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WEST MICHIGAN’S ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE FOR 31 YEARS » MAY 2019

FREE!

Tony Jones, Buffalo Traders Lounge

ALSO INSIDE: Wine & Spirits Brewery Vivant Expands Immigration

TRADING UP

Buffalo Traders Lounge and Sidebar set a new standard for cocktail lounges in West Michigan


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MAY

4

GEORGE LOPEZ Entertainment Hall | 8PM Tickets start at $49

MAY

CHECK OUT OUR WEEKLY SPECIALS

11

MARGARITA MONDAYS

RBRM

MARGARITA & TEQUILA SPECIALS MINI TACO & NACHO BAR

Entertainment Hall | 8PM Tickets start at $49

11AM-CLOSE

SINGLES MINGLE & DATE NIGHT TUESDAYS

MAY

18

FOOD & DRINK SPECIALS

11AM-CLOSE

TACOS & TEQUILA Day Session: Tickets start at $40 Joe Nichols | 2PM Night Session: Tickets start at $50 The Romantics & War | 7:30PM

INDUSTRY WEDNESDAYS BEER SPECIALS, BURGER BAR & LIVE MUSIC

5PM-CLOSE

TAP HEAD THURSDAYS DRAFT BEER, WING SPECIALS & LIVE MUSIC

JUN

1

11AM-CLOSE

CRISS ANGEL

SUNDAY BRUNCH & BLOODY MARY BAR

Entertainment Hall | 8PM Tickets start at $61

11AM-5PM

Get your tickets at Soaring Eagle Casino or Saganing Eagles Landing Casino Box Offices, ETIX.COM or call 1.800.513.ETIX. soaringeaglecasino.com

Mt. Pleasant, MI | 1.888.7.EAGLE.7

Performances held at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. Entertainment subject to cancellation. Management reserves all rights.

REVUEWM.COM | MAY 2019 |

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TO FIND THIS BEER NEAR YOU, GO TO: HTTP://NEWHOLLANDBREW.COM/ BEER-FINDER/


* MAY 2 DMX

MAY 5 CLASSIC DEEP PURPLE LIVE

MAY 3 MIDLAND

w/ DJ Composition

18+

w/ Glenn Hughes

may 17 THE CULT

*

w/ Scarlxrd

MAY 24 SIMPLY QUEEN

may 15 MGMT

A Tribute To The Festival That Never Was w/ DJ CHOFF

w/ Krizz Kaliko, Dax, ¡Mayday!, Ubi of Ces Cru

* MAY18 BRING ME THE HORIZON

MAY 11 PHYRE

may 10 TECH N9NE

w/ Warpaint

18+

MAY 29 HOZIER

JUNE 1 CELESTE BARBER

JUNE 12 DIO RETURNS

august 9 I PREVAIL

AUGUST 20 PAPA ROACH

SEPTEMBER 11 THE HEAD AND THE HEART

* july 20 THE STRUTS

JULY 12 PATTON OSWALT

w/ The Glorious Sons

july 30 PRETTYMUCH

* september 27 JUDAH & THE LION

w/ ISSUES, Justin Stone

w/ Asking Alexandria, Bad Wolves

* OCT 3 STEVE HACKETT Genesis Revisited

OCTOBER 20 AJR

NOVEMBER 15 RYAN HAMILTON

Get more info and see the full schedule at 20MonroeLive.com 20 Monroe Live Box Office Hours: Mon-Thurs: 12pm-6pm / Fri: 10am-6pm Weekends: event days only / Box office opens 2 hours prior to doors. (closed on non-show days)

* SEATED SHOW

11 OTTAWA AVE NW • DOWNTOWN GRAND RAPIDS • 20MONROELIVE.COM REVUEWM.COM | MAY 2019 |

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ROLLIN' ON 20 THE RIVER 19 LIVE MUSIC · EVERY FRIDAY JUN 7 - AUG 30 · 6PM - 9PM ALLEGAN RIVERFRONT STAGE

JUN 7 // THE GASOLINE GYPSIES JUN 14 // KARI LYNCH BAND JUN 21 // JESSE RAY & THE CAROLINA CATFISH JUN 28 // MACY KREW JUL 5 // ASAMU JOHNSON & THE ASSOCIATES OF THE BLUES JUL 12 // THE RUPPLE BROTHERS & COMPANY JUL 19 // LEXI ADAMS JUL 26 // MOJO AUG 2 // JAMES REESER & THE BACKSEAT DRIVERS AUG 9 // GUITAR UP! AUG 16 // THE CHANGE AUG 23 // HOLLYWOOD MAKEOUT AUG 30 // COUSIN CURTISS

6 | REVUEWM.COM | MAY 2019


TIME TO RAISE THE CURTAIN

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MY 50 YEAR TRIP SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21

Tickets available now at the FireKeepers Box Office or FireKeepersCasino.com.

Must be 21 or older. Tickets based on availability. Schedule subject to change.

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4:33 PM REVUEWM.COM | 4/15/19 MAY 2019 | 7


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REVUEWM.COM | MAY 2019 |

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Home of the original Bell’s Brewery

weekly live music, with a lineup as diverse as our tap list Full concert schedule and tickets available at bellsbeer.com • Located in downtown Kalamazoo, MI

TM

Zoo opens at 11am Ta p Ta k e o ve r r u n s 12:00pm - 6:00pm B I N D E R PA R K Z O O . O R G

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10 | REVUEWM.COM | MAY 2019


EXPERIENCE THE BEST... COCK TAILS MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE

Must be 21+ and have a valid photo ID. See Rewards Center or www.gunlakecasino.com for complete details. ©2019 Gun Lake Tribal Gaming Authority. All rights reserved.

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REVUEWM.COM | MAY 2019 |

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SAVING THE

WORLD FROM AN

ORDINARY BREAKFAST

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WHAT’S INSIDE

May 2019 | Volume 31, Issue 5

SCENE: 16 20 22 24 34

What’s Going On Biz Beat Potshots Immigration rights Style Notes: Fashion Forecast

SOUNDS: 36 Local: Lokella

REVUE ARTS:

42

1A Visual arts, classical and jazz music, theater, arts event previews and more. (See the center of this issue)

THE DRINKING ISSUE 37 39 42 47 50 59 63 65

Introduction Snap Shots Buffalo Traders Lounge & Sidebar Native Species Natural Wine West Michigan Wine Directory Mead and Cider Cocktail Classes Beer, Wine & Spirits Combined

DINING & DRINKING: 66 West Michigan Farmers Markets 68 Take Out Food 70 Broad Leaf Local Beer

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

E

very drink has its time and place. When you’re sitting on the beach, a nice light beer with lime is in order. Out on a date with some premium steak, that’s when I ask for a bold red. Sitting at home watching a movie on the couch, an Old Fashioned does the trick.

Here at Revue, we’re equal opportunity drinkers. That’s why this month, in what we call our Drinking Issue, we’re diving into just about every alcoholic beverage known to man. The emphasis is on wine and spirits, because beer gets plenty of love as is. To start, let’s talk about cocktails. It used to feel like a real discovery to find somewhere that went beyond cosmopolitans and martinis, but nowadays, you can’t open a restaurant without having a craft cocktail list ready to go. On top of that, cocktail lounges like Buffalo Traders Lounge and Sidebar are thriving. We talked with both establishments about their recipe for success. Creating some of the best drinks in the state is certainly a start, but the secret ingredient seems to be humility. Our wine scene is nothing to sneeze at either. Michigan is a top 10 state for wine, measured in gallons produced, number of wineries and economic impact. Thanks to Lake Michigan, the west side of the state is lucky enough to have more than 100 wineries dotting the landscape from Paw Paw to Leelanau. Not only do we have a massive wine directory for you to browse, but we talked to the folks at Speciation Artisan Ales about their new wine label, Native Species. It’s not like any vino you’ve had before.

W E S T M I C H I G A N ’ S E N T E RTA I N M E N T G U I D E

EDITORIAL Publisher Brian Edwards Associate Publisher Rich Tupica / rich@revueholding.com Editor Joe Boomgaard / joe@revuewm.com Managing Editor Josh Veal / josh@revuewm.com Copy Editor Claire Boomgaard DESIGN Kristi Kortman / kristi@revuewm.com Kaylee Van Tuinen / kaylee@revuewm.com Liz Romain CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Andy Balaskovitz Eric Mitts Jack Raymond Jane Simons Kayla Sosa

Kelly Brown Marla R. Miller Michaela Stock Missy Black

Speaking of new ventures, we talk with Brewery Vivant about its “weird cousin,” Broad Leaf Beer. You’ll also find a guide to cider and mead, two of my personal favorite drinks, as well as a look at local cocktail classes and tasting rooms that have it all.

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Seth Thompson

All in all, even if I do believe that some drinks simply taste better in certain settings, it’s all up to you. When you have this many choices of what to drink, it’s not hard to find the perfect beverage for any given moment. Let’s consider ourselves lucky.

ADVERTISING / 616.608.6170 Rich Tupica / sales@revuewm.com Kelli Belanger / kelli@revuewm.com Crissy Kline / christina@revuewm.com DIGITAL EDITOR Josh Veal

’Til next time,

MINION Danata Paulino

FIND US ONLINE! Josh Veal, Managing Editor Website: revuewm.com Twitter: twitter.com/revuewm Facebook: facebook.com/revuewm Instagram: instagram.com/revuewm

UPCOMING ISSUES JUNE

JULY

Our annual roundup of the best local music, from the brand new bands to West Michigan mainstays. Also: A guide to festivals in West Michigan and beyond.

We explore the best shops for products to spoil your pets, locally made pet items, and where you and your furry friends can spend time together.

The Music Issue

REVUE is published monthly by Revue Holding Company. P.O. Box 1629, Grand Rapids, MI 49501-1629 Office: 616.608.6170 / Fax: 616.608.6182 ©2019, Revue Holding Company. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part granted only by written permission of the publisher in accordance with our legal statement, fools.

The Pets Issue

ON THE COVER: Tony Jones, Buffalo Traders Lounge Photographed by Seth Thompson

TO ADVERTISE: Call (616) 608-6170 or email sales@revuewm.com. Space reservation is the 17th of the month before publication.

14 | REVUEWM.COM | MAY 2019

See more on page 42


FOOD - ART

MUSIC - PERFORMANCE

SAUGATUCK EXPO 30 DAYS ON THE ART COAST JUNE 1-8 THE CULINARY ARTS JUNE 7-14 THE FINE ARTS JUNE 14-20 THE ART OF MUSIC JUNE 21-27 THE PERFORMING ARTS JUNE 28-30 THE ART OF SHAKESPEARE

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE EVENTS AND EXPERIENCES VISIT

SAUGATUCK.COM/EXPO

REVUEWM.COM | MAY 2019 |

15


WHAT’S GOING ON THIS MONTH |  Compiled by Revue Staff

5/2 Goonies Quote Along Final Gravity Brewing Company 246 N. Burdick St., Kalamazoo May 2, 7 p.m., $5 finalgravitybrew.com

Hey, you guuuys! Goonies fans, it’s time to get nostalgic and relive the glory days with One-Eyed Willy and long-lost treasure. Come with friends to be a part of the truffle shuffle competition and enjoy some complimentary Baby Ruths before the showing. The best part is, you’re fully encouraged to shout out your favorite iconic lines throughout the movie.

5/4 Free Comic Book Day

Vault of Midnight Grand Rapids 95 Monroe Center St. NW, Grand Rapids May 4, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. vaultofmidnight.com Nerds, geeks and lovers of comic books, this is your day! Alongside other Grand Rapids businesses, Vault of Midnight is celebrating national Free Comic Book Day with arts and crafts, comic giveaways, trivia, complimentary coffee and photo ops! You can also join

in on the Cosplay Contest, which gets you a free extra comic just for participating, alongside gift cards for the winners.

3rd Annual Best Cinco Ever

665 Wealthy Street SE, Grand Rapids May 4, 3 p.m.-10 p.m., $20+ facebook.com/donkeygr Donkey Taqueria is gearing up Wealthy Street for another year of Cinco de Mayo partying with its best event yet. The lineup of live bands and entertainment will have everyone raising their sangria and dancing all day. Donkey is teaming up with Jonny B’z, The Winchester and Hancock to offer festive food and drinks for all. You’ll enjoy Happy Cinco Hour, a mariachi light show, food specials and much more! In addition to other fun prizes, a lucky señor or señorita will salsa away with free Donkey for a year.

Donut and Beer Festival

Fifth Third Ballpark 4500 West River Drive NE., Comstock Park May 4, 4 p.m., $40 donutandbeerfest.com Forget coffee and doughnuts, it’s time for a stronger brew! The Donut and Beer Fest, a sold-out Kalamazoo event for the past two years, is hitting the road and heading to Grand Rapids. Those who decide to enjoy

Free Comic Book Day at Vault of Midnight Grand Rapids. COURTESY PHOTO the ballpark fun will receive beer and cider samples, specially made doughnuts, and a mason jar sampling glass. The doughnuts are coming from more than 20 bakeries all over Michigan, alongside dozens of breweries and cideries from around the country. “Cider” tickets are available for those who want to go the non-alcoholic route but still be involved in the festivities.

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE

5/11 Holy Smokes BBQ Competition Pigeon Hill Brewing Company 894 4th St., Muskegon May 11, 1 p.m., $20 pigeonhillbrew.com

Simply Queen - Live Tribute at 20 Monroe Live. COURTESY PHOTO

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Imagine the aroma of different barbecued meats sizzling on the grill while sipping on a cold craft brew and playing some yard

games. You sit down and enjoy the live entertainment, digging into freshly grilled barbecue you didn’t have to cook. That’s what Pigeon Hill has in store for us all with the Holy Smokes competition. All proceeds for the event go toward helping child welfare, community outreach initiatives and other great causes. Don’t miss this event that creates a perfect environment for some friendly finger-licking competition and funds a good cause.

Barley, BBQ & Beats DeVos Place 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids May 11, 5-9 p.m., $40 hom.org/bbb2019

Every great party boils down to drinks, food and music. In this case, the party’s drinks focus on whiskey from local distilleries like Journeyman Distillery and Grand Traverse Distillery. The food comes from the best pit

masters and restaurants around, such as American Char and Two Scotts Barbecue. Then, the music comes from local bands like Mid-Life Crisis. It’s your chance to sample the best West Michigan has to offer, with proceeds going to the Hospice of Michigan, which ensures end-of-life care to everyone who needs it.

Merchants and Makers at Baker Lumber D. Baker & Son Lumber Co. 720 Pennoyer Ave., Grand Haven May 11, 4 p.m. facebook.com/merchantsandmakers

It’s time to get out of the normal shopping routine with Merchants and Makers, featuring more than 40 local vendors meeting your needs. There’s clothing, jewelry, accessories, gourmet food, bath and body products, and much more. It’s the perfect event to shop for yourself or for Mother’s CONTINUED ON PAGE 18


YOUR ENTERTAINMENT ESCAPE

TYLER HENRY THE HOLLYWOOD MEDIUM MAY 11

CARROT TOP MAY 17

FOREIGNER MAY 25

STONE TEMPLE PILOTS JUNE 1

TODD RUNDGREN JUNE 7

KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD BAND JUNE 15

SCOTT STAPP JUNE 21

MICHAEL JACKSON TRIBUTE JUNE 22

DAUGHTRY JULY 5

LEONID & FRIENDS JULY 6

PAT BENATAR & NEIL GIRALDO JULY 12

CHRIS D’ELIA JULY 19

DAVE KOZ & FRIENDS JULY 26

THE BEACH BOYS AUGUST 2

HAPPY TOGETHER TOUR 2019 AUGUST 9

BOYZ II MEN AUGUST 16

THERESA CAPUTO AUGUST 30 & 31

AIR SUPPLY SEPTEMBER 6

ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK OCTOBER 19

PLEASE VISIT TICKETMASTER.COM OR CALL 800-745-3000 FOR TICKET INFORMATION.

Must be 21 years of age or older. The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians invites you to play responsibly. If you think you have a gambling problem, call 1-800-522-4700. ©2019 Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. 3395-3.04.19

REVUEWM.COM | MAY 2019 |

SCENE SOUNDS | SIGHTS | DINING

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 16

5/21 Swing Dancing

Find more events in Revue Arts, and at revuewm.com!

Rosa Parks Circle 135 Monroe Center St. NW, Grand Rapids May 21, 7 p.m. grandrapidsoriginalswingsociety.com

Cirque de Soleil Crystal at Van Andel Arena. COURTESY PHOTO Day. Live music, food and drinks all add to the experience, so even if your bags are full, keep room in your stomach for some of the food trucks in Grand Haven.

5/12-18 Cider Week GR

Downtown Grand Rapids May 12-18 experiencegr.com/cider-week

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE

Cider doesn’t always get enough love in the craft beverage world, but at least once a year, it’s the apples’ time to shine. Cider Week GR is based all around GLINTCAP (Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition), the world’s largest and most respected cider judging session. To go along with it, cideries like Vander Mill, Farmhaus and Virtue are hosting events all over West Michigan, including the annual Cider Festival. This year, it’s taking place in Rosa Parks Circle on May 18, with live music and all the fermented apple juice you could ever ask for.

18 | REVUEWM.COM | MAY 2019

5/16 Cirque de Soleil Crystal

Van Andel Arena 130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids May 16-19, 7:30 p.m., $56+ vanandelarena.com

For the first time in Cirque de Soleil history, performers and acrobats are exploring new artistic heights on the ice! Don’t miss this opportunity to see the story of Crystal as she goes on a journey filled with colorful visual projections and an original score infused with the well-known sounds of Cirque du Soleil. The combination of acrobatic and skating skills is jawdropping as the performers conquer the laws of physics both in the air and on the ice.

In 2012, the Grand Rapids Swing Society set a world record for the largest swing dance in the world and you can be a part of that same energy. Every Tuesday throughout the summer, swing dancing will be taking over either Rosa Parks Circle or Ah Nab Awen Park. You don’t have to own dancing shoes or have any experience at all, just come for a good time. Arrive at 7 p.m. and they will teach you how to swing, or just take in the music and enjoy a spring evening in the park.

5/24 Simply Queen - Live Tribute 20 Monroe Live 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids May 24, 7 p.m., $15+ 20monroelive.com

some of the most iconic rock songs and anthems ever made. Guitarist Bob Wegner, another star musician in his own right, will definitely rock you, as he was picked personally by Queen’s own guitar solo kings Brian May and Roger Taylor. Plus, just showing up gives you the chance to win tickets to see Queen and Adam Lambert on their tour in Detroit.

5/25 Grand Rapids Bodybuilding Competition

Grandville High School Auditorium 4700 Canal Ave. SW, Grand Rapids May 25 grandrapidsbodybuilding.com There’s really nothing like going to a bodybuilding competition and seeing exactly how far the human body can be pushed. This show is open to people of all ages who want to see athletes at the top of their field compete for a spot in the national tournament. Whether they’re competing for fitness, physique, figure or bikini, these competitors have dedicated their lives to being ripped and showing it off. n

Fronted by Rick Rock, a Freddie Mercury impersonator with mad music skills, this show takes fans to a time with

5/18-19 Kite Festival at Grand Haven

1001 S. Harbor Dr., Grand Haven May 18-19 facebook.com/kitefestatgh You haven’t seen true kites until you’ve been to a kite festival. This inaugural festival is going to hit the ground running — or rather, hit the sky flying — with some of the greatest performers around showing off the magic of massive, complex kites soaring through the air. You’ll see huge inflatable kites, choreographed routines and more, with plenty of space for the public to come fly their own. This event is meant to keep the spirit of the Great Lakes Kite Festival alive after it ended last year. Many of the same people will be attending and performing.

Kite Festival at Grand Haven. COURTESY PHOTO


Relax at Rosa MAY 2 - SEPTEMBER 19

Free Lunchtime Entertainment Every Friday | All Summer | 12:00 PM-1:30 PM | Rosa Parks Circle

Desmond Jones May 2

Molly May 9

Mark Lavengood May 16

The Appleseed Collective May 23

May 30

Major Murphy June 6

Jordan Hamilton June 13

Max Lockwood June 20

Serita’s Black Rose June 27

Cosmic Knot July 11

Hannah Rose & the GravesTones July 18

The Great Ones July 25

Cabildo August 1

Les Créatif August 8

Political Lizard August 15

Connla August 22

Earth Radio August 29

Thunderwüde September 5

Bear-A-Tones September12

Yolonda Lavender September 19

More info at DOWNTOWNGR.ORG

Chirp

REVUEWM.COM | MAY 2019 |

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Coming Soon To Grand Rapids

/// NEWS

VA N A N D E L A R E N A

WEST MICHIGAN

BIZ BEAT

JUNE 18

A Roundup of Openings, Closings and other Local Business News

OPEN

FRIDAY AUG 9

FRIDAY • SEPTEMBER 6 ALL SHOWS ON SALE NOW

AT T I C K E T M A S T E R . C O M A N D T H E VA N A N D E L A R E N A B O X O F F I C E

Tom my E m manuel CGP

Live in C oncert

With Special Guest J O R M A K A U KO N E N

SE P T E M BE R 2 5

To m my E m m a nu e l .c o m

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T H E K A L A M A Z O O S TAT E T H E AT R E T I C K E T M A S T E R .C O M

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The Morning Dish has moved into the second floor of the Radisson Plaza Hotel and Suites (100 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo), taking hotel breakfast to another level. The public is more than welcome to stop in and order some high-end brunch or take part in the large buffet with made-to-order omelettes. There are plenty of vegan and gluten-free options, plus cocktails made for morning drinking. You might just want to rent a room and crawl into bed after all that. The world could use more rooftop patios and Friesian Gastro Pub is happy to oblige. The new restaurant just opened east of the Medical Mile at 720 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids. Friesian’s name comes from a Dutch horse breed, which should come as no surprise to West Michigan, but the menu features cuisine from around the world. Try a curry bowl, burger, lamb chops, whatever suits your mood. West Michigan has made a new pal with the arrival of Buddy’s Pizza (4061 28th St., Kentwood), the true originator of Detroit-style pizza. Marked by rectangular slices and a thick, fluffy crust with a crispy bottom, it’s clearly the superior style (don’t send me hate mail). Considering Buddy’s already has more than a dozen locations on the east side, coming over here only made sense. The tap list has plenty of local beer to choose from and “Buddy Brew,” a special American Wheat Pale Ale made just for the new location’s opening. Cheers! There’s nothing wrong with more HopCat, as Holland is about to find out after the local beer bar chain opened at 84 W. Eighth St. It’s part of the West Eighth development that will include an 11-screen cinema, retail shops and apartments, which BarFly CEO Mark Gray said was the impetus for finally joining Holland. If you’re somehow not familiar with HopCat, the restaurant is known for having a massive list of excellent craft beer alongside great food, including burgers, mac & cheese and the legendary Cosmik Fries. If at first you don’t succeed, let someone else try. Kingma’s Market may not have lasted too long in Ada, but part of the problem there was scaling its model to a much larger space than the original Plainfield location. Now, Ada Fresh Market by Forest Hills Foods has moved into the space at 444 Ada Dr. SE, Ada. The

Top/Middle: The Morning Dish. Bottom: Friesian Gastro Pub. COURTESY PHOTOS

new owners remodeled the store to allow for a full salad and soup bar as well as a Starbucks, which may fare better than the Rowster Coffee location that Kingma’s housed.

—Compiled by Josh Veal If you have any closings, openings or other business news for REVUE, e-mail josh@revuewm.com.


VOTE TODAY

Vote for your favorite local people, places, businesses and more

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/// NEWS

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY JOIN US FOR BRUNCH Sunday, May 12, 2019 • 10am - 2pm

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22 | REVUEWM.COM | MAY 2019

MAY 2019 A monthly roundup of marijuana news and notes.

T

he first glimpse of prospective medical marijuana businesses has emerged in Grand Rapids, reports Sydney Smith in Revue sister publication MiBiz. Potential businesses — 91 applicants in all — dot mostly southeast and north Grand Rapids, with a majority of the entrepreneurs from out of town. An unintended consequence of the city’s zoning ordinance has been the concentration of businesses in certain areas, sending property values skyrocketing. While less of an issue in West Michigan, unlicensed medical marijuana dispensaries may face a hard June 1 closure date under legislation fast-tracked at the Capitol. Since efforts to close them have failed in the courts, lawmakers plan to step in. The bill also has bipartisan support due to growing concerns about unlicensed stores having a leg up on the licensed competition. The state says 70 licensed dispensaries are operating. In news from across the Bridge, the Bay Mills Indian Community in the U.P. became the first tribe in Michigan to legalize pot for adult use. Tribal law on possession and growing mirror state law. Chairman Bryan Newland said in a statement that while the move doesn’t promote the use of cannabis, “we believe that criminalizing it is bad policy.” Indeed. As legalization unfolds, an ongoing problem for pot users and a challenge for law enforcement is determining when someone is driving while high. Smoking before bed and driving to work shouldn’t be an issue, right? But without an accurate way of measuring it (like a Breathalyzer for alcohol), it’ll still show up in your system. The Impaired Driving Safety Commission appointed by former Gov. Rick Snyder agrees, and recently recommended not setting a blood limit for marijuana in the system. Instead, the commission recommends police continue to use roadside sobriety tests.

Screenshot from Gretchen Whitmer's Hash Bash Video. COURTESY PHOTO

The 48th annual Hash Bash took place in Ann Arbor on April 6 in what Detroit Metro Times called the “dawn of a new era.” The first Hash Bash with pot legalized was reportedly a celebration of freedom and not a protest, similar to the inaugural 1972 Hash Bash when pot was briefly legal after a state Supreme Court ruling. Crowds reportedly chanted “f *** Bill Schuette!” (you know the guy), while the event had the blessing of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. In a 30-second video clip released by the Governor’s Office, Whitmer said she’s focused on efficient ways to regulate the industry and was “proud of the work we did to pass Prop 1. Stay safe and have fun.” Breaking news just before we headed to print, Michigan State University researchers announced new findings that marijuana users who smoke cannabis weigh less compared to adults who don’t. The findings were based on Body Mass Index data from 33,000 adults. However, the study stopped short of suggesting why. Perhaps it’s behavioral — as in, marijuana smokers being more conscious about their food intake. Perhaps its biological and receptors are acting differently from the THC. I have my theories. For now, MSU proclaims: “Marijuana users weigh less, defying the munchies.” — Compiled by Andy Balaskovitz


STAY AND PLAY New hotel packages released to enhance your experience at CityFlatsHotel 866 609 CITY

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23


/// NEWS

FEAR AND DISTRUST Immigration advocates fear the Jilmar Ramos-Gomez case will deter undocumented residents from reporting crime | By Andy Balaskovitz

T

Jilmar Ramos-Gomez. COURTESY PHOTO

24 | REVUEWM.COM | MAY 2019

HE RECENT CASE OF JILMAR RAMOS-GOMEZ

has thrown West Michigan directly into the national debate over immigration. Ramos-Gomez, a U.S. Marine veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, was held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for three days in Calhoun County before officials discovered he is a U.S. citizen. His arrest stemmed from a Nov. 21, 2018 incident in which he accessed a helicopter pad at a Grand Rapids hospital and, upon his release from Kent County jail the next month, was turned over to ICE. Ramos-Gomez pleaded guilty to trespassing in what turned out to be a minor incident. A Grand Rapids Police Department captain who contacted ICE initially suspected terrorism, although that concern was discounted by a sergeant. The story has received national headlines and sharp rebukes over ICE detention policies. The GRPD faces allegations of racial profiling, stoking an already heated citywide debate over the department’s treatment of minorities. Capt. Curt VanderKooi, the official who alerted ICE about Ramos-Gomez based on his appearance and who used insensitive, racially charged language in doing so, remains suspended on paid administrative leave. But an aspect of the Ramos-Gomez case not widely known to the public continues to trouble immigration attorneys and members of the undocumented immigrant community. VanderKooi was designated by top GRPD officials to issue “U visa” certifications as undocumented immigrants apply for citizenship. Under the federal U visa program adopted by Congress in 2000, undocumented immigrants who are victims of a range of serious crimes — including domestic violence, rape and traffick-


“Now that this has come to light, it’s very concerning to us. It has created tremendous negative attention among the Latino community who thought they were safe reporting crimes to GRPD while all along, come to find out, they haven’t been.”

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SERGIO CIRA-REYES, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT WITH THE URBAN CORE COLLECTIVE while all along, come to f ind out, they haven’t been.” Cira-Reyes and immigration attorneys are raising questions about the extent to which GRPD may have denied U visa certifications based on racial bias. GRPD Sgt. Dan Adams declined to comment specifically about VanderKooi’s role as one of the department’s U visa certifiers, saying there has “already been quite enough in the media, social media, public sessions and with the City Commission,” including from interim Police Chief David Kiddle. GRPD did not allow Revue to interview VanderKooi while he is on leave. Adams didn’t know whether VanderKooi shared any information with ICE about U visa applicants while he was a certifier, “but it’s highly unlikely as it defeats the purpose of the U visa.” Responding more broadly to concerns about GRPD’s relationship with ICE, Adams said: “We do not enforce immigration policy or immigration laws. We’re here to uphold state and local law — it’s not our duty or our focus to enforce immigration laws in the city of Grand Rapids.”

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U VISA PROCESS U visa certifiers vary by community, and can include police chiefs and sheriffs or designated lower-level officials, as well as judges and prosecutors. To be eligible for a certification, the individual must help by providing information in the investigation and prosecution of a qualifying criminal activity, which includes more than two dozen serious crimes.

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REVUEWM.COM | MAY 2019 |

SCENE SOUNDS | SIGHTS | DINING

ing — can request a local U visa certification if they are helpful in the investigation and prosecution of a crime. The certification can aid in getting legal status from the federal government. That VanderKooi was in a position of trust to handle sensitive information from undocumented immigrants while communicating with ICE has raised serious concerns about how much GRPD may have shared with the federal agency. VanderKooi served as GRPD’s “ICE liaison.” Specifically, advocates fear the circumstance will deter undocumented immigrants from coming forward to report serious crimes. Alexandra Gillett, staff attorney with the nonprofit legal service Justice for our Neighbors, has helped undocumented immigrants file U visa requests in Kent County and the city of Grand Rapids for more than three years. For the past year, she worked directly with VanderKooi on those requests. By late February, details unfolded about VanderKooi’s role in the Ramos-Gomez case. “I was shocked. It was very, very alarming,” Gillett said. “I did not for a second think he was communicating with ICE while receiving U visa requests. Had I known that, I probably wouldn’t have sent any of those requests. My clients are in incredibly vulnerable positions. “I lost a lot of confidence in the police department after hearing that. I’m very hesitant to make any more U visa requests, and I’m going to warn all of my clients about this risk — that there’s nothing stopping a U visa certifier from communicating with ICE.” Gillett The whole purpose of the U visa program, Gillett added, is to “foster cooperation and communication” between the immigrant community and law enforcement. “These actions by Capt. VanderKooi really destroyed that trust,” she said. Indeed, the situation piles on the fear and distrust between the community’s immigrants and Grand Rapids law enforcement. “Prior to this instance, the name of the person who signs off on those visas never raised red flags or got the immigrant community’s attention,” said Sergio Cira-Reyes, director of community engagement with the Urban Core Collective who is active in immigration advocacy. “Now that this has come to light, it’s very concerning to us. It has created tremendous negative attention among the Latino community who thought they were safe reporting crimes to GRPD

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/// NEWS

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE

“I don’t want folks in my city to be afraid to contact us for help. The thought that if I call the police and I potentially might get deported, that’s awful.”

Ac ros s t he U. S., tens of t housa nds of victims request “U nonimmigrant status” from U. S. Cit i zenship a nd Immigration Services in what’s known as the U visa program. USCIS says the program “not only helps protect legitimate victims of crime, but is a key tool in the work performed by law enforcement.” The program caps the number of petitions issued each year at 10,000, MUSKEGON POLICE CAPT. although the agency has SHAWN BRIDE received more than 30,000 requests a year since 2015, according to federal data. A backlog of pending petitions continues to grow and was at 110,511 at the end of 2017. Attorneys say the process of getting immigration status through the U visa program takes around five years. In an effort to crack down on illegal immigration, the Trump administration issued a memo last year that said a denied U visa petition would result in a Notice to Appear (NTA) before an immigration court, setting off the deportation process. USCIS spokesperson Jessica Collins said applicants can appeal negative decisions on their applications and petitions. “It is expected that individuals who no longer have a lawful basis to remain in the United States will return to their home country. As such, notices to appear will generally be

26 | REVUEWM.COM | MAY 2019

issued to U visa petitioners who have failed to meet one or more of the eligibility requirements and are not lawfully present in the United States,” Collins said. Attorneys say this, too, has acted as a deterrent for reporting crimes. Applying for a U visa is considered an affirmative action, and if denied, “there’s a real threat you will be referred to immigration courts and put in the process,” Gillett said. While an immigrant’s status is ultimately determined by the federal government, a local U visa certification can help in that process while also granting protection that the person won’t be deported. “It’s important to remember these local law enforcement agencies are not saying this person is eligible for a U visa,” said Hillary Scholten, staff attorney with the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center. MIRC and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan have represented Ramos-Gomez and uncovered details about the case through public records requests. “The certification says yes, they were a victim of a crime and they were helpful in the investigation or prosecution of a crime,” Scholten said. While gathering facts around the circumstances of Ramos-Gomez’s case, his attorneys made the connection between VanderKooi’s role as a U visa certifier and as an ICE liaison. VanderKooi is in the department’s investigations unit. “It appears he was using that role improperly to contact ICE when he has all of this very highly sensitive information about these individuals,” Scholten said. The GRPD U visa certifier is no longer in the investigations office, a move called for by Scholten and others. “It remains to be seen how much damage has been done in terms of trust in the community on discovering that role,” Scholten said.

‘I CAN’T IMAGINE THAT’ The number of U visa certification requests varies around West Michigan. Adams said GRPD receives fewer than 40 requests a year, approximately. The Muskegon Police Department receives 10 or fewer a year. In her six months in office, Kent County Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young has received two requests. The Allegan County Sheriff ’s Office has received about one a year the past two years. The Kent County prosecutor, meanwhile, receives about three to five U visa certification requests a month. LaJoye-Young said the criteria for whether to issue a certification is “pretty clear.” “If someone made a decision not to sign because of almost fraudulent reasons, such as not supporting immigration, that could be a factor” in how many an agency approves, LaJoyeYoung said. “I’ve been working in law enforcement in West Michigan for a long time. I don’t think that’s going to be the case here with anyone I’ve known.” For law enforcement officials, U visa certification is a valuable tool for solving crime. Muskegon Police Capt. Shawn Bride said last year an undocumented Latino couple came forward with details about an incident in which their young son had been hit on his bicycle by a motorist two years ago and died from the injury. “The mom and dad were beyond distraught,” Bride said. They subsequently came forward with details and were “extremely helpful” in the investigation, providing “immense details.” The couple asked for a U visa certification. “Of course we did that,” Bride said. Other instances have involved victims of domestic violence being cooperative in an investigation that resulted in a CONTINUED ON PAGE 28


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/// NEWS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 26

conviction, he added. In some cases, certifications were denied if it was evident someone was not clearly the victim of a crime. For every denial, the department issues “seven or eight” certifications, Bride said. “Our goal with folks from other countries — whether it’s south of Texas, across the Pacific or the Atlantic or to the north — is that they’re comfortable with reaching out and talking with law enforcement and not being a silent victim, so to speak,” Bride said. Asked about the Trump administration’s memo to potentially deport undocumented immigrants who are denied U visa status, Bride said: “Personally, I think that would be horrible. I don’t want folks in my city to be afraid to contact us for help. The thought that if I call the police and I potentially might get deported, that’s awful. Of being completely cut off from any kind of help? I can’t imagine that.” Kent County Prosecutor Christopher Becker agrees it’s a concern if residents don’t come forward with information about crimes. His office partnered with the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan last year, which provided a place to meet and “build that trust” if residents feared coming to the courthouse. “Any victim of a crime that’s afraid to come forward allows the perpetrator to be free. I don’t want that, no matter who it is,” Becker said. He added that the GRPD/VanderKooi issue “didn’t help, that’s for sure.” Responding to concerns about whether Kent County would share details about residents’ undocumented status with ICE, Becker responded: “Nope. I’ve never called ICE. I don’t have a number for them.”

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE

“Any victim of a crime that’s afraid to come forward allows the perpetrator to be free. I don’t want that, no matter who it is.”

THE BROADER DEBATE

The U visa aspect of RamosGomez’s case and the calls for VanderKooi’s firing are part of a broader advocacy effort by West Michigan immigrants and their allies. Movimiento Cosecha GR was the first Michigan chapter formed KENT COUNTY PROSECUTOR under the national Cosecha CHRISTOPHER BECKER movement. For months, the Cosecha GR chapter advocated for the Kent County Sheriff’s Office to end its contract with ICE that compensated the department for housing detainees in county facilities. In a win for advocates, LaJoye-Young announced a policy shift in January requiring a signed warrant to hold inmates past their release date. She said the policy shift had been under development when the Ramos-Gomez case accelerated it. In March, the Sheriff’s Office was in a public dispute over the policy with ICE, which claimed the county was a sanctuary and jeopardized public safety by releasing undocumented immigrants. (The statement was shared by the White House.) LaJoye-Young reportedly said ICE was “dramatically misrepresenting” the county’s policy.

28 | REVUEWM.COM | MAY 2019

Movimento Cosecha GR March. COURTESY PHOTO

Following the ICE contract, Cosecha now has two key demands: Ending GRPD’s relationship with ICE and pushing for statewide “licenses for all” policy. The group is planning a large march in Grand Rapids on May 1. “We think that if people who are undocumented just had a license, it would eliminate a big chunk of people who they would have to stop” and reduce the chances of racial profiling, Cira-Reyes said. Cosecha is a close partner with GR Rapid Response to ICE, which helps undocumented immigrants and their families with resources when they are contacted by ICE (which happens on a weekly basis). Rapid Response has raised more than $34,000 in direct aid for immigrant families, which can involve help paying for groceries or rent. Cosecha is known as the “offensive” organization led by immigrants pushing policy reform. Rapid Response is the “defensive” group of allies who can help them deal with ICE. Meanwhile, immigration advocates are bracing for another battle over proposed state legislation that would block “sanctuary” policies, seemingly in response to Kent County’s change. Scholten of the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center says all of these aspects of the immigration debate are related, and ultimately raise questions about the role of local law enforcement and federal immigration policy. Miriam Aukerman, senior staff attorney who heads the ACLU’s West Michigan office, says anti-immigration and harsh deportation policies are devastating for families, many of whom have mixed immigration status.

“Some of the things we in West Michigan really value are family and community. What we’re seeing as a result of this entanglement between ICE and local law enforcement is really undermining that core commitment to families.” MIRIAM AUKERMAN, SENIOR STAFF ATTORNEY AT THE ACLU WEST MICHIGAN OFFICE “Some of the things we in West Michigan really value are family and community,” Aukerman said. “What we’re seeing as a result of this entanglement between ICE and local law enforcement is really undermining that core commitment to families.” It’s the same as the situation happening Aukerman at the border, but in Michigan, parents are being taken from their kids. It ends up affecting both immigrant and non-immigrant communities, she said. “Most often that happens as a result of initial local law enforcement contact,” Aukerman said. “That kind of entanglement has devastating consequences.” n


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/// NEWS At The B.O.B. Grand Rapids, MI 616.356.2000 thebob.com

Q&A: Kent Co. Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young Within her first three months in office, Kent Co. Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young delivered a win to local immigration and civil liberties advocates.

NATE C2R-A4IG May

LaJoye-Young, who took office in November and has been with the department for 30 years, ended a county policy that voluntarily held detainees for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. While the office still works with ICE to provide information to federal law enforcement during investigations, the county requires a signed warrant to hold detainees. The position drew harsh criticism from ICE and the White House, who LaJoye-Young said mischaracterized the policy. However, the decision was made after months of research and dialogue with the Latino community. The mishandling of the case of Jilmar Ramos-Gomez expedited her decision. LaJoye-Young spoke with Revue about national immigration issues affecting West Michigan and how law enforcement can build bridges to gain the community’s trust. The interview was edited for length and clarity.

STEVE IOTT May 9-11

First and foremost, I worked very closely with retired Sheriff (Larry) Stelma. He absolutely had heard the needs of the immigrant community in Kent County. Neither Sheriff Stelma nor myself are willing to not work with a law enforcement agency. We were able to dig in deeper beyond that initial demand (to end the ICE contract) and understand the depth of the issue. If you don’t solve the right problem, you won’t get the right answer. I continued that work when I was appointed and continued to vet through my legal options. Simultaneous to that we had a pretty noteworthy incident where there was an evident gap in oversight with ICE. That factored pretty heavily into my outcome. I don’t ever want it to sound like it’s a done thing. It’s a constant learning avenue for both the Sheriff ’s Office and the community at large that we have to stay current on this issue. It affects everyone in the community.

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You were named sheriff in September, took office in November and announced the county’s policy change in January. What changed during that time to shift policy?

The role of local and federal law enforcement on immigration has led to some gray area and inconsistency in enforcement. How challenging is this issue at the local level given the current climate? It’s very challenging. The actual letter of the law and decision points can’t be evaluated separate from the conversation because

laws really aren’t written in a way that there doesn’t need to be a level of interpretation at the executive level. We have to stay very conscious about the current interpretation, and at the federal level it can change. I don’t have any control over that direction, but the outcome very much affects me and the people I’m charged with protecting.

Can you clarify the county’s relationship with ICE?

new detention policy. How has that unfolded since? Just like it’s a constant conversation with the community, it’s also a constant conversation between ICE and law enforcement agencies. We’re working to get to a point where we understand each other’s needs and requirements.

What part can and should law enforcement play in addressing trust concerns from immigrants and minorities in the community?

We don’t do anything to enforce immigration status in the community whatsoever. If a law enforcement officer comes in contact We have a huge role to play in it. It’s imporwith someone, the fact that they may or tant to have conversations with families and may not be an undocumented resident is community groups in the Latino community. not asked. I have personally started to do some of that When they come in a correctional facili- work and appreciate the opportunities I’ve ty, the federal mandate is we take fingerprints had to talk and learn and share our perspecand they get checked with what’s on file at tive. That needs to happen more. homeland security. When ICE becomes The most crucial thing I think is going aware or interested in someone who may be to improve things in a five-year window is in custody at a correctional facility, ICE is more people from the Latino community normally notified. joining public service so there’s an integraIn conjunction with any other law tion and representation on issues brought enforcement entity, if ICE has further in- up at policymaking levels. I hope that’s our vestigation they’re trying to do and we have long-term goal — that young people in all of information that’s helpful to them, we’ll the immigrant community see themselves as cooperate in those situations. being public servants and eventually we get Beyond that we don’t have any en- to the point where we’ve got full representaforcement with ICE. A lot of people don’t tion of what our community looks like. This understand that. It’s true for every police is a long-term conversation. n department in Kent County: None of us enforce immigration law. — Interview conducted and condensed by Andy Balaskovitz.

In March, your office had a public dispute with ICE over the county’s


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STYLE NOTES

by Missy Black

FASHION FORECAST:

SUNNIES We’re all dropping money on sunglasses right now, so we might as well know what’s hot, where the trends are headed and who has the best knowledge on summer’s favorite accessory.

RX OPTICAL The sunglasses for spring/summer 2019 are trending toward a twist on retro shapes. Expect lots of color on the frame

men include round shapes in metals,

When it comes to sunglasses worth talk-

Mykita Bond, which he describes as

double bars added in plastic, patterned

ing about, the folks at Cascade Optical

“overbuilt perfection.”

colors, blended colors for a fade look

are excited about the Vuarnet line.

Conens knows that sunglasses can

“They’ve made a big comeback,”

be the finishing touch on an outfit. For

Krogel’s favorite sunglasses are the

said Christopher Conens, a clerk at

a choice that lends well to a certain look,

Chloé metal twist round version. “It

Cascade Optical. “We sold them back

he suggests a Matsuda Heritage piece as

goes with any outfit, is really comfort-

in the neon-spattered ’80s and ’90s and

an entrance to the ’90s styles that have

to reds, frames with two tones and can

able and I feel like a movie star in them.”

it’s great to have them back in the shop.”

come back into play.

even match a pattern to an outfit by the

Fashion aside, to protect eyes from

Other frames in the shop are a part-

“It’s for the 20-something pro-

same designer — Bebe and Lilly Pulitzer

harmful UV rays, Krogel suggests look-

nership with designers Theo and Tim

fessional look ing for that preppy,

for example,” said Jillayne Krogel, di-

ing for sunglasses with 100-percent UV

VanSteenbergen.

two-decades-back sweet spot of retro

and lens, and even prints. “Instead of offering the typical black or brown frame, our patients now have many color options from clear to blues

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE

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and frames in clear and grey tones.

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“The Belgians know quirk better

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frame. Make sure to choose lenses that

tion is a perfect mating of milled zyl and

For more information on shades, visit

are large enough to shield your eyes

titanium plates with color everywhere,”

rxoptical.com and cascade-optical.com n

from most angles.

said Conens, whose personal favorite

For women, look for styles with wider rounds, cat eyes in both plastic and metal materials, f loral prints on temples and sharper edges. Trends for

34 | REVUEWM.COM | MAY 2019

pair of sunglasses at the store are the

style,” Conens said.


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/// LOCAL

NO FILTER

Grand Rapids band Lokella challenges genre limitations on new EP Censory Overload | by Eric Mitts

DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

I

N THE SOCIAL MEDIA AGE, WHERE MORE CONTENT REACHES MORE eyes and ears than ever before, true creativity all too often gets lost in the algorithm. Defiantly standing up for themselves — and countless independent artists like them — the members of Grand Rapids band Lokella approached their latest EP dead-set on dismantling the distraction that censorship creates in our lives, both online and off, in hopes of making a real connection. “We’re tied to the media, especially in the age of the Internet that we’ve become heavily immersed in,” Lokella vocalist Jennifer Bartlett told Revue. “Every day, people are fighting to be heard. In this country, we may be lucky to have freedom of speech, but that doesn’t protect us from the consequences of the weight of our words. It’s interesting that the words and images we choose to express ourselves are still controlled by someone else.” Entitled Censory Overload, the band’s third EP (due out May 17) takes a bold step forward both lyrically and stylistically. The five-song set plays with the concept of genre, incorporating everything from blues tropes to Latin sounds and even some Broadway elements, as the band expands the box of what rock music can be. Starting back in 2015, following the dissolution of Bartlett’s previous band (the post-hardcore powerhouse Fine Fine Titans), Lokella started as a simple two-person songwriting project, with Bartlett working alongside her husband, bassist Evan Bartlett. A year went by without much happening creatively until guitarist Chris Bursley joined in, along with former Fine Fine Titans drummer Nate Jean. The lineup set the stage for the band’s debut, 2016’s The Worst Of EP, which brought the band back out onto the scene. “We began writing with Chris and Nate and what we created was gratifying,” Bartlett said. But the lineup only lasted so long. “When Nate respectively stepped down to focus on his career, we were happy for him but (were) definitely bummed; worried that we would lose not only the momentum but also that bit of magic we felt we had,” Bartlett said. Thankfully, the band teamed up with drummer Josh Poel, whom they also had

36 | REVUEWM.COM | MAY 2019

LOKELLA. PHOTO BY MOD BETTIE PORTRAITS

worked with in the past, and soon realized it was a great fit musically and personally. Writing for Censory Overload began in early 2018, organically developing out of the band’s new lineup. Together, they wrote eight songs in hopes of creating a full-length, but instead decided to release the double-sided single, Set To Flame, earlier this year ahead of the EP’s release. “Personally, I tried not to have any expectations, as I have a tendency to cling to visions and ideas,” Bartlett said. “I just wanted everyone to explore our dynamic and feel it out in whichever way felt the best for them. In turn, the music was honest.” The new EP’s release party on May 17 at The Pyramid Scheme will mark the beginning of Lokella’s 2019 tour, which will take the band around the Midwest and into the South. “We’re definitely coming out of hibernation here,” Bartlett said. “If we had a team of management, publicists or a label, perhaps our workload would lighten to allow us to perform more, but that’s just not our reality and actually, probably not ideal either. We’re

happy to be in control of our direction, our sound and outcome, even if that doesn’t ever bring commercial success. “So now, as we rear our heads from under the blanket of Michigan winter, we’ve got to get our sea legs back. Though we won’t be on the road for long, it definitely takes a toll on your body and so getting back to the gym and maintaining our regular rehearsal schedule is vital.” In advance of the EP’s release, Lokella has also reteamed with another past collaborator, Three Goats Moving Pictures, who shot a captivating new video for the lead single Wicked. The band has worked extensively with Three Goats and filmmaker Andy Westra going back to its Fine Fine Titans days, and that reciprocal relationship has created a dark but distinct visual accompaniment to the band’s music. “As a kid, I preferred watching music videos more than anything else, leaving MTV and VH1 on constant rotation whenever I had the chance to control the television,” Bartlett said. “When music television started shifting into something different and YouTube became

a reality, I was ecstatic at the idea of creating and being a part of my own music videos … something I thought an impossible dream as a child.” Three Goats has another visual in the works for the EP set for release later this year, while Lokella will follow its current tour with another short run in the late summer or fall. “We’re not totally sure yet what the rest of the year or 2020 will look like, but we’re riding this wave to see where it takes us, whether it’s to the shore, or to another body of water entirely,” Barlett said. n

LOKELLA CENSORY OVERLOAD RELEASE PARTY WSG. HAIL YOUR HIGHNESS, THE AUTUMNATIC, HEAD THE PYRAMID SCHEME, 68 COMMERCE AVE. SW, GRAND RAPIDS MAY 17, 7:30 P.M., $10 PYRAMIDSCHEMEBAR.COM


MAY 2019 REVUEWM.COM/ARTS

FREE

ART AMPLIFICATION Inaugural prize for female figurative painters debuts at MMA SEE PAGE 3A. STORY BY MARLA R. MILLER.

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PAGE GRAND FINALE GR Symphony closes out the season

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PAGE LEAP AND LEARN Michigan Ballet Academy’s mission

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THE OL’ SWITCHEROO Freaky Friday at Circle Theatre


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Art Amplification Inaugural prize for female figurative painters debuts at MMA

Associate Publisher Rich Tupica Editor Joe Boomgaard / joe@revuewm.com Managing Editor Josh Veal / josh@revuewm.com Copy Editor Claire Boomgaard Design Kristi Kortman / kristi@revuewm.com Kaylee Van Tuinen / kaylee@revuewm.com Liz Romain Contributing Writers Jane Simons Kayla Sosa Dana Casadei Marla Miller Michaela Stock

BY MARLA R. MILLER

As avid collectors of figurative paintings, Steven Bennett and Dr. Elaine Schmidt wanted to learn more about the artists they were collecting. The married couple started making studio visits and heard a recurring story: The female artists struggled to continue their craft due to being moms or having to work part-time jobs to make a living. Through mutual connections in the art world, Bennett and Schmidt connected with the Muskegon Museum of Art and began discussing what a prize and exhibit to support these artists might look like. The result is The Bennett Prize, culminating in an MMA exhibit debuting May 2, titled Rising Voices: The Bennett Prize for Women Figurative Realists. “For us, it felt very relevant, certainly with the Me Too movement,” said Art Martin, MMA’s director of collections and exhibitions and senior curator. “This was an opportunity to have a show that was all women’s voices and dealing with contemporary and timeless cultural and social issues.” Muskegon Museum of Art helped organize the inaugural prize and exhibition, which features 30 works by the 10 finalists on display throughout the summer. Supporters, jurors and artists will gather on opening night for the announcement of the winner. The goal of the biennial Bennett Prize is to elevate and encourage the pursuit of figurative realism by female painters, giving them both recognition and financial support. The winner receives a $50,000 stipend to use for “whatever she needs to remove

Publisher Brian Edwards

Minion Danata Paulino

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For advertising, subscription, and distribution inquiries, e-mail: Rich Tupica sales@revuewm.com REVUE is published monthly by Revue Holding Company. P.O. Box 1629, Grand Rapids, MI 49501-1629 Office: 616.608.6170 / Fax: 616.608.6182 ©2019 Revue Holding Company. All rights reserved.

ON THE COVER: Sun With a Beach Ball. KIRA NAM GREENE

the barriers in the way of her making art fulltime,” Martin said. The museum helped coordinate the submissions, jurying and traveling process, and will host two more Bennett Prizes after this. Bennett and Schmidt set up an endowment through The Pittsburgh Foundation,

which covers the stipend and a lot of the exhibition expenses, and should help the prize continue on indefinitely. “In two years, we will have a solo show of this year’s winner and an exhibition of the next 10 finalists,” Martin said. “We’ve agreed to six years, or three shows.” They Pass By Singing. Continued on Page 4A

STEFANIE JACKSON

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b uttermilk j amboree

[VISUAL ARTS]

music festival

June 14-16

Las Cafeteras • Nikki Hill May Erlewine • Beth Nielsen Chapman • Last Gasp Collective • Earth Radio • Seth Bernard & Jordan Hamilton • Lockwood • Red Tail Ring • Afro Zuma Andy Cohen • Aspen Jacobsen • Billy Davis • Bowhunter • Brotha James • Channing & Quinn • Chirp • Dacia Bridges Project • Dances of Universal Peace • Dede & the Dreamers • Deep Fried Pickle Project • Escaping Pavement • Funktion • Hayes Griffin & Nate Roberts • Jen Sygit Trio • Jive at Five • Juke Joint Handmedowns • Kaitlin Rose • Kevin Kammeraad • Luna Blu • Matt Watroba & Rev. Robert Jones • Monte Pride • Nadim Azzam • Roosevelt Diggs • Samantha Cooper • Samantha Crain • Southern Straight Singers • Stella! • Sun Ensemble • The Appleseed Collective • The Change • The Nathan Moore Affair

buttermilkjamboree.org Beautiful Camping, Nature Trails & Swimming Four Stages of Music • Kid’s Commons • Folk School • Michigan Beer, Mead, & Wine • Delicious Food

Left: Babe in the Woods. DORIELLE CAIMI Top Right: This Again. REBECCA LEVEILLE Bottom Right: They Pass By Singing. STEFANIE JACKSON Continued from Page 3A

A group of jurors, including Bennett and Martin, selected the 10 finalists from a field of 647 entrants from across the United States. The finalists represent a wide array of subjects and themes depicted through faces and figures. The works tell visual stories about the myriad issues facing women and society as a whole. The finalists rose to the top for their technical excellence, conceptually expressive qualities, and unique take on figurative art. They represent a diversity of voices in terms

RISING VOICES: THE BENNETT PRIZE FOR WOMEN FIGURATIVE REALISTS Muskegon Museum of Art 296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon May 2-Sept. 8 Opening reception

Circle Pines Center Michigan Delton, Photograph Courtesy of Jeff Baurs 4A

| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | MAY 2019

5:30 p.m. with prize announcement at 7 p.m. muskegonartmuseum.org, (231) 720-2570

of age and ethnic and cultural background, Martin said. Because figurative realism is also representational work, it is immediately accessible to the broader public. “What I really love is just how engaging all of the works are,” Martin said. “They are sorrowful and funny and frantic. … Without needing explanation, you can get to what the artists are saying.” In the main Walker Galleries A & B, Replay: The Exhibition runs May 9-Aug. 18 and explores popular culture through LEGO sculptures, paintings, photography and mixed media. The artwork references classic Nintendo and Atari, Disney superheroes, Pokémon, Space Invaders, Super Mario Bros and more, Martin said. The traveling exhibition features 11 sculptures by award-winning LEGO brick artists. Known as The Collective, this collaborative team created large-scale depictions of Alice in Wonderland, Goofy frozen in carbonite, a Rubik’s Cube, a Tie Fighter, a giant bowl of cereal, and an oversized ice cream cone. “It speaks to people with and without a lot of art experience,” Martin said. “It’s just a different way of looking at art and making art, because LEGO is such a household item. It’s great for inspiring creativity.” Martin said it’s going to be a fun summer, and he hopes the exhibits build engagement in the local community and the national reputation of the museum. ■


[VISUAL ARTS]

Picture Perfect MMA showcases decades of iconic West Michigan concerts

BY MARLA R. MILLER

A great concert combines artistry, entertainment and energy to the fullest effect — some might even say it’s magical. Over the last 30 years, photographer Paul Jendrasiak has had a front-row pass to that magic, capturing the emotion, spectacle and entertainer/audience exchange from behind the lens. He had press pit access to some of the best early 1990s rock concerts in West Michigan. A selection of Jendrasiak’s rock concert photography has been organized into a special exhibition, Lights, Camera, Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Music Photography of Paul Jendrasiak, at Muskegon Museum of Art. “There’s some real interesting history there from the perspective of Music Revue, which is now Revue,” he said. “These shows were pretty big for Gen X. Back before you had cellphones, it was rare there would be more than me and one other photographer shooting the show.” The self-taught photographer and former Music Revue editor started out as a writer and photographer. His press credentials put him front and center for metal and grunge rock’s most famous frontmen, such as KISS, Megadeth, Metallica, The Black Crowes, Pantera, Pearl Jam and more. The exhibit features about 30 photographs, mostly on film, from his Music Revue days. The images include portraits and candid concert shots of Metallica, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins, Morrissey, Willie Nelson and Alice Cooper, to name a few. It was a transitional time in music as grunge and alternative rock took over the scene from hair and heavy metal bands. This is Jendrasiak’s first museum exhibition and he worked with MMA Senior Curator Art Martin to select the photos based on the quality and composition. They also have historical significance for the region’s concert scene.

Paul Jendrasiak. COURTESY PHOTOS

“It just shows how the right artistic eye can really play up a story, and that this is very much a national story,” Martin said. “It’s remembering what has gone before in West Michigan through the artwork, an ‘I was there’ kind of thing.” Jendrasiak started with Music Revue in 1990 as an 18-year-old, with long hair and no experience. He called bands’ publicists and secured interviews and press credentials for concerts in Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Kalamazoo. One of his first interviews was with Gene Simmons. From 1990 to 1994, he photographed some of the region’s most memorable concerts and did close to 200 interviews. There are images from Metallica’s concert at LC Walker arena in 1991, and the historic concert featuring headliner Red Hot Chili Peppers and openers Pearl Jam and Smashing Pumpkins at Kalamazoo State Theatre. “You still run into people who talk about being at that show,” he said. “Those bands together in that size of a venue, it’s not something you are going to get today. To have been there was really something magical.” A few photos are more recent, from 2010 until the present, taken for GRNow.com. “It connects to the musical DNA of West Michigan, because these are shows that people would have been to, maybe almost 30 years ago now, and some of the shows that are more current,” Jendrasiak said. Even more incredible, the slides and negatives sat in his garage for 20 years before he started scanning them in 2012. He decided to turn them into fine art prints and sell them online.

Left: Metallica. Right: Smashing Pumpkins. PAUL JENDRASIAK

Jendrasiak put down his camera for many years to pursue other interests, but returned to concert photography in 2010. His work has been published in Guitar Player, Vintage Guitar, RIP Magazine, Hit Parader, Kerrang, BURRN, Young Guitar, and Ernie Bally guitar string campaigns. Jendrasiak said he is humbled and honored to have

his work in a museum. “Music has always been a passion of mine, and I have always enjoyed the medium of photography,” he said. “Photography and music together is a pretty cool emotional transaction.” ■

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: THE MUSIC PHOTOGRAPHY OF PAUL JENDRASIAK Muskegon Museum of Art 296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon May 23-Sept. 1 Opening reception 5:30-8 p.m. with an artist talk at 7 p.m. muskegonartmuseum.org, (231) 720-2570

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Changing Environments Grand Rapids Art Museum focuses on how the world around us is changing BY MARLA R. MILLER

Inspired by nature and water, artist and designer Maya Lin makes thoughtful sculpture that asks viewers to look at their environment in an entirely new way.

Top and Bottom: Flow. MAYA LIN.

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Maya Lin: Flow opens this month at Grand Rapids Art Museum and features several large-scale sculptures and two new installations that focus on West Michigan and the region’s water supply. Lin has experience in that realm, being the artist and designer of Ecliptic, the multi-faceted public park in Rosa Parks Circle. As a committed environmentalist, Lin is deliberate in her use of materials, working with recycled silver, steel pins, wood and other building materials. Her ultimate design, scale and layout is also well-researched and mapped out. “She uses a lot of scientific practices and mapping, charting and things that allow her to visualize the world in ways that we haven’t seen before,” said Chief Curator Ron Platt. “She has a really intuitive sense of materials and how to frame things.” Made of steel pins pushed into the wall, Pin River – Grand River Watershed (2019) depicts a 12- by-15-foot outline of the Grand River Watershed. It’s being assembled on-site by a team helping to position and secure tens of thousands of pins, Platt said. “To isolate it like this and transform it through these materials, it’s just a whole new way of thinking and looking at our environment,” he said. A shimmering wall relief titled The Traces Left Behind (From the Great Bear Lake to the Great Lakes) (2019) is cast from recycled silver. The work charts the span of contemporary bodies of water from the Arctic to the Great Lakes, formed by the melting of the Laurentide Ice Shelf, and highlights the geological forces that created them. Lin, a New York-based artist and architect, rose to prominence for her design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. In 1981, as a 21-year-old Yale University student, she entered and won the public design competition. While she is most well-known for her historical memorials and public buildings and sculpture, her work honors the natural world. She explores themes of environmental change

Maya Lin. JESSE FROHMAN

and decline, aiming to raise awareness for the environment among people in urban spaces, and the crucial role of water to global survival. GRAM reached out to Lin’s studio to organize the special exhibition at GRAM, in part to commemorate the upcoming 20th anniversary of Ecliptic. The nearby Grand River directly inspired Lin’s design of the space. She incorporated unique water features in three different forms — liquid, solid and vapor — through the park’s ice rink and amphitheater, mist fountain and a table of flowing water. The museum overlooks the 3.5-acre park, which has become a popular hub of activity in the city. “Ecliptic at Rosa Parks Circle is Maya Lin’s first park, and I think that that was a real impetus for this exhibition,” Platt said. Organizers hope Lin’s exhibition creates community awareness and dialogue around Ecliptic. In June, the museum will host a presentation and community conversation about the park, with some models and video about Lin’s design process and how it relates to her other work. “It’s sort of two exhibitions in one,” he said. “It’s all very thoughtful. It’s a very popular site, and the more people can know about it, people will love it even more.


Left: Sharing. Middle: Midnight Unicorn. Right: You're Daydreaming. MELANIE DANIEL

ONLY FOUR DEGREES

Work by Bailey Hoffman, Kay Waterson, Casey Newberg

In a separate environmentally conscious exhibit, artist Melanie Daniel envisions a world on the edge of destruction because of overconsumption and trashing of the natural world. The title refers to the effects a 4-degree Celsius rise in average temperature could have on the planet. Despite scientific evidence of global warming, Daniel said most people have a hard time grasping what it will look like in the years to come. "This show is about two dirty words that worry most millennials and make all politicians squeamish: climate change,” Daniel said. “We have completely forgotten the role we are supposed to play in the natural world.” Although Daniel’s colorful, vibrant canvases have a playful nature, they also show dense areas of busy, vibrating patterns, disappearing plant species isolated in terrariums, and people trying to adapt to a post-cataclysm world. Some depict drought-stricken landscapes, while others are inundated with plants and very lush, hinting at the resiliency of nature. Born in British Columbia and based in Israel, Daniel is in Grand Rapids as the Padnos Distinguished Visiting Artist/ Professor at Grand Valley State University. She will give a gallery talk from 6-7 p.m. on May 23.

"THIS SHOW IS ABOUT TWO DIRTY WORDS THAT WORRY MOST MILLENNIALS AND MAKE

MAYA LIN: FLOW

ALL POLITICIANS SQUEAMISH:

MELANIE DANIEL: ONLY FOUR DEGREES

CLIMATE CHANGE." Her large-scale paintings and works on paper are new works for this Michigan Artist Series exhibition. They don’t portray doomsday imagery, Daniel said, because that would be too obvious and it isn’t very interesting. Audiences instead can expect to see “retina scorching color." “I prefer to make maniacally colorful landscapes that celebrate the characters in their attempted resistance,” she said. “It’s a double-edged sword: daily life and its usual routines and creature comforts act as a kind of balm, but also a kind of blind spot.” ■

May 18-Sept. 8 Grand Rapids Art Museum 101 Monroe Center St. NW, Grand Rapids artmuseum.org, (616) 831-1000

Annual Campus-Wide Exhibition Free and open to the public, KCAD’s entire campus is transformed into a gallery showcasing the art and design work of more than 25 graduate and undergraduate programs. Opening Reception: Tuesday, May 7, 4-7pm Exhibition: May 7-10, 9am-9pm and May 11, 12:30-4pm

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University

800.676.2787 kcad.edu

REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | MAY 2019 |

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door market. For those who go to the gallery often, you’ll be happy to know that the pieces being sold are brand new from the artists. The event will feature Mike Stearns, woodworking; Sue VanDame, metalsmithing/jewelry; Susan Kieffer, stone jewelry; Deb Yon, metalsmithing/ jewelry; and Christine Bruno, metalsmithing/ jewelry. The gallery also will have a poster sale with up to 75 percent off all poster prints.

PREVIEW

We know it’s sunny and you want to spend some time outside, so while you’re out there, you might as well check out some amazing new exhibitions this month. There are a few returning favorites, such as the Michigan All-State Bonsai Show and Kalamazoo’s West Michigan Area Show. There are also quite a few new exhibitions at the GRAM and the MMA, and one exhibition that’s all about the girl power. BY DANA CASADEI

CALVIN COLLEGE CENTER ART GALLERY 106 S. Division, Grand Rapids calvin.edu/centerartgallery/studio, (616) 526-6271

HAGUE SCHOOL PAINTINGS, Through July 31 SENIOR BA AND BFA EXHIBITION, May 3-18

KALAMAZOO INSTITUTE OF ARTS 314 S. Park St., Kalamazoo kiarts.org, (269) 349-7775

scope of entries is huge, with submissions coming in all sorts of mediums, from paintings and photography to ceramics and jewelry. In the end, winning artists share more than $5,000 in awards.

A + FOR EDUCATORS: ILLUSTRATIONS BY PATRICIA POLACCO, Through May 12 LIGHTS, CAMERA, ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: THE MUSIC PHOTOGRAPHY OF PAUL JENDRASIAK, May 23-Sept. 1

REPLAY: THE EXHIBITION, May 9-Aug. 18

May 2-Sept. 8

101 Monroe Center, Grand Rapids artmuseumgr.org, (616) 831-1000

SELF, SYMBOL, SURROGATE: ARTIST PORTRAITS FROM GRAM’S COLLECTION, Through Aug. 11

NICHOLAS KRUSHENICK: IRON BUTTERFLY, Through June 2

SAUGATUCK CENTER FOR THE ARTS 400 Culver St., Saugatuck sc4a.org, (269) 857-2399

SONNEZIMMER, Through May 24

MAYA LIN: FLOW, May 18-Sept. 8

HIGH SCHOOL AREA SHOW,

MELANIE DANIEL: ONLY FOUR DEGREES,

Through May 26

May 18-Sept. 8

REWARDS OF WISDOM: CONTEMPORARY CHINESE INK PAINTING, Through June 16

LAFONTSEE GALLERIES

May 18-Aug. 25 This annual juried exhibition will continue to do what it’s done since the 1960s; showcase the work of artists from a 14-county region. Each year, one lone juror selects the finalists from hundreds of submitted pieces. In 2019, it was Vera Grant, curator of modern and contemporary art at the University of Michigan Museum of Art. The

296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon muskegonartmuseum.org, (231) 720-2570

RISING VOICES: THE BENNETT PRIZE FOR WOMEN FIGURATIVE REALIST PAINTERS,

GRAND RAPIDS ART MUSEUM

THE FEELING IS MUTUAL: NEW WORK BY MAYA FREELON, Through May 31

WEST MICHIGAN AREA SHOW,

MUSKEGON MUSEUM OF ART

WILD SOCIETY, Through May 24

833 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids 410 W. Center St., Douglas lafontsee.us

REVIVE & SOLO INSTALLATION, Friday, Through May 24

POP UP SHOP, May 25 For one day, local makers from the gallery will have works for sale during this indoor and out-

LOWELLARTS!

223 W. Main St., Lowell, lowellartsmi.org, (616) 897-8545

MYTHS | SEE US, HEAR US, Through May 18 It’s all about the ladies this month. Two all-female artist groups — Artemis, Eve, Frigg and Beyond: A Contemporary Eye and See Us, Hear Us: Women’s Voices In Image and Word — will be featured. The former has pieces by 17 West Michigan career artists, presenting original works based on fables, mythology and the modern woman. The second part of the exhibition is from the Michigan Women's Art Collective, joining together 11 artists and six poets. Created in a variety

of mediums, the works are connected by the desire to engage in community while exploring the inner landscape of the soul.

URBAN INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTS 2 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids uica.org, (616) 454-7000

OR DOES IT EXPLODE?, Through June 16 BREACHING THE MARGINS, May 10-Aug. 18 OFF THE WALL, May 23 Every year, the UICA takes its galleries to the limit by taking art “off the wall” and into the space around them. The evening will feature local performers like Isaac Aoki, a Grand Rapids Ballet dancer and accomplished photographer, who will perform a selection of contemporary ballet. Lady Ace Boogie is performing a set of hip-hop, in addition to other musical artists like Michael Schaeffer on accordion and the Kalamazoo Community Taiko Ensemble performing Japanese taiko drums. Small bites from San Chez will be available, alongside a cash bar for beer and wine.

FREDERIK MEIJER GARDENS & SCULPTURE PARK 1000 East Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids meijergardens.org, (888) 957-1580

A NATIONAL TREASURE: FRED MEIJER, HIS COLLECTION AND LEGACY, Through Aug. 25 MICHIGAN ALL-STATE BONSAI SHOW, May 11-12 If you have a passion for tiny trees, the annual show is back this spring, with guest artist Todd Schlafer participating in demonstrations all weekend. His specialty is in working with natively collected trees, which are quite a style challenge due to their sparse foliage and unconventional branches. From beginners to bonsai experts alike, the demonstrations are for all skill levels. The weekend-long show will have specialty tools, pots, wire and bonsai trees to purchase, and experts on hand to help find the right tree for you and make sure that tree lives to be really, really old — like any tree, bonsais can last for generations.

:

West Michigan Symphony

Sharon Isbin & Beethoven’s 7th Friday, May 10, 7:30 pm Frauenthal Theater • 425 W Western Ave • Muskegon Acclaimed for her extraordinary lyricism, technique and versatility, multiple Grammy winner Sharon Isbin has been called “the Monet of the classical guitar” (Atlanta Journal).

Copland Three Latin American Sketches Rodrigo Fantasia para un gentilhombre Vivaldi Guitar Concerto in D major Beethoven Symphony no.7

westmichigansymphony.org • 231.727.8001 $24-$60 • Student tickets $10 8A

| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | MAY 2019


TWO SPACES, ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES

James Sofranko, Artistic Director

Cassidy Isaacson and Levi Teachout in Brian Enos’ Alice in Wonderland; photo by Eric Bouwens

May 3-5 & 10-11 | Peter Martin Wege Theatre | grballet.com/alice2019 REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | MAY 2019 |

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FIFTH THIRD BANK SUMMER CONCERTS AT MEIJER GARDENS 2019.SEASON

NAHKO AND MEDICINE FOR THE PEOPLE ............................................................. THURSDAY,. JUN 6 RODRIGO Y GABRIELA .................................................................................................................................. SUNDAY,. JUN 9 BUDDY GUY + KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD BAND........................................ MONDAY,. JUN 10 LAKE STREET DIVE + THE WOOD BROTHERS.......................................... WEDNESDAY,. JUN 12 BIG HEAD TODD AND THE MONSTERS + TOAD THE WET SPROCKET............................................................................................................. THURSDAY, JUN 20 OLD CROW MEDICINE SHOW............................................................................................................ FRIDAY,. JUN 21

General public sales start May 11

STEVE MILLER BAND + MARTY STUART AND HIS FABULOUS SUPERLATIVES ................................MONDAY,. JUN 24 O.A.R. .................................................................................................................................................................... WEDNESDAY,. JUN 26 TROMBONE SHORTY & ORLEANS AVENUE ...................................................... THURSDAY,. JUN 27 RAIN: A TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES ......................................................................................SUNDAY,. JUN 30 THREE DOG NIGHT ....................................................................................................................................THURSDAY,. JUL 11 AMOS LEE .................................................................................................................................................................... MONDAY,. JUL 15 ANDREW BIRD ................................................................................................................................................THURSDAY,. JUL 18 THE GIPSY KINGS .............................................................................................................................................. SUNDAY,. JUL 21 THE MAVERICKS + LOS LOBOS .............................................................................................THURSDAY,. JUL 25 LYLE LOVETT AND HIS LARGE BAND.......................................................................................FRIDAY,. JUL 26 THE TEMPTATIONS + THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS....................................... SUNDAY,. JUL 28 DAWES + MARGO PRICE............................................................................................................ WEDNESDAY,. JUL 31 THE BEACH BOYS..........................................................................................................................................THURSDAY,. AUG 1 CAKE............................................................................................................................................................................. WEDNESDAY,. AUG 7 SARAH MCLACHLAN WITH ORCHESTRA................................................................THURSDAY,. AUG 8 STYX............................................................................................................................................................................................. FRIDAY,. AUG 9 FOREIGNER................................................................................................................................................................. SUNDAY,. AUG 11 JJ GREY & MOFRO + JONNY LANG.............................................................................WEDNESDAY,. AUG 14 THE STRAY CATS.........................................................................................................................................THURSDAY,. AUG 15 MICHAEL FRANTI & SPEARHEAD..............................................................................................FRIDAY,. AUG 23 MANDOLIN ORANGE............................................................................................................................WEDNESDAY,. SEP 4 TASH SULTANA........................................................................................................................................................... SUNDAY,. SEP 8 THE B-52S + OMD + BERLIN............................................................................................. WEDNESDAY,. SEP 11 CALEXICO AND IRON & WINE............................................................................................ WEDNESDAY,. SEP 18

Go online to Startickets.com or call 1-800-585-3737

1000 East Beltline Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49525

Members-only sales April 27–May 10

MeijerGardens.org/concerts

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| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | MAY 2019


closing one door, opening another

[Music]

Grand Rapids Symphony ends this season with shows close to the heart CHOPIN AND BRAHMS:

BY DANATA PAULINO

Parting is such sweet sorrow, but before a new and exciting journey can begin, the old must come to a close. The Grand Rapids Symphony is going above and beyond with three very different, but very special shows for the 89th season, closing out in May. With the first show, the symphony wants to pay tribute to great women from the past century with The 20th/21st Century Concert: Celebrating Women on May 3. There was a time when the seats of the symphony were occupied only by men, but women have made leaps and bounds over time. The GRS itself has strived for equality with its women musicians, guests and soloists. Meanwhile, the composers of the night are all groundbreaking women. Opening the program is Chamber Dance, composed by Grammy Award winner Joan Tower, also the first woman to be awarded the Grawemeyer Award for Music. Two of the pieces, Adante for Strings and Rissolty, Rissolty, were written by composer Ruth Crawford Seeger, who in 1930 became the first woman to receive the Guggenheim Fellowship. As another treat, trombonist Ava Ordman returns to the symphony, featured in Their Eyes are Fireflies, a piece by David Beidenbender co-commissioned specifically to showcase Ordman’s talents. Just as songwriters might write for a particular artist, composers will create pieces of music with a specific soloist in mind. It’s a true testament to her musical talents. Ordman herself is also a strong proponent of women musicians, in 2017 releasing a solo CD titled It’s About Time: Music for Trombone by Women Composers.

MARCELO AND HIS MOM

Ava Ordman COURTESY PHOTO

STAR WARS, STAR TREK, MIDDLE EARTH, AND MORE! Magic and adventure might be closer than you realize. On May 10-12, movie lovers can embark from The Shire, journey across dangerous tides on the Black Pearl with Captain Jack Sparrow, and face their fears against He Who Must Not Be Named. Soar alongside conductor Bob Bernhardt while he leads the Grand Rapids Pops through the galaxies in the anticipated and heroic concert Star Wars, Star Trek, Middle Earth and More! The musical adventure will take you through fantastic stories with epic soundtracks like Superman, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean and more. This larger-than-life experience showcases vocalist Mela Dailey, a compelling force and internationally acclaimed soprano. She’s a Grammy winner and eight-time nominee with the choral ensemble Conspirare. Her vast repertoire reflects the diversity of talents, which range from musical theater to gospel and motion picture soundtrack.

Mela Dailey COURTESY PHOTO

Everyone in Michigan is dreaming of s u m m e r i n g with family along the lakeshore, seeing that place where, “It’s all rippling streams, blue sky, sunshine, and cool, green shadows,” as a friend described Brahm’s Symphony No. 2. This picturesque scene will be featured in the final concert, Chopin And Brahms: Marcelo and His Mom on May 17-18. Brahms struggled for years to finish his first symphony, but was able to create his second in only a few sunny months beside an Austrian Lake. The movements aren’t without some moments of darkening clouds, brought on by thundering timpani rolls and ominous chords from the low brass, obstructing the view of the cheerful sun. Still, the symphony ends with an upbeat kick to an Austrian dance known as a ländler that brings the audience into summertime. Musical tradition is known to be passed through the family and this concert brings an intriguing twist. Music Director Marcelo Lehninger will conduct the show with his mother, acclaimed Brazilian musician Sonia Goulart, on piano. She’s performed around the world in sold-out concerts from Los Angeles to Switzerland, winning 30 national and international prizes throughout her career. Frédéric Chopin’s Concerto No. 2 for Piano is respectively reserved to exhibit the piano’s talent. An introduction of themes by the orchestra lays the pathway in which Goulart takes over the dramatic musical storytelling. The piece holds a special place in the family’s heart, as it was the final musical work that Goulart performed in public before Lehninger was born. That family dynamic is also a strong subject in Maurice Ravel’s Ma Mère l’Oye or Mother Goose. Although he never had kids of his own, the composer cherished children and spending time with them, specifically telling them stories. Ravel even composed piano duets based on some of the stories from Tales of Mother Goose. The music has a different spirit for each character. For instance, everyone is familiar with the story of Sleeping Beauty — Ravel introduces her with a slow and steady

Marcelo Lehninger COURTESY PHOTO

tune, different from Tom Thumb’s childish mannerisms portrayed with continuous shifting of meters, signaling a short attention span. Listeners will be immersed in the Mother Goose story of princess Laideronnette, who is cursed by a witch to be ugly. Coming to the end is never a happy thought in theory. Yet, these showstopping and enchanting concerts are the best way to convene the season and unveil the talent for the coming Picnic Pops and 2019-2020 lineup. Celebrate the beauty the Grand Rapids Symphony has to extend as we leave the winter blues behind and greet a new sun-filled season. ■

THE 20TH/21ST CENTURY CONCERT: CELEBRATING WOMEN St. Cecilia Music Center 24 Ransom Ave. NE, Grand Rapids May 3 grsymphony.org, (616) 545-9451

STAR WARS, STAR TREK, MIDDLE EARTH AND MORE! DeVos Performance Hall 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids May 10-12

CHOPIN AND BRAHAMS: MARCELO AND HIS MOM DeVos Performance Hall 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids May 17-18

REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | MAY 2019 |

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FEATURED EXHIBITIONS High School Area Show through May 26 This annual juried exhibition celebrates the work of high school artists in Southwest Michigan, awarding hundreds of thousands in scholarships. Shown: Megan Heerlyn, Vicksburg High School: Longlake Panograph

THE SECRETS OF BEES | JUNE 1 – SEPTEMBER 30

Learn about the secret lives of bees, their importance in our world, and the influence humans have on them in this interactive exhibit.

HONEYBEE SCRIPTURES | NOW – OCTOBER 6

Artist Ladislav Hanka exhibits etchings with additions of wax from the bees.

The Feeling Is Mutual: New Work by Maya Freelon through June 2 Known for her explosive use of color and innovative use of fragile tissue paper, Maya Freelon creates soft, sculptural assemblages that contrast the vigor of moving energy with the impermanence of life and relationships.

ART HOP BEE MARKET | JUNE 7 | 5 – 8 p.m.

Meet Charlotte Hubbard, 2018 Beekeeper of the Year, and enjoy live music while checking out honey-related products. Chefs from Firekeepers Casino will provide snacks created with honey.

SUNDAY SERIES BEE-YOND THE BEES’ KNEES | JUNE 28 | 1:30 p.m.

Beekeeper Charlotte Hubbard offers fun facts and insights about honeybees and a beekeeping journal.

PLANTS FOR POLLINATORS | JULY 28 | 1:30 p.m. Susan Rice shares what we can do to provide habitats and plants for local pollinators.

HANDS-ON ART PROGRAMS JULY 3 – 31 (Wednesdays) | 1 – 4 p.m. BEE GARDEN TOURS JUNE 26 & JULY 24 | 10 – 11 a.m.

See plants used to attract honey bees to Kalamazoo Valley hives. Tour begins at Food Innovation Center at 224 E. Crosstown Pkwy.

FAMILY BEE CLASSES BUZZING LIKE A BEE | JULY 17 | 12 – 4 p.m.

Explore horn instruments with KVM staff and the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra.

HEALING FROM THE HIVE | JULY 16 | 1 – 3 p.m.

Explore bee-related products and make a salve using beeswax. For adults with children ages 9 and up. Registration required, space is limited.

NATURALLY SAFE BEE PRODUCTS | JULY 25 | 1 – 3 p.m.

Learn about beeswax, then make your own lotion bars and lip balm. Registration required, space is limited.

The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is operated by Kalamazoo Valley Community College and is governed by its Board of Trustees

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| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | MAY 2019

269.373.7990 | 800.772.3370 kalamazoomuseum.org

FRIDAY, JUNE 7 - SATURDAY, JUNE 8 BRONSON PARK, KALAMAZOO

SUMMER ART CAMPS & CLASSES START IN JUNE BROWSE ONLINE @KIARTS.ORG

KALAMAZOO INSTITUTE OF ARTS 435 W. South Street

269/349-7775

kiarts.org


[MUSIC]

PREVIEW

Many of your favorite local symphonies and orchestras are ending their season this month, so get out and see some performances before summer break arrives. We have acclaimed quartets, songs from classical composers like Bach and Beethoven, and one show that’s strictly Disney tunes. BY DANA CASADEI

FONTANA CHAMBER ARTS 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 200, Kalamazoo fontanachamberarts.org, (269) 382-7774

THE SPRING QUARTET, May 4, $45 Called a “supergroup” by The Boston Globe, this quartet isn’t giving away any of their song selections before the show — the program will be announced from stage during the evening. Jack DeJohnette, Joe Lovano, Esperanza Spalding and Leo Genovese are all stars in their own right. DeJohnette has become one of the most influential jazz drummers in the last century, as well as a composer, and has the Grammy Awards to prove it. Saxophone legend Lovano is a Grammy Award winner as well. Then there’s Argentinian pianist Leonardo Genovese, and Esperanza Spalding, a genre-bending composer, bassist and vocalist.

NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC QUARTET, May 11, $30+ Back in 2017, during the New York Philharmonic’s 175th anniversary season, this eponymous quartet was formed. The string quartet — made of principal musicians from the orchestra — consists of four very impressive musicians, in skill and title alike: Frank Huang, concertmaster; Sheryl Staples, principal associate concertmaster; Cynthia Phelps, principal viola; and Carter Brey, principal cello. Since its inception, the group has performed at the Montreal Chamber Music Festival, Charlotte Concerts and during a tour in South Korea. During their evening at Fontana, they’ll perform pieces by Haydn, Brahms and Shostakovich.

THE GILMORE Wellspring Theater, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 101, Kalamazoo thegilmore.org, (269) 342-1166

KIRILL GERSTEIN, May 7, $35+ Performing as part of the Piano Masters Series is 2010 Gilmore Artist Kirill Gerstein. A local audience favorite, Gerstein has nine pieces scheduled to perform, ranging from Beethoven to Liszt and Ravel. Fun fact about Gerstein: At 14, he was the youngest student to attend Boston’s Berklee College of Music. Since then, he’s

won countless awards and in the past year performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and at Carnegie Hall. He’s truly one of the greatest pianists of our time, and shouldn’t be missed.

WEST MICHIGAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Spring Quartet. COURTESY PHOTO

GRAND RAPIDS SYMPHONY YOUTH CHORUS CONCERT, May 4 SACRED DIMENSIONS, May 4, FREE STAR WARS, STAR TREK, MIDDLE EARTH, AND MORE!, May 10-12, $18+ CHOPIN AND BRAHMS, May 17-18, $18+

360 W. Western Ave. #200, Muskegon westmichigansymphony.org, (231) 726-3231

KALAMAZOO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

SAIL AWAY WITH THE SYMPHONY,

359 Kalamazoo Mall, Ste. 100, Kalamazoo kalamazoosymphony.com, (269) 349-7759

May 4, $170

SHARON ISBIN & BEETHOVEN’S 7TH, May 10, $24+ Sharon Isbin is a winner of multiple Grammy awards, Guitar Player’s Best Classical Guitarist and a whole bunch of other awards from around the world, and she’s coming to Muskegon. At this performance, Isbin is playing one of Beethoven’s happier pieces, Symphony no.7, which was met with immediate acclaim in its time. The performance also includes pieces from Copland, Rodrigo and Vivaldi.

GREAT LAKES CHORUS

BARTOK & STRAVINSKY, May 17, $12+ This is the final performance of the KSO’s 98th season, and it’s part of the Symphonic Series. First up is Machine by Jennifer Higdon, a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer. Machine was written as Higdon’s encore tribute to composers like Mozart and Tchaikovsky, and is one movement. Following that, the KSO brings back former concertmaster Susie Park to the stage, where she’ll perform Bartók's Violin Concerto No. 2. and Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.

CLASSICS UNCORKED, May 11, $22.50+ At this spring performance of Classics Uncorked,

th 44 Stulberg International String Competition Saturday, May 18, 2019 Dalton Center Recital Hall, Western Michigan University

Jenison Center for the Arts, 8375 20th Ave, Jenison greatlakeschorus.org, (616) 706-3287

Judges Paul Coletti, viola Emilio Colón, cello Jennifer Frautschi, violin

THE MUSIC OF DISNEY MOVIES,

Semifinalist Performances Free and open to the public 9 am to 4 pm

May 10, $20 For its spring concert, the Great Lakes Chorus presents an evening of a capella and Disney. Did your inner child just get excited? As you sing along to Disney tunes, you’ll also get to listen to the Jenison High School Accafellas, the Cadillac High School Honors Choir and award-winning quartets. Don’t forget your Mickey Mouse ears. There’s also going to be a silent auction, featuring packages from the Grand Rapids Griffins and Trader Joe’s, among many other items.

the KSO Artists in Residence plan to perform 20th Century French chamber music, led by Maestro Julian Kuerti. This performance has a wine prelude beginning at 2 p.m., hence the name.

Finals Concert 7:30 pm Tickets: $25 for adults, $5 for students Ticket information at stulberg.org

Master Classes with Competition Judges Free and open to the public Sunday, May 19, 12:30 pm Dalton Center Recital Hall, Western Michigan University

GRAND RAPIDS SYMPHONY 300 Ottawa Ave. NW, Ste. 100, Grand Rapids grsymphony.org, (616) 454-9451 ext. 4

A STEP TO GREATNESS stulberg.org | 269.343.2776

THE 20/21ST CENTURY CONCERT: CELEBRATING WOMEN, May 3, $16 REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | MAY 2019 |

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[dance]

Set for Success Michigan Ballet Academy gives back to dancers and community alike

BY MICHAELA STOCK

World-class ballet training, unrestricted access to the arts and a strong work ethic define the Michigan Ballet Academy’s mission for its nonprofit ballet school. Based in Grand Rapids, the MBA offers a children's division and a pre-professional training program for dancers in West Michigan, both of which are rooted in the classical Russian “Vaganova” teaching method. “The pedagogy of MBA is based on this very codified Vaganova method developed in the 1930s,” said Dr. Marcia McEvoy-Madden, vice president for advancement of the MBA. “It combines the elements of the Soviet ballet’s rigor, the French ballet’s romantic lyricism, and the Italian ballet athleticism. It’s

UPCOMING PERFORMANCE:

DON QUIXOTE Jenison Center for the Arts 8375 20th Ave., Jenison Saturday, April 13 at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Sunday, April 14 at 2:30 p.m. michiganballet.org

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| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | MAY 2019

recognized around the world as the most formal training program for classical ballet.” The Michigan Ballet Academy is one of only a few nonprofit schools in the country that teaches the prestigious Vaganova method. However, the MBA wants to serve more than just technique to its students. “We’re also striving to develop a real strong work ethic, personal responsibility and self confidence that will serve our students throughout their lives,” McEvoy-Madden said. Students at the Michigan Ballet Academy are taught from a faculty of instructors who have all held professional careers, and the MBA’s board is composed of professionals proficient in nonprofit leadership, arts management and legal expertise. This high level of instruction and direction has proven its excellence more than once. “Every year since MBA opened its doors seven and a half years ago, graduates have received contracts to professional ballet academies,” McEvoy-Madden said. Alumni from the Michigan Ballet Academy have accepted professional contracts to companies from the Portland Ballet to the Nashville Ballet and Grand Rapids Ballet. Students have received technique awards, as well as scholarships to the world’s most prestigious training programs, including the American Ballet Theatre, by competing in the Youth American Grand Prix ballet competitions in Paris and Toronto. MBA grads also have been awarded notable college scholarships to dance programs in various universities. “We’re trying to accomplish several things,” McEvoy-Madden said. “One is to get kids the opportunity to fulfill their dreams if they want a professional ballet career, or if they want to get a scholarship to college.

Dancers performing with the Michigan Ballet Academy. COURTESY PHOTOS

We’re also providing performances at a very reasonable rate for the whole family to come and not spend more than $75 (altogether).” The nonprofit academy aims to give opportunities for West Michigan residents to enjoy ballet at affordable rates. “(MBA has) given away more than 1,000 complimentary tickets to underserved families and students in the community,” McEvoy-Madden said. “Arts provides cross-cultural understanding. It opens doors to self-discovery, it builds bridges to lifelong learning, and it also provides an irreplace-

able avenue for expressing the full measure for what it means to be human.” The Michigan Ballet Academy has also never denied admittance to a student due to financial need, and 13 percent of its students are on scholarship. This all points back to the MBA’s mission of providing worldclass ballet training, while enriching the lives of West Michigan residents and beyond. “We’re not about making a lot of money. We’re about giving back to the community,” McEvoy-Madden said. ■


VOTE TODAY FOR YOUR FAVORITE LOCAL PEOPLE, PLACES, BUSINESSES AND MORE revuewm.com/bestofthewest

VERDI | LA TRAVIATA From the true story that inspired the films Camille, Pretty Woman and Moulin Rouge.

June 14 & 15, 2019 | 7:30 PM

ST. CECILIA MUSIC CENTER Presented in Italian with English subtitles MAY 18 - 19, 2019 | SAT 10-6 P.M. & SUN 10-5 P.M. DOWNTOWN EAST LANSING | elartfest.com | FREE EAST LANSING UNIVERSITY PLACE

TICKETS Starting at $55 | Students $5 616.451.2741 | ticketmaster.com

EAST LANSING UNIVERSITY PLACE

EAST LANSING UNIVERSITY PLACE

REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | MAY 2019 |

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EXPERIENCE IT ALL! Saturday May 18, 2019 7:30pm

Frauenthal Theater

FOOTLIGHTS

FUN CAMP production of

s

Grade K–5

Music and Lyrics by RICHARD M. SHERMAN, ROBERT B. SHERMAN and TERRY GILKYSON Book Adapted and Additional Lyrics by MARCY HEISLER Music Adapted and Arranged by Bryan Louiselle Based on the Screenplay by Larry Clemmons Based on the Novel, “The Jungle Book” by Rudyard Kipling.

Session I

Session II

Tickets: Advanced $15 Day of Show $18

Session III

July 22–26

July 29–August 2

August 12–16

2019

2019

2019

frauenthal.org

Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 3:30 pm Frauenthal Center—Beardsley Theater

(231) 722-3852

General Admission

TICKETS ON SALE

muskegoncivictheatre.org

NOW!

Disney’s The Jungle Book KIDS is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.MTIShows.com

Tickets: FRAUENTHAL.ORG STARTICKETS.COM Box Office: 231.727.8001 ENTERTAINMENT

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| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | MAY 2019

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SPECIAL EVENTS

.

EVENT HOSTING

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OFFICE LEASING


[THEATER]

Extra! Extra! Newsies hits the stands at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre

BY KAYLA SOSA

Step back into the late 1800s and follow a group of rowdy newspaper delivery boys and their misadventures in New York City as they fight to have a better future. This month, the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre presents Newsies, a musical comedy/drama based on the 1992 Disney film starring Christian Bale. “Anyone who grew up in the ’80s like I did will recognize this title,” said Director Allyson Paris. Newsies tells the true story of the Newsboys’ Strike of 1899. The boys and young men who sell newspapers go on strike after the company raises prices for them, making it even harder for them to make money. “They fight the good fight against these titans of the newspaper business,” Paris said. “They change the world. They basically started the movements for better child labor laws and better child labor practices in the United States.” Paris remembers watching the movie as a kid and feeling empowered. “Young people can make a difference,”

NEWSIES Grand Rapids Civic Theatre 30 Division Ave., Grand Rapids May 31-June 23, $39+ grct.org, (616) 222-6650

Newsies Poster. COURTESY IMAGE

Paris said. “I was young, so that was a message I really needed to hear.” With a 9-year-old son who knows all the songs by heart watching in the audience, Paris hopes other children are inspired by this show as well. “It’s such a great message for young people to hear, that they have important voices and if they work together for the greater good, they can make stuff happen,” she said. A total of 250 people auditioned for Newsies and 60 were called back to make the cast of 33. There are 15 newsies, ranging from 14 to 28 years in age, and three are girls. Paris said some cast members that knew this show was coming to Civic spent the last year taking tap classes and tumbling classes to prepare for all the choreography. “Newsies is absolutely a dance show,” Paris said. Erin Kacos-Pott is the choreographer, and said the performers have been working hard to perfect the difficult moves, as well as learning to sing and dance at the same time.

“We have optional conditioning classes prior to rehearsal,” Kacos-Pott said. “We do strength training and cardio, just to try to get their bodies in the best shape we can for the show, because it’s so demanding with the amount of dancing and the difficulty of it.” Each cast member brings their own unique talent to the table, Kacos-Pott said. “We have guys that can do impressive flips and tumbling skills, and then we have people who have trained in ballet for years and years, and they can do all the pretty leaps and jumps,” Kacos-Pott said. “We have some amazing tappers that have tapped for years and years and can do that intricate tap work. “They all contribute something different, but then they all come together to create this ensemble; it’s really neat.” People of all ages are encouraged to come out to the performances. “You will hum the shows going home. You’ll want to practice your own back handspring, which I don’t recommend,” Paris said. “I hope people walk away and realize it is important to listen to the young voices who have something to say.” ■

“It’s such a great message for young people to hear, that they have important voices and if they work together for the greater good, they can make stuff happen.”

FREAKY FRIDAY MAY 2-4 | 8-12 | 15-18

UNNECESSARY FARCE MAY 30 - JUNE 1 JUNE 5-9 | 12-15

TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE CIRCLETHEATRE.ORG

616.456.6656

1703 ROBINSON RD SE GRAND RAPIDS

- Director Allyson Paris REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | MAY 2019 |

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[THEATER]

Don't Freak out Freaky Friday teaches empathy with music, comedy and magic

When you get older, it’s hard to remember what it was like to be a teen. Meanwhile, teenagers can’t even imagine what it’s like to be a full-grown adult. Sometimes you just have to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. In Freaky Friday, playing at Circle Theatre this month, a little bit of magic forces mother and daughter to do just that — and much more. Katherine, played by Emily Diener, is a widow and mother to her teenage daughter, Ellie, played by Phoebe Dawson.

In the midst of Katherine planning to marry again and Ellie trying to impress her high school crush, mother and daughter somehow switch bodies and have to figure out how to get back before everything is ruined. This quirky musical tells the story of love, acceptance and the bond of a mother and daughter. Freaky Friday started out as a comedic children’s novel written by Mary Rodgers in 1972. A few years later, Disney adapted it into a movie starring Barbara Harris, Jodie Foster and John Astin. Perhaps the most familiar version of the show today is the 2003 movie starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan. This month, Circle Theatre is performing the musical adaptation of the show. Written by Bridget Carpenter, the musical screenplay is based on the book and two movies, premiering in 2016. Director Chris Grooms said the biggest theme of the show is empathy. “Really, at the heart of it, it’s a show about empathy and understanding and being able

Freaky Friday COURTESY PHOTO

to feel, literally, what it’s like to walk a day in somebody else’s shoes,” Grooms said. “It’s a really fun, playful, musical way to do it.” The story is told through conversational songs, said Music Director Josh Keller, adding that the ensemble is like an instrument itself, the common denominator that keeps the show moving. “So much of it is very seamless,” Keller said. “Throughout the show, you’ll hear them with oohs and ahhs, hmms, just backing up whoever’s singing a solo. ... You’ll see them very intricately interacting with the orchestra and supporting them as well.” “I hope people prepare for the unexpected,” Keller said. “If they have a certain paradigm about what they think Freaky Friday will be, I think (the show) will bust it.” Grooms, who has connected to the show on a personal level, being a father of two young girls, said he hopes audience members feel a little more appreciation toward their loved ones after seeing Freaky Friday.

Pops at the Pier

Thursday, June 20, 2019

for more information: www.hollandsymphony.org 616-796-6780 18A

| REVUEWM.COM/ARTS | MAY 2019

at Eldean’s Boat Shed 6:00pm Jazz Trio 7:00pm First Ladies of Swing with Helen Welch & the Holland Symphony Orchestra Rain or shine! Gourmet food truck, beer and wine available for purchase.

“What (Katherine and Ellie) find out in the end is they have to learn to really understand that they love each other, and it’s that love that the mother and daughter have for each other that ultimately allows them to switch back,” Grooms said. “My goal — I wrote this down in my concept statement that I shared with the production staff — is that after the show, the audience would go home or to whoever they’re with, and just want to hug them a little bit more.” ■

FREAKY FRIDAY Circle Theatre 1703 Robinson Rd. SE, Grand Rapids May 2-4, 8-12, 15-18 Tickets start at $26 circletheatre.org, 616-456-6656


[theater]

preview There’s no point in burying the lede, Hamilton is coming this month. Yes, the Lin-Manuel Miranda tour-de-force all your theater friends have probably been telling you about since 2015 is finally coming

HOLLAND CIVIC THEATER

50 W. 9th St., Holland hollandcivictheatre.org, (616) 396-2021

THE SUNSHINE BOYS, Through May 18, $10+

KALAMAZOO'S great musicals and straight plays coming this month too! There's a CIVIC THEATRE 329 S. Park St., Kalamazoo to the area. Now that that’s out of the way, there are plenty of other play about man’s best friend, one of Shakespeare’s classic come-

kazoocivic.com, (269) 343-1313

dies, a musical with a giant green ogre, and more. BY DANA CASADEI

WAR PAINT, May 3-19, $25

ACTORS’ THEATRE, GRAND RAPIDS 160 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids actorstheatregrandrapids.org, (616) 234-3946

SWEAT, May 16-25, $24+ Lynn Nottage — the playwright behind Sweat — is a pretty big deal in the theater world. Not only is she a top-tier playwright, but she was the first and only woman to have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama twice. Her award-winning 2017 play follows a group of friends who work on the factory floor together, where they’ve enjoyed years of each other’s company. That’s until layoffs and picket lines chip away at their relationships, leaving the once close group pitted against one another as they each try to stay afloat.

CENTRAL PARK PLAYERS

ements of a classic farce in a modern setting: a cheap motel where no one seems to know who is in which room. It’s non-stop laughs as two undercover cops try to expose an embezzling mayor meeting with his accountant at a seedy motel, while struggling to understand who’s being videotaped, who’s taken money and who’s hired a hitman.

BROADWAY GRAND RAPIDS

122 Lyon St. NW, Grand Rapids broadwaygrandrapids.com, (616) 235-6285

WAITRESS, Through May 5, $38+

DOG STORY THEATRE 7 Jefferson Ave., Grand Rapids dogstorytheater.com, (616) 425-9234

421 Columbus Ave., Grand Haven centralparkplayers.org, (616) 843-3906

LASS LAUGH COMEDY FESTIVAL,

SYLVIA, May 10-18, $15

FESTIVAL PLAYHOUSE

Sylvia is the name of Greg and Kate’s new dog in this A.R. Gurney comedy. The duo, child-free for the first time in 22 years, have recently moved from the suburbs to Manhattan. One day, Greg brings home Sylvia, who he found in the park. Man and dog form a quick bond, but Kate and Sylvia get off to a rocky start, since the latter becomes a rival for Greg’s affection. Will Kate and Sylvia ever get along? Will Greg leave Kate for his new best friend? And will any shoes be eaten?

CIRCLE THEATRE

1703 Robinson Road SE, Grand Rapids circletheatre.org, (616) 456-6656

FREAKY FRIDAY, May 2-18, $26+ UNNECESSARY FARCE, May 31-June 1, $26+ A farce is a comedy where everything is turned up to 11, full of highly exaggerated and extravagant — therefore pretty improbable — situations. This Paul Slade Smith play combines all the el-

May 17-18, $15

Kalamazoo College, 1200 Academy St., Kalamazoo reason.kzoo.edu/theatre, (269) 337-7333

TWELFTH NIGHT, May 16-19, $15 Closing out the current season is Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night. Directed by Karen Berthel, this is one of the Bard’s few shows that’s for all ages. There’s mistaken identity, unusual courtships, and so much more we aren’t going to give away. Just go see it — it is a classic after all.

GRAND RAPIDS CIVIC THEATRE

30 N. Division Ave., Grand Rapids grct.org, (616) 222-6650

JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH,

This musical isn’t about the kind of war you may be imagining. There aren’t any machine guns and probably very little camo. This war — making its Southwest Michigan premiere — focuses on Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden, two women who changed the cosmetics industry during the first half of the 20th century and became the country’s first major female entrepreneurs. Naturally, over the course of 50 years, they were also fierce competitors in personality and makeup choices alike. Their feud is one of the most legendary in American business, with plenty of back and forth shots at revenge.

PIPPI LONGSTOCKING, May 17-25, $10

MUSKEGON CIVIC THEATRE

425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon muskegoncivictheatre.org, (231) 722-3852

SHREK THE MUSICAL, May 2-5, $24 Based on the 2001 movie and book by William Steig, Shrek the Musical is all about a green ogre who just wants to be left alone. Unfortunately for him, that’s not going to happen any time soon with his new sidekick, Donkey. The mismatched duo find themselves on an adventure to save Shrek’s land from an evil lord and rescue a princess who just so happens to be in a tower guarded by a GIANT dragon. This Tony Award-winning musical has some really, really fun music sung by your favorite fairytale characters.

NEW VIC THEATRE

134 E. Vine St., Kalamazoo thenewvictheatre.org, (269) 381-3328

SPRING CABARET, May 10-25, $25

WHARTON CENTER FOR PERFORMING ARTS

Through May 5, $20

750 E. Shaw Ln., East Lansing whartoncenter.com, (517) 353-1982

NEWSIES, May 31-June 23, $22+

HAMILTON, May 14-June 2, $139+

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THE DRINKING ISSUE M

ove over beer, it’s time for wine and spirits to shine. For one thing, cocktails are on the rise in West Michigan, as evidenced by the success of Buffalo Traders Lounge and Sidebar in Grand Rapids. Where many ventures failed years ago, these two have won over the hearts of locals and visitors alike. In this issue, we take a look at their winning formula. In the world of wine, we talked to Speciation Artisan Ales who also has decided to give wine a shot. The new wine label, Native Species, is planning to break all the rules with the same creative, natural approach as Speciation takes with its beer. There’s plenty more where that came from, with our winery directory leading you to vineyards all over West Michigan, plus cider and mead, two industries on the rise. You’ll also find dive bars, local spirits, cocktail classes and much more in the pages ahead.

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DRINKING ISSUE

SNAP SHOTS A quick guide to quenching your thirst in West Michigan | by Josh Veal

W

est Michigan is no Sahara — you can find something to drink with ease. The only downside is, the plethora of choices makes it that much harder to choose. You likely already have your favorites, but it’s always good to try something new.

All you need is a little guidance, and wouldn’t you know it, that’s what we’re here for! We’ve rounded up some of our favorite spirits, cocktails and watering holes in the region, from dive bars to cocktail lounges. When you’re looking to branch out, give these a try.

Principle Food and Drink. Courtesy Photo

DIVE BARS Defining a “dive bar” is tough — some places wear it as a badge of pride while others avoid the label like the plague. Well, I’d say a dive is simply any bar where everyone is welcome, strong drinks are cheap and the chairs are a little worn down. What’s not to enjoy?

NICK FINK’S 3965 W. River Dr. NE, Comstock Park thegilmorecollection.com/nickfinks Right off the bat, we’re met with a bit of a quagmire on what exactly constitutes a “dive.” Nick Fink’s is owned by the Gilmore Collection, after all, and its food is excellent, but the atmosphere is pure dive with its decades-old interior and nightly group of locals loudly having a stiff drink. It turns out, the key to becoming (and remaining) the oldest joint in Grand Rapids is to keep your drinks cheap and your bar lively.

BIRCH LODGE 732 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids facebook.com/birchlodge When your bar burns down and the community unites to put it back together, you

know you’re doing something right. Birch Lodge is back from its tragedy with the same cheap drinks and affordable bar food it’s always had, not to mention a chill taproom and friendly staff. You’ll also find five big TV screens to watch the game on, making this an all-around perfect neighborhood bar.

THE DERBY 816 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids The Derby, formerly known as Silver Derby, is one of the more underrated bars around, especially since coming under new management. You’ll always find a seat, but never want for company. The patrons and bartenders alike tend to be chill AF, which pairs nicely with cheap drinks and a decent craft beer selection. You’ll also find darts, a jukebox, karaoke, all that good stuff.

LOUIE’S TROPHY HOUSE 629 Walbridge St., Kalamazoo louieskzoo.com Louie’s Trophy House is more of a fauxcabin than a dive, but if we’re talking favorite local watering holes, it can’t be beat — in fact, this is the oldest bar in Kalamazoo. Lots of wood paneling and taxi-

dermy set the mood, alongside affordable bar food and top-notch drink specials. You’ll also find comedy, open mic nights and live music throughout the week. All in all, Louie’s just feels like home.

TIP-A-FEW 10 Franklin Ave., Grand Haven tip-a-few.com Grand Haven’s favorite bar has all the wood, classic decorations and huge plates of bar food you could ever ask for. It’s also “Home of the Wet One,” in reference to the big ol’ wet burrito you can order, not the harbor leading to Lake Michigan just outside. The drinks are strong, as they should be, so you very well may not need to tip more than a few back — then again, if it’s the weekend…

ITTY BITTY BAR 1136 Ottawa Beach Rd., Holland ittybittybar.com Welcome to the “five-star dive bar,” as Itty Bitty proudly proclaims. This place refuses to take itself too seriously, which we could really use more of in this world. Despite cheap drinks and an uber laidback atmosphere, the food is on another level — this is not your typical bar food. If you’re look-

ing to have some gourmet pasta in a dive setting, Itty Bitty is the place to be.

COCKTAIL LOUNGES Don’t get me wrong, I still love a good beer, but if you’re in the mood for something significantly less filling that packs a punch and has plenty of complex flavors, you can’t beat a cocktail. Luckily, West Michigan has plenty of places that specialize in just that.

PRINCIPLE FOOD AND DRINK 230 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo principlekzoo.com No, I will never shut up about Principle. Having a restaurant upstairs and cocktail lounge downstairs will always be a good idea, especially if the food and drinks are as excellent as Principle’s. The cocktails here are next-level, mostly based on century-old recipes that have been remixed for modern times. Plus, the prices are low and the staff is incredibly friendly, always there to educate and help you find the perfect drink.

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BEER CITY WAS MISSING THE BOURBON. 608 Bridge street nw Grand rapids, MI 49504 WWW.ONEBOURBONGR.COM

40 | REVUEWM.COM | MAY 2019


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Continued From Page 39

GRAY SKIES DISTILLERY 700 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids grayskiesdistillery.com Making a great cocktail means knowing your spirits inside and out, and no one knows a drink better than the people who brought it into the world. Heading to Gray Skies and just trying a flight of the excellent liquor is completely valid — the barrel-finished hopped gin is perfection — but you really shouldn’t pass up on the many top-notch cocktails available. Earthy, sweet, herbaceous, boozy, refreshing, colorful, the choice is yours. Plus, the industrial-chic tasting room is just a very cool place to hang out, with a modern vibe that’s unlike most lounges around.

18TH AMENDMENT SPIRITS CO. 350 W. Western Ave., Muskegon 18thamendmentspirits.com Yet another place mixing up its own spirits, 18th Amendment is a journey through time. The tasting room feels sort of like if you stopped for a drink at a bar in an old train station, with vintage furniture, lighting and a wooden bar all setting the mood. The cocktails are copious, mostly choosing to highlight the spirits within, which just makes sense. For example, try the Pierpont, with cucumber gin, lime juice, olive oil and cilantro. That’s practically a salad!

NEW HOLLAND’S ZEPPELIN LOUNGE 417 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids newhollandbrew.com New Holland Brewing’s second location, The Knickerbocker, is a sight to behold. The massive, multi-floor taproom has beer and cocktails alike, a huge outdoor patio and plenty of food. If you’re looking for a more intimate space, just head upstairs to the Zeppelin, a small, totally chill cocktail lounge Gray Skies Distillery. Courtesy Photo

serving up drinks made with New Holland’s spirits. You’ll find all manner of house-made whiskey, gin, rum, vodka and liqueurs mixed into a tasty drink. That’s what we call a hidden gem.

WINE BARS RESERVE WINE & FOOD 201 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids reservegr.com When I think wine, I think Reserve, and vice versa. If you want to visit somewhere that truly knows its stuff, Reserve is staffed with experts who can walk you through the unbelievably large menu. Seriously, there are far more than 100 wines available — maybe even 200, but I stopped counting. Don’t be intimidated, just tell the staff what you like and they’ll hook you up. Bonus: the pasta is divine too.

THE STAMPED ROBIN 128 Portage St., Kalamazoo stampedrobin.com The Stamped Robin makes drinking approachable. It’s not a huge menu and the descriptions sound like a good friend describing their favorite wine, such as “laserbeam citrus here, but not too much — this is a gem.” Or, try the Blind Taste to get a truly unbiased sense of your favorite vino. The Stamped Robin also has top-notch cocktails and European-style snacks, if you like to mix it up.

THE WINE LOFT 161 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo wineloftdowntown.com The Wine Loft succeeds by going all in on its concept — top-tier wine in a refined, modern setting with a big-city feel. It’s the kind of place where you can feel special and have fun doing it. Head in Tuesday for half-off bottles, an amazing deal to pair with some tapas or charcuterie.

SPIRITS LONG ROAD DISTILLERS’ OLD AQUAVIT 537 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids longroaddistillers.com In the world of food and drinks, it’s generally true that flavor equals time. So when you take something already delicious like Long Road’s Aquavit and let it

Above: New Holland’s Zeppelin Lounge. Below: Reserve Wine & Food. Courtesy Photos

age in whiskey barrels for a year, that’s a recipe for success. Aquavit is a complex spirit with loads of spices — caraway, dill, anise, fennel, etc. — that can be hard to describe, but if you like rye bread, this is the drink for you.

AMERICAN FIFTH SPIRITS’ BOURBON 112 N. Larch St., Lansing americanfifthspirits.com American Fifth recently entered the local bourbon game with a strong contender. The bill is largely corn, with wheat, malt and rye to balance it out, resulting in a complex spirit that’s dangerously easy to drink. It goes down smooth and the flavors are comforting, with notes of vanilla, caramel and brown sugar.

JOURNEYMAN DISTILLERY’S FEATHERBONE BOURBON 109 Generation Dr., Three Oaks journeymandistillery.com Journeyman’s tasting room may be a bit out of the way for most of us, but its spirits are readily available on shelves all around West Michigan, and they’re well worth a sip. The Featherbone Bourbon in particular is a bold drink that goes especially heavy on the corn, which can be refreshing and maybe even trick your body into thinking it’s eating vegetables. This spirit sums up Journeyman’s approach: assertive, memorable, tasty liquor. n

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TRADING UP

Buffalo Traders Lounge and Sidebar set a new standard for cocktail lounges in West Michigan 42 | REVUEWM.COM | MAY 2019

| by Josh Veal


Kirsten Couturier and Tony Jones, Buffalo Traders Lounge. Photo by Seth Thompson

DRINKING ISSUE

C

OCKTAILS CAN BE A LITTLE INTIMIDATING, TO BE SURE. When you pick up a menu and see words like amaro, falernum and aperol for the first time, it starts to feel like a foreign language textbook. You could always take a gamble and assume any word you don’t know is some sort of herbal liqueur — you’d often be correct — but isn’t it better to actually understand what’s in your drink? Trouble is, some places can make you feel like a fool for even asking. When your bartender sees himself as a gatekeeper of spirits, you feel shut out from the delicious world of craft cocktails before you have your first sip. Luckily, two of West Michigan’s best cocktail lounges are working to fight that culture. Buffalo Traders Lounge and Sidebar are both bars in Grand Rapids that have elevated the cocktail game while being friendly, accessible and educational. The highly innovative drinks and welcoming atmosphere have made these sister establishments into perennial favorites among long-time residents and visitors alike. In fact, both places have been in the top two for Cocktail Lounge in Revue’s very own Best of the West readers’ poll. To understand how West Michigan got so lucky, we have to go back to the start.

THE BEGINNING For years, Grand Rapids just didn’t seem to be ready for a high-end cocktail scene. Spots like Prohibition and The Viceroy lasted less than a couple of years. The craft beer boom made it hard to compete, when patrons could choose between a $5 pint poured instantly or a $12 cocktail that took five minutes to make. At the time, even The Viceroy’s owner, Mark Sellers, knew what it would take for the model to succeed. “It has to be a small place in order to survive with a small crowd, low overhead and be in an area where people are looking for something higher end, out of the ordinary,” Sellers told MLive in a 2012 interview when The Viceroy closed. Three years later, owner Bernie Kersten found that space in his very own restaurant, Big O’s Cafe. In a walk-out basement on the corner of Monroe Center and Ottawa Avenue, the casual Italian restaurant had a room across the hall it had been using for overflow. That’s until Kersten met a professional sommelier, Scott Noorman, who convinced him in 2015 to use the space as a high-end, speakeasy style cocktail lounge like the big cities have, except without all the pretense. With just 18 seats, zero signage and a staff you can count on one hand, Sidebar relied on word of mouth to slowly snowball into the success it has today. To this day, the other main way people find the bar is happening across it accidentally. “It’s funny, because you will have people that don’t even know we’re there, that are heading into Big O’s and see what looks like a janitor’s closet, and they just peek their head in and the whole room kind of turns,”

Left: Kirsten Couturier. Right: Cocktail from Buffalo Traders Lounge. Photos by Seth Thompson

said Bar Manager David Yanik. It’s counterintuitive, but that inconspicuous presence is essential to Sidebar’s survival, in a way. On a busy weekend, you’ll already find people waiting patiently in the hallway for 45 minutes. That’s part of what led Kersten to buy out Buffalo Tobacco Traders and turn it into Buffalo Traders Lounge in 2017. The Fulton Street lounge isn’t massive either, but it has more seats and a more colorful atmosphere than Sidebar. When it opened, Buffalo Traders focused solely on doing classic cocktails right, but now Bar Manager Tony Jones and his staff also work hard to create innovative drinks that keep every visit fresh. Obviously, it’s worked.

THE APPEAL Buffalo Traders and Sidebar have different approaches to the same philosophy: make inventive cocktails in a welcoming atmosphere. For Buffalo Traders, the team worked with local interior designer Tylor Devereaux — who also created new restaurant The Commons’ ultra comfy vibe — to create a space that’s somewhere between a dive bar

“HOPEFULLY PEOPLE LEAVE SIDEBAR MORE ENLIGHTENED AND EDUCATED AND IN TOUCH WITH THE CRAFT COCKTAIL MOVEMENT THAT THEY WEREN’T EVEN AWARE WAS HAPPENING.” - DAVID YANIK

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The Fey Lady (left) and The Red Wedding (right) from Sidebar. Photos by Amanda VanVels

and a high-end lounge, according to Jones. The result is a mid-century modern art deco space drenched in blue, both interesting to look at and soothing to drink in at the same time. It has to be seen to be believed. The cocktails are meant to be affordable, yet complex and unique, with something for everyone. In my many visits, I’ve fallen in love with everything I’ve ordered. If you don’t see your ideal drink on the menu, just ask for the Dealer’s Choice. Jones said the staff loves to work with customers to create something new. The choice leaves the door open for basically infinite options without having an overwhelmingly large menu. Buffalo Traders just launched its spring menu, which includes some refreshing options like the Fun Bobby, a drink Jones is especially excited about. It has reposado tequila, lime, orange, egg white and a houseinfused jalapeno aperol, an herbal Italian aperitif. Meanwhile, Sidebar’s menu leans toward the higher end, but you certainly get what you pay for — the cocktails are easily some of the best I’ve had in the state. Yanik said the drinks are born out of a true passion on the staff’s part. He’s spent years traveling across the country, talking to other bartenders, going on distillery tours and soaking it all in. Perhaps even more importantly, he reads.

“There are so many cocktail and bartending books, not just current literature but from the pre-prohibition era,” Yanik said. “There are so many templates and formulas that date back more than 100 years, and then you can riff and substitute those different ingredients for new ones while keeping that successful formula.” It’s not just him — Yanik said all of his staff has a true passion for drinks. While he’s especially interested in bourbon, another bartender, Erin, could talk about rum “until the cows come home.” That’s what it takes to come up with Sidebar’s more than 30 drinks, plus have the knowledge to explain those drinks in detail to customers, and have fun doing it. While the taste of the cocktail is important, they also like to play around with presentation. Yanik said this summer will have a drink that looks like a goldfish swimming in water, with minty seaweed and everything. You won’t find that anywhere else.

THE MOVEMENT

when you try to bond with bartenders over drinks and they immediately make it known that they know more than you. There’s no fun in that on either side of the bar. In the same way, a big part of Sidebar’s mission is to be educational. Even if you walk in and ask for a Jack and Coke (which does happen), you’re not going to get laughed out of the bar. The staff will work with you to find a drink you’ll love. “We want to inform people and be very inviting and uplifting, to the point where people want to come back and talk with us and learn something extra,” Yanik said. That movement certainly has grown over the years, as some drinkers tire of IPAs and stouts. It helps that craft distilleries are providing an alternative local experience that craft beer lovers have always sought out. The key is to offer that experience without being snooty or pretentious. “Hopefully people leave Sidebar more enlightened and educated and in touch with the craft cocktail movement that they weren’t even aware was happening,” Yanik said. n

As important as the drinks are, Buffalo Traders and Sidebar wouldn’t have such a good reputation if they weren’t also great places to be. Jones said he hates it

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DRINKING ISSUE

AU NATUREL Native Species is a natural winery bridging the gap between wine and beer | by Jack Raymond

I

’M UP NORTH, BOPPING ABOUT A PENINSULAR WINE TRAIL, WHEN I find my schnozz inside another tasting glass, sniffing the day’s fifth Merlot. The menu proposes such scents as “bramble jam” and “tanned leather.” At this point, it sort of smells like the last five I smelled. I pop a couple oyster crackers and sigh. I don’t mean to put our state’s vintners on blast — the wine tasted fantastic, as did all the others — but after an afternoon laying my palate to waste on grapes, the consistency treads a fine line between impressive and passé. To combat this kind of homogeny, Mitch Ermatinger, owner of Speciation Artisan Ales, has opened Native Species, a wine label that blasts expectations of what fermented grapes can taste like. During a visit to learn more about the undertaking, Ermatinger places a bottle of unlabeled liquid between us. Yeast swirls throughout like a freshly sneezed galaxy. Something’s fishy. Tinged an orange hue, it looks like Tony the Tiger’s sweat and smells like old-world gueuze. The nose preps the mouth to pucker, and while a low pH nibbles, the oakiness and tannic structure taste like dry white. It’s lively, expressive and altogether awesome — an olive branch between wine and beer camps. It should take off like gangbusters. In Europe, it already has. On a trip to Amsterdam last summer, Ermatinger circulated through the wine bar scene and spotted this sort of stuff everywhere. “As soon as I split my first bottle, I knew I had to make it,” Ermatinger said. In the states, natural wine is a small voice taking up little market share. This could have to do with the name being a contentious label — what’s “unnatural” wine, and why would anyone want to drink that?

Continued On Page 49

Native Species wine. Courtesy Photo

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"WE’RE NOT MAKING WINE FOR WINE PEOPLE. BECAUSE OF THAT, WE DON’T REALLY CARE TOO MUCH WHAT THE REST OF THE WINE WORLD THINKS. IT ALLOWS US TO DO THINGS WAY OUT OF THE ORDINARY." -MITCH ERMATINGER “The term (natural wine) reminds me a lot of how sour beer was five to 10 years ago. Like Wild West,” Ermatinger said. “You read five different articles on biodynamic wines and you’ll get five different answers on what it is.” While the definition among producers remains slippery, there are tenets that separate natural wine from its competition, namely the minimal intervention of chemicals — sulfites, especially — and the promotion of biodiversity. Flavor-wise, expect funk. “There’s our wild culture floating around everywhere. It's bound to get in the wine,” Ermatinger said. Picture Welch’s throwing a barnyard bash. “Nothing overpowering, they tend toward the fruiter side like overripe pineapple and mango,” he said. That said, trying to pin these distinguishing qualities feels counterintuitive; a large part of natural wine’s appeals is its ‘je ne sais quoi’ — its terroir incarnate, encapsulating the totality of time and place. Native Species plants its foot firmly in this ideology, quite literally. “We get our grapes whole, not crushed or juiced,” Ermatinger said. “We bring them back here, roll up our pants,

Mitch Ermatinger pouring a test batch of Native Species wine at the Speciation Artisan Ales taproom. Courtesy Photo

and crush the grapes by foot.” It brings to mind a scene of Dionysian reverie: satyrs cavorting with their pan flutes, a demigod’s cuppeth running over. The truth is less glamorous. “Generally, our feet get super cold because they’re harvesting in early morning,” Ermatinger said. “Sometimes the stems are a little pokey.” A majority of this harvest comes from Domaine Berrien Cellars, a vineyard in Berrien Springs, whose location provides a goldilocks zone for Michigan grapes to flourish. Rather than succumb to big box grapes like Chardonnay or Merlot, Native Species embraces unsung varieties like Vignoles and Frontenac. It’s a wise play that differentiates Native Species from familiar brands while establishing roots in our state’s agriculture. “The idea is that we’re not making wine for wine people,” Ermatinger said. “Because of that, we don’t really care too much what the rest of the wine world thinks. It allows us to do things way out of the ordinary.” That includes dry-hopped wine, wine inoculated with brettanomyces,

and even some insane barrel experiments, such as a red currently aging in tequila barrels. Ermatinger said it’s one of the “craziest things” he’s ever tasted. A sommelier might balk at Ermatinger’s orange wine, which defies any neat, categorical boxes. True, wine has an unmatched heritage built on centuries of world-class beverage, but when does history begin to impede innovation? “Hopefully that changes, because there’s a ton of potential for wine as far as new flavors go,” Ermatinger said. “Everybody’s so orthodox about it that it’s kind of held wineries back. Brewers are more willing to go out on a limb.” There’s a guiding principle of risk that seems to fuel Ermatinger. Native Species shares this dogma with Speciation. Look no further than the Laurentian beer series, which relies on the breeze of our Great Lakes to impart flora during open fermentation. It results in beer that’s spontaneous and alive, a beautiful idea, bottling the identity of our freshwater source. While some barrels get dumped due to rogue microbes,

the ones that survive are magical. Native Species mirrors that romanticism, blazing into uncharted territory with fingers crossed. There’s a trust in the vine. Leave fruit to its own devices and it will speak for itself. n

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WEST MICHIGAN WINE DIRECTORY Fenn Valley Vineyards. Courtesy Photo

A roundup of regional vineyards and wineries | by Revue Staff

Y

ou may not know it, but here in West Michigan, wine is all around us. Whether you’re out in the vast orchards of the southwest or up in the rolling hills of Traverse City, there’s no shortage of grapes to be found. Our whites and bubbly are especially notable, but maybe even better is the

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simple pleasure of sitting around a table with friends, tasting your way through the winery’s flavors while overlooking the winding vineyards on a beautiful day. We’re here to help you find new vintages and tasting rooms alike — here’s your guide to just some of the great wineries the mitten can proudly claim.


DRINKING ISSUE

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN

COGDAL VINEYARDS

12 CORNERS VINEYARDS

At the family-owned Cogdal Vineyards, the philosophy is “to create outstanding, small-batch wines using Michigangrown grapes.” That includes the Cogdal brand as well as Little Man Wines, a series of “fun and eclectic wines.”

1201 N. Benton Center Rd., Benton Harbor 12corners.com, (269) 927-1512 Located 4 miles from Michigan’s Gold Coast, this 115-acre estate is planted with both vinifera and hybrid grapes. 12 Corners offers Riesling, Cabernet Franc and Gewurztraminer, among plenty of other varieties. Aside from the outdoor patio overlooking the vineyard, there’s also a tasting room, gift shop, kids’ corner and meeting rooms for large groups. The winery also has tasting rooms in South Haven and Grand Haven.

BARODA FOUNDERS WINE CELLAR 8963 Hills Rd., Baroda founderswinecellar.com, (269) 426-5222 Established in 2009 by Leonard Olson, Baroda Founders’ selection ranges from classic varietals and fruit-flavor enhanced wines to dessert offerings like ice wine and chocolate-infused reds. The winery also has a tasting room in St. Joseph.

CODY KRESTA VINEYARD & WINERY 45727 27th St., Mattawan codykrestawinery.com, (269) 668-3800 This small, 20-acre, family-run farm winery is set on an 1882 estate. Enjoy the wine from a secluded tasting room — or relax and take in scenic views from the gorgeous back patio.

7143 107th Ave., South Haven cogdalvineyards.com, (269) 637-2229

CONTESSA WINE CELLARS 3235 Friday Rd., Coloma contessawinecellars.com, (269) 468-5534 Offering a host of reds, whites and fruit wines, as well as a blush, Contessa features a tasting room reminiscent of an old Italian villa. Enjoy views of the vineyards and Coloma Valley from the terrace. Fenn Valley Vineyards. Courtesy Photo

DOMAINE BERRIEN CELLARS 398 E. Lemon Creek Rd., Berrien Springs domaineberrien.com, (269) 473-9463

ful place to enjoy a flight of wine and a small plate or picnic.

a red barn. The company also features apple wine made from heirloom apples.

An all-estate winery, Domaine Berrien Cellars grows, ferments and bottles all of its wines onsite to maximize control and quality. Being situated on one of the highest points in Berrien County with south-facing hillsides gives the vineyards a unique advantage in the Lake Michigan Shore region.

FREE RUN CELLARS

KARMA VISTA VINEYARDS

10062 Burgoyne Rd., Berrien Springs freeruncellars.com, (269) 471-1737

6991 Ryno Rd., Coloma karmavista.com, (269) 468-9463

FENN VALLEY VINEYARDS 6130 122nd Ave., Fennville fennvalley.com, (800) 432-6265 Based in Fennville, Fenn Valley Vineyards offers a wide range of products including white and sparkling wines, red wines, specialty wines like port and ice wine and fruit-based products. The Fennville Estate is a large, beautiCody Kresta Vineyard & Winery. Courtesy Photo

For more than 25 years, Free Run Cellars has specialized in Alsace-style white wines such as Riesling and Gewurztraminer along with dry reds such as Cabernet Franc and Syrah. The company has recently added spirits including cognac-style brandy, calvadosstyle brandy and grappa.

GRAVITY WINE 10220 Lauer Rd., Baroda gravitywine.com, (269) 471-9463 Gravity offers views of rolling hills, vineyards and a private lake at its 2,000-square-foot tasting room, which features a large deck and patios. Altogether, the winery can seat more than 140 guests. The friendly staff will help you prepare a custom wine flight to fit your palate.

HICKORY CREEK WINERY 750 Browntown Rd., Buchanan hickorycreekwinery.com, (269) 422-1100 Specializing in old world European wines from locally grown grapes, Hickory Creek pours a range of 19 styles from its charming tasting room inside

Featuring a host of standbys and limited-run wines, Karma Vista focuses on providing a “great tasting experience in a beautiful setting.” You’ll notice many of the wine names are loosely based on musical references. The reason: “We envision the wine label as our version of album art from the glory days of vinyl.”

LAWTON RIDGE WINERY 8456 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo lawtonridgewinery.com, (269) 372-9463 Lawton Ridge Winery started as a vineyard in 1973 and then opened its tasting room in 2008. The 4,400-square-foot space includes a production area, tasting room, lab and space for classes and private tastings. All of its wines come from grapes grown either in its vineyard or neighboring vineyards near the Lake Michigan shore. The selection ranges from elegant, dry reds to awardwinning dessert wines.

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A COGDAL VINEYARDS 7143 107th Ave., South Haven

J VINEYARD 2121 4110 Red Arrow Hwy., Benton Harbor

1 FENN VALLEY VINEYARDS 310 Butler St., Saugatuck

B FENN VALLEY VINEYARDS 6130 122nd Ave., Fennville

K LAZY BALLERINA WINERY 315 State St., St. Joseph

2 WARNER VINEYARDS

C CODY KRESTA VINEYARD & WINERY 45727 27th St., Mattawan

L WHITE PINE WINERY 317 State St., St. Joseph

D LAWTON RIDGE WINERY 8456 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo

M DOMAINE BERRIEN CELLARS 398 E. Lemon Creek Rd., Berrien Springs

3 12 CORNERS WINERY 511 Phoenix St., South Haven

N LEMON CREEK WINERY 533 E. Lemon Creek Rd., Berrien Springs

4 GRAVITY WINE BAR 510 Phoenix St., South Haven

O HICKORY CREEK WINERY 750 Browntown Rd., Buchanan

5 BARODA FOUNDERS 415 State St., St. Joseph

P BARODA FOUNDERS WINE CELLAR 8963 Hills Rd., Baroda

6 LAZY BALLERINA WINERY 4209 Lake St., Bridgman

Q GRAVITY 10220 Lauer Rd., Baroda

7 ST. JULIAN WINERY 9145 Union Pier Rd., Union Pier

R LAKE MICHIGAN VINTNERS 8972 First St., Baroda

8 WARNER VINEYARDS 19 N. Whittaker St., New Buffalo

E ST. JULIAN WINERY & DISTILLERY 716 S. Kalamazoo St., Paw Paw F WARNER VINEYARDS 706 S. Kalamazoo St., Paw Paw G CONTESSA WINE CELLARS 3235 Friday Rd., Coloma H KARMA VISTA VINEYARDS & WINERY 6991 Ryno Rd., Coloma I 12 CORNERS VINEYARDS WINERY 52 | REVUEWM.COM | MAY&2019

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LEMON CREEK WINERY 533 E. Lemon Creek Rd., Berrien Springs lemoncreekwinery.com, (269) 471-1321 Lemon Creek’s historic vineyard and winery, located in the heart of Southwest Michigan’s wine country, has 160 years of history and features awardwinning wines that are all estategrown and bottled by the Lemon family. Pro tip: The winery also operates a tasting room in Grand Haven at 327 N. Beacon Blvd.

ROUND BARN WINERY 10983 Hills Rd., Baroda drinkmichigan.com/round-barn, (800) 716-9463 The Round Barn (formerly known as Heart of the Vineyard) is a trifecta of spirits: A winery, distillery and brewery. Family-owned and operated, Round Barn proudly uses local produce from area orchards, vineyards and farms to produce its 50 different varietals, brandies, vodkas and beers.

ST. JULIAN WINERY 716 S. Kalamazoo St., Paw Paw 4425 14 Mile Rd., Rockford 9145 Union Pier Rd., Union Pier stjulian.com, (800) 732-6002 With more than 95 years of experience, St. Julian Winery is a pioneer among Michigan winemakers. The company offers tasting rooms around the state, including at its home base and main winery in Paw Paw. St. Julian is especially known for its exceptional affordable wines, such as Head Games, a spiced wine with flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.

TABOR HILL WINERY 185 Mount Tabor Road, Buchanan taborhill.com, (269) 422-1161 Tucked away in Southwest Michigan, Tabor Hill offers walking tours of the vineyards and its state-of-the-art wineRound Barn Winery. Courtesy Photo

making facility. The winery also pairs its beverages with locally-sourced foods at its fine-dining restaurant. If you can’t make the trek to Buchanan, check out the tasting room in Saugatuck.

VINEYARD 2121 4110 Red Arrow Hwy., Benton Harbor vineyard2121.com, (269) 849-0109 Vineyard 2121 started with a passion for quality wine shared by Jeffrey and Deborah Pallas, a husband and wife team. Tucked away in the hardwoods and pines lining the property’s perimeters, the charming raspberry farm boasts three duck ponds and tranquil scenery fit for an outdoor wedding or event. Choose from a list of wines and hard ciders, as well as some select food items.

WARNER VINEYARDS 706 S. Kalamazoo St., Paw Paw warnerwines.com, (800) 756-5357 Founded in 1938, Warner Vineyards is an O.G. winemaker on the shore. The company features a range of whites, reds, sparkling, fruit and dessert wines — as well as the ability to personalize labels for a special gift. Warner also offers tasting rooms in South Haven, Holland, New Buffalo and Marshall.

WHITE PINE WINERY 317 State St., Saint Joseph whitepinewinery.com, (269) 281-0098

Round Barn Winery. Courtesy Photo

This winery has all kinds of red, white and dessert wines, from capriccio to cranberry. The boutique, set in a historic brick building, is available for parties, meetings and any other private event.

WYNCROFT WINES 1055 64th St., Pullman wyncroftwine.com, (269) 409-1855 Wyncroft is known for its high-end wines that have been aged for years. However, in recent years, the winery rolled out a new brand, Marland, which sources its grapes from several local vineyards and are younger, more affordable and don’t require any cellar aging.

While White Pine’s tasting room is based in one of the oldest buildings in St. Joseph, all of the grapes are grown in Lawton. The winery specializes in aromatic white varietals like Pinot Grigio and Riesling.

WEST MICHIGAN

WOLFE CREEK WINERY

Since 2003, Cascade Winery has been a family-owned, award-winning winery. Guests at the tasting bar can sample reds, whites, fruit wine, meads and more (including a selection of beers). The location also carries unique gift items, home-vintner supplies and customized labeling.

118 Cleveland Rd., Galien wolfecreekwinery.com, (269) 369-3900 Wolfe Creek recently joined the party, tucked down in Galien (nearly in Indiana).

CASCADE WINERY 4665 Broadmoor Ave. SE, Grand Rapids cascadecellars.com, (616) 656-4665

from Hastings, Glass Creek offers a variety of wines ranging from dry, oak barrel-aged reds to sweet, fruit-based offerings. The winery also offers a hefty selection of craft beers, from oktoberfests to stouts.

HEAVENLY VINEYARDS 15946 Jefferson Rd., Morley heavenlyvineyards.weebly.com, (616) 710-2751 Heavenly Vineyards is a family-owned boutique winery that produces and bottles all of its wines onsite. The company offers the traditional styles, as well as off-the-wall varieties such as Jalapeno Wine and Rhubarb Wine.

HUDSONVILLE WINERY 3768 Chicago Dr., Hudsonville hudsonvillewinery.com, (616) 662-4589 Hudsonville Winery — owned by Steve Guikema and Ron Snider, who also co-own Pike 51 Brewing Co. — carries more than 30 different wines. The list includes Pinot Grigio, Bruno and White Zinfandel. On top of that is a large selection of fruit wines, such as Peach, Acai, Raspberry, Hudsonberry, Pomegranate and Black Cherry. All the wines are made onsite.

GLASS CREEK WINERY 450 N. Whitmore Rd., Hastings glasscreekwinery.com, (269) 948-2752 A small family-run winery operated by Eric and Donna Miller just a few miles

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BOWERS HARBOR VINEYARDS 2896 Bowers Harbor Rd., Traverse City bowersharbor.com, (231) 223-7615 A boutique winery located in Northern Michigan on picturesque Old Mission Peninsula, Bowers Harbor offers a range of award-winning wines — as well as unique greetings from the winery dogs. Focused on cool-climate viticulture, Bowers Harbor produces wines like Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc, plus a signature meritage blend known as 2896, Langley Vineyard.

CHATEAU CHANTAL 15900 Rue de Vin, Traverse City chateauchantal.com, (231) 223-4110

Chateau Chantal. Courtesy Photo

KAYLA RAE CELLARS 31 Courtland St., Rockford kaylaraecellars.com, (616) 951-7001 Tucked away in the quaint downtown area of Rockford, Kayla Rae offers a handful of wines and ciders along with nibbles. Bonus: The cellar also offers growler fills for cider and sangria.

ROBINETTE’S APPLE HAUS & WINERY 3142 4 Mile Rd. NE, Grand Rapids robinettes.com, (616) 361-7180 Robinette’s began pumping out the wine in January of 2006. The winery is open Tuesday through Saturday yearround and offers tastings that come with a complimentary glass. Along with wine, Robinette’s also offers hard cider options, not to mention fresh baked goods and tasty apple cider up in the Apple Haus.

NORTHWEST MICHIGAN AMORITAS VINEYARDS 6701 E. Duck Lake Rd., Lake Leelanau amoritasvineyards.com, (231) 994-2300 Amoritas opened its tasting room not long ago, at the end of 2017, but the grapes themselves go back to 2013, so

you know this was no rush job. It’s an excellent addition to the Leelanau wine trail, thanks to top-notch white varietals and a hardworking family who runs the place. You’ll nearly always find at least one of them at the tasting room, ready to talk passionately about what you’re drinking and how it’s made.

BLACK STAR FARMS 10844 E. Revold Rd., Suttons Bay blackstarfarms.com, (231) 944-1270 Black Star Farms has not one, but two tasting rooms: one in Suttons Bay and one on Old Mission Peninsula. Within, you’ll find all the varieties you could dream of, from white to red, sparkling and fruit wines. Black Star also has a small distillation program, occasionally releasing extremely limited brandies.

Chateau Chantal offers a French style three-room B&B, winery and vineyard located on a vast 65-acre estate on Old Mission Peninsula, one of the most scenic areas of the Great Lakes. While you’re sipping on any of the dozens of wine varietals, enjoy views of Grand Traverse Bay, Power Island and rolling vineyards that abound from each window.

CHATEAU GRAND TRAVERSE 12239 Center Rd., Traverse City cgtwines.com, (800) 283-0247 For more than 40 years, the familyowned Chateau Grand Traverse has focused on 12 European grape varietals, specializing in Rieslings. The company operates 122 acres of estateowned vineyards in Northern Michi-

gan, plus another 80 acres contracted with area growers.

GLEN ARBOR 5873 South Lake St., Glen Arbor glenarborwines.com, (231) 835-2196 Glen Arbor is one of the newer vineyards on the scene, opening in 2017 near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The grapes come from Leelanau County, including some that come from the only vineyard in Sleeping Bear, giving it that extra unique terroir. The relaxing tasting room is within view of Lake Michigan, with the freshwater breeze blowing over the patio and yard. Try the Farmstead Red or the Pinot Grigio, a.k.a. “To the Dune Beach.”

JOMAGRHA VINEYARDS AND WINERY 7365 South Pere Marquette Hwy., Pentwater jomagrha.com, (231) 869-4236 Located just miles from Lake Michigan between Pentwater and Ludington, Jomagrha Vineyards and Winery was founded in 1999 by Harry Sanford and specializes in old-world French grapes, alongside new American and French hybrids. The handcrafted wines include Marechal Foch, de Chaunac and a new light port, among others.

Continued On Page 57 Chateau Chantal. Courtesy Photo

BOATHOUSE VINEYARDS 115 St. Mary’s St., Lake Leelanau boathousevineyards.com, (231) 256-7115 Located high on the rolling hills of Leelanau County, Boathouse Vineyards offers handcrafted wines grown and hand-harvested at the family-owned vineyard. Since Boathouse is located in a place ideal for growing grapes, it’s no wonder the wines have won numerous awards, most notably the Rieslings which have won three Best-in-Class awards, as well as three Double Golds.

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OCEANA WINERY & VINEYARD 4980 S. 52nd Ave., New Era oceanawinery.com, (231) 343-0038 Featuring dry and sweet wines and everything in-between, Oceana Winery has something for everyone’s palate. The company now offers a tasting room in downtown Muskegon.

SHADY LANE CELLARS 9580 E Shady Lane, Suttons Bay shadylanecellars.com, (231) 947-8865

Left Foot Charley. Courtesy Photo

LEELANAU CELLARS 5019 N. West Bay Shore Dr., Omena lcw.wine, (231) 386-5201 After decades of producing awardwinning wines in Michigan’s Wine Coast, Leelanau Cellars’ philosophy has remained the same: “Produce quality, consumer-friendly wines, affordable to everyone.” In the fall, Witches Brew is a spiced wine available all over that perfectly sets the mood for autumn antics. If you’re visiting, relax during the day at the winery’s tasting room, which is open year-round.

LEFT FOOT CHARLEY WINERY 806 Red Dr., Traverse City leftfootcharley.com, (231) 995-0500 Left Foot Charley, launched in 2004 by Bryan Ulbrich, teamed up with 18 Northern Michigan growers to produce an assortment of white wine varietals, hard cider and sparkling wine. The winery says it produces “wines that display the range of aroma and flavor found among the glacially tilled hills of our appellations.”

MARI VINEYARDS 8175 Center Rd., Traverse City marivineyards.com, (231) 938-6116 It’s always a treat when Old Mission Peninsula gets another amazing winery, and Mari Vineyards’ stone chateau tasting room fully arrived in 2016 with a beautiful stone view overlooking the Grand Traverse Bay. Mari’s beloved flagship wine, Row 7, is a bold red born

out of a happy accident going all the way back to 1999. It’s also one of the first wineries in Michigan to have an extensive underground barrel aging area, with consistent temperatures and humidity. That’s how you do it right.

MAWBY 4519 Elm Valley Rd., Suttons Bay mawby.wine, (231) 271-3522 Meet the king of Michigan bubbly. If you’re here for the fizz, Mawby is here for you, offering sparkling wine of all varieties. Visiting here is a rare opportunity to try a dozen bubblies side-byside and refine your palate. Plus, there’s nothing more refreshing in the hot summer than a little naturally created carbonation.

ROVE ESTATE VINEYARD & WINERY

Shady Lane Cellars hasn’t always had such an elegant tasting room. In fact, before the renovation in 1999, the room — now trimmed in copper, Italian tile and granite — was a 100-year-old chicken coop. Today, this vineyard creates an experience immersive in both wine and culture.

WILLOW VINEYARDS 10702 E. Hilltop Rd., Suttons Bay willowvineyardwine.com, (231) 271-4810 Willow Vineyards, established in 1992, is located on a striking, wind-swept hillside in Suttons Bay. Panoramic views of Grand Traverse Bay add to the majesty of the location. You can sample from award-winning vintages in the tasting room or purchase by the bottle, halfbottle or magnum. n

Glen Arbor. Photo by Rachel Haggerty

7007 E. Traverse Hwy., Traverse City roveestate.com, (231) 421-7001 Perched on the highest point in Leelanau County, Rove Estate gives the perfect view of the rolling hills and dunes of up north. Estate-grown grapes take the spotlight here, thanks to beautiful southern-facing slopes with plenty of sunlight. For you the drinker, that means bold, award-winning wines made from grapes that you won’t find anywhere else. When you’re at Rove, you’re surrounded by beauty and great taste.

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Virtue Cider Co. Courtesy Photo

HONEYCOMBS AND HONEYCRISP Mead and cider around West Michigan | by Josh Veal

M

ead, cider and wine are all cut from the same cloth. In fact, mead is sometimes referred to as “honey wine,” though that’s a bit misleading — there’s a big difference between white wine with honey added and true mead, made from fermented honey, with no grapes involved. What all three drinks do have in common is that they’re not brewed at any point like beer is. If you wanted to make your own mead or cider without regard for quality or nuance, you’d just throw some yeast and water in with honey or apple juice and let it ferment. Of course, making an interesting, balanced, unique mead or cider takes a true master, of which there are many across West Michigan. If you’re looking for a libation that’s easy to drink, refreshing, slightly sweet and gluten-free, head out and try some cider or mead. Here’s our guide to lead the way.

ACOUSTIC DRAFT MEAD 119 N. Maple St., Traverse City drinkacoustic.com, (231) 275-2041 As its name suggests, Acoustic is a little on the lighter side. Its musically themed meads come in at an average 6-percent ABV. Combine that with the light carbonation in every bottle (hence the word “Draft”), and Acoustic’s selection drinks more like a beer or cider than most meads. To live it up, try the Electric Bzzz, made with apricot and orange zest. Acoustic also now has cider and cyser, a mixture of cider and mead!

ARKTOS MEADERY 1251 Century Ave. SW, Grand Rapids arktosmeadery.com, (616) 406-4444 Arktos has made quite the splash in West Michigan with its eye-catching bottle design, tasteful nuance and bear-centric mythology. The mead itself has garnered multiple awards in just a few short years, offering an ever-expanding selection of flavors: coffee, blackberry, pumpkin, etc. All these can be found at the Grand

Rapids tasting room, where goblets line the bartop and mead flows from nitro taps.

BARDIC WELLS MEADERY 8844 Water St., Montague bardicwells.com, (616) 837-8035 Coming from a long line of beekeepers, the owners of Bardic Wells know their honey from start to finish, inside and out. We strongly recommend hunting down the Traditional Mead. It’s balanced, smooth, unpretentious and very affordable. You wouldn’t expect something this reasonably priced to taste this unreasonably good, but Bardic is the first ever licensed meadery in Michigan and it shows.

BEE WELL MEAD & CIDER 3533 S. Derenzy Rd., Bellaire beewellmeadery.com, (734) 787-4187 Bee Well keeps growing as the four siblings work to spread their mead far and wide. The tasting room in Bellaire, right across from Short’s Brewing Co., is coming up on an-

other anniversary, Make the trip to try out some Cherry Tonic Jr. or Antrim Apple Pie, straight from the source. The cider side of Bee Well keeps growing over the years too, now with flavors ranging from wildfermented cider to a plum cyser.

BLACK DRAGON MEADERY Distribution only, New Buffalo blackdragonmeadery.com While it has yet to settle down into a tasting room (distribution only), Black Dragon is worth seeking out. Paul Peterson, a.k.a. Pete Wylde the MeadMaster, has won 18 awards for his meads since 2009. Bottles are available for purchase on vinoshipper.com, or find an event at facebook.com/blackdragonmeadery.

FARMHAUS CIDER CO. 5025 Stanton St., Hudsonville farmhauscider.com, (616) 920-1867 Farmhaus blew up fast, opening in 2015 with a Cidergarten and beginning to distribute statewide in just

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Experience More Located at the base of Leelanau Peninsula, just minutes from downtown Traverse City, our historic estate offers more than wine.

Michigan Grapes Michigan Wine Michigan Made

We also offer an experience worth having, and we spend every single day working to ensure that yours is incredible from the instant you arrive. www.shadylanecellars.com 231.947.8865 9580 E Shady Lane, Suttons Bay, MI info@shadylanecellars.com

EST. 1999 CELEBRATING

20 YEARS 60 | REVUEWM.COM | MAY 2019


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Continued From Page 59 two years. The couple-owned cidery aims for simplicity, with styles like the Halbbitter, which is described as fresh, bright and semi-sweet, and the Trocken, which is unfiltered, dry and tart. The taproom is open on the weekends and look for the signature tallboys at your local store.

GREAT MEAD HALL 215 W. Monroe, Bangor greatmeadhall.net, (269) 427-0827 Great Mead Hall is known for locally sourcing its honey, fruit and other ingredients used in its mead and cider. Some options include Mz. Beauregarde, a blueberry mead, and King Alcinous, a pear mead aged for nine to 12 months. The tasting room in Bangor is now open, or you can find Great Mead in liquor stores near you.

hopped cider, blood orange and a single apple varietal. There’s no taproom, but you can find Pux’s ever-growing lineup on shelves near you.

RIDGE CIDER CO. 351 W. 136th St., Grant ridgecider.com, (231) 674-2040 Ridge Cider Co. has gone through a lot of changes over the years, but the one aspect that’s stayed consistent is quality cider. Located off M-37 near West Michigan’s famous apple ridge, Ridge’s tasting room is large, comfy and full of wood. It features a wide range of ciders and the company’s distribution keeps growing as well. Check your local store for Porch Sittin’, a cider with vanilla and cinnamon, or Caramel Apple with handmade caramel sauce.

Virtue Cider Co. Courtesy Photo

PAINTED TURTLE HARD CIDER

ROBINETTE’S APPLE HAUS & WINERY

wine, it’s all there in an outrageous variety of flavors. If you’re a big fan of sour beers, this is the meadery for you — try the Wild Ginger, a sour mead with ginger. The owners keep their own bees, so they know their stuff.

paintedturtlehardcider.com, (616) 644-3047

3142 4 Mile Rd. NE, Grand Rapids robinettes.com, (616) 361-7180

STARCUT CIDERS

VANDER MILL CIDER

121 N. Bridge St., Bellaire starcutciders.com, (231) 498-2300

505 Ball Ave. NE, Grand Rapids 14921 Cleveland St., Spring Lake vandermill.com, (616) 259-8828

Painted Turtle came on the scene in 2016, and it’s clearly here to stay. The Apple Crisp, Blueberry Bliss and Java Vanilla ciders have made a splash, being packed full of flavor without going overboard. There’s no tasting room, so look for the cute little reptile on the tallboy cans at your local party store.

Passed down through five generations, Robinette’s has been making apple cider since 1971, which means they’ve had plenty of time to get it right. In 2006, they started making it with alcohol too. Now, you can swing by at any time of the year to taste six wines or ciders for just $3.

PUX CIDER

ST. AMBROSE CELLARS MEADERY

1051 Harding St., Conklin puxcider.com, (616) 899-2298 The family at Pux has a real passion for apples, going back six generations at the Schaefer Orchard. It’s here that they crank out a wide variety of excellent ciders, including barrel-aged tart cherry,

841 S. Pioneer Rd., Beulah stambrose-mead-wine.com, (231) 383-4262 St. Ambrose’s affordably priced selection is out of control in the best way possible. Draft mead, still mead, honey Vander Mill Cider. Courtesy Photo

Starcut Ciders, made by Short’s Brewing Co., was born in 2014 out of a desire to utilize the apple orchards of northern Michigan. Starcut features both unique and traditional ciders. Keep your eye out for Immortal Jelly, a cider inspired by Soft Parade and fermented with raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries. It’s slightly sour, slightly fruity and totally delicious.

THE PEOPLES CIDER CO. 539 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids thepeoplescider.com, (616) 322-7805 Peoples Cider has had an amazing time at its new location next to Long Road Distillers and Mitten Brewing Co., where there are opportunities to collaborate between owners. The cidery has quickly established itself as a destination for top-tier cider that’s nuanced, complex and full of flavor, served in a totally unpretentious tasting room. Whether you’re a first-timer or a cider fanatic, you shouldn’t pass up Peoples.

UNCLE JOHN’S CIDER MILL 8614 N. US-127, St. Johns ujcidermill.com, (929) 224-3686

ple but well refined. Classic flavors like Cherry, Blueberry and Apricot make the cider easily accessible, but with enough options to offer some variety. Look for the cans in stores or make the trip to St. Johns, north of Lansing.

Vander Mill is a cider powerhouse, both in terms of quantity and quality. The Grand Rapids taproom reflects that, with an indoor deck overlooking the massive production facility churning out wine across the flavor spectrum. Sweet, dry, spiced, nitro, wood-aged, Vander Mill has it all. While you’ve definitely heard of mainstays like Totally Roasted and Blue Gold, hit up the taproom (or some specialty stores) for specialty ciders like the Loving Cup, made with peppercorn and hibiscus.

VIRTUE CIDER CO. 2170 62nd St., Fennville virtuecider.com, (269) 722-3232 Virtue’s ciders are legit and true to the dry European style. The sheep, chicken and Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs — common to Old World cideries — add to the traditional vibe at the farm and cider mill. Stop in for a tasting or to buy a bottle of these Michigan-centric ciders. The Mitten, a bourbon barrelaged cider, has remained a fan-favorite, but you’ll also find French-style bruts, single-apple varietals and specialty blended ciders. n

One of the oldest apple farms in the country, Uncle John’s hard cider is sim-

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62 | REVUEWM.COM | MAY 2019


DRINKING ISSUE

Coppercraft Distillery. Courtesy Photo

MUDDLE IT, MIX IT, DRINK IT Shake up your weekend plans with cocktail classes in West Michigan

W

DOWNTOWN MARKET 435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids downtownmarketgr.com Each month, the Downtown Market features a themed cocktail class, like the Tiki Cocktail class on June 9. Get into the island spirit by making two South Pacific

401 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo fooddance.net If you're in the KZOO area and need a restaurant that covers everything from the bartending basics to recognizing flavor notes in your rum, Food Dance is the place to go. The classes range from Bar Skills 101 to numerous “Tasting Classes” that allow you to meet and chat with inhouse experts at a casual seated tasting. You’ll enjoy small bites and tastes of the selected liquor, then walk away with a few recipes of your own. More information, including pricing and dates, can be found on the website.

LONG ROAD DISTILLERS 537 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids longroaddistillers.com

| by Kelly Brown hether you’re out at dinner or at a bar with friends, you know you have that favorite, classic cocktail. Maybe on the weekends you try your hand at it, with poor ingredients and little direction, and it never tastes quite the same. You might need some help from the masters. Shake up the next party or backyard barbecue by leveling up your bartending skills with a local cocktail class.

FOOD DANCE

cocktails. Pull out your tiki torches and get ready to debut your new tropical cocktails at a summer barbecue. Tickets are $60, sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. Classes typically take less than two hours.

BUTCH’S DRY DOCK 44 E. 8th St., Holland butchs.net Seasonal cocktail classes are a regular staple at the Holland-based restaurant. Previous cocktail classes include Derby Cocktails and a Cinco de Mayo theme. We’re already dreaming of delicious juleps made with fresh mint from the Fulton Street Farmers Market. A ticket will run you roughly $35. Information on cocktail classes can be found on the website or Facebook.

Already a local favorite for an exceptional aquavit and many other creative spirits, Long Road is breaking into the educational sphere with its seasonal cocktail classes. All spirits are appropriate for the season, but it's how you use them, what you mix and pair them with, that will make you a master. The spring cocktail classes focus on combining local flavor with in-house spirits. Check out their Facebook page for cocktail class events at Long Road’s multiple locations.

COPPERCRAFT DISTILLERY 184 120th Ave., Holland coppercraftdistillery.com Learn the art of mixology with Coppercraft Distillery. Private classes can

San Chez. Courtesy Photo

be booked for up to 20 people and are tailored to match your tastes, whether that’s learning a set of new techniques or enhancing the ones you already have. Email the staff at Coppercraft to set up your private class.

SAN CHEZ 38 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids sanchezbistro.com This classic West Michigan staple loves to spill the secrets on its excellent cocktails. Book a private cocktail class and learn the magic that happens behind the bar from the in-house cocktail guru. If you’ve always wondered what goes into their signature drinks, now is your chance to learn. You’ll learn a new recipe while gaining knowledge on bartending 101 and information on local distilleries. San Chez offers three different private cocktail class themes. Grab your 10 best friends and book your own private happy hour. n

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DRINKING ISSUE

BEST OF ALL WORLDS Craft wine, beer, cider and spirits all in one place | by Kelly Brown

I

t’s a sunny spring Saturday and your crew is unnecessarily stressed — scouring Yelp, texting friends, looking for a place to day drink that satisfies everyone’s tastes. The abundance of quality watering holes in West Michigan all begin to blur together. Luckily, our side of the state has recently undergone a surge of triple-threat beer, wine and spirit locales which make it easier to please everyone in your party. There’s no need to compromise, these spots have it all.

BIER DISTILLERY 5295 W. River Dr. NE, Comstock Park Perhaps you heard about Bier Distillery last year when it switched to hay straws as part of an effort to eliminate plastic. But the grain and fruit to glass micro-distillery is known for something much bigger: its impressive selection of spirit choices, one of the largest in West Michigan. Bier isn’t afraid to push boundaries, being the first to bring absinthe to the region, for example. Believe it or not, the menu expands beyond spirits as well — the red and white wines are made at the distillery and feature local ingredients like Michigan Niagara grapes. Beer drinker? They’ve got you covered too. With everything from trendy Brut IPAs to the Maple Rumble, Bier Distillery. Courtesy Photo

which includes the same ingredients Bier uses to make its rum, you’ll need to take a few trips to sample everything they have to offer.

FORTY PEARL 40 Pearl St. NW, Grand Rapids A new venture by the Brengman Brothers, Forty Pearl of Downtown Grand Rapids is unlike any “bar” experience in the area. Forty Pearl brings both fresh, unique wines and distilled spirits from the Traverse City coast to West Michigan’s vibrant downtown. Visitors enjoy tastings and more — food pairings, formal wine dinners, grab-and-go foods and wine with curbside takeout, just to name a few. Family owned in their third generation, the team at Brengman Brothers is excited to bring the excellence of the Northern Michigan wine region to Grand Rapids.

PIKE 51 BREWERY AND HUDSONVILLE WINERY 3768 Chicago Dr., Hudsonville This combo brewery/winery has been around the West Michigan area for more than five years. The red barn structure is easy to pass by when cruising along Chicago Drive, but stop in for a drink (and some Pike 51 Beer Cheese) and you’ll instantly feel like a local. The friendly bar staff is eager to educate guests about the numerous wines they offer, including the signature frozen sangria. Meanwhile, the Pike 51 Brewing team continues to stay on trend with beers like a Double Brut IPA and numerous seasonal sours.

ST. JULIAN WINERY 4425 14 Mile Rd. NE, Rockford Founded in 1921 by Mariano Meconi, St. Julian has remained a family-owned business for nearly 100 years, all along at the forefront of wine advancements with cider, wine and spirits from the famed Lake

Forty Pearl. Courtesy Photo

Michigan shore appellation. The Rockford tasting room opened last August, and guests have more than 60 wines to choose from, as well as cider and spirits. At St. Julian, there’s something for every palate and style of wine enthusiast. For a mere $7, you can sample any six of their products and keep a stemless St. Julian glass as a souvenir.

ROUND BARN 10983 Hills Rd., Baroda Take a trip back in time as you step through the doors of the gorgeous Round Barn Winery, Distillery and Brewery. Located in an actual round barn, which dates all the way back to 1912, the familyowned business features award-winning wines, beers and spirits crafted from fruits grown right here in West Michigan. Plan your visit in the summer and enjoy the lush green grounds and plentiful outdoor seating. Round Barn has something for everyone, from your uncle who just wants to sip (or chug) on a lager to your sommelier friend who will swirl and sniff her way through five glasses of chardon-

nay. Follow Round Barn on Facebook for updates on the numerous summer outdoor music events.

APERITIVO 435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Aperitivo may not make its own drinks, but it does offer an experience not unlike a tasting room, with beer and wine to taste through alongside a full-service cheese and charcuterie counter. As you pass while walking through the bustling Downtown Market, you’ll be tempted for a taste of whatever new cheese is featured, but pull up a barstool at their counter and stay for a wine or beer tasting as well. A quick drink will eventually turn into a longer conversation, as the staff expresses their pride and knowledge of every item on the menu. The drink list ranges from white wine to local craft beer favorites and specialty drinks like the Rivesaltes Cocktail. When sitting at the counter of Aperitivo, enjoying fine cheese and wine, it’s surprisingly easy to imagine yourself thousands of miles away, in the heart of Paris — the best of all worlds. n

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Kale Yeah! Fulton Street Farmers Market. COURTESY PHOTOS

Farmers markets offer so much more than just fresh-picked produce and homemade goods. They offer marketgoers the opportunity to meet the hardworking residents responsible for growing their food and producing their goods. They inspire the community by connecting those within it through locally harvested food. Luckily, our area has no shortage of outdoor markets to peruse. There are a handful of go-to hotspots, like the award-winning Rockford Farmers Market in picturesque downtown Rockford, or the Kalamazoo Farmers Market, which goes above and beyond with not only live music, but also a Night Market with food trucks. The options are indeed plentiful. “Here, Revue has rounded up a few of the region's other top choices for home-grown groceries. From Grand Rapids to Holland, shopping local is easy in West Michigan — here's where to start.

FULTON STREET FARMERS MARKET

KENTWOOD FARMERS MARKET

Grand Rapids’ oldest and largest farmers market got even bigger in 2012 — 90 years after it opened — with a massive new pavilion. It remains THE place to be on a Saturday morning in the summer, but keeps regular hours throughout the week, along with hosting the Artisan market on Sundays, where local artists and craftspeople sell their work.

A convenient suburban destination for families interested in avoiding the crowds at larger markets, the Kentwood market emphasizes local produce and welcomes all visitors to its convenient location at the Kentwood library’s parking lot. Head here for fresh produce, bread, syrup, flowers, handmade goods and more.

OPEN: Main Season Market 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, May-October Summer Nights at the Market Series 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Tuesdays, July-August Artisan Market 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays, June-September Second Season Market 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, November-April 1145 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids (616) 454-4118 fultonstreetmarket.org

OPEN: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, June-October 4950 Breton Rd. SE, Kentwood (616) 656-5270 kentwoodfarmersmarket.com

It’s difficult to imagine a better use of a summer morning than visiting Grand Haven’s scenic riverside Chinook Pier (look for the green canopy) to browse locally grown produce as well as baked goods, flowers, jams, kettle corn and cold-pressed juice. OPEN: 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, May-October (and Wednesdays starting in June) Chinook Pier, 301 N. Harbor Dr., Grand Haven (616) 842-4910 grandhavenchamber.org/farmers-markets

HOLLAND FARMERS MARKET Welcoming more than 75 vendors who offer flowers, baked goods, dairy and, of course, fresh-picked vegetables and fruits, the Holland Farmers Market has all of your produce needs covered. And like all the best farmers markets, there’s plenty more going on, including performances, activities for kids and demonstrations by chefs. And don’t forget to check out the food court.

SPRING LAKE FARM & GARDEN MARKET There’s never a bad day to fill your kitchen with local produce, and if Saturday doesn’t work for you, Spring Lake hosts its farmers market on Thursdays to accommodate differing schedules. Head to the market for a variety of produce, honey, herbs, jams and jellies, fresh cut flowers and more.

OPEN: 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays, May-November 150 W. 8th St., Holland (616) 355-1138 hollandfarmersmarket.com Fulton Street Farmers Market. COURTESY PHOTOS

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GRAND HAVEN FARMERS MARKET

OPEN: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursdays, June-October Harvest Bible Chapel Parking Lot, 225 E. Exchange St., Spring Lake (616) 842-4910 grandhavenchamber.org/farmers-markets n


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1145 Fulton Street East Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503 616.454.4118 info@fultonstreetmarket.org www.fultonstreetmarket.org www.facebook.com/fultonstmarket

Main Season Market Wednesday, Friday + Saturday 8am-2pm May-October

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By Josh Veal

DINING

TAKEOUT TIME Call ahead, pick it up, eat it on the couch

From Left to Right: Wikiwiki Poke Shop, The Big Burrito, Stack's Chicago Style Eats, Erb Thai, and Shawarma King. Courtesy images

Taco Boy

I

t’s been a long day and you’re completely spent. Cooking is out of the question, much less grocery shopping for the ingredients. Even going to a sit-down restaurant feels like too much work. That’s when takeout descends from the heavens, here to save the day every time. The best takeout joints make the whole process quick and painless. If you can order in less than a minute, get an accurate pick-up time and procure the food without incident, you’re in the right place. The only problem is, when you’re already drained, researching takeout spots near you is never fun. Grabbing nearby Chinese, pho or even pizza is always a gimmie, but if you’re looking for something new, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few spots in West Michigan that make eating at home easy without sacrificing quality.

3475 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids tacoboygr.com Taco Boy is an institution, outlasting dozens of businesses on Plainfield over the years. It’s probably because you get a full meal with loads of flavor for dirt cheap prices. You can satisfy your wet burrito craving for $6 or less. Plus, Taco Boy works fast enough that you don’t even really need to order ahead of time, but it’s your call — pun intended.

Shawarma King

1441 S. Drake Rd., Kalamazoo shawarmakingkzoo.com

Curry Kitchen

DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

961 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids 1133 3rd St., Muskegon currykitchengr.com There’s no shortage of Indian food in West Michigan, but Curry Kitchen may just win out as the takeout option thanks to portion size and affordability. I mean, the rice is actually included in the price of your dish — how novel. It helps that the meals are saucy and packed with ingredients, not to mention the savory, soft, buttery garlic naan. Whether you’re in Grand Rapids or Muskegon, Curry Kitchen hits the spot.

The Big Burrito

5036 W. KL Ave., Kalamazoo thebigburrito.com Something about a big burrito just hits the spot every time. It’s classic, simple and ap-

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proachable, ideally with a perfect ratio of hot and cold ingredients that give every bite some variety. The Big Burrito has all that and more, including some vegan tacos/tostadas, and it’s cheap and easy to order. In fact, you can order online, always a godsend for phone-phobics.

Erb Thai

950 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids erbthaigr.com Erb Thai is such a perfect takeout spot that this might be a little too obvious. Nevertheless, I feel driven to sing its praises. The menu here has everything from traditional Thai with white rice to noodle dishes (my personal favorite), loaded fried rice and plenty of curry options. You can find just about every combination of meat and vegetables under the sun, all packaged in a container with some of the best heat retention I’ve seen.

Shawarma got an unexpected bump after The Avengers made multiple references to the Middle Eastern kebab-based cuisine, and rightly so. At Shawarma King, the spotlight is on the protein, with hearty dishes featuring marinated meats and Middle Eastern salads. Don’t forget to take it up another level with the heavenly garlic sauce or even a fresh smoothie made with real fruit.

Stack’s Chicago Style Eats 1050 Jackson St., Grand Haven stackschicagostyleeats.com

Stack’s gets its Vienna beef hot dogs, Turanno rolls and hot giardiniera straight from Chicago, which is about as authentic as you can get without driving to the Windy City itself. The menu is clearly made to fulfill your takeout cravings, with true Chicago-style dogs, Italian beef sandwiches and meatball subs available

at a low price. Locals love this place and you will too.

The Station Grill

910 W. Broadway Ave., Muskegon stationgrill.com Located in a historic service station since 1972, the Station Grill is here to refuel you with amazing steakburgers, Tex-Mex, wings and more. It’s classic diner food done right, and then some. There are loads of options, but the restaurant gladly welcomes take-out orders of any size or variety. Also, this food is really made to be paired with a nice cold beer, so you might want to pick up a six-pack while you’re out and about too.

Wikiwiki Poke Shop

1146 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids wikiwikipokeshop.com Sushi is already a great takeout food, sure, but it’s even more convenient when you throw the ingredients together in one big bowl. That’s what makes poke so great — all the refreshing lightness and complexity of sushi rolls without the structure, so you can construct each bite however you’d like. Wikiwiki does it better than anyone, with amazingly diverse bowls like The B.I.G. Bowl, featuring tuna, salmon, Hamachi, spicy octopus, spicy scallops, and spicy shrimp, plus avocado, cucumber, mango, wasabi ranch aioli, “tons of random fish eggs” and tempura-fried seaweed. The only downside is that the atmosphere is so chill, you might just decide to eat it there. n


380 douglas ave. holland, mi • (616) 396 - 2355 BEECHWOODGRILL.COM REVUEWM.COM | MAY 2019 |

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By Elma Talundzic

BEER

WEIRD COUSIN Broad Leaf Local Beer is Brewery Vivant’s new relative

DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

F

rom the passionate beer connoisseur to the occasional glass of beer drinker, chances are they’ve all made their way through Brewery Vivant’s doors at some point. The historic funeral home chapel turned microbrewery is well known for its farmhouse style ales and European-inspired eats. So when Vivant started to get more experimental with its beer offerings, going beyond farmhouse, that’s when the brewery began thinking about expanding its family. Revue sat down with Broad Leaf Local Beer’s taproom manager, Jared Rader, and experience warden, Jonathan Ward, to talk a little more about Brewery Vivant’s weird cousin moving to the Kentwood area. “Kentwood already has a very vibrant craft beer scene, it just doesn’t have its own craft brewery,” Rader said. “This is going to offer a community meeting place that Kentwood really doesn’t have as far as the craft beer world goes right now.” Broad Leaf plans on being more relaxed than Vivant, drawing inspiration from the big, open tap rooms that are found out west and down south. There won’t be a wait at the door for a table — you’ll be able to casually drop in for a beer and a quick bite. “There’s a certain experience that you get and people really enjoy at Vivant, and there will be a certain experience that people get and really enjoy here,” Ward said. Broad Leaf also will be more experimental with its brews, straying from the farmhouse style of Vivant. “The biggest and easiest distinction is actual process,” Ward said. “There will be some differences there, mainly driven by the types of yeast strains that we’re using, the types of ingredients we’re using and the fact that over here, there will be more hop presence just because that’s not something that you inherently see in farmhouse ales.” Lovingly nicknamed Vivant’s “weird” cousin, Broad Leaf will be a brewery that allows for creativity, exploration, new worlds and adventure — in beer. “What we’re interested in doing here is not only experimenting and exploring with process and flavor, but doing it with a little bit of direction,” Ward said. “We want to be creative but in a way that makes sense. We don’t want to just doodle; we want to make a masterpiece.” The first masterpiece to be released under the Broad Leaf Local Beer banner was De-Extinction in April. The beer is a triple

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Left: Broad Leaf Local Beer with Jared Rader. Right: Broad Leaf Logo. Courtesy images

dry-hopped red ale brewed to spotlight bright and clean tropical preparing each day while still representing the same values that flavors and lush crystal malts. If you haven’t tried it already, get we do at Vivant with sourcing our products locally and getting on it. De-Extinction is the perfect introduction to Broad Leaf’s multiple deliveries a week.” There is a distinction between Vivant and more artistic and experimental focus. Broad Leaf, but it’s also clear where they overlap. “The first one we put in cans, we wanted it to Although Vivant has expanded, the two locations be a representative of the difference between Vivant BROAD LEAF will still hold the same values of sustainability, qualand Broad Leaf and this is a very different thing,” LOCAL BEER ity and community. Ward said. “This does not have the personality of 2885 LAKE EASTBROOK “Everything about this place at its roots is going a Vivant beer.” BLVD., KENTWOOD to be exactly what we feel strongly about at Vivant,” The food is going a different direction as well. BROADLEAFBEER.COM said Ward. “This feeling that we hope to engender Broad Leaf offers a menu that’s more like street food, of community, inclusion, diversity and kindness.” the kind of menu where you can balance a drink in When it opens this May, Broad Leaf is eager one hand and a delicious bite in the other. “Our kitchen is going to be based off a street food type of to welcome the community with open arms and some weird, atmosphere,” Rader said. “We’ll have fresh offerings that we’ll be top-notch beer. Cheers! n


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