exotic Italian vehicles arrived in Grandville last fall, and Conkey was selling out of the Ziegler Fiat showroom until last month’s opening of the 15,000-squarefoot store at 4200 Parkway Place SW. “One of the hardest things was convincing people to drive one in the snow,” he said with a chuckle. “But these cars are available in all-wheel drive so they offer luxury year round.” Conkey, who sold BMWs for many years, loves taking a test drive with owners of comparably priced German-made 22 \ April 2014

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Photography by Johnny quirin

500 Grandville Ave. SW Grand Rapids, MI 49503 616.459.0129 or 1.800.632.8724 GRM_04.14_PG16.26.indd 23

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life & style PeoPle / trenDS / bookS / FaShion / FitneSS

The Artifact Project Thanks to a collaborative effort, objects stored in the archives of Grand Rapids Public Museum will be more available to the public. Mayor George Heartwell, an avid fly fisherman, picked out a birch bark canoe made by the Odawa Indians in the late 1600s. Chef Tommy Fitzgerald favored a vintage Roper stove. Dana Friis-Hansen, director of Grand Rapids Art Museum, selected broken bicycles — he often rides his commuter bike to work and around downtown. And that’s just a few of the intriguing chosen objects that also include a box of Silver Dust Blue Detergent, vintage wedding gowns, an Underwood typewriter, an 18th century Italian harpsichord, a bison, an Indian motorcycle and painted lobsters. “We have this enormous collection,” said Dale Robertson, executive director of the museum. “At any time we have only 10 percent on display. Space and time limit what we are able to show.” The idea for putting artifacts online “just evolved,” said Wagner, who came to Grand Rapids two years ago to work on SiTE:LAB’s 2012 exhibition inside the old public museum building. He was intrigued by the vast collecPhotograPhy courteSy tom Wagner

“Each craft is carefully constructed from the bountiful storehouses of nature around the tribe. Ash for the frame. Bark for the skin, stitched together with deer sinew. Pine tar applied liberally along the joints. Lighter than the hollowed tree trunk crafts, a man could hoist this canoe on his shoulders and carry it above the rapids.” — Mayor George Heartwell describing the birch bark canoe.

“Skeletal and sleekly sinister, the chair’s spine grins like a skull and each arm seems a scythe carried on the shoulder of the grim reaper. If form bespeaks function, then this form cries torture.” No, it’s not the opening line of a horror story. David Rosen is describing a vintage dental chair, one of more than 250,000 artifacts stored in the archives of the Grand Rapids Public Museum. Rosen, president of Kendall College of Art & Design, and 50 other community members were invited to poke around the building at 54 Jefferson Ave. SE, home to the museum’s vast collection. Each person selected one artifact. Photographs were taken and blogs were written — all posted at, a project designed to make the museum’s public archives even more public. “There was no framework for why people chose an object,” said Tom Wagner, a professional photographer who spearheaded the endeavor two years ago. “They chose whatever moved them.”

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Eventually, visitors will be encouraged to attach their own oral and written histories to an object, giving a more in-depth story. “What’s unique about West Michigan culture is that people here donate in this faith that the object is going to be preserved — also that it will be shared, that it will be there for a lesson for future generations,” Robertson said. “Otherwise, they’d just keep the object in the family.” — MARTY PRIMEAU

The original owner of this 1913 Indian motorcycle had talked his parents into buying it for him. After he had a serious accident while riding it, the bike went down into their basement where it remained for nearly 50 years. Above, tile from the Grand Rapids City Hall, designed by Elijah Meyers, a leading architect of government buildings in the late 19th century. He was the only architect to design capitol buildings in three states — Michigan, Texas and Colorado. The old city hall was demolished in 1969.

PhotograPhy courteSy tom Wagner

PhotograPhy courteSy tom Wagner

tion, second only in Michigan to that of the Henry Ford Museum. Conversations with SiTE:LAB’s Paul Amenta got things rolling. Wagner also met with Gayle DeBruyn, an assistant professor at Kendall College whose class was studying the archives. The museum’s archive staff was enthusiastic, too. “It was a collaboration,” Wagner added. “Everybody was so passionate.” A Kickstarter campaign was launched to raise funds for photographic equipment, and that’s when folks in the community were invited into the archives. “We were looking at ways to get people to donate to Kickstarter, and Gayle had a list of people she knew would want the opportunity,” said Wagner. His photos and the blogs also are included in book form in “The Artifact Project: Stories From the Collections of the Grand Rapids Public Museum.” “The idea of the book didn’t come until the end,” he said. “I wanted to create something permanent. Kate Folkert on our team was the lead designer.” The project has been turned over to the museum, and Robertson hopes more people will get involved.

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The times they are a-changin’ In the 15 years since he opened MercuryHead Gallery, Ben Perrin has made changes to accommodate evolving interests.


s years go by, Ben Perrin’s résumé keeps growing. He was an artist first, a gallery owner second and, more recently, a framing and digital printing pro. It’s a necessary evolution to keep his MercuryHead Gallery open and to provide relevant services for customers. “The business has gotten harder,” Perrin said. “To run a gallery today you have to feel the pulse of the economy and the public and reinvent yourself — that’s true for any small business.” Since opening the shop in 1999, Perrin has watched the art world change. Technology has made art more accessible for a wider audience: The Internet gives customers access to work from across the world, and smart phones make it possible for anyone to become an amateur photographer. “I wouldn’t want to discourage the way the Internet has changed the art business,

but it certainly has changed the dynamic of the game for galleries,” he said. “Galleries almost have to have their own e-commerce platforms — but, my God, that’s really complex to set up and drive that.” Instead of being discouraged by changing customer interests, Perrin shifted his business to accommodate them. “We’re the first gallery in town to do digital printing,” said Perrin. “That’s something we caught on to going to trade shows and an opportunity we embraced awhile back.” Artists often come in asking him to reproduce their art into prints or canvases. Regular customers also rely on Perrin’s care in handling meaningful photography and artwork. “There are challenges to working with photography from smart phones, but we have several tricks we can use to fix issues that arise, especially when enlarging images,” he said.

> MERCURYHEAD GALLERY Location: 962 E. Fulton St.

Contact: (616) 456-6022; Facebook

Shown right: Laura and Ben Perrin


Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10-4 Saturday


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PhotograPhy by michael buck

PhotograPhy by michael buck

“We work with customers to express their creativity so they can hang a picture on their wall and feel good about it.” — Ben perrin

Perrin has restored 50-year-old faded children’s artwork, digitally patched tears in family photos, and added brushstrokes to give photographed landscapes the look of oil paintings. Most of all he provides the attention to detail needed to make a customer’s finished product really pop. “We work with customers to express their creativity so they can hang a picture on their wall and feel good about it,” he said. “It’s kind of like cheap shoes: You can buy them for $20, but the $200 pair feels awesome on your feet — you respect them more.” Attention to detail can make a big difference in the lifespan of a purchase. Perrin can spray canvases with a protective coating to ensure they are UV and/or scuff resistant and that the image is crisp and bright. MercuryHead also offers full-service framing of artwork, digital prints, posters and more. “So many people settle for a black frame, but that can be the kiss of death on your color piece,” Perrin said. “You

can really elevate artwork to another level by putting a nice frame on it.” While additional services have helped the gallery grow and fulfill the needs of new customers, the core of the gallery remains the same. Perrin continues to feature pottery, small gifts and paintings, mostly by local artists. “Featuring local work is important to us, not only to support local artists but to provide a subject of work more relevant to the area,” he said. “Western mountain scenes don’t sell very well in the Midwest.” Perrin stays up-to-speed on industry changes though nationwide tradeshows. Diversifying services offered has helped keep MercuryHead’s doors open, and helps grow business. “I’ve been here for 14 years and I’ve never hated a Monday or wished for a Friday to get here faster,” he said. “The art world offers more opportunities for the consumer and we want to provide for those needs. It’s been working well. We aren’t going anywhere any time soon.” — DaNa BliNDer

Tu-Fr 10-5 Sat 12-4 616-459-5075 820 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids April 2014 / 29

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Thru end of May

Local art galleries

1/ Paintings by Debra Reid Jenkins, including “Heaven’s Gate,” are on exhibit at Flat River Gallery.


1/ FLAT RIVER GALLERY AND FRAMING: Original oil paintings and illustrations by Debra Reid Jenkins are on exhibit through the end of May. Artist reception 6-8 p.m. April 17. 219 W. Main St., Lowell, 987-6737, 2/ GALLERIE ART HAUS: Newly opened gallery showcases visual and performance art on a bimonthly basis. 6-10 p.m. April 12: Group show features the work of Mark Bird, Abbey Bradley, Melissa Duimstra, Matt Large, Tom Duimstra, Reb Roberts and more. DJ Shamar Alef Ben-Yasara’El and poet Jennifer Gray will perform. Free. 506 Oakland Ave. SW, 638-6885, 3/ UICA: Artist and metalsmith Caroline Gore investigates how grief and loss manifest in society in her “Mercurial Silence” exhibition, on display through April 27. Gore alters objects to show how the changes impact the way one experiences them. 2 W. Fulton St., 459-7000,

Art Gallery 318: Fine art by Kathleen Mooney; open by appointment and during regular open houses. 318 E. Main St., Lowell, 890-1879, face Aquinas College Gallery: Work from students, faculty and visiting artists. April 6-May 11: Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition, artist reception 2-4 p.m. April 6. (Closed April 18-21). Art and Music Building, 1607 Robinson Road SE, Betsy Ratzsch Pottery: Ceramics, artwork and gifts from American artisans. 584 Ada Drive, 682-0266, Cascade Art Gallery: Multi-media art, print collection, glass, sculpture, jewelry, custom framing, gifts. 2840 Thornapple River Drive SE, 949-4056,

3/ Mercurial Silence, an exhibition of works by metalsmith Caroline Gore, is at UICA through April 27.

Center Art Gallery: Calvin College’s on-campus gallery features student, faculty and alumni work and that of artists of note. Through April 26: Getting Different in Naked Woods – Mike Andrews. 1795 Knollcrest Circle SE, Covenant FAC, 526-6271, calvin. edu/centerartgallery. Con Artist Crew: Art collective and gallery. 1111 Godfrey SW, North Building, No. 198, Craft House: Collaborative art and discussion space. Avenue for the Arts First Fridays location. April 4, open studio beginning at 6 p.m. 40 S. Division Ave., and Facebook. Forest Hills Fine Art Center: Artist-in-residence program offers month-long exhibits by local, regional and national artists. April 17-May 14: FHPS K-12 Student Exhibit; reception 6-7:30 p.m. April 22, followed by fashion show. 600 Forest Hill Ave. SE, 493-8965, Gallery 154: Local and national

multi-media art, gifts, jewelry. 1456 Lake Drive SE, 454-2154, gallery154. com. Gaspard Gallery: Artist-operated contemporary gallery. 235 S. Division Ave., 401-7533, Grand Rapids Art Museum: See Museums & Attractions. GVSU Art Gallery: Exhibits in support of interdisciplinary goals of the university. 1121 Performing Arts Center, Allendale campus, 331-2563, Heartside Gallery: Folk, outsider and intuitive art by self-taught Heartside residents. 48 S. Division Ave., 235-7211, ext. 103, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts: See Museums & Attractions. Kendall College of Art and Design: Four galleries display work by students, staff and visiting artists. Thru April 17: Humor in Craft. Galleries are in Fountain Street Building and Fed Galleries, 17 Pearl St. NW. kcad. edu/galleries. LaFontsee Galleries: Sculpture and paintings by gallery artists. Two locations: 150 Center St., Douglas (closed for season, hours by appointment), and 833 Lake Drive SE, Grand Rapids, which includes Urban Craft Boutique. Thru April 11: Out of the Polar Vortex. 451-9820, LowellArts! King Gallery: Community gallery with seven rotating exhibits throughout year. 149 S. Hudson, Lowell, 897-8545, MercuryHead Gallery: Work by local artists plus gifts and framing. 962 E. Fulton St., 456-6022, Facebook.

Muskegon Museum of Art: See Museums & Attractions. Nice Gallery: Artist-run gallery features contemporary artwork. 1111 Godfrey Ave. SW, No. 4C, 284-1771, Perception Gallery: Fine art gallery also offers home décor, art restoration, appraisal services. 210 E. Fulton St., 451-2393. Richard App Gallery: Fine art from local and U.S. artists. 910 Cherry St. SE, 458-4226, therichardappgall Sanctuary Folk Art: Salon-style gallery displays and sells local folk art. 140 S. Division Ave., 454-0401, Facebook. TerryBerry Gallery: April 3-30, Artists Alliance: Linda Daly Baker, watercolor; Jennifer Gould, textile; Patti Stevensma, mixed; Howard Garet, pastel; Betts Casey, abstract expressionist. Artist reception 5-7:30 p.m. April 4. Lower level of St. Cecilia Music Center, 24 Ransom Ave. NE, 459-2224, terryberry-gallery. Washington Square Art Gallery: April 25-May 24, Holland Friends of Art presents Miniature Landscapes, tiny art for tiny places. Artist reception 5-8 p.m. April 25. 453 Washington Ave., Holland, (616) 394-3061, wash Check websites for hours of operation.


106 Gallery and Studio: Calvin College-run gallery in Heartside features student and local artists’ work. 106 S. Division Ave., artgallery/studio.


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PhotograPhy courtesy debra reid jenkins (toP); uica (bottom)


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frame works

A Michigan Modern exhibit and symposium, “Design that Shaped America,” is coming to Grand Rapids. The exhibition will run May 25-Aug. 31 at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. The symposium will run June 19-22 at Kendall College of Art & Design. More information is at

Vandenberg Center

Michigan modern in GR THE 50TH ANNiVErSArY of Grand Rapids Magazine is an opportune time to reflect on the architectural heritage of Grand Rapids. Leading up to and during the 1960s, the city’s architectural scene changed, influenced by a new era ushered in by modern architects and the structures they designed. Today we have examples of this MidCentury Modernism scattered throughout the region — and notably much of it was done by world-renowned architects, a legacy that has continued in Grand Rapids today. When taken in whole, the quality of our architectural fabric — both past and present — is an impressive collection of design and innovation. Additionally, this architectural heritage has influenced our collective design culture and has inspired a well-rounded collection of local architects who, while not as celebrated as their national counterparts, have continued this culture of well-designed modern architecture. Fifty years ago, the beginnings of the modern influence were well entrenched, as manifested by Temple emanuel, 1715 E. Fulton St. Constructed in 1952, this sleek brick and glass synagogue epitomizes the mid-century aesthetic. Designed by world-renowned architect Erich Mendelsohn, the structure is capped by an iconic butterfly-wing roof and bisected by a strong vertical element that anchors the composition to its surroundings.

Completed just a year before his death, the structure is characteristic of Mendelsohn’s mid-century synagogues, which include large expanses of clear glass windows (no stained glass) that flood the worship area with natural light. In addition to the stunning architecture, the rear wall of the sanctuary is defined by an expansive mural by Lucienne Bloch Dimitroff, the prolific multi-talented artist who apprenticed with Diego Rivera on his frescoes in Detroit and New York. This 1,000-squarefoot oil and gold leaf painting covers the entire sanctuary wall and is, like the temple itself, a genuine work of modern design. Another building that was executed by a master builder during this era is the list house in East Grand Rapids. Constructed in 1962, this home — the only Richard Neutra building in Michigan — is sited on an idyllic wooded lot overlooking Reeds Lake. The magnificent view, accentuated by the home’s expansive floor-to-ceiling glass walls, brings elements of nature into the house, including the water’s reflections on the modern interior surfaces. This use of water, a hallmark of Neutra — who worked for Mendelsohn early in his career — was his attempt to add organic touches to the environments of his modern architecture. In this effort to bring man closer to nature through building design, Neutra frequently employed natural elements within close

PhotograPhy by jim gebben

Architect Mark F. Miller is an urban designer at Nederveld, and has led the Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Commission and the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

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PhotograPhy by jim gebben

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List House

Grand Rapids has a host of local architects who have succeeded in accomplishing some very good modern design in their own right, much of which carries on the legacy of the mid-century aesthetic. Some of them include: > Integrated Architecture Learning Center (IA’s office), 4090 Lake Drive SE Lamar Construction Corporate Office, 4404 Central Parkway, Hudsonville > Progressive AE The Rapid Operations Center, 333 Wealthy St. SW Steelcase University, 901 44th St. SE

proximity to his interior spaces and blurred the lines between inside and outside. The List house has many design features that reinforce this philosophy, including a simple wood post-and-beam structural system that extends through the glass wall to the outside of the home, and a wonderful tapestry of forms and textures rendered in simple and natural materials throughout the interior and exterior. Perhaps the strongest mid-century design statement is the signature “floating” fireplace that anchors the living room. Its brick and stone cantilevered surfaces, when paired with the warmth of the wood structure and ceiling deck, exude 1960’s style. One of our most iconic mid-century structures is actually a composition that marries architecture, public art, and the spaces that are created between buildings in a truly modern expression. Known as Vandenberg Center, the site at 300 Monroe Ave. NW includes a monumental plaza, the 10-story Grand Rapids City Hall, the three-story Kent County Administration Building and “La Grande Vitesse,” the Calder-red stabile that is the centerpiece of the plaza. Built between 1966 and 1968, the buildings, spaces and sculpture form a classic

International style composition of contrasting elements, unified symmetry and rectangular massing. The stark and elegant steel-framed buildings are clad in Canadian granite with bronzetinted glass and are juxtaposed by Alexander Calder’s curvilinear sculpture. Reminiscent of the Mies van der Rohedesigned Chicago Federal Center, this composition was designed by the firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. SOM, originally formed in Chicago in 1936, was the leader in the widespread use of the International style during this era. A worldwide firm today, the firm’s work includes the Sears Tower and Hancock Center, and Burj Khalifa in Dubai, currently the world’s tallest building. These examples of modern architecture in Grand Rapids are as crisp and functional as they were a half-century ago, adapting to contemporary worshipping, living and working. They are a small sample of the architectural and design heritage of this community, acting as reminders to West Michigan’s contribution to Michigan Modern. — Mark F. Miller

The work of world-renowned architects did not stop in the 1960s. Grand Rapids also includes the designs of: > Rafael Vinoly (Van Andel Institute, 2000) > Maya Lin (“Ecliptic” at Rosa Parks Circle, 2001) > wHY Architecture (Grand Rapids Art Museum, 2007) > Robert A.M. Stern (GVSU’s Siedman Center, 2013) Other notable mid-century architecture in West Michigan includes: > The Freeman House in East Grand Rapids, constructed in 1965 and designed by Gunnar Birkerts. > St. Francis De Sales Church in Muskegon, constructed in 1964-1966 and designed by Marcel Breuer.

Photography by michael buck

Temple Emanuel

> Lott3Metz Architecture Lake Michigan Credit Union, 342 Michigan St. NE Residences at 348-350 Diamond Ave. SE

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Open Table “Diners Choice” and “Most Romantic” Award Winner PRIVATE DINING • SUNDAY BRUNCH • SPECTACULAR WATERFRONT VIEWS 63 Market Avenue, S.W. | 616.459.2500

Photography by michael buck

Reserve Online

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art & design trends / PeoPle / innoVation / Places

Candy tables are a fun way to grab


Create a focal table

attention without all the work. You could choose one color for a simple palette or multiple colors for something more fun and vibrant.

Decorating for a party can be overwhelming. Streamers, balloon arrangements, tablecloths — the list is endless. Luckily, a new trend in party decor involves the use of “focal” tables. In other words, decorate a table and make it the focus of the party. Where do you begin? Start with a color scheme. An option, and perhaps the most dramatic approach, is to keep everything in the same color family. Plates, silverware and drink-ware in the same color unify the look. The Internet is full of printables to place over water bottles and to use as wrappers for silverware. It’s also a fun idea to use labels for various food dishes. In addition to a color scheme, you can choose a theme for the table. It’s become very popular to offer food stations at parties. A popcorn bar, milk and cookies bar, or a hot cocoa station are great ways to guide your guests to specific areas. The trick is to offer lots of options, flavors or toppings with a theme bar. And, of course, labels add a touch

of fun and function. If the concept of printables or color schemes is over your head, let the food be the decoration. Candy tables are a fun way to grab attention without all the work. You could choose one color for a simple palette or multiple colors for something more fun and vibrant. A matching table skirt or balloons above the table will set the table off beautifully. These ideas require lots of dishes and jars, so keep consignment shops in mind or shop in bulk online for them. Doing so will break down the cost and offer multiples of the same style. Instead of small decorations spread around a home, use the focal table for a burst of pizzazz. It will definitely be a conversation piece, and it easily provides the party with eye-catching decor. — Chris Carey is a Rockford wife, mom, teacher and avid do-it-yourselfer who shares her home projects and decorating tips at

PhotograPhy courtesy chris carey

Choose a color scheme or theme to make your table the life of the party.

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Our patients aren’t the only ones


Photography Courtesy Chris Carey

MERCY HEALTH SAINT MARY’S HAS ACHIEVED MAGNET® DESIGNATION FROM THE AMERICAN NURSES CREDENTIALING CENTER. It’s an honor only 8% of U.S. hospitals earn. The Magnet Recognition Program® recognizes health care organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice. We’ve always worked together to ensure our patients have positive outcomes. Rest assured, that will never change.

The Magnet Recognition Program®, ANCC Magnet Recognition®, Magnet® names and logos are registered trademarks of the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Journey to Magnet Excellence® and National Magnet Conference® are trademarks of the American Nurses Credentialing Center. All rights reserved.

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2/19/14 8:44 AM

art talk

Joseph A. Becherer is curator of sculpture at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and a professor at Aquinas College.

OVEr THE COUrSE of the last 50 years, the blossoming of the visual arts in Grand Rapids has been nothing short of amazing. Simply consider the arrival of iconic works by Alexander Calder, Mark di Suvero and Maya Lin — among the most critically important artists of our time. Think of the extraordinary new art museum facility and its institutional renaissance, the birth and energetic invention of the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, and the creation and growth of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. In addition, nearly all of the colleges and universities in the region have grown significantly in their faculty, facilities, students and programs. The fine arts in Grand Rapids a half-century ago looked and felt very different. Certainly, the strength of the performing arts would ring familiar as music and theater remain meaningful and vibrant today. But the visual arts were more becalmed, especially in relation to comparable cities across the country. A focal point was the repertoire of the American Impressionist Matthias Alten (1878-1938), often referred to as the dean of West Michigan painting. His work resonated elegantly in many public and some private collections across the region. Although his oeuvre is more harmonious with the past, it was foundational for many Grand Rapidians to ponder the importance of art.

To understand the beauty and significance of Alten to the communal cultural patrimony, today one need only visit the remarkable holdings of the Grand Rapids Art Museum or, better yet, visit the graceful Gordon Gallery at Grand Valley State University. Established in 1999, the gallery houses the largest collection of the master’s work and his archive. Against the backdrop of this genteel tradition, imagine the powerful reverberations when modern art boldly arrived in the form of the colossal red sculpture by Alexander Calder. In all its abstract glory, “La Grande Vitesse” shocked local audiences in 1969, who were anticipating a traditional figurative fountain. At that moment, Calder was among the most important artists in the world and his touchdown in West Michigan was like a meteor strike. His site-specific masterpiece is widely regarded as his most significant and introduced Grand Rapids to the world as the textbook example of public art in America. Now the city’s icon, it is among the most critically important sculptures of the 20th century. The transformative power of “La Grande Vitesse” led to numerous consequential developments. One was the founding of Festival of the Arts, which brought the arts out in full force across the urban grid. Now 45 years young, it

PhotograPhy courtesy rockford construction

From Alten to ArtPrize

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“La Grand Vitesse”


Photography by johnny quirin (top left); michael buck (top rght); courtesy Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park/William J. Hebert (middle);

Photography Courtesy Rockford Construction

If these events of the last half-century seem overwhelming in retrospect, nothing could have prepared the community for ArtPrize. quickly became — and remains — one of the nation’s largest all-volunteer arts festivals. Another was the sensational outdoor 1973 exhibition Sculpture Off the Pedestal, organized entirely by the volunteer Women’s Committee of the Grand Rapids Art Museum. A herculean effort, the committee transformed the city center into a veritable outdoor museum with major works by avant-garde sculptors. Combined with the recent arrival of the Calder, Sculpture Off The Pedestal steered the visual arts culture forward — especially with regard to outdoor sculpture. From a variety of sources and resources has come the architectonic “The Fish Ladder” (1974) by Joseph Kinnebrew, the land art master-

piece “X-Project” (1974) by Robert Morris, the kinetic “Motu Viget” (1977) by Mark di Suvero, the enigmatic “Ecliptic” (2001) by Maya Lin, and the whimsical “Journey Home” (2009) by Dennis Oppenheim. Obviously not an exhaustive list, but celebratory nonetheless. Another form of landmarks are the institutions. The Grand Rapids Art Museum has had three addresses, climaxing in the striking post-modern masterpiece building, opened in 2003, where its collections and exhibitions have thoughtfully burgeoned. UICA is also in a prominent new home in the central city. Begun in 1977 by local artists dedicated to bringing contemporary art and films to the community, UICA has been the leading resource for the creative, innovative and curious in us all. Finally, the youthful Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park opened in 1995 with a dual mission for horticulture and modern and contemporary sculpture. With the leadership philanthropy of Fred and Lena Meijer, it has grown to one of the leading arts destinations in the nation. Through the generosity and openness of the Meijers, Maya Lin during the masters from Rodin to Richard construction of “Ecliptic” Serra, Degas to Andy Goldswor-

Rodin’s “Eve”

thy, never before displayed in this city, were permanently introduced. If these events of the last half-century seem overwhelming in retrospect, nothing could have prepared the community for ArtPrize. The ingenious, three-week event began in 2009 — the brainchild of Rick DeVos — as an unprecedented open art competition hosted across the city center and at Meijer Gardens. Bringing artists and audiences from across the country and around the world to Grand Rapids, ArtPrize engages heretofore unimaginably broad and diverse audiences with art. Although it is tempting to see ArtPrize as the summit for the visual arts in Grand Rapids over the last 50 years, it is more accurately a launching pad. Certainly, its ongoing success says much about the interest in and appetite for culture in society today, but it is also a critical foundation for the future — destined to inspire and engage audiences well into the next half-century and beyond. For the visual arts, this is not the Grand Rapids of yore, but one of a thankful, living, recent history open to the possibilities of — Joseph A. Becherer tomorrow. April 2014 / 39

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50 A grand history


By Ann Byle


Grand Rapids Magazine celebrates 50 years this month, a Golden Anniversary that symbolizes both the growth of Grand Rapids and the


need for its people to have a magazine all its own.

The magazine began as a publication of the Grand Rapids Area



Chamber of Commerce in 1964. John Zwarensteyn became vice president of communications for GRACC and in charge of the magazine. By

1979, he had formed Gemini Communications with several partners and brought the magazine under that roof. The company is now Gemini Publications and home to Grand Rapids


Business Journal, Grand Rapids Family and a host of niche publications. In honor of the magazine’s 50 years, we look back at some of the


city’s highlights of the past five decades.

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1960s: Urban Renewal

Photography by Michael Buck (right); courtesy Grand Rapids Magazine Archives (top)


The 1960s were years of tumult and growth, but also of commerce and suburban sprawl.

Grand Rapids Magazine was launched in the 1960s in a city rocked by racial tension and changed by the growth of its suburban areas and an influx of businesses into the Greater Grand Rapids area. While the suburbs were burgeoning, downtown was getting a facelift. The urban renewal so much a part of that time led to the demolition of hundreds of buildings, including the Gothic Victorian City Hall. The city’s first public housing project, Campau Commons, opened in 1969 at the corner of Division Avenue and Antoine Street, which was named after the brother of Grand Rapids’ founder Louis Campau. Antoine had farmed that corner, located just south of Franklin Street, in the early days of the city. Included in the urban renewal was Vandenberg Plaza, which in 1969 became home to what would become Grand Rapids’ most enduring symbol: “La Grande Vitesse” by sculptor Alexander Calder, who attended the installation ceremonies. “La Grande Vitesse” means “great swiftness,” a French translation of “Grand Rapids.” The Calder, as it’s usually called, was the first piece of public art in the country to be jointly financed by private and federal funds. The 1960s were grand years for growth. Kent County officially opened its $9 million airport in Cascade Township. The gala opening had been set for Nov. 23, 1963, but

Modern Grand Rapids’ skyline has changed dramatically since the 1960s. Top photo of old downtown features a view of Herpolsheimer’s department store on Monroe Avenue. April 2014 / 41

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The core city, mirroring that of the country, was in upheaval in the 1960s. Racial tensions mounted when blacks were continually denied buying homes outside the boundaries of Hall Street on the south, Cherry Street on the north, Fuller Avenue on the east and the Grand River on the west. Despite work by the Human Relations Committee and the Urban League, riots broke out July 24, 1967, and lasted two days. When the crowds dispersed and the city settled down, there had been 348 arrests, 44 injuries and $175,000 in property damage. It would be years before blacks were routinely allowed to buy homes in other areas of the city, but one bright spot existed in the form of the Auburn Hills neighborhood on the northeast side. Despite opposition, four black men purchased 20 acres of land from the city in 1962 to develop a subdivision of 50 to 60 homes specifically for black families. The diverse neighborhood still exists today. The Roosevelt Park neighborhood along Grandville Avenue became home to many Latino immigrants who used the area as an

entry point into Grand Rapids. Central and South American natives, as well as Cubans fleeing Castro’s regime, began to populate this vital area once home to Dutch immigrants. These days the Grandville Academy of the Arts, a neighborhood library and Clinica Santa Maria operated by Mercy Health anchor the neighborhood. The 1960s also were a time for dramatic civic growth in Grand Rapids. The first woman was elected to the Grand Rapids City Commission and sworn in in 1961. Evangeline Lamberts defeated Robert Blandford in the second ward by 1,000 votes. The West Michigan Opera Association (now Opera Grand Rapids) was founded in 1967, and the Arts Council of Greater Grand Rapids was incorporated in 1968. In November of that year, the first E-unit for the Grand Rapids Police Department hit the streets. Also in 1968, Herman Miller introduced what it called the world’s first open office system: its Action Office line. Perhaps it was a huge fish kill in 1966 — apparently brought on by cyanide in storm drains connected to two metal-finishing plants — that prompted Charles R. Evenson, a businessman and devoted fisherman, to organize the West Michigan Environmental Action Council in 1968. WMEAC’s first action brought about Grand Rapids’ first ordinance regulating what could be dumped into the Grand River. Grand Rapids in the ’60s was on the cutting edge when it came to shopping centers. Rogers Plaza was the area’s first suburban shopping center to open — in August 1961 — and one of the first enclosed shopping centers in the state. Breton Village Mall opened in 1962, followed by Eastbrook Mall in 1969, and Woodland and North Kent malls in 1970. Congressman Gerald R. Ford was on hand to cut the ribbon at Eastbrook Mall Sept. 27, 1969, with Steketee’s and Wurzburg’s as anchor stores. Media coverage also was extensive for the August 1966 groundbreaking ceremony for the new Sears, Roebuck and Co. that would anchor Woodland Mall. Grand Rapids saw visits from political candidates throughout the decade. Robert F. Kennedy visited in April 1968 to speak at a political rally, and Sen. Edmond Muskie came later that year. The first U.S. serviceman from Grand Rapids was killed in the Vietnam War in 1965; eventually, 131 names of local men would be added to the “The Wall” in Washington, D.C. The 1960s were years of tumult and growth, but also of commerce and suburban sprawl. In August 1966, Jack Loeks’ Studio 28 on 28th Street in Wyoming — which would become the first megaplex theater in the world — offered a Ladies’ Matinee for 50 cents and advertised the last night for the film “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

Photography courtesy Grand Rapids History and Special Collections, Archives, Grand Rapids Public Library (top); Grand Rapids Magazine Archives (center & Bottom)

the assassination of President John F. Kennedy the day before forced the event to the following June, though the airport was open for business in the interim. Grand Valley State College also opened in 1963, with help from a $50,000 grant from The Grand Rapids Foundation. Drivers found commuting easier after the I-96 and I-196 expressways were completed in the early ’60s. The Hall of Justice in downtown Grand Rapids was dedicated in 1966, which also saw the completion of the modern addition to the Ryerson Library, which had survived the decade’s urban renewal. Another building to survive was Baxter Christian School, started in 1884 by Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church. The school, at 953 Baxter St. SE, merged with Oakdale Christian School in 1963 and closed its doors in 1969 after its student base had moved to the suburbs. The building is now the Baxter Community Center, which opened in response to the needs of the area’s population and continues to serve the community today.

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The old Grand Rapids City Hall at Ottawa Avenue and Lyon Street was demolished in 1969. Mary Stiles chained herself to the wrecking ball in an attempt to save the old clock tower. Below: Construction of I-196 in the early ’60s. Opposite page: The new Kent County Airport was formally dedicated June 6, 1964.

Jack Loeks’ Midtown Theatre in downtown showed “The Sound of Music” and the Plainfield Drive-In showed “Stagecoach” and “The Flight of the Phoenix.” A cottage with access to Reeds Lake, called “a very private double lot,” was priced at $8,500, grocery stores advertised cigarettes for $2.49 a carton, and Wurzburg’s offered boys’ no-iron western jeans for $2.97.

Photography courtesy Grand Rapids History and Special Collections, Archives, Grand Rapids Public Library

Photography courtesy Grand Rapids History and Special Collections, Archives, Grand Rapids Public Library (top); Grand Rapids Magazine Archives (center & Bottom)

1970s: Proud Moments The 1970s were a time of civic responsibility and expansion in Grand Rapids. Neighborhood associations began to form, with the first, the Ottawa Hills Neighborhood Association, established in 1970. Next in line were the Heritage Hill Association in 1971 and the Eastown Community Association in 1972. Heritage Hill was in danger of destruction as the downtown urban renewal began to creep up the hill. Many of the beautiful homes that showcased so much of the city’s history would have been destroyed had not the Heritage Hill Association taken action. In March 1971, Heritage Hill was established as a National Historic District, the largest urban historic district in the country at the time. Two years later, the city designated Heritage Hill its first historic district, and the Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Commission further helped prevent demolition of homes. Heritage Hill now stands as a testament to the hard work of grass-roots organizations. April 2014 / 43

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Above right, President Gerald R. Ford taking the oath of office in 1974; above, children playing on “Lorrie’s Button,” a giant Pop Art sculpture by Hy Zelkowitz, which won the Playground Sculpture Competition at the 1976 Festival of the Arts, one of the longest-running festivals in the state. Below is an architectural rendering of Wurzburg’s. The department store installed the first escalator in Grand Rapids. Opposite page: An overhead view of the 1974 Festival of the Arts. Top photo is a street scene of Heritage Hill where historic homes were saved from demolition in the ’70s when the neighborhood’s association took action.

Lots of things were happening in 1971. The Grand Rapids Economic Development Corp. was founded and the Civic Ballet began under founding Artistic Director Sally Seven. Grand Rapids swore in its first black mayor when Lyman Parks was elected. Urban renewal couldn’t save Wurzburg’s, which closed its downtown store. The 99-year-old department store had installed the first escalator in Grand Rapids. All Wurzburg’s stores closed by middecade. Vandenberg Plaza, with its large red sculpture, became home to the three-day Festival of the Arts in 1970. The dedication of the Fish Ladder sculpture took place in 1975. Built along the Grand River by local artist Joseph Kinnebrew, the sculpture was created to aid spawning fish in their struggle to swim upstream. The salmon had recently returned to the river after environmental

groups pushed for cleaning it up. Grand Rapids again became synonymous with the furniture industry, thanks to Steelcase, which spent six months in 1973 installing its office furniture in 44 floors of the new Sears Tower in Chicago. By mid-decade, however, unemployment was at 14 percent, rising inflation threatened, and the 1973-74 OPEC oil embargo put gas prices up sixfold. Car prices jumped 70 percent, new home prices had doubled from a decade earlier, and food prices had doubled, as well. The city experienced its proudest moment in August 1974. Native son Gerald R. Ford became the 38th president of the United States, assuming the office after the resignation of Richard Nixon. Ford had been appointed vice president by Nixon after Spiro Agnew resigned. In 1975, Susan B. Lovell and three other East Grand Rapids moms started Cadence newspaper. Lovell, Mary Abbott, Susan Ryan Bowers and Gini Mulligan wanted a newspaper that publicized children doing the right things, instead of the usual media focus on the rise of the drug culture and crime. As the nation celebrated its bicentennial in 1976, Grand Rapids celebrated, as well. The Apollo Space Capsule, which now sits in front of the Van Andel Museum Center, was sealed as the city’s official time capsule, to be opened July 4, 2076. As part of the local celebration, the Calkins Law Office, Grand Rapids’ oldest surviving building (1836) was restored and moved to its present location at Washington and State streets near Mercy Health Saint Mary’s.

Photography courtesy Grand Rapids History and Special Collections, Archives, Grand Rapids Public Library; Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum (top right)

The city experienced its proudest moment in August 1974. Native son Gerald R. Ford became the 38th president of the United States, assuming the office after the resignation of Richard Nixon.

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Also in 1976, The Grand Rapids Press, along with seven other Michigan daily newspapers, was sold to S.I. Newhouse, a New York communications company. The $300 million sale was the largest transaction in newspaper publishing history to date. The national bicentennial year also saw the organization of the Grand Rapids Area Transit Authority and the founding of El Matador Tortilla Chip Co. by immigrants Miguel “Mike” and Isabel Navarro. El Mata-

dor chips are now found on grocery shelves around the country. As the decade entered its second half, personalities and events moved to the forefront. The city mourned the death of Paul I. Phillips, who had become the first African-American elected to public office in Grand Rapids in 1951 when voted on to the Grand Rapids Charter Commission, and the first African-American on the Grand Rapids Board of Education in 1952. Phillips advised President Ford on minority issues and helped guide whites and blacks through perilous racial tension in the 1960s. Other notable events in 1978: The first Old Kent River Bank Run got underway May 13, with more than 1,000 runners. The Grand Rapids Civic Theatre was given a permanent home in the old Majestic Theater at the corner of Division and Library. Mary Seadorf, who with her husband

owned Seadorf Plumbing and Heating, became the state’s first licensed woman plumber. During the final year of the decade, Duncan E. Littlefair retired as senior minister at Fountain Street Church, a job he had accepted in 1944. For a time, the church was unique in the country as a large liberal and non-denominational church in a notably conservative city. The Grand Rapids Press fashion pages touted the renewed popularity of fake furs; simulated mink was the most popular for knee length fur coats for both men and women. And 28th Street was ranked the busiest highway in the state of Michigan, with more than 45,000 motorists each day traveling the 11 miles between Wyoming and East Beltline.

1980s: Civic Growth The 1980s was a decade of nearly unprecedented civic growth and involvement for long-time donors and a time for residents of Grand Rapids to become involved in the city’s many activities and initiatives.

Photography courtesy Grand Rapids History and Special Collections, Archives, Grand Rapids Public Library;

Photography courtesy Grand Rapids History and Special Collections, Archives, Grand Rapids Public Library; Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum (top right)

Vandenberg Plaza, with its large red sculpture, became the new home for the three-day Festival of the Arts in 1970.

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Grand Rapids through the decades 1960s—Grand Rapids Magazine birthed

1963—Kent County airport opened in Cascade Township

April 1964

1971—Heritage Hills named city’s first historic district

Kent County Airport

1979—John Zwarensteyn purchases Grand Rapids Magazine

28th Street

1964—I-96 expressway completed

1979—28th Street ranked state’s busiest highway

1967—Race riots break out July 24 and last two days 1968—West Michigan Environmental Action Council organized 1969—La Grande Vitesse installed

1980—Grand Rapids Magazine’s first edition under Gemini Communications

April 1974

1970—Festival of the Arts moves to Vandenberg Plaza 1974—Native son Gerald R. Ford becomes nation’s 38th president 1974—Grand Rapids Magazine celebrates 10th anniversary

The first Celebration on the Grand took place in September 1980, in part to mark the opening of the Grand Center, which included DeVos Performance Hall and Welsh Civic Auditorium. DeVos Performance Hall, with its 2,400 seats, is still home to Grand Rapids Symphony, although the Welsh Auditorium was replaced with DeVos Place convention center. The first year of the decade also saw the opening of the Monroe Avenue Pedestrian Mall, which turned the busy downtown thoroughfare into a car-free walking mall designed to draw people to the businesses that lined the street. Stores such as Downtown Books, Herkner Jewelers, Steketee’s and Herpolsheimer’s were part of the downtown scene. City workers — garbage collectors,

1976—Apollo Space Capsule sealed as city’s official time capsule July 1976

1976—Grand Rapids Magazine looks forward to year 2000

maintenance workers, zookeepers, cemetery workers, etc. — made national news Nov. 3, 1980, when they ended an 88-day work stoppage, the longest municipal strike in U.S. history. A three-day strike earlier in the year foreshadowed the longer strike over wage increases and benefits. “The strike was not unusual for the nation and was in keeping with the times,” said local labor expert Michael Johnston. “What was unusual was the length.” Grand Rapids Press film critic John Douglas listed his top 10 movies for 1980, which included “The Black Stallion,” “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Fame.” On his list of worst films were “Friday the 13th” and “Caddyshack.” Fiction bestsellers of the year were “The Covenant” by James Michener, “Firestarter” by Stephen King, “Unfinished

June 1986

1981—September sees dedication of Amway Grand Plaza, Grand Rapids Art Museum and Ford Presidential Museum 1986—First Greater Grand Rapids Open 1986—Grand Rapids Magazine among first locally to publish stories on AIDS epidemic

Tales” by J.R.R. Tolkien and “The Key to Rebecca” by Ken Follett. The nonfiction bestseller was “Cosmos” by Carl Sagan. In July 1981, the city adopted the Grand River Edges plan, which called for uninterrupted and connected green spaces on either side of the Grand River. The counties, townships and cities that border the river became a key part of the plan. Grand Rapids held one of its biggest parties ever in September 1981 when several pivotal events occurred the same week. The dedication and renaming of the new Amway Grand Plaza — renovations cost $24 million — occurred Sept. 15. (The hotel was completed two years later when the 29-story west wing opened.) The dedication of the Grand Rapids Art Museum in the Federal Building that once had housed the post

Photography Courtesy Grand Rapids Magazine Archives

1961—Rogers Plaza, first suburban shopping mall, opens

1970—First neighborhood association — Ottawa Hills — is formed

1980—First Celebration on the Grand held; Grand Center opens

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office took place Sept. 17, and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum was dedicated the next day. The city was flooded with dignitaries for the events, including Mr. and Mrs. Gerald R. Ford, Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Carter, Lady Bird Johnson, President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan, Vice President George Bush, and leaders from several foreign countries. Grand Rapids’ citizens joined in the events, which coincided with Celebration on the Grand and ended with food, entertainment and fireworks at Ah-Nab-Awen Park Sept. 19. In another first, Amtrak made its appearance in Grand Rapids in 1984. The Pere Marquette train, named for the Pere Marquette Railway and the train that ran between Detroit and Grand Rapids in the early decades of the century, still runs daily between Grand Rapids and Chicago.

The middle of the decade saw the national economy begin to pick up, with the local economy following suit. During the last three months of 1985, unemployment stood at 6.5 percent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment in Michigan had reached a high in 1982 of 16.8 percent. Grand Rapids proper was worth more than ever. City assessors made an unofficial estimate of the value of Louis Campau’s original plot, which ran from Michigan Street on the north to Fulton Street on the south, and from Division Avenue on the east to the Grand River on the west. Campau had paid $90 for the plot, which in 1985 was estimated to be worth $25 million. Perhaps in keeping with that value, The Right Place was established by the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce with $3.7

million in funding from area employers and local governments. The regional nonprofit economic development organization has since assisted thousands of local businesses and created tens of thousands of jobs. 1986 saw several key events take place in Grand Rapids: Steelcase completed its $48 million plant in Kentwood and began work on a research and development center in Gaines Township. The Greater Grand Rapids Open was played for the first time, with players from the PGA Senior Tour. Kent District Library celebrated 50 years. The National Association of Realtors said the median resale price of a home in Grand Rapids was $51,600. Extensive renovations to modernize the

1997—Grand Rapids Magazines begins three-month series “Are You Racist?”

June 1991

1994—Grand Rapids Magazine celebrates 30th anniversary

March 2007

2006—Gerald R. Ford dies and is buried at the museum that bears his name

April 1994 1998—Weathy

Theatre reopens

1995—Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park opens

2007—“Spirit of Solidarity” monument dedicated in honor of local labor movement

1991—Ground broken for Van Andel Museum Center

Photography by johnny quirin (left); William J. Hebert (center); michael buck (right); Courtesy Grand Rapids Magazine Archives

Photography Courtesy Grand Rapids Magazine Archives

John Ball Zoo

1986—St. Cecilia Music Center renovations completed

Fifth Third Ballpark partially destroyed by fire

1991—Grand Rapids Magazine begins three-month series “Kids, Drugs & Crime” 1993—Grand Rapids Children’s Museum opens

1988—City celebrates 150th anniversary by raising funds to light five downtown bridges

1993—Grand Rapids Magazine highlights Festival ’93 with pull-out poster

1989—John Ball Zoo becomes county property

1994—West Michigan Whitecaps baseball team makes Old Kent Park its home

2000—Grand Rapids Magazine celebrates 20th year of its Dining Awards of Excellence

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

1996—Van Andel Arena opens 1997—Blodgett Memorial Medical Center and Butterworth Health Systems merge as Spectrum Health

Feb 2000

2000—S-Curve on U.S. 131 is rebuilt, closing the corridor for the better part of a year 2000—Grand Rapids Magazine’s first GRM Medical Hall of Fame

2009—Inaugural ArtPrize draws more than 200,000 visitors to downtown 2011—Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital opens its doors 1-11-11 2014—Fifth Third Ballpark partially destroyed by fire

2003—GVSU’s Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences opens

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St. Cecilia Music Center building were completed in 1986, bringing the venerable institution back to its original glory. The original St. Cecilia Society building, completed in 1894, was the first structure of its kind to be built, financed and operated entirely by women at a total cost of $53,000. A Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass window was added in 1895. Major repairs were made in 1901, renovations were made in 1925 and 1974, and a final restoration project was completed in 1998. The Grand Rapids Symphony made national news during its 1986-87 season when Catherine Comet was named music director and conductor. She was the first woman ever hired to direct a symphony of GRS’s size and influence. Also on the arts front, the Ladies Literary Club celebrated its centennial in 1987 in the same Sheldon Avenue building where it began — which boasts its own stained glass window designed by Tiffany in 1915. The Sesquicentennial Committee, formed to celebrate the 150th anniversa-

ry in 1988 of Grand Rapids’ original charter, raised funds to light five bridges in the downtown area. In 1989, John Ball Zoo became county property. The acreage, called the Ball Forty, had been given to the city by John Ball, a Grand Rapids pioneer, before the turn of the last century.

1990s: New Landmarks The early years of the decade saw their share of openings and closings. In 1990, Lazarus Department Store, anchor for downtown’s City Centre Mall, closed that location and at Wyoming Village Mall. The move angered City Centre management, which tried to block the closing in court, as hopes of a revival of the downtown commercial district seemed to wane. Grand Rapids Public Museum decided to sell one of the boyhood homes of Gerald R. Ford after it sat empty for nearly 20 years waiting for funding to either renovate or turn it into a museum. Ford had lived in the

home on Union Street from 1923-1930. Aquinas College, however, saw the recreation, in 1990, of its Holmdene Garden, located next to Holmdene Hall, which had been built in 1906 for Edward and Susan Blodgett Lowe. The estate was purchased by the short-lived University of Grand Rapids in 1939, then by the Dominican Sisters in 1945 as the new home for Aquinas College. Nuns cared for the garden until they moved out of Holmdene in 1980. The renovated garden contained 2,000 perennials, 300 shrubs and 50 trees, all labeled with scientific and common names. In 1991, ground was broken at the corner of Pearl Street and Front Avenue for the new Van Andel Museum Center, the main facility of the Public Museum, which also includes the Voigt House, Chaffee Planetarium and other sites. The original museum was founded in 1854 and had the honor in 1971 of being the first ever to be accredited by the American Association of Museums. The $40 million Van Andel Museum Center opened in 1994.

Photography Courtesy Grand Rapids Magazine Archives

The Gerald R. Ford Museum was dedicated in September 1981, attended by President and Mrs. Reagan, Vice President George Bush and wife Barbara, and several dignitaries including President José López Portillo of Mexico, Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sunao Sonoda, former French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

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Left: Van Andel Arena, home to Grand Rapids Griffins ice hockey team, opened in 1996. Below: Robert Dean, executive director of Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, plays with 2-year-old Aiden Shearer in 2011.

Photography by michael buck (top); johnny Quirin (bottom)

Photography Courtesy Grand Rapids Magazine Archives

Plans for the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum were announced in 1992, thanks to the vision of Robert and Aleicia Woodrick, the owners of D&W grocery stores, and their daughter, Georgia Gietzen, who became the museum’s first president.

More ground was broken during 1991, this time for the Helen DeVos Women and Children’s Medical Center in a parking lot along Barclay Street behind Butterworth Hospital. The addition expanded the services offered to children at Butterworth, including specialized pediatric care. When it opened in 1993, it was the only children’s hospital in West Michigan. In other hospital news, in 1991 Blodgett Memorial Medical Center signaled a desire to move to the corner of Knapp Street and East Beltline Avenue. The hospital wanted the city of Grand Rapids to annex the Grand Rapids Township property, but township residents and lawyers fought the plan. While Blodgett’s plans failed, Meijer Inc.’s plans did not. The Knapp Corner Meijer opened in 1997 and the nearby Celebration Cinema North complex in 2001. Yet another downtown landmark came into being in the 1990s. Plans for the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum were announced in 1992, thanks to the vision of Robert and Aleicia Woodrick, the owners of D&W grocery stores, and their daughter, Georgia Gietzen, who became the muse-

um’s first president. The museum opened in August 1993 at Woodland Shopping Center, then moved downtown in 1997 to 11 Sheldon Ave. in the old Monument Square building that had been purchased and donated by the Woodricks. More than 2 million children and their guests have visited the hands-on play mecca. Other events in the decade: 1991—Amway sales top $3 billion. 1991—The first Legacy celebration takes place in concurrence with Women’s History Month. The tri-annual celebration is sponsored by the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council. 1993—Bridgewater Place, a 17-story office building in downtown covered with reflective blue glass, opens. 1994—Grand Rapids creates its Pothole Hotline. 1994—Patterson Ice Arena opens, making Grand Rapids the No. 1 ice city in Michigan; the arena had a full-size NHL rink and a bigger Olympic-size rink. 1996—Jay and Betty Van Andel establish the Van Andel Institute with the goal of having a worldwide impact on biomedical

research and science education. 1998—The short-lived West Michigan Grand Prix races through downtown streets in the first of its two-year run. 1999—RiverTown Crossings mall opened in Grandville with five anchor stores. The middle years of the decade included national and local events of note. Baseball fans whooped for joy when in 1994 the West Michigan Whitecaps made their home at the beautiful new Old Kent Park in Comstock Park. The stadium was renamed Fifth Third Ballpark in 2001. In September 1995, the city celebrated the 50th anniversary of the fluoridation of drinking water. Grand Rapids played a pioneering role beginning in 1945, and by 1960, fluoridation was widely used in the U.S. To commemorate the occasion, a white marble monument was erected at the west end of Louis Campau Promenade along the Grand River. The Van Andel Museum Center became home in 1995 to a historic bell that had stood along Monroe Mall for 17 years. The bell was cast in 1878 and hung as an alarm in a wooden fire tower at Pearl Street and April 2014 / 49

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Rob Bliss and friends launched 100,000 paper airplanes from skyscrapers in downtown Grand Rapids for the first ArtPrize in 2009.

The 1997 merger paved the way for Grand Rapids to emerge as one of the top medical centers in the nation. The arts played big roles in the waning years of the millennium. In November 1997, Grand Rapids Art Museum hosted the landmark exhibit “Perugino: Master of the Italian Renaissance.” Thirty-five original works by the 15th century artist were part of the exhibit, nine of them making their firstever journey from Perugia, Italy — a Grand Rapids sister city. In 1998, Wealthy Theatre reopened after years of standing empty. Built in 1911 for vaudeville and live theater and named the Pastime Vaudette, it closed before the end of the decade but reopened in the ’20s as a movie house called Wealthy Theatre. It closed again in the 1970s, decaying for more than two decades until the South East Economic Development neighborhood association launched a campaign to fund its restoration. Today, it is part of the Community Media Center.

2000s: Accelerated Growth The new millennium, despite forecasts of disaster, arrived without computer glitches or worldwide power outages. New Year’s Day 2000 was nearly heaven for college sports fans. The University of Michigan Wolverines played in the Fed Ex Orange Bowl, beating Alabama. The MSU Spartans played Florida in the Citrus Bowl, winning by a field goal in the final three seconds. Election 2000 came early to Grand Rapids when Calvin College hosted a debate Jan. 10 between the six Republican presidential candidates. Gary Bauer, George W. Bush, Steve Forbes, Orrin Hatch, Alan Keyes and John McCain vied for top spot in the debate hosted by NBC’s Tim Russert. WOOD’s Suzanne Geha and Rick Albin asked the questions. The S-Curve on U.S. 131 closed Jan. 16 for a $145 million rebuilding project scheduled to be finished Dec. 1. In October, the Interurban Transit Partnership became the governing body of the city’s public transportation system, taking over from GRATA. The ITP added ride-share programs, the Go Bus for seniors and the disabled, and the DASH shuttle bus service from outlots into downtown. In June 2000, renowned sculptor Maya Lin — well-known for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. — came to town to oversee her redesign of Monroe Mall Amphitheater. “Ecliptic” features a concert and event venue in warm months and an ice rink in winter. Below the ice are 166 fiber optic lights representing Michigan’s sky as it appeared at midnight Jan. 1, 2000.

Photography by Michael Buck

In perhaps one of most innovative experiments Grand Rapids has ever seen, Rick DeVos announced he would give away the world’s largest art prize based on public vote.

Ottawa Avenue, then moved in 1888 to the new City Hall clock tower on Ottawa and Lyon Street. It rang on the hour until 1969 when the building was razed. Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park opened in April 1995 after 13 years of planning and fundraising. Indoor and outdoor gardens enchant visitors, and sculptures by world-renowned artists grace the permanent collection and visiting exhibits. In fall 1996, the Van Andel Arena opened downtown. Home to the Grand Rapids Griffins AHL hockey team, it has welcomed millions of visitors to concerts from Barry Manilow to Motley Crue, and from GVSU graduations to appearances by Cirque du Soleil. Billboard Magazine ranked it the sixth highest grossing arena worldwide in its seating capacity. In perhaps one of the biggest events in local health care, Butterworth Health Systems and Blodgett Memorial Medical Center merged to become Spectrum Health.

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Photography by Michael Buck

Photography by Johnny Quirin

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The area was later named Rosa Parks Circle in honor of the Michigan resident who was key to the Civil Rights Movement. A sculpture in her honor was installed in 2010. The space made Guinness World Records history in 2012 when it was the sight of the largest swing dance gathering ever achieved: 756 participants, organized by the Grand Rapids Original Swing Society. Also in 2000, the Browning Claytor Health Center opened at Hall Street and Madison Avenue SE. Dr. Robert Claytor, son of former slaves, served the local AfricanAmerican community in the early 1900s and was among the first to purchase a home in an all-white neighborhood. Dr. Eugene Browning began his practice in Grand Rapids in 1905 and pioneered the idea of wellbaby clinics. In 2003, the Civic Auditorium, part of the Grand Center, was imploded to make way for DeVos Place Convention Center. The new structure kept the Civic’s façade and lobby as part of its Steelcase Ballroom. Throughout the 2000s and beyond, the now famous Medical Mile began to take shape on Michigan Street hill in downtown. Visionaries and donors saw Grand Rapids becoming a center for research, education and patient care. Major additions include buildings on Michigan Street and elsewhere in downtown: 2000—Phase one of the Van Andel Institute’s building, designed by famed architect Rafael Viñoly and including many unique features, was completed. Phase two, LEED certified at the Platinum level, would open in December 2009. The expansion added 240,000 square feet to the more than $1 billion in life sciences investment already in place along the Medical Mile. 2000—Grand Rapids Community College’s Calkins Science Center opens, named after 25-year president Richard W. Calkins. 2003—Grand Valley State University’s

Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences opens. Classrooms, teaching and research labs, a 150-seat auditorium and conference rooms provide a learning environment for undergrad and graduate programs. 2004—Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center opens. The 300,000-square-foot center combines the heart programs from Spectrum Health’s Blodgett and Butterworth campuses. 2008—Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion is developed to bring all cancer research and patient care in Spectrum Health under one roof. The land was purchased in 2002, thanks to a donation from Fred and Lena Meijer. The facility is named after two employees who worked for Meijer and worked their way to the top of the company. 2008—Women’s Health Center of West Michigan opens its doors off Michigan Street, offering health care for women via a variety of services. 2009—The Mercy Health Hauenstein Neuroscience Center opens in February at 220 Cherry St. SE, thanks to a donation by Ralph Hauenstein, entrepreneur and WWII veteran. The center treats Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, stroke, memory disorders and a host of other neurologic diseases. 2010—MSU College of Human Medicine Secchia Center becomes home to 400 MSU medical students. A $10 million donation was made by Peter Secchia of Grand Rapids. 2011—1-11-11 saw the first children wheeled through the doors of the new Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, thanks to a $50 million donation in honor of Helen DeVos. The emphasis on health-related endeavors didn’t preclude other events during the 2000s. The city mourned its native son Gerald R. Ford, who died in December 2006 and was laid to rest at the museum bearing his name, following full presidential honors. His beloved wife, Betty, who

raised awareness of both breast cancer and addiction, died in July 2011 and was laid to rest next to her husband. In 2007, a monument honoring the labor movement in the city was placed near the Ford Museum. Titled “Spirit of Solidarity,” it was created by local artist Roberto Chenlo. Labor expert Michael Johnston organized the effort. In perhaps one of most innovative experiments Grand Rapids has ever seen, Rick DeVos announced he would give away the world’s largest art prize based on public vote. ArtPrize was open to any artist in the world, and any visitor could vote for their favorite. The 2009 inaugural event drew more than 200,000 visitors to downtown to view entries from 1,262 artists, and has continued to grow. Two great estates came together in 2011 when Aquinas College received a gift of the Brookby Estate, built in the 1920s by John W. Blodgett Sr., whose sister Susan Lowe owned Holmdene just across Robinson Road. The gift helped mark the 125th anniversary of the college. The local art world got a shot in the arm when the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts moved to its new facility at Division Avenue and Fulton Street. The UICA had moved several times since its inception in 1977, this time becoming the anchor for the Avenue for the Arts. In 2012, Grand Rapids tied with Asheville, N.C., for the title of Beer City USA, thanks to the prominence of its craft breweries. The competition was held by casting votes online for cities around the U.S. In 2013, Grand Rapids won the competition as GR an outright victory.

Sources: Writer Ann Byle gathered information for this article from the following sources: “In Celebration of Grand Rapids” by Ellen Arlinsky and Marg Ed Kwapil, 1987, Windsor Publications; Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. “Grand Rapids: A City Renewed” by Gordon L. Olson, a project of the GR Chamber Foundation; 1996, published by GR Historical Commission. “A Grand Adventure: The Heritage of Grand Rapids, Michigan,” by Larrie Massie, 2001, Heritage Media Corp. in cooperation with GR Historical Society. “Vintage Grand Rapids, A Kaleidoscope of Photographs, Vol. II,” 2008, published by Grand Rapids Press. “Heart & Soul: The Story of Grand Rapids Neighborhoods” by Linda Samuelson, Andrew Schrier, et al., 2003, by GR Area Council for the Humanities and Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Also, a website source: historygrand Ann Byle is author of “The Baker Book House Story,” which releases this month and is a celebration of the 75th anniversary of Grand Rapids-based Baker Publishing Group.

Photography by johnny quirin

From 2000 to 2010, more than a half-dozen new buildings were added to the stretch of Michigan Street that became known as the Medical Mile.

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In Celebration of our



Anniversary What is it that defines a city if not the people who inhabit it, those who shape through their vision and passion, creativity and ingenuity a revered sense of place for family and friends, neighbors and communities? Fueled by an entrepreneurial spirit, Grand Rapids is enriched by those businesses on the following pages who are dedicated to its dynamic quality of life, and as Grand Rapids Magazine celebrates its 50th anniversary of calling this city home, we invite you to celebrate with us the exceptional people who contribute to making Grand Rapids a special place for us all.

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AngelCare Home Care owner

Joyce Lovse

2422 Burton St SE Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 245-8899






In the Care of Angels

We offer private-duty in-home care services, with nurse supervised care plans that are individualized to each client.

When you realize you can’t do everything you used to be able to do on your own, that old adage, “there’s no place like home” becomes more meaningful than ever before. That’s especially true when you’re not feeling well, are in the process of healing, or facing the fear of losing your independence. Those are the times when the familiar and comforting surroundings of your own home are most important. It’s one of the reasons Joyce Lovse established AngelCare Home Care in Grand Rapids. Their mission is to provide affordable, professional and reliable home care services to the elderly, the homebound, those in transition from hospital to home, or anyone needing assistance to remain and/or heal in the comforts of their own home. They also provide respite services for family caregivers needing to schedule breaks, assistance with self-care, nurse supervision and medication services, and custodial hospice care services. Working with the Medicaid Waiver Program and the VA, AngelCare utilizes a need-driven Plan of Care that promotes independence, safety and whatever is required to allow their clients to remain in their familiar home environment. “We offer private-duty in-home care services, with nurse supervised care plans that are individualized to each client,” Lovse explained. “Our nurse-trained home care aides are passionate about what they do and our proven ‘personality match’ helps to ensure a good fit with the appropriate skill sets and to ensure client comfort.” Their Client Services Coordination department provides support to the well-trained AngelCare care team. Founded in 2000, Angel Care is affiliated with the Area Agency on Aging, the VA, HHS Health Options for Life and MICA-Michigan In-Home Care Association. Lovse has earned several honors for her efforts, including: Top Woman Owned Business GRBJ 2012; Winner of The Pillar Award Women’s Resource Center 2010; Finalist for Top Woman Owned Business GR Chamber 2010, and been named Top Area Home Health Care Agency by GRBJ every year since 2004 “I LOVE my Angel! Without her coming every week, I would not be here. Simple as that!” ~Walt O., client since 2006

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Still teaching the world to dance For over a century, Arthur Murray has been teaching the world to dance. With over 200 franchises worldwide, three local studios continue that tradition. It’s a second-generation business for GR sisters Julie Spearin and Leslie Sharp, co-franchisees of the Kentwood and Plainfield locations. The sisters grew up in the business: Their mother, Maggie Spearin, opened her first Grand Rapids’ studio in 1989. Three decades earlier, she had been a teacher in the Phoenix studio where she met their father, who had worked for the real Arthur Murray in New York City. Today, Leslie is a professional dancer who has ranked among the top six ballroom dance competitors in the country. She also serves on the National Dance Board and is a competition judge. Julie boasts multiple-year recognition as one of the organization’s top supervisors. Their former staff members, Jenifer and Matt Werdon, are now franchisees of the studio in Grandville. Their students come from all walks of life, learning how to dance under the gentle guidance of professionally trained instructors, who regularly attend professional association conferences to maintain their edge on the latest dances and teaching techniques. Students also benefit from the expertise of traveling dance consultants and guest coaches that visit monthly. Instruction is geared for adults and can be enjoyed at any age – some have even started dancing in their 80s. Arthur Murray Dance Studios offer low-cost introductory lessons, and students enjoy weekly practice sessions in the positive studio environment. You can put a little dance in your life by learning the latest steps for today’s dances, from Salsa, Merengue, Rumba, Night Club, Fox Trot, and Country, to Ballroom, Hustle, Swing, Cha Cha, Tango, Mambo and more. The rewards go well beyond simply learning to dance. It’s a fun way to exercise in a safe learning environment. It’s also a confidence booster that benefits the whole body, mind, and spirit.

Their students come from all walks of life, learning how to dance under the gentle guidance of professionally trained instructors.

Arthur Murray Franchised Dance Studio owners

Kentwood & Plainfield: Julie Spearin, Leslie Sharp Grandville: Jenifer and Matt Werdon

Three locations: 3089 29th Street, SE Kentwood, MI


(616) 940-9894

4485 Plainfield Ave. NE Plainfield, MI


(616) 363-7632


3819 RiverTown Parkway, suite 400 Grandville, MI


(616) 608-5149


established 1989 employs


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AV I Group owner

Phil Littell

1830 Breton Avenue, SE Suite 1900 Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 942-1000






Their comfortable, home-like lifestyle showroom serves as proof that a home can have an abundance of technology without overwhelming architectural details or compromising interior design

AVI Group offers expert advice Based in West Michigan, Audio Video Interiors (AVI Group) offers consumers exciting possibilities in the world of integrated technologies, along with the expertise of skilled specialists to guide you through the selection and integration processes. They offer all the latest electronic equipment, from audio and home theater systems, networkable devices and smart-home automation systems, to distributed audio and video, security and surveillance systems, intuitive universal remote controls, creative disguises for flat-panel TVs — and so much more. Voted “Best Home Audio/Video Store” in the Grand Rapids Magazine annual readers poll, they are the area’s premier audio and video retailer and residential and commercial technology integrator. Specializing in audio, video and automation systems design, sales and installation, they offer the only reference lifestyle showroom in West Michigan. In addition, they are the only certified dealer for B&W, Classe and Rotel products in the region. Recognized within the industry for their exceptional lifestyle technology showroom on the Mezzanine Level of Breton Village Mall, owner Phil Littell and his staff of system designers stand ready to assist you in making the perfect selection to fit your needs or take your systems to the next level. Their comfortable, home-like lifestyle showroom serves as proof that a home can have an abundance of technology without overwhelming architectural details or compromising interior design. The dynamic space features a “listening room” and a reference/home theater/media room to help customers visualize how a state-of-the-art system can be integrated into their own homes. It provides an opportunity to experience a true reference audio system and the advantages of a custom-designed, custom-built media room. Their showroom also includes a full gourmet kitchen, dining area and master bath that boast such amenities as lighting control, motorized shads and flat panel TV’s.” Consumers want to control every facet of their home today.” Said Littell, “No matter what room they’re in.” The latest trend is watching a cooking show in high definition while following along in your own kitchen! With so many technological options available today, quality electronics can make all the difference. The friendly and knowledgeable professionals at AVI Group will answer all your questions and help find an electronic solution appropriate for any need.

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A baby boutique mothers will appreciate Fairly new to the Grand Rapids scene, Baby Mine is a fun and fashionable baby boutique that has made shopping with your little ones a pleasure. Family-owned, it is the brainchild of mother-daughters team Kimberly Gill and her daughters Bethany Smith and Candace Gill. While Kim and Bethany own the shop, Candace works alongside them and has been an integral part of its realization. These dynamic women really understand what today’s mothers want in both product and atmosphere. They cater to families and offer helpful, personal shopping in family-friendly surroundings that include easy accessability, with kid-centered bathrooms and private breastfeeding facilities. Best of all is their wide array of products that are suitable for infants and children up to five years old. Baby Mine features beautiful, unique, organic and comfortable clothing for babies, toddlers and young children. With award-winning clothing lines and a broad selection that offers many different designs, they have something for every style and taste. In addition, they carry an abundance of Michigan-made toys, pillows, hats and eating utensils that your kids will love, along with many essential accessories that will appeal to youngsters and mothers alike. Far from the overwhelming, impersonal big-box stores, Gill and Smith have carefully chosen to stock this special baby boutique with a myriad of uniquely distinctive gift items for kids, including doll strollers, specialty cups and cool backpacks. For moms, they carry eco-friendly, award-winning diaper bags, Grovia cloth diapers and wraps, and so much more. Whether you are a mother, a mom-to-be, a grandmother, or simply somebody who is looking for that perfect gift for an infant or young child, you’ll find just the thing at Baby Mine. And should a tired toddler have a public meltdown, or you find it’s time to nurse the baby, you’ll be met with understanding smiles and accommodated comfortably.

These dynamic women really understand what today’s mothers want in both product and atmosphere.

Baby Mine owners

Kimberly Gill Bethany Smith

2237 Wealthy Street Suite 110 East Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 608-3862






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Berends Hendricks Stuit Insurance Agency, Inc. owners

Steve Olson, Jerry Niewiek, Greg Christie, James Ryskamp, Greg Heeres, Patrick Dalton and Zack VandenBerg

3055 44th Street SW, Grandville, MI


(616) 531-1900 (800) 350-7676

4595 32nd Avenue Hudsonville, MI


(616) 588-3903

2529 84th Street SW Byron Center, MI


(616) 878-1544

2822 Westshore Drive Holland, MI


(616) 396-2000

6672 Stadium Drive Kalamazoo, MI


(269) 342-1472


established 1939 employs


The core values of the Berends Hendricks Stuit Insurance organization are based on integrity and the highest ethical standards.

The right insurance Celebrating their 75th anniversary, Berends Hendricks Stuit Insurance Agency is a one-stop full-service insurance agency serving both individuals and businesses alike. For businesses, they also offer risk management services, comprehensive Human Resource consulting, employee benefits (including financial services such as 401k programs), wellness programs and assistance with healthcare reform. The insurance professionals at BHS include specialists in many business markets and industries, from non-profit organizations, cultural institutions, energy and public entities to contractors, financial institutions, manufacturing, retail operations and the food industry. It’s the superior talents and unmatched services provided by these detail-oriented BHS team members that really make the difference. With a constant focus on the best interests of their clients, BHS agents are on the forefront of breaking developments within the industry and are committed to continuing education within their fields. This is especially important in today’s ever-changing world of technological advances and healthcare reform. Serving over 14,000 individuals and more than 2,500 businesses across the country, Berends Hendricks Stuit has the right insurance for the needs of their clients. Headquartered in Grandville, they are a local agency with a national presence. The core values of the Berends Hendricks Stuit Insurance organization are based on integrity and the highest ethical standards. That is part of what has led them to be recognized as a “Best Practices” agency within the insurance industry for 20 consecutive years. Additionally, they have been lauded with numerous top-level awards and honors, including enjoying an elite status with several major insurance companies – a fact that greatly benefits their clients. An organization that strives to do what’s right, they were founded on values strongly rooted in ethics and moral commitment. That legacy remains a top priority for shareholders Steve Olson, Jerry Niewiek, Greg Christie, Jim Ryskamp, Greg Heeres, Zack VandenBerg and Pat Dalton. Another important BHS value is contributing to the health and well being of the communities in which they serve. They are an organization that truly gives back to local charities and service organizations, which is part of the reason that clients, insurance companies and even their own agents enjoy doing business with.

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Your event, done perfectly The name “Brann” is legendary throughout the Grand Rapids area. This multigenerational family of restaurateurs has been making their mark in the industry since the 1930s. It’s a name you can count on when it comes to great food and fun times. Since their expansion into the catering and banquet facility management business, Brann’s Distinctive Catering – a separate division of Brann’s Steakhouse & Grille under the ownership of Tom Doyle – has become known for providing high-quality catering at an affordable price. With locations for events in Wyoming, Grandville and in downtown Grand Rapids, they offer an array of options for various tastes and party styles, from corporate events, wedding receptions and family reunions to all varieties of private events and celebrations. In addition to their own locations, they are partnered with multiple venues throughout West and Southwest Michigan, and have been named “Best Caterer” for the last two years in Grand Rapids Magazine’s “Best of GR” annual readers’ poll. Whether staging an event in your own venue or in one of their tastefully appointed facilities, their mission is to make planning your event a smooth and enjoyable experience. From disposable products to china and linens, they offer something for every budget, with the experience and expertise to handle everything from full-service plated, family style and buffet menus to casual picnics, pig roasts and grill-out events for parties ranging from 50 to 5,000. Tom Doyle and Brann’s Distinctive Catering prides itself in offering high quality catering at an affordable price, without hidden fees. “We want couples to be able to afford a wedding reception with delicious food and outstanding service in an elegant venue without breaking the bank,” noted owner Tom Doyle. It’s a pledge you can count on Brann’s Distinctive Catering to deliver.

Whether staging an event in your own venue or in one of their tastefully appointed facilities, their mission is to make planning your event a smooth and enjoyable experience. Brann’s Distinctive Catering owner

Tom Doyle

Sales Office 25 Commerce Ave SW Suite 50 Grand Rapids, MI

Brann’s Distinctive Catering & Banquet Ctr. 4945 South Division Ave Wyoming, MI

Grandville Banquet Center by Brann’s 2900 Wilson Ave SW Grandville, MI

The Waddell Center by Brann’s 1115 Taylor Ave North Grand Rapids, MI


616-538-4384 866-802-7266


established 1995 employs

40 to 80

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Cascade Hospital for Animals & Breton Village Animal Clinic owners

Dr. Richard L. Siegle, Dr. Steven J. McBride, Dr. Gregory J. Paplawsky

Cascade Hospital for Animals 6730 Cascade Road SE Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 949-0960

Breton Village Animal Clinic 1852 Breton Road SE Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 988-4980


established 1955 employs


Their mission is simple: To help pets live healthy lives while strengthening the human-pet bond.

Exceptional medicine, compassionate care For close to 60 years, Grand Rapids area residents have trusted Cascade Hospital for Animals – and their outpatient clinic, Breton Village Animal Clinic – to deliver compassionate veterinary care and ongoing wellness services to their beloved pets. Doctors Richard L. Siegle, Steven J. McBride and Gregory J. Paplawsky own the local, second-generation practice started by Dr. Siegle’s father. It has grown to include a team of ten doctors, affording them the singular distinction of being the first and only general practice open on Sundays. They also offer the broadest array of specialist services and skills, such as those delivered by Dr. Ritzman, who is double board-certified in avian and exotic animal medicine and surgery. Enjoying a long-standing reputation for establishing personal relationships with both clients and the community, Cascade Hospital for Animals is a full-service animal care facility. It offers a wide variety of veterinary services, including wellness examinations, dental services, soft tissue and orthopedic surgery, laser surgery, diagnostic laboratory services, radiology and ultrasound, physical rehabilitation and laser therapy, nutritional and behavioral consultation as well as boarding, grooming and day care services for dogs and cats. Their outpatient clinic, Breton Village Animal Clinic, offers routine wellness care, outpatient medical services and grooming. Their mission is simple: To help pets live healthy lives while strengthening the human-pet bond. When it comes to treating your treasured companion, they carefully explain all of the options and help make the best decisions given your unique family circumstances. That’s because they are large enough to provide a high level of technology and expertise, but still able to customize care to the individual patient and their human family. Offering exceptional medicine at a fair price, their renowned practice attracts clients from all over the Grand Rapids area – as well as from all of West Michigan, as they routinely provide referral services for internal medicine, ultrasound, surgery and physical rehabilitation. An accredited member of the American Animal Hospital Association for over 26 years, they have been named “Veterinary Hospital of the Year” by Veterinary Economics, recognized for ten consecutive years in Grand Rapids Magazine’s “Best of GR” awards, and earned Angie’s List “Super Service Award” the last three years.

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Helping people look and feel their best Renowned for providing the highest level of patient satisfaction, the Centre for Plastic Surgery celebrated their 30th anniversary in a brand-new state-of-the-art Surgical Facility. Located on the southeast corner of East Paris and Burton, the 11,500-square-foot facility was built entirely with the patient in mind. Fully staffed with qualified, licensed nurses and board-certified anesthesiologists, it is equipped to provide hospital-quality surgical care while affording patients the privacy, comfort and confidentiality that is difficult to achieve in a hospital setting. Fully accredited by AAAASF, the operating and recovery rooms are completely equipped with the most current technology in monitoring systems to ensure the safest possible procedures, from breast augmentation, abdominoplasty, facelifts, blepharoplasty (eyelids) and liposuction, to reconstructive surgery and beyond. In addition to the cosmetic procedures and plastic surgery solutions, the Centre for Plastic Surgery is wholly focused on comprehensive care, as evidenced by its expanded Skin Care and injectable capabilities, which offer a wide variety of non-surgical options for aesthetic enhancement. The impressive new surgical center is an apt reflection of the quality of care provided by Doctors Scott Brundage, Douglas Leppink and Benjamin Rechner — all of whom are board certified, highly skilled members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and Assistant Clinical Professors in the Department of Surgery at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, where they teach leading-edge techniques and share their vast knowledge with the doctors of tomorrow. Drs. Brundage and Leppink are also members of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons and have been recognized by Grand Rapids Magazine as well as their peers with “Best Doctor” honors. At the Centre for Plastic Surgery you’ll find compassionate, personalized services that are uniquely tailored to the needs and desires of each patient, from initial consultation through post-procedure follow-up. One of the Centre’s newest technologies allows patients to develop an interactive connection following a consult, with full access to information regarding their case. The patient-focused design of this surgical center — from its own private entrance to utilization of the most current technologies — has been implemented to ensure the best experience for patients on their journey to wellness.

At the Centre for P lastic Surgery you’ll find compassionate, personalized services that are uniquely tailored to the needs and desires of each patient.

Centre for P lastic Surgery From left: Scott R. Brundage MD, Douglas M. Leppink MD, owners Benjamin P. Rechner MD

2060 East Paris Ave. SE At Heritage Pointe Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 454-1256


established 1983 employs


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The Cottage Bar & Restaurant owner

Dan Verhil

16 LaGrave Ave SE Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 459-9088






Aging well since 1927!

It’s a winning formula that has led to an extremely loyal clientele that represents an eclectic cross-section of the city.

Grand Rapids’ longest running pub within the city limits, The Cottage Bar & Restaurant has been in operation since before the Prohibition era. Over the course of its near 90-year existence, it has only had four owners. For the last 46 years, it’s been in the capable hands of the Verhil family and is now under second-generation ownership by Dan Verhil and his wife Lisa. The community-centered couple is almost always onsite to make sure the local dining icon has all the right stuff: Consistently good food, a familiarly comfortable environment, and a friendly, efficient and attentive staff, from bartenders to servers, all of whom are Certified Tourist Ambassadors ( It’s a winning formula that has led to an extremely loyal clientele that represents an eclectic cross-section of the city. Everybody loves The Cottage Bar. You always know what to expect. Like slipping into a comfortable old pair of shoes or getting together with a kindred friend that you haven’t seen for a while, a visit is like coming home again – back to a place where nothing ever changes. The embodiment of our city, some could argue that the venerable pub symbolizes GR almost as well as Alexander Calder’s illustrious red sculpture. In 2010, USA Today declared their famous “Cottage Burger” Michigan’s best burger, an award locals have bestowed for decades in “Best of GR” annual readers polls conducted by Grand Rapids Magazine and On the Town. Their three- and four-alarm chili and thickly cut Cottage Fries are held in equal esteem, but its hard to go wrong with any of the selections on the American pub-grub menu. The Verhils, who also own and operate The Cottage Bar’s more sophisticated sister restaurant, One Trick Pony, are well known for their active support within the community. They host the city’s annual Chili Cook Off and take part in other charitable events throughout the year. “The Verhil family is very grateful for the loyal patronage of our guests in West Michigan over the past 46 years,” Dan noted. “We hope to be serving you and reconnecting with old friends, while making new ones, for many years to come.”

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Dear Prudence brings jewelry, apparel & gifts to Forest Hills For 20 years, Prudence Kauffman had a dream that was taking shape in the back of her mind. It took a potentially disastrous health diagnosis for her to realize that dream. “Just after we moved here three years ago, I was diagnosed with cancer,” she recalled. “Right then, my husband said to me: ‘As soon as you get better, we are going to do everything we ever said we wanted to do.’ This shop was at the top of the list.” It must have been a great motivator for this cancer survivor. After receiving a clean bill of health, and with the loyal support of her husband Brad, they made her dream come true. Offering locally-made artisan jewelry, unique gifts and apparel, you’ll find many brand lines that are exclusive to Dear Prudence – and at reasonable prices. The upbeat staff provides friendly, helpful service in a fun and convivial atmosphere. Everywhere you look, there is a new treasure to discover, and you’ll find something for everyone on your gift-giving list. One popular jewelry line is crafted from vintage Coco Chanel buttons, while another is fashioned from repurposed vintage jewelry pieces. Every visit to the store will bring new surprises. Although Dear Prudence got their start in a tiny little shop in EGR’s Gaslight Village, the popularity of their exclusive clothing lines, such as Home T-shirts bearing the map of Michigan, and other fun and preppy lines, along with their inventory of unique gifts and one-of-a-kind jewelry, obligated them to find a larger space. They found their spacious new home in the Forest Hills Shopping Center, where patrons will be able to peruse even more apparel and treasures at price points that run the gamut. “We’ve got something for everybody,” Kauffman noted. “After several months of construction we are so excited to finally be in our new space.” Kauffman feels very blessed and has her “cancer eviction date” tattooed on her wrist, along with her adopted motto to “Be the change.” It also inspires her “to always give back,” which is why Dear Prudence frequently sponsors charitable fundraisers. For more information, follow them at dearprushops on facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Everywhere you look, there is a new treasure to discover, and you’ll find something for everyone on your gift-giving list.

Dear Prudence

820 Forest Hill Ave. SE Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 419-4042






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DeGraaf Interiors, Floors and More owners

Deb and Dean DeGraaf

1144 East Paris Ave. SE, Suite 1A Cascade, MI


(616) 264-2434

5282 Plainfield Ave. NE Grand Rapid, MI


(616) 363-3513

6450 28th Ave. Suite J Hudsonville, MI


(616) 662-0140






DeGraaf’s friendly, professional staff, and experienced f looring design consultants provide reliable, budget-conscious assistance from start to finish.

Value, Selection, Quality and Service DeGraaf Interiors, Floors & More is a second-generation family-owned West Michigan floor covering business with a proud history of serving the community. Passionate about what they do, owners Deb and Dean DeGraaf grew up in the flooring industry, helping their father at the original Hudsonville facility. They have since successfully grown the business to include three locations, and recently doubled the size of their Cascade showroom in East Paris Crossings Center, allowing them to significantly increase the number of product lines on display. Thoughtfully appointed, it’s the perfect showcase for their vast product selection and comprehensive design services. DeGraaf’s friendly, professional staff, and experienced flooring design consultants provide reliable, budget-conscious assistance from start to finish, including in-home measurement and expert installation. Offering great value to their residential, commercial and custom-home buildingtrade customers is an important priority to the DeGraafs. Homeowners are often surprised at their competitive pricing – especially given their quality selections, design expertise and high level of personal service. However, their substantial buying power allows them to pass those savings along to their customers. In addition, they have so much confidence in their professional installation crews that they offer a lifetime warranty on residential installations – something that is very rare within the industry. It’s another one of the value-added advantages to buying local rather than making the assumption that a big-box store will save you money. In fact, the DeGraafs are proud to announce the expansion of their Plainfield showroom and warehouse to now include DeGraaf Interiors Premium Discount Outlet. With over 50 rolls of in-stock carpet on display, along with pallets of wood, laminate, and luxury vinyl flooring, customers will be able to walk out of the showroom with new flooring in hand as soon as they fall in love with it.  Customers also benefit through DeGraaf Interiors’ top-level partnerships with some of the most well respected manufacturers in the industry: They are the only independent floorcovering retailer in the Midwest recognized as a Shaw Design Center®, and they are also designated a Mohawk ColorCenter Elite Showroom. They have received industry honors for overall business practices, steady growth, a talented staff and their charitable involvement in our local communities. They help homeowners realize the home of their dreams.

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More than just great hair Customers will tell you that it is the world-class service they receive at Design 1 Salon Spa that really puts this Grand Rapids area hair salon and day spa in a league of their own. In 2010-2011, Salon Today Magazine named them among the “Top 200” Fastest Growing Salons in the nation. They are a perennial selection by readers of Grand Rapids Magazine for recognition in the annual “Best of GR” awards, recently earning “Best Hair Salon,” “Best Pedicure/Manicure,” and “Best Day Spa,” while On the Town readers have voted them Gold Townie Awards as “Best Spa for a Day of Pampering,” “Best Hair Salon,” and “Best Day Spa” over the last several years. Owners Larry and Lisa Walt take pride in the fact that this family-owned salon and full-service spa has been beautifying Michigan residents for close to 35 years. Offering a full range of pampering salon services that include hair, nails, skincare, body and makeup, the expert staff at Design 1 Salon Spa is committed to excellence. It’s a commitment that starts with focused attention on their customers. The entire team at Design 1 Salon Spa is dedicated to providing unsurpassable service in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. “It is our goal to serve our clients with dignity and respect while offering the finest service available anywhere,” said owner Lisa Walt. “In fact, we are dedicated to maintaining a standard of quality that exceeds our clients’ expectations.” To stay abreast of the latest developments within the world of beauty, the entire Design 1 Salon Spa team is committed to advanced education regarding the latest methods and techniques available today. It is all part of their mission to offer their clientele the kind of world-class service that they have come to depend upon. “Design 1 Salon Spa is happy to be a member of this community and has an ongoing commitment to it and the people here,” Lisa noted. “We are grateful for the success we have found here and pledge to give our very best back to our valued clients, our friends and our community.” It is all part of what makes Design 1 Salon Spa “The One!”

The entire team at Design 1 Salon Spa is dedicated to providing unsurpassable service in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere.

Design 1 Salon Spa owners

Larry and Lisa Walt

4485 Plainfield Ave. NE Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 363-9019

5747 28th St. SE Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 956-1659

4693 Wilson Ave. SW Grandville, MI


(616) 261-4180

6750 Kalamazoo Ave. SE Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 871-9333






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DeVries Jewelers owners

Dan DeVries, David DeVries

411 Leonard St., NW Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 454-6892






Over a century of service and fine jewelry

They have kept their competitive edge by continually looking to the future and staying abreast of popular jewelry trends.

DeVries Jewelers has a long and proud legacy of serving the Grand Rapids community. Founded by Siebern DeVries over a century ago, this northwest-side icon at 411 Leonard Street is now under fourth-generation ownership by brothers Dan and David DeVries, who carry on the tradition of personal service established by their great-grandfather so long ago. To ensure that fact, you can always find a family member onsite. They have kept their competitive edge by continually looking to the future and staying abreast of popular jewelry trends. Their website ( and mobile App ( offers an easy peek into their extensive selection. However, you won’t want to miss a visit to the store, where they pride themselves on building relationships and providing personalized service. It’s a priority that is reflected in their high percentage of referrals and return customers. Another distinct advantage of their long history in the industry is the solid affiliations they have established with world-premier diamond suppliers. These long-established relationships allow them the flexibility of providing customers with the most competitive prices. In addition, two on-site jewelers perform all repairs in-house. They can take care of everything from sizings and settings to prong restoration and other refurbishments in a timely manner. For those in the market for an engagement ring, DeVries carries a wide variety of current custom-design bridal lines. If you find a setting you like but want to change the shape or size of the diamond, they can set it for you and have it ready to go, all in the same day. Their wide range of jewelry lines offers a broad selection of gifts that will fit all styles, designs and budgets, from bridal selections, diamond stud earrings, pendants and Swiss watches to the fashionable Chamilia line with add-on beads and charms, and the beautiful, yet affordably priced, Belle Etoile line set in sterling silver. DeVries Jewelers is the perfect place to find memorable gifts for all the special people in your life.

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Special Advertising Section

Highly personalized financial counsel With over three decades of experience as a financial advisor to his credit, David Muilenberg, CLU, ChFC, AIF, provides knowledgeable financial guidance through Discovery Financial, LLC, his independent West Michigan-based financial and investment services firm. With offices in Ada and Hastings, the company’s four Financial Consultants serve individuals, retirees and businesses across the country, with clients in over 40 states. This Westside GR native and Calvin College graduate established the company in 2001 to offer unbiased, highly personalized financial counsel focused on each client’s unique needs and individual priorities. Discovery Financial, LLC, is a fee-based financial services firm, meaning they are free from proprietary products and production goals. Their expertise and independence allows them to provide clients with highly personalized services and multi-faceted investment vehicles to help address individual financial objectives. For instance, an in-house specialist provides advice and service on Medicare and health insurance needs. “Health insurance is a real concern for retirees,” Muilenberg noted. “We want clients to feel comfortable about their Medicare choices by having an independent specialist research options to save them time and money.” Their Certified Long-Term Care (CLTC) specialist is on staff to ensure clients’ retirement assets remain secure if faced with a chronic or critical illness. The assistance of their own dedicated Retirement Plan Research Analyst allows Financial Advisors to spend more personal time with clients. Their association with LPL Financial, the country’s largest independent broker dealer,* allows access to the most comprehensive research, capabilities and resources. *As reported in Financial Planning magazine, June 1996-2013, based on revenues. Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC. Muilenberg is a recipient of the Grand Rapids and State of Michigan National Association of Insurance Financial Advisors (NAIFA) Distinguished Service Award. His designations include Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®) and Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®), which allows him to give fiduciary advice to retirement plan trustees and employees. He has been honored with the New England Financial Leaders Award, New England Financial Hall of Fame Award, appointed to LPL Financial Chairman’s Council in 2007 (based on overall production as of year end the prior year) and earned the LPL Financial Award for outstanding agency quality and service for ten consecutive years. He is a Million Dollar Round Table Life member and Top of the Table member.

Their expertise and independence allows them to provide clients with highly personalized services and multi-faceted investment vehicles to help meet each client’s individual financial objectives. Discovery Financial, LLC owner

David Muilenberg, CLU, ChFC, AIF

971 Spaulding Ave SE, Suite A, Ada, MI

525 W. Apple St. Hastings, MI


(616) 957-9999





6 employees, plus 4 Financial Advisors

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Bengtson Center for Aesthetics and P lastic Surgery owner

Dr. Bradley Bengtson MD, FACS

555 MidTowne St., NE Suite 110 Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 588-8880


established 2008 employs


A five-star center of excellence and service for concierge rejuvenation, providing comprehensive and individualized cosmetic and plastic surgery services.

Nationally recognized plastic surgeon With over 20 years experience to his credit, Dr. Bradley Bengtson, Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, is a nationally recognized leader bringing the highest level of surgical expertise to his patients. At the Bengtson Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery, he has created a five-star center of excellence and service for concierge rejuvenation, providing comprehensive and individualized cosmetic and plastic surgery services. Patients are privileged to a private post-surgical entrance, more akin to checking into a fine hotel, beautiful surroundings — complete with a fireplace, warm reading nook and skin-care bar — greet those entering the center. A concierge welcomes guests and discretely directs them to either the skin care, Botox®, filler or plastic surgery center. As a nationally recognized leader in breast related surgeries — from breast augmentation and revisional breast surgery to breast lifts and reduction — he was a major lead investigator in the U.S. for the 410 “gummy bear” cohesive gel breast implants, now FDA-approved, and is a national and international educator in breast aesthetic surgery. Dr. Bengtson also offers body contouring with the SlimLipo™ laser liposuction system, Vectra 3-D imaging and simulation, and is a national trainer for BOTOX® and facial fillers. His focus is on providing natural, proportional, restored and refined results for his patients. Greatly lauded by his peers, Dr. Bengtson has shared his expertise in breast augmentation surgery and other cosmetic procedures — both surgical and non-surgical — with tens of thousands of colleagues around the world. His peers have awarded him the plastic surgery “Best Doctors in America®” title consecutively since 1996, and he is a double recipient of the Tiffany Award, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery’s most prestigious research and scientific honors. Locally, readers of Grand Rapids Magazine have named him “Best Plastic Surgeon” in the annual “Best of GR” awards for the past four consecutive years. One of the top BoardCertified Plastic Surgeon Injection Trainers in the country for BOTOX® Cosmetic and Juvéderm® Facial Fillers, Dr. Bengtson has also achieved Allergan’s Black Diamond Level Status — their top-level physician practice award. He is a leader in his field and has proven one of the most talented in achieving natural-looking facial, breast and body results.

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E-Squared: Exceeding expectations Celebrating its 120th anniversary, Eikenhout, Inc. has been serving the local building-trade community since 1894. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, it remains in the original Wealthy Street location in which its legend began. However, this is a company that has never rested on its laurels. It has evolved over time to include six more branches that currently services the entire state of Michigan. As distributors of exterior building products, Eikenhout is committed to providing builders, general contractors, remodelers and architects with the highest quality products, coupled with impeccable customer service. Integral to this mission is their diverse inventory and a team passionate about continuous improvement. It is a purpose proudly supported by co-owners Greg Schierbeek, Bob Schierbeek, Mike Chase and Erik Brooks. Their ability to maintain their position on the forefront of the industry is one of the reasons why they are so highly regarded by the clients they serve. Just as important is their unwavering reliability. It’s a winning combination that is well appreciated within the industry – as proven by their impressive longevity. In fact, they have been recognized by the Michigan Historical Society as a Centennial Business. Community involvement is an important element of the Eikenhout tradition. They are longtime sponsors of fundraising events that benefit the charitable operations of Home Repair Services. As members of Local First, they are firm believers in supporting other local businesses in order to keep West Michigan growing strong. It’s another component of the business philosophy that has led them to such a cherished history.

Their ability to maintain their position on the forefront of the industry is one of the reasons why they are so highly regarded by the clients they serve.

Eikenhout, Inc. owners

Greg Schierbeek, Bob Schierbeek, Mike Chase and Erik Brooks

Corporate Headquarters: 346 Wealthy St. SW Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 459-4523

Saginaw, Traverse City, Mt. Pleasant, Holland, Lansing and Petoskey


(800) 225-3730






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EP S Security owner president

Allan Carlson, Kevin Carlson

750 Front Avenue, NW Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 459-0281

2450 VanOmmen Dr. Holland, MI


(231) 399-4760

4785 Campus Dr. Kalamazoo, MI


(269) 388-9600

1117 Carver St. Traverse City, MI


(231) 946-6590

2379 Charlevoix Rd. Petoskey, MI


(231) 487-1868

1234 South Otsego Ave. Gaylord, MI


(989) 705-7878






EP S has positioned itself as experts in each and every aspect of the industry.

Securing your people, places and things EPS Security is the Grand Rapids-based leader in security and life safety services. The family-owned company’s successful track record dates back almost 60 years. Today, they rank among the top 40 largest security companies in the U.S., and are one of only nine in the country to own and operate a Five-Diamond certified, UL-listed and FM approved Central Station facility. Additionally, EPS maintains the area’s largest fleet of service vehicles on the road, and operates with a staff of more than 200 security professionals, providing flexible and responsive service around the clock. Much of the recent development at EPS has come from the need to adapt to new technology and keep pace with a quickly evolving security industry. Decades of experience has allowed EPS to stay on the cutting edge of their four primary security disciplines: intrusion alarm, fire safety, video surveillance, and access control. Emerging technology such as remote services and networked business solutions continue to make security a focus of home and business owners alike. To meet these needs EPS has positioned itself as experts in each and every aspect of the industry. A staff of highly certified engineers, project managers, and technicians provide customizable solutions unique to the security needs of each individual customer. They are west Michigan’s security professionals, committed to providing the peace of mind of its customers, their places, and the things that matter most. When selecting EPS as a security provider, west Michigan customers know they are being helped by a neighbor, an organization run by west Michigan citizens, owned by a west Michigan family, and efficiently operated from a Grand Rapids Central Station. Considering the benefits of an EPS Security solution? Home and business consultations are free and can be requested online at or by contacting one of the six Michigan offices.

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Sharing your passion for pets Whether your faithful family companion is ailing, requires vacation boarding, doggie daycare, or simply needs a little attentive grooming, Family Friends Veterinary Hospital & Pet Care Center has you covered. Voted among the best in veterinary care by readers of Grand Rapids Magazine in last year’s annual “Best of GR” readers’ poll, this veterinary clinic and pet care center shares your passion for pets. Their five outstanding veterinarians take great pride in providing quality veterinary care for companion animals in Grand Rapids and its surrounding areas. The hospital’s services include nurturing care for companion animals, rehabilitation therapy, small animal surgery and medicine. Other pet services include long- and short-term boarding, doggie daycare, and comprehensive grooming. They service all breeds of dogs and cats with special emphasis on bulldog surgery and medicine, along with Bernese Mountain Dogs. Another specialization is their expertise in canine reproduction. It’s a service especially appreciated by local breeders. When a beloved pet is sick or hurting, they understand the stress on its human companions. That is why Family Friends Veterinary Hospital & Pet Care Center goes above and beyond to provide the kind of personal service that is as friendly and compassionate as it is experienced. The hospital, boarding and grooming facilities offer a family atmosphere that helps relieve the worry and stress that typically accompanies a trip to the vet. The well-appointed hospital facility is both high-tech and high-touch to ensure your well-loved pet has all the advantages of a high healing environment. For those in need of boarding services, Family Friends has all the desired amenities your pet will love, including lots of human interaction and playtime in clean, roomy surroundings. Whatever your pet needs, the caring staff at Family Friends is ready, willing and able to accommodate those needs.

When a beloved pet is sick or hurting, they understand the stress on its human companions.

Family Friends Veterinary Hospital & Pet Care Center owner

Randall R. Carpenter, DVM

6555 28th Street SE Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 575-6520






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Fifth Third Bank

Headquarters 111 Lyon Street NW, Grand Rapids, MI 130 financial center locations throughout West Michigan






Fifth Third Bank – The curious bank

They are dedicated to being the one bank people most value and trust, and steadfastly prove that commitment.

Providing a wide array of financial services to the people and businesses of West Michigan for over 150 years, Fifth Third Bank is not your typical bank. They are dedicated to being the one bank people most value and trust, and steadfastly prove that commitment. They ask all the right questions and take time to really listen to customers. The goal is to inspire their clientele with smart financial solutions that continually improve their lives, while at the same time enriching the well being of the communities in which their 130 financial centers serve. Headquartered in downtown Grand Rapids, Fifth Third Bank has a rich legacy of community support. It’s a mission they take very seriously. In 1948, they became the first financial institution in the United States to establish a charitable foundation. Today, they continue to invest the time, resources and people to help build a better tomorrow for the communities they serve. They have invested $36.2 million in affordable housing projects, and are credited with over $2.6 million in charitable community investments. Helping to illuminate the path toward a more secure future, they also have provided financial education to nearly 11,000 K – 12th Graders. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In support of their community-focused mission, Fifth Third associates have volunteered over 18,800 hours of community service, and between corporate and employee donations, they have given a million dollars to 26 United Way Charters throughout West Michigan. Inventive in the ways they give back, they also like to have fun; 37 years ago, the Fifth Third River Bank Run was created to drive economic development in Grand Rapids. It now boasts 22,000 participants and brings out over 40,000 spectators. Most people would consider that mission accomplished. At Fifth Third Bank, it’s just another day at the office providing trustworthy consumer and commercial banking and other financial services, including mortgage, business, private banking, insurance and investment management services. It’s a bank that really hits it out of the ballpark.

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Five Star Real Estate: Proud to be local In 1978, after a short career as a teacher, Gregory Carlson decided to switch career paths and ventured into the world of real estate. It was a fateful decision that ultimately led to the establishment in 1996 of Five Star Real Estate, LLC. Today the company has grown to include six locations in the Grand Rapids area, with over 200 real estate agents serving not only the local communities, but licensed to sell throughout Michigan. Their specialties include residential real estate, investments/ rentals, vacant land and even commercial real estate. The brokerage firm includes the Title Insurance agency, Star Title Agency, LLC. A veritable West Michigan entrepreneurial success story, Carlson has determinedly kept the firm independent and local, despite being wooed by many national organizations. “While many other agencies have gone the route of affiliating with national franchises, we believe local is best. Period,” Carlson noted. As if to affirm his point, the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors reported that Five Star was the leader in closed transactions last year. Their agents closed 3,480 real estate transactions, while Star Title Agency participated in 2,210 closings in 2013. Carlson credits the firm’s knowledgeable agents and their relationship-building capabilities for the company’s success. Five Star focuses on educating and training their agents in order to provide the most informed counsel to their clients. They constantly grow their knowledge with the goal of providing the absolute best in competent service as they guide home sellers, homebuyers — and investors seeking to purchase or sell real estate — seamlessly through the process by providing excellent representation that is both thoughtful and well researched. “Our agents can assist buyers and sellers through an absolute maze of challenges,” he said. “From difficult situations to various unexpected scenarios that may be encountered, our agents are well prepared to help clients reach their home-owning goals.” Carlson served as a member of the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors Board of Directors for two terms and participated as a contributing member on many committees. He guided the local association through the industry challenges of 2009 as President, and was instrumental in bringing GRAR into an affiliation with a wider and broader regional organization (SWIMRIC) that serves all of West Michigan.

While many other agencies have gone the route of affiliating with national franchises, we believe local is best. Period.

Five Star Real Estate LLC owner

Greg Carlson

4601 Lake Michigan Dr, Walker, MI


(616) 791-1500





10 full time staff & 207 real estate agents.

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Gerald R. Ford International Airport

5500 44th Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 233-6000





Kent County Department of Aeronautics (owner/ operator) employs approximately 100; all businesses combined, there are approximately 1,500 people employed across the airport campus.

GF IA has been able to stay ahead of its ever-growing demand to provide appropriate airport infrastructure and accommodating facilities.

50 Years of flight Serving the business and leisure travelers of West Michigan, Kent County’s Gerald R. Ford International Airport offers passenger air service to more than 20 nonstop destinations, with services provided by Allegiant, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines. They serve the needs of commercial aviation – both passenger and cargo – along with corporate aviation, and general aviation. The second-busiest airport in Michigan, GFIA has been able to stay ahead of its ever-growing demand to provide appropriate airport infrastructure and accommodating facilities by adhering to a carefully developed 20-year master plan that took much forethought and careful planning. Today, travelers enjoy a host of airport amenities that include close-in covered parking and free WiFi throughout the terminal. A staffed Visitor Information Desk and roaming Airport Ambassadors are available to provide information, answer questions and give directions when needed. Travelers can also enjoy some local flair by shopping at the Grand Rapids Magazine Travel Store or get a taste of Michigan with a beer and burger from Bell’s Brew Pub in the Grand Hall. In addition, rental cars are available from on-airport operators, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and National/Alamo, or from off-airport operator: Sign and Drive Rent-A-Car. Beyond being named in honor of Grand Rapids’ favorite native son, in a way its history will be forever linked with another defining moment in American history: Although the Airport’s official opening date was November 23, 1963, the grand-opening celebration was postponed until June, 1964, because President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed just one day earlier. “Celebrating in Grand Rapids while the entire country mourned the loss of its leader was simply not an option,” recounted GFIA Executive Director Brian Ryks. Since then, it has become an award-winning airport with various individuals and divisions of the Kent County Department of Aeronautics honored with local, regional, state, and national awards. Whether outbound or inbound, Gerald R. Ford International Airport’s 23 nonstop routes – with hundreds of one-stop connections – can get you to, or bring you from, nearly anywhere in the world! “We are excited to celebrate this anniversary with the West Michigan community and we would not be where we are without the passengers who have contributed to our fifty years of success,” Ryks concluded.

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Shaping lives, professions and societies Today, the phrase “private-public partnership” is commonly heard in association with higher education, as colleges and universities build relationships with businesses and organizations to expand student opportunities and make up for decreased state funding. However, in the 1950s, it’s a phrase that the late L. William Seidman took to heart. He challenged the residents of West Michigan to provide private support (even a buck a brick!) to build a public, four-year college. The result: Grand Valley State University, now one of the leading public universities in the state. His formula worked, and today GVSU President Thomas J. Haas said private-public partnerships remain integral to the university’s mission, and to its success. Grand Valley is the leader in Michigan in producing health professionals. Students in health professions will have even greater access to classroom and lab space when the university expands its health campus. In October, leaders announced the purchase of 11 acres near the Medical Mile to accommodate the growing number of students who want to enter nursing or health profession fields, and who will take care of the aging population in the years ahead. Community and university leaders recently dedicated two buildings that showcase support from generous donors and area businesses. The new L. William Seidman Center, which houses the Seidman College of Business, opened on the Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus; and the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons opened on the Allendale Campus. For the 18th year in a row, Grand Valley was named one of America’s 100 Best College Buys by Institutional Research and Evaluation, Inc. U. S. News and World Report ranked Grand Valley fifth in the “Top Public Universities in the Midwest” for 2014. West Michigan has received a return on its investment — 84 percent of recent Grand Valley graduates are employed or pursuing advanced degrees, and 90 percent are working in Michigan. More than 90,000 people are proud Grand Valley graduates, making their mark in this region and around the world.

Grand Valley is often recognized for its high-quality programs and low tuition.

Grand Valley State University president

Thomas J. Haas

1 Campus Dr. Allendale, MI


(616) 331-5000





1,657 faculty and 1,623 support staff

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Harrison Chiropractic Center owner

Dr. David K. Harrison, D.C.

2870 E. Beltline NE Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 363-0902






They take the time to really get to know and understand their patients in order to personally tailor a wellness program specifically targeted to each individual’s wellness needs.

Live healthy … live happy Dr. David K. Harrison, D.C., of Harrison Chiropractic Center offers patients pain relief and the healing benefits of modern-day chiropractic care. For 28 years, Dr. Harrison has been providing non-invasive, side-effect-free solutions to musculoskeletal system pain originating from a variety of sources, including low back and neck pain, headaches, sports injuries, strains and sprains, tendonitis, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis, herniated and degenerated discs, pre-surgical conditions and post-surgical recovery, scar tissue ablation, diabetic neuropathy and so much more. His results-oriented therapy is one reason why readers of Grand Rapids Magazine named him Grand Rapids’ “Best Chiropractor” in the annual “Best of GR” awards in both 2013 and 2014. Located on the East Beltline at Three Mile, his spacious wellness center boasts state-of-the-art chiropractic equipment and a welcoming, highly trained staff that puts patients at ease. Known for his never-ending pursuit of excellence, Dr. Harrison utilizes the latest technologies, equipment and leading-edge advancements in the chiropractic field. Beyond pain relief, he is leading the way in helping patients to “live healthy” for life by preventing injuries and illnesses in the first place. Drugs and surgery are not always the answer; the practice offers many alternatives such as: massage therapy, nutritional consultations, supplements, custom orthotic devices, non-thermal laser treatments proven to accelerate the healing process, WellWave, an acoustic compression therapy utilizing sound waves, and spinal decompression, which offers hope for those that suffer from serious neck and back pain. His practice is the only one in the area that offers all of the aforementioned, as well as Zerona, an FDA approved, non-invasivebody contouring laser that allows for targeting stubborn fat areas. Zerona has been clinically proven to remove fat and reduce inches in as little as two weeks without any negative side effects or downtime. At Harrison Chiropractic Center, they take the time to really get to know and understand their patients in order to personally tailor a wellness program specifically targeted to each individual’s wellness needs. They teach patients how to live healthy to live happy.

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Healthy answers for your healthy lifestyle Over 62 years ago, Netherlands immigrant Henry Diedering was way ahead of his time when he founded Harvest Health Foods. He was fueled by a passion to share the wholesome, unprocessed and nutritious foods of his heritage with his Grand Rapids neighbors. Today, under the ownership of his daughter and son-in-law Cathy and Henry Atsma, that passion still holds true. Long considered West Michigan’s premier natural grocer, Harvest Health Foods not only appeals to naturalists, but also attracts a modern mainstream clientele. They offer something for everyone, whether simply exploring opportunities to live a healthier lifestyle, or if seeking solutions for specific health concerns or special dietary needs. Now involving the third generation, they’re still the area’s go-to natural and organic foods store. The iconic original store on Eastern at Burton now has two sister stores in Cascade Township and Hudsonville. All three offer a large selection of certified organic produce, healthy meats, various bulk items, herbs and spices, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and other allergen-free foods, natural vitamins and supplements, sports nutrition, natural beauty/body-care products, and eco-friendly home cleaning goods — all of which meet the store’s exacting health-conscious standards. What you won’t find at Harvest Health Foods are artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, or foods with harmful chemical preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, bleached and/or bromated flours, or anything that has been irradiated. Their meat and dairy products are free from added hormones and routine antibiotic use, and produce is USDA-certified organic. In 2013, their efforts in education and labeling of Non-GMO-Verified products earned national recognition from The Non-GMO Project. Renowned for unusually high product standards, customers can rely on help from a well-informed staff passionate about assisting people on their journey to a healthy lifestyle. A constant resource to clientele, they take the time to understand each customer’s needs to provide individualized health-oriented information. “We believe being healthy is a lifelong collection of choices,” summed up owner Cathy Atsma. “We are here to help customers make their healthiest choices every day.” They’ll have you “Feeling Good from the Inside Out.”®

Customers can rely on help from a well-informed staff that is passionate about assisting people on their journey to a healthy lifestyle.

Harvest Health Foods owners

Cathy and Henry Atsma

1944 Eastern Ave Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 245-6268

6807 Cascade Road Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 975-7555

4150 32nd Ave Hudsonville, MI


(616) 896-6630


established 1952 employs

60 Part time & Full Time Employees

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Holland Home president/ ceo

David Claus

Corporate Offices: 2100 Raybrook St. SE, Suite 300 Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 235-5000


established 1892 employs


The expert staff and gerontology specialists at Holland Home thoroughly understand the challenges inherent with the aging process.

The experts for aging adults Well ahead of the curve on healthcare reform, Holland Home has been strategically evolving their lively retirement campuses into communities that promote a healthy, robust lifestyle for seniors. They have also grown their broad array of care options to include daily living services designed to facilitate independence and meet the needs of aging adults within their own homes. Ranked among the top non-profit continuing care retirement communities in the nation, Holland Home has been enhancing the lives of Grand Rapids’ seniors for over 120 years. Today, their three vibrant retirement communities not only offer beautiful, burden-free accommodations, but also include an ever-changing program of daily activities, social and educational outings, and life-enriching events. Within their communities, they have created centers for healthy aging and whole-person wellness by focusing on four specific factors proven to lead to successful aging: social, intellectual, physical and spiritual health. Developed from medically based research, SIPS programming was established at Holland Home through Masterpiece Living®. It allows residents to chart their own course of personal growth from over 100 options and activities concentrated in each of these areas. To keep things fresh, new programs and events are introduced monthly. It has created an overall culture of community, resulting in less time spent in hospitals, a decrease in risk factors that lead to decline, a lessened chance to succumb to age-associated illnesses and an increase in overall personal well-being. The expert staff and gerontology specialists at Holland Home thoroughly understand the challenges inherent with the aging process. They are well equipped to provide exceptional support at each of its various stages with a full array of healthcare and services, from independent living to assisted living, to skilled nursing care and beyond. Their Trillium Woods campus in Byron Center is exclusively purposed to provide compassionate Faith Hospice® care should it be required. No matter what the future holds, their LifeCare agreement guarantees a continuum of lifelong care, while their benevolent fund ensures residents have a home for life, even in the face of dwindling resources. It’s the perfect combination of exciting possibilities and freedom from worry that allows older adults to really enjoy life.

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“We’re your best move” For close to 15 years, the real estate brokerage firm of Keller Williams Grand Rapids has been helping their clients to find the home of their dreams. Whether buying, selling, or in need of real estate consultation services, you can count on Keller Williams. Recognized for more than ten years as the number one real estate office in the Michigan/Ohio region, the Grand Rapids office ranks among the top 15 out of the more than 700 offices nationwide. Among their highly trained, professional agents, you’ll find someone for every specialty, from residential and commercial real estate to condominiums, relocation, new construction, farms and waterfront. Some of the components that set them apart within the industry is an open-door work environment for learning and sharing information, coupled with a successful business model based on training. A high-level web-based real estate education is available to all of their agents. “We have the systems in place to take any agent to the next level of their career,” noted KWGR Operating Principal, Karol Cooley. “Our agents have access to masterminds that they can tap into at all levels, along with some of the greatest leadership mentors in the business.” Agents also benefit from profit-share practices, which is a rarity in the real estate industry. It encourages all team members to work together toward success. Another important aspect is their people-centered culture, whose primary focus is to serve their clients. However, at Keller Williams, that policy extends to embrace their “family” of agents and the communities in which they operate. Cooley continued. “We do whatever we can to help our agents and their families get through difficult times, and we reach out to give back to the community.” For example, when an agent’s family member was diagnosed with leukemia, the KW team raised funds for the Leukemia Foundation. Keller Williams has adopted GR’s St. John’s Children’s Home as their own philanthropy; they’ve cleaned vacant lots for the Christian Federation; they support Gilda’s Club; and nationwide, Keller Williams sponsors Red Day, when all personnel take on charitable works within their communities. In the final analysis, it’s caring about people that makes the Keller Williams difference.

Whether buying, selling, or in need of real estate consultation services, you can count on Keller Williams Realty.

Keller Williams of Grand Rapids

Main office: 630 Kenmoor SE Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 575-1800


established 2000 employs


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Kendall College of Art and Design Continuing Studies

17 Fountain Street Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 451-2787, ext. 3012


established 1928 employs

KCAD Continuing Studies employs: 2 full-time employees, 125 part-time instructors and 3 student employees.

They offer instruction in the most recent computer-associated tools that can help keep a professional on the cutting-edge of their profession.

A positive impact on your future The extraordinary educational opportunities offered by Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University are well known throughout Grand Rapids. However, not everyone is aware of the fantastic growth opportunities available to the community at-large through their Continuing Studies program. Organized to address the specific needs of three different segments of the local population, their newly redeveloped programs include the youth-centered Go Folio classes, enrichment classes known as Grow Folio that offer personal development and beginning computer studies for adults, and now the greatly expanded Pro Folio, offering courses that concentrate on additional professional development for designers, studio artists and educators, along with team-building workshops and custom-designed training classes for area businesses. These new KCAD programs offer several 15-week courses, the length of a college semester, and allow for more comprehensive, in-depth studies in a variety of pertinent subjects. Interior Designers and studio artists can learn how to take advantage of the latest computer applications and software developments within their industries, while educators can earn State Continuing-Ed Clock Hours. They offer instruction in the most recent computer-associated tools that can help keep a professional on the cutting-edge of their profession. From software courses in such programs as Illustrator and Photoshop to verbal communication and presentation skills designed to enhance professional presentations, these classes can take a student from tentative beginner to someone with accomplished skills upon completion. The Continuing Studies office has designed these courses to provide a positive impact on the future of artists, designers and educators through further growth and professional development. They also offer developmental opportunities for aspiring area artists through their visiting artist workshops that feature nationally reputed artists sharing their expertise in a broad range of subject matter. Other popular activities within the Grow Folio programs are Adult Tours, such as the upcoming bus trip on May 17 for Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiasts. The “All Wright House Walk” Architectural Tour in Oak Park, Illinois, includes docent-guided tours of eight Wright-designed private homes not typically open to the public, along with the architect’s home, studio and Unity Temple. Registration deadline for this tour is May 1.

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Cabinetry/design for kitchen, bath & home Celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, Kitchen Design Studio offers impeccable design and space-planning services, along with furniture-quality custom cabinetry for kitchen, bath and home. From her Wealthy Street showroom with its huge barrel-vaulted ceiling, owner and Kitchen Designer Bonnie Schut works closely with her clients, taking the time to fully understand the way they live — and want to live — in a particular space. She then develops a plan which incorporates their needs and wishes, typically exceeding their expectations. Her work has been featured in such national magazines as Dream Kitchens and BH&G Kitchen and Bath Ideas. Bonnie’s talent for conceptualizing the use of space and implementing its design was visionary eight years ago, when she purchased and totally restored a building that appeared to be on its last legs in the Historic Cherry Hill District, and then moved her showroom into it. This previously blighted business district is now a thriving, trendy shopping area not far from the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. Her classically designed white and black front window display, featuring a distinctive German Silver sink, continues to excite and inspire for its timeless beauty. The showroom is warm and inviting and filled with various vignettes that showcase her design skills and the cabinetry lines she offers. In collaboration with skilled area builders, Bonnie can pull together all the different elements a project requires to create the space of your dreams. She can provide the design, cabinetry and associated products needed to complete any kitchen or bath remodel or new construction project in both residential and commercial spaces alike. She is frequently referred for her personalized design work and has built the business on her extraordinary reputation for client satisfaction. “I love creating something that fits the lifestyle of my clients and feel very fortunate to have persevered through the horrible housing recession of recent years,” she said. “There are a lot of independent operations such as mine that didn’t make it.” The fact that she is celebrating 20 years in the design business is a true testament to her talent.

She then develops a plan which incorporates their needs and wishes, typically exceeding their expectations.

Kitchen Design Studio, Inc. owner

Bonnie W. Schut

750 Wealthy Street, SE Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 451-9779




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Klingman’s owners

David and Jason Israels

2984 28th Street SE Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 942-7300






Grand Rapids’ finest furniture

Klingman’s continues to represent the best of what furniture manufacturers have to offer.

In 1896, Grand Rapids hosted the Wholesale Furniture Market, which attracted buyers from around the country. It provided a plentiful source for high quality furniture, and took place in a vast number of showrooms located in several different exhibition buildings. At Market’s end, the showrooms needed an outlet to sell off their samples. Enter Phillip J. Klingman. Identifying this need, he bought entire showrooms of samples at discounted prices. He then displayed them in his own showroom in downtown GR, passing the tremendous values along to his retail customers. This is how Klingman’s became known at one time as Klingman Sample Furniture Company. Continuing this practice through the years, Klingman’s became nationally known and shipped furniture all over the country. In a 1930s article in Collier’s magazine, Klingman’s was recognized as one of the finest furniture stores in America. Progress saw Klingman’s moving to the suburban Eastbrook Mall in 1978. The company flourished in its new expanded showroom. It featured a complete furniture assortment on three floors, including a first-rate design studio, a spacious floor covering department, and one of the nation’s largest clock shops. The practice of buying entire showrooms, close-outs, and special buys continued as Klingman’s followed the original philosophy of its founder and sought to bring quality and value to its customers. Today, Klingman’s continues to represent the best of what furniture manufacturers have to offer. The company is proud to display fine products from the Kindel Furniture Company –the lone remaining residential furniture producer in Grand Rapids. The store also features luxurious upholstery and premium leather as well as solid-wood American-made bedrooms and dining rooms. A unique collection of accents and accessories are also on display. All offer the quality and value that has earned Klingman’s its fine reputation over the years. Klingman’s experienced staff stands ready to serve whatever the need of the client. Whether it be a specific furniture need or a more extensive project, the satisfaction of the customer is of paramount importance. The entire Klingman’s staff understands the heritage of the company and abides by the principles upon which it was founded. The company will never deviate from this philosophy. It has made Klingman’s West Michigan’s store of choice since 1896.

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Connecting people to art since 1987 From its humble beginnings as a 600-square-foot picture framing business near the East Hills neighborhood, LaFontsee Galleries has evolved over the last 27 years to become Grand Rapids’ favorite art gallery – an honor perennially bestowed by readers of both On the Town and Grand Rapids Magazine in their annual “Best of GR” awards. Nurtured along under the loving stewardship of owners Scott and Linda LaFontsee, it has become a two-gallery artists’ haven, making the world of art accessible to the general public at both Grand Rapids and Douglas gallery locations. In the process, they returned to their East Hills roots after a 20-year presence in downtown GR; in 2011, LaFontsee Galleries moved into a 24,000-square-foot facility at 833 Lake Drive SE. It’s the realization of a dream for the LaFontsees. The East Hills neighborhood met their criteria of a safe location with free, easily accessible parking and at a cost that would allow them to keep art prices within reach. Still renowned for their professional custom framing services, their new home also provides plenty of production space for large projects as well as room for outdoor exhibits on their two-and-a-half acre lot. Ownership allowed them to convert the mid-century brick building with an eye toward the future, serving corporate as well as residential clients, and representing over 75 artists. It also houses a unique boutique with artisan accessories for the home, office and individual. Their one-stop gallery offers art consulting and installation services as well as providing space for artist’s series, workshops and community fundraising events, which is important to the LaFontsees, who believe in giving back to the community that has embraced them. The LaFontsees are expanding their presence in the lakeside town of Douglas, moving to a new and much larger location at 410 W. Center Street, opening this spring. Currently they are planning an exciting lineup of exhibitions and opening events for the 2014 Douglas summer season. Passionate about what they do, the LaFontsees believe that art should be accessible to everyone. They are founding members of the Grand Rapids Gallery Association and also belong to the Professional Picture Framers Association.

Their one-stop gallery offers art consulting and installation services as well as providing space for artist’s series, workshops and community fundraising events.

LaFontsee Galleries owners

Scott and Linda LaFontsee

833 Lake Drive, SE Grand Rapids, MI

410 W Center St. Douglas, MI


(616) 451-9820






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Lifestyle Kitchen Studio owners

Susan Bloss, CKD, CAPS Holly Marie Peterson, CKD, CAPS and Tory Peterson, AKBD

222 E. Fulton Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 454-2563


established 1983 employs


The best in kitchen and bath design

The award winning design team carefully guides clients through the design process, using three-dimensional computer drawings that help clients envision their new space.

For three decades, the design team at Lifestyle Kitchen Studio has been creating some of West Michigan’s most beautiful kitchens and baths. After a long presence in EGR, Lifestyle Kitchen Studio now boasts a magnificent, fully accessible showroom in downtown Grand Rapids with complimentary parking behind the building. One of the few remaining structures made from Grand River limestone, it’s in one of the city’s oldest buildings. The stone “cottage,” built in 1845 by Judge Truman Lyon, was supplemented with an addition in 1985. The original building provides the perfect setting to showcase traditional kitchens, while the addition hosts more contemporary kitchen displays. It includes five live kitchen displays with working appliances that lets clients try out an appliance before making their selection. They offer the exclusive Gaggenau appliance line, whose latest technology includes an induction cooktop that conforms heat to individual pan size. They also feature Wolf, SubZero and Miele appliances in full suites, with a wide variety of plumbing products also on display. Lifestyle has carefully chosen their selection of craftsman cabinetry to accommodate a wide range of budgets and styles, from contemporary to traditional and moderate to exquisite. The award winning design team carefully guides clients through the design process, using three-dimensional computer drawings that help clients envision their new space. Then working drawings are produced, providing builders with the information needed to complete installation. Owners Susan Bloss, CKD, CAPS, Holly Marie Peterson, CKD, CAPS and Tory Peterson, AKBD, pride themselves on having an entire design team certified by the National Kitchen and Bath Association — a unique accomplishment in the Midwest. They are also accomplished in Universal Design, creating solutions for those with disabilities, and are certified through the National Home Builders Association to accommodate special aging-inplace requirements. Unsurpassable hands-on customer service, top-quality products and custom craftsmanship set the standard at LifeStyle Kitchen Studio.

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Michigan’s community bank Named one of the Top 200 Community Banks by CFO Daily News, Mercantile Bank of Michigan provides personalized financial products and services. Recognizing that customers are their most important partners, they are equally known for advanced bank technology. They were the first bank to partner with PayPal, giving customers the ability to send mobile payments to someone from their phone, and were one of the first banks in Michigan to offer mobile deposits. They continue to develop top-notch technology for customer convenience, and have been well recognized for their efforts within the industry. Online Services include Mobile Check Deposit and Personal Financial Management Tools. Serving the diverse communities of greater Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Holland, Mercantile works to help Michigan businesses grow. Their consultative approach has earned them a reputation as the state’s premier bank for small and mid-sized businesses. In addition, they have pledged to support and strengthen the communities in which they serve, and enjoy a long tradition of involvement with local nonprofit organizations. Their employees banked over 6,000 hours of community service last year. Committed to assembling an exceptional, customer-focused team, their work environment encourages development and growth. In fact, they were named among the 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in 2013. In August of 2013, Mercantile Bank Corporation and Firstbank Corporation jointly announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement under which Mercantile and Firstbank will merge to create one of the largest banking institutions headquartered in Michigan. Poised for continued growth as Mercantile Bank, customers can expect a seamless transition. “This is an exciting opportunity for our customers, our shareholders and our employees to create the premier Michigan community banking franchise,” said CEO Michael Price. “We promise our customers that they will continue to experience the same great service, cutting-edge banking tools and friendly atmosphere they have come to associate with our bank. We look forward to serving our diverse communities with all 53 of our branches.”

Their consultative approach has earned them a reputation as the state’s premier bank for small and mid-sized businesses.

Mercantile Bank of West Michigan

Corporate Headquarters: 310 Leonard St NW Grand Rapids, MI Also with 5 branches in the Grand Rapids, Holland and Lansing areas.


(616) 406-3000


established 1997 employs


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Modern Hardware owners

Rick and Elaine Dreyer Bob and Vicki VanderLugt

1500 Kalamazoo Ave. SE Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 241-2655


established 1924 employs


Grand Rapids’ most stylish hardware

Offering personal, professional service, their helpful staff will assist with any project and help find something that fits both budget and personal style.

Since it was originally founded 90 years ago, Modern Hardware has developed into the area’s favorite full-service hardware store. It’s a second-generation familyowned business. Co-owners Rick and Elaine Dreyer and Bob and Vicki VanderLugt follow in the footsteps of Bob and Elaine’s parents, who took ownership in 1970. Specializing in decorative hardware for both homeowners and the building trade, they have grown into the area’s largest supplier of quality decorative and builders’ hardware, with third-generation family members working in the store at its original Kalamazoo Avenue location. Boasting the largest decorative hardware selection in West Michigan, Modern Hardware has thousands of items in stock, with thousands more available by special order. Their vast array of drawer-pulls, door and cabinet knobs range from the simplistic to the sublime. They offer every color, shape and form, from fun and highly distinctive artisan pieces to more traditional designs. If ‘bling’ is your style, they have hardware inset with Swarovski crystals. If you favor the whimsical, they have artfully designed figurines. Outdoorsy styles range from faux branches, vines and leaves to the celestial theme of stars, moons, suns and planets… and that’s only to name a few. Whether your style is quiet and classy or fun and funky, there is something for every decorative taste, and at competitive prices to suit most any budget. Offering personal, professional service, their helpful staff will assist with any project — from the selection process through to precise installation — and help find something that fits both budget and personal style. The store also offers a select line of outdoor grills as well as a full inventory of stock to assist in any DIY project, from plumbing supplies, electrical tools and all the typical hardware products required when building or remodeling a home, to high-end paint lines like Pratt & Lambert or their “Do it Best” label, Sherwin Williams. Whether picking out a single knob for a closet door, outfitting a whole home, seeking help for a leaky faucet, or simply need a couple of screws to finish up a project, Modern Hardware has it.

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NorthStar Commercial makes it easy NorthStar Commercial is a full-service commercial real estate brokerage firm that offers every aspect of commercial real estate services, from brokerage, site selection and tenant representation to acquisition and disposition, development and property management. They provide professional assistance and knowledgeable guidance to a clientele that covers the gamut from the first-time investor or tenant, all the way up to national REIT and national tenant representation. Their brokerage specializes in Retail, Industrial, Investment, Office and Property Management, making it a one-stop destination for those in the commercial market. “NorthStar Commercial knows Michigan’s diverse commercial real estate market, and we understand that it takes a tailored approach to each property and client to achieve the best results,” noted company President, Steve Millman. “With our extensive market research, custom marketing strategies developed for each client, and nationwide database, we stay at the forefront of the commercial real estate industry.” NorthStar Commercial’s high professional standards and proven track record with local and national clients has made them the go-to firm for commercial real estate. “Even though we are the largest independent commercial brokerage firm in Grand Rapids, we still consider ourselves a boutique firm that offers our clients a more personal and hands-on approach,” Millman continued. “The goal of NorthStar Commercial was never to be the biggest firm, but to offer our clients the very best service and guidance to satisfy their commercial real estate needs. Our firm has grown to be the biggest independent firm in Grand Rapids because we continue to offer that same service to our ever-growing client list.” Whether you’re buying, selling, leasing, conducting a 1031 Exchange or investing in Michigan commercial real estate, count on NorthStar Commercial to ease you through the process. “We are dedicated to help our clients navigate through the particular challenges of the world of commercial real estate to make every transaction successful,” Millman concluded.

We are dedicated to help our clients navigate through the particular challenges of the world of commercial real estate to make every transaction successful.

NorthStar Commercial, LLC owners

Steve Millman, Stephen Wilson

Grand Rapids office: 660 Cascade West Pkwy SE Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 247-9600

Spring Lake office: 622 E. Savidge St Spring Lake, MI


(616) 842-5800


established 2009 employs


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Northwestern Home Furnishings owners

Scott and Amy Howard

637 Leonard NW Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 454-4439


established 1939 employs


Personal attention for generations

Offering the latest in home furnishings, their interior-design staff provides knowledgeable guidance throughout every step of the design process, assisting clients to create the rooms of their dreams.

Northwestern Home Furnishings is one of Grand Rapids’ most enduring familyowned furniture stores. Third-generation husband-and-wife team Amy and Scott Howard proudly continue the legacy of providing quality fine furniture established by Amy’s grandparents over 75 years ago. Just as important to the success and growth of the business over the years is the individualized personal attention and interior design services for which they have become known. Still in its original Leonard Street location, their showroom is warm and welcoming, with beautiful and stylish room vignettes that offer clients a glimpse of all the possibilities. Northwestern Home Furnishings has maintained its popularity by constantly evolving to stay current with the times and providing comprehensive complimentary design services to their clientele. They are always up-to-date on industry innovations and current trends. Offering the latest in home furnishings, their interior-design staff provides knowledgeable guidance throughout every step of the design process, assisting clients to create the rooms of their dreams. Friendly, knowledgeable and creative, they not only help to solidify ideas, but also can pull together all the pieces to transform those ideas into a spectacular room reality. Offering free in-home design services, they will assist with everything from color scheme selection and room layout to furniture selection, in-home placement, and can even find all those finishing accents that make a unique statement. The store carries a wide array of home accessories, from wall art and lamps to area rugs and other design elements that add distinctive style to any room. Whether furnishing a single room or an entire house, the design staff can help with everything from concept to beautiful completion. The store’s wide variety of quality furniture brand lines offers something for every budget and style, ranging from the traditional and transitional to casual and contemporary. Their “Young America Signature Shop” is the place to go for creating special spaces for children. Routinely updated, the room setups showcase a broad collection of fun and festive youth furniture in a full spectrum of colors, allowing kids to express their own unique personalities. From the vast assortment of furnishings to complete design services, Northwestern Home Furnishings has everything needed to create a look all your own.

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Outfitting outdoor living spaces in style For close to 20 years, owner Dan Hart and his helpful staff have been bringing style to the outdoor spaces and sunrooms of West Michigan at Out Back Casual Living & Fence. They have over 100 collections of outdoor furniture on display in their spacious Comstock Park showroom. The expansive selection runs the gamut in style, from low-maintenance casual to formal elegance. They offer everything needed to create a comfortable, dynamic outdoor living space for the whole family. In addition to furnishings, they have the ability to turn backyards into dream landscapes or private playgrounds: They offer everything from all manner of fencing that perfectly defines a space, to family recreational equipment such as redwood play centers, Tree Frogs Playcenters, Goalsetter Systems and basketball hoops. In addition, they have built a solid reputation for furnishing the most fashionable sunrooms in custom-designed style. Some of their more popular lines include NCI and the Ebel Collection, which includes recliners, various styles of swivel-rocker chairs, sofas and loveseats. Both lines are easily maintained synthetic wicker and come in a variety of colors. Customers can select from a broad array of coordinating fabrics, such as the solar-resistant, solution-dyed acrylic fabric, Sunbrella, which is available in a full range of colors and patterns. According to Store Manager Michelle Miller, its fade-resistant qualities stand up well against sun exposure. They also carry the more traditional wood-fiber wicker line, Lloyd Flanders, which is a Menominee, Michigan-made product. The collection offers many different frame color options, and a selection of cushions, whose patterns range from traditional to modern. Out Back Casual Living & Fence also carries a full selection of table sets, outdoorindoor rugs and a large selection of designer accessories — from various table planters and pots to wall hangings and art pieces — that add extra personal style to indoor rooms and outdoor living spaces. If you need it outback, you’ll find it at Out Back Casual Living & Fence.

They offer everything needed to create a comfortable, dynamic outdoor living space for the whole family.

Out Back Casual Living & Fence owner

Dan Hart

4050 West River Drive NE Comstock Park, MI


(616) 785-8000


established 1995 employs


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P lastic Surgery Associates, P.C. From left: David R. Alfonso, MD, John D. Renucci, MD, Marguerite E. Aitken, MD, owners Douglas L. Vander Woude, MD

Grand Plaza Place 220 Lyon St. NW, Suite 700 Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 451-4500


established 1987 employs


They pride themselves in treating each patient individually in order to achieve the desired results and assure the best outcome.

Go Confidently™ Plastic Surgery Associates (PSA) has been designated one of the Top 50 practices in the United States for breast aesthetics, BOTOX®, and Juvéderm® by Allergan, Inc. PSA is the only practice in West Michigan to receive this honor. For almost 30 years, Plastic Surgery Associates has distinguished their practice with world-class services that encompass comprehensive cosmetic surgery for men and women. An accredited surgical suite is designed to help every patient feel pampered and at ease. Conveniently located in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel building in downtown Grand Rapids, services come complete with complimentary valet parking, and patient privacy. They also have a fully integrated cosmetic surgery and skincare practice for patients of all ages. Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and fellowship trained, PSA’s four plastic surgeons — Doctors Douglas Vander Woude, John Renucci, Marguerite Aitken and David Alfonso — are also national contributors to research and publications regarding leading-edge techniques and the latest procedural advancements. They specialize in cosmetic procedures, which includes the face, breast, and body. They pride themselves in treating each patient individually in order to achieve the desired results and assure the best outcome. With over 50,000 safely performed procedures to their credit, they optimize patient results through the use of both surgical and nonsurgical procedures. Pam Jendritz, RN, Jeanne Eyde, DO, and all of the board-certified plastic surgeons are also available to provide the most advanced applications for BOTOX® Cosmetic, JUVÉDERM® XC and the new injectable gel JUVÉDERM VOLUMA™ XC, which is the first and only filler FDA-approved for restoring volume to the check area for up to 2 years. Their compassionate, highly credentialed staff is adept in all the latest techniques and newest tools available like VASER® Shape, a nonsurgical fat reduction treatment, laser skin renewal, laser hair removal, and skin care products. PSA’s facilities include a private outpatient surgical and laser center accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, three hospital-quality operating rooms, seven recovery rooms, skincare facilities, and comfortable private waiting areas for patients and clients. Another distinction is their eCommerce site,, showcasing all of their skincare products, make-up, and tools.

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Now in our third century In 1850, the Grand Rapids area was a growing settlement with about 5,000 people. It wasn’t much more than a Native-American trading post. For a young watchmaker named William Preusser, who came from the Detroit area, this exciting new land was rich with hope for a long future in fine jewelry. Today, Preusser Jewelers President and owner David Kammeraad, and his fine team, stand as a testament to the values of its founder. Like William Preusser, they believe in creating and maintaining strong lifetime relationships by offering the finest jewelry and outstanding personal service to all of their customers in Michigan and around the country. Preusser Jewelers not only enjoys the exclusivity of being the oldest jeweler in Michigan, but also as the longest standing business of any kind in Kent County. However they are not content to rest on tradition alone. Their passion for creativity and innovation is reflected in all of the pieces they offer. In addition to custom-crafted jewelry, they are equally proud to be associated with some of the most coveted designers in the country and carry several of the most coveted collections, including Veraggio, Frank Reubel, SimonG and Peter Storm. With 164 years of experience to their credit, Preusser Jewelers combines timehonored craftsmanship with contemporary design. Their downtown store in the historic Ledyard building is the place to go for some of the latest and most innovative works in jewelry and fine watches. When you have a special occasion that requires an exclusive design, their master jewelers can turn your vision into a unique and stunning one-of-a-kind piece. Combining time honored techniques with the newest technologies; they will create a breathtaking custom piece of jewelry that will exceed all expectations. Their craftsmen work with the most rare gems, exceptional diamonds and fine metals. They can also take inherited jewelry, or pieces that are damaged or out-of-date, and re-style them into something spectacular just for you. Clients can participate in the entire creation process, from sketches to wax carving, casting, and finishing. Above all, the people at Preusser Jewelers want you to be thrilled with your new piece and the entire Preusser experience.

Offering the finest jewelry at fair prices and outstanding personal service to our customers here in Michigan and around the country.

Preusser Jewelers owner

Dave Kammeraad

125 Ottawa Avenue, NW Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 458-1425






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San Chez Bistro & Cafe owner

Dan Gendler

38 West Fulton Street Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 774-8272






The extraordinary dining experience

San Chez was among the first area restaurants to emphasize the utilization of locally sourced and sustainable products.

Long before the Spanish word “tapas” joined the local culinary vernacular, San Chez, a Tapas Bistro, was introducing its innovative concept of small-plate, grazingstyle dining to an appreciative dining public. It was the early ‘90s and downtown GR was far from being considered a viable option for extraordinary dining experiences. Leading the way in the revitalization of downtown’s dining scene, it has been paramount in bringing our city to the forefront as one of Michigan’s premier gastronomic destinations. Its exquisitely prepared, sharable plates are a feast for the eyes as well as the palate, offering uniquely flavored, top-quality fare, unmatched in GR. Chicago-esque in its appeal, San Chez was among the first restaurants to take up housing in a rehabilitated downtown office building. In retrospect, this urban hotspot was a gamble, with owner Dan Gendler – and his partners at the time – betting on the development of the proposed Van Andel Arena. It was a bet that paid off, and the rest is local dining history. San Chez was among the first area restaurants to emphasize the utilization of locally sourced and sustainable products. To this day, everything on the impressive menu is made from scratch, with additional creative chef specials inspired by each season’s finest. Separate menus are available for those with food sensitivities, and the full bar includes an extraordinary array of compatible wines and craft beers. Maintaining their edge on the culinary forefront, they are the only restaurant in the area offering traditional Basque pinxtos. The Bistro’s adjacent sister restaurant, San Chez Café, offers traditional breakfast and lunch fare with true artisan flair. San Chez Bistro gives off a hip and happy, big-city vibe with its open kitchen, tiled mosaic columns, patterned-tin ceiling, butcher-paper covered tables, full windows with downtown views and alfresco-dining back patio. It would be difficult to find a more accommodating and knowledgeable wait staff, which is one of the reasons it remains one of Grand Rapids’ most beloved restaurants. It offers a legendary dining experience.

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One body, one life; one sip at a time The 2012 birth of Sip Organic Juice Bar is a true success story. It’s the brainchild of EGR resident Jennifer Pohlman, who is as passionate about feeding the body for health as she is knowledgeable. The former owner/operator of a personal training/ bootcamp business previously taught classes on the benefits of raw foods and clean eating. As the mother of two active teens, Pohlman takes her health-centric mission very personally: While launching Sip, her husband Tom was diagnosed with leukemia. Although he has since recovered and is doing very well, it strengthened Pohlman’s conviction to be a positive resource for those who are striving for better health. Tucked away off Old 28th Street in Cascade, and with a second operation in Eastown, Sip offers a clean and simple menu of plant-based, organic, gluten-free juices and smoothies, elixirs and Pohlman’s handmade organic, raw, GF Jenergy Bars®, which have become legendary locally. She started making them in her home in 2010 before their popularity required her to seek retail operations. For those who need help transitioning into a healthier lifestyle, Sip’s fully prepared three- and five-day organic detoxes offer the first step on the path to wellness. “We are committed to using the highest quality, most local, sustainable ingredients available to us,” Pohlman describes of her eco-friendly business where they compost, recycle and produce minimal trash.  Even the most discerning consumers agree on the satisfying deliciousness of Sip’s selections. Perhaps that is because everything Sip offers is made from the purest, highest quality ingredients, all served up with exceptional customer service from a well-informed staff. The upscale online daily newspaper, Daily Candy, recognized Sip as one of their 20 favorite juice bars across the country — quite an accomplishment for a little operation that started in an East Grand Rapids kitchen. The interest generated led Pohlman to consider potential franchise opportunities; subsequently, Sip’s first franchise is scheduled to open in May in the Novi area. “Juicing and plant-based eating is a trend that is not just a fad,” Pohlman stated. “It’s going to continue to grow. More than ever before, people realize how important it is to take control of their health. The body runs like a well-oiled machine when it is treated right, and being a healthy and delicious resource toward that goal is very rewarding.”

We are committed to using the highest quality, most local, sustainable ingredients available to us.

Sip Organic Juice Bar owner

Jennifer M. Pohlman

Eastown 423 Norwood Ave SE Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 755-5778

Cascade 6770 Old 28th Street SE Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 301-4554


established 2012 employs


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Special Advertising Section

Star Collision CARSTAR owners

Roger and Gaylynn Williams

1560 Plainfield Avenue Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 364-6222


established 1958 employs


“Relax, We’ll Take It From Here”®

Utilizing state-ofthe-art equipment and techniques, they pride themselves in restoring all makes and models of vehicles to complete customer satisfaction.

At Star Collision CARSTAR, they understand that a car is more than just metal. Conscientious and community-minded, they are nationally supported, but locally owned. That means their customers benefit from being served by the largest collision-repair network in North America, while confidently trusting these local experts who really care about their customers and community. STAR’s solid reputation in the greater Grand Rapids area has been going strong for more than half a century. Caring for people and the community is just as important as taking great care of their cars for Roger Williams, owner of Star Collision CARSTAR on Plainfield. They are proud customers of local businesses, and are encouraging investment and activity in Creston as members of the Business Association. In addition, as financial donors and active participants on the North Quarter Corridor Improvement Board, they pushed for environmentally friendly Plainfield water quality islands in order to keep our rivers clean. And this year will mark their 10th year raising funds for local non-profit organizations with the Creston Car Show. Honored to be nominated for the Local First Triple Bottom Line Award, Star Collision CARSTAR highly values people and the planet. They have established a broad recycling program; solvents are reclaimed and waste disposed of properly; and they use only waterborne paints in their facility. Passionate about what they do, their long-tenured, skilled staff and expertly trained, I-CAR Gold Certified technicians operate to an exacting standard of perfection. Utilizing state-of-the-art equipment and techniques, they pride themselves in restoring all makes and models of vehicles to complete customer satisfaction. And although some insurance carriers may suggest a visit to the dealer, auto owners have the right to choose where their car is repaired. Recognizing that cars are very personal things and a part of the family, they truly believe that “when something happens to them, something happens to us.” Our lives are disrupted and we need unfailing help fast. Their unwavering ethic is one reason Grand Rapids area residents have been entrusting the repair, restoration and detailing of their cars to STAR for such a long time. They are proud to be known as the company that repairs, restores and renews lives, memories and pride.

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A Stone’sThrow to fashionable furnishings Since 1926, Huizen’s Furniture has enjoyed a reputation as the best in fine quality home furnishings. Four generations later, family members are still at the helm, and a decade ago, the family’s legacy expanded to include a sister store: Stone’sThrow. Huizen descendents and siblings, Kathy Wissink and Karen Kloostra, share management responsibilities at this decidedly more urban store on Plainfield Avenue. Located just a stone’s throw from the heart of the city in a rehabbed historic building, the beautifully appointed showroom is bright and cheery. Its chic room vignettes feature a wide assortment of fun, contemporary pieces with plenty of personality. Distinctively stylish, the furniture speaks to those seeking a comfortable metropolitan vibe. In addition to all the basic furniture selections such as sofas, chairs and bedroom suites, they also feature occasional tables in up-to-date woods and finishes, along with the modern EQ3 collection, and a separate section that showcases youth bedrooms. Their broad array of decorating accessories includes lamps, mirrors, wall decor, artwork, table pieces and area rugs that complement and complete a contemporary statement. They also offer comprehensive in-home interior design services for any size project, whether you are seeking a single statement piece, redecorating a room or an entire home. With years of hands-on experience, their expertise covers everything from coordinating paint colors, fabric selection and custom-designed window treatments to delivery and proper placement of each piece of furniture. They make the experience seamless from selection through delivery and stand solidly behind their products. The mission at Stone’sThrow is to provide their customers with exceptional service for a worry-free shopping experience. And if the amount of return clientele and referrals from friends are any indicators, it is a goal they continue to meet daily with each and every satisfied customer.

They make the experience seamless from selection through delivery and stand solidly behind their products.

Stone’sThrow owners

Kathy Wissink, Karen Kloostra and Todd Huizen

1428 Plainfield Ave. NE Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 459-4167






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Special Advertising Section

Thomas J. Lambert, DDS owner

Dr. Thomas J. Lambert, DDS

3300 Grand Ridge Dr. NE Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 364-6490


established 1981 employs


Dental care beyond compare

We are committed to providing patients with exceptional, gentle, state-of-the-art dental care, and consider patient comfort their top priority.

Awarded “Best Dentist” in Grand Rapids Magazine’s “Best of GR” readers’ poll, Dr. Thomas J. Lambert offers comfortable, leading-edge dental care that caters to patients with luxuries in a spa-like environment. His office — near Knapp’s Corner and the East Beltline — is one of West Michigan’s most technologically advanced dental offices. They offer complimentary smile makeover consultations and the latest cosmetic dentistry procedures and services, ranging from gentle ultrasonic cleanings, one-hour teeth whitening, sculpted tooth-colored fillings, lifelike dental implants, veneers, and computer-generated E-Max all-porcelain crowns, to diagnodent laser cavity detection, digital imaging (safer, low-dose x-rays), digital intra-oral cameras and high-definition monitors. He can also provide patients with snore-inhibiting sleep apnea appliances and a new headache suppression device known as the NTI. Dedicated to ongoing excellence, his caring professional dental team continually pursues advanced training and certifications in the latest procedures. They are committed to providing patients with exceptional, gentle, state-of-the-art dental care, and consider patient comfort their top priority. While being treated, patients are pampered with spa-like services that include soothing paraffin hand treatments, cool aromatherapy eye masks, lemon-scented facial towels, cozy warm blankets, digital satellite headphones and complimentary, relaxing nitrous oxide. In addition, he is leading the way in the paperless office with digital patient charting and electronic claim forms. A sought-after dental lecturer, Dr. Lambert’s expertise is recognized throughout the state. He is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Academy of Sports Dentistry, and American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, and served for over ten years as an adjunct professor at the Grand Rapids Community College Dept. of Dental Hygiene. He also helps local families in need at the Baxter Community Center’s dental clinic. Over the past three decades, thousands of West Michigan residents have put their trust in Dr. Lambert and his exceptional team for highly personalized high-tech cosmetic dentistry services.

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Award-winning golf is only part of the equation Thousand Oaks Golf Club has been a favorite West Michigan fixture since 1999. Far from the average, the award-winning Rees Jones-designed championship golf course is known for its rolling hills, beautifully manicured greens, meticulous landscaping and striking views that are atypical for an area golf course. With hundreds of trees lining each hole, golfers feel as if they are one with nature, and especially appreciate the unique privacy that each hole provides. It has been named “Best Golf Course” for 13 consecutive years in Grand Rapids Magazine’s “Best of GR” annual people’s poll, and has been garnering critical acclaim since its inception. With a smartly stocked pro shop, skilled golf professionals, helpful staff, and its well-respected Golf Academy, it is easy to see why it’s become such a favorite among golfers. Open to the public year-round, The Acorn Grille at Thousand Oaks is the perfect complement to its award-winning golf course. Executive Head Chef David Dalton and his culinary team offer the finest in casual dining. Casual yet elegant, its reputation for sophistication, creative cuisine, fine wines, and friendly, outstanding service make it the ideal choice for any occasion, from relaxing after a round of golf to meeting up for a business lunch, a romantic dinner for two, dining out with family or friends, or anything in between. It offers beautiful panoramic views of the course, with outdoor dining available on the spacious deck in summertime, and a dining room fireplace to cozy up next to during winter. Since 2001, when it was first voted “Best New Restaurant in West Michigan” by On the Town magazine and “Best Golf Course Restaurant in the Midwest” by readers of Great Lakes Golf, it has earned consistent nominations for Dining Award recognition by Grand Rapids Magazine. In addition, Thousand Oaks’ inviting, beautifully appointed banquet facilities – complete with state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment – provide a congenial spot for corporate events, meetings, seminars, business lunches, wedding receptions and other social occasions. No matter what your needs, the attentive staff at Thousand Oaks is prepared to meet them year-round.

. . golf course is known for its rolling hills, beautifully manicured greens, meticulous landscaping and striking views that are atypical for an area golf course.

Thousand Oaks Golf Club & The Acorn Grille owner

MS & D Development

4100 Thousand Oaks Dr. Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 447-7750






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Todd Wenzel owner

Todd Wenzel

2727 28th Street SE Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 949-7700

3156 Highland Blvd. Hudsonville, MI


(616) 669-6683





Nearly 300

Their friendly, knowledgeable staff, coupled with their ongoing attention after the sale, brings customers back time and again when purchasing their vehicles.

“Get more… only at Todd Wenzel” Serving West Michigan since 2001, Todd Wenzel Automotive is an awardwinning General Motors dealer representing Chevrolet, Buick and GMC. They have earned high honors by GM, and are consistently ranked among the area’s favorites in Grand Rapids Magazine’s “Best of GR” annual readers’ poll. Offering a large selection of both new, GM-certified and pre-owned vehicles from two local locations – Todd Wenzel Buick GMC in Grand Rapids and Todd Wenzel Chevrolet in Hudsonville – Wenzel is the third largest volume Chevy dealer in West Michigan and the largest Buick GMC volume dealer outside of southeast Michigan. Wenzel also recently acquired a Buick GMC dealership in Davison, Mich. Their friendly, knowledgeable staff, coupled with their ongoing attention after the sale, brings customers back time and again when purchasing their vehicles. Their comprehensive services range from automobile and body shop service to vehicle customization, replacement parts, detailing, and beyond. The exclusive Todd Wenzel Platinum Program provides new and certified pre-owned vehicle owners a variety of benefits that include free vehicle details, service pickup and delivery. “We are absolutely committed to our customer’s complete satisfaction,” said owner Todd Wenzel, who is always looking for ways to pamper his clients in a beautiful, pressure-free environment. It’s a philosophy customers recognize immediately when visiting a Todd Wenzel dealership. It’s an experience comparable to stepping into the lobby of a chic boutique hotel. Their stylish service waiting areas boast comfortable seating, inviting snack areas well stocked with refreshments, large flat-panel televisions, Wi-Fi, and a kids’ playroom with DVD players and interactive computer games such as Wii. There is also a concierge on hand to ensure customers are comfortable and well taken care of. “We want to take every opportunity to let our customers know that they are appreciated,” Wenzel stated. Wenzel also appreciates the local communities in which he is involved and shows his support by hosting special events throughout the year, such as their legendary “Classics & Camaros” event held every July at their Hudsonville location. It draws car enthusiasts from around the region and features beautifully restored classic cars, with current high-performance Camaros on display throughout the event, which is complete with lunch, refreshments, and raffle items. Rely on this: You will get more from the friendly professionals at Todd Wenzel.

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Special Advertising Section

Grand Rapids’ favorite Italian restaurant

Tre Cugini’s well-seasoned wait staff delivers personable, outstanding service with the strictest attention to detail.

From the moment it appeared on the Grand Rapids dining scene, Tre Cugini began earning rave reviews from an appreciative dining public. Thirteen years later, the accolades continue. Under the vigilant guidance of owners Carol and Adriano Moscatelli, the award-winning multi-regional Italian restaurant has never wavered from its original high standards. That’s one reason why they have been repeatedly honored in Grand Rapids Magazine’s annual Dining Awards. The Moscatellis pride themselves on Tre Cugini’s authentic Italian, made-fromscratch menu that encompasses soups, stocks, sauces, and even house-made mozzarella, breads, pastas and spectacular desserts. Their seasonally inspired menu includes a variety of inventively prepared fresh seafood selections, along with creative meat entrees, Prime steaks and chops, and of course, primo pasta specialties, extraordinary risotto selections and daily chef creations that take advantage of the freshest seasonal offerings. Their full cocktail bar includes an extensive wine list specializing in regional Italian wines that have been carefully selected to enhance the dining experience. Tre Cugini’s well-seasoned wait staff delivers personable, outstanding service with the strictest attention to detail. The restaurant’s cozy, neo-rustic décor is evocative of a stylish Italian courtyard, complete with a strolling accordion player on weekend evenings. Their adjacent catering facility, La Scala, provides a distinctively unique venue for celebrations and private parties from 20 to 200. Situated in the core of the city, the well-appointed alfresco patio overlooks the activities of Rosa Parks Circle. Tre Cugini beckons with an authentic, upscale, fine Italian dining experience that draws in guests from around the globe and has become a local Italian treasure.

Tre Cugini owners

Carol and Adriano Moscatelli

122 Monroe Center St. Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 235-9339






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Via Design owners

Valerie Schmieder, IDA/ASID and Brian Barkwell, AIA

44 Grandville Ave., Suite 400 Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 774-2022


established 1989 employs


Their diversified services also include furniture and product design for commercial and residential furnishings as well as retail sales and installation services.

Architecture, interiors and furniture Celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, Via Design Inc. has been on the front lines of the exciting growth and revitalization of our city over the last quarter-century. The interdisciplinary firm provides full-service architectural and interior design services for both commercial and residential projects alike. Owners Valerie Schmieder, IIDA/ASID, and Brian Barkwell, AIA, along with their entire design team, take a holistic approach to design within their studio culture. They integrate the design concept initiated from the master plan, and carry it through to the smallest, most exacting detail. Their diversified services also include furniture and product design for commercial and residential furnishings as well as retail sales and installation services. They also possess the unique addition of their own custom fabrication studio for specialty furnishings. Well recognized within the industry, Via Design has earned AIA Grand Valley Honor awards, ABC awards, Pinnacle awards, and the coveted “Best of NeoCon” Gold Award. Their creative skills can be seen in commercial projects throughout the city, including the The Windquest Building, Reserve wine bar, GVSU Pew Campus, and the Acton Institute’s new headquarters. Their projects also include a variety of residential projects throughout the country. Highly customized living spaces span a multitude of types, including single-family dwellings, urban condominiums, multipleunit housing as well as cottage/resort complexes. Specialties include designs for private boat interiors and family recreational spaces, such as tennis courts, aquatic applications and in-home spas/personal service spaces. Current commercial projects include Blue 35, the Ledyard and Trust Building renovations, the Karl Building interior renovation, and the GVSU Zumberge Library renovation on Allendale’s campus. Via Design takes pride in their philanthropic activities. They work with numerous non-profit organizations throughout the city, including Gilda’s Club, Kendall College of Art and Design, UICA, JDRF, and ArtPrize. When your project calls for innovation and attention to detail, Via Design’s team will make it happen in well-thought-out style.

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Two great restaurants coming in 2014 Just in time for Mother’s Day, RedWater Restaurant Group unveils two new public restaurants nestled in the landscaped haven of Cascade Township’s Watermark Country Club. The former Watermark Grille has been completely transformed into the innovative Cork, Wine & Grille, along with Vintage, a separate upscale 48-seat, dinneronly fine-dining wine room open Wednesday through Saturday evenings. RedWater owns the greater GR area’s Reds on the River, Rush Creek Bistro, and FireRock Grille. With the opening of the new restaurants at Watermark, former operations are discontinued. The two new restaurants have taken shape under the brilliant direction of West Michigan’s key culinary leader and award-winning Reds on the River Executive Chef Glenn Forgie and current executive chef Nathan Orange. It will continue with a talented culinary crew under Executive Chef Nathan Orange’s expert guidance. Cork’s new Jeff Visser-designed space, developed in conjunction with Thomas Tooley of Concept Design, is built around a massive contemporary three-sided fireplace. Sunlit, open and flowing, yet comfortable with an almost residential feel, it features warm inviting colors and wood accents. The expanded bar and visually open space brings energy and life to the environment. Its innovative, eclectic, American cuisine menu changes seasonally and is available for lunch, dinner and Happy Hour. Boasting one of West Michigan’s most extensive wine lists, the exquisite, more refined Vintage is a very special space. Its captivating design creates an intimate setting with interior walls lined with featured wine selections, all encased in warm wooded cabinets. Its separate menu features Prime steaks and fresh seafood. Taking advantage of the spectacular views of the championship golf course, the expanded outdoor seating area is evocative of an open, inviting living room with grouped seating, social areas, fire pits and a covered three-season dining area. In addition, banquet facilities have doubled in size. The elegant new space now accommodates 400-seated guests, with dividers to create four different rooms for smaller parties. The restaurants at Watermark promise a superb dining experience.

The restaurant’s accommodating culinarians are committed to exceeding diners’ expectations and will readily oblige special dining requirements.

Cork, Wine & Grille / Vintage owner

Watermark Properties

5500 Cascade Road SE Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 949-0570







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Waterworks Car Wash owner

Michael J. Sobie

2205 East Beltline Ave. Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 447- 9560



Opened 2002, Established 2008



At Waterworks, it’s showtime!

This full-service carwash also offers special hand wash packages and a variety of treatments that protect both your car’s exterior finish and its interior materials.

Although Waterworks Car Wash opened on the East Beltline in 2002, it wasn’t until Grand Rapids native Mike Sobie assumed ownership in February, 2008, that car-loving Grand Rapidians really took notice. Sobie and his dependable team made a commitment to be the best car wash in the region, and their passion paid off: Readers of Grand Rapids Magazine have named the locally owned and family operated Waterworks as one of the area’s “Best Car Washes” every year since in their annual “Best of GR” people’s poll. Using state-of-the-art equipment, they are the only West Michigan carwash to have dual tunnels. This means ever-reliable operations, no long lines and customers can get in, out, and back on the road quickly on those beautiful days when it seems everyone wants to see their car shining in the sun. They use only high-end soaps and soft foam materials to put the dazzle into your vehicle. With a customer base as varied as the cars on the road, Waterworks offers the most technically advanced carwash system in the area, with a wide range of automotive cleaning and professional detailing services that range from a three-minute $3.99 Express Wash to their signature Showtime Wash, which includes steam cleaning and conditioning of the vehicle’s interior, along with an exterior hot wax. It’s one of the most popular choices among their customers. This full-service carwash also offers special hand wash packages and a variety of treatments that protect both your car’s exterior finish and its interior materials. In addition to the basic Express Wash, Silver, Gold and Platinum packages allow customers to tailor each visit to the needs of their vehicle at the time. Whatever your car needs, from interior window washing, undercarriage flushing, and powerful vacuum systems to towel drying, washed floormats, hand waxing or more, the options are plentiful at Waterworks. “Our success is due to a lot of hard work on the part of the young people that work at the carwash,” Sobie said. “They have a strong work ethic that is so traditional to the Grand Rapids area. Our objective is that our customer service is more than people expect because we want every customer to leave here happy.” Sobie is an active member on the Board of the International Car Wash Association.

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Enrich your soul at Wealthy at Charles Named for its location on the corner of Wealthy Street and Charles Avenue, the vibrant Wealthy At Charles is an award-winning urbane home, garden and furniture store with a laidback-yet-big-city vibe. The Chicago-style home-décor boutique features a distinctive collection of locally designed, handcrafted goods, including craftsman furniture, original art, unique home accessories, fabulous lighting fixtures, artistic garden accents, artisan jewelry and other one-of-kind gift items for home, garden and friends. At the store’s heart, a fresh flower market features readily available Europeanstyle hand-tied bouquets. Ever evolving, its charming garden extends the store outside, where shoppers find fun items from benches and fountains to sculptures and more for the garden — many made by local artists. Over the last eight years, Wealthy At Charles has become a veritable fixture on the now hip and trendy streetscape of the historic Business District. The thriving, diverse nature of the neighborhood was one of the reasons owners and life partners Michael Schimpf and Lenn Beardsley fell in love with the turn-of-the-century building originally owned by the Lambert Furniture Company. In essence, the shop is an extension of the couple’s home. Their conception of “home” is really a defining philosophy: They believe objects that tell a story enrich its interior. “Far more than just filling a space, those things we have collected are vital to the very soul of our home,” Beardsley explained. “And when we are tired of traveling and just want to stay home with our things, they are a reminder of where we have been and what we have experienced.” “It’s our belief that everyone from the most humble to the wealthiest, should live with thoughtful, respectful and beautiful things,” Schimpf added. “It has been our goal to collect and curate handcrafted home goods that reflect a clean, organic, contemporary design aesthetic, influenced by nature, to inspire our clientele.” Their overriding goal is to ensure patrons enjoy a personalized, fun-filled experience with each visit.

Over the last eight years, Wealthy At Charles has become a veritable fixture on the now hip and trendy streetscape of the historic Business District.

Wealthy At Charles owners

Michael Schimpf and Lenn Beardsley

738 Wealthy Street SE Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 458-6664





2 Full time, 2 Part time

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Woodways Custom Design Center/ Showroom owners

Suzanne and Volker Rudnitzki

Showroom 4265 28th Street SE Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 956-3070

Factory/Showroom: 665 Construction Court Zeeland, MI


(616) 772-3292


Woodways helps make dream homes





Woodways Custom originated in Zeeland as a custom-built cabinet supplier to the building trade. In 2007, Suzanne and Volker Rudnitzki took ownership. The couple expanded their focus to offer homeowners, architects and designers the advantages of buying high-quality custom-built cabinetry and furniture direct from a local manufacturer. With a friendly, approachable staff of design specialists, engineers and master wood craftsmen in their very-green-conscious, state-of-the-art Zeeland factory, they bring decades of experience and the latest industry innovations to design and manufacture their custom-crafted top-quality products. They can take any project from a simple idea to full realization, complete with installation. Their Grand Rapids showroom/design center showcases exciting possibilities when considering a remodel or building a new home. Because their products are Michigan-made manufacturer-direct, they can work within any budget or price point to supply a high-end look at competitive prices. Customers find an abundance of locally made custom cabinetry, architectural design elements, and furniture options that put the fun in functionality. Offering comprehensive design services, they create a made-just-for-you plan that maximizes the function of a home or business space with furniture-quality custom built-ins. Every piece is designed and made to suit a client’s individual lifestyle and needs, and their innovative Mobile Kitchen allows customers to experience the actual space before making any decisions. Another leading-edge option is their versatile “room in a box” storage systems that can transform any space into a fully functional room, with equipment and supplies neatly stowed from view, yet within easy reach. Their innovative, custom-built products include self-closing drawers and doors, pull-down shelves, hidden step stools, automatic lift systems, embedded storage spaces, hidden light fixtures, builtin beds with personalized storage, electric roll-down Murphy beds, laundry-baskethiding drawers, custom closet systems, bookshelves that hide a secret room, floating or integrated EcoSmart fireplaces and more. They also panelize appliances and can design weatherproof outdoor kitchens, organized mudrooms with lockers, or home-management centers with charging stations to organize a family’s “drop zone.” Whatever you can imagine, they can do — and in amazing turnaround time. That’s another advantage of Woodways Custom’s factory-direct operation.

They can take any project from a simple idea to full realization, complete with installation.

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Investment. Brokerage. Consulting. With an abundance of experience gained from years in the large-corporation commercial brokerage world, Chip Bowling and Diane Dusendang shared a mutual dream. They wanted to leave behind the less personal aspects inherent to the corporate world to create a unique boutique investment, brokerage and consulting firm based on sustained relationships. Thus was born their commercial real estate firm, X Ventures. Their mission is to offer thorough, thoughtful, personalized investment counsel and help clients achieve full realization of their ongoing goals. Their business model has been successful, leasing over 240,000 square feet of space in their first year, with sales transactions totaling $32,520,000. With Bowling as president and Dusendang as chief operating officer, this cohesive team gets the job done. They take the time to really get to know and understand their clients’ aspirations, help solidify their long-term investment objectives, and then proceed to help locate, purchase and develop the investments that are right for them. With strict attention to detail, the dynamic business partners are passionate about their industry. Each brings their own particular skills to the table, combining talents to offer a full array of services that support their clients from start to finish. From their downtown office atop Bistro Bella Vita, they develop and implement investment and brokerage strategies that are specifically focused on each client’s individual needs and ongoing portfolio goals. With 15 years in the commercial real estate industry to his credit, Chip Bowling is well known and greatly respected in the commercial brokerage community. His clients have included large real estate portfolio owners, building owners, entrepreneurs and many of Grand Rapids’ top businesses. He is deeply committed to the ethics of honesty and integrity. His professional accomplishments include successful negotiations of more than $350,000,000 in commercial real estate sales and lease transactions. Diane Dusendang’s real estate career spans 23 years as a licensed salesperson and broker, with half of them devoted to commercial real estate. She is X Venture’s Designated Broker and is especially proficient in performing detailed due diligence. She works closely with clients, attorneys, survey teams, environmental consultants, inspectors and title companies to ensure seamless transactions for X Venture’s clients.

With strict attention to detail, the dynamic business partners are passionate about their industry.

X Ventures owners

Chip Bowling, President and Diane Dusendang, COO Broker

44 Grandville Ave SW, Suite 340 Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 726-2700


established 2013 employs


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YoChef’s Catering Company, G’s Grill, & YoChef’s Cafe owner

Chef Joseff VanHorn

YoChef’s Catering Company 744 First Street Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 608-3003

G’s Grill 3603 South Division Wyoming, MI


(616) 608-4521

YoChef’s Café 17 Pearl, in Kendall College of Art & Design Grand Rapids, MI


(616) 259-1220






My goal is to exceed guest expectations, one event, one customer at a time.

GR’s caterer to the stars Chef Joseff VanHorn is possibly the hardest working chef in town. Between his three operations, 14-hour days are the easy ones. His American retro, G’s Grill, sports a classic car motif and serves breakfast and lunch, with gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. He recently launched YoChef’s Café within Kendall College of Art and Design. Open to the public, it became an instant hotspot. The LEED-built café uses compostable to-go boxes and biodegradable plastic-ware. That eco-friendly philosophy extends to his full-service catering business, which has become known as GR’s “Caterer to the Stars.” Providing around-the-clock crafted foodservice to cast and crew of visiting filmmakers, his quality from-scratch fare has not only pleased them all, but brought them back for more. A member of the American Culinary Federation, this talented self-taught chef and former U.S. Marine Corps Combat Engineer studied International Marketing, supporting his education with hospitality jobs. He progressed to managing front-of-the-house operations and spent several years in La Jolla and San Diego. Locally, he worked at Spinnaker and the 1913 Room, but says the back of the house always drew his interests. He longed to strike out on his own and was determined to do it right. “I set out not wanting to be the cheapest caterer in town,” he recalled. “I wanted to be one of the best. My goal is to exceed guest expectations, one event, one customer at a time.” Although he knows it sounds cliché, he insists the secret ingredient to what he does is love. “We love what we do and it shows,” he explained. “Everybody that works with me wants to be here. We love the company, and our clients love our food.” To ensure client satisfaction, he never overbooks, but takes the time to personalize client services. While his website’s menu offers a glimpse of his culinary capabilities, he loves to go “off menu” and create custom menus for clients. He especially enjoys catering weddings. “We are only as good as our last event,” he noted, which is a philosophy that continually drives him to the next level. He vows to never over promise and under deliver because reliability and dependability are the cornerstones of his business.

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Hit or miss dining

dining review

ANyONE WHO DiNES AT Cygnus 27 atop the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel raves about the amazing views of downtown. The hotel’s signature restaurant opened in 1983 on the 27th floor of the glass tower next to the newly renovated Pantlind Hotel. Through several renovations the decor has remained inspired by the Cygnus constellation. The Amway chefs also remain committed to the restaurant’s signature

American cuisine reflecting global influences. Alas, on recent visits we found that while the service was superb, the quality and preparation of the food was inconsistent. On a positive note, drink specials and special wine lists are excellent. We were particularly taken by the featured Tooth & Nail (Paso Robles, Calif.) selections, favor-

Cygnus 27 Address: 187 Monroe Ave. NW (Amway Grand Plaza) Grand Rapids Phone: (616) 776-6425 Website:

Dining ratings: Category: New American Food: ** Service: **** Beverages: **** Atmosphere: **** Price: $$ > Must try: Lobster Crab Cakes are exceptional. > Avoid at all costs: Peruvian Goat Stew was disappointing.

**** *** ** *

Exceptional Above Average Satisfactory Poor

¢ $ $$

Inexpensive (under $10) Moderate ($10-$20) Expensive (Over $20)

(Prices based on average entrée.)

PhotoGraPhy by michael buck

Guide to ratings:

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Photography by michael buck

Photography by michael buck

Small plates are available in The Cygnus 27 Lounge, which serves signature cocktails, wine and handcrafted beers with a variety of happy hour specials throughout the week.

ing The Possessor, a Cabernet/Petite Sirah blend ($13/glass), and The Stand, a white blend of Petite Sirah and Syrah ($14) for its peachy finish. Mixed drinks are poured to perfection, including the tableside presentation of Spanish coffee ($8). During various visits we sampled several small plates, including a bowl brimming with fresh Aji mussels ($9) and a sauce with a bit of bite, well worthy of using as a dip for the complimentary signature breads. The Maine Lobster Cakes ($15) were exceptional. The blend of ingredients and textures created a wonderful symphony of flavors without overpowering the lobster. Peruvian goat stew ($9) was less satisfactory, with chunks of goat that seemed tough but well flavored by the yucca root in cerveza. The fried plantain on top had no taste. The Mixed Greens salad ($10) with its combination of pear, red onion, toasted pumpkin seeds and walnut-cilantro pesto was excellent. But the Asian Slaw ($9) was not so good. Inconsistency was also apparent in the entrees. One of our group ordered filet mignon ($30), asking for the proffered peppery rub on the side. The steak was given a “perfect” ranking in product and medium rare preparation. The kitchen-made rub was especially powerful for its fresh chilis and crushed red pepper, but likely would have blended best with juices from the meat. On another visit, the Grilled Prime 12-ounce New York Strip ($49) didn’t live up to its billing as the “Cadillac of all steaks.” What should have been a melt-

in-your mouth hunk of meat bordered on tough and dry. The morel mushroom sauce was lukewarm and, despite the hickory spice rub, the steak lacked flavor. The lamb chops ($39), too, were inconsistent. On one visit, the meat — grilled to medium — was fresh and tasty. On a second visit, the chops, while attractively presented, were less than tender, not quite done to the requested medium rare, and nearly flavorless. The Beef Bee-Bim Bop ($28), a traditional Korean dish served in a very hot stone bowl and featuring stir-fry beef, broccolini, red pepper, onion and fresh spinach, topped with a sunny-side up egg, offered a nice mix of flavors. But the Shrimp and Scallop Brochette ($29) was a disappointment. The grilled seafood had a chewy texture and the black (squid ink) pasta with mushrooms and veggies in a green curry sauce was lukewarm and gummy.

Desserts also were hit or miss. Crème brulée ($9) was unremarkable except for the absence of the vanilla flavor one expects. Chocolate Sphere ($9), joining a long history of constellation specialty desserts, was wonderful for its entertainment value. Powdered blue sugar covering the hard shell “evaporates” as hot chocolate is poured over the top, revealing a fudgy flourless torte sitting in a pool of white chocolate and pink marshmallows. On one visit it was described as tasty. On another visit, the sphere dissolved into a soupy mess that begged for something to cut the rich chocolate-on-chocolate — and this from a diehard chocoholic. Cygnus also offers a popular and legendary Sunday Brunch Buffet as well as private dining. Small plates are available in The Cygnus 27 Lounge, which serves signature cocktails, wine and handcrafted beers with a variety of happy hour specials throughout the week. Complimentary valet parking is available for dining patrons. — Ira Craaven

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food & drink Restaurants / PEOPLE / reviews

dining listings

A guide to restaurants in Grand Rapids and beyond

The recommendations and reviews in the listings are the opinions of the editors.

Olives — 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. ¢-$ L, D

New American

One Trick Pony Grill & Taproom — Eclectic menu with samplings of vegetarian, Mexican and European cuisines. Dine alfresco on street-front patio. Occasional live music. Closed Sun. 136 E Fulton St, 235-7669. one ¢-$ L, D

Restaurants are included by virtue of overall quality. We have created symbols to area restaurant amenities, which are defined in a legend at the end of this listing (page 133).

Upscale, contemporary cooking including ethnic twists on familiar standbys. Bar Divani — Wine flights, large array of spirits; classy surroundings. European-inspired food with plates meant for sharing, flatbreads, sushi and a variety of entrées. Closed Sun. 15 Ionia Ave SW, 774-9463. L, D $-$$

weekly with an emphasis on locally grown fare and creative combinations in urban setting. Unique Sunday brunch. 1015 Wealthy St SE, 451-4779. L, D ¢-$

Gilly’s At The B.O.B. — Hand-crafted microbrews are paired with seasonal, cutting-edge fare. Tavern small plates, oysters, seafood and more. 20 Monroe Ave NW, 356-2000. $-$$ L (Sat), D

Bistro Bella Vita — Big-city casual; fresh French and Italian cuisine, locally sourced and prepared over a wood fire. Mammoth martini bar, nice wine selection. 44 Grandville Ave SW, 222-4600. L, D $-$$

Graydon’s Crossing — “Global pub” serves traditional food such as Shepard’s Pie and fusion- and world-inspired dishes using local ingredients. Full bar features 46 beers on tap including microbrew and imported. Open daily. 1223 Plainfield Ave NE, 726-8260. gray $ L, D

Bistro Chloe Élan — Diverse menu features American cuisine with French, Asian and southwestern influences, as well as soups, salads, burgers and sandwiches. Sat dinner only; closed Sun. 445 Ada Dr, Ada, 432-3345. L, D $-$$

Green Well Gastro Pub — Daily menu features comfort fare with a flare, emphasizing local ingredients. Full bar; more than 20 rotating draught beers, many from area microbreweries. Open daily. 924 Cherry St SE, 808-3566. L, D $-$$

Blue Water Grill — Wood-burning rotisserie and wood-fired pizza oven allow for inspired dishes from fresh seafood to beef. Nice wine selection and The B.O.B.’s microbrews. Lakeside views, outdoor patio with fireplace, fullservice bar. 5180 Northland Dr NE, 363-5900. L, D $-$$ _ Citysen Lounge — Limited but tantalizing selection of soup, salads, sandwiches and sharable small-plate creations. Happy Hour daily 4-7 pm. CityFlats Hotel, 83 Monroe Center NW, (866) 609-CITY. L, D ¢-$

Grill One Eleven — American-with-a-twist menu, full-service bar and lounge. Open daily at 11 am. 111 Courtland Dr, Rockford, 8633300. grillone and Facebook. L, D $-$$

-Cygnus 27 — Stylized décor reflects a celestial theme that matches the views from the 27th floor of the Amway Grand Plaza. Seasonally driven menu encourages sharing. Open Tue-Sat eves; Sun brunch Labor Day to Mother’s Day. 187 Monroe Ave NW, 776-6425. D $$

Electric Cheetah — Eclectic menu changes

OGrove — Earth-to-table concept focuses on three- and four-course meals with a tilt toward sustainable seafood. Closed Mon. 919 Cherry St SE, 454-1000. groverestaurant. com. D $$ The Heritage — GRCC culinary arts students prepare gourmet dishes from steaks to vegan fare at a reasonable cost. Menu changes weekly. Wine available with dinner. Open Tue-Fri during academic year. Applied Technology Center, 151 Fountain St NE, 2343700. L, D $-$$ Marco New American Bistro — Frenchcountry-casual offers creative dinner fare and pizza with a more casual lunch menu. Full bar. Closed Sun. 884 Forest Hill Ave SE, 942-9100. L, D $-$$

Reserve — Wine bar with extensive bythe-glass selections and culinary options to match. Closed Sun. 201 Monroe Ave NW, 855-9463. L (Mon-Fri), D $-$$ Rockwell Republic — Diverse menu emphasizes locally sourced ingredients from sushi to creative comfort food. Upper-level outdoor seating. 45 S Division Ave, 6086465 or 551-3563. L, D $-$$ Rose’s — Dockside dining on EGR’s Reeds Lake with a varied menu and a three-season porch. 550 Lakeside Dr SE, 458-1122. Takeout at Rose’s Express, 2224 Wealthy St SE, 458-4646. php. B (weekends), L, D $ Schnitz Ada Grill — Deli by day, casual fine dining by night. 597 Ada Dr, Ada, 682-4660. L, D ¢-$$ Six.One.Six — Innovative cuisine featuring locally sourced ingredients in a cosmopolitan setting. Mixology lounge features unique cocktails. Al fresco dining on the Jdek overlooking the Grand River. JW Marriott, 235 Louis St NW, 242-1500. B, L, D $-$$ SpeakEZ Lounge — Casual and friendly pub setting with eclectic menu that includes vegan and gluten-free options. Creative starters, soups, salads, entrees (available after 4). Open daily. 600 Monroe Ave NW, 458-3125. L, D $ Tavern On The Square — Tapas-style fare plus house specialties. Patio seating. 100 Ionia Ave SW, 456-7673. L, D ¢-$ FTerra GR — Eastown eatery (formerly Tril-

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a juicy steak dinner can turn a



party get-together into a

you’ll never forget.

Grand Rapids | 616.776.6426 | Inside the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel |

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food & drink restaurants / PeoPle / reviews

lium Haven) features foods from local, ethically raised and sustainable sourcing. Specialty cocktails, Michigan craft beers and wines from small wineries around the world. 1429 Lake Dr SE, 301-0998. B (brunch Sat and Sun), L, D $-$$

Winchester — Locally sourced menu aims to reinvent bar food in reclaimed centuryold space with shuffleboard court-patio. 648 Wealthy St SE, 451-4969. L, D ¢-$

clAssic AmericAN Restaurants and diners serving traditional dishes popular across the country. Acorn Grille At Thousand Oaks — Blend of traditional and innovative cuisine, artfully presented in handsome dining room with golf course views. Open daily in season. 4100 Thousand Oaks Dr, 447-7750. thousandoaks L, D $$ Arnie’s Bakery & restaurant — Breakfast, sandwiches, baked goods and desserts; dinner menu too. No alcohol. Open daily. 3561 28th St, 956-7901; 710 Leonard St NW, 4543098; 777 54th St SW, 532-5662; 34 Squires St, Rockford, 866-4306. arniesrestaurants. com. B, L, D $ Aryana restaurant & Bar — Comfortable dining room in the Crowne Plaza Hotel offers breakfast buffet, lunch and fine dining selections from an extensive seasonal menu. Open daily. 5700 28th St SE, 957-1770. hiarya B, L, D $-$$ Bonefish Grill — Casual, white-linen dining. Seafood selections augmented by innovative sauces and toppings; also chicken, beef and pasta dishes. 1100 East Paris Ave SE, 949-7861. D $-$$ Bostwick lake inn — Gilmore restaurant offers steaks, pork, fish, chicken, mac and cheese, pizzas, sandwiches, soups and salads. Open daily for dinner, lunch on weekends. 8521 Belding Road, Rockford, 874-7290. L (weekends), D $-$$

Brann’s Steakhouse & Sports Grille — Famous sizzler steaks with grill items and salads, baskets, Mexican entrées and bar munchies. See website for eight locations in Greater Grand Rapids, Holland, Muskegon, Portage and Caledonia. L, D $ Bull’s Head Tavern — A dozen appetizers from brie to pot stickers. Dinners include warm bread and chef-selected sides. 188 Monroe Ave NW, 454-3580. thebullshead L, D $ Cascade roadhouse — Relaxed atmosphere with a diverse menu of traditional fare. Closed Sun. 6817 Cascade Rd SE (at Old 28th St), 949-1540. Facebook. L, D $-$$ Charley’s Crab — Fresh seafood from a menu that changes nightly. Located on the Grand River. Early menu (4:30-6 pm daily), Sun brunch. GR Steamer Bar has its own menu. 63 Market Ave SW, 459-2500. muer. com. L, D $-$$ The Chop House — In the tradition of the best American chophouses with aged prime beef and more. Downstairs is La Dolce Vita dessert and cigar bar. Closed Sun. 190 Monroe Ave NW, 451-6131. thechophousegrand D $$ Dugan’s pub & Grille — Casual dining with steaks, seafood, pasta and more at The Elks at the Highlands Golf Club. Adjacent Glendevon offers banquet facilities. 2715 Leonard St NW, 453-2454. L, D $-$$ Fall Creek — Appetizers, gourmet pizzas and creative entrées. Closed Sun-Mon. 201 Jefferson St, Hastings, (269) 945-0100. Facebook. L, D ¢-$ Firerock Grille — Country club dining plus option to cook your own filet, shrimp or ahi tuna on a 500-degree stone. Open daily. Sun brunch 10 am-2 pm. Stonewater Country Club, 7177 Kalamazoo Ave SE, 656-9898. fire L, D $

Boulder Creek restaurant — Boulder Creek Golf Club restaurant serves a varied menu with golf-course views from inside or on the deck. 5750 Brewer Ave NE, Belmont, (616) 363-1330, ext 2. L, D ¢-$

Flat river Grill — Casual atmosphere in turn-of-century building on the river. Al fresco dining on patio. Menu ranges from comfort food to wood-fired pizzas. Full bar plus The BOB’s House of Brews beers on tap. 201 E Main St, Lowell, 897-8523. thegilmorecol L, D $-$$

Brandywine — Café atmosphere, with extensive breakfasts, lunches with vegetarian choices, dinner selections from Mexican to beef Wellington. 1345 Lake Dr SE, 774-8641; 2844 East Beltline Ave NE, 363-1723. brandy B, L, D ¢-$

Fleetwood Diner — Extensive diner-style menu with Greek influences. Open 6:30 am for breakfast (8 am-4 pm Sun), serving dinner until 8 pm Mon-Thu, 9 pm Fri-Sat. Outdoor patio. 2222 44th St SE, 281-2300. B, L, D ¢-$

Forest Hills inn — A casual neighborhood favorite with a broad menu, excellent pizza. Serves alcohol. Closed Sun. 4609 Cascade Rd SE, 949-4771. B, L, D $ Fry Daddy’s Fresh Fish — Fried fish, wingdings, walleye, orange roughy, catfish, blue gill, perch, smelt and shrimp, by the pound or in baskets with fries. Also to go. Closed Mon. Trinity Plaza, 1720 44th St SE, Kentwood, 455-FISH. L, D ¢-$ Grand Villa — Longtime favorite serving prime rib, seafood, complete salad bar, full service bar. Closed Sun. 3594 Chicago Dr SW, 538-1360. L, D $ Great lakes Shipping Co. — Everything from beef, seafood and beyond in comfortable dockside motif. Patio open in summer. No lunch, but open Sun afternoons. 2455 Burton St SE, 949-9440. greatlakesshipping D $-$$ Green restaurant — Sandwiches, salads, burgers and seafood. Menu includes ostrich and elk burgers. 2289 East Beltline Ave NE, 447-8294. L, D $ Grille 29 — Menu includes panini and a variety of entrées. Full-service bar. Open daily. Holiday Inn Select, 3063 Lake Eastbrook SE, 726-2929. B, D $ Grille At Watermark — Innovative menu in relaxing atmosphere overlooking golf course. Sun brunch 10 am-2 pm. 5500 Cascade Rd SE, 949-0570. L, D $-$$ Grill House & rock Bottom Bar — Grillyour-own steakhouse with grillmasters on call. Bottomless salad bowl and potato bar. 1071 32nd St (M-40), Allegan, (269) 6869192. L (downstairs), D $-$$ Honey Creek inn — Daily specials are the highlight, mixed with traditional fare. Closed Sun. 8025 Cannonsburg Rd, Cannonsburg, 874-7849. L, D ¢-$






Hudsonville Grille — Varied menu includes Mexican favorites and breakfast. Full bar. Closed Sun. 4676 32nd Ave, Hudsonville, 662-9670. B, L, D ¢-$


Judson’s At The B.O.B. — Award-winning steak house offers steaks, seafood and chops. Casual atmosphere and award-winning wine list. Closed Sun. 20 Monroe Ave NW, 356-2000. D $$


Kitchen 67 — Fast-casual restaurant with high-tech design serving Brann’s sizzling steaks and burgers, small plates, pasta, fish,

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Whether you’re looking to impress your guests, want to incorporate healthier eating habits, or looking for that hard to find item; our experts at D&W Fresh Market provide unique and fresh solutions for everyday life.

Margaux Drake, Living Well Expert

Going the Distance

Chef Amy Sherman

Think Spring - Seasonal Craft Beers

Hydration tips for exercise enthusiasts Whatever the distance, whatever the sport; you need proper hydration to get you across the finish line smiling. Hydrate your machine with Mother Nature’s best - young coconut water. D&W Fresh Market carries a variety of coconut water - from fresh coconuts to a multitude of bottled brands. Stop in today and discover products - from juices and raw foods, to a broad selection of organics to meet your lifestyle needs.

Bellʼs Oberon: The now classic spring beer, is perfect for a warm day, hints of fruit come from the ale yeast, pair this one with the first BBQ of the season. Arcadia Ales Whitsun: A wheat beer spiced with coriander, orange and three types of hops, it’s complex yet completely refreshing. Try it with a fresh salad, or chicken stir fry. New Belgium Snapshot: Starts off sweet and citrusy, finishes tart and tangy. An addition of lactobacillus takes this one over to completely refreshing and different. Would pair well with garlicky shrimp or spicy Thai food. Find these craft beers along with an array of fresh produce and quality meat and seafood at D&W Fresh Market. We’re here to make any meal, memorable.


GRM_04.14_PG108.135.indd 113 for more information. 3/7/14 2:01 PM

food & drink


e strive to be the practice that sets the standards for excellence in comprehensive, cosmetic, and restorative dental care in the Grand Rapids area.

Restaurants / PEOPLE / reviews

Let us help you achieve and maintain optimum oral health for each day of the rest of your life with the latest in dental technology. chicken, sandwiches, salads and more. Michigan wines and craft beers. Kids menu. Open daily. 1977 East Beltline Ave. NE. kitch and Facebook. L, D ¢-$

Best of 2011-12 Readers Poll

Dr. Mike Crete

Voted Best Dentist

The Landing — Casual atmosphere with views of the Grand River. Menu features allAmerican favorites and monthly specials. Music and dancing in the lounge. 270 Ann St NW (in Riverfront Hotel Grand Rapids at US 131), 363-7748. B, L, D $

Dr. Crete’s patient before treatment.

3514 Rivertown Point CT, SW, Grandville, MI

616-534-0135 |

FLeo’s — Fresh seafood, Certified Black Angus Beef, New Zealand rack of lamb and more in an elegant yet casual atmosphere. Lunch Mon-Fri, dinner Mon-Sat. 60 Ottawa Ave. NW, 454-6700, L, D $-$$ Louis Benton Steakhouse — Premium Buckhead beef, wet- and dry-aged steaks and more. Closed Sun. Free valet parking at Ionia entrance. 35 Ionia Ave NW, 454-7455. louis $-$$ L, D Meadows Restaurant — GVSU’s professional and student-staffed restaurant; patio and dining room overlook golf course. Full menu offers everything from burgers to NY strip steak. Seasonal hours (during golf season). 1 W Campus Dr, Allendale. $-$$ meadows. L, D Middle Villa Inn — Weekly prime rib specials, salad bar, casual atmosphere, occasional live bands. Banquet rooms available. Closed Mon and Wed. 4611 N Middleville Rd (M-37), Middleville, (269) 795-3640. mid L, D $ Pal’s Diner — A real diner offering breakfast, lunch and dinner options all day. Closed Sun. 6503 28th St SE, 942-7257. B, L, D ¢ Pearl Street Grill — Bright, airy restaurant in downtown Holiday Inn. Open daily. 310 Pearl St NW, 235-1342. Facebook. B, L, D $ Rainbow Grill — Breakfasts, homemade soup, chili, steak sandwiches, daily lunch specials, chicken, fish and other dinner staples. Closed Sun. 4225 32nd Ave, Hudsonville, 896-0033; 4158 Chicago Dr SW, Grandville, 534-8645. B, L, D ¢-$

Evelyn E. Vanderveen, M.D. Bridget A. Green, M.D. Connie M. Anderson, PA-C Melanie A. Stover, PA-C Rachel A. Zollman, PA-C

Ramona’s Table — EGR deli with madefrom-scratch soups, sandwiches, salads, baked items and meals. Takeout and catering. Closed Sun. 2232 Wealthy St SE, 4598500. B, L, D ¢-$ Red Jet Café — Gilmore restaurant in the former Creston Heights library. Coffee bar and menu ranging from omelets to specialty pizzas. Full bar; opens 8 am. 1431 Plainfield

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Ave NE, 719-5500. redjet.php. B, L, D (Mon-Sat) ¢-$

Reds On The River — Located on the Rogue River, Reds combines casual sophistication with Tuscan sensibilities. Closed Sun. 8 E Bridge St, Rockford, 863-8181. L, D $-$$ Rio Grand Steak House & Saloon — Texasstyle barbecue ribs, steaks and more. 5501 Northland Dr NE, 364-6266. riograndsteak L, D $-$$ Rush Creek Bistro — Diverse menu in clublike surroundings. Weeknight and happy hour specials. Sunnybrook Country Club, 624 Port Sheldon Rd, Grandville, 457-1100. rushcreek L, D $ Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse — The classic American steakhouse now in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel’s fully renovated former 1913 Room. 187 Monroe Ave NW, 774-2000. L, D $$ Saburba — Specializes in take-out. Ever-

changing, diverse menu of entrees, sandwiches, soups, baked goods and coffee. Doughnuts served Sat. mornings. Catering service. Closed Sun. 7277 Thornapple River Dr, Ada, 682-5290. and Facebook. B, L, D ¢-$

Sam’s Joint — Award-winning ribs and unique décor of antiques and memorabilia. Extensive menu includes Mexican selections; full bar. Half a dozen locations, plus a couple of banquet facilities. L, D $ Spinnaker — Menu features seafood and landlubber entrées. Sunday brunch. 4747 28th St SE (Hilton Grand Rapids Airport), 957-1111. B, L, D $-$$ Sundance Bar & Grill — Known for its Southwestern-infused American cuisine and margarita bar. 5755 28th St SE (Esplanade Plaza), 956-5644 (breakfast and lunch only on Sun); Waters Building, 141 Ottawa Ave NW, 7761616. B, L, D $ Swan Inn Restaurant — Home-cooked meals such as pot roast, Salisbury steak and

meatloaf. Huge breakfasts. Cygnet Lounge offers cocktails and nibbles, dinner menu. 5182 Alpine Ave NW, 784-1245. swaninn B, L, D ¢-$

Terrace Grille At Bay Pointe Inn — Diverse menu with relaxed lakefront setting. Seasonally changing menu known for steaks, seafood and cocktails. Holiday brunches. 11456 Marsh Rd, Shelbyville, (269) 672-5202. bay L, D $-$$ Tillman’s — Chicago-style chophouse that’s been “hidden” in a warehouse district for more than 25 years. Known for steaks but something for every taste. Closed Sun. 1245 Monroe Ave NW, 451-9266. tillmansrestaur L, D $-$$ Timbers Inn — Menu ranges from appetizers to wild game offerings and meat ’n’ potatoes fare in lodge-like surroundings. Sunday omelet bar til 2 pm. 6555 Belding Rd NE, 874¢-$ 5553. L, D Twisted Rooster — Classic dishes with unexpected twists. Full bar featuring 18 beers

Happy 50th, Grand Rapids Magazine!

Cathy Bissell The BISSELL Company and her dogs, KC and Roxy Bissell

- from your 138-year-young West Michigan Neighbor, BISSELL

For 138 years and counting, Michigan-based BISSELL Homecare Inc. has developed innovative floor care solutions that make cleaning easier. It all started with the carpet sweeper in a Grand Rapids crockery shop in 1876. Now in its fourth generation of family leadership, the company continues to provide products like the PowerGlide® Deluxe Pet vacuum with Lift-Off® technology and Symphony™ All-in-One Vacuum & Steam Mop to clean up today’s messier (and often more memorable) moments.

Home to a deeper clean.

April 2014 / 115

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food & drink Restaurants / PEOPLE / reviews

on tap, local beers/wines. 1600 East Beltline Ave NE, 301-8171. L, D ¢-$$

days, dinner Mon-Sat; closed Sun. 3272 Remembrance Rd NW, 791-9922. thewalker $ L, D

Walker Roadhouse — Diverse menu with interesting twists on classic fare in a casual but handsome setting. Lunch served week-

Vegetarian Bartertown Diner — Vegetarian/vegan/raw

offerings in worker-owned and -operated diner. Promotes use of fresh, local ingredients. Open daily (hours change seasonally, check website). 6 Jefferson Ave SE, 233-3219. barter L, D $

Gaia Café — Totally vegetarian fare served in a cozy atmosphere. Closed Mon. No alcohol. 209 Diamond Ave SE, 454-6233. B, L ¢

Pubs & Taverns 84th Street Pub and Grille — American fare from pizzas to steaks in laidback setting, full-service bar. 8282 Pfeiffer Farms Dr, Byron Center, 583-1650. L, ¢-$ D Bar Louie — Urban décor at Woodland Mall, with sandwiches, appetizers, burgers and hearty entrées. More than 20 beers, along with a nice wine selection and specialty cocktails. Outdoor seating. 3191 28th St SE, 885-9050. L, D $-$$ Bobarino’s At The B.O.B. — Grill on 2nd floor of The B.O.B. offers everything from woodfired pizza to upscale entrées. New lunch menu offers custom-made deli sandwiches, salads, burgers and a pizza buffet ($6.50). Full-service bar. 20 Monroe Ave NW, 3562000. ¢-$ php. L, D B.O.B.’s Brewery At The B.O.B. — Microbrews ranging from unique to standard with a variety of small plates that go beyond standard pub fare. Open Thu (Mug Club)-Sat. 20 Monroe Ave NW, 356-2000. bobsbrewery. html. D ¢-$ Bud & Stanley’s — Extensive menu includes Mexican specialties, pasta, burgers and more. Takeout available. 1701 4 Mile Rd NE, 3619782. L, D ¢-$ Cascade Sports Grill — Varied menu and sizable bar with 10 brew taps and extensive martini menu. Cascade Centre, 6240 28th St SE, 974-3338. Facebook. L, D $ Charlie’s Bar & Grill — Well-rounded menu features dinners ranging from ribs, steaks and seafood to kielbasa and kraut. Also Mexican fare, sandwiches and more. Full-service bar. 3519 Plainfield Ave NE, 364-0567. Facebook. L, D ¢-$ Cheers Good Time Saloon — Popular neighborhood spot with large menu offering something for everyone in a log-cabin environment. 3994 Plainfield Ave NE, 363-1188. B, L, D ¢


Corner Bar — Rockford’s spot famous for brews and chili dogs, but with extensive

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menu. 31 N Main St, Rockford, 866-9866. L, D ¢

Cottage Bar — Longtime favorite since 1927. Famous Cottage burgers and fries, signature chili and more. Closed Sun. 18 LaGrave Ave SE, 454-9088. L, D ¢ Crooked Goose — Meritage Hospitality Group restaurant offers full menu of “oldschool tavern favorites.” Open daily. 355 Wilson Ave NW, Walker, 791-2362. crooked L, D ¢-$ Derby Station — Sophisticated pub grub with full bar featuring an array of specialty beers. 2237 Wealthy St SE, 301-3236. derby L, D $ Flanagan’s — Popular downtown Irish pub. Imported beers, 20 on tap. Entrees with an Irish influence. Frequent live music. Closed Sun. 139 Pearl St NW, 454-7852. flanagansgr. com. L, D ¢ Founders Brewing Co. — Sip microbrew samples in the spacious taproom, serpen-

tine bar and stage for live music Thu and Sat. Menu features appetizers, deli sandwiches. Covered (heated) porch. 235 Grandville Ave SW, 776-1195. L, D ¢

Frankie V’s pizzeria & Sports Bar — Appetizers, subs, stromboli, pizza, pasta entrées, plus burgers and Mexican. Weekday lunch buffet. Tap your own 100-ounce beer tower. 1420 28th St SW, 532-8998. L, D ¢-$ Grand rapids Brewing Co. — Serving 10 organic brews plus hard cider, wine and spirits. Farm-to-table menu includes sharable plates, house-made sausages, soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees. Open daily. 1 Ionia Ave SW, 459-7000. grbrewingcompany. com. L (Sat.-Sun. only), D ¢-$ Gp Sports — Sports bar and restaurant. Menu features create-your-own pizzas and burgers, along with salads and sandwiches. Open daily. Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, 187 Monroe Ave NW, 774-2000. amwaygrand. com. L, D $

Grand Woods lounge — Year-round alfresco dining complete with fireplace. Eclectic menu selections mix with upscale comfort foods. Live entertainment, pool tables, spacious bar. 77 Grandville Ave SW, 451-4300. L, D $-$$ Harmony Brewing Co. — Eastown’s latest addition to the craft-brewing scene offers custom brews with a full bar, wine selections and menu of wood-fired pizzas. 1551 Lake Drive SE, 233-0063. L, D $ Holly’s Back Door Bar & Grill — Full menu and good selection of munchies at the bar in Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel. Closed Sun & Mon. 255 28th St SW, 241-1417. B, L, D $ HopCat — Crafted brews with close to 50 beers on tap and 150 bottled. Full bar and creative fare from meatloaf to mussels. Open daily. 25 Ionia Ave SW, 451-4677. hopcatgr. com. L (Sat-Sun), D ¢-$ Hub’s inn — Sandwiches, burgers, Mexican

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food & drink Restaurants / PEOPLE / reviews


food and thin-crust pizzas. Closed Sun. 1645 Leonard St NW, 453-3571. L, D ¢

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J. Gardella’s Tavern — Massive bar is matched by gargantuan menu ranging from homemade chips to build-your-own burger. Three floors of seating. Open Sun for arena events. 11 Ionia Ave SW, 459-8824. jgardellas L, D ¢ Main Street Pub — Large-screen TVs and varied menu of appetizers, salads, soups, sandwiches and entrées. Open 11 am daily; breakfast 8 am Sun. 11240 University Parkway, Allendale, 895-1234. ¢-$ B (Sun), L, D McFadden’s Restaurant & Saloon — New York-style Irish menu includes “recreated” pub fare, contemporary and regionally inspired dishes. Transforms into nightclub late at night. Open daily. 58 Ionia Ave SW, 4549105. L, D $ Mill Creek Tavern — Comstock Park eatery offers appetizers, from-scratch soups, sandwiches, full dinner options. Full bar with separate dining room. 3874 West River Dr, 784-3806. L, D ¢-$ The Mitten Brewing Co. — Vintage baseball-themed nanobrewery pairs handcrafted beers with gourmet pizzas. 527 Leonard St NW, 608-5612., Facebook. L, D ¢-$ Mojo’s — Lively dueling piano bar and restaurant open for dinner at 5 pm Wed-Sat, plus late night “munchy menu.” RSVP for dinner early, show starts at 8 pm Wed-Thu, 7 pm FriSat. 180 Monroe Ave NW, 776-9000. mojos D (Wed-Sat) ¢-$

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Nick Finks — Mexican fare in historic tavern, part of The Gilmore Collection. Draft beer, wine, sangria and cocktails. Occasional live music, open mic nights. 3965 West River Dr NE, Comstock Park, 784-9886. thegilmore L, D $ 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. L, D ¢-$ Peppino’s Ristorante Pizzeria and Sports Lounge — Sicilian-style steak and chicken, burgers, etc. Separate sports bar. 5053 Lake Continued on page 122

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food & drink Restaurants / PEOPLE / reviews

Tommy Brann recounts lessons learned in his new book — and tells GR Magazine about how the industry has evolved.

42 years of changes $2.95 at dinner. Today, sons, John Jr., Tommy and Mike own and operate a catering division and a chain of 10 Brann’s Steakhouse and Sports Grilles with a couple of franchisees throughout West Michigan and two in the Detroit area. The third generation is continuing the legacy with Kitchen 67 Brann’s Café on East Beltline Avenue. We asked Tommy how the restaurant industry has evolved since he was bussing tables at age 16 and later tending bar: 1960s: “People would eat slower. They’d come in, have a drink, and there was always a relish tray. They talked and had another drink, and talked some more. It was a good hour-and-a-half at a meal. Now it’s fast paced — get in and get out. That’s probably the biggest change I’ve seen.” 1970s: “People were trying different blended drinks — the Harvey Wallbanger, Tom Collins, whiskey sours, 7&7. They were more liberal in their attitude toward drinking. It was a different atmosphere. Drinking and driving wasn’t really addressed. Light beer was like an untapped oil at the time; then Miller Lite came in and took off like crazy. Bud Light draft is our No. 1 selling beer today.” 1980s: “It was the decade of change. There was more competition coming into the market, and you had to rethink the business and change with the times. The hour-long businessman lunches became shorter.” 1990s: “That’s when it really became a more fast-paced world for eating out, at both lunch and dinner. Healthier eating habits came in. We added un-fried chicken in the late ’80s/early ’90s because people were eating healthier.” 2000s: “Restaurants started popping up and GR became a restaurant town. There was a faster pace, even at nighttime. Local craft beers started to become popular.” 2010: “People are more daring and more willing to try different things, and they’re eating smaller portions. Who would have ever thought a mac-and-cheese skillet would come back? In the ’70s, it was considered school-cafeteria food. It’s now on every menu.” — Julie Burch

Tommy Brann’s advice to up-and-coming restaurateurs:

“You better know what you’re getting into. I would hate to squelch anybody’s dream, but there is a lot of drama in this business, a lot of moving parts, a lot of competition. One day you may need to be a plumber, the next day you’re washing dishes because your dishwasher is drunk, or the power goes out and you have no electricity on Valentine’s Day. That’s sort of a cool part of it, too — going with the flow and handling the drama. But recognize that you’re going to lead an abnormal life.”

Photography by johnny quirin


t the age of 19, Tommy Brann became the youngest restaurateur in Michigan. Now, 42 years later, he has written a book about his experiences. “Mind Your Own Business” is filled with lessons learned over the years that will benefit any small-business owner. The Brann family legend began in 1941 when Tommy’s father, John Brann Sr., and his uncle, Tom Brann, opened the Stag Bar in downtown Grand Rapids, offering five-cent drafts and whiskey shots for a dime. The brothers later separated their business concerns, when John decided he wanted to give the average man a place to take his family for great food at affordable prices. He started John Brann’s Steakhouse in 1961 in Burton Heights. His menu offered a sizzler steak with garlic toast, salad and potato for $1.95 at lunch and

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food & drink Restaurants / PEOPLE / reviews

Continued from page 118 Michigan Dr NW, Allendale, 895-1615. Family-friendly Sports Lounge in downtown GR, 130 Ionia Ave SW, 456-8444. peppinos L, D ¢-$$

two bars, a patio and bowling. Menu offers sandwiches and shrimp, barbecue fare. Breakfast and lunch only Sun. 5656 Clyde Park Ave SW, Wyoming, 530-2400. B, L, D $

Pub 43 — Caters to all, but is especially popular with gay crowd. Menu ranges from burgers to upscale items. Jukebox, occasional live entertainment. Open daily at 3 pm. 43 S Division Ave, 458-2205. Facebook. D ¢-$

Z’s — Sports-themed eatery known for its ribs. Soup-salad-sandwich lunches. Carryout available. 168 Louis Campau Promenade NW, 454-3141. L, D ¢-$

Rezervoir Lounge — Former Sazerac Lounge has full menu of appetizers, sandwiches and entrees, some with a Cajun flavor. Open Tue.-Sun. for lunch and dinner (opens 4 p.m. Mon) 1418 Plainfield Ave NE, 451-0010. rez, Facebook. L, D ¢-$

Italian/ European

Rockford Brewing Co. — Located alongside the White Pine Trail with an up-north atmosphere. Grab a bite to eat while enjoying its hand-crafted brews. Open daily. 12 E Bridge St, Rockford, 951-4677. rockfordbrewing. com. L, D ¢-$ The Score — Restaurant and sports bar with varied menu. 5301 Northland Dr NE, 3010600. L, D ¢-$ The Shamrock — Diverse menu includes specialty burgers and wide range of entrees. 2501 Wilson Ave NW, 735-3888. Facebook. L, ¢-$ D Shepards Grill & Tavern — Bar food with flare, from appetizers to Kobe top sirloin. Open daily. Weekday happy hour specials 3-6:30 p.m. Cascade Center, 6246 28th St SE, 350-9604. Facebook. L, D ¢-$ Stella’s Lounge — Mostly vegan menu but an award-winning stuffed burger for carnivores. Advertises strong drinks and more than 200 whiskies. 53 Commerce Ave, 742¢-$ 4444. L, D Teazers Bar & Grill — Burgers and pastas, sandwiches, salads and Southwestern bites. Kids menu. Open daily. 819 Ottawa Ave NW, 459-2481. L, D ¢-$ Village Inn Pizza Parlor — Longtime favorite for pizza, pasta, burgers, chicken, Mexican and more. Karaoke Thu-Sat. Open daily; weekday lunch buffet. 2215 44th St SE, Kentwood, 281-1444; 934 Washington St, Holland, (616) 392-1818. L, D ¢-$ Vitale’s Sports Lounge & Pizzeria — Pizza and pasta plus panini and wraps in sportscentric surroundings. Outside deck, live entertainment. Open daily. 3868 West River Dr NE, Comstock Park, 784-6044, takeout 7845011. L, D ¢-$ Woody’s Press Box — Complex includes

Amore Trattoria Italiana — Regional Italian dishes using some local products as well as Italian imports. Italian wines and liqueurs a specialty. House-made desserts. Banquet facility. Closed Mon. 5080 Alpine Ave NW, Comstock Park. 785-5344. amoretrattoria L (not Sat), D $ Angela’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria — Italian dinners, pizza, stromboli, subs and desserts. Lunch buffet, full-service bar. Delivery and catering available. Closed Sun. 240 E Division, Sparta, (616) 887-1913. angel L, D ¢-$ Big Bob’s Pizza — A neighborhood pizza parlor in EGR’s Gaslight Village with wine and beer on tap, available to go. 661 Croswell SE, 233-0123. L, D $ Bella Pizzeria — Italian dishes, sandwiches and specialty pizzas. Open daily. 3519 S. Di¢-$ vision Ave, 452-2810. L, D Brewery Vivant — House-made beer and food in the style of traditional French and Belgian country dishes. The East Hills pub/ brewery is housed in a renovated funeral chapel. Most dishes are made with ingredients sourced from local farmers and purveyors. Open daily. 925 Cherry St SE, 719-1604. brew $-$$ L, D Brick Road Pizza — Specializing in gourmet, traditional and vegan pizzas. Glutenfree crusts available on request. Serves beer and wine. Open daily. 1017 Wealthy St SE, 719-2409. L, D ¢-$ Chicago 7 Pizzeria — Family-owned pizzeria offers Chicago-style pies, specialty pizzas, hot dogs, burgers. 6246 28th St SE, 538-7777. chi L, D ¢-$

crust pizzas. Big-screen TVs, pool tables, darts, video games, foosball. 4261 Kalamazoo Ave SE, 455-2230. L, ¢-$ D

Florentine Ristorante — Italian and American cuisine. Pizza and pasta served in the lounge until midnight; full-menu dinner 4-10 pm. Closed Sun. 3245 28th St SW, 534-5419. $ L, D Flo’s Pizzeria Ristorante Sports Bar — Pizzas, sandwiches, salads, Italian entrees and even Mexican entrees. Multiple big screen TVs; take-out available. Open daily. 1259 Post Drive, Belmont, 785-1001. Facebook. L, D ¢-$ Franco’s Pizzeria — Spaghetti, manicotti, lasagna, stromboli plus pizza and subs with fresh ingredients. Limited seating, takeout available (delivery offered). No alcohol. Open daily. 2103 Alpine Ave NW, 361-7307. francos L, D ¢-$ Fred’s Pizza And Italian Restaurant — Long-time favorite offers Italian fare, including fresh pasta and gourmet pizza. Full-service bar. Closed Sun. 3619 Plainfield Ave NE, ¢-$ 361-8994. L, D Fricano’s Pizza Restaurant — Famous for its thin-crust pizza. Also, pasta dinners with a sauce that has made its way to the retail market. Closed Sun. 5808 Alpine Ave NW, Comstock Park, 785-5800. D ¢-$ Georgio’s Gourmet Pizza — Downtown pizzeria with more than 50 varieties of gourmet pizza, whole or by the slice. Beer on tap or by the bottle. Delivery available. Open daily. 15 Ionia Ave. SW, Suite 140, 356-4600. georgios L, D ¢-$ G.R.P.D. — Grand Rapids Pizza & Delivery offers traditional, stuffed and specialty pizzas. No alcohol. Open daily, with a handful of tables for dining in. 340 State St, 742-4773. L, D ¢-$ Licari’s Sicilian Pizza Kitchen — Specialties include thick-crust Sicilian pizza and stuffed pizza with a crispy crust. Also pasta, entrees, calzones and desserts. Open daily. 2896 Knapp St NE. 608-6912. licarispizza L, D $

Euro Bistro — European bistro fare plus wood-fired pizzas. 11 am-10 pm Mon-Fri. 4-10 pm Sat, closed Sun. 6450 28th St SE, 719-2017. L (Mon-Fri), D $-$$

Mangiamo — Historic mansion houses family-friendly Italian eatery. Italian fare plus steaks and seafood. Extensive wine list, evening entertainment. 1033 Lake Dr SE, 742-0600. amo.php. D $-$$

Florentine Pizzeria & Sports Lounge — Spacious location features Italian fare with American and Mexican choices and thin-

Marinade’s Pizza Bistro — Wood-fired pizzas, salads, pastas, sandwiches. No alcohol. Catering. 109 Courtland St, Rockford, 863-

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food & drink Restaurants / PEOPLE / reviews

3300. L, D


Monelli’s Italian Grill And Sports Bar — Southern Italian cuisine. Sports bar plus family-friendly dining room with fireplace. 5675 Byron Center Ave, Wyoming, 530-9700. ¢-$ L, D Noto’s Old World Italian Dining — Elegant décor and extensive classic Italian menu. Special wine cellar dinners. Lounge menu features light fare. Closed Sun. 6600 28th St SE, 493-6686. D $-$$ Osteria Rossa — Casual Italian-inspired cuisine with Michigan roots from Executive Chef/Owner Chris Perkey. Wood-fired pizzas, handmade pasta. Full bar. 16 Monroe Center NW. or Facebook. L (MonFri), D ¢-$

Pietro’s Italian Ristorante — Regional and contemporary Italian cuisine. Tuscan wines, desserts and cappuccinos. Kids menu. Takeout available. 2780 Birchcrest Dr SE, 452$ 3228. L, D Salvatore’s Italian Restaurant — Sicilian and southern Italian fare using family recipes. Separate sports bar; patio seating. Weekday lunch buffet. All menu items, beer and wine available to go. Delivery and catering. Closed Sun. 654 Stocking Ave NW, 454-4280. salva ¢-$ L, D FSan Chez, A Tapas Bistro — Spanish fare focusing on tapas-style appetizers, side dishes and entrées. Extensive wine and beer list includes Spanish varieties and sherry. 38 W Fulton St, 774-8272. L, D $-$$ Seasonal Grille — Hastings’ Italian-themed eatery features fresh, locally sourced, creative fare in handsome surroundings. Full bar, craft cocktails, nice wine list. Open daily. 152 W State St, Hastings, (269) 948-9222. seasonal L, D $ FTrattoria di’ Stagione — Chef Dan Chudik prepares Italian dishes from pasta to seafood utilizing locally sourced ingredients. Lunch will be offered in near future. Closed Sun. 1420 Lake Drive SE, 458-5583. trattoriadistag D $ Tre Cugini — Innovative Italian menu, impressive wine list, fresh daily pastas and risotto specialties. Outdoor seating in mild weather. Closed Sun. 122 Monroe Center, 2359339. L, D $-$$ Uccello’s Ristorante, Pizzeria & Sports Lounge — Kitchen stays open until 1:30 am for dine-in, 1 am for take-out. Open daily. 2630 East Beltline Ave SE, 954-2002; 4787 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, 735-5520; 8256 Broadmoor

Ave SE, 891-1100; 3940 Rivertown Pkwy SW, 249-9344. L, D ¢-$

Vitale’s — Serving traditional regional dishes from family recipes since 1966. 834 Leonard St NE, 458-8368 (Vitale’s Sports Lounge next door, 458-2090), takeout 458-3766. theorigin ¢-$ L, D Vitale’s Of Ada — Multi-regional, upscale dishes made from scratch. Also pizza, subs and burgers. Family-friendly; microbrews to martinis in separate sports pub. 400 Ada Dr SE, Ada, 676-5400. L, D ¢-$ Vitale’s Pizzeria — Multiple locations serving pizza and pasta from original family recipes. 3868 West River Dr, Comstock Park, 784-6044; 5779 Balsam Dr, Hudsonville, 6622244, (no alcohol); 5380 S Division Ave, Kentwood, 530-8500. L, D ¢-$

Asian Akasaka Sushi — Sushi plus Korean and Japanese offerings in low-key atmosphere in Cascade Centre. Serves alcohol. Closed Sun. 6252 28th St SE, 977-0444. Facebook. L, D ¢-$ Akita Buffet — Across from RiverTown Crossings Mall, with sushi bar, hibachi grill and Chinese buffet with set price for lunch and dinner. Serves alcohol. 3540 Rivertown Point Ct SW, 257-7777. L, D ¢-$ Angel’s Thai Café — Extensive Thai fare; menu includes a your-choice stir-fry option. Vegetarian-friendly. No alcohol. Open daily. 136 Monroe Center NW, 454-9801. angelsthai L, D ¢-$ Asian Palace — Chinese and Vietnamese fare with extensive menus for each cuisine. Family owned and operated. No alcohol. Closed Mon. 825 28th St SW, 534-7770. L, D ¢-$ ➧Bamboo — Vietnamese and Thai cuisine using fresh ingredients made to order. No alcohol. Opens at 11 for lunch. Closed Weds. 2907 S. Division Ave, Wyoming, 419-3976. L, D ¢-$

Bangkok Taste — Thai fare with lunch buffet. No alcohol. Closed Sun. 15 Jefferson Ave SE, 356-5550; 674 Baldwin St, Jenison, 356-5550. L, D ¢-$ Bangkok View — Thai food and Chinese fare. Lunch buffet. No alcohol. Closed Mon. 1233 28th St SW, 531-8070. Facebook. L, D ¢-$ Beijing Kitchen — Hunan, Szechuan and Cantonese cuisines. Lunch specials. No alcohol. 342 State St SE, 458-8383. beijing L, D ¢-$

Blue Ginger Asian Kitchen — Noodle-based Thai dishes, chicken, seafood, beef and pork entrees, curries. Vegetarian options. No alcohol. 5751 Byron Center Ave (Bayberry Market), 261-8186. L, D ¢-$ China Chef — Family-style restaurant with Szechuan-style entrées and Hunan choices. No alcohol. Closed Mon. 4335 Lake Michigan Dr NW, 791-4488. Facebook. L, D ¢-$ China City — Chinese cuisine; lunch prices all day. No alcohol. Closed Mon. 1140 Monroe Ave NW, 451-3688. L, D ¢-$ China Gourmet Buffet — Daily lunch and dinner buffets with more than 100 items. Dinner buffet served all day weekends; discount for seniors and children 10 and under. No alcohol. 2030 28th St SW, 252-1379. L, D ¢-$ Chinatown Restaurant And Japanese Steak House — Chinese and Japanese cuisine with tabletop, Benihana-style meals available. Lunch and dinner buffets. Full bar. 69 28th St SW, 452-3025. chinatowngrand L, D ¢-$ China Yi Wang — Chinese dishes including spicy Hunan dishes. No alcohol. 1947 Eastern Ave SE, 241-3885. L, D ¢-$ East Garden Buffet — Cantonese, Hunan, Szechuan cuisine. Daily buffet. No alcohol. 6038 Kalamazoo Ave SE, 698-8933. L, D ¢-$ Empire Chinese Buffet — All-you-can-eat Chinese buffet served all day. Special seafood buffet Sat-Sun. Delivery available. 4255 Alpine Ave NW, 785-8880. L, D ¢-$ Erb Thai — Traditional Thai fare, will accommodate special diets: vegetarian, gluten-free, no MSG. No alcohol. 950 Wealthy St SE, Suite 1A, 356-2573. L, D ¢ Far-East Restaurant — Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean dishes. Carryout and catering available. No alcohol. 3639 Clyde Park Ave SW, 531-7176. Facebook. L, D $ First Wok — Mandarin, Hunan, Szechuan cuisine. Dine-in and take-out. Full bar. Three locations: 2301 44th St SE, 281-0681; 3509 Alpine Ave NW, 784-1616; 6740 Old 28th St SE, 575-9088. L, D $ Fuji Yama Asian Bistro — Hibachi grill tables with chef preparations, or eat in dining room with Chinese, Japanese and Thai selections. Full bar. 1501 East Beltline Ave NE, 7191859. L, D ¢-$ Fortune Chef — Chinese and American fare. Opens 6 am weekdays, 8 am weekends with

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breakfast served all day. No alcohol. 9353 Cherry Valley Ave SE, Caledonia, 891-1388. B, L, D ¢-$

Golden 28 — Szechuan, Hunan, Mandarin cuisine complemented by a Vietnamese menu. No alcohol. Closed Mon. 627 28th St $ SW, Wyoming, 531-2800. L, D Golden Dragon — Chinese, Mandarin and Japanese cuisines with Japanese steakhouse. Full bar. 3629 Plainfield Ave NE, 363-1318. L, D $ Golden Gate Restaurant — Chinese fare with all-inclusive lunch combination plates, egg rolls, sweet-and-sour dishes, with some hot and spicy choices. No alcohol. 4023 S Divi¢ sion Ave, 534-7087. Facebook. L, D Golden Wok — Knapp’s Corner eatery offers lunch and dinner options, including Hunanspiced dishes. Full bar. 1971 East Beltline Ave NE, 363-8880. ¢-$ L, D Grand Lakes — A wide selection of Chinese dishes and specialties, along with daily lunch combination plates. No alcohol. Next to Breton Village D&W. Pick-up and takeout only. 1810 Breton Rd SE, 954-2500. grand L, D ¢-$ Hibachi Grill & Supreme Buffet — PanAsian cuisine from sushi to buffet, including Chinese, Japanese, Mongolian and American dishes. No alcohol. 785 Center Dr NW (Green Ridge Shopping Center), 785-8200. letseat. at/hibachigrillsupremebuffet. L, D ¢ Hong Kong Express — Szechuan and Cantonese for dine-in or carry-out. All-you-caneat lunch buffet. No alcohol. 150 E Fulton St, 235-2888. B, L, D ¢-$ Hunan — Full menu of Chinese options. No alcohol. 1740 44th St SW, 530-3377. hunangr. com; 1263 Leonard St NE, 458-0977. hunan L, D $ Jade Garden — Chinese cuisine with some American dishes. Children’s menu, large selection of tropical cocktails. 4514 Breton Rd SE, 455-8888. L, D ¢-$ Ju Sushi & Lounge — Sushi and sashimi selections, Japanese hibachi, tempura, soups, salads and entrées in elegant surroundings. Full bar, huge sake selection. Takeout, catering and banquet space. 1144 East Paris Ave SE, 575-5858. L, D ¢-$ Lai Thai Kitchen — Vietnamese, Thai and Japanese fare. No alcohol. Closed Sun. 1621 Leonard St NE, 456-5730. Facebook, laithai L, D ¢-$ Little Bangkok — Extensive menu of Thai April 2014 / 125

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nosh & sip

Since opening Art of the Table at 606 Wealthy St. SE a decade ago, owner Amy Ruis has had the lucky job of tasting lots of wine. Here are some standouts.

10 years and 5 faves TASTiNG WiNE iS My VEry rewarding job and something I’ve been doing for a decade at Art of the Table. I curate our selections so customers don’t have to weed through those giant sections of juice. As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, I’ve selected five standouts worth a sip — or two! Savini Chardonnay/pinot Grigio ($10.50) An example of not only a wine but a family with whom we have had the honor of sipping a number of times. They truly care about what they’re making as their wines are very high quality at an extremely reasonable price tag. Our biggest success has been the Rondineto Chardonnay/Pinot Grigio blend: hand-gathered grapes aged in stainless steel to round them yet keep them bright. The intense nose of pear and tart apple have minor floral notes that show off the fruit yet keep it dry. Fresh and versatile, we like this with pesto and chicken pasta. Grgich Hills Estate Fumé Blanc ($35) Steeped in California wine tradition, the estate of Mike Grgich has a fascinating history; it’s why we carry wines like his. Made from biodynamic grapes from Southern Napa Valley cultivated at cooler temps, Fumé Blanc has crisp, rich flavors of grapefruit and lemongrass with a hint of white pepper on the finish.

renzo Masi Chianti riserva ($16.50) A classic Tuscan wine we’ve been selling for all 10 years we’ve been in business. It’s the perfect example of Sangiovese done well. Traditionally medium bodied with balanced earth, dark cherries and a judicious dollop of oak, this Chianti Riserva answers the call. Great with red-sauced pizza or pasta every time. Shooting Star “Blue Franc” Blaufrankish ($15.50) Deemed the “sexiest wine” in the store, we also have carried this from the moment we opened and can’t let it go! It’s a gorgeous deep magenta in the glass and exhibits vivid aromas of blueberry, wild raspberry, violets and sweet toast. Velvety with deep spicy flavors and vanilla. Turn on your favorite LP and sip it by the fire. Marc Hebrart Champagne ($58) This Champagne, truly one of my favorites, is only a small representative of a lineup of delightful bubbly beverages carried at Art of the Table. We love many smaller producers of Champagne and no matter which Grower Champagne one picks, it will be heads and tails above the big house producers. This one is a delightful blend of bright pear, lemon peel and minerality, airy but with just enough weight to pop. — amy ruIS

PhotoGraPhy by johnny quirin

Amy Ruis has traveled many of the wine countries and has passed the first step in becoming a Master Sommelier. She owns Art of the Table, a specialty food, beverage and tabletop store, and co-owns Aperitivo wine, cheese and charcuterie.

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food & drink Restaurants / PEOPLE / reviews

standbys plus some unique items. Kids meals available. Serves beer and wine. Closed Sun. 850 Forest Hill Ave SE, 808-3153. littlebang ¢-$ L, D

Mandarin — Mandarin and Szechuan cuisine; buffets at lunch, dinner and all day on weekends. Cocktails. Open daily. 2460 28th St SE, 530-3300. L, D ¢-$ FMaru Sushi & Grill — Japanese cuisine with a twist, from sushi to hibachi grilled items. 927 Cherry St SE, 458-1900. marurest L, D $-$$ Mikado Sushi — Sushi and sashimi à la carte. Dinners offer full range of Japanese cuisine. Serves alcohol. Closed Sun. 3971 28th St SE, 285-7666. L, D ¢-$ Ming Ten — All-you-can-eat buffet: Japanese, Chinese, sushi bar, hibachi grill and American selections. No alcohol. 2090 Celebration Dr NE (2nd floor), (616) 365-3989. ming L, D ¢-$


Mynt Fusion Bistro — Asian fare that includes Thai, Korean and Chinese. Renowned for its curries: blue, peanut or yellow. No alcohol. Closed Sun. 800 W Main St, Lowell, 987-9307. L, D ¢-$ Ning Ye — Family-owned Chinese restaurant also serves Korean fare. No alcohol. Closed Sun during winter. 6747 E Fulton St, $ Ada, 676-5888. L, D Nu-Thai Bistro — Appetizers, soups, Thai salads, fried rice, curries and noodle dishes; seafood and duck specialty plates. No alcohol. 2055 28th St SE, 452-0065. nuthaibistro. ¢-$ com. L, D Osaka Steakhouse — Japanese cuisine, including steak, seafood, sushi. Same owners as XO Asian Cuisine. Open daily. 4977 28th St. SE, 419-4628. Facebook. L, D $

Photography by johnny quirin

P.F. Chang’s China Bistro — Upscale chain known for modern Chinese dishes from Mongolian beef to chicken lettuce wraps. Cocktails, beer and wine. Order online for takeout. The Village at Knapp’s Crossing, 2065 East Beltline Ave NE, 447-2060. pfcha L, D $ Pho Soc Trang — Wide selection of Vietnamese offerings. No alcohol. 4242 S Division Ave, 531-0755. L, D ¢-$ Rak Thai Bistro — Thai-fusion fare with Chinese and Japanese influences. No alcohol. 6719 S. Division Ave, 551-1706; Downtown Market, 435 Ionia Ave SW, 805-5308; 5260 Northland Dr NE, 363-2222. rakthai L, D ¢-$ April 2014 / 127

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food & drink Restaurants / PEOPLE / reviews

all fresh pasta, a wood-fired

high quality. We’re not getting rid

The Essence Restaurant Group

local twist, there’s a lot to get

oven and a great wine program.”

of that, but we’re working with

and The Gilmore Collection.

Most entrees will be priced

farmers to bring in more local

Local Epicurean, 111 S. Divi-


stuff. And we’ll be continuing

sion Ave., has opened Epicu-

neighborhood eatery, is opening

90-seat restaurant will feature

what we were doing at Trattoria

rean Melt, a four-seat restau-

at 16 Monroe Center NE. Chris

a patio and more tables in adja-

— making cheeses and ice cream

rant (yep, just four) with a $24

Perkey, one of the original chefs

cent Monument Park.

in house.”


excited about this spring. Osteria Rossa, a casual






Meanwhile, Chef Dan Chu-

He has also introduced a

opened Firehouse Grill in East

dik, whose cuisine earned Trat-

new lunch menu with creative

ing lunch and Sunday

Grand Rapids, plans to work

toria di’ Stagione in Eastown a

salads and sandwiches.

Brunch. Visit theloc

with local farmers to provide

Grand Rapids Magazine Best

“Rather than formal Italian,

seasonal menus “with Italian

New Restaurant award, moved

we want Tre Cugini to be more

influences,” says Brittanie Bon-

his crew to Tre Cugini, 122 Mon-


ham, a partner in the venture.

roe Center NW, in late February.

Taking his place at Trattoria

“If we transplanted a family

Chudik plans to bring price

is John Chisholm, who’s been the

from Tuscany, they’d find the

points down. “Tre Cugini has

executive chef at Egypt Valley

best foods in season. That’s

been expensive for a reason,”

Country Club for several years.

what we want to do. We’ll have

he said. “The product is such

His résumé includes cooking for

Red Sun Buffet — All-you-can-eat international buffet: sushi, Chinese, American, Italian and Japanese selections. No alcohol. 4176 28th St SE, 940-9999. redsungrandrap ¢-$ L, D Seoul Garden — Chinese and Korean cuisine with full bar. Banquet and catering facilities also available. Closed Sun. 3321 28th St SE, 956-1522. L, D $-$$ Shanghai Ichiban — Chinese and Japanese cuisine; food prepared tableside by hibachi chefs in Japanese area. Serves alcohol. 3005 East Beltline SE, 942-5120. shanghaiichiban. com. L, D $-$$ ➧Sunny Kitchen — Authentic Chinese food and dim sum using fresh ingredients. Catering available. No alcohol. Closed Mon. 3338 Eastern Ave SE, 805-5964. sunnykitchen L, D ¢-$

Sushi Kuni — Japanese and Korean cuisine, plus fusion fare. Private groups can eat in traditional Japanese tatami room. Serves alcohol. Closed Sun. 2901 Breton Rd SE, 241-4141. Facebook. L, D ¢-$$ Thai Express — Thai specialties, spiced to customer specification. No alcohol. 4317 Kalamazoo Ave SE, 827-9955. thaiexpressgr. com. L, D ¢ Thai Fusion — Thai cuisine and fusion specials with good selection of starters and salads. Kids menu for $5.99. No alcohol. Closed


The Chocolate Lounge is serv-

at Bistro Bella Vita who later

Sun. 3097 Broadmoor Ave SE (near 29th St), ¢-$ 301-8883. L, D

deliver. 58 Monroe Center, 235-6969. xoasian L, D $-$$

Three Happiness Restaurant — Cantonese, Mandarin and Szechuan fare, with daily lunch and dinner specials. No alcohol. 3330 Alpine Ave NW, Target Plaza, 785-3888. Facebook. L, D ¢-$

Yummy Wok — Cantonese, Hunan and Szechuan dishes. No alcohol. 4325 Breton Rd SE, 827-2068. Facebook. L, D ¢-$

Tokyo Grill & Sushi — Japanese tatami rooms, sushi bars. Menu includes hibachi, teriyaki, Udon, tempura. Sake, plus Japanese and American beer and wine. Closed Sun. 4478 Breton Rd SE, 455-3433. tokyogrill L, D ¢-$ Tokyo Roadhouse — Japanese (sushi) and Chinese menus, lunch specials. Order online for pickup, delivery (until 8 p.m.) or express dine-in. No alcohol. Opens daily at 11 a.m. 4095 Plainfield Ave. NE, 365-3719. tokyoroad L, D ¢-$ Wei Wei Palace — Chinese seafood restaurant features Cantonese cuisine, dim sum and barbecue. 4242 S Division Ave, 724-1818. wei L, D $

Indian Bombay Cuisine — Traditional Indian dishes with spices and flavors from Northern India. Full bar. Lunch buffet Mon.-Fri. and Sun. Takeout available. 1420 Lake Dr. SE, $ 456-7055. L, D Curry Kitchen — Authentic Indian cuisine. Lunch buffet 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (noon on Sun). Kids menu. Takeout. Open daily. No alcohol. 961 E Fulton St, 242-1300. currykitchengr. com. L, D $ India Town — Indian fare including vegetarian and vegan in a humble atmosphere. No alcohol. Closed Tue. 3760 S Division Ave, 243-1219. L, D ¢-$

Wonton Express — No-frills ambience serving authentic Chinese fare from spicy Hunan and Kung-Po dishes. No alcohol. 6719 S Division Ave, 281-8816. L, D ¢-$

Palace Of India — Indian cuisine with a sizeable menu that includes vegetarian selections. Lunch buffet 11 am-3 pm. No alcohol. 526 Stocking Ave NW, 913-9000. palace L, D ¢-$

XO Asian Cuisine — Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine with full service bar. Vegetarian options and lunch specials Mon-Sat. Free valet parking with $30 purchase. Will

Punjab Grill — Indian and Pakistani cuisine, vegan and vegetarian dishes. Daily lunch buffet, carry-out. Closed Sun. Liquor license pending. 40 Pearl St NW, 608-4166. L, D $

illustration courtesy thinkstock


Buon appetito!

f you love Italian fare with a

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Le Kabob — Huge appetizer selection, soups, salads and sandwiches, large choice of Mediterranean entrees and combos. Kids menu. No alcohol. Open daily. 2923 28th St SE, 272¢-$ 4135. L, D Marie Catrib’s — Middle-Eastern fare with on-site bakery, seasonal specialties and Turkish coffee. Vegetarian options. Breakfast 7 am Mon-Fri, 8 am Sat. Lunch/dinner starts 11 am weekdays, noon Sat. Closed Sun. No alcohol. 1001 Lake Dr SE, 454-4020. B, L, D ¢-$ Mediterranean Grills — Gyros, kabobs, falafel, shwarma, hummus, kafta. All meats are halal, in accordance with Islamic requirements. Closed Sun. No alcohol. Cascade Center, 6250 28th St SE, 949-9696. L, D $

Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts

Middle Eastern/ Mediterranean

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Mr. Gyros — Family-owned restaurant offering Mediterranean specialties with drivethrough, delivery and catering available. Open daily. 2260 Alpine Ave NW, 791-6660. ¢-$ L, D Osta’s Lebanese Cuisine — Lebanese cuisine, from grape leaf appetizer and tabbouleh to shish kebob, falafel and baklava. Takeout and catering. Features Lebanese beer and wine. Closed Sun-Mon. 2228 Wealthy St SE in EGR, 456-8999. L, ¢-$ D Parsley Mediterranean Grille — Appetizers, salads, soups, pitas, lunch and dinner combos of chicken, beef, seafood and vegetarian entrees, kabobs. No alcohol. 80 Ottawa Ave NW, 776-2590. L, D ¢-$

illustration courtesy thinkstock

Pita House — Gyros and other Middle East specialties. No alcohol. 1450 Wealthy St SE, 454-1171; 3730 28th St SE, 940-3029; 4533 Ivanrest Ave SW, 261-4302; 134 Monroe Center NW, 233-4875. L, D ¢ Raad’s Mediterranean Grill — East Hills eatery features all the Mediterranean favorites made fresh, including many Lebanese family recipes. Meat, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free offerings. No alcohol. Open daily. 962 Cherry St. SE, 454-7223. Facebook. L, D $-$$ Sheshco Grill — Lebanese cuisine including appetizers, salads and soups; entrees such as shish kabob, lamb shanks, quail and sautéed meats, plus vegetarian and seafood options. No alcohol. 2121 Celebration Dr NE (Knapp’s Corner), 364-0600. sheshcogrill. com. L, D $ Shiraz Grille — Persian cuisine: fire-grilled

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April 2014 / 129

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food & drink Restaurants / PEOPLE / reviews

kabobs, khoreshts, vegetarian options. Full bar, wine list, martinis. 2739 Breton Rd SE, 949-7447. L (Sun), D $

FZeytin — Turkish-American cuisine with extensive beer and wine lists. Takeout available. 400 Ada Dr SE, Ada, 682-2222. zeytin $ L, D

African Little Africa Cuisine — Humble storefront café offers hearty vegetable stews; sauces and fixings served on Ethiopian flat bread. Sample other Ethiopian specialties. No alcohol. Cash or checks only. Open daily. 956 E ¢ Fulton St, 222-1169. Facebook. L, D Gojo Ethiopian Cuisine & Deli — Authentic dishes including vegetarian options. Watt (stew-like) dishes served with injerra flatbread. Carry-out. No alcohol. Tue-Fri lunch buffet, dinner 5-8 pm; Sat buffet 4-8 pm; closed Sun and Mon. 421 Norwood SE, 4593383. L, D $

For Contests • Photos • Sneak peeks •Event news • Special offers • and much American/ more! •For Contests • Photos • Sneak peeks •Event news • Special offers •Mexican/Latin and Caribbean much more! •For Contests • Photos • Sneak peeks •Event news • Special offers 7 Mares — Authentic Mexican dishes includ• and much more! •For Contests • Photos • Sneak peeks •Event news • Special ing breakfasts. 1403 Kalamazoo Ave SE, 301offers • and much more! •For Contests • Photos • Sneak peeks •Event news • 8555. Facebook. B, L, D ¢-$$ Special offers • and much more! •For Contests • Photos • Sneak peeks •Event Beltline Bar — Americanized Tex-Mex news • Special offers • and much more! •For Contests • Photos • Sneak peeks menu; wet burritos are the claim to fame. •Event news • Special offers • and much more! •For Contests • Photos • Sneak Full bar. The Big Enchilada curbside service: call peeks •Event news • Special offers • and much more! •For Contests • Photos • in your order and have it delivered to your car. 16 28th St SE, 245-0494. beltline Sneak peeks •Event news • Special offers • and much more! •For Contests • L, D $ Photos • Sneak peeks •Event news • Special offers • and much more! •For Cabana Tres Amigos — Authentic Mexican Contests • Photos • Sneak peeks •Event news • Special offers • and much fare with full bar, take-out service, vegetarmore! •For Contests • Photos • Sneak peeks •Event news • Special offers •ian and selection. Spacious with fireplaces and Mexican décor. 1409 60th St SE, 281-6891. L, much more! •For Contests • Photos • Sneak peeks •Event news • Special offers D ¢-$ • and much more! •For Contests • Photos • Sneak peeks •Event news • Special Café San offers • and much more! •For Contests • Photos • Sneak peeks •Event news • Juan — Puerto Rican, Mexican and Cuban. No alcohol. 3549 Burlingame Ave Special offers • and much more! •For Contests • Photos • Sneak peeks •Event SW, 530-2293. B, L, D ¢-$ news • Special offers • and much more! •For Contests • Photos • Sneak peeks Cancun Restaurant — Neighborhood eatery •Event news • Special offers • and much more! •For Contests • Photos • Sneak specializes in Mexican seafood dishes but peeks •Event news • Special offers • and much more! •For Contests • Photos offers• a full range of fare. 1518 Grandville Ave Sneak peeks •Event news • Special offers • and much more! •For Contests • SW, 248-2824. L, D ¢-$ Photos • Sneak peeks •Event news • Special offers • and much more!Cantina •For — Extensive menu of Mexican speContests • Photos • Sneak peeks •Event news • Special offers • and much cialties with full-service bar. 2770 East Paris SE, 949-9120. L, D $ more! •For Contests • Photos • Sneak peeks •Event news • Special offers •Ave and Chez Olga — Caribbean and Creole fare. much more! •For Contests • Photos • Sneak peeks •Event news • Special offers Veggie/vegan options. Lunch specials. No • and much more! •For Contests • Photos • Sneak peeks •Event news • Special alcohol. Open until 2 am Fri-Sat, closed Sun. offers • and much more! •For Contests • Photos • Sneak peeks •Event news • 1441 Wealthy St SE, 233-4141. Special offers • and much more! •For Contests • Photos • Sneak peeks •Event L, D ¢ news • Special offers • and much more! •For Contests • Photos • Sneak peeks Cinco De Mayo — Mexican eatery offers the •Event news • Special offers • and much more! •For Contests • Photos • Sneak 130•Event \ April 2014 offers • and much more! •For Contests • Photos • peeks news • Special Sneak peeks •Event news • Special offers • and much more! •For Contests • GRM_04.14_PG108.135.indd 130

3/11/14 12:35 PM

usual fare plus carnitas and steak asada. Full bar. 123 Courtland St, Rockford, 866-3438; 114 Monroe Center NW, 719-2404. L, D $

Punjab Grill

Authentic Indian Cuisine

Donkey Taqueria — Authentic Mexican food, including tacos, tostadas and tortas, in a former auto-service station. Full bar. Open daily. 665 Wealthy St SE. Facebook. L, D ¢-$

Donk’s Mexican Joint — Tex-Mex selections including wet and dry burritos. Kids menu, drive-thru available. 820 Michigan St. NE, 419-3554. L, D ¢ Downtown Trini’s — Sparta destination offers traditional fare. Full bar. Closed Sun and Mon. 148 E Division Ave, Sparta, 887-2500. ¢-$ L, D FEl Arriero — Extensive menu offers specialty dishes, with à la carte selections for smaller appetites. Mexican and domestic beers, Margaritas. 2948 28th St SE, 977-2674. ¢-$ L, D El Barrio Mexican Grill — Tasty and creative twists on otherwise-traditional Mexican. Full bar. 545 Michigan St NE, 301-0010. elbarrio L, D ¢-$

Lunch Buffet $10.99 Mon–Fri 11-3 | Sat 12-3 Dine In or Take out Banquet facilities on site -to cater up to 40 people Off-site catering available   40 Pearl St. NW | Grand Rapids, MI 616-608-4156 | Like us on Mon- Fri 11-3 & 4-10 | Sat 12-3 & 4-10

El Burrito Loco — More than 70 authentic Mexican selections. Complimentary chips and salsa. Full bar. 1971 East Beltline Ave NE, 447-0415; 4499 Ivanrest SW, 530-9470; 4174 Alpine Ave NW, 785-4102. elburritolocores L, D ¢-$ El Granjero — Mexican fare, from steak and shrimp dishes to à la carte selections and menudo on weekends. No alcohol but tasty virgin coladas. 950 Bridge St NW, 458-5595. B, L, D ¢ El Sombrero — Offers the wet burrito, and dry ones too. Weekly specials. No alcohol. Closed Sun. 527 Bridge St NW, 451-4290. el L, D ¢ Grand Villa Dungeon — Mexican food is the specialty. Full bar. Closed Sun. 3594 Chicago Dr SW, 534-8435. L, D $ Jamaican Dave’s — Jerked, fricasseed or curried chicken; curry goat, oxtail, beef and chicken patties; jerked wings; salt fish and “escoveitched” fish; tofu-with-veggies. Limited seating; takeout is best bet. 1059 Wealthy St SE, 458-7875. L, D ¢ Las Cazuelas — Open for breakfast at 10 am. Genuine Hispanic flavors. 411 Wilson Ave NW, Walker, 726-6600. B, L, D ¢ La Huasteca — Homemade recipes. All items can be accommodated for vegetarians. Mostly take-out with a small dining room. No alcohol. Open daily. 1811 Plainfield Ave. NE, 447-7733. Facebook. L, D ¢ April 2014 / 131

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food & drink Restaurants / PEOPLE / reviews

Where’s your favorite pub in Grand Rapids? Please share it with Juliet and Jeremy on Twitter @hefed shefed @grmag #readthefeed

Deep Fried Pickles

She fed:

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been to Logan’s but it feels kind of like home. The menu might be elevated, but the interior still has the same vibe. I really want to try the Mac-n-Cheese with added short rib. My gut steers me in a different direction: the Grilled Sweet Chili Pork Burrito. It’s a good-size flour tortilla packed with tomato chunks, slow-cooked pulled pork and sautéed red onions, slathered in a sweet chili sauce. I’m struck by the give-and-take of hot and sweet, not an easy balance to achieve. Although it tastes amazing, the one disappointment is no grill marks on the tortilla wrap. Not even sure it was grilled. Despite that, I would happily order it again.” — Jeremy

“Even with all the healthful

Lunch at Logan’s Alley Juliet and Jeremy Johnson revisit a Grand Rapids landmark for pub fare — and Hopslam. In 2000, when the craft beer phenomenon was just starting to take root in West Michigan, Logan’s Alley opened its doors, intent on catering to the brew enthusiasts they knew would turn up for a cold pint. In our early visits, the culinary bug obviously hadn’t bitten the kitchen yet. Fried bar fare and snacks prevailed. Over time, though, the menu at Logan’s Alley, 916 Michigan St. NE, has evolved to match the array of beers. We recently stopped in for lunch. No more hot dog pizza; instead, we’re presented with Barley & Quinoa Salad, Fire Roasted Hummus and Shanghai Stir-Fry. You can still find old favorites — Smothered Tots, Onion Rings, Irish Nachos — but it’s nice to have healthy options too. As we wait for our meals, Deep Fried Pickles caught our eye: fresh cucumbers pickled in-house, sliced into spears, coated in beer batter and dropped into the fryer. They come out crunchy, golden and puckery. Dip them into the cilantro ranch dressing to send your taste buds into the stratosphere. Logan’s Alley exudes an easy-going charm, with creaky floorboards, stout furniture and a pool table. It’s a place where locals hang out and any stranger is welcome. By the time our food arrived, we were so comfortable it was tough to return to the real world. Of course, Bell’s Hopslam might have had something to do with that.

options on the menu, I’ve already decided to have a burger for lunch. Logan’s serves half-pound patties of seasoned meat, formed by hand. None of those pre-fabricated hockey pucks pulled from the deep freeze here. I go for the Gridiron Burger with haystack onions, local smoked gouda and sweet barbeque sauce on a bun from Little Roosters. I like a place that still cooks burgers to order instead of lecturing me on the dangers of undercooked meat. My Gridiron arrives perfectly cooked to medium rare with a side of crispy tots. I get my beef fix for a few weeks while supporting a local business and at least two local food purveyors. It’s a win win!” — Juliet

Photography by michael buck

He fed:

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la Taqueria San Jose — Authentic Mexican fare, including tacos stuffed with such options as goat, chicken, pork and cactus in a very casual, take-out setting. 1338 S Division Ave, 284-2297. L, D ¢ lindo Mexico restaurant — Fresh food with “real Mexican flavor.” Happy hour 2-6 pm. Kids menu. 1292 28th St SW, Wyoming, 261-2280. L, D ¢-$ Maggie’s Kitchen — Mexican fare in café setting, cafeteria-style ordering. No alcohol. 636 Bridge St NW, 458-8583. B, L, D ¢ Michoacan — Mexican fare plus seafood, chicken and steak dishes. No alcohol. Open at 9 am. 334 Burton St SW, 452-0018. B, L, D ¢-$ Mi Tierra restaurant — Traditional Mexican, eat in or drive through. No alcohol. 2300 S Division Ave, 245-7533. Facebook. L, D ¢ Taco Bob’s — Fresh-Mex offerings, taco salads and the “funny taco,” a hard-shell wrapped in a soft shell. No alcohol. Open 11 am-2:30 pm, Mon-Fri. 250 Monroe Ave NW, 458-1533. L ¢

Specializing in river cruiSeS for over 35 yearS 3250 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids 616.942.5112 | 800 GO WITTE

Tacos El Caporal — Two locations serving Mexican fare, with menudo Sat and Sun. No alcohol. 1260 Burton St SW, 246-6180; 1717 28th St SW, Wyoming, 261-2711. B, L, D ¢


catering + events

Dining Guide legend

PhotoGraPhy by michael buck

Grand rapids Magazine has created these symbols to area restaurant amenities as a service to our readers. B — Serves breakfast L — Serves lunch D — Serves dinner ¢ — Inexpensive (under $10)* $ — Moderate ($10-$20)* $$ — Expensive (Over $20)* * Prices based on average entrée. - — Reviewed in this issue — Chef Profile in this issue ➧ — New listing O — GRM’s 2013 Restaurant of the Year F — GRM’s 2013 Dining Award Winner Additions, corrections and/or changes: Please email or write to Dining Guide, Grand Rapids Magazine, 549 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

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Roll out the barrel

pints of interest Pat Evans is a writer and researcher at Gemini Publications who has studied and followed the local beer industry for more than five years.

will not be different, due to the ever-increasing demand for the popular beer. The barrel program at Founders has expanded greatly since those first two barrels. It now includes well more than 2,000 bourbon barrels for KBS, Backwoods Bastard and other one-off beers such as Sweet Repute and Doom. Other Founders beers, such as Canadian Breakfast Stout, age in bourbon barrels that have been used for Michigan maple syrup.

Founders only scales up a certain amount each year, in conjunction with its capacity, and can’t forecast the growing demand a year in advance as the beer sits in a special storage unit in the gypsum mines. KBS, with all its coffee, chocolate and bourbon goodness, has won numerous awards, including RateBeer’s 2013 No. 1 Stout in the World and the No. 1 Beer in the U.S. In 2011, Wine Enthusiast named it the No. 2 beer. It’s also been named one of BeerAdvocate’s Top 10 Beers in the World. While the acclaim is clearly labeled on the KBS packaging, it isn’t directed by the owners. “We brew the beer, not the hype,” Engbers said. “But that’s not to say we aren’t proud of — PaT evanS it.”

PhotoGraPhy by johnny quirin

iF yOu’rE SOME OF THE uNluCKy HOpEFulS WHO MiSS OuT ON FOuNDErS’ KBS, HErE ArE A FEW OTHEr BArrElAGED BEErS TO HElp SATiSFy THE NEED: > Perrin Brewing Co. in Comstock Park has released several beers under the Coopers Series name, as well as several other barrelaged gems, including Malted Milk Ball Imperial Porter. > New Holland Brewing in Holland releases its Dragon’s Milk yearround, a stout aged in bourbon barrels for two months. > Oddside Ales in Grand Haven has several barrel releases, including Bourbon Barrel Aged Mayan Mocha stout, which, although relatively thin, has a nice spice to the finish.

iT’S BEEN MOrE THAN a decade since Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers first put their beer into oak bourbon barrels. Two Jack Daniels barrels sat for a year in the old North Monroe brewery before the co-owners of Founders Brewing Co. pulled the liquid out and realized they were on to something. Back then, it was a little bit of experimentation — just like with many other Founders beers. Kentucky Breakfast Stout was supposed to be a play on the brewery’s Breakfast Stout, but the bourbon flavor overwhelmed the stout’s flavors, and the idea of simply barrelaging Breakfast Stout went by the wayside. Instead, Founders upped all the ingredients to make a bigger and bolder imperial stout. Kentucky Breakfast Stout’s chocolate and coffee notes are prominent and not overwhelmed by the bourbon undertones. The beer (with an ABV of 11.2 percent) is released annually in the early spring after a year of cave aging in the barrels. This year, KBS will be distributed across the brewery’s footprint April 1. Since the debut of KBS, Founders has had a hard time ensuring that every customer is satisfied with their allotted amount — if they get any at all. A few years ago, more than 300 people were turned away without tasting any of the renowned nectar. Engbers said this year

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Grand Rapids Magazine final.pdf



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Happy 5oth Anniversary Grand Rapids Magazine!









We’re more than just Monday


GRBJ Daily enewsletter Delivers every weekday afternoon.

GRBJ Early Edition enewsletter Delivers every Saturday morning.

The Pulse enewsletter Delivers every other Wednesday morning.

Influential Women enewsletter Delivers every other Tuesday morning.

GRBJ Real Estate Development (R.E.D.) enewsletter Delivers every Thursday morning.

Photography by johnny quirin

Legal Notice enewsletter Delivers every other Wednesday morning.

Michigan Made enewsletter Delivers every other Friday morning.


Breaking News Delivers as news breaks.

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A step back in time Established in the 1920s, Ottawa Hills’ character and history retains long-time residents and draws former residents back.


Michelle and Fred Davison

rowing up in the 1960s, Frederick Davison and Tom Ellis walked the streets of Ottawa Hills and played pick-up games in the open areas around Pontiac Field. Fast forward 40 years to 2005. Davison had returned to Ottawa Hills and had been living there for nearly 20 years — and he was getting a new neighbor across the street. The guy who’d just bought the house had put letters in the mailboxes of neighborhood homeowners saying he wanted to buy their house if they ever decided to sell. Turns out, it was Ellis, Davison’s childhood friend.

“I knew by stuffing the mailboxes, if someone called back, it was a house I wanted to live in,” Ellis said. It’s a familiar story: Ottawa Hills draws back people who grew up there. Others enjoy living in the neighborhood so much they never leave. Many long-time homeowners upsize or downsize within the winding streets of one of the city’s earliest subdivisions. “Once they are in the neighborhood, they kind of stay in the neighborhood,” Davison said. “People take care of each other. They take care of their lawns, their properties.” With fewer than 300 homes, Ottawa Hills is one of the city’s

smallest neighborhoods, established on the eastern outskirts in 1922. Its boundaries include Franklin Street on the north, Grand Rapids city limits on the east (roughly Cadillac Drive), Hall Street on the south, and Giddings Avenue on the west. Retired schoolteacher Mary Carolyn Matteson, 75, has lived in the neighborhood all but a decade of her life. She and her husband bought the fivebedroom home she grew up in on the corner of Chippewa and Mackinaw in the late 1970s. “The neighbors do my walks, my lawn. There’s a lot of camaraderie with everybody. We watch out for each other,” she said.

Photography by jim gebben (bottom); courtesy Ottawa Hills Neighborhood Association (top)

By Marla R. Miller

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knows everybody,” he said. “Our sense of community makes us a little bit different. We still have neighborhood parties and gettogethers.” The site of a farm and then a nine-hole golf course around the turn of the century, Ottawa Hills was viewed almost as a suburb in the early 1920s, with streetcar service extending downtown to Reeds Lake, Ellis said. “The affluent people who wanted to get out of the city thought, ‘Hey, this Ottawa Hills thing is going to be good,’” he said. “The beauty of Ottawa Hills is every house is completely different from the next one.” There are many features that add to the neighborhood’s charm and character. The streets — many of them named after Indian tribes and chiefs — feature old-fashioned lampposts and lots flanked by tall oak and maple trees. Most of the stately, two-story brick homes date back to the ’20s and ’30s, with some built after World War II, Ellis said. The architectural styles range from French Chateau, English Tudor, Mediterranean Villa and Spanish Colonial to Art Deco, stone cottages and bungalows. “The architecture is really

unique and very cool,” said Jon Kok, who bought a house in Ottawa Hills two years ago and enjoys reading original ads for the housing community. “It was the first big development in Grand Rapids with wide streets, nice lots and utilities in the back. The streets are all kind of winding and follow the old fairways.” A new public school also attracted early residents. Ottawa Hills High School opened in fall 1925 in the center of the neighborhood on Iroquois Drive. In 1931, an elementary wing was added, and the building housed students from kindergarten through grade 12 for several years.

Many of the unique two-story brick homes in Ottawa Hills date back to the ‘20s and ‘30s. Below, Jon and Becky Kok moved to the neighborhood two years ago with their children Will and Cameron.

“The architecture is really unique and very cool. It was the first big development in Grand Rapids with wide streets, nice lots and utilities in the back. The streets are all kind of winding and follow the old fairways.” — Jon Kok Photography by jim gebben

Photography by jim gebben (bottom); courtesy Ottawa Hills Neighborhood Association (top)

Dan Haveman, president of the neighborhood association, grew up in Ottawa Hills and returned in 2001 to raise his family. “It’s one of those places where we have young families to retirees,” he said. “A lot of the kids that I grew up with are all back in the association. It’s always been one of those hot spots — houses turn over pretty quickly.” Home to doctors, lawyers, former mayors, city managers, judges, attorneys and other prominent residents, it’s historically been one of the more affluent and desirable areas in Grand Rapids. Nearly all of the homes are owner-occupied — often sold before a real estate sign goes up, and residents say it is a special place for its diversity, tradition and community pride. “It’s a great walking neighborhood, a very stable neighborhood with unique architecture and a lot of character and history,” Haveman said. Philip Balkema, a former city attorney and vice president of the neighborhood association, has lived in Ottawa Hills for 44 years, moving from Alexander Street to Pontiac Road in 1982. “Everybody pretty much

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In 1972, the high school moved to Rosewood Avenue, but the large brick building continued to serve as Iroquois Middle School until 2005. Many residents have fond memories of attending school when the building included all grades. “We used to play kickball and football out there,” Davison said. “The park is only two blocks down from any direction. I grew up on those tennis courts.” Decades ago, there was a strong school rivalry between the Ottawa Hills Indians and East Grand Rapids Pioneers, reflected in their mascot names, said Ellis, who considers himself the unofficial Ottawa Hills High School historian and a

proud 1964 graduate. The school property has always been an anchor and focal point for the neighborhood, and residents wanted it to stay that way, Balkema said. “Having a school nearby is always a good thing for a neighborhood,” he said. When Grand Rapids Public Schools was thinking about selling the vacant building to developers, the neighborhood association and resident attorneys did their research and found the original deed and property covenants stipulated it should remain a school and park, Davison said. Grand Rapids Christian Schools bought the nine-acre campus, razed the old building in 2009, and built a new

Before the old Ottawa Hills High School was demolished, Grand Rapids Christian Schools salvaged some of the building’s decorative architectural features and repurposed them in the new school.

When demolition crews started dismantling the historic Ottawa Hills High School, it was a bittersweet scene for neighborhood residents. The massive brick building, which some residents describe as a fortress, had educated thousands of children and anchored the Ottawa Hills neighborhood for nearly 85 years. The building served as Iroquois Middle School until 2005 and had been vacant for a few years, so it was a relief when Grand Rapids Christian Schools purchased it in 2009 to open a new ele-

mentary school. The district selected the site to combine its Oakdale, Millbrook, Sylvan and Creston elementary schools. Initially, local residents had hoped the original building would be spared. But it proved to be too big and too costly to renovate. Working with A.M.D.G. Architects, GRCS sought input from neighborhood residents on the design of the new school. It even formed a neighborhood committee to provide feedback throughout the demolition and construction process, said Tom DeJonge, GRCS superintendent. “The building we built in its place has architectural detail that reflects that neighborhood,” he said. “It’s a wonderful neighborhood and we feel blessed to be there.”

The district took great care in razing the old building, salvaging and reusing some of the building’s more historical and decorative architectural features. Some of the marble scrolls, capitals and terra cotta tiles from the high school entrance found a new home inside the elementary school. “We used whatever we could,” DeJonge said. “Some were damaged in

the demolition. We incorporated a lot of marble and terra cotta tiling into the building.” Beyond the history and knowledge rooted and cultivated within the old school’s walls, the intricate architectural details were always a point of pride for students and area residents. GRCS “did a wonderful job of retaining elements of that school,” said Fred Davison, a former student. When first constructed, Ottawa Hills was one of the larger and more artistic school buildings in the city. Its

Romanesque Revival style included elaborate carvings and stonework around the exterior, and marble columns and stairs inside. Reflective of the school’s name, designs taken from Indian pottery, blankets and rugs were used in a terra cotta border around the main entrance. Directly above the door was an Indian head, which became the symbol of the school. The new school reused decorative lampposts and an original fireplace and mantle from the kindergarten room, which is in the school’s media center. “Many students remembered the fireplace with great fondness,” DeJonge said. “It’s now a cozy reading corner in the library.” School officials also purchased an artist’s rendering of the original entrance submitted as an ArtPrize entry; it currently hangs in the school. Peter Baldwin of A.M.D.G. modified roof lines and other building features in response to residents’ concerns that the plan looked too modern. The interior colors from the original school also were incorporated into the new one. GRCS saved two playgrounds, the soccer field and tennis courts that were part of the original school property and hold fond memories for former students. Pontiac Field is a walking destination for residents, as requested at neighborhood meetings.

Photography by jim gebben

New school with old elements

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elementary school. They worked with the neighborhood to develop the site and incorporate original architectural features from the old school into the new one. The new school includes a playground area, tennis courts and a walking track, known as Pontiac Field, open to neighborhood residents. The neighborhood association sent out one flyer and raised more than $20,000 to help with park improvements, Balkema said. Ottawa Hills also has one of the city’s oldest neighborhood associations. Formed in the early 1970s to protect the integrity and interests of Ottawa Hills, residents banded together to prevent a few realtors from “blockbusting” — trying to get people to sell their homes quickly and cheaply.

Photography by jim gebben (top); courtesy Ottawa Hills Neighborhood Association (middle)

Photography by jim gebben

Since 1934, the annual Hollyhock Lane Independence Day Parade has featured kids, politicians and fire trucks.

“We wouldn’t stand for that kind of scare tactics,” Balkema said. The association remains all-volunteer with annual dues of $10. Block captains welcome new residents. One of its most well-known events, the Ottawa Hills Annual Garden Tour held in June, celebrated 20 years in 2013. A dozen or so homes open their yards and gardens to visitors, Haveman said. Proceeds from dues and donations from events are used to beautify the neighborhood. The association has planted more than 70 trees in the area, purchased signs identifying the neighborhood and put in ornamental street lights. The association hosts an ice cream social in August, but neighbors often gather for happy hours, chili cook-offs and backyard barbecues. They organize an Easter egg hunt, and Hallow-

een is a big holiday for Mary Carolyn Matteson the children, Haveman and Chase said. Another neighborhood tradition, the Hollyhock Lane parade, offers a slice of Americana on the Fourth of July. It includes children riding bicycles, local politicians, old cars, emergency vehicles, Uncle Sam and the Statue of Liberty. Although there are few businesses, Ottawa Hills is convenient to shopping and dining in Eastown and East “The neighbors do my walks, my lawn. Grand Rapids’ Gaslight Village. The Ottawa There’s a lot of camaraderie with everybody. Hills Branch library We watch out for each other.” opened in the 1950s — Mary Carolyn Matteson and offers programs to the community. “It’s like you walk back in time,” he The neighborhood’s East Congregasaid. “It’s a tremendous place to raise tional United Church of Christ moved a family.” to its present site at 1005 Giddings Ave. It’s something people like Davison SE in 1929. Today, the church provides and Ellis know well. space for a neighborhood yoga class, Davison, an attorney, ran into a AA meetings, Kiwanis Club, Boy Scouts former classmate after he bought his and bridge clubs, and is home to the home, and she gave him the original Siloam Spirituality Center. Thrifty blueprints as a gift from her mother. Treasures is a resale shop staffed by His family moved to Ottawa Hills when church volunteers. he was 5 years old, and his mother still A highlight of the neo-Gothic strucowns her home there. ture is the sanctuary’s stained glass Nearly 100 years later, Ottawa Hills windows. They came from Chartres remains an ethnically diverse and Glass Studios in France, one of only friendly place, with a strong sense of two churches in the country with winunity and family, he said. dows from that studio, said Rev. Ruth “Everyone really recognizes that in Fitzgerald, who is new to Grand Rapids all the events that occur. It’s a unique and joined the church in October. area that’s weathered some storms, “One of the things that really but it’s very close-knit.” attracted me to this church is that it is Ellis grew up outside “true” Ottaa neighborhood church,” she said. “My wa Hills, but had many friends in the hope is that we will be an anchor for neighborhood. this neighborhood again. This building “I knew every house,” he said. “All and this community of faith can be a the homes are still very much there. real contributing factor to the neighThese homes, the people — they’re my borhood.” friends.” With its well-kept homes, landAfter living in other parts of the scaped yards and family-friendly country, Ellis appreciates coming activities, Ottawa Hills is like revisting home to a neighborhood that holds the 1950s, Kok said. An attorney in great memories — a place that remains Grand Rapids, he and his wife, Becky, quaint, safe and pleasantly unchanged. who chairs the ice cream social, are GR among the growing number of families with young children. April 2014 / 139

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out & about WHERE TO GO / WHAT TO DO

april events

A few

Great things to do this month! April 8 America’s First Ladies: A Journey of Friendship: Former first lady Rosalynn Carter will attend the luncheon commemorating Betty Ford’s 96th birthday at the J.W. Marriot. Afterwards, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation and Museum will host a panel discussion titled Betty Ford’s Legacy in Women’s Health.


















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Don’t forget to mark your calendar!

April 1, 15 Meijer Gardens Spring Gardening Mini-Series: April 1, Lawn Problems Solved; Conifers for Connoisseurs; Garden with Confidence. April 15, “Greening” Your Garden; Exciting New

Annuals; Native Plants in the Garden. See Lectures & Workshops

April 7 - Red Green: Canadian handyman brings How to Do Everything tour to DeVos Performance Hall.

After a successful run of 139 shows with his Wit and Wisdom Tour, Red Green is back. See Special Events

April 11 - Art. Downtown: It’s the fifth year for this gallery, studio and shop hop that

Photography courtesy Grand Rapids Film Festival (top left); Carter Center (top right); thinkstock (bottom)

SPECIAL EVENTS April 9-13 Grand Rapids Film Festival: GRFF returns to downtown GR with 32 hours of indie features, shorts, documentaries and animation from U.S. and European filmmakers ranging from students and amateurs to independent professionals. Also returning is the production workshop that allows attendees to work with a scriptwriter, director and production manager to create a four-minute film in 72 hours. An award ceremony takes place April 11 at Eve Lounge at The B.O.B.

Music April 3 Fresh Folk Series: St. Cecilia Music Center presents Ralston Bowles and Friends plus The Northern Skies. The series brings Michigan’s celebrated folk musicians to the Royce Auditorium, giving fans the chance to hear them in an acoustic concert setting. Bowles, who has played with such artists as Judy Collins and Willy Nelson, has been called the dean of the West Michigan music scene. The Northern Skies will perform their unique folk rock fusion.

features 300 artists’ works at 30 destinations. Free trolley rides; maps and volunteers provide guidance. See Special Events

April 19 - 10th Anniversary Celebration: Forest

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To list your event Send calendar information to Grand Rapids Magazine, c/o

Calendar Editor, 549 Ottawa Ave. NW, Suite 201, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, e-mail caleditor@, fax (616) 459-4800. High-resolution photos welcomed. To meet publishing deadlines, information must be received two months prior to monthly magazine issue by the 15th of the month.

Best of

specIAL eVeNts April 5 - native michigan spring tree and shrub sale: Kent Conservation District hosts its annual tree, shrub and plant sale for gardeners and landscapers. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. 3260 Eagle Park Drive NE.

April 8 - betty ford birthday commemoration: Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation hosts former first lady Rosalynn Carter in a lunch program commemorating Betty Ford’s 96th birthday, followed by a panel discussion, “Betty Ford’s Legacy in Women’s Health.” Luncheon: noon, JW Marriott International Ballroom ($35). Panel discussion: 2 p.m., Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum (free). Luncheon tickets and panel discussion RSVP: 616-254-0396 or



April 5 - west michigan mom’s sale: Clothes, toys, nursery furniture and other gently used items. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. DeVos Place.

April 9-13 - Grand rapids film festival: 32 hours of independent features, shorts, documentaries and animation from U.S. and Europe screened at various locations in downtown Grand Rapids. See website for schedule, ticket prices and list of films: April 11 - Art.downtown: Downtown GR art hop with 300 artists and 30 destinations. Free trolleys; maps and volunteers to provide guidance. 6-11 p.m. April 11-13 - west michigan Gaming convention: Public show and trade show/expo. 28th Street Showplace, 1256 28th St. SW, Wyoming. westmichigangamingconvention. com. April 12 - Jake’s music festival: 10th an-

Hills Fine Arts Center celebrates 10 years, with guests Mid-Life Crisis and FHPS musicians, singers, dancers, actors and artists. See Music

ApriL 27 - wALk for Autism AwAreness: Autism Support of Kent County’s 2.5K walk includes activities for all ages, live music, silent auction, resource

Serving the finest Italian & American cuisine in our family dining & banquet rooms, or enjoy the fun in Grand Rapids favorite Sports Lounge!

nual local music concert and silent auction supports Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Bands include Potato Babies, The Waxies, Jesse Ray and Carolina Catfish, Bside Growlers and David Molinari. 6-11 p.m. Wealthy Theatre, 1130 Wealthy St. SE. Free; donations encouraged. jakesmusicfestival. com.

2013-14 Readers Poll


April 19 - fashion and tea: Tour the Public Museum’s Streets of Old Grand Rapids and learn about fashion, vintage clothing and customs from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, plus treats and tea. 2:30-4 p.m. 272 Pearl St. NW. $15, $13 members (929-1700 or April 19 - focus on fathers conference: For fathers, soon-to-be fathers and father figures. All-day event geared toward building men up as better fathers. Keynote speaker: Brian Molitor. Break-out sessions, vendors, food. 8 a.m.3 p.m., Salvation Army Kroc Center, 2500 S. Division Ave. Information: 581-4409 or email April 19 - Grand river Greenup: West Michigan Environmental Action Council and Grand Haven Area Jaycees celebrate Earth Week with hundreds of volunteers cleaning up the Grand River at Riverside Park in Grand Haven. April 19 - Jump Jam: First-ever jump rope competition for grades 3-5, presented by Spectrum Health and GR Public Schools to promote fitness. No entry fee. DeVos Place. See for details. April 19 - Lakeshore earth day celebration: Grand Haven events include a march from the county courthouse to the community center, an environmental fair and Earth Rock Concert. Downtown Grand Haven. visit

fair and art gallery. Kuyper College. See Special Events




3940 RIVERTOWN PWY 616.249.9344 616.249.9370 TAKE OUT


8256 BROADMOOR SE 616.891.1100 . 616.891.5958 TAKE OUT


4787 LAKE MICHIGAN DR 616.735.5520 616.735.5522 TAKE OUT

GRAND RAPIDS 2630 EAST BELTLINE SE 616.954.2002 616.954.6702 TAKE OUT


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out & about WHERE TO GO / WHAT TO DO

April 25

1/ The Devil Makes Three plays at the Intersection.

Comedy & nightclub venues

Compiled by aleXandra FlUeGel

1/ the intersection: On April 25, the raw and raucous trio The Devil Makes Three hits the stage. The genre-bending group’s sound is garage-y ragtime and punkified blues, inspired as much by mountain music as Preservation Hall jazz. Show begins at 8. Tickets: $17.50/advance, $20/day of show. All ages. Tickets at Purple East, Shakedown Street, Vertigo Music and box office. 133 Grandville Ave. SW. 451-8232, Caroline Smith

3/ pyrAmid scheme: GR Magazine isn’t the only one celebrating an anniversary. The Pyramid Scheme is commemorating its third year in business with a two-day party April 25-26. On April 25, local favorites Heavier Than Air Flying Machines, Chance Jones, Convotronics and Paucity take the stage. Tickets: $6/advance, $8/ at door. April 26 offers San Diego-based rock group Pinback along with Charles the Osprey and Ghost Heart. Tickets: $25/advance, $30/ at door. Both shows begin at 8 p.m. and are 21 and over. San Diego-based 68 Commerce Ave. SW, 272rock group Pinback 3758,

The B.O.B: The Big Old Building houses several entertainment options: live music at Bobarino’s Tue.Sat.; DJs and dancing at Eve (Fri. and Sat.); live music at House of Music and Entertainment (HOME); and stand-up comedy at Dr. Grins (see below). 20 Monroe Ave. NW, 3562000, Diversions: Nightclub offers video bar, dance floor, karaoke, special events. 10 Fountain St. NW, 4513800, Dr. Grins Comedy Club: Nationally acclaimed stand-up comedians perform 9 p.m. Thu., 8 and 10:30 p.m. Fri. and Sat. The B.O.B., 20 Monroe Ave. NW, 356-2000, thebob. com. J. Gardellas: Dance Club Fri. and

Sat. nights on third floor features DJ Kermit. 11 Ionia Ave. SW, 459-8824, Grand Woods Lounge: Restaurant/bar with dance floor, DJs Thu.Sat. 77 Grandville Ave. SW, 4514300, Mulligan’s Pub: Bar and music venue in Eastown. No cover charge. 1518 Wealthy St. SE, 451-0775, mullig Monte’s Lounge: Drink specials and dancing every Fri. and Sat. 438 Bridge St. NW, 774-5969, montes The Orbit Room: Club venue hosts regional and national music acts, occasional stand-up comedy. Multiple bars. Open floor, seated

balcony. 2525 Lake Eastbrook Blvd. SE, 942-1328, Pop Scholars: Comedy improv team incorporates short and long skits along with audience participation. Wealthy Theatre, 1130 Wealthy St. SE. Tickets at box office or at door. River City Improv: Comedy team weaves skits, games and songs with audience suggestions. Calvin College Gezon Auditorium, 3201 Burton St. SE. Tickets at rivercityimprov. com or Calvin box office, 526-6282, or at door. Rocky’s Bar & Grill: Dancing every Fri. featuring DJs and live acts. 633 Ottawa Ave. NW, 356-2346,

Stella’s Whisky Lounge: Retro Dance Party with DJ Todd Ernst every Sat. 53 Commerce Ave. SW, 742-4444, Sunday Night Funnies: Midwest comics perform 8:30 p.m. Sun. Riverfront Hotel’s Landing Lounge, 270 Ann St. NW, Facebook. Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill: Live acts, including comedy (2nd and 4th Tue.) and music. 760 Butterworth St. SW, 272-3910, Facebook.


2/ founders brewinG co.: Merging ’90s R&B neo-soul with her indie-rock roots, Caroline Smith’s soaring vocals and catchy melodies are best summed up as “feel-good” music. The Minneapolis-based songstress appears at Founders April 13 at 9:00 p.m. Free. 21 and over. 235 Grandville Ave. SW, 776-2182,

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April 19-20 - chilly blues festival: Grand Haven’s annual Chili Cook-Off and Blues Festival. Venues include Snug Harbor, Kirby Grill, Theatre Bar, The Grand, The Dee-Lite and others.

sional minor league baseball team, member of the Midwest League and Class A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, kicks off the season. Home games: April 8-10 vs. Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. April 11-13 vs. Beloit Snappers. April 21-24 vs. Bowling Green Hot Rods. April 25-27 vs. Fort Wayne TinCaps. Game times vary. Fifth Third Ballpark, Comstock Park. $6-$14 (ticket office, 800-CAPS-WIN, white

April 22 - women of Achievement and courage Awards: Michigan Women’s Foundation’s 25th annual luncheon event. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. JW Marriott, 235 Louis St. NW. Tickets TBD (308-7389 or April 23 – 2nd Annual earth day celebration: West Michigan Environmental Action Committee will present local food, music, speakers and more. 6-9 p.m. Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. April 23 - Aquinas outstanding woman Awards: Jane Hibbard Idema Women’s Studies Center 12th annual event celebrates female students, staff, faculty and alumnae. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Donnelly Center, Aquinas College, 1607 Robinson Road SE. aquinas. edu/womenscenter/programs.html. April 23 - there’s no place Like home: Fashion show benefits Dwelling Place properties, Liz’s House and Bridge Street Place. The latest fashion from Leigh’s, Fitzgerald’s and Snapdragon Boutique. 5:30-8:00 p.m. Goei Center, 818 Butterworth St. SW. $50 (



April 25 - reach for the stars: The Center for Women in Transition hosts its spring benefit, with keynote speaker Leslie Morgan Steiner. 5:30 p.m. Holland Doubletree by Hilton, 650 E. 24th St., Holland. $100 ( April 26 - Gathering thunder foundation: Annual spring gala and fundraiser with live music, live and silent auctions, raffle and presenters; GTF preserves Native American culture and helps Native Americans in need. 6 p.m. GR Public Museum, 272 Pearl St. NW. $45, $25 students, kids 8 and younger free ( April 26 - Groovewalk: Walk or take the GrooveXpress to hear 10 bands at 10 locations in downtown Holland. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. $10 in advance or $15 night of. April 26 - Joe’s big race: Camp Roger hosts an “Amazing Race”-style day for teams of four, benefiting camp’s financial aid fund. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 8356 Belding Road, Rockford. April 26 - march for babies: March of Dimes annual walk in Grand Rapids. Also May 3 in Kalamazoo and Muskegon, and May 17 in Holland. Times vary; see or

Love art,

but don’t have space to hang another painting? Holland Friends of Art is having a show of miniature landscapes featuring tiny art for tiny places. The reception, catered by Pereddies, is 5-8 p.m. April 25 at Washington Square Art Gallery, 453 Washington Ave. in Holland. For information, contact Chris Brown at (616) 394-3061.

April 26 - west michigan potters Guild spring show: Ceramics by West Michigan artists. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Cultural Center at St. Nicholas, 2250 East Paris Ave. SE. westmichi April 27 - Allegan Antiques market: 400 exhibitors (200 inside, 200 outside) last Sunday of month thru Sept. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Allegan County Fairgrounds, 150 Allegan County Fair Drive. $4. April 27 - walk for Autism Awareness: Autism Support of Kent County’s 2.5K walk includes activities for all ages, live music, silent auction, Community Resource Fair and art gallery. Noon-3 p.m., walk begins 1 p.m. Kuyper College, 3333 East Beltline Ave. NE.

sports April - Grand rapids Griffins: American Hockey League team, primary affiliate of Detroit Red Wings, finishes up the season with home games April 2 vs. Iowa Wild, April 4-5 vs. Hamilton Bulldogs, April 18 vs. Lake Erie Monsters. Van Andel Arena. $14-$32 (Van Andel box office, Meijer or Star Tickets). griff April - west michigan whitecaps: Profes-

April 12-13 - Lubbers cup regatta: Co-ed collegiate rowing races (Grand Valley State University, Eastern, MSU, U-M, Ohio State, University of Kansas). Spring Lake Yacht Club, 17500 W. Spring Lake Road. Begins 3 p.m. Fri., 8 a.m. Sat. April 13 - Gazelle Girl: Women’s half marathon and 5K, benefiting Kent County Girls on the Run, West Central Michigan YWCA and GROW. 8 a.m. Rosa Parks Circle, downtown GR. $85 half marathon, $30 5K. gazellegirl April 26 - calvin 5k spring classic: Calvin Alumni Association hosts run/walk and family fun run. Entry fees go toward scholarships. 9 a.m. Hoogenboom Center, Calvin College. $25-$30, $18 students, $8 kids run. April 26 - hurt the dirt: 10K, half marathon and marathon trail race. 8 a.m. Luton Park, 5865 Kies St. NE, Rockford. $30 10K, $45 half marathon, $57 marathon. 1.5-mile kids/fun run free. April 26-27 - Lakeshore Volleyfest: Michigan Amateur Athletic Union Super Regional volleyball tournament. Girls 11-18 compete. Public welcome. DeVos Place. devosplace. org.

stAGe & FILM thru April 6 - “sex and the supernatural”: Presented by Theatre at GVSU. 7:30 p.m., 2 p.m. Sun. Louis Armstrong Theatre, Allendale campus. $12 adults, $10 seniors, $6 students (GVSU box office, 616-331-2300 or thru April 12 - “come blow your horn”: Holland Civic Theatre presents a comedy about a 30-ish swinging bachelor who welcomes his 21-year-old brother into his life while his horrified parents look on. 7:30 p.m., 2 p.m. Sun. 50 W. 9th St., Holland. Tickets TBD (616-396-2021 or hollandcivictheatre. org). April 1 - “hell hath no fury Like a woman scorned”: Tyler Perry’s live stage production. 7:30 p.m. DeVos Performance Hall. $45 ApriL 2014 / GRmAG.cOm 143

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out & about WHERE TO GO / WHAT TO DO

GR’s Renaissance man

(DeVos Place and Van Andel box offices or Ticketmaster).

April 3-13 - “Black Comedy”: Cornerstone University presents a farce under reversed lighting; the characters are in blackout and only the audience can see what’s going on. 7:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. Sun. Matthews Auditorium, 3000 Leonard St. NE. $12 adults, $10 seniors and students ( tre). April 7 - Red Green: Canadian handyman performs How to Do Everything tour. 7 p.m. DeVos Performance Hall. $52 (DeVos Place and Van Andel box offices or Ticketmaster). April 8-10 - Spring Break for Kids: “A Different Tune”: Grand Rapids Ballet presents pre-show activities and a ballet performance for kids that emphasizes that being different is just another way of being special. 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. 341 Ellsworth SW. $5 (box office or Ticketmaster). April 10-13 - “Cyrano De Bergerac”: Aquinas College Theatre presents a swashbuckling romance. 8 p.m., 2 p.m. Sun. Aquinas College PAC, 1607 Robinson Road SE. Tickets TBD (456-6656).

The third film — “Buzzard” — is said to be a more intense version of “Ape’s” “socio-economic slacker nightmare.” Burge plays a 20-something bored mortgage company employee who starts stealing checks from his boss. Burge hopes his exposure at SXSW will result in more acting roles — and promote the developing film industry in Grand Rapids. “I love it, but I’m not an expert. I love the process of doing it. It’s a shame: I wish there was more in town to do with it, but it’s not Hollywood.” Though Burge went to Grand Valley State University to study film, he’s also spent years playing music as Chance Jones. Burge says he likes the parallels of the two mediums. A movie or song doesn’t have to be appreciated by everyone — “that’s the beauty about art. It’s subjective; it doesn’t have to be amazing.” When he and the rest of the band take the stage April 25, Burge says it will be a fun gig. “It’s a blast anytime we get together,” he said. “It’s the greatest thing in the world.” — Pat Evans

April 10-12, 24-26 - “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”: Calvin Theatre Company presents Shakespeare’s tale set in the psychedelic world of the ’60s. 7:30 p.m. Gezon Auditorium, Calvin College. $14-$20 adults, $8-$10 students (box office, 526-6282). calv April 11-19 - “As You Like It”: Shakespeare’s comedy is presented by Hope College Theatre. 8 p.m.; 2 p.m. April 19. DeWitt Theater, Hope College, Holland. $10 adults, $7 seniors, $5 students and children ( April 14-15 - Student Dance Showcase: Presented by Hope College Department of Dance. 8 p.m. Knickerbocker Theatre, Holland. $10 adults, $7 seniors, $5 students, 12 and under free (395-7890 or April 17-26 - “God of Carnage”: Actors Theatre presents an award-winning comedy about two families who attempt to resolve a dispute between their 11-year-old sons. 8 p.m. Spectrum Theater, 160 Fountain St. NE. $20-$24 (234-3946 or April 22 - “Beneath the Willows”: Cornerstone University presents annual outdoor event, scenes directed by theater students

and alumni. Bring lawn chairs or blankets. 7:30 p.m. At the pond by GR Theological Seminary, 3000 Leonard St. NE. Free. corner

April 22-27 - “The Wizard of Oz”: Broadway Grand Rapids presents the story of Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion as they travel to meet the Wizard. 7:30 p.m. Tue.-Thu., 8 p.m. Fri., 2 and 8 p.m. Sat., 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sun. DeVos Performance Hall. $32-$72 (DeVos Place, Van Andel and BGR box offices or Ticketmaster). April 24-May 17 - “Leaving Iowa”: Master Arts Theatre presents a comedy about a middle-aged writer reliving memories of family vacations. 7:30 p.m. Thu.-Fri., 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat. 75 77th St. SW. $16 adults, $14 seniors and students (455-1001 or April 25-27 - “Movemedia II”: GR Ballet performs original contemporary dance from award-winning young choreographers. 7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Peter Martin Wege Theatre, 341 Ellsworth SW. $12-$25 (ballet box office or Ticketmaster). April 25-May 10 - “Moll”: Lowell’s Thebes Players present a comedy depicting the pre-

Photography by Jim Gebben

In mid February, Joshua Burge was getting ready to head to Austin, Texas, for the world premiere of “Buzzard” at the 2014 South by Southwest Film Festival. It’s the third film for the Grand Rapids actor and musician best known locally by his stage name, Chance Jones. This month Burge and his band will play at The Pyramid Scheme’s third birthday celebration April 25. But while he still writes and records music, Burge is excited about the burgeoning film industry in Grand Rapids. His college friend, Joel Potrykus, started the Sob Noisse production company and, in 2008, asked Burge to be the lead in a short film, “Coyote.” That led to a starring role in “Ape,” a low budget film that gained acclaim on the 2012 film festival circuit. Burge played a struggling stand-up comedian. “We were lucky,” said Burge, who has become involved in the operations of Sob Noisse. “We just were fortunate enough to get the movie in the hands of somebody important who loved the film.”

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occupations of priests in a rural Irish parish. 6:30 p.m. dinner, 7:30 p.m. play; 1 p.m./2 p.m. May 4. Larkin’s Other Place, 301 W. Main St., Lowell. $13 play, $25 dinner and play (8978545 or

MusIc April 2 - okkervil river: Austin, Texas, indie rock band is presented by Calvin College. 8 p.m. Ladies Literary Club, 61 Sheldon Blvd. SE. $20 adults, $10 students (box office or 526-6282).

Over 50 fresh, unique combinations of gourmet pizza by the slice or whole pizza. Dine-in, Take-out Delivery Available Catering

April 3 - fresh folk series: St. Cecilia Music Center presents Ralston Bowles and Friends plus The Northern Skies. 7:30 p.m. 24 Ransom Ave. NE. $20 (459-2224, scmc-online. org). April 3 - the head and the heart: Indie folk-rock band from Seattle, with special guest Basia Bulat, presented by Calvin College. 8 p.m. Hoogenboom Center, Calvin College. $30 adults, $15 students (box office or 526-6282). April 4-5 - mighty wurlitzer concerts: GR Public Museum’s theater organ concerts feature Chris Anderson performing Memories in Music. 7-9 p.m. Fri., 2-4 p.m. Sat. 272 Pearl St. NW. $10 adults, $5 children 3-17, $8/$4 members (ticket counter or 456-3977). April 5 - crowe horwath musicnow series: GR Symphony presents Musical Connections, featuring works from living composers plus a world premiere from Amanda Harberg. 8 p.m. Peter Martin Wege Theatre, 341 Ellsworth SW. $18 and up (Symphony and DeVos Place box offices or Ticketmaster). April 5 - opus: Collage concert features musicians from Central Michigan University’s School of Music. 6 p.m. reception, 8 p.m. concert. DeVos Center for Arts and Worship, 2300 Plymouth Road SE. $125 (989-7741885).

Order Online or Call 616.356.4600 15 Ionia, Ste. 140, Grand Rapids Sun.-Tues. 11 am - 10 pm Wed.-Sat. 11 am - 3 am

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April 6 - metropolitan choir of praise: Spring concert with Big Band of Praise. 7:30 p.m. 1st Byron Christian Reformed Church, 2450 85th St., Byron Center. Free-will offering. April 11 - mAJic concert series: Musical Arts for Justice in the Community hosts violinist Jenny Walvoord and pianist Andrew Le. 7:30 p.m. Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 250 Commerce Ave. SW. $10 suggested donation; proceeds benefit Hill Music Together ministry. April 11, 25 - Alley door club: Jazz, blues and folk in downtown Muskegon. April 11,

83 Monroe Center St NW / Downtown GR / / 616.608.1720 ApriL 2014 / GRmAG.cOm 145

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out & about WHERE TO GO / WHAT TO DO

Entourage. April 25, The Vincent Hayes Project. 7-10 p.m., doors open 6 p.m. Frauenthal Theatre, Muskegon. $7 at door or in advance (231-727-8001).

April 12 - The National: American indie rock band, presented by Calvin College. 8 p.m. Van Noord Center, Calvin College. $40 adults, $15 students (box office or 5266282). April 12, 19 - Acoustic Saturday Nights: Folk concerts presented by Grand River Folk Arts Society. April 12, Lil’ Rev. April 19, Davey O. 8 p.m. Wealthy Theatre, 1130 Wealthy St. SE. $12 adults, $10 seniors and students, $9 members, $3 children (at door). grfolkarts. org.

April 16 - The Block Concerts: A performance by soprano Martha Guth, presented by West Michigan Symphony. 7:30 p.m. The Block, 360 W. Western Ave., Muskegon. $28 and up (231-726-3231 or westmichigansymp April 18-19 - Simple Songs: West Michigan Symphony presents soprano Martha Guth. 7:30 p.m. Frauenthal Theater, Muskegon. $17-$47, $5 students (231-726-3231 or west April 19 - FHFAC 10th Anniversary Celebration: Forest Hills Fine Arts Center celebrates its anniversary with musical guests Mid-Life Crisis and FHPS musicians, singers, dancers, actors, artists and entertainers. 7:30 p.m. Forest Hills FAC, 600 Forest Hill Ave. SE. $10 (box office, 493-8966 or Ticketmaster). April 21 - Monday Night Jazz: West Michigan Jazz Society presents the Jeff Haas Quintet. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Bobarino’s at The B.O.B, 20 Monroe Ave. NW. $10, $5 members and students. April 22 - S. Carey: Wisconsin’s Sean Carey performs, with special guest White Hinterland, presented by Calvin College. 8 p.m. Ladies Literary Club, 61 Sheldon Blvd. SE. $10 adults, $5 students (box office or 526-6282). April 24 - Glenn Bulthuis & The Tonedeafs: 11-piece band recreates 25 Beatles classics in “The Music of the Beatles.” 7:30 p.m. Van Singel Fine Arts Center, 8500 Burlingame SW, Byron Center. $16.50 adults, $11.50 students (box office, 878-6800 or

The Waxies,

an Irish folk band with modern punk-rock energy, is one of many local groups performing April 12 at Jake’s Music Festival. The concert and silent auction at Wealthy Theatre supports Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Other bands include Potato Babies, Jesse Ray and Carolina Catfish, B-side Growlers and David Molinari. This is the 10th anniversary of the concert, named for Jake Scheidel, 22, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 6. The event will feature free anniversary cake, and Michigan beer in the concession stand. Visit or on Facebook.

April 25 - Coffee Classics Series: GR Symphony presents a one-hour morning Romantic Coffee Concert: Gilmore Festival Concert with complimentary coffee and pastries one hour before the concert. 10 a.m. Royce Auditorium, St. Cecilia Music Center, 24 Ransom Ave. NE. $12 and up (Symphony and DeVos Place box offices or Ticketmaster). grsymp April 25 - Crowe Horwath Great Eras Series: GR Symphony presents The Romantic Concert: Gilmore Festival Concert. 8 p.m. Royce Auditorium, St. Cecilia Music Center, 24 Ransom Ave. NE. $26 and up (Symphony and DeVos Place box offices or Ticketmaster). April 26 - The Choral Scholars: Vocal ensemble performs. 7 p.m. Trinity United Methodist Church, 1100 Lake Drive SE. Freewill offering

Birding, Ask-a-Lawyer, Early Childhood Essentials, small business classes, author visits, computer classes, reading clubs. Kids activities include literacy classes for babies, toddlers and kids; Junie B. Jones Party; Let’s Build; One Book, One City for Kids; Let’s Play Workshops. Complete schedule at

April - Kent District Libraries: Programs include Gardening From Soil to Bloom, book discussions, Early Childhood Essentials and career transition workshops. Kids programs include story times, Mario Kart Tournament, Minecrafting and Family Building Brick Party. See Thru April 21 - KCAD Registration Deadline: Register for summer youth and adult non-credit classes at Kendall College of Art and Design: (616) 451-2787 or youth-and-adults.

Lectures & Workshops

April 1, 15 - Meijer Gardens Spring Gardening Mini-Series: April 1, Lawn Problems Solved, Conifers for Connoisseurs, and Garden with Confidence: A Gardener’s Checklist. April 15, “Greening” Your Garden, Exciting New Annuals, and Native Plants in the Garden. Times vary. 1000 East Beltline Ave. NE. $17, $12 members (957-1580, meijergar

April - GR Public Libraries: Programs include A Fiction Writer After 50, Backyard

April 4, 11, 25 - Grand River Folk Arts Society: Dance instruction. 7 p.m. April 4, First

April 27 - Holland Symphony Orchestra: Classics III: Forgotten Magic: Voices from a Bygone Era. 3:30 p.m. DeWitt Auditorium, Zeeland East High School, 3333 96th Ave., Zeeland. $19 adults and seniors, $5 students (796-6780,

photography courtesy Jason Bowler

April 14 - Julianna Barwick: American singer, presented by Calvin College. 8 p.m. Ladies Literary Club, 61 Sheldon Blvd. SE. $15 adults, $5 students (box office or 526-6282).

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Friday Contra Dance, 5th Street Hall, 701 5th St. NW ($9 adults, $7 members, $5 students/ seniors). 7 p.m. April 11, Second Friday International Folk Dance, Wealthy Theatre, 1130 Wealthy St. SE ($5). 7 p.m. April 25, Fourth Friday Contra Dance/Jam, Fifth Street Hall, 701 5th St. NW ($9 adults, $7 members, $5 students/seniors).

April 8-9, 11 - GrAmstudio workshops: April 8-9, Altered Photography. April 11, GRAMStudio Staycation. 9 a.m.-noon. Grand Rapids Art Museum, 101 Monroe Center. $120, $100 members. Registration: artmuse, click on Learning.

LIGHT the Night.

April 10 - Great start parent coalition of kent county: Parenting for Success. 5:45-8 p.m. Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 250 Commerce Ave. SW. Free dinner and child care. RSVP: 632-1007.

Kendall Lighting Center 810 Scribner, NW Grand Rapids, MI 49504

April 12 - Grand dialogue in science and religion: Breakout sessions follow keynote address “Religion and Science: Where the Conflict Really Lies.” 9 a.m.-3 p.m. GVSU, Loosemore Auditorium, Pew Campus, 401 W. Fulton St. Free. April 14-June 9 - American sign Language class: Deaf Expressions presents class about deafness, culture, etiquette, fingerspelling and numbering. 6-8 p.m. Mon. 2133 McKee Ave. $120 includes workbook (8569885 or April 15 - nourishing ways of west michigan: “Nourishing Beverages” by Mela Belle. 7-8:30 p.m. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 134 N. Division Ave. Free.

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April 17 - dyslexia seminar: New Chapter Learning. 6:30 p.m. Grandville Middle School, 3535 Wilson Ave., Room 200. Registration: 534-1385.


April 17 - hope college Visiting writer series: Amy Bloom. Q&A, 3:30 p.m., Fried-Hemenway Auditorium, Room 135, in Martha Miller Center. Reading, 7 p.m., Winants Auditorium, Graves Hall. Hope College, Holland. Free. April 23 - GGr chapter mothers and more: Potpourri of Topics: ways to commemorate Earth Day, intro and demo of face painting, how to start blogging, and a discussion of net neutrality. 7-9 p.m. Studio Space at Schuler Books, 2660 28th St. SE. grmothersandmore. org. Free. April 29 - meijer Gardens master Lecture series: “Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden” by Peter Hatch. 7 p.m. 1000 East Beltline Ave. NE. Registration: 957-3144 or

BENTON HARBOR (Vineyard and Winery)


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out & about WHERE TO GO / WHAT TO DO

Thru. May 11 1/ “Pulpy Whopper Den” by Stani Borowski is part of MMA’s Translating Reality: Representation In Glass.

Air Zoo: More than 50 aircraft, exhibits, educational activities, full-motion flight simulators, 4-D Missions Theater, Magic Planet, Space Ball, Zero G, Michigan Space Science Center and amusement park-style rides. Open daily. 6151 Portage Road, Portage, (269) 382-6555, $10 general admission; see website for other options. Binder Park Zoo: Opens for season April 22. Animals are exhibited in forest setting, including 50-acre Wild Africa exhibit. Open daily. 7400 Division Drive, Battle Creek, (269) 979-1351, binder Blandford Nature Center: Trails, nature exhibits, heritage buildings, farm on 143 acres. See website for special programs. Interpretive Center open weekdays 9-5 and Sat. noon-5. Trails open daily dawn to dusk. $3. 1715 Hillburn Ave. NW, 735-6240, Coopersville & Marne Railway: Restored 1920s-era railway. April 5-6, April 12-13 and April 19: Bunny Train with Easter Bunny and other musical characters; see website for times. 311 Danforth St., Coopersville. $15.50 adults, $14.50 seniors, $13.50 kids 2-12 (997-7000 for advance tickets).

Compiled by Donna Ferraro and Tricia van Zelst

1/ Muskegon Museum of Art: Special exhibitions: Thru May 11, Translating Reality: Representation In Glass: Technical advances allow glass artists to push the boundaries of what they can create. Thru April 27, The Sculpture of Stephen de Staebler: Elegies in Clay, 12 works from late in the sculptor’s career. Permanent exhibitions: Paintings, prints, sculpture and glass. Closed Mon. and Tue. $7 adults (Thu. free), $5 students, kids under 17 free. 296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon, (231) 720-2570, muskegon 2/ Kalamazoo Institute of Arts: Special exhibitions: Thru May 4, Environmental Impact: 75 powerful paintings, photos and sculptures heighten public consciousness about consequences of environmental exploitation and neglect. Thru May 25, Inside Steinway: Photographs by Christopher Payne. April 12-May 18, High School Area Show. Thru July 5, Cultural Encounters: India, Burma and Tibet. Closed Mon. $5 adults, $2 students with ID, kids 12 and under free. 314 S. Park St., Kalamazoo, (269) 349-7775,

DeGraaf Nature Center: 18-acre preserve with Interpretive Center, indoor pond, animals, SkyWatch. Closed Sun., Mon., holidays. Trails open daily dawn to dusk. 600 Graafschap Road, Holland, (616) 355-1057, center. Free. Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park: Special exhibitions: Thru April 30, Butterflies are Blooming: Hundreds of butterflies and moths from tropical regions fly freely in the conservatory. Thru April 27, Committed to Paper: Master Drawings and Prints by Sculptors. Thru Oct., Bernar Venet, largescale sculptures. Permanent attractions: Worldclass sculptures indoors and in 30-acre park; tropical conservatory, café/restaurant, gift shop. Open daily. $12 adults, $9 seniors and students, $6 age 5-13, $4 age 3-4. 1000 East Beltline Ave. NE, 957-1580, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum: Special exhibition: Thru June 14, Growing Up Grand, a look at Ford’s formative years. Permanent exhibitions: The 1970s, Watergate, Oval Office, New Mood at the White House. Open daily. $7 adults, $6 seniors, $5 college students, $3 age 6-18, kids 5 and under free. 303 Pearl St. NW, 254-0400, fordlibrarymu Gilmore Car Museum: Historic campus on 90 acres and outer buildings open for season April 1 with 150 vehicles on display. Automotive Heritage Center and six other buildings house exhibits and about 150 additional vehicles (open all year). $12 adults, $11 seniors, $9 age 7-15, kids 6 and under free. 6865 Hickory Road, Hickory Corners, (269) 671-5089,

2/ Julie Heffernan’s oil on canvas, “Budding Boy,” is on exhibit at KIA, part of the Environmental Impact exhibit.

Grand Rapids Art Museum: Special exhibitions: Thru April 27, Legacy: The Emily Fisher Landau Collection, modern and contemporary art from a pre-eminent collector of post-war American art. Thru June 1, Resisting Certainty: Susan Goethel

Photography Courtesy Habatat Galleries (top); Julie Heffernan (bottom)

Museums & Attractions

Coopersville Farm Museum: Special events: Petting Zoo 10 a.m.-2 p.m. every Sat. Acoustic Jam Nights 6-9 p.m. first and third Tue. Permanent exhibitions: Tractors, quilts, eclipse windmill, kids area. Open Tue., Thu. and Sat. $4 adults, $2 age 4-18, kids 3 and under free. 375 Main St., Coopersville, 997-8555,

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Grand Rapids Children’s Museum: Special activities: April 4-13, Spring Break performances and programs. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 19, Earth Day Celebration. Thru April 30, Go Green with GRCM. Thru Sept., Just ForT Fun, an interactive exhibit for kids to build their own forts. Thru June, Kidstruction Zone. Permanent activities: Busy, Busy Bees; Bubbles!; Mom and Pop Store; Giant Lite Brite and more. Toddler Tuesdays, 3 and under (10 a.m.noon). Family Nights 5-8 p.m. Thu., $1.50. Closed Mon. $8 adults, $7 seniors, kids under 1 free. 22 Sheldon Ave. NE, 235-4726,


Grand Rapids Public Museum: Special exhibitions: Thru April 27, Dinosaurs Unearthed, exhibition of animatronic dinosaurs and fossils explores the discovery of feathered dinosaurs. April 7-11, Dino Late Nights; open until 8 p.m. for visiting Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibit and special meal deals in the café. Thru Aug. 31, Dream It, Build It LEGO exhibit with architectural recreations of Burj Dubai, the Empire State Building, Jin Mao Tower and Gateway Arch. Permanent exhibitions: Streets of Old Grand Rapids, Anishinabek and Newcomers: People of This Place, Collecting A-Z, Furniture City, 1928 carousel ($1). $8 adults, $7 seniors, $3 age 3-17. Van Andel Museum Center, 272 Pearl St. NW, 456-3977,


Campbell. Permanent exhibitions: 19th and 20th century art; design and modern craft; prints, drawings, photographs. Thursday Nights at GRAM: Music, gallery talks, cash bar, dinner options 5-9 p.m. $5 adults, members free. Drop-in Family Saturdays: Art-making activities for families, kidfriendly tours, 1-4 p.m. Closed Mon., open Thu. until 9 p.m. $8 adults, $7 seniors/students, $5 age 6-17, kids 5 and under free. 101 Monroe Center, 8311000,

APRIL 22-27


Enjoy daily specials with our rotating seasonal menu. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week.

Grand Rapids Downtown

Holland Museum: Special exhibition: Thru May 19, Dutch Folklore: The Linocuts of Cornelia Van Geuns. Permanent exhibitions: Dutch Galleries of 17th- to 20th-century paintings; cultural attractions from the “old country”; local history. Closed Tue. $7 adults, $6 seniors, $4 students, kids 5 and under free. Cappon House: 228 W. 9th St.; Settlers House: 190 W. 9th St.; Main building: 31 W. 10th St., (616) 796-3329,

Debuting our Spring Menu! Come and taste the new creations. Located inside Holiday Inn 310 Pearl • Dowtown Grand Rapids • 616.235.1342

John Ball Zoo: Special events: April 4 and 19, Twilight Tours. April 7-11, Spring Break Zoobilee. April 11, Spring Break Overnight. Attractions: More than 2,000 animals, including Meijer Grizzly Bear Exhibit, Jandernoa Children’s Outpost, Lions of Lake Manyara, Mokomboso Valley Chimps, Spider Monkey Island, Living Shores Aquarium. Open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $5 adults and seniors, $4 kids 3-13, kids under 2 free. 1300 W. Fulton St., 336-4300, Meyer May House: Frank Lloyd Wright 1909 prairie-style house restored by Steelcase includes original furnishings. Guided tours 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tue. and Thu., 1-5 p.m. Sun. (last tour one hour prior to closing). 450 Madison Ave. SE, 246-4821, Free. Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium: Newly renovated with high-def equipment, new seating, lighting and programs. Seasonal sky shows teach about the stars; classic rock accompanies laser light shows. GR Public Museum, 272 Pearl St. NW. grmus Tri-Cities Historical Museum: Two buildings house exhibits of Northwest Ottawa County. Closed Mon. 200 Washington Ave. and 1 N. Harbor, Grand Haven, (616) 842-0700, tri-citiesmuseum. org. Free.

Grand Rapids engagement is welcomed by Auto-Owners Insurance; Barnes & Thornburg LLP; Fox Motors; Steelcase, Inc.; and Wolverine World Wide.




800.318.3019 OX-BOW.ORG


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out & about Society / faces / places

Barb and Leah Long Megan and Judy McCrumb

Derek and Kelli Straayer

Maria Vogel and Rachel Siglow

Emily Walker and Scott Taylor

Capturing the action around town:

snap shots

The annual Soup’s On For All, hosted by Catholic Charities West Michigan on Jan. 27, offered guests a selection of soups, breads and desserts donated by local restaurants, bakeries and businesses to benefit God’s Kitchen. More than 1,600 people explored African-American heritage and culture Feb. 16 at Grand Rapids Public Library’s 9th annual Taste of Soul Sunday with food, music, scavenger hunts and more.

Band at the Soups On event

Jeff Emmons, Clarence Catledge and Jim Bodbyl

Photography by michael buck

Kim, Laura and Kathy Holt

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Jeanessa Smith, Tawana Pitts and Jessica Liddell

Evelyn Wright and Mary Battle

Tom Bratt and Lakiyah Rose

Erica and Ronald Millbrooks

Danielle Powell, Alayna Williams and Lauren McElrath

London and Stacey Byrom

Photography by johnny quirin

Photography by michael buck

Sandy Barker and Carol Russell

Jordan Bentley, Makhyli Simpson and Eddie Lee

Kayla Palmer and Case Kooiman April 2014 / 151

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after thoughts


In the 1940s, newspapers in The Netherlands predicted John Zwarensteyn was destined to be a future Dutch world speed-skating champion. His mother was the reigning Dutch and world speed-skating champ in the late 1930s.

Photography by johnny quirin


nstead, Zwarensteyn’s family immigrated to the U.S. in the 1950s and he went on to play on the championship soccer team at Michigan State University where he earned his B.A. and MBA. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army, including a tour in Vietnam. After returning home, he took a job as VP of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. There he was involved with Grand Rapids Magazine, launched by the Chamber in 1964, and went on to purchase the publication. Today he is CEO, president and publisher of Gemini Publications, including Grand Rapids Business Journal, Grand Rapids Family, Michigan Blue and Michigan Golf. When I’m bored, I … I don’t get easily bored, but when I do I either take a long walk, exercise, play a round of golf, read a good book, research some unusual historical fact, or play my keyboard. Most treasured possession? I have several! My Technics KN7000 keyboard is a real treasure (they are no longer produced), as is my Yamaha piano. But I also enjoy the Sansui speakers I bought in 1972, which still sound great. What person would you love to meet? My paternal grandfather was killed in World War II and I would love meeting him. I would also love meeting Jesus, Abraham Lincoln, Chief Red Cloud and Rembrandt. Proudest moment? Since I never thought I would ever marry, I think my proudest moment was walking down the aisle and marrying my wife, Beanca. We will be married 39 years in 2014. I am also proud of starting Gemini Publications and buying out my original partners. What talent would you like to possess? I would like to improve my speed reading and music reading, and I would love to play a “killer” mandolin and lead guitar. Your worst habit? I collect and save nearly everything — books, papers, notes, golf clubs, etc. I also tend to stay up later than I should. What’s your favorite Grand Rapids Magazine cover? September 1981, featuring a Gerald R. Ford and Bob Hope illustration. It highlighted the opening of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum and all the activities relating to that. To stay in shape, I … Exercise, walk, bike, cross-country ski, skate and just stretch.

152 \ April 2014

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April 2014 - GRM  

50 years of city life!

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