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Established in 1927, The Cottage – as everybody here calls it – is Grand Rapids’ oldest and perhaps best-loved bar. People come for the half-pound hamburgers and the full bar that pours stiff drinks and Michigan craft beers from all 10 taps. But above all, they come for the iconic experience. Owner Dan Verhil was so taken by The Cottage that he bought it from his dad in 1980 after spending his teens washing dishes in the kitchen. Dan and his wife, Lisa, are still Cottage regulars, often found at the bar chatting with appreciative patrons. Dan tells me that from time to time, customers who haven’t been to The Cottage for many years will drop in during the holidays. And what do these folks usually say? “Glad you didn’t change a thing,” Dan reports with a grin. During Prohibition, the bar stayed open as a speakeasy that also held illegal card games. In the 1950s and ‘‘60s, budding journalist Mike Wallace was known to call in his reports to the Grand Rapids Herald from the bar’s phone booth.

T HE COT TAGE B AR AND R ESTAU R ANT { 1 8 LA GR AV E AV ENU E S E }

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SOLACE Fall / Winter 2016 - 2017