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Michigan Wine Month: A guide to local libations, plus cider and mead

April 2016

Music / Comedy / Dining / sour Beer / Free!


Vice Issue

How and where to indulge in West Michigan


APR. 16

APR. 22

APR. 23

MAY. 7

MAY. 14

MAY. 21

MAY. 21

APR. 9






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Get paid to enliven sidewalks and public places in Downtown Grand Rapids. Contact for more information.

St. Cecilia

St. Cecilia

St. Cecilia




Music Center


Music Center


Music Center





Leo Kottke has been stretching the limits of incredible rhythms, finger picking styles, and alternative guitar tunings since his debut nearly fifty years ago.

One of the most influential jazz drummers of the 20th Century, this Chicago native’s Grammy award-winning career spans five amazing decades.

Escovedo’s unique guitar style is a critically acclaimed melting pot of sound, integrating his Mexican American heritage, Texas roots and punk spirit.




MUSIC LIVES HERE 8 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 616.459.2224

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10 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016

What’s Inside

April 2016 | Volume 28, Issue 4

SCENE: 15 Random Notes 16 What’s Going On This Month 20 All Ages 22 Eclectic Events

SOUNDS: 25 Local: The Crane Wives 26 Kalamazoo Vinyl Shops 28 Touring: Underoath

michigan wine guide


30 Touring: Lucero 32 Gilmore International Keyboard Fest

SPECIAL SECTIONS: 34 The Vice Issue 46 Michigan Wine Guide

SIGHTS: 63 Indie Film: Joel Potrykus

Kzoo Vinyl Shops


64 Style Notes: Spring Fever 66 Comedy: Nick Di Paolo 68 Comedy: Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias 70 Grand Rapids Children’s Museum 71 Lit Life: Kalamazoo Poetry Festival

DINING & DRINKING: 73 Restaurant Guide

sour beers


waldron public house


78 Sour Beers 82 Taste This: Waldron Public House

Letter from the Editor


eing a vinyl record collector in April is always an electrifying time of year for one reason: Record Store Day. The national one-day event celebrates indie vinyl shops and brings in floods of customers thanks to record labels (big and small) pressing up RSD exclusives. From big-name artists like the late David Bowie, to underground punk legends like the late Jay Reatard, the RSD release list is long and diverse and growing each year. It spans not only genres, but formats as well. For 2016, there’s a 10-inch from the Monkees, a 7-inch from Muse, and a 12-inch LP from Ol’ Dirty Bastard, to name only a few. The super fans come out for these limited records, and they bring wads of cash — a huge bonus for shop owners still fighting the good fight against iTunes. That’s a boon for guys like Herm Baker at Vertigo Music (129 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids). Herm’s a music lover who’s been selling wax since 1986 and continues to do so thanks to the vinyl resurgence and profitable events like RSD — not to mention Revue Editor Joe Boomgaard’s affinity for classic Deep Purple albums. This year, Record Store Day lands on April 16 and social media will surely light up with reactions. Note: Not all of them will be positive. Each

year, a cantankerous bunch of turntable elitists will rehash the same complaints. They’ll trot out old tropes about RSD being “too corporate” and questioning “who needs a brand-new pressing of a bargain bin Tom Petty LP.” Well, perhaps both of those statements are true, but the sonic holiday continues to deliver on its mission of championing the little guys. It helps the Herm Bakers of the world keep music and culture in our neighborhoods. And, besides, Record Store Day is NOT for snobby vinyl enthusiasts. It’s for store owners. So to the RSD complainers, I say: “Don’t make it about you.” Now get out there to your favorite shop and drop a few extra bucks. Support the cause and maybe even catch an intimate in-store concert— all while bolstering your collection.

W est M i ch i gan ’ s E nterta i nment G u i de

Editorial Publisher Brian Edwards / Editor Joe Boomgaard / Managing Editor Rich Tupica / Associate Editor Josh Veal / Design Creative Director Kim Kibby / Ad Design Rachel Harper, Phil Artz Contributing Writers Missy Black Aebra Coe Steven G. de Polo Audria Larsen Dwayne Hoover Nick Macksood Steve Miller

Mayra Monroy Eric Mitts Troy Reimink Nicole Rico Josh Spanninga Marjorie Steele

Contributing Photographers Katy Batdorff, Nicole Rico


Revue Minion Elma Talundzic Sales / 616.608.6170 / Kelli Belanger /

Rich Tupica, Managing Editor

Digital Editor Kim Kibby /

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REVUE’s new “Best of” Readers Poll, voted by YOU, the readers!

Upcoming issues May: The Food Issue

A showcase of the best local restaurants, food markets, food trucks, recipes and more. Plus: Voting begins for Best of the West competition.


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Re aders Poll

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June: The Music Issue/Festival Guide

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Revue is published monthly by Revue Holding Company. 65 Monroe Center, Ste. 5, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 Office: 616.608.6170 / Fax: 616.608.6182 ©2016, 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.

Our annual roundup of the best in local music, plus a guide to festivals in West Michigan and beyond. Also: Top outdoor dining spots.

A roundup of outdoor activities and road trip destinations to maximize your summer enjoyment.

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To AdvertisE: Call (616) 608-6170 or email Space reservation is the 15th of the month before publication.

Macarons from Le Bon Macaron. See The Vice Issue on page 34.

July: The Road Trip Issue

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Random Notes MUSIC ///

The Grand Rapids Public Library’s Music in the Stacks series continues April 6 with Nathan Kalish and The Lastcallers. Known for his tried-and-true rock ‘n’ roll sound, Kalish has been compared to icons like Tom Petty and Paul Westerberg. His newest album, How am I Supposed to Get Back Home, is his first with the Lastcallers and echoes the classic Sun Records roster. For more information, visit The Brooklyn-based baroque-pop band San Fermin has opened for acts like The National, St. Vincent, Arctic Monkeys and The Head & The Heart. On April 9, the band headlines at Hope College with special guest Esmé Patterson. San Fermin’s new LP, Jackrabbit, is a study in deconstruction of the group’s previously polished sound. 8 p.m., $15, $5 Hope students, $10 faculty/ staff. Go to to purchase tickets.

Heaters Look ing ahead to May 28, New Belgium Brewing presents a Citradelic Experience at Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill (760 Butterworth SW, Grand Rapids). The psychedelic night celebrates the recent release of Citradelic (a tangerine IPA), while showcasing three remarkable and raucous Grand Rapids-based rock bands: Heaters, Flushed and Sleep Cheaters. The 21+ show is $5 and starts at 8 p.m.

BEER ///

Dodds Record Shop’s new home

Indulge your Goth side with Founders’ 15th Annual Black Party: A Celebration of Black Beers on April 16. On tap are the darkest beers around, including Dark Penance, KBS, Project Pam, Frangelic Stout and some firkins brewed specifically for the event. There will also be live music, from 5 p.m. on, by Animal Years, Hollywood Makeout and Oracle. Admission is $10. More details at


On April 13, Kendall College of Art and Design’s Fashion Studies Program presents its Capstone Fashion Show, Unearth. The production revolves around the theme of “nature and personal growth” and includes work from all Fashion Studies Program levels. It runs from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Downtown Market, 435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids. Admission is FREE.


Freckle Face Strawberry hits the stage at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre from April 22–May 1. This children’s musical tells the story of a young girl with bright red hair and freckles who learns the attributes she once hated actually make her unique. Tickets available at

Opera Grand Rapids presents Romeo and Juliet April 29–30 at DeVos Performance Hall. Based on the stor y by William Shakespeare, this five-act opera is directed by Bernard Uzan, who has taken part in nearly 400 opera productions throughout his career. Tickets range from $25–$112 and can be purchased at

ART ///

Art.Downtown. takes over a full day in Grand Rapids on April 9, from noon–9 p.m. Check out work by hundreds of artists in more than 30 venues throughout the downtown area. This is your opportunity to discuss your favorite art genres and methods with artists, curators and shop owners across the local arts community. A trolley is available to shuttle attendees to each spot. Visit for the full scoop. Up-and-coming artists may want to sign up for Avenue for the Arts’ Live Figure Model Sketch Night. Taking place April 21, The Avenue is providing local artists with a clothed model for drawing (no painting allowed). Reserve your spot at Rhythms of Abstraction: Landscape Duets of Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney continues its run at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts through June 19. Featuring 20 works, the exhibit explores the landscapes of

China through Cherney’s photography and Chang’s paintings. What results is collaborative works highlighting the similarities and differences between the two mediums. Go to for more information.


As part of Calvin College’s Festival of Faith and Writing, Zadie Smith visits the Van Noord Arena on April 14 to discuss spirituality and how it relates to literature. Smith’s debut, White Teeth, won the Orange Prize for Fiction and her novel NW was named one of the “10 Best Books of 2012” by The New York Times. 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5–$12 at Schuler Books’ Girls’ Night Out event features Christie Craig on April 28. The New York Times-bestselling romance author is known for her Divorced and Desperate series as well as the best-selling young adult paranormal romance series Shadow Falls. The event starts at 7 p.m. at Schuler Books & Music, 2660 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids. n Random Notes was compiled by Nicole Rico. For more music, beer and entertainment news (and free stuff!), sign up for our weekly enewsletter at or find us on Facebook.

REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

On Record Store Day, April 16, the long-lasting Dodds Record Shop — which recently relocated to 808 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids — is celebrating with live music and a parade. Listen to music by Swinehart, The Bitters, Raven Griffin and the Hellions, Lectralux, Otis Blueswell Jr., and Honest John Kowalko, among others, while you peruse Dodds’ selection of vinyl. The whole shindig starts at 1 p.m. Visit for more details. Local vinyl collectors may also want to pop in to Revolve Records, a brand new, 800-square-foot record shop located at 1606 Fuller Ave. SE in Grand Rapids. The store, which hosted its grand opening on March 17, carries not only vinyl, but also CDs and cassettes. Check out its stock at revolverecs. com.

Art.Downtown. at Avenue for the Arts on S Division Ave., Grand Rapids, April 9.


/// best bets

what’s Going on this month ongoing UNLOADED

UICA, 2 Fulton West, Grand Rapids Through May 15, $5, UICA members FREE, (616) 454-7000 Exploring “the historical and social issues surrounding the availability, use and impact of guns on culture and public health,” UNLOADED features work by more than 20 artists and includes photography, sculpture, paint, and digital media. The exhibition spans two floors in UICA and includes works like Mel Chin’s “Cross for the Unforgiven,” a Maltese cross made of AK-47s.

Saturday LadyFestGR 5


Pyramid Scheme, 68 Commerce SW, Grand Rapids April 2, 12 p.m.–12 a.m., $10, all ages,

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Created as a way to celebrate “badass women in our community,”LadyFestGR offers a variety show, DIY workshops and performances from TEEN, Moving Panoramas, and Yolonda Lavender. According to its website: “LadyfestGR is a day to unite over what makes us women (whether or not we were assigned that at birth) and share our skills and stories. Anyone is welcome to attend.”

16 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016

Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are at Grand Rapids Art Museum

Sunday 4/3 Eddie Money

Kalamazoo State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick, Kalamazoo April 3, 7:30 p.m., $20–$100, (269) 345-6500 Known for his dad-rock hits “Two Tickets To Paradise,” “Take Me Home Tonight,” “Shakin’” and “Baby Hold On,” Eddie Money has churned out several Top 20 songs over the span of his career. Legendary rock promoter Bill Graham has even been quoted as saying: “Eddie Money has it all. Not only can he sing, write and play, but he is a natural performer.”

wednesday 4/6 Marshall Crenshaw & The Bottle Rockets

Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill, 760 Butterworth St. SW, Grand Rapids April 6, 7 p.m., $25, 21 and up (616) 272-3910

Eddie Money

Marshall Crenshaw was originally described by rock critics as being a latter-day Buddy Holly. Later on in his career, he was compared to Alex Chilton due to his genre-defying power-pop classics like “Cynical Girl.”

Since then, he’s co-penned radio hits like the Gin Blossoms’ “Til I Hear It from You,” as well as the witty title track for the John C. Reilly movie Walk Hard.

friday 4/8 Powerman 5000 & (hed)p.e.

The Intersection, 133 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids April 8, 6 p.m. 4 for $40, $15 advance, $18 day of, (616) 451-8232 Founded by Rob Zombie’s kid brother Michael “Spider One” Cummings — Powerman 5000 were born out of the late ’90s nu-metal scene and hit it big with its 1999 single “When World’s Collide.” The band’s newest album, Builders of the Future, sees Powerman 5000 continuing with their usual science-fiction themes and heavy riffs. Check them out at the Intersection April 8. Co-headlining the show is (hed) p.e. Openers are Everybody Panic.

Lee Brice

Wings Stadium, 3600 Vanrick Dr., Kalamazoo April 8, 7:30 p.m. $62–$195, (269) 345-1125

Modern-country artist Lee Brice, 36, built his career with a solid songwriting resume: He penned hits for Garth Brooks, Jason Aldean and Tim McGraw, among others. In 2007, he signed to Curb Records and starting writing songs for himself, recording a string of hits and ballads, including: “I Drive Your Truck,” “Parking Lot Party” and “A Woman Like You.”

Saturday 4/9 Maurice Sendak: Where the Wild Things Are

Grand Rapids Art Museum, 101 Monroe Center St. NW, Grand Rapids April 9–May 22, $5–$8, Members and children 5 and under FREE, (616) 831-1000 Maurice Sendak has been capturing children’s imaginations since the publication of the 1963 picture book, Where the Wild Things Are. Since then, the classic title has sold more than 19 million copies and in 2009 director Spike Jonez turned it into a major motion picture. This exhibit celebrates the book’s 50th anniversary by showcasing Sendak’s original drawings, prints, posters and illustrations.




with The Lighthouse & The Whaler| Ladies Literary Club | 8pm | $10

Earth, Wind & Fire (with Chicago) at Van Andel Arena

friday 4/15 Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire

Van Andel Arena, 130 West Fulton, Grand Rapids April 15, 7:30 p.m., $29.50–$115, (616) 742-6600 Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire brings the Heart and Soul Tour 2.0 to Grand Rapids this month. Both groups are multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winners. Billboard hailed Chicago as one of “the most successful American rock bands of all time,” thanks to the band’s classicrock standards, like “25 or 6 to 4” and “Saturday in the Park.” Meanwhile, Rolling Stone declared Earth, Wind & Fire “a funk-fusion powerhouse that changed the sound and history of popular music” thanks to groovy hits like “September” and “Boogie Wonderland.”

Saturday 4/16 Kiefer Sutherland Band

Advance Warning GHOST wsg Pinkish Black Orbit Room, 2525 Lake Eastbrook SE, Grand Rapids May 20, doors at 6:30 $25 in advance / $30 day of show, 616-942-1328

Matilda the Musical

Wharton Center, 750 E. Shaw Ln., East Lansing April 19-24, times vary, $35–$71, (517) 353-1982 Declared the No. 1 show of the year by TIME Magazine, Matilda the Musical has won four Tony Awards and 50 awards internationally. Based on the book by Roald Dahl, Matilda tells the story of a girl with a vivid imagination who challenges her destiny. The Wall Street Journal called the musical “smart, sweet, zany and stupendous fun.” Recommended for ages 8 and up.

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS with William Tyler | Covenant Fine Arts Center | 9pm | $20




NOAH GUNDERSEN Ladies Literary Club | 8pm | $20


friday 4/22 Flint Eastwood

Bell’s Eccentric Café, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo April 22, 8 p.m., $10 advance, $12 day of, 21 and up, (269) 382-2332 Flint Eastwood is the product of Detroit-based indie artist Jax Anderson’s creativity and ear for hooks. According to her bio, Anderson’s distinct synth-pop sound is inspired by “what happens when friends and family gather in the forgotten spaces of an embattled city and are left to create with no rules, no boundaries and nothing holding them back.” Last year, Flint Eastwood released its Small Victories EP, now streaming at Opening the show are AOK and the Class Acts.

Continued on page 18 ➤




with special guest | Recital Hall | 9pm | FREE!

Changing the conversation about popular culture

616.526.6282 REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule



Fans of all things evil and dark may want to check out GHOST’s Black to the Future 2016 Tour at the Orbit Room. The enigmatic Swedish band keeps their identities secret by wearing face-concealing costumes that evolve with each album they release. The characters are based on Roman Catholic visualizations with a demonic twist. Despite the controversial image, the band’s song “Cirice” won a Grammy this year for Best Metal Performance.

Pyramid Scheme, 68 Commerce SW, Grand Rapids April 16, 8 p.m., $20 advance, $25 doors, all ages, (616) 272-3758 With an upcoming debut LP titled Down in a Hole, actor/rocker Kiefer Sutherland performs his folk-tinged tunes at Pyramid Scheme. The songs were originally written by Sutherland to be recorded by other artists, however Ironworks label co-founder Jude Cole encouraged Sutherland, 49, to perform them himself. His Down in a Hole LP is due this summer. Sutherland is not only known for his high-profile role on the hit television series 24, but also for playing the bad boy in classic ’80s films like Lost Boys and Stand By Me.



/// best bets

The best musical since The Lion King.” “

Keb’ Mo’ at Kalamazoo State Theatre

what’s Going on, cont. Keb’ Mo’

Tech N9ne

The three-time Grammy Award-winning bluesman Keb’ Mo’ brings his brand of visionary roots music to Kalamazoo State Theatre April 22. The 64-year-old’s latest post-modern blues album, 2014’s BLUESAmericana, won the 2015 Blues Music Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album.

Having sold more than 2 million albums since his start in 1991, Tech N9ne’s bizarre hardcore rap has led him to collaborations with everyone from Eminem and 2 Chainz, to Lil Wayne and T.I. The Kansas City native’s music has even appeared in commercials for AXE Body Spray. On April 22, he stops by the Instersection with openers Krizz Kaliko, Stevie Stone, ¡MAYDAY!, Ces Cru and Rittz.

Kalamazoo State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick, Kalamazoo April 22, 7 p.m., $34.50–$49.50, (269) 345-6500

The Intersection, 133 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids April 22, 7 p.m., $30 advance, $35 day of, (616) 451-8232

wednesday Todd Barry


Pyramid Scheme, 68 Commerce SW, Grand Rapids April 27, 8 p.m., $18 advance, $20 doors, all ages, (616) 272-3758



Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene




APRIL 19-24, 2016


18 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016

Advance Warning Book of Mormon

Broadway Grand Rapids at DeVos Performance Hall, 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids June 21–26, times vary, $38–$92.50, (616) 235-6285 From the creators of South Park, The Book of Mormon has been called “the best musical of this century” by The New York Times and “the funniest musical of all time” by Entertainment Weekly. The edgy production has won a whopping nine Tony Awards, a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album and is described by co-writer/creator Trey Parker as “an atheist’s love letter to religion.”

Dry-comedy genius Todd Barry, who performs April 27 at the Pyramid Scheme, has been a staple in the stand-up comedy scene since the late ’90s. Alongside his peers like Louis C.K., Marc Maron and Patton Oswalt, Barry helped usher in the next generation of comics. All the while, he was also appearing on hit shows like Dr. Katz, The Larry Sanders Show, Flight of the Conchords and Master of None.

friday 4/29 Melissa Etheridge: M.E. Solo

Firekeepers Casino, 11177 East Michigan Ave., Battle Creek, April 29, 8 p.m., $39, 1- 877-352-8777 In promotion of her latest album, This is M.E, singersongwriter, guitarist, activist and Grammy Award-winning artist Melissa Etheridge heads back to West Michigan for a solo gig at Firekeepers Casino. Rolling Stone praised her new disc, saying: “As always, her voice can walk a fine line between passionate and histrionic, but when she dials it back on the smoldering ‘Like A Preacher,’ it’s clear that this honeymoon might be the start of a whole new her.” n

Travel unscripted.

Here at KLVC we want you to make the most of your summer! Swim longer. Climb higher. Run farther. Be free and experienece the Keil Lasik difference. Call to schedule a FREE Lasik exam! p. 616.365.5775 REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |


/// All Ages

Family Fun in April Note to parents: If a vice is something you enjoy that’ll eventually kill you, I guess having kids is a vice. In the meantime, spend your days traveling around West Michigan to enjoy some innocent, all-ages pleasures families can enjoy together. By Steven G. De Polo

Maple Syrup Day in Grayling Hartwick Pines State Park, Visitor Center & Logging Museum 4216 Ranger Road (M-93), Grayling April 2, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. FREE, (989) 348-2537

Sugar is a devilish vice and there’s plenty of it to be found in the sugar maple trees of Hartwick

Pines State Park. Learn how to tap into all that sweet goodness during the park’s Maple Syrup Day. Park Interpreter Craig Kasmer is expecting up to 700 people for the daylong event, weather permitting. You can expect tapping exhibitions every hour, with Kasmer drilling into trees, then driving hollow-tube spiles into the trunks. “Kids like to help,” Kasmer said. “Most have never seen a manual drill before.” You’ll be able to hear the sap hit the bucket and watch sugary clouds of steam float off the


Presented by

Sara Skrabalak, Ph.D.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

James H. Rudy Associate Professor of Chemistry Indiana University — Bloomington Public Lecture


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Friday, April 15, 2016

From Honeycombs, Spider Webs, and Snowflakes to Stellated Metals: Symmetry in Nature and Nanomaterials

Shaping the Synthesis of Bimetallic Nanocrystals

Reception — 5 p.m. Evening Lecture — 6 p.m. Charles W. Loosemore Auditorium Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus

1 p.m. Pere Marquette Room Russel H. Kirkhof Center, Allendale Campus

Hos ted by

20 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016

Free and open to the public For more information, call (616) 331-3317 or visit

Maple Syrup Day tree tapping in Grayling evaporator pans. Then head over to the shop to bring home your own maple syrup and handmade candy. A movie about the history of maple syrup harvesting will also be looping in the Visitor Center. Feel free to stay after and explore the largest stand of old growth White Pine (49 acres) in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

Traverse City Chocolate Festival City Opera House 106 East Front St., Traverse City April 17, Noon–4 p.m. Adults $15, Children 12 and under $8

The Traverse City Chocolate Festival boasts fountains of chocolate and clouds of cocoa for the whole family to enjoy – making it a perfect early Mother’s Day present. Celebrating its seventh year, the festival remains the largest chocolate event in Michigan. Talk to talented chocolatiers, savor their samples and enjoy live music by Traverse City’s own Jim Hawley amid the historic splendor of the City Opera House. The Wonka-approved event is also a fundraiser for the Northwest Food Coalition, which hosts 60 food kitchens and baby pantries throughout the northwest region. That means every bite is guilt-free.

Bringin’ Back the ’80s Harvey Kern Community Pavilion 601 Weiss St., Frankenmuth April 22, 6 p.m.–Midnight April 23, 4 p.m.–Midnight $10,, (989) 652-8008

Bring back the 1980s, Miami Vice style, with all that is great and garish from the most tubular decade ever, thanks to totally awesome trends like: Neon clothes, shocking hair, Reaganomics and new-wave music. Be sure to peg those stonewashed jeans and tease the hair, too. Check out outrageous cover bands, a Scott Baio look-a-like contest, and a huge display of ‘80s memorabilia. Families are especially welcome Friday evening, the more kid-friendly timeframe. “It surprises me how many kids know the lyrics to many of the ’80s songs,” said festival director Jeanna Rogner. “We have ’80s video games they can play, breakdancing competitions and a ‘Thriller’ dance-a-long they can do.” The fun has a serious side, as well. All the profits are donated to finding a cure for cancer, which took the life of Jill Zehnder at the age of 43. The annual festival was started 11 years ago to celebrate her life and support cancer-related causes.

Spring Cleaning Model Railroad Swap Meet Kalamazoo County Expo Center & Fairground 2900 Lake St., Room A, Kalamazoo April 2, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. $3, Children 10 and under FREE

This swap meet allows railroad enthusiasts to buy and sell all kinds of model engines, cars, tracks, fake lichen bushes and tiny people. There’s no better place to begin your family’s journey into the elaborate, imaginative world of miniature cities. Plenty of veterans are on standby to pass down their time-tested modeling wisdom. Also, for the proud locals, you can find specially designed model cars featuring the logos of St. Julian Winery and Kalamazoo Farm Bureau. n

NATHAN KALISH AND THE LASTCALLERS Wednesday, April 6 7:00 pm Main Library 111 Library St NE

An Evening with Grand Rapids Author Adam Schuitema Thursday, April 14 7:00 pm Main Library 111 Library St NE

Join award-winning Grand Rapids author Adam Schuitema as he reads from his novel Haymaker and discusses the origins of its story.


Monday, April 18 7:00 pm Have Company 136 Division Ave S April’s selection is Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay.

International Tabletop Day presented by Vault of Midnight Saturday, April 30 12:00–5:00 pm Main Library 111 Library St NE

Local purveyors of comics and games, Vault of Midnight, will be on hand to lend their sharp wit and board gaming expertise to attendees. They will be teaching both classic and contemporary games for any age.

Many of these events are funded by the Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation Donate: or 616.988.5399

REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule



/// Eclectic

April Eclectic Events This month, indulge your springtime urges (we all have ’em) with a frolic through the world of ’shrooms, a journey into the warm night sky, or an intimate, sensual evening with a theatre full of people. By Audria Larsen

Mushroom Log Workshop

Blandford Nature Center 1715 Hillburn Ave. NW, Grand Rapids April 16, 2–3:30 p.m. $36 per mushroom log, (616) 375-6240

Throughout the ages, mushrooms have captured our collective consciousness, culturally and culinarily. These mysterious fungi are beloved by foodies, healers and psychedelic enthusiasts alike. Mushrooms are tricky to cultivate, but the

‘Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man’ at Miller Auditorium masters at Blandford Nature Center will demystify the process at their hands-on mushroom log workshop. Learn the juicy details of inoculating a log with shiitake and other gourmet fungi in your own backyard.

Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Miller Auditorium, Kalamazoo 1903 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo April 22, 8 p.m.; April 23, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. $40,, (269) 387-2300

This saucy off-Broadway play is a comedic, naughty, theatrical romp based on a book by Dan Anderson and Maggie Berman. The interactive show is in its second year, bringing taboo and tips to the stage for what the New York Times called “a polished production with an endearing and talented cast.” Set in a local university auditorium, the show presents an irreverent seminar of sorts, using real audience members as fodder for adult fun that sidesteps scholarly discussion and dives into the nitty gritty of our modern, sexual lives.


May 4 – 7:30PM | DeVos Performance Hall Tickets: DeVos Place & Van Andel Arena Box Offices Ticketmaster ticket centers | 800-745-3000 |

22 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016

Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear Kalamazoo Valley Museum 230 N. Rose St., Kalamazoo Through May 8 Monday–Saturday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Sunday: 1 p.m.–5 p.m. FREE,, (269) 373-7965

Love a good blast of fright? Horror films, haunted houses, roller coasters — there are endless ways to scare the shizz out of yourself in the name of fun. Get scientific with your scares at Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear, where you can experience the 6,000-square-foot traveling exhibit dedicated to examining the physiological, neurobiological and sociological aspects of fear. Get your spook on with immersive activities, tinkering around conceptual areas and rating your response, all in a safe environment. Developed by the California Science Center, you have until the beginning of May to get a good ol’ freak out, all for free.

Astronomy Program: Unmanned Spacecraft

Hemlock Crossing, 8115 W. Olive Road, West Olive April 9, 7 p.m. FREE,, (616) 786-4847

Near Holland, the Shoreline Amateur Astronomy Association meets twice a month to observe the vast night sky and invites you to join them, free of charge. On April 9, SAAA’s crew delves into the current locations of various space probes. Not only will you help them locate these hunks of metal floating out in the abyss, but you’ll also learn about the current findings gleaned from these unmanned spacecraft. Experts often say that when people think they’ve seen unidentified flying objects, they’re actually just seeing bright satellites. This is your chance to turn those UFOs into IFOs, proving your conspiracy theorist, X Files-loving friends wrong. n

REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |


APRIL 8 - $20


APRIL 10 - $32



APRIL 15 - $34


APRIL 16 - $25




APRIL 29 & 30 - $25











MAY 26 - $20




/// local Music

“The stretch between the release of Coyote Stories and the release of Foxlore has been the hardest, most tumultuous time in my life,” Pillsbury said, explaining how last November her boyfriend was injured in a motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. “Releasing Foxlore feels a little bit like a grand celebration after a heart-wrenching period in my life.” Naturally, The Crane Wives celebrates its new album’s release this month where the band first began: Founders Taproom in Grand Rapids. With Foxlore, they’ll have released three of their four albums at the venue. Backed by a successful PledgeMusic campaign, The Crane Wives recorded Foxlore and Coyote Stories simultaneously last March and April. They later returned to Zito’s studio in November to work on some vocal harmonies and put the finishing touches on the new album. “I kind of see Coyote Stories as a stepping stone into Foxlore,” Petersmark said. “Both have a rockier sort of feel to them, but Foxlore really digs in with the electric guitar and heavy lyrics.” On both records, Pillsbury has picked up the electric guitar more often, while still sharing acoustic guitar, ukulele and banjo duties with Petersmark. “We’ve definitely pushed the boundaries of folk in these last two albums,” Petersmark said. “For a long time, the banjo was a prominent part of our sound, but we’re letting it take a The Crane Wives backseat in these two albums in order to showcase guest musicians, electric guitar riffs and more prominent bass lines.” “I dare anyone to call this a folk album,” Pillsbury added. “Our music is always going to be lyric-driven. That’s never going to change. [But] The Crane Wives do not strive to write folk music. We’re striving to write music with lyrics that make people think. If that makes us folk, then so be it. But don’t overlook our groovy bass lines or our disco and hip-hop infused drum beats.” When the band first thought up the “I dare anyone to call concept for Foxlore and Coyote Stories, they this a folk album. … discussed how they see the band as a team, The Crane Wives do not only with each other, but with the not strive to write friends, family, fans and fellow musicians who have come to surround them. folk music. We’re “The coyotes represent us and the striving to write community around The Crane Wives,” |  by Eric Mitts Pillsbury said. “We derive so much hapmusic with lyrics that piness from sharing our lives with other make people think.” people. As beautiful as that is, the fox oxlore is the coming-of-age story comes into play because no matter how of The Crane Wives,” vocalist/guitarist Kate much you surround yourselves with other Pillsbury told Revue as way of introduction to the Grand people, the human journey is always a solo trek. No one can ever fully underRapids band’s new LP. “We wrote the songs at a time stand another person’s life. No one can fight my battles for me. I try to blend when we were still bumbling through our lives a bit. So in with the coyotes but I’m a fox at heart.” much has happened to us between the writing of these This summer, The Crane Wives will venture all over the country, including songs and the consequent recordings.” first-time stops in cities from Vermont to the Southwest. After that, perhaps Beginning as a two-album concept as far back as 2014, Foxlore is the sister they’ll start work on another album. record to The Crane Wives’ last album, 2015’s Coyote Stories. “We always try to put on the best show we can, even if it’s only for one Since that time, life has continued unabated for the young indie band. person,” Zito said of the band’s past experiences on the road playing for packed The indie-folk-rock group played one of its biggest gigs last year, opening houses and nearly empty bars. “Joey Schultz, formerly of Fauxgrass, once told for the Avett Brothers at ArtPrize. Drummer/vocalist Dan Rickabus got married. me that if you have fans at home, you can have fans anywhere. Bassist Ben Zito built a studio, and both started a jam-inspired side-project with “When we started playing Founders’ open mic night five years ago, we fellow local musician Steve Leaf called Public Access. received looks of curious wonder that I had not experienced before while On top of all that, Pillsbury and vocalist/guitarist Emilee Petersmark quit performing in a band,” he added. “It’s pretty neat to see those same looks on their day jobs on a whim and travelled the world. Well, as much of it as they the road in the faces of people hearing our music for the first time.” n could see in a two-week window of free time from band duties.


Crane Wives Return with ‘Foxlore’ LP, companion album to ‘Coyote Stories’

REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

The Crane Wives Foxlore Album Release wsg Olivia Mainville & the Aquatic Troupe Founders Taproom, 235 Grandville Ave. SW April 2, 9:30 p.m., $6, 21+,, (616) 776-1195



/// vinyl

Wax Ecstatic

As Record Store Day Approaches, Kalamazoo’s Vinyl Scene Thrives |  by Dwayne Hoover


Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

alamazoo is stocked with sanct uaries for v inyl - record col lectors and Sean Hartman, manager of Satellite Records, thinks he might know why. “A lot of it is a natural reaction to how disposable media has become,” said Hartman, who runs the shop located at 808 S. Westnedge Ave. in Kalamazoo. “There’s definitely something to having that physical piece that you had to look for and find. It’s fragile, you want to take care of it and you want to be able to appreciate it for the rest of your life. The artwork is cool and you can put it on the turntable, actually watch it play and listen to it in the order the artist intended as a complete work of art.” Formerly the Corner Record Shop, Satellite Records made the move in 2014 from their location on West Main to a new locale on Westnedge in Kalamazoo’s Vine Neighborhood. The new spot has given the store closer proximity to a large student

26 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016

population and increased foot traffic, both of which have contributed to a sizable increase in sales and access to quality inventory. “The majority of people walking in the door are selling to us,” Hartman said. “We’ve done a little bit of advertising, but over the years our reputation has been built up to the point that we rarely have to leave to find stuff. We’ve got a couple of secret spots that we go to every once in a while if we need to pull up a few extra things, but we haven’t had to do that in months.” In addition to providing the community with a wide selection of vinyl, tapes, CDs and movies, the staff is also involved in, and supportive of, the local music scene. Not only do they stock albums from local bands and help get the word out about shows, they participate in local events like a monthly Vinyl DJ Night at Bell’s Brewery, Fat Guy Fest and even the annual WIDR Block Party. On top of that, many of the employees have been involved with the semi-underground basement shows coordinated by the loosely-knit group known as DITKalamazoo. The main goal of Satellite Records is to get people excited about music, and they do

Satellite Records (also pictured below) so by providing the most welcoming atmo“When you’re looking through the racks, sphere possible for seasoned vinyl veterans you’re going to see stuff that’s not algorithmiand first-timers alike. No High Fidelity-caliber cally chosen by a computer,” Savas said. “It smugness. might be something that’s totally different “We do everything we can to try to get or it might be something that’s in the wrong rid of that record store stereotype of elit- section — there are just sort of those happy ism, being music-snobby and all of that,” accidents in a record store.” Hartman said. “I’m just as excited about And while digital delivery methods have selling the most common record as I am certainly given people an additional option to selling something ultra-obscure. I just want find and buy music, investing in an album is people to come in and be different than downloading excited about being part of individual songs a la carte at the culture.” 99 cents a pop. It’s a deeper, You won’t f ind that more enriching experience same culture when buying and it means more than your music on iTunes. Just simply having yet another ask Abe Savas, owner of song in your seemingly endGreen Light Music and less catalog. Video on West Kl Avenue, “It becomes k ind of who said he knows all too overwhelming when you’ve well the crucial part that got like three gigs worth of people — actual human —Abe Savas, owner of Green music,” Savas said. “It used beings — play in both the Light Music and Video to be, in the old days, you’d creation and sharing of spend 15 bucks on an album. music. You made your investment “Huma n contact is so you needed to make it important when you’re talking about music worth your while. You didn’t necessarily because it’s art, it’s not just a product,” Savas like every song on the first try but you went explained. “When you go to concerts, there through and listened to it again and it was are a lot of people there and you go with more of a commitment.” your friends. It’s the same thing when you’re Not to mention, having an extensive shopping for music. It’s a communal thing.” playlist isn’t exactly communal. And much like watching a video of a “Nobody says, ‘Hey, do you want to come performance is not a substitute for a live show, over to my house tonight and scroll through music recommendations from a website will my iPod?,’” Savas joked. “But you might say, never replace the personal touch a record like in the old days, ‘Let’s pull out a stack store gives, nor will it replace the experi- of 45s and play some random songs.’ It’s a ence of simply sifting through the albums lot more fun because you’ve got the thing in randomly just to see what’s there. front of you.” n

“Nobody says, ‘Hey, do you want to come over to my house tonight and scroll through my iPod?’”

upcoming Thurs, April 7


$22 adv / $25 day of

wsg John Moreland

Fri, April 8

Turbo Suit & Zoogma Sat, April 9

Nick Monaco

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

$15 adv / $17 day of Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

$15 adv / $20 day of

wsg Just Alexander, Cookin, Aron Michael

Thurs, April 14

Start Making Sense

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

$10 adv / $12 day of

a Tribute to the Talking Heads

Fri, April 22

Flint Eastwood

wsg AOK, The Class Acts

Fri, May 6

Kalamazoo Pride Presents

The Crane Wives wsg Out of Favor Boys

Sat, May 7

Digital Tape Machine

Fri, May 13

Fri, May 27


Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

$10 adv / $12 day of Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

$10 Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

$15 adv / $17 day of Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

$10 Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

$20 adv / $25 day of Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Sat, May 28

May Erlewine

Seated show

$15 Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Mustard Plug

wsg Rude Boy George, Sailor Kicks



/// On tour

Relighting the Fire

and moving on with their lives. But the passion for making noise didn’t wane for Chamberlain. “There was no way I wasn’t going to continue playing music. I’ve been playing music my entire life,” he said. “There’s something about music that it doesn’t matter where you are in your life. You can be unsure of yourself, or you can be in a bad spot, or a good spot, and the music you write is going to be a kind of therapy — it’s a better drug than drugs.” Having struggled with an admitted addiction earlier in his life, Chamberlain has turned to both music and faith to help maintain his sobriety and follow his own path. Though, The band’s reunion this year comes on the tenth anniincorporating faith in music isn’t a clear-cut option. versary of its biggest-selling, and arguably most influential LP, “Even when we started, I never thought we should bring 2006’s Define the Great Line. It debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard religion into music,” he said, discussing the group’s difficult charts and scored Underoath heavy airplay on MTV2 and decision to no longer be called a Christian band. “Once you big-time runs on the Warped Tour and Taste of Chaos tour. put in the word Christian or straight-edge, or Satanist, or The LP arguably earned the band a wider fan base than any whatever — you’ve already limited your audience. I don’t want other hardcore band on a Christian label at the time. to isolate anybody with my music.” “I think when we were touring we didn’t think anything Looking forward, Chamberlain said the fuof it,” Chamberlain said of how he reacts to now ture isn’t clear after this reunion tour, but added being hailed as an innovator of the scene. “We they’ve already written new segue and interlude were just touring and writing records. We just did Underoath Rebirth Tour 2016 music for the upcoming live shows. what we thought was right.” The Orbit Room “I think it’s insane to think we won’t write Even with the praise from their contempo2525 Lake Eastbrook SE, anything because that’s not the kind of people raries, three years ago the band decided to give it a Grand Rapids we are,” he said. “No one has to force us to write. rest and move on. Chamberlain has been fulltime April 9, 6:30 p.m. doors We’re the kind of guys that write all the time. with his new band Sleepwave since Underoath’s $25 advance, $29 day So I think it’s not a question of whether we’ll hiatus. Meanwhile, drummer/vocalist Aaron of show, (616) write more stuff — it’s a question of, ‘Will it ever Gillespie has toured steadily with alt-rockers 456-3333 come out?’” n Paramore. The other members have invested a lot of time into raising families, running businesses

Underoath Reunion Tour Stops at Orbit Room |  by Eric Mitts

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene


hen metalcore megastars Underoath disbanded in 2013, frontman Spencer Chamberlain honestly felt like it was the end of an era. “I never thought in a million years that we’d ever play another show,” Chamberlain told Revue in anticipation of the band’s reunion tour coming to the Orbit Room this month. “It was a brutal breakup.” Chronicled in the 2015 documentary film Tired Violence, the band’s demise after nearly 14 years and seven LPs came as a crushing blow to the young singer. He came into Underoath midway on — replacing original vocalist Dallas Taylor in 2003 — as they sped down a path toward mainstream success and internal tension. “That band went through a lot,” Chamberlain said. “When you’re a bunch of kids at 18 years old and you’re getting your band together, and ten years of time goes by, a lot happens. Life happens. We were ten dudes who were very similar when we got into a band and “There was no way were very different by the end. I wasn’t going to I think we never had enough time off to understand that and continue playing understand each other. music. I’ve been “We were on tour nonstop and I think we just imploded,” playing music he added. “We were worn out, my entire life. … we weren’t friends anymore. We didn’t really know what was [T]he music you right and what was wrong as far write is going as what to do with the band.” to be a kind of And, as they say, money doesn’t solve all of your probtherapy — it’s lems. With fame came added a better drug pressures. “With a full touring and than drugs.” recording schedule, notoriety, all of a sudden selling out shows everywhere, being in a bus and having expectations — it does change you,” Chamberlain said looking back. “There’s no way for that not to change you no matter how hard you try. It changes the band dynamics, the way people see each other and the way people get along. We had to take a step back from that and live separate lives for a while and come together again [and] realize we’re all still good people.”

28 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016






C A G E T H E E L E P H A N T. C O M REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |


/// On tour

“We are stewards of Memphis and Memphis music no matter where we go. It’s who we are and it’s definitely what we represent. Our stage show is sort of a sovereign travelling state of Memphis, Tenn.”


Memphis Roots Lucero Headlines at Bell’s Brewery Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

|  by Eric Mitts


ltho u gh the road has become their home ov er the last 18 years, hard-touring altcountry-rockers Lucero are still rooted in the musical legacy of their hometown of Memphis. “We are stewards of Memphis and Memphis music no matter where we go,” bassist John C. Stubblefield told Revue. “It’s who we are and it’s definitely what we represent. Our stage show is sort of a sovereign travelling state of Memphis, Tenn.” One of the original birthplaces of rock ‘n’ roll, Memphis has always influenced Lucero. From their very beginning — when they came together as kids at afternoon punk shows — the band has tapped into the city’s deep history in

30 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016

everything from country to soul. And throughout their career, they’ve continued to break down the unspoken barriers separating those genres with every turn. “Geographically, Memphis has allowed us to tour on our own and kind of build it up one town at a time, one fan at a time,” Stubblefield said of the band’s strong DIY work ethic. “Within the proverbial pond of America, it’s allowed us to do what we do.” Through all their whiskey-soaked blues and open-road drives, the core of the band — vocalist/guitarist Ben Nichols, Stubblefield, drummer Roy Berry, and guitarist Brian Venable — have remained intact, giving Lucero their own rugged, lived-in history, even as they’ve expanded to include horns and other instrumentation on some of their recent releases. “That’s the difference between a band and a group,” Stubblefield said about

Lucero’s original members sticking by one other through thick and thin. “You know a band is the same (guys) and the chemistry of those four players. I truly believe that Lucero is Lucero because it’s the core four and the sound that happened there. If it was changed or replaced by somebody else, it wouldn’t be the same thing or the same sound.” Their latest record, and eleventh studio LP, All a Man Should Do, came out last fall on ATO Records. The set has been described by critics as something of a love letter to the city of Memphis itself. Stubblefield agreed that the quieter, often acoustic new songs have a deeply reflective feel compared to the rowdier sound of their last few releases. All a Man Should Do was recorded at Ardent Studios — the legendary Memphis location where Stax Records icons and groups like ZZ Top, Big Star, R.E.M. and the Replacements have all put their passion to wax.

The new record felt like a full-circle moment for Lucero. “It’s pretty amazing because Ardent is right here in our neighborhood, (so) to have a world-class studio like that is a real blessing,” Stubblefield said. “Just to come into a place of such reverence — there’s so much history there, you can feel it. Some people may say it’s just a building but there’s stuff that you can feel and it informs the sound and the vibe of the record. We truly believe all that stuff sticks to tape.” The band recorded a cover of Big Star’s “I’m In Love With a Girl” for the album and found themselves accompanied by none other than Big Star’s own Jody Stephens, who came in to sing backup on the track. “Jody actually works (at Ardent) and we’ve gotten to be friends with him over the years,” Stubblefield said. “It came out great.” Later this spring, they’ll host their Second Annual Family Block Party back home in Memphis, where they’ll welcome fans and some of their favorite bands from all across the country to experience the sights, sounds and tastes of Memphis. Afterwards, they’ll take some time off this summer to rest and recharge before working on their next album in the fall. Until then, they’re happy to bring a little bit of Memphis flavor to our neck of the woods when they hit the stage at Bell’s in Kalamazoo April 7. “We’re coming up on 18 years as a band and still the live performance is very refreshing,” Stubblefield said. “Every time we take the stage, it’s very humbling to have people singing back, participating and being such a part of it. I really do feel like we’re providing a little bit of music therapy for folks.” n

Lucero wsg John Moreland Bell’s Brewery, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo April 7, 8 p.m. doors, 9 p.m. show $22 advance, $25 day of show, (269) 382-2332

/// On tour

Bruce Hornsby

Tony Bennett

The Gilmore International Keyboard Festival Returns

19-Day Event Includes Bruce Hornsby, Tony Bennett |  by Dwayne Hoover

W Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

hat began as a way to honor local philanthropist Irving S. Gilmore’s tremendous love for music, specifically the piano, has grown immensely, now boasting more than 100 concerts at various venues across West Michigan. Since 1991, the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival has hosted world-class music in the Kalamazoo area. But it’s not

Revue.indd 1 | April 2016 32 | REVUEWM.COM

just concerts. You’ll also find master classes, a film series and a musical play throughout the 19-day festival, all of which focus on some element of keyboard music. And while the long roster of happenings may seem a bit overwhelming to first-time attendees, Festival Director Dan Gustin recommends newbies try dipping their toes into some of the free events. “It can be very daunting to look at the brochure and say, ‘Wow, I don’t know where to start,’” Gustin said. “Look for something that seems intriguing for you and just try it. If you like it, try something else — what have you

got to lose? If people take that approach they’ll end up coming to more than one thing. … It’s a major event right in your backyard. Even those who aren’t typically versed in classical or jazz music will notice some familiar names, with Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers (April 30), Pink Martini featuring China Forbes (April 27) and the iconic Tony Bennett (May 7) counting themselves among this year’s performers. With all of the big names on the bill, there’s one area of the event that’s largely out of the public eye — one that’s important to the festival and its legacy.

“[The awards we give out are] the part the public doesn’t see about The Gilmore,” Gustin explained of both the Gilmore Young Artist Awards and the Gilmore Artist Award. “These are American pianists under the age of 22. Every two years, we select two of them and give them award money and promote them. Every four years, we give a major, across-the-world award. It has no restrictions on nationality or anything else, just that they are especially worthy and can use the boost that the award gives them.” The process for selecting the award winners is unique. In fact, it’s not a competition at all. Every four years, Gustin secretly selects five other members for a judging panel who communicate privately, exchange recordings and covertly attend concerts all over the world searching for their recipient. “The selection is never made on one or two performers based on the pressure of competing,” Gustin said. “It’s based on what they do. They don’t know that they’re under consideration. They don’t even know that we’re [at the concerts].” Winners not only receive the substantial monetary award and the recognition that goes with it, but they also become a part of the Gilmore Festival family. “At the Festival we bring back artists from previous years,” Gustin said. “People here get to know them, watch them perform and watch their careers. This year, we have at least a couple of the Gilmore Artists back, like Kirill [Gerstein] and Ingrid [Fliter].” n

The Gilmore International Keyboard Festival April 26–May 14 Full schedule at

SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2016 | Van Andel Arena | 5 - 9 pm Join us at Barley, BBQ & Beats and sample the area’s best barbecue and fixin’s from leading pit masters and barbecue restaurants. Enjoy hand-crafted cocktails from Michigan whiskey distillers. Tickets: $35 pre-sale, $40 at the door. (Guests must be 21+) Purchase tickets at or contact Alexandra Wilson: 616-356-5288 / Presented by

Music by Domestic Problems, Mid-Life Crisis, and Big Dudee Roo

Proceeds benefit Hospice of Michigan’s Open Access Program, ensuring quality end-of-life care regardless of ability to pay. | 888.247.5701 3/9/16 3:16 PM

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special feature

the vice issue T

he word “vice” is often thought of as a bad thing: Immoral habits, like prostitution, gambling or heavy-drug use. While Revue isn’t here to judge those partaking in such affairs, the annual Vice Issue also isn’t about spotlighting ways to land you in the clink. We surely don’t want to pony up your bail money, either. This section highlights those innocent vices. It’s about having fun, while indulging, in West Michigan. It’s about having that extra cupcake and then lighting up a celebratory cigar. Sure, being addicted to locally made desserts may be a mild failing in the self-control department. Same goes for the caffeine junkie who knocks back multiple shots of espresso. But it’s a fact of life. We all cheat every once in a while. Why not this month? Full disclosure: We do touch on swinging in West Michigan and local marijuana laws — but that’s as naughty as it gets this year, folks. We keep it classy. Read on and don’t forget: You only live once.

34 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016

How to stay Caffeinated in Grand Rapids A Guide to High-Caliber Caffeine Pick-Me-Ups By Mayra Monroy


erhaps you become irritable after not having coffee — maybe even lazy and unproductive. Your body is so dependent on it that without it, you’re insufferable. Congratulations: Caffeine is your vice. But is it just that? A vice tends to have a negative connotation, but according to Rowster Coffee Vice President Stephen Curtis, coffee is one of those constructive vices. “It’s considered a vice, but at the same time, it’s uplifting,” Curtis said. “If you’re going to have a vice, coffee is a really good one to have. It makes you more productive, happier.” Whether you prefer a steady stream of that tasty black gold throughout the day, or just one blast of addicting espresso, here’s a beginner’s guide to finding that perfect kickstarter.

The Bitter End

752 W. Fulton, Grand Rapids Try: Bullshot, prices vary For those looking for the cup of Joe with the most caffeine, The Bitter End Founder and Operator John Sprite says, despite popular belief, “the lighter the roast, the higher the caffeine.” So don’t gravitate toward darker roasts if you’re looking for some added punch. Organic and fair trade beans are a staple for the 24/7 coffee shop located in the West Fulton area, and they serve up more than a basic cup of coffee. For the thrill seekers, Sprite suggests a few of his shop’s high-voltage drinks for an early morning buzz or a late-night cram session. One of those, “the Bullshot,” is a motley concoction that’s gained a cult following. It consists of double espresso, honey and a can of Red Bull. Yow! But there are other favorites, too. “The Red Eye, which is your classic espresso dropped in a cup of coffee,” Sprite said. “And the Rocket Fuel blend, which is a brew we always have on tap. It’s a medium-roast blend amplified with an energy boost supplement.”

Madcap Coffee

98 Monroe Center NW, Grand Rapids Try: Madcap’s Pour Over Coffee, prices vary Madcap, located smack dab in the center of downtown Grand Rapids, specializes in

roasting and brewing Grade A coffee. The company sources its beans from locations such as Guatemala, Ethiopia and Costa Rica, among others. They also roast beans at their roastery, located off of East Fulton, where a coffee shop is set to open later this year. So what Madcap drink should you start with? “A filter-brew or pour-over coffee is best because it should be delicious and it’s not too much of a shock to the system in the morning,” said Andrew Grassmick, the shop’s director of sales and relationships. “If you do want a shock to the system, a shot of espresso will do the trick.” Grassmick also said most of the coffees at Madcap have about the same level of caffeine in them size-wise. “The caffeine level in a cup of coffee depends on a lot of things,” he said, “including strength of the brew (water-to-coffee ratio), water temperature and grind size.”

Rowster Coffee

632 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids Try: The Cortado (Espresso), $3 Rowster Coffee sits on Wealthy Street in a warm and inviting building, open and spacious and ready to pour your vice into a cup. For Vice President Stephen Curtis, every coffee drinker has their own style, including how they want to get going for the day. Whether you want to ease into the day or get a quick jolt, Rowster can deliver. While Rowster’s pour-over coffees tend to have more caffeine than its espressos, Curtis

still suggests a double shot to get that hurried jumpstart. Pour-overs are for those who don’t mind the steady fix, or what Curtis calls a “coffee burn.” But what about those caffeine junkies who are just looking for their next coffee buzz? Curtis uses the term “coffee drunk” to describe the sensation of enjoying the buzz in the moment, but suggests not overdoing it. “If you do that, there will be that crash,” he said. “Spread it out. Don’t [drink] it all at once.”

Mayan Buzz Cafe

208 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Try: Cold Brewed Coffee (Iced or Frozen), $4.65-$5.95 Mayan Buzz Café, a Latin American influenced coffeehouse located on the corner of Grandville Avenue and Cherry Street, stays open 24 hours a day a few days a week — providing a caffeinated sanctuary for even the night owl Grand Rapidians. To maximize your coffee buzz, General Manager Mary Rose also suggests drinking coffee throughout the day for a nice even buzz — but doesn’t discourage responsibly indulging. “I think it’s a good vice,” Rose said. “There are more and more studies saying [coffee] is good for us in high volumes. [Studies] are finding that it’s good for us because it makes us feel good and helps us feel less stressed. I feel really good serving coffee.” n

REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |


The Vice Issue

Up in Smoke The Fight to Legalize It Burns On


By Steve Miller

ou are sitting at ground zero for marijuana decriminalization in the U.S. That’s right, Michigan has 20 of the 26 U.S. cities in which voters or elected officials have elected to decriminalize pot.

And for a long time, he’s been at war with the so-called war on drugs. “We started doing the math on this war on drugs. Locally, we broke it down to costing taxpayers $2.5 million,” Tuffelmire said. “These marijuana crimes were killing people, taking away scholarships and hindering employment.” His team won with 60 percent of the vote in favor of lowering the penalty for possession to a ticket, with a $25 fine for the first offense, $50 for the second, $100 for any more and no jail or probation time allowable. When Kent County contested the vote in court, seeking clarity The will of Grand Rapids voters was ratified in December, when the on the discrepancy between state law and local ordinance, it was state Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal by Kent County Tuffelmire’s uncle, local attorney Jack Hoffman, who worked the case Prosecutor William Forsyth of the 2012 election in which voters made pro bono for the people. possession of 2.5 ounces or less a civil infraction. “If we had tried to finance that court fight, it never would have gone And now Grand Rapids is one of the cities leading the charge to put far,” Tuffelmire said. He projected the legal fees would have reached legalization of pot on the statewide ballot in November. You may have six figures, which is nothing for a prosecutor seen the petitions in your local grow shop or spending public money but plenty for a batch smoking supply outlet. of pot activists. They need 253,000 signatures by June “We started doing the He plans to follow the same strategy for 1 to make it to the ballot and possibly have signature collection for the legalize campaign Michigan join Colorado, Washington, Oregon math on this war on drugs. as he did the decriminalization. and Alaska in the legal-weed sweepstakes, Locally, we broke it down “At first we thought the only place we where tax coffers are filled with the green could get signatures would be things like [cash] and smokers are treated like boozers to costing taxpayers $2.5 concerts,” Tuffelmire said. “But when we rather than outlaws. million. These marijuana talked about the tax impact and how polic“We made this legalization effort becrimes were killing people, ing marijuana impacts even the property cause we have qualified people throughout tax rate, we found a lot of people were inthe state to run it,” said Nicholas Zettell, taking away scholarships terested. We could sit outside churches and president of the Michigan chapter of and hindering employment.” get signatures.” Students for Sensible Drug Policy. In addition The decriminalization law went into efto the shops catering to smokers, Zettell said —Michael Tuffelmire fect in early 2013. Kent County, though, still wider efforts in West Michigan are expected had a higher marijuana arrest rate in 2014 to include tables at music venues and events than most other counties in Michigan, with as well as restaurants. 79 percent of all drug arrests connected to pot in 2014. In Macomb Among the figureheads of the legalization push in West Michigan is County, that figure was 50 percent, and Ingham and Kalamazoo counMichael Tuffelmire, who also served as the director of DecriminalizeGR. ties were at 67 percent. Tuffelmire is a Grand Rapids native, a former candidate for the A little over a year ago, that profound political prognosticator Grand Rapids City Commission and fits the description of activist to a publication, High Times, predicted Michigan would be among the next ‘t’. He’s spent time with the ACLU, held fundraisers for various causes states to legalize pot. If it makes it to the ballot, the good money says and organized neighborhood clean-ups. it will be a go. n

36 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016

Cigar Culture Clubs

A Shortlist of Local Stogie Stations By Marjorie Steele


Where to Go:

Chop House’s La Dolce Vita

Grand River Cigar

144 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids

190 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids

The lounge: Spacious, plush leather seats and ample table seating. Two big screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, walk-in humidor. Hosts monthly events with manufacturer reps. Serves four beers on tap, as well as wine, brown bottle liquor and cocktails. Accommodates groups of up to 15.

The lounge: This fine dining restaurant’s basement lounge is huge and luxurious, including large-screen TVs, a fireplace and plenty of seating. Dessert, top shelf liquor and premium bourbon are served here alongside hand-rolled cigars from the walk-in humidor.

Products: Fine cigars, cigarillos and smoking accessories. Ambience: Relaxed, upscale casual, and friendly. Curl up with a book or laptop for the afternoon.

Tuttle’s Select Cigars

3835 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids

The lounge: Upscale casual, comfortable and roomy, including free Wi-Fi and HDTV. Walk-in humidor with more than 100 brands. Space for groups of up to 10. Plenty of parking and friends. Products: Premium hand-rolled cigars, pipes, pipe tobacco, lighters and accessories. Ambience: Warm and inviting, great for old pros and newbies alike. Like Cheers, but with cigars.

Products: Cigars, dessert, top-shelf liquor. Ambience: Upscale, luxurious. Twirl your moustache with one hand while diabolically swirling a single malt scotch in the other.

George’s Smoke Shop

31 W. 8th St., Holland

The lounge: Simple but comfy with plush leather couches and a TV. Walk-in humidor. Seats small groups up to eight. Products: Cigars, cigarillos, cigarettes, pipe tobacco, lighters and accessories. Ambience: Knowledgeable and friendly. It’s possible that time may pass more slowly inside this shop than outside, so plan accordingly.

South Street Cigar & Wine

250 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo

The lounge: Basic but it gets the job done; including large-screen TV and wi-fi. Products: Hand-rolled cigars. Ambience: Very serious, although the owner knows his leaf. Find good cigars in a BS-free enviorment.

Cigar Ambassador

280 N. River Ave. #B, Holland The lounge: Small but cozy with a big-screen TV, coffee maker and walk-in humidor. Products: Premium cigars and accessories. Ambience: Grab a good cigar and shoot the breeze.

Corona Smokeshop

Various locations: Battle Creek, Albion, Okemos, Jackson The lounge: Varies by location — all locations offer comfy lounges with large-screen TVs, free wi-fi and walk-in humidors. Each location hosts a wet bar as well. Products: Wide selection of cigars and cigarettes, pipes, pipe tobacco, smoking accessories, humidors and more. Ambience: The rare collection of premium cigarettes, pipe tobacco and other accessories are a boon for tobacco lovers who prefer cigarettes to cigars. n

REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

calm, dimly-lit room filled with patrons gently puffing on cigars between sips of aged brandy is nothing new. The advent of cigar lounges dates back to the Jazz Age, but what’s new is the wave of West Michigan-based establishments dedicated solely to getting your smoke on — in a classy way, of course. Indoor-smoking laws be damned, designated cigar lounges have a special exemption, making them retreats for tobacco-lovers in a smoke-free sea. The cigar culture is a large part of the appeal for most enthusiasts. The lounges have a built-in camaraderie, according to Mark Renzenbrink, owner of Tuttle’s Select Cigars in Grand Rapids. He said his lounge on 28th Street attracts a community of regulars and routinely acts as a social hub, which he attributes to the nature of his business. “You’re not a stranger for very long in any lounge you go to, because the commonality is cigars,” he said. “You sit down with a cigar, someone else asks what you’re smoking and you immediately have something in common.” Some cigar lounges obtain liquor licenses, offering patrons the full cigar and brown-bottle experience. Think Tommy Haverford’s dream restaurant, if he let Ron Swanson pick the menu and tunes: An enticing lifestyle, no doubt. Rob Day, owner of Grand River Cigar in downtown Grand Rapids, said business has been good for cigar shops since he opened his in 2011 after being laid off from a retail career of 20 years due to corporate restructuring. “I wanted to do something I enjoyed, where I’d get to talk and hang out with people, something that didn’t feel like work,” Day recalled. “I looked at my cigar and thought, ‘Why not open a cigar shop?’ I love smoking cigars and so do a lot of other people.” Since then, Day has expanded from Cherry to a larger location at 144 E. Fulton St. with plans to begin offering a selection of beer, wine and liquor. He’s seen the niche community of cigar lovers continually grow, including among women. “I’d say about 20 percent of the women who come in here will smoke a cigar,” Day said. “But I see more and more women in their 20s, 30s and 40s who come in on their own and partake.”


The Vice Issue

Mister E Liquid owners Dave Doud (left) and Dan Lawitzke (right)


Smoke and Mirrors or a Healthier Solution? Revue’s Chief Vaper Nick Manes Tells All

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

By Nick Manes / Photos by Katy Batdorff


here’s little doubt that vaping has become one of the most controversial vices out there and, for some reasons, the controversy is spot-on. While I’m a vaper, I can’t argue that “vape culture” is utter shit. Cloud competitions, where vapists attempt to blow the biggest clouds, showcase inane frat-bro behavior. And then vapers talk about their so-called “rights” — which appear to include being able to puff vape mists anywhere they go regardless of other people in their proximity.

38 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016

The whole made-up concept of vapers’ rights has become so persistent that an actual United States congressman recently vaped while legislating about whether he should be allowed to vape on an airplane. Spoiler alert: He can’t and that’s alright. And yet, despite my overall hatred of the culture, vaping has largely helped me (almost) quit a far worse vice: Smoking actual cigarettes. Full disclosure: I do bum the occasional cigarette — like every true smoker still at war with the merciless analog-cig industry. But overall, my e-cigarette has overtaken flammable smokes as my vice and it really is much better — health-wise and financially.

Mister E liquid testers in the Plymouth Ave. location.

The money I was spending daily on “that e-cigarettes are around 95 percent less harmful than smoking.” American Spirits — around $8 — is now The study also said: “E-cigarettes are what it costs weekly, or even longer, to keep not completely risk free but when compared me in the required liquid. to smoking, evidence shows they carry And while finding that liquid may not be just a fraction of the harm. The problem is as easy as walking to the corner store to get people increasingly think they are at least as another pack of smokes, decent vape stores harmful and this may be keeping millions of continue to pop up around the area. smokers from quitting. Local stop-smoking Mister E’s and Joost Vapor each have services should look to support e-cigarette multiple locations around the region, as users in their journey to quitting completely.” does Endless Vapor, which just opened Since turning to vaping as my preferred a store downtown on Monroe Center, delivery method for sweet, sweet nicotine conveniently located just steps from the (the relatively harmless yet highly addictive global headquarters of Revue West Michigan. ingredient in cigarettes), I’ve cut my nicotine Freshwater Vapor (67 54th St. SW, Grand intake by a third. Not too shabby, right? Rapids) is also stocked with supplies. So to be perfectly frank — and absurd And despite talk of so-called “popcorn lung,” vaping is far healthier for you than “vapers’ rights” aside — I don’t care if vaping makes me look kind of silly. I’ll continue to do smoking. it as my method for quitting smoking. Take A scientific report released last summer by the British government — the same that, Marlboro Man. n British government that offers free healthcare to its citizens — found

Fast Facts on ACTUAL Cigarettes “More than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking.” “Worldwide, tobacco use causes nearly 6 million deaths per year, and current trends show that tobacco use will cause more

than 8 million deaths annually by 2030.” “On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.” Statistics via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

b uttermilk jamboree.


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The Go Rounds Vox Vidorra Lady Ace Boogie May Erlewine Trio Madcat’s Midnight Blues Journey

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GR's most diverse selection of legendary e-liquids and easy-to-use vapeware!

West Michigan's first MOBILE VAPE STORE! 67 54th St. SW | GR, MI | 616.202.7148 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

String Doctors • Juke Joint Hand Me Downs • Delilah DeWylde & the Lost Boys • The Mainstays • Rachel Davis • Olivia Mainville & the Aquatic Troupe • Ralston Bowles & Friends • Big Dudee Roo • The Concussions • Serita’s Black Rose • Conklin Ceili Band • Whiting Brothers • Megan Dooley • Rick Chyme • Mark Lavengood • Nathan Kalish & the Lastcallers • AnDro • Cabildo • Britt Kusserow • Brotha James • Nicholas James & the Bandwagon • Stella! • Deep Fried Pickle Project • Covert • Drew Nelson & Highway Two • Schrock Brothers • Hawks & Owls • The Wilson Brothers • Evan Haywood • Ky Hote • Eric Engblade • The Change • Soul Patch • Spirits Rising • Wake Up Autumn • Adam Gottlieb & OneLove • AND MORE!!!


The Vice Issue

Booked Solid

Local Literary Hot Spots for the Book Addict By Missy Black


here’s no need for an intervention. Indulge your healthy hardcover obsession with a sampling of bookstores and libraries fit for wandering among the stacks. Find that place where you can feel at home with your bad, bookish self.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends.” —Charles W. Eliot

the shelf, what you find is lovingly curated. BOOK BUG “I’m really interested in books that are 3019 Oakland Dr., Kalamazoo inscribed, vintage books,” said co-owner The owners of this independent bookstore Danielle Alexander. She’s watched Grand want you to know they are your kinfolks. Rapids embrace and celebrate book They’re book enthusiasts to the core. stores and notices growth in the literary There’s even a wall dedicated to book notes community. “Bookstores are cultivated for and testimonials they call Shelf Talkers. “We connect to other people through books,” conversations,” she said. “They are places said owner Joanna Parzakonis. The envi- for ideas.” ronment is one that celebrates the beauty ARGOS BOOK SHOP of the written word with comfy chairs for 1405 Robinson Rd. SE, Grand Rapids lounging, a sofa in the teen section and walls papered with book pages. On April 30, “Book buying is a pretty healthy hobby as opposed to other things you can do,” said head over for their Independent Bookstore Day celebration. It’ll feature giveaways, re- Argos Book Shop owner Jim Bleeker. You’ll surely satisfy your literary itch at his shop. freshments and exclusive publisher items It stocks used books and comics, ranging like signed first editions. from popular favorites to obscure collectables. The shop offers a huge collection of GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC LIBRARY back-issue comics and new comics are out Various locations every Wednesday with 10-percent off the It’s a no brainer. Bookworms can tear through titles (and magazines) here be- cover price. In business since 1975, Bleeker has seen it all pass through his store. This is cause there’s zero financial commitment. The downtown location’s beautiful archi- the place to find that exceptional gem. tecture is a pretty neat place to linger and KENT DISTRICT LIBRARY check out author events. On May 5, author Various branches Wade Rouse’s book tour for The Charm Regardless of your vice, KDL has a book Bracelet stops at GRPL. There’s even the on it for sure. They pride themselves on killer Read So Hard book club — for April branches with wonderful views too. The they’re reading Bad Feminist by Roxane East Grand Rapids Branch has a view of Gay. With eight locations throughout the Reeds Lake and the Englehardt Branch in city, there’s a spot for everyone. Lowell is right on the river with floor-toceiling windows looking out at the water BOMBADIL BOOKS and ducks. “We see people at our book 315 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids sales that bring books out to their car that’s This used and rare bookstore offers binding already filled with books,” said Manager of and repair services along with events and Communications and Programming Heidi workshops. While there might be less on

40 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016

Grand Rapids Public Library Nagel. On April 11, KDL kicks off KDL Reads, a community reading event, with a free concert featuring Vox Vidorra at Wealthy Theatre. SCHULER BOOKS & MUSIC 2660 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids Here, the book lover, collector and hoarder can sell back their gently used books. “A reader goes through a lot of books in a month and you can trade them for in-store credit or cash,” says Marketing Coordinator Emily Stavrou. They’ve got regulars preordering books the day they come out and customers running into the Chapbook Café to immediately start a book they’ve just purchased. “They feel like bookstores are their homes and that’s why they like to come to a brick and mortar store — to sit and be comforted by their fellow readers.”

P.S. The store is a book-event machine and has a rocking magazine selection. THE BOOKMAN 715 W. Washington St., Grand Haven Right next to popular breakfast spot Morning Star Café, The Bookman is hailed as cute and quaint by locals and is a huge supporter of local authors. They are down to celebrate the important birthdays of Shakespeare and Dr. Seuss and handle a lot of special orders. The staff also understands the “kinship of having a book at all times,” said co-owner Richard Tanis. n Full Disclosure: This writer is waiting for two books in the mail and is currently in a monogamous relationship with her book-club selection (but also has a book on the side).





Don’t Stop Until You Get Enough

A Product Junkie’s Guide to Local Lotions, Potions and More By Missy Black

S 1

The style gurus at Blacklamb in Grand Rapids are gaga over Binchotan charcoal. They swear by the Binchotan Charcoal Facial Puff ($18) containing Konjac (an edible plant fiber) and micro-fine charcoal powder. These ingredients combine to create a natural facial puff that cleans, moisturizes and exfoliates all at the same time. It’s basically a detox for your face. Beyond simple, it’s used with warm water alone and is great for travel. So what’s the allure here? “It’s the idea of feeling and looking better,” said manager Marissa Boswell. Product junkies are born because, “there’s glamour to it. I’m

happy when I look in my makeup bag and see little miracle cures.” The shop also carries the Binchotan Charcoal Eye Mask ($28) for those who want to buy a related product (because many do).


Tallthers in Muskegon is proud to offer Wilder Beard Company products from proprietor Jeremy Wilder, member of The Lumbertown Beard Barons — a local beard and moustache club. Wilder’s line includes beard shampoo, beard balm, beard oil and a Peachwood beard comb. The Lumber Baron Medium Balm ($15) is a take on a popular turn of the century gentleman’s cologne and is made with cedarwood, bergamot, rosemary and lavender essential oils along with shea butter, coconut oil and beeswax. “It sells so quickly we have a waiting list,” says co-owner Amanda Brand. “People need it. They want it. They love it.”


Damn Handsome Tattoo Rescue ($22) is great for so many reasons and currently available at Apothecary Off Main in Grand Rapids. Think of it as ink insurance but also as a balm for use on flyaway hairs, dry elbows and even cuticles. With summer coming up, this product protects against fading from sun damage. Colors stay bright and don’t crack.

“It feels really smooth, and the note that stands out to me is lemongrass and hempseed oil. People use it like a perfume solid, too,” said store director Jill Devan. This unisex, multi-purpose product’s vegan treatment has a natural, hippie vibe that’s habit forming. Stop into the store and test it out.


The Lavender Coconut soap from Clawfoot Bathworks has a strong, intoxicating scent. The independent bath and body shop offers artisanal handmade soaps using luxurious and sustainable ingredients influenced by food, geography and nature. Each bar is so beautiful, you may have trouble deciding whether to use it or display it. Every one features a wide array of oils, including: olive, coconut, sweet almond, avocado, castor and shea butter. “I want to look at a bar of soap and feel I’ve got a little piece of art I’m going to wash with, or a piece of food I’m going to feed my skin with,” said owner LeeAnn Lorenz. You can get your spa fix at home with other scents too, including Grapefruit Lily and Pineapple Cilantro, all available for around $7. Warning: use of this product will result in overwhelming feelings of elegance and refinement, along with a good portion of your day spent just sniffing the bars. n

send us your events Did you know? You can get a free listing on our online event calendar. Just visit our calendar, click “submit event” and enter the details. calendar REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

ome people truly have no selfcontrol when it comes to beauty products. If your bathroom is packed with high-end lotions and potions, aromatic soaps and scrubs, your certified vice is indulgent beauty products. You’re mad for lavish pick-meups. Mad, but well-moisturized. If you’re one lip balm away from owning every flavor on the market, we have some insider picks, available locally, that celebrate the thrill and luxury of self-pampering.


The Vice Issue

Living ‘The Lifestyle’ in West Michigan

Swinging, ‘Kinky Kamping’ & more By Steve Miller

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene


42 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016

Find even more online! Looking for more things to do?

Find REVUE online at Check out our event calendar, web-only exclusives, giveaways and e-newsletter!

ho wants to be outed for being a little kinky?” Those were the sentiments of an Oregon woman who connected with convicted killer Bob Bashara, whose BDSM lifestyle was seized upon by Wayne County prosecutors as motivation for soliciting the January 2012 murder of his wife. Her proclivities, as those of a number of players in the Detroit BDSM scene, were made public in the trial. Hers is the same sentiment of many involved in “the lifestyle,” as it is referred to by both those inside and on the periphery of the alternative sexual community from BDSM to swinging. In Grand Rapids, a lifestyle party is a click away. Many are held in the conference centers or ballrooms of local hotels, although for those in the know, there is always a private home with a welcoming host and a house load of participants. For the BDSM crew, Grand Rapids Alternative Lifestyle Enrichment is probably the way to go. Events over the past include Kinky Kamping and Kavorting, Sensual Sadism and an annual Christmas party. Becoming a member is not as easy as walking into the event. An application is submitted, including the name of an existing member who will vouch that you are not a troll — someone who wants to stir up problems. For your basic lifestyle party, you’d want to go with 616 GR, which comes with a sense of humor — at the top of its web page, it assures viewers that it is “fu***** classy,” double meaning fully intact. This month’s event is a ‘20s style poker

night at a local hotel, cost is $40 for couples, $10 for single females and $40 for single males. Overnight “stay and play” package is $105 for couples and includes a room. But don’t show up thinking this is a tourist walk on the wild side. Newcomers are walked through proper etiquette on the spot and there is a registration process. And there are always lifestyle house parties. “For these, you need an invitation and it is selective,” a member of the lifestyle community says. “They are word of mouth and research. “Overall, we are found by people who are looking for the lifestyle,” he added. “We don’t have this thing where you can advertise on a billboard and West Michigan is a bit on the conservative side and doesn’t always see things as we do.” It ’s ac tivit y carried out among consenting adults, but there’s still an unfortunate stigma. So being a “little kinky” will continue to be considered a vice a little longer. n

Tattoo You

A shortlist of Michigan ink shops By Audria Larsen

Titano the Strongman


Photo: Chad Perry, creative perspective studios

attooing has gone mainstream. Even your grandma probably has a wicked sleeve featuring bug-eyed skeletons, but tattoos are still generally considered an edgy vice. Perhaps the stigma remains because, like any outsider art form when everybody’s doing it, boundaries get pushed to the limit. This is evidenced in the trending popularity of finger tattoos and other always-visible regions of skin — body parts previously reserved for the most hardcore tattoo adherents. Today, even teen girls are rocking lettering alongside their razor sharp manis. Whether you’re in the market for your first tattoo or your body is already a well-decorated canvas like sideshow performer Titano the Strongman (pictured here), shopping around for talent is a smart idea. Tattoos are so highly subjective and a rad shop truly relies on the talent within to make or break a reputation. While not definitive, here are some West and Mid-Michigan haunts worth checking out for your next bodacious face tattoo or more subtle tramp stamp.

Where to Start:

AWOL Custom Tattooing is one of the few shops near the lakeshore. Operating since 2007, AWOL features a small but enthusiastic staff of artists, offering custom work and a mighty selection of flash sheets of pre-made art to choose from. Committed to upholding health standards, AWOL doesn’t offer newfangled products like glow-in-the-dark ink yet. And those finger tattoos mentioned earlier? Unless you have a certain level of body art, you’re out of luck. These guys want to ensure clients are happy with permanent decisions and seek to steer clear of requests that might be regretted later. 1780 W. Sherman Blvd., Muskegon, (231) 755-9900


Meanwhile, Grand Rapids has a wide range of tattoo and piercing shops, all offering

SPECIALS & EVENTS MONDAYS $1 Chili Dogs and $1 Beers


Located in downtown Lansing near Cooley Law School Stadium, Eclectic Art Tattoo Gallery is a stylish studio. Open and inviting, the space has a clean look and modern art gallery vibe, as the name suggests. Offering four different award-winning house artists, the shop specializes in custom tattoos by appointment only. Occasionally touring guest artists are featured, offering clients the opportunity to work with “world class artists” from other areas. Additionally, the Eclectic crew travels nationally, working the convention circuit and guest spots. 615 E Michigan Ave., Lansing, (517) 485-7872


Many people travel great distances to get a session with a coveted artist. But it’s only a hop, skip and a jump to Ann Arbor’s Lucky Monkey Tattoo. Boasting a list of notable named clients since 2001, the shop has inked sports players, musicians, news anchors and more. With seven artists on staff, the shop offers a wide range of styles. Lucky Monkey Tattoo has been voted “Best Tattoo Shop” for just about every year between 2006 and 2015 in a variety of publications like Current Magazine and (the now defunct) Real Detroit Weekly. Plus, by request, they also offer vegan ink options. 308 S. Ashley St., Ann Arbor, (734) 623-8200 n

Free Show with Desmond Jones

TuESDAYS Comedy Tuesday No cover!

WEDNESDAYS Dennie Middleton Happy Hour,

5:30-8:30, Open Mic Night Hosted by Sam Kenny No cover!

THuRSDAYS #WhatchuSaay Thursday Hosted by DJ Dean Martian | 9pm

3/31 Fred Eaglesmith Show

Open Hours


Happy Hour




John Nemeth


Chuck Bob Carnes


The Flat Natural Born Good Timim’ Honky Tonk Jam of The Year!


Marshall Crenshaw & The Bottle Rockets


Jenny Woo Oi! Project


The Appleseed Collective wsg The Kent County String Band

4/14 Jason Ricci 4/15 Rio & the Rockabilly Revival and Delilah DeWylde and the Lost Boys 4/16 Red Francis and The Suzies 4/23 Hannah Rose & The GravesTones 4/29 Enemy Planes with The Voice

REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule


different vibes and artists. Many folks opt to follow their favorite tattooists wherever they may be working. But if you’re a newbie looking for a notable shop, you may want to try Wealthy Street Tattoo. Featuring five experienced artists, Wealthy Street specializes in “traditional western and eastern influences among other styles.” That being said, as a fully custom shop, you can connect with artists who offer anything from realism, cartoons and lettering to “neotraditional.” If you’re unsure what you want, you can select from pre-made art featuring old timey tigers, pin-up babes and more. 1129 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 233-4848


The Vice Issue

Committing Carbicide A Shortlist of Stellar West Michigan-Made Desserts By Troy Reimink

O Tre Cugini

T here are hipper and newer restaurants in Grand Rapids with deeper dessert menus, but Tre Cugini’s $10 tiramisu — airy and spongy, yet sinfully rich — turns me into the enraptured food critic at the end of Ratatouille. Try: Also check out the Cannoli Alla Siciliana, a delicious take on the traditional Italian cannoli; and Sfogliata di Cioccolato Al’Amaretto, wispy sheets of rich chocolate filled with an amaretto-chocolate mousse.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Marge’s Donut Den

You can keep your fancy artisan donuts. Marge’s, which last year celebrated its 40th anniversary, has been appearing on best-of lists since before you were born. And it’s still a local treasure, unstuck from time. Its iconic logo against navy blue also was the coolest T-shirt in Grand Rapids from approximately 2005 to 2007. Try: Anything. Just approach the massive glass cases and point at something. It’ll be good.

San Chez - A Tapas Bistro

The popular Mediterranean/Spanish restaurant has a sweets selection that matches the eclecticism for which the rest of its menu is well-known. The list of $9 desserts includes a vegan sweet-potato pie, goat-cheese

44 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016

f the pleasures that are acceptably indulged in public, few are more guilt-inducing than digging into a decadent dessert. Gluttony, after all, is the most measurably deadly of the seven so-called deadly sins. But don’t you deserve to treat yourself? Who knows, maybe you don’t. Luckily, you don’t need our permission. What we can offer is guidance. Below is a list of top-shelf West Michigan spots that will fill the dessert-shaped hole in your life.

cheesecake encrusted by ginger snaps and drizzled with chocolate sauce and a hot chocolate cobbler topped with raspberries and mousse.

(Pictured above: Lavender, Vanilla, Jasmine and Fruity Pebbles varieties.)

Try: Tarta de Chocolate al Whiskey, a whiskey-soaked pound cake with caramel-pecan gelato, brownie and white chocolate mousse kissed by raspberry and chocolate sauces. I mean, come on.

Cakabakery and The Salted Cupcake The cupcake craze has abated in recent years, which means the places that remain have lasted for a reason. Jason Kakabaker has built a dessert operation of national renown (as seen on Cupcake Wars) from the charming windmill building in Eastown. And the Salted Cupcake, obscurely located on 32nd Street and Breton Road SE, is fairy-tale delightful. Both businesses excel at special events but offer substantial daily cupcake and cookie selections for visitors.


The brilliant idea behind this small local chain — with locations in Ada and Eastown and Knapp’s Corner in Grand Rapids — feels like American capitalism stretched to a perverse but logical end: Grab a container, choose a custard, ice cream or yogurt, load it up with toppings and pay according to the weight of what you’re about to consume. More anything? More everything! Try: For the richest experience, start with one of Spoonlickers’ custards: Pumpkin, cinnamon donut, Cookie Monster, super chocolate, peanut-butter brownie, chocolate almond toffee — then go nuts. spoonlickersgr. com

Le Bon Macaron

Visiting this adorable boutique bakery/cafe in Cherry Hill is like stepping into a world designed by Wes Anderson, where every color and tiny detail is meticulously curated. The macarons, delicate French confections filled with flavored ganache or buttercream, are a transformative joy. Try: Grab a box of a half-dozen or dozen and sample from the buffet of available options. Start with chocolates and then branch out into fruity and nutty flavors.

Try: Cakabakery’s peanut-butter banana cupcake; Salted Cupcake’s Andes Mint cupcake. thecakabakery. com;

Sweetie-licious Bakery and Cafe

Linda Hunt’s signature pies have picked up more national and regional accolades than there’s room here to list. Most recently her Aunt Ella’s Cherry Pie was named “Michigan’s Best Dessert” on and we see no reason to dispute any of it. Two West Michigan locations — one in the East Grand Rapids Gaslight Village, the other in Grand Rapids’ Downtown Market — means more windowsills (figuratively) for pie cooling. Try: The menu varies by season to include as many Michigan ingredients as possible. The cherry pie is worth the hype, but I was born and will die a key lime man. $4.50 per slice; $10.99 6-inch pie; $24.99 9-inch pie. n

Spice Up Your Vice

Some of West Michigan’s Hottest Dishes By Dwayne Hoover


f you’re a hopeless spicemaniac, you may be curious as to where you can snag a bite that will set your mouth ablaze in the most delightful way. Fortunately for you, West Michigan has a variety of options to satisfy your craving for heat, from tickle-your-tongue happy to Dante’s Inferno. Here are just a few to get you started.

Graydon’s Crossing

1223 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids The Dish: Curry Chili-Bacon Poppers, Burrito

Best For: If mild spice is your occasional guilty pleasure, treat your taste buds to these high-quality offerings.

The Dish: Jerk Chicken The Heat: Fans of traditional island food should give Dave’s jerk chicken its day in court. The portions are quite sizable, especially for the price, and unless you’re feeling particularly gluttonous, you’ll be taking some of this home. You might be surprised at the level of spice from not only the chicken, but also the rice and beans, making the fresh slaw a nice bit of relief. If you’re a true fire-eater, you’ll be pleased with the runny nose and forehead sweat. For rookie bubble-gummers not accustomed to the scorching heat brought on by Jamaican jerk spice, this may be a bit much. It’s probably best to snag a ginger beer or two to calm down your mouth. Best For: Juicy chicken (and high heat levels) in an odd out-of-the-way location make this a destination for those feeling a bit adventurous.

Jerk Chicken at Jamaican Dave’s

Bangkok Flavor

5455 Gull Road, Kalamazoo The Dish: Bai Gra Prow (Ordered “Thai Hot”)

Curry Chili-Bacon Poppers at Graydon’s Crossing

The Heat: There comes at least one time in people’s lives when they’re forced to make a choice, a choice that makes them ponder the very nature of their existence. At Bangkok Flavor, deciding whether or not to order the “Thai Hot” spice level is one of those choices. The burn seems manageable at first, but as you continue to work your way through the beef, peppers and carrots slathered in a basic garlic sauce, you begin to comprehend the true ramifications of your decision.

Fast forward to 30 minutes after the last bite — your mouth and throat still feel as though they’ve been hit with a liberal dose of volcanic emission and you’re pretty certain that actual lava was used in the dish’s preparation. Best For: Crazy people who think that spicy food challenges are a good idea should definitely order this, but for everyone else, go the Mild or Medium route. Warning: There’s only pain and suffering on the road to “Thai Hot.” n

REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

The Heat: Fresh jalapenos stuffed with curried cream cheese and wrapped in chili-rubbed bacon may sound like the recipe for a specific brand of disaster. But, amazingly, the level of heat in this appetizer can best be described as “appropriate.” The amped-up spice level did nothing to detract from the amazing flavors that were working together, even when running across a few seeds in the peppers. The burrito, which can be ordered vegetarian or with your protein of choice, also boasts a curried cream cheese spread and is served with curried guacamole. It’s topped with a vindaloo ranchero sauce that, much like the poppers, provides just the right level of spice to complement the palate-pleasing ingredients.

Jamaican Dave’s

1059 Wealthy St. SE #7, Grand Rapids


Michigan Wine Guide In celebration of Michigan Wine Month, Revue presents our first ever Michigan Wine Guide.

This special section not only spotlights our state’s burgeoning winery scene, but also local restaurants with amazing wine lists, wine-themed events, dessert wines and more. We also give a nod to locally made meads and ciders.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

So sit back, tip a glass, and plot out your next wine tour.

47 Winery Directory

52 Top SW Michigan Wines

48 Meads & Ciders

56 Michigan Wine Events

50 Q&A: Kate Leeder

58 Wine Bars

60 Dessert Wines

of Aperitivo

46 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016

Michigan Winery Directory A Shortlist of Mitten State Wine Destinations

If you’re an oenophile, or wine aficionado — or if you just love to drink it with friends — you certainly won’t mind making a road trip for a spirit-filled excursion. Michigan wineries number around 275 establishments, but there’s a long summer ahead of us. You’ll have plenty of time for tasting rooms and strolls through vineyards. Here are some suggestions on where you can start.

12 Corners Vineyards

1201 N. Benton Center Rd., Benton Harbor, (269) 927-1512 Located 4 miles fromMichigan’s Gold Coast, this 115-acre estate is planted with both vinifera and hybrid grapes. Riesling, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Gewurztraminer are just some of the varieties 12 Corners offers. 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, (269) 426-5222

Bowers Harbor Vineyards

2896 Bowers Harbor Rd., Traverse City, (231) 223-7615 A boutique winery located in Northern Michigan on picturesque Old Mission Peninsula, Bowers Harbor offers a range of awardwinning wines — as well as unique greetings from one of the company’s three winery dogs. Focused on cool-climate viticulture, Bowers Harbor produces Pinot

Burgdorf’s Winery

5635 Shoeman Rd., Haslett, (517) 655-2883 This mid-Michigan Garagiste Winery, located in the rural outskirts of Haslett, was opened in 2005 by Deb and Dave Burgdorf. The pair has more than 38 years of artisan winemaking experience and produces their award-winning wines on site — everything from juicing, fermentation and bottling to sales and distribution.

Cascade Winery

4665 Broadmoor Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 656-4665 Since 2003, Cascade Winery has been a family-owned, awardwinning 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.

Cherry Creek Cellars

2199 N. Concord Rd., Albion, (517) 531-3080

Cherry Creek is a boutique winery making excellent wines, using old-world, handcrafting processes. While visiting the tasting room, try the black raspberry dessert wine, Fetter Hahn, as an aperitif, or pair the big red Proprietors Reserve with a juicy porterhouse.

Chateau Chantal

Fenn Valley Vineyards

15900 Rue de Vin, Traverse City, (231) 223-4110

6130 122nd Ave., Fennville, (800) 432-6265 Based in Fennville, Fenn Valley Vineyards offers a range of products including white and sparkling wines, red wines, specialty wines like port and ice wine and fruitbased products. The Fennville Estate is a beautiful place to enjoy a glass of wine and a small plate or a picnic.

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. Enjoy views of Grand Traverse Bay, Power Island, and rolling vineyards that abound from each window. Chateau Chantal produces Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, among others.

Free Run Cellars

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

Chateau Grand Traverse

12239 Center Rd., Traverse City, (800) 283-0247

For more than 40 years, the familyowned Chateau Grand Traverse has focused on 12 European grape varietals, specializing in Riesling wines. The company operates 122 acres of estate-owned vineyards in Nor thern Michigan, plus another 80 acres contracted with area growers.

Cody Kresta Vineyard & Winery

45727 27th St., Mattawan, (269) 668-3800

This small 20-acre, family-run farm winery is set on an 1882 Estate Vineyard. Enjoy its Lake Michigan Shore Appellation wine from a secluded tasting room — or relax and enjoy scenic views from the gorgeous back patio. Available for private events of six or more people.

Cogdal Vineyards

7143 107th Ave., South Haven

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

Lemon Creek Winery, (269) 637-2229 At the family-owned Cogdal Vineyards, the philosophy is “to create outstanding, small-batch wines using Michigan-grown grapes.” That includes the Cogdal brand as well as Little Man Wines, a series of “fun and eclectic wines.”

Contessa Wine Cellars

3235 Friday Rd., Coloma, (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.

Domaine Berrien Cellars

398 E. Lemon Creek Rd., Berrien Springs, (269) 473-9463

An all estate winery, Domaine Berrien Cellars grows, ferments and bottles all of its wines on site 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.

Glass Creek Winery

450 N. Whitmore Rd., Hastings, (269) 948-2752

More on page 51 ➤

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Established in 2009 by Leonard Olson, the selection at Baroda Founders ranges from classic varietals and fruit-flavor enhanced wines to dessert offerings like ice wine and chocolate-infused reds.

Grigio, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc, plus a signature meritage blend known as 2896, Langley Vineyard.

REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |


A small family-run winery operated by Eric and Donna Miller just a few miles from Hastings, Glass Creek offers a variety of wines ranging from dry, oak barrel-aged reds to sweet, fruit-based offerings. The tasting room is open Tuesday through Sunday and people are encouraged to stop by for samples.

Gravity Wine

10220 Lauer Rd., Baroda, (269) 471-9463

Michigan Wine guide

Meaderies and Cideries

Where to Go for the ‘Liquid Honey’ by Josh Veal


Arktos Meadery

Acoustic Draft Mead

If you’re looking to down a couple mead horns (not literally) and still drive home, this is the place to be. With an average 6-percent ABV, Acoustic’s musically-themed selection feels more like a beer than wine, especially with the light carbonation tossed into every bottle. It’s called a draft mead, and it’s both delicious and approachable. Look for the signature guitar-and-honeycomb label in stores, or check out the website for a full distribution list.

Coming from a long line of beekeepers, the owners of Bardic Wells know their honey start to finish, inside and out. Maybe that’s what allows them to sell full bottles at $13 a pop, something practically unheard of in the wide world of honey wine. Generally, at that price point, you’re venturing into dangerous territory (for the purists, watch out for faux mead: white grape wine with honey added later). But two years after the first sip, their Traditional Mead is still my go-to on any given night. It’s balanced, smooth and unpretentious. Probably doesn’t hurt that they have more than 10 years experience in their corner, being the first licensed meadery in Michigan.

Arktos Meadery

Bee Well Meadery

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

119 N. Maple St., Traverse City, (231) 275-2041

1251 Century Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, (616) 350-0412

3533 Derenzy Rd., Bellaire

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, an innovative method that sidesteps the time and waste of pouring from bottles (that means no more fumbling around with a wine key).

Bee Well has spent the last two years making a name for themselves, with brewpubs all over Michigan featuring their bold, but balanced mead on draft. Now, the four siblings who run the place are opening a taproom in Bellaire. Make the trip in May to try out some Hopped Honey or Antrim Apple Pie, straight from the source. They have cider too!

Bardic Wells Meadery

8844 Water St., Montague, (616) 837-8035

48 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016

Black Dragon Meadery

While it has yet to settle down into a tasting room (distribution only), Black Dragon is worth seeking out. Paul Peterson, aka Pete Wylde the MeadMaster, has

treams of liquid honey flowing into crystal goblets, trickling down the chins of Viking warriors in a great hall — that’s the legacy of mead, an ancient libation gaining traction in the modern era. Often referred to as “honey wine,” this bee-born beverage had essentially vanished until recent years, with just a few scattered sightings around local renaissance faires. Now, meaderies are taking the mitten by storm as brewers realize you can make booze out of pretty much anything with enough sugar in it. The same goes for apples, with hard cider swiftly coming up alongside craft beer as a more approachable, sweeter offering in bars and breweries all over. Since wine is technically anything made from fermented fruit, mead and cider fit into the family tree. Both drinks are actually only a few steps away from being labeled “specialty wines” in the eyes of the law. But don’t worry about all that — you just need to know where to find the stuff. We’ve assembled the many meaderies and cideries (some with tasting rooms, some without) making waves in the area: won 18 awards for his meads since 2009. Try their new Wyldeberry and Dandelion meads. Bottles are available for purchase at

Farmhaus Cider Co.

5025 Stanton St., Hudsonville, (616) 920-1867 In just over a year, Farmhaus has made its way into many bars and restaurants in Grand Rapids, while its distinctive tallboy cans line the shelves of craft-centric liquor stores across the region. The cider comes in three simple, but delightful, varieties: dry and tart, bright and sweet, nutty and spiced. Want to visit the outdoor Cidergarten? Call ahead to make an appointment.

Ridge Cider Co.

351 W. 136th St., Grant, (231) 674-2040 Located off of M-37 near West Michigan’s famous apple ridge, Ridge Cider Co. has a cool tasting room/restaurant. It features a range of top-quality ciders and servers that are passionate and knowledgeable about the products. Bonus: Get a growler of cider to go.

Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery

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

Passed down through five generations, Robinette’s has been making 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 hard ciders for just $3. On top of that, you get to take home the little tasting glass with the cute bird logo on it! My cupboard’s full of ‘em, if that says anything.

Sietsema’s Cider

8540 2 Mile Rd. NE, Ada, (616) 676-5584 At Sietsema’s, the story starts with preserving heirloom apples, which give the company’s hard ciders a unique flavor profile. In the fall months, the tasting room offers draft hard ciders — and bottles for purchase — along with traditional non-alcoholic cider mill fare (read: donuts). Sietsema’s hard ciders are popping up in restaurants and stores (including Meijer) across West Michigan, but it’s advisable to stop in and see where it all originates.

St. Ambrose Cellars Meadery

841 S. Pioneer Rd., Beulah, (231) 383-4262 St. Ambrose’s affordably-priced selection is out of control in the best way possible. Draft mead, still mead, honey wine, they have it all, and with an outrageous variety

More on page 54 ➤

Leelanau Cellars A Taste of Northern Michigan

VOTED Best Michigan Winery MI Travel & Vacation Magazine

Est. 1974

5019 North West Bay Shore Drive (M22) Omena, MI 49674


Michigan MichiganWine Wineguide guide

“Champagne and potato chips are my absolute favorite.” —Kate Leeder, co-owner of Aperitivo. Photo: Katy Batdorff

the grape. As you’re drinking, read up. Do you agree with what others are describing? Do you disagree? It’s OK if you don’t taste everything that you’re ‘supposed to.’ Developing your palate is something you work towards. It should be fun. A group is a great way of learning. If you have six people and everyone brings a bottle of wine and a little fact sheet, you’ve got six new wines in your repertoire and it’s one-sixth the cost.

Table Talk:

Kate Leeder, Aperitivo Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

by Nick Macksood

This month I sat down with Kate Leeder: A St. Louis native, closeted Bud Lite fan and co-owner of Aperitivo — a cheese, charcuterie, wine and beer shop at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market (435 Ionia Ave., SW). Bonus: The shop is paired with a bar featuring a sampling of its select stock. If you’re looking for someone to geek out with over cheese, or for the best wine to pair with Pringles (yes, Pringles), perhaps you should pay Leeder and her staff a visit. You’ll never look at wine the same way again.

50 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016

Opening a wine bar in GR must have taken some guts, huh? We figured we could draw in some people with the cheese, and part of the beauty of the business is that the cheese mongers also sell the bar. It works nicely because our counter staff can say, “I can give you a sample of this cheese but if you really want to sit down and enjoy it with a glass of wine or a cool beer, head around the back and it’ll be worth it.” Who’s your typical customer? Some people will just come in for a glass of wine and some chips — which is my favorite snack in the whole world. Or they’ll come in and spend an afternoon with a bottle and a few different plates, maybe some oysters from Fish Lads. They’ll make an event of it. Even for people who find it’s a new idea, once they wrap their heads around it, it makes sense.

Back up for a second — did you say wine and potato chips? How do those pair? Sparkling wine in particular. Champagne and potato chips are my absolute favorite. I totally give credit to my grandmother who used to drink bottles of Chablis and eat Pringles every happy hour. So for me, it’s nostalgic, but it’s also decadent. Wine isn’t just for a steak or a fancy dinner. You can pair it with pizza or fried chicken. Right. Fried chicken with Champagne is fabulous, too — or with a sour beer. As far as pairings go: Is Aperitivo a wine bar? Yes. But if I’m having a cheese plate, I’ll most likely be having a beer with it because beer is so much more forgiving than wine when it comes to pairing. Beer and cheese is it for me, hands down. The ot her t hing t hat ’s nice about Aperitivo is that there’s not a bajillion bottles to choose from. Was that on purpose? Our number one goal is to make what we do approachable. Wine can be intimidating. We have a lot of wine by the glass that a number of people are unfamiliar with. It’s our job to ask, ‘What do you usually like?’ and then offer two or three things that are similar but different. We’re constantly teaching people new things about wine and cheese every chance we can get. What’s your advice for those looking to educate themselves? You’ve got to learn about it while tasting it. Buy a few single-varietal wines — Google

If you had to choose a region to live in based on the wine and that’s all you’ve got to drink for the rest of your days — where are you living? This is going to surprise no one who knows me: the Basque region of France and Spain, mostly Spain, because not only is the wine Txakoli [CHA-ko-lee] delicious and refreshing, but there are red versions of it that are so food-friendly it’s unbelievable. It’s also my favorite region for cheese. They do a lot of cider there, too. I’m a huge fan of cider. It’s just my favorite place on earth. Who selects what wines you carry at Aperitivo? Amy Rice [co-owner of Aperitivo and owner of Art of the Table] does most of the wine selection but there are certain bottles that I insist upon. Actually, we had a Txakoli event last year — we’ll do it again this month or May — where we did all these pintxos, which are the Basque version of tapas. It was a riot. We even had the porron, where you drink out of the jug. Oh, I’m familiar. Somewhere there’s a video of me, dripping with wine and making a total fool of myself. Don’t wear white. Exactly. Not only will it get all over the floor, but it’s going to get all over your clothes, all over the rug and on the table cloth. Only white wine with the porron, that’s a rule to live by. n

Aperitivo Food & Beverage-Based Trivia Night

Every second Wednesday of each month, Aperitivo hosts two rounds of trivia with topics loosely based on foods and beverages. Prizes are awarded. FREE. 7 p.m.

Upcoming Dates: April 13, May 11, July 13

More at

Michigan Wineries, continued Billing itself as a “modern edgy new winery,” Gravity offers views of rolling hills, vineyards and a private lake at its tasting room, which features a large deck and patios. The staff will help you prepare a custom wine flight to fit your palate.

Heavenly Vineyards

15946 Jefferson Rd., Morley, (616) 710-2751 Heavenly Vineyards is a familyowned boutique winer y that produces and bottles all of its wines on site. The company offers the traditional styles, as well as offthe-wall varieties such as Jalapeno Wine and Rhubarb Wine.

Hickory Creek Winery

old world French grapes alongside new American and French hybrids. The handcrafted wines include Cab Franc, Marechal Foch, de Chaunac and Fronte-Baco, among others.

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.

Karma Vista Vineyards

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

Warner Vineyards

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.”

706 S. Kalamazoo St., Paw Paw, 800-756-5357

Kayla Rae Cellars

750 Browntown Rd., Buchanan, (269) 422-1100

31 Courtland St., Rockford, (616) 951-7001

Specializing in old world European wines from locally grown grapes, Hickory Creek pours a range of 19 styles from its “charming” tasting room inside a red barn. The company also features apple wine made from heirloom apples.

Tucked away in the quaint downtown area of Rockford, Kayla Rae offers a handful of wines and ciders along with nibbles. Bonus: They also offer growler fills.

to everyone.” Relax during the day at the winery’s tasting room, which is open year-round.

Lawton Ridge Winery

Left Foot Charley Winery

Hudsonville Winery

3768 Chicago Dr., Hudsonville, (616) 662-4589

Jomagrha Vineyards and Winery

7365 South Pere Marquette Hwy., Pentwater, (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

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 in neighboring vineyards in the Lake Michigan Shore region. Their selection ranges from elegant, dry reds to award-winning dessert wines.

Leelanau Cellars

5019 N. West Bay Shore Dr., Omena, (231) 386-5201 After decades of producing award-winning wines in Michigan’s Wine Coast, Leelanau Cellars’ philosophy has remained the same: “Produce quality, consumer friendly wines, affordable

White Pine Winery

806 Red Dr. #100, Traverse City, (231) 995-0500 Left Foot Charley, launched in 2004 by winemaker Bryan Ulbrich, teamed up with 18 Northern Michigan growers to produce an assortment of white wine varietals, hard cider and sparkling wine. Or, as they put it, “wines that display the range of aroma and flavor found among the glacially tilled hills of our appellations.”

Lemon Creek Winery

more. Be sure to try Lemon Creek’s award-winning white, red, and specialty wines. Pro tip: The winery also operates a tasting room in Grand Haven at 327 North Beacon Blvd.

Oceana Winery & Vineyard

4980 S. 52nd Ave., New Era, (231) 343-0038 Featuring dry, semi-dry, semisweet and sweet wines, Oceana Winery has something for everyone’s palate. The company also offers tasting rooms in Pentwater and, coming soon, in downtown Muskegon.

Round Barn Winery, Baroda

533 E. Lemon Creek Rd., Berrien Springs, (269) 471-1321

10983 Hills Rd., Baroda, (800) 716-9463

Lemon Creek’s historic vineyard and winery, located in the heart of Michigan’s wine country, has 160 years of history and features award-winning wines that are all estate-grown and bottled by the Lemon family. The winery also hosts a variety of annual celebrations, reserved barrel tastings and

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, (800) 732-6002 At 95 years old, St. Julian Winery was a pioneer among Michigan winemakers. The company offers tasting rooms around the state, including at its home base and main winery in Paw Paw.

Tabor Hill Winery

185 Mount Tabor Road, Buchanan, (800) 283-3363 Tuc ke d aw ay in S out hwe s t Michigan, Tabor Hill offers walking tours of the vineyards and through its state-of-the-art winemaking facility. The winery also pairs its beverages with locally sourced foods at its fine-dining restaurant. If you don’t make the trek to Buchanan, check out the tasting room in Saugatuck.

Vineyard 2121

2121 Kerlikowske Rd., Benton Harbor, (269) 849-0109

317 State St., Saint Joseph, (269) 281-0098

The only tasting room is based in one of the oldest buildings in St. Joseph, but all of White Pine Winery’s grapes are grown in Lawton. The winery specializes in aromatic white varietals like Pinot Grigio and Riesling as well as reds including Syrah and Merlot.

Willow Vineyards

10702 E. Hilltop Rd., Suttons Bay, (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, half-bottle, or magnum. Guests can shop Willow Vineyards’ gift area, stocked with stone coasters, candies, handmade birdhouses, Nedra wine glasses and more. The site can accommodate weddings and special events of up to 50 people.n

Vineyard 2121 started with a passion for quality wine shared by Jeffrey and Deborah Pallas, a husband and wife team. Tucked

REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Hudsonville Winery — owned by Steve Guikema and Ron Snider, who also co-own Pike 51 Brewing Co. — carries more than 30 different wines. Their 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, among others. All the wines are made on site.

8456 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo, (269) 372-9463

White Pine Winery and Vineyards

F o un d e d in 193 8 , War n er Vineyards is an O.G. winemaker in the Lake Michigan Shore appellation. 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.


Michigan Wine guide

A Shortlist of Top Michigan Wines By Troy Reimink


est Michigan might not be Napa Valley, but we have the distinction of inspiring a mostly flattering 2010 story in Food & Wine Magazine titled “Michigan: In Defense of B-List Wine Country.” Do we dwell on being dubbed the “B-List Wine Country?” Or do we behave as usual: Kindly accept our visitors’ curiosity and money and then go about our usual business of crafting righteously spirituous beverages? Michigan’s brewery explosion might score most of the headlines and its craft distilleries might be the wave of the future, but neither are more varied and tradition-steeped than its winemaking industry. The area around Traverse City, you probably know, is home to dozens of wineries, the famous Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail, thousands of derailed bachelorette parties and countless lost weekends. Less well known but equally worth checking out is the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail, a collection of 19 wineries a bit closer to home. To point us in the direction of standout, relatively affordable wines from the southwest part of the state that can stand alongside the best from up north, we consulted Karel Bush, executive director of the Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council. Here are her suggestions, all of which are available in the wineries’ tasting rooms and in most cases are for sale online with in-state shipping:

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Contessa Wine Cellars’ Cabernet Franc

Third-generation winemaker Tony Peterson operates this charming winery in the rich hills of Coloma Valley, not far from the Lake Michigan shore between South Haven and Benton Harbor. Its signature offering is a smooth red aged in Hungarian Oak, a Gold-medal honoree in the 2015 Michigan Wine Competition. $29.99;

Lawton Ridge Winery’s Merlot

We owe the mighty Merlot an apology. Its tarnished reputation has yet to recover from the 2004 film Sideways, in which Paul Giamatti’s wine aficionado character barks the indelible line, “If anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving. I am NOT drinking any [expletive] Merlot!” Hilarious but so, so wrong. Dark wines don’t get much better than the 2013 Merlot from Kalamazoo’s Lawton Ridge Winery; it’s a mediumbodied, oak-barrel-aged offering that pairs well with a hearty meal. A month-long price break will get you

52 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016

three bottles for the price of two through the end of April. $18.95;

White Pine Winery’s Syrah Reserve

An evocative blend of subtle flavors — currant, peppercorn — characterizes this robust, semi-dry red, which was a prestigious double-gold honoree in the 2013 Michigan Wine Competition. Winemaker Dave Miller has turned a lifelong passion into an essential lakeshore stop for travelers between Chicago and Grand Rapids and locally savvy wine enthusiasts who flock to White Pine’s downtown St. Joseph storefront. $29.99;

Fenn Valley Vineyards’ Vino Verde

Here’s a fun story: Several summers ago I visited Portugal and was seated on my

transatlantic flight next to a friendly and tragically beautiful woman from Lisbon. We chatted the whole time and agreed to meet at the baggage claim after I went through customs. It took longer than expected and I never found her despite a frantic and pathetic airport search. [*Pauses, stares out window] Anyway, Fenn Valley’s Vino Verde — direct translation: “green wine” — is a refreshing Portuguese summer wine made from not-quite-ripe grapes, which Bush described as “very interesting and unusual.” A recent tasting did not undo my devastating missed opportunity so much as conjure the wispy memory of what might have been [*sobs onto keyboard]. $9.99;

St. Julian Winery’s Braganini Reserve Riesling

This amiable crowd-pleaser’s aroma and flavor abound with fruit tones, most noticeably peach, and tasters with broader palates will detect a variety of citrus. Michigan’s oldest and most widely recognized winery has four tasting locations, the nearest of which is in Paw Paw, just west of Kalamazoo. $19.99;

Lemon Creek Winery’s Gewürztraminer and Meritage

Don’t let the umlaut and excessive number of consonants intimidate you — the name of this 2013 vintage (Bush’s recommendation) refers to a white wine grape historically tied to central Europe. You’ll lose interest in the pronunciation once its boldly spiced but subtly fruity flavors bathe your tongue. Lemon Creek’s current all-star is its 2013 Meritage (the winery’s recommendation), a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec that was extensively honored in this year’s International Eastern Wine Competition. $21 Gewürztraminer, $28 Meritage;

Fenn Valley’s 42 Ice Wine

This rich, decadent dessert wine is crafted using grapes allowed to freeze on the vine, producing the strongest-flavored raw juice possible. Imagine the best dessert wine you’ve ever had, only sweeter. $22;

Karma Vista Vineyards Razz M’Tazz

Rock and roll fans of any drinking age will find something to love at this Coloma winery, featuring Cherry Amour, Moondance Merlot, Pink Side of the Moon, Gunzan Rose, Noirvana and Stone Temple Pinoit. Its gold-medal Razz M’Tazz dessert wine contains almost a pound of raspberries in each bottle and pairs wonderfully with anything chocolate. $16;

St. Julian’s Late Harvest Riesling

This widely honored dessert wine is crisp and understated, featuring a delicate balance between sweetness and acidity and a rich, agreeable mix of fruit smells — the perfect cap to an indulgent meal. $12.99; n Pictured left: Lawton Ridge Merlot, St. Julian Reserve Riesling and Late Harvest Riesling

Photos by Jeff Greenberg


9-10 Art Along the Trail Southeast Michigan Pioneer Wine Trail

30-May1 Spring Sip & Savor Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail


14 Blossom Day Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula

23 Michigan Wine Showcase Rattlesnake Club, Detroit

26 Great Lakes Great Wine Walk-Around Tasting Oakland Community College, Farmington

10 Divas Uncorked Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula

16 Sunrise Side Wine and Food Festival Harrisville Harbor

18 Small Plates Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail


11 Leland Wine & Food Festival

18 Lake Michigan Shore Wine Festival Weko Beach, Bridgman

25 Festival of the Sun Old Town, Lansing

25 Traverse City Wine & Art Festival

25 Waterfront Wine Festival Harbor Springs



4 Art, Beer & Wine Festival Ella Sharp Museum, Jackson

2-9 National Cherry Festival Global Wine Pavilion, Traverse City

16 Wine on the Water Festival Marina Park, Suttons Bay


8 Best of Michigan Tasting Lawton Community Center


Weekends all month The Hunt for the Reds of October Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail

8 New Buffalo Harvest & Wine Fest

23-24 Barking & Wining Along the Trail Southeast Michigan Pioneer Wine Trail


4 Gold Medal Wine Reception Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center, East Lansing

9-10 Hopps of Fun Beer & Wine Festival Mackinaw Crossings, Mackinaw City

9-11 Paw Paw Wine & Harvest Festival

10-11 Harvest Stompede Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail

6 Tawas Uncork’d Harbor Park, East Tawas Uncork’d

16-17 Grand Haven Salmon Festival

13 Northport Wine Festival Haserot Park

24 St. Joseph Wine Festival & Art Auction

26 Mac and Cheese Bake-off Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula


10-11 Holiday Open House Southeast Michigan Pioneer Wine Trail

28 Food, Wine & All That Jazz Grand Rapids Public Museum

JAN. 2017

21 Winter Delights Lake Michigan College, Benton Harbor


5 “Big Grape” Bus Tour Pioneer Wine Trail

5-6 & 12-13 Toast the Season Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail

17-19 Grand Rapids International Wine, Beer & Food Festival

21 Sips & Soups Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail

FEB. 2017

10-11 Taste the Passion Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail

For more information, visit

REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |


Michigan Wine guide

The People’s Cider Co.

Photo: Steph Harding

Mead and Cider (continued)

of flavors. Especially impressive is their journey into the world of sour meads, which are exactly what they sound like. The owners keep their own bees, so they know their stuff. Head to the website for a life-saving glossary of mead slang and a remarkably in-depth look into meadmaking’s history and process.

Starcut Ciders

121 N. Bridge St., Bellaire, (231) 498-2300 Starcut Ciders, made by Short’s Brewing Company, was born in 2014 out of a desire to utilize the apple orchards of northern Michigan. Starcut features both unique and traditional ciders. Their menu includes: Pulsar (semi-dry with soft fruit and white wine-like aromas), Octorock (semi-sweet with delicate fruit and candied apple flavors) and Squishy (a semi-sweet red cider made with Michigan cherries). Stop into Short’s Brewing Company to give one a shot.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Sunshine Meadery

Distribution only, Lowell

Right now, Sunshine’s sticking to distribution, but its two meads are worth checking out. The Hakuna Matata, infused with vanilla bean and tea flavors, provides an unusual twist for the beverage. For a more traditional metheglin (spiced mead), pick up the Autumn Sunset.

The People’s Cider Co.

600 Maryland Ave. NE, Ste. B, Grand Rapids, (616) 322-7805


54 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016

Available at the Fulton Street Farmer’s Market and at the taproom at 600 Maryland Ave. NE in Grand Rapids, People’s Cider Co. is set to open a new location in May on Leonard Street next to Long Road Distillers. The cidery features a range of mostly barrel-aged ciders.

Uncle John’s Cider Mill

8614 US-127, St. Johns, 312-909-6581

After giving their labels a makeover, Uncle John’s is turning heads in party stores all over. One of the oldest apple farms in the country, their hard cider is simple but well refined. Its classic flavors like Cherry, Blueberry and Apricot make the cider easily accessible, but with enough options to offer some variety. They even boast a solid line of “premium ciders” that fall closer on the spectrum to wine (in a good way). It’s worth the trip.

Vander Mill Cider

14921 Cleveland St., Spring Lake, (616) 842-4337 If you haven’t heard of Vander Mill, you haven’t heard of Michigan hard cider. Pumping out 250,000 gallons per year, they easily stand as the largest producer in the state. With a new production facility on the way, those numbers will likely quintuple (that means five times more), making them the undisputed Hard Cider Kings of the Midwest, a title I may or may not have just made up. Keep an eye out for the new location, majestic taproom and all, at 505 Ball Ave. in Grand Rapids.

Virtue Cider Co.

2170 62nd St., Fennville, (773) 868-6878 It may be owned by Anheuser-Busch, but Virtue’s ciders are legit and true to the dry European style. The Glouchestershire 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 or five of these Michigan-centric ciders. The Mitten, a bourbon barrel-aged cider, has remained a fan-favorite. n

REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |


Michigan Wine guide

WINE and DINE Upcoming Wine Events Across Michigan Eat. Drink. Be Merry!

St. Cecilia Music Center 24 Ransom Ave. NE, Grand Rapids April 16, 6–10 p.m. This annual wine tasting fundraiser — hosted by Martha’s Vineyard — benefits St. Cecilia Music Center and its historic building, concert series and School of Music programs. Eat. Drink. Be Merry! takes place on two floors of St. Cecilia Music Center and features 100 varieties of wines from well-known and boutique wineries throughout the world. Hearty hors d’oeuvres from Catering by Martha’s and Nantucket Baking Company will also be on hand. Some of the wineries showcased will be: Justin, Jonata, Hoopes, Domaine Gitton, Mas de Daumas Gassac, Château Gigognan, and many others. Advance tickets available at Martha’s Vineyard (200 Union Ave. NE, Grand Rapids). You can also call St. Cecilia at (616) 459-2224 or visit its website. $35 per person, includes wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres.

Come join us!

Michigan Wine Celebration: Art Along the Trail

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Pioneer Wine Trail, various locations April 9, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. April 10, Noon–5 p.m.

100+ Bottles of Wine, Grower Champagnes, Wednesday Wine Features, Globally Inspired Chef Driven Menus, Retail Beer & Wine, Private Dining

15 Ionia S.W. | 616.774.9463 |

56 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016

In celebration of Michigan Wine Month, each of the eight wineries along the Pioneer Wine Trail will feature an appetizer or dessert prepared by a local chef and paired with their chosen wine. Guests provide their own transportation and choose their route. Pick up a souvenir glass at your first winery and enjoy a new-release wine paired with a delightful dish. Try additional samples while being entertained by a variety of artists at each stop on the trail.

WOMP Wine Dinner

Grand Traverse Resort 100 Grand Traverse Village Blvd., Acme April 9, 7 p.m. As part of Michigan Wine Month, Grand Traverse Resort is partnering with the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula (WOMP) to host a one-night food-wine pairing event. Selections from eight WOMP wineries will be paired with delicious small plates in the Governors’ Hall. Participating wineries are: 2 Lads Winery, Black Star Farms, Bowers Harbor Vineyards, Brys Estates, Chateau Chantal, Chateau Grand Traverse, Hawthorne Vineyards and Peninsula Cellars. $75 per adult, includes eight wine/food pairing tickets (price includes tax and gratuity). For more information, call (231) 534-6000.

Michigan Wines Showcase

The RattleSnake Club 300 River Place, Detroit May 23, 6–8:30 p.m.

Join Master Sommeliers Claudia Tyagi and Madeline Triffon for this annual showcase of 20 different Michigan wineries. While sampling some wines, snack on appetizers created by RattleSnake Club Chef Chris Franz. Purchase advance tickets online for $38. If the event doesn’t sell out (it did in 2015), they will be $45 at the door. Vintage Michigan members get a $5 discount per advance ticket. For more information, call Sherri Goodreau at (517) 284-5733.

Sip and Dab

Peninsula Cellars Winery 11480 Center Rd., Traverse City April 22, 6–9 p.m. Paint alongside a local artist, guiding you through your masterpiece at Peninsula Cellars Winery — all experience levels welcome. Attendees of this “Spring Blooms”-themed event are allowed to bring food and

Fenn Valley Wine & Food Festival, June 25 at Fenn Valley Vineyards Winery

non-alcoholic beverages. Wine by the glass is $8. Cider by the glass is $5. Adult registration is $40 and covers supplies and instruction during the three-hour session. Arrive 10-15 minutes prior to the start time for check-in and seat selection. For more information, call (231) 933-9787.

Uncork and Unwind

Silver Creek Event Center at Four Winds Casino 11111 Wilson Rd., New Buffalo May 7, 5–9 p.m., (866) 494-6371 At this exclusive tasting event, guests enjoy live music while interacting with the behind-the-scenes craftsmen and women from Michigan wineries like Chateau Grand Traverse, Round Barn Winery and Wyncroft. Four Winds Casino also offers seasonalfood options for purchase to complement the tastings. Each $20 ticket includes admission, a souvenir glass and 10 food/drink sample tickets. Additional tasting tickets are $1 each. For an extra $15, get a VIP pass and enjoy a delectable food offering and a perfectly paired wine.

Chateau Chantal Winery 15900 Rue de Vin, Traverse City May 7, 6–9:30 p.m.

If your mother enjoys a glass of wine as much as you do, this event might be just the ticket for Mother’s Day. The evening begins with a winery tour at 6 p.m., followed by dinner. Sit back and enjoy Chateau Chantal Winery’s beautiful dining room with panoramic views of both bays. Seat-

Wines of the Thumb Taste Fest 2

Packard Proving Grounds 49965 Van Dyke Ave., Shelby Charter Township May 22, 1–5 p.m. Thumbs Up Wine Trail hosts multiple charming tasting rooms that offer the opportunity to sample and learn about the produc ts. The trail meanders for around 270 miles round trip and consists of vineyards, wineries, a meadery and a ciderhouse. The ticket price includes 12 tastes of wine, food, live music and vendors. Through April 30, tickets are $30.

Rodney Strong Vineyards Wine Dinner

The B.O.B. 20 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids April 5, 6:30 p.m.

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

5-Course Mother’s Day Wine Pairing Dinner

ing is limited. Reservations and payment are required at least a day in advance. Cost is $69. For reservations, call (231) 223-4110.

This wine dinner, taking place at Gilly’s and Judson’s, offers up a first-class four-course dinner featuring the award-winning wines of California’s Rodney Strong Vineyards. The courses, in part, include: East Coast Oysters paired with Charlotte’s Home Sauvignon Blanc, Smoked Trout and Frisee Salad paired with Chalk Hill Chardonnay, Spring Mushroom and Parmesan Polenta paired with Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, and Cast Iron-Seared Natural Angus Ribeye paired with Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. $45 per person; includes dessert. For reservations, call (616) 356-2000.

More on page 60 ➤

REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |


Michigan Wine guide

Enjoy 1/2 off bottles of wine every Wednesday at CitySeˉn Lounge 4 P M – C L O S E Applies to bottles ninety dollars or less. 61 E 7th Street in Downtown Holland 83 Monroe Center St in Downtown GR

A Beginner’s Guide to West Michigan Wine Bars by Troy Reimink


he Onion once ran a list of wine appreciation tips that contained a priceless suggestion: If dining out with friends, order the second leastexpensive bottle on the restaurant’s menu. If on a date, order the fourth least-expensive. Sure, they meant it as a joke. But also: Not terrible advice! It’s especially handy if, like most people, you struggle arduously to hide the panic in your eyes while staring at a wine list that might as well be written in hieroglyphics. But West Michigan’s top wine destinations take much of that befuddlement out of the process with wine flights, expertly curated food pairings and deeply educated staff. Here are three places that do it right:

Reserve Wine & Food

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

So Much Love, So Many Details

201 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids; By now, Reserve’s reputation precedes it by a considerable distance. The downtown Grand Rapids destination is almost an attraction unto itself rather than just somewhere to kick off, or wrap up, a night on the town. With more than 100 wines available by the glass and a great deal more by the bottle, the pairing options are nearly endless with its menu of charcuterie, lunch plates, sandwiches and desserts. Reserve

also offers its basement Vault — home to the restaurant’s mind-boggling wine cellar — for private events and tastings.

The Wine Loft

161 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo; The Wine Loft aims for, and achieves, an atmosphere of big-city sophistication within Kalamazoo’s Haymarket Building. Its deep and diverse list of wines becomes less daunting thanks to a series of flights grouped helpfully by type and region, including a Michigan flight featuring favorites from the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas.

Smash Wine Bar & Bistro

415 W. Western Ave., Muskegon; Opening in 2013, this inviting spot has upended expectations within downtown Muskegon’s growing restaurant scene while maintaining an off-the-beaten-path presence thanks to its location in the lower level of the Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts. Smash emphasizes the full wine experience, with tasting pours, flights and a helpful staff boasting encyclopedic knowledge of its world-spanning selection. n

LET OUR WEDDING EXPERT, ALYSSA, HELP YOU WITH: Wedding Receptions • Rehearsal Dinners • Bridal Showers • Room Blocks for Out-of-Town Guests

616-957-0100 | | 4747 28th St SE, Grand Rapids

58 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016

Reserve Wine & Food

Photo: jill devries

We Invite You to Enjoy the Fruits of our Labor and Love of our Land!


45727 27th St. Mattawan, MI

269.668.3800 | | 269-372-9463

8456 Stadium Dr. | Kalamazoo, MI | Convenient to 131 & I-94 REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Hours: Wednesday-Saturday: 12-6pm, Sunday 12-5pm


Michigan Wine guide

Sweet Wine O’ Mine

Dessert Wines in West Michigan by Missy Black

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene


60 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016

fter a nice dinner, the sweetness 2009 Pedroncelli Vintage Port from of a fine dessert wine can take Sonoma Valley is not your typical port (bethe place of a heavy pudding cause it’s not from Portugal). Bar Divani, or pastry. 15 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids offers this Next time, hold off on the tiramisu. dessert wine with a caramel, nutty tone. Shake things up a bit and satisfy that rag- It’s great paired with a Belgian chocolate ing sweet tooth in an unconventional way. mousse. Bar Divani serves around ten According to, “sweet wine different dessert wines, some offered is produced with extra sweet wine grapes. by the bottle and some only by the glass. In order to make them sweet, the fermen- “The best dessert wines are sweet but tation is stopped before the yeast turns also have a great acidity — something so all the natural grape sugar into alcohol.” sweet that isn’t balanced with an acidity Need a few recommendations on could be too cloying and overwhelm you,” where to find some locally? Try these said server Michael Stickel. Generally a commendable candied wines and toast bit pricier, a good dessert wine is the ulto the sweet life. timate pleasure. The dense flavor and all that sweetness is a luxury that Fenn Valley 42 Ice Wine is the everyone should look forward to. recommended dessert wine at Zazios Restaurant & Bar, the Niepoort Late Bottle Vintage lively Italian spot within the 2011 is worth sampling at Reserve Radisson at 10 0 W. Michigan Wine & Food (201 Monroe Ave. Ave. in Kalamazoo. Winning the NW, Grand Rapids). This ruby Double Gold category in the port is much more berried with a Tasters Guild International Wine dark fruit flavor reminiscent of Judging event, 42 Ice Wine black fruits like blackberries is a sweet white wine made and blueberries. “The ruby with frozen grapes from port and chocolate cake Michigan’s 42nd parallel. are almost like peanut You don’t drink a whole butter and jelly — quintesglass, rather an ounce to sential pairings,” said Bar two or three ounces at a Manager Rob Hanks, who time as a smooth and reunderstands people’s love freshing slow sipper. “At the of dessert wines is similar end of a great meal or with to the way they love candy. dessert, it almost enables “Dessert wine is so deliyou to relax and enjoy the cious, it’s like candy only moment,” said General with alcohol, which is a Manager Ryan Cunningham. bonus.” Late at night, beIt should be noted that hind the bar, Hanks notices there’s no guarantee for ice guests asking for glasses wine each year. Conditions of dessert wine. “They’ll have to be just right for this have that as their dessert. special delicacy to flourish. It’s great for dates because Sample a dessert wine (usuyou don’t have to worry ally paired with fresh fruit about crumbs and it seems Nieport Late Bottle such as Michigan peaches) more sophisticated.” Is at the restaurant’s unique that a tip or what? n Vintage 2011 Chef’s Table, an interactive five-course dinner.

Wine Events, continued Lunch with the Winemaker: Domaine Berrien Cellars

Domaine Berrien Cellars 398 E. Lemon Creek Rd., Berrien Springs May 28, 11:45 a.m.–2 p.m.

This event offers an insider look at how wines are grown and made. It includes an exclusive and educational walk-through of the vineyards, a tour of Domaine Berrien Cellars and facilities, lunch, and a selection of estate wines. Other perks include a logo wine glass and a complimentary tasting. Advanced reservations required. $30. Call (269) 473-9463.

Art & Wine Festival

Lemon Creek Winery 533 E. Lemon Creek Rd., Berrien Springs May 28 & 29, Noon–6 p.m.

The Memorial Day Weekend Art & Wine Festival is a two-day celebration of local art, music and wine. This free event is open to the public at Lemon Creek Winery, an establishment with 160 years of grape and fruit growing experience. For more information, call (269) 471-1321.

Fenn Valley Wine & Food Festival

Fenn Valley Vineyards Winery 6130 122nd Ave., Fennville June 25, All day This event boasts tastings in the vineyards, local food vendors, cellar tours, wine demonstrations, yard games and live music. Held in the middle of the vineyards, attendees can walk around, set up lawn chairs, or have a picnic. Throughout the vineyards are three tasting stations where folks pay with tasting tickets. The Grape Train makes trips out to the stations for those who choose not to take a stroll through the vineyards. Tickets are available for $8/person online or $10/person the day of the event. Tickets include admission, a stemless glass and wine samples. n

Lemon Creek Winery Berrien Springs

Grand Haven

Winery, Vineyard & Fruit Farm 533 E Lemon Creek Rd Berrien Springs MI 269.471.1321

Tasting Room 327 N Beacon Blvd Grand Haven MI 616.844.1709

For hours of operation, festival details and directions, go to

Black Dragon


Try the meads of our award-winning Meadmaster rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Return to the Olde Ways.

HOURS: Before May 1 Sat 12pm-5pm After May 1 Daily 12pm-6pm �rrrrr�rrrrr�rr�rrrrr�rrr�rrrr�r�rrrrrrr�rrrrrrrr�rrr�rrr�rrrr�rrrrr�rrrrr�r�rrrrr�rrr

REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule




Saturday, April 30th from 3pm to 8pm (VIP at 2pm) Featuring 60 Michigan Breweries & Cideries! Enjoy 300+ craft beers, ciders & spirits along with live music and food!

Schedule | Dining | Sights Sounds | Scene

brew tasting • Michigan art • food samples

62 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016

indie film

by Josh Spanninga

Joel Potrykus Debuts The Alchemist Cookbook

GR-Based Director Follows Up Buzzard


rand R apids filmmaker J oel P otryk u s is on a roll. His project Buzzard

“We’re trying to teach Michigan kids how to do it right here in Michigan and not have to leave for the West Coast.”

Joel Potrykus

magical realism and dark undertones, it only seems fitting this latest feature also had its world premiere at SXSW Film Festival. “SXSW has always kind of been home to the weirdos and outsider films,” Potrykus explained. “When we were there with Buzzard, we felt pretty at home and everybody really seemed to get it. It’s cool because the screenings are like one-third people off the street, one-third very refined cinephiles and then one-third stoner metalheads.” Considering the fact that SXSW has the potential to make or break a director, it’s no surprise Potrykus is busy with interviews and promotion during the festival. But that doesn’t stop him from having a good time, too. “I’m usually pretty busy during the day. During the evening is when I get to actually watch movies,” Potrykus said. “Then at night

it’s a different kind of enjoyment because I’m usually just bouncing from party to party.” While Potrykus is busier than ever, he wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s finally able to leave boring desk jobs and minimumwage gigs behind and make film, in one regard or another, his full-time profession and passion. “I’ve started to slowly be able to figure it out and not do things that I don’t want to do,” Potrykus said. “Everything I do, I really, really am into and I really love.” n

REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Diing | Schedule

premiered at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival, was picked up by Oscilloscope Laboratories and made a hell of a run through the festival circuit, wowing audiences and critics. Last year, Buzzard saw a national limited release, garnering even more acclaim. And 2016 is turning out to be a hell of a year for Potrykus, as well. His new film, The Alchemist Cookbook, premiered last month at SXSW and he’s been hosting Open Projector Nights at the UICA — an event where local film nerds have a chance to display their own projects on the big screen. On top of that, a big chunk of his time has been spent teaching a screenwriting course at Grand Valley State University and a guerillafilm course at Michigan State University. “We’re trying to teach Michigan kids how to do it right here in Michigan and not have to leave for the West Coast,” Potrykus said. And The Alchemist Cookbook is proof that Michigan is as good a place as any to make a movie. Filmed at what used to be a Girl Scout camp in Allegan, Potrykus said he employed a cast and crew made up of mostly Michigan natives. “It was the same Sob Noisse group from Buzzard but we just added people to the mix. Everyone is either from Grand Rapids or Detroit and then two of our producers

are from New York — they brought a couple people with them as well,” Potrykus said. While he’s used to working with local talent, he said The Alchemist Cookbook boasts the most local talent he’s worked with on one project — it’s about three times the size of Buzzard’s crew. “This was our first time working with a big, kind of official crew, where everyone had designated positions,” he said. “It wasn’t like the sound guy had to go pick up lunch and then also pick up the actors.” While Buzzard was considered a guerilla film made on a micro-budget, The Alchemist Cookbook gave Potrykus a chance to work with a larger budget thanks to the backing of production company Oscilloscope Laboratories. “The Alchemist Cookbook, I would not classify as a guerilla film,” he explained. “It’s a low-budget film, but it’s not like we were storming the streets or sneaking into McDonald’s with a camera. It was just one setting, so it was a very relaxed shoot and we were able to take in the woods and film what we wanted to. But we didn’t have to sneak around or break any laws with this one.” While the production days may have been tamer on The Alchemist Cookbook, the subject matter is anything but. The movie follows an outsiderturned-hermit who retreats to the backwoods to make his own fortune via alchemy, only to slide down a slippery slope to something much crazier. With the film promising Potrykus’s signature elements of psychological breakdowns,


Style Notes

by Missy Black

Heating Up: The Spring Forecast

Some Trendy Tips for West Michigan Fashionistas


he forecast this year at Dear Prudence? Anything goes. From T-shirts and ripped-up jeans to feminine, floral chiffon dresses, it’s an interesting mix of super casual, girly and glammed up. “Everything is off the shoulder or has an exposed shoulder,” said owner Prudence Kauffman. “It’s really fun, even if you don’t like wearing something strapless. Off the shoulder is more comfortable and feels a bit safer.” Expect more rompers (denim or dressy), resort wear, the new Z SUPPLY super soft T-shirt line and transitional pieces to get you through that in-between weather. (Romper and dress pictured at bottom left.) Both $58, Dear Prudence, 820 Forest Hill Ave. SE, Grand Rapids. The Sandrine Woven Kimono (pictured center) in coastal green features flowy sleeves, shirring detail at shoulder and a unique, exaggerated hem shape. $78. DENYM, 443 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids.

Schedule | Dining | Sights Sounds | Scene

Add a soft pink faux leather handbag with detachable shoulder strap to your look. $52. Jade, 17 Squires Street Sq. NE # B, Rockford.

64 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016

Glam up any outf it with the handmade, metal and bead Faith Charm Necklaces from Nakamol Chicago (top left). $46. Sparrow Boutique, 255 Seminole Rd. #103, Muskegon. This 3/4-sleeve tee with raglan sleeves (pictured center left) features a beautiful floral print that’s so tomboy garden party — if that’s a thing. $28. Hawthorne Collection, 6450 28th Ave., Hudsonville and in downtown Zeeland at 150 E.Main Ave.

REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |


by Eric Mitts


Say Anything Nick Di Paolo on Rooming with Louis C.K., Pushing P.C. Buttons

Schedule | Dining | Sights Sounds | Scene


“His imagination is frightening,” Di Paolo said of C.K. “He t this point in his career, vetinspires me with how good of a comedian he is. He and guys eran stand-up Nick Di Paolo like Bill Burr, Norm McDonald and Dave Attell — those guys doesn’t pull any punches. He’s made a name inspire me when I watch them.” for himself as one of the most honest comics Throughout the years, Di Paolo has also appeared on some around, so if he upsets someone looking for pogroundbreaking programs, like The Sopranos, and on The Chris litical correctness in his comedy, he doesn’t care. Rock Show, where he received two Emmy nominations for his “I’ll have a table of people get up and writing. Last year, he joined Amy Schumer on the criticallyleave,” Di Paolo told Revue. “It’s usually collegeacclaimed “12 Angry Men” episode of her Comedy Central age kids who believe in safe spaces and they get offended by series Inside Amy Schumer, where he turned my act. They’re coming from a whole difheads with his eviscerating performance. ferent world. It’s not their fault they’ve been His biting comedy bits made him a favorbrainwashed to think that life is a thing you ite on talk radio, having frequently guested on go through without feeling uncomfortable. “People f*****g love The Howard Stern Show, The Opie and Anthony I don’t know how the f *** that idea came it because I’m saying Show (now the Opie with Jim Norton show). about. Sometimes I find myself just saying Today, he hosts The Nick Di Paolo Podcast shit just to annoy those people. This country stuff that you can’t say via RiotCast — it’s available on iTunes and was built on freedom of speech and that’s all on terrestrial radio, through his website we have left.” “I talk about topical stuff, politics, pop Di Paolo, 54, started as a comic in the on TV, or anywhere culture,” Di Paolo said. “But it’s just me. late ’80s stand-up boom. Early in his career, without getting There’s no guests. It’s just me ranting and he was roommates with fellow comedian arrested. And that’s raving. People f *****g love it because I’m Louis C.K. after both relocated from Boston to New York. the point of a podcast. saying stuff that you can’t say on terrestrial radio, on TV, or anywhere without getting “Those were the fun times when you look I’m almost waiting for arrested. And that’s the point of a podcast. back on them,” Di Paolo said of coming up I’m almost waiting for someone to knock on alongside C.K. in NYC’s comedy clubs. “It someone to knock my door and say, ‘You can’t say that.’” really is true — it’s the journey that’s so godon my door and say, Of course, his brand of raw, in-your-face damn fun. I think [Louis] would agree even comedy still feels most at home on the standthough he’s a multi-zillionaire now.” ‘You can’t say that.’” up stage, and he remains best known for his Di Paolo and C.K. frequently work live work, including his series of specials — like together, with Di Paolo having appeared in 2014’s Another Senseless Killing DVD. Another a recurring role on C.K.’s hit FX series Louie, nesting spot for Di Paolo’s insolent barbs is on the Comedy where they famously sparred over their views on President Central Roast specials. Obama and bonded on the challenges of marriage. “I think that’s what’s happening on the Republican side,” “It’s weird to watch a close friend become THE guy,” Di Di Paolo said when asked if this year’s presidential primary Paolo said of C.K. “I mean he’s like the Woody Allen of my season reminds him of the roasts. “That last debate — I thought I generation.” was going to see Jeff Ross standing next to Marco Rubio. That’s Most recently the two worked together again on C.K.’s what Trump is turning it into. It’s just funny.” latest project, Horace and Pete, a dark comedy web-series about Although he’s proudly right-wing in his personal views, a multigenerational Brooklyn Irish bar co-starring Alan Alda, Di Paolo doesn’t consider himself to be a political comedian. Steve Buscemi, Jessica Lange and Edie Falco.

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Nick Di Paolo Just an honest one. Or, like his longtime friend and fellow funnyman Colin Quin has said, “He’s not a political comic, but he can tell a joke about McDonald’s and everyone will know how he voted.” “If you come out, you’re not going to see the opposite of Bill Maher. I’m not going to do an hour of how much I hate Democrats or Liberals,” Di Paolo said. “[But] this Donald Trump phenomenon proves exactly what [I’m] talking about. People have had enough of the P.C. horseshit. There are two types of people in the world: Politically correct people and people who are honest. They’re mutually exclusive in my book. I like to be honest and luckily there’s still enough people to appreciate it.” n

Nick Di Paolo

Dr. Grins Comedy Club, 20 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids April 21–23, 8 p.m., 9 p.m. & 10:30 p.m. $10–$20,, (616) 356-2000

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REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |

by Eric Mitts


Slim Fast

At The B.O.B. Grand Rapids, MI 616.356.2000

Why Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias Decided to Shed Some Pounds



April 1L4IS- T 16

OLO A P I D K NIC ril 21-23 Schedule | Dining | Sights Sounds | Scene



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n his Fuse T V reality series Fluffy Breaks Even, standup favorite Gabriel Iglesias devours dangerously delicious meals across the country with his close cadre of personal friends. But after they’ve savored the last bites from hilariously unhealthy places like the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas, the real challenge begins: Finding a way to work off the exorbitant amount of calories they’ve just consumed in order to “break even.” “I love the way that the show has turned out and I hope it is showing people to learn to find balance in life,” Iglesias said of the series, which returns April 7 for its second season. “I love to eat and I love over-the-top meals, but you have to find different ways to balance that by working out. Going through these episodes and having some of my closest friends and comedians at my side has been a great “When faced with a experience.” serious condition, Known by his nickname “Fluffy” you should take it — a term he says he borrowed from overweight people in the 1940s — Iglesias has seriously mostly long confronted his waistline in his act, for yourself, but including his popular standup specials, also for your loved I’m Not Fat… I’m Fluffy and Hot & Fluffy. But as he details in his 2014 ones who want to standup film, The Fluffy Movie, Iglesias have you around was staring down some things so serious that no amount of laughing could make for a long time.” them go away. At his heaviest, he was diagnosed with type II diabetes and given only two years to live. It was not a joke anymore. Since then, he’s dropped more than 100 pounds and continues to live healthier. Gabriel “When faced with a serious condition, you should take it seriously Iglesias mostly for yourself, but also for your loved ones who want to have you around for a long time,” Iglesias said. “It has been challenging to work out on the road, but I have good support around me, like [friend and fellow comedian] Martin [Moreno] who will not hesitate to say, ‘What are you During the few days that he’s not out on the road doing standup, putting in your mouth?’ and encourage me to go to the gym with him.” Iglesias has kept busy working on a pilot for ABC. It’s loosely based on Despite the rigorous demands of Fluffy Breaks Even, at 39, Iglesias his own life. is the healthiest he’s been in a long time. Just don’t expect him to look “I wanted it to be a multi-cam show and be shot in front of a studio like his former cast mates from the Magic Mike movies any time soon. audience. That way we could get the immediate reaction from the live “Those guys were on the strictest diets — the tips that they would audience,” he said. have given me were too unrealistic,” he said of workHe’s also given back to the standup community that ing with the likes of Channing Tatum and Matthew has given him so much over the years by hosting his own McConaughey. “They would walk by a craft services comedy showcase, Stand Up Revolution, both on Comedy Gabriel Iglesias table and I’m sure they were crying on the inside while I Central and on Sirius XM Radio. The program allows him #FluffyBreaksEven Tour was helping myself.” to give wider exposure to his friends and other up-andWings Event Center Most of Iglesias’ actual workout tips now come from coming comedians. 3600 Vanrick Dr., Kalamazoo his personal trainer Hilda Pastoriza, aka “Kill-Da,” back “I keep myself grounded by remembering that it May 1, 8 p.m. on his home turf of Long Beach, Calif. could all go away at any time,” Iglesias said of his own $35-$95 “It is usually her voice I hear in the back of my head, (269) stardom. “I once spent time living on the porch of a 345-1125 when I’m ordering from a restaurant,” Iglesias said. family member’s home. That keeps you humble and remembering where you have come from.” n






820 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids

Goals. We Can Help You Reach Them. New Horizons is the industry leader for Technical, Applications, and Business Professional training. Cisco





Six Sigma






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Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo 616.574.7500 Lansing 517.318.4005 Flexible tuition funding options and job placement assistance are available. We accept corporate tuition assistance and training grants for those who qualify. Our classes are available on campus and online for your convenience. NHLS Goals Soccer APR.indd 1

AM REVUEWM.COM3/16/16 | April9:44 2016 |


Kid Stuff

Grand Rapids Children’s Museum 11 Sheldon Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, (616) 235-4726 April 2-10

Spring Break at the Museum

The week of spring break, GRCM will offer activities for children 12 and younger during normal business hours. Scheduled performances and presentations will include interactive dance, magicians, improvisational comedy groups, musicians, puppeteers and hula-hoop performers. April 19

Open Paint

Between 2 and 4 p.m., museum staff will have easels set up for children to drop by and try their hand at painting with washable tempera paint. There is no additional cost on top of admission to the museum. April 23

GRCM’s Earth Day Celebration

The museum will celebrate Earth Day between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. by bringing in live animals from Blandford Nature Center. Visitors can also plant a seed in their own homemade terrarium, create a recycled art project, and take home a one-year-old sapling. April 28

Schedule | Dining | Sights Sounds | Scene

Family Dance Party

The museum hosts a family dance party at 6 p.m. with artist in residence Lori Teft of Celebrate Dance Studio. Children will learn basic dance moves set to upbeat music. Cost is $1.75.


Under 1: Free Ages 1-64: $8.50 Seniors (65+): $7.50 Military Family Members: $6.50 School Faculty Member: $6.50 Thursday Family Night: $1.75

70 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016

by Aebra Coe

Imagination Station

Grand Rapids Children’s Museum Introduces Children to the World


ehind the colorful, swirling mosaic that lines the exterior walls of the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, there lies a whirlwind of activity and education. Children at play repair car engines, build skyscrapers, perform in rock concerts, travel through jungles and paint masterpieces. They stare in awe at giant bubbles, observe honeybees in a hive, walk across a balance beam and literally climb the walls. In the words of Adrienne Brown, events manager for the museum, the children are experiencing “hands-on, self-guided learning through play.” Brown also said more than 3 million people have walked through the doors of the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum since it opened in 1997. She’s been on staff for nearly a decade and still hasn’t tired of seeing children explore the museum and participate in the hands-on learning available there. “Watching kids play here is one of the most enjoyable things you’ll ever see,” she said. “They have so much fun.” Each exhibit at the museum is chosen by the staff for its educational and developmental value for children up to age 10, Brown said. The interactive displays span a wide range, such as: engineering and spatial awareness, natural sciences, physical development and coordination, social development, and, of course, the arts. “Everything we have here has something valuable you can take away from it,” Brown said. There are a handful of permanent exhibits at the museum, along with scheduled activities like a bi-monthly painting program and the museum’s upcoming annual Earth Day celebration. One notable exhibit at the museum is Little Grand Rapids, a miniature city that children can explore and interact with. It boasts a mock bank, post office, auto service center, restaurant, grocery store and library. The exhibit has street signs and toy cars for getting around, and is set against a Grand Rapids cityscape mural. There’s also an entire region of the room dedicated to bubbles, where children can blow gigantic bubbles or climb inside a tower and watch as a colossal bubble surrounds them. Meanwhile, in the museum’s balance room, the adventure continues. It allows visitors to traverse a plank across a mock volcano, jump across foam stones to cross a pretend river past a toy alligator, and then climb a miniature rock wall. Other exhibits include a mock farm where kids can pretend to plant fruits and vegetables and care for animals, and an area where budding architects and engineers can find Legos, Lincoln Logs and other building tools to construct their own buildings. Finally, for the aspiring rock stars, there’s an area carved out just for musical instruments. n

Lit Life

by Eric Mitts

Kalamazoo Poetry Festival Returns


Nationally-recognized poet Natalie Diaz appears at the Kalamazoo Poetry Festival this month.

he Kalamazoo Poetry F esti val ret u rns this month with more than just a showcase for West Michigan’s budding Ginsbergs and Plaths. The second-year festival, coinciding with National Poetry Month, celebrates the creation, presentation and appreciation of written art in all its forms – whether they wish to listen, to learn, or to share their experience of poetry with others. “It is the goal of Kalamazoo Poetry Festival that everyone in Kalamazoo has a voice, and poetry is a marvelous and unique vehicle for expression,” said KPF program committee co-chair Marion Boyer. “Poetry comes to us in childhood verse, in the lyrics of our songs. It can move us, spin stories, contain humor, evoke memories, images, persuade and inform us with precise language and compact form.” Following the inaugural Kalamazoo Poetry Festival held in 2014, and the Celebration of Community Poets last

year, this year’s festival features nationallyrecognized poets Natalie Diaz and Jamaal May. Both will join a craft talk on April 16, moderated by Kalamazoo College’s Diane Seuss (author of the 2015 poetry collection Four Legged Girl) and also perform at a reading held later that evening at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (315 S. Park St.). In addition, the KPF offers other free readings and workshops during its two-day event, including sessions for spoken word, youth and teen poets, all led by local poets and creative writing instructors. “Workshops provide a forum for people interested in listening to and learning more about poetry, or who read and write poetry and wish to meet and share with others passionate about poetry,” Boyer said. Leading this year’s ten workshops are Jennifer Clark, Margaret DeRitter, Jane Huffman, Fable The Poet (aka Marcel Price), Elizabeth Kerlikowske, Gail Martin, Preacher (aka Cornelius Shaw) and McKenzie Lynn Tozan.

An open-mic session also takes place April 15 at FIRE Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative, located at 1249 Portage Rd. The Kalamazoo Poetry Festival plans to present its multi-day festival every other year, and in the intervening years present at least one event highlighting local poets and poetry in the community. “West Michigan is enormously rich in lovers of poetry, talented writers and generous mentors,” Boyer said. “If you aspire to be a poet or if you are interested in hearing poetry, opportunities abound in our area for learning and gaining support. Simply reach out and investigate the events you see posted on the KPF website.” n

Kalamazoo Poetry Festival

Multiple locations, Kalamazoo April 15–16, FREE! Workshops require registration, space is limited


April 29 & 30

June 9, 10 & 12

Orpheus and Eurydice

Romeo and Juliet

The Student Prince

TICKETS | 616.451.2741 | Ticketmaster | Student tickets just $5. Student I.D. must be presented at door.

REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |

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GET 15% OFF WITH CODE SAVE15* *online only


72 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016

Restaurant listings arranged by region

Grand Rapids Angel’s Thai Café 136 Monroe Center NW. 616-454-9801 THAI. This downtown restaurant makes your order fresh, fast, and hot. You can order your entree with your choice of meat and spice level, or create your own. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Thai Steak and Yum Talay. Big O Café 80 Ottawa NW. 616-451-1887 ITALIAN. The downtown (and downstairs) restaurant has a reliable menu featuring pizza, pasta, and sandwiches that are Italian and Cuban influenced. A great spot for lunch or a quick glass of wine and plate of pasta before a downtown event. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Dead Head Vegetarian Pizza, Cuban dinners on Friday nights. Bistro Bella Vita 44 Grandville Ave. SW. 616-222-4600 ITALIAN. One of Grand Rapids’ best dining experiences, featuring Mediterraneaninspired country cuisine, a swanky yet comfortable downtown atmopshere and personable service. BBV’s culinary team creates authentic, housemade recipes made with locally grown produce, fresh seafood and rotisserie roasted meats. Specialty gluten-free menu, and can prepare custom dishes for lactose intolerant, vegetarian, and vegan diets. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Mediterranean Country Cuisine and Martinis.

Bombay Cuisine 1420 Lake Dr. SE 616-456-7055 INDIAN. Offering savory and subtly spiced dishes from northern India, Bombay Cuisine is a hot spot for those who like to add a little flavor to their lives. With a lunch buffet served every weekday, this restaurant provides its eaters with an array of traditional Indian cuisine. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: Naan, Butter Chicken. Brewery Vivant 925 Cherry St. SE. 616-719-1604 BREWPUB. Housed in a former funeral chapel, Brewery Vivant crafts Belgian-style

Chapbook Café 2660 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids. 616-942-0595. CAFE. Take a break from browsing the shelves at Schuler Books with a homemade selection of soups, sandwiches and quiches. Soups are prepared in-house daily and served with fresh baked bread to accompany a small-but-elegant sandwich menu. Try a quiche or traditional Italian Panini grilled on fresh ciabatta bread, or for a quick bite, grab a bagel or scone from the dessert case. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days GO THERE FOR: Homemade soups and sandwiches CitySen Lounge 83 Monroe Center St. NW. 616-608-1720 AMERICAN. CitySen Lounge, located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, is a bar with a big-city feel, offering exciting options for lunch, dinner and breakfast on the weekends. The focus is on fresh ingredients and a full bar with local brews, wine and creative cocktails. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner (Breakfast on weekends). OPEN: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: Daily happy hour The Corner Bar 31 N. Main St., Rockford 616-866-9866 AMERICAN. The downtown Rockford tavern serves a solid menu of burgers, burritos, salads and sandwiches, but it is best known for hot dogs — serving almost 1,000 per day. Its hot-dog-eating challenge has been conquered by more than a few, but it raises the question: Why would you want to consume Corner Bar dogs in a hurry rather than savor each bite? » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Hot dogs. The Cottage Bar 18 Lagrave Ave. SE. 616-454-9088 AMERICAN. The Cottage Bar is the oldest operating restaurant and bar in downtown Grand Rapids. Come in for the Cottage Burger, smothered with green olives, bacon, lettuce, tomato, hickory mayonnaise and Swiss and American cheeses. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Closed Sundays GO THERE FOR: The Cottage Burger. Divani 15 Ionia Ave. SW. 616-774-WINE. ECLECTIC. Divani offers a sophisticated environment, with chefs using Michigan-made ingredients in their creations, such as Dancing Goat Creamery, Otto’s Chicken, S&S Lamb, Ingraberg Farms, Mrs. Dog’s and Madcap. For the thirsty, the bar serves more than 300 types of liquor, 300 wines and 50 beers to complement each

handcrafted meal. » SERVING: Dinner after 4 p.m. OPEN ON: Everyday but Sunday. GO THERE FOR: Wine and Local Cuisine. Erb Thai 950 Wealthy St. SE #1A. (616) 356-2573. Additional locations at 4160 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, Suite B, and 820 Michigan St. NE. THAI. Food rooted in traditional Thai cuisine, but also made to accommodate health conscious and special diets. Not too strong, not too weak, like harmony and melody. Marketing representative Molly Rizor was a Thai virgin when she went and is now glad Erb Thai was her first experience. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Peanut Curry Noodles. Founders Brewing Company 235 Grandville SW. 616-776-1195 BREWPUB. A beer-lover’s paradise with a national reputation for flavorful, award-winning beers. Likewise, the brewpub’s menu consists mainly of flavorful handcrafted deli sandwiches that can stand up and complement the beers (or vice versa). » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Award-winning beer, handcrafted sandwiches. Ganders 4747 28th St. SE. 616-957-0100. AMERICAN. Ganders by Hilton Doubletree presents modern American menu options dedicated to locally grown ingredients representing the best farms, markets and food artisans of West Michigan. The restaurant also features a number of local craft beers on tap and by the bottle. The restaurant works directly with local breweries to create multi-course beer tasting menus featuring beer incorporated into every course. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 Days. GO THERE FOR: Fresh, locally grown ingredients and Michigan-made beer. Garage Bar & Grill 819 Ottawa Ave. NW. 616-454-0321 SPORTS BAR. This bar and grill serves up real food with fresh ingredients. Known for its cold daily specials, and its famous Garage Burger and hand-cut fries, this casual bar’s diverse menu ranges from soups and wedge salads to brisket sandwiches and fish tacos. A long list of ice-cold bottled and craft beers top off the experience. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Burgers, Chicken Tenders, Craft Beer. Graydon’s Crossing 1223 Plainfield NE. 616-726-8260 TAVERN. An authentic take on the English Pub, with a huge selection of beers on tap and a menu that includes classic English dishes like Fish & Chips, Shepherd’s Pie and Irish Stew, as well as Indian specialties like Tandoori Chicken and Tikka Masala. A great casual atmosphere

for drinking and dining. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Beer and authentic pub food. G.R.P.D. (Grand Rapids Pizza and Delivery) 340 State St. SE. 616-454-9204 ITALIAN. The current location opened in 2004 as the first established pizzeria in Heritage Hill A common meeting spot for local folks, business professionals and college students, a place where one could gather for a quick meal or a reflective lunch. It offers both hand-tossed pizza and Chicago-style stuffed pizza, as well as pasta, sandwiches, salads, and wings. Online ordering, too. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Pizza. Grand Rapids Brewing Company 1 Ionia Ave SW. 616-458-7000 BREWPUB. Good for the environment and your palate, GRBC is Michigan’s first certified organic brewery and features a menu stocked with locally grown ingredients. With a diverse selection of beers on tap inspired by historical Grand Rapids figures and a hearty array of shareables, burgers/sandwiches, and entrees, this place represents the best of the brewery’s 120-year legacy. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Organic beer and locally sourced food. Grand Woods Lounge 77 Grandville Ave SW. 616-451-4300 AMERICAN. The restaurant’s interior exudes a warm, casual ambiance reminiscent of the great eateries of the Pacific Northwest; the outdoor porch features two outdoor bars and a fireplace. Menu stocked with affordable appetizers great for sharing, plus salads, sandwiches, and entrées. Lots of domestics and microbrews, plus an array of martinis including the “Woodstini,” a tasty mix of Stoli Orange Vodka, mandarin oranges and raspberries. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Cocktails. Harmony Brewing Company 1551 Lake Dr. SE (616) 233-0063 BREWPUB. Harmony features 12 craft-brewed beers in addition to signature root beer for the kiddos. Named one of the top-five brewpub menus in West Michigan by yours truly, Harmony offers 10” rustic wood-fired pizzas and great soups and sandwiches. Check out their new location, Harmony Hall, at 401 Stocking Ave. NW. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Pizza and brews. The Holiday Bar 801 5th St. NW. (616) 456-9058 AMERICAN. Tucked smack dab in the “Heart of the Westside,” The Holiday Bar boasts a classic 40-foot Horseshoe bar, along with cheap eats and drinks, both served until 2 a.m., with specials happening daily. The Holiday Bar has a full menu that features pub fare like chicken strips, pierogis, battered homestyle mushrooms and more. It’s a great place to watch the game, listen to music or just hang out with

REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule

The B.O.B. 20 Monroe Ave. NW. (616) 356-2000 ECLECTIC. If you’re not sure what kind of dining you want, you can just head into The B.O.B., where you can choose from one of its several venues. Go into Gilly’s, where you can dine on seafood or B.O.B.’s Brewery, the restaurant’s in-house brewery. You can dress down for some pizza at Bobarino’s or dress it up for a steak at Judson’s Steakhouse. For after dinner, take in a show at Dr. Grins or enjoy live music at H.O.M.E. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Beer and numerous dining options.

ales with a focus on barrel aging. The brewpub also brings Belgian tradition when it comes to food, featuring French and Belgian-style meals to pair perfectly with the beer. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: The Burger

REVUE’s dining listings are compiled by staff and minions. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of restaurants in the region. For an expanded list, be on the lookout for new and improved dining changes on our website, The listings are not intended to be reviews of West Michigan restaurants, although we will inject some opinions into the listings based on staff experiences and personal preferences. To submit or to correct information in a dining listing, e-mail editor@





friends. » SERVING Lunch Dinner. OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Cheap eats and drinks.



HopCat 25 Ionia SW. 616-451-4677 TAVERN. Rated the 3rd best beer bar on the planet by Beer Advcoate, HopCat’s spin on its food is thus: “It’s the food your Mom would feed you, if your Mom loved beer.” That’s specifically true for HopCat’s beerbar cheese, cheese ale soup and porter braised beef, but mom would also love the Hippie wrap (it’s vegetarian), the crack fries (not real crack), and Killer Mac and Cheese. Because what mom doesn’t like mac and cheese? » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Widest variety of beers, crack fries.

1 6


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Marie Catrib’s 1001 Lake Dr. 616-454-4020 ECLECTIC. The East Hills eatery makes everything from scratch with local ingredients, and there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. Get there early for lunch, as there is almost always a wait. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Salads, soups and sandwiches.




(269) 492.3500 3251 w. Centre ave. PORTAGE

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(269) 492.0100 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall downtown KALAMAZOO


For a list of events visit







Mixology 235 Louis St. NW. 616-242-1448 LOUNGE. Casual, upscale service and atmosphere allows guests to relax and enjoy the city views. This type of service allows guests to complete business tasks while still enjoying the accessibility to great food and libations. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: Specialty cocktails. O’Toole’s 448 Bridge St. 616-742-6095 PUB. This West Side pub offers delicious and outrageously topped burgers, as well as an extensive beer selection, and arguably, the best happy hour specials in town. If food is not your passion, this is a prime place to kick off your Sunday Funday with its $3 Absolut Bloody Mary bar. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 Days. GO THERE FOR: Gourmet burgers, Bloody Mary bar.

Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene

One Trick Pony 136 E. Fulton. 616-235-7669 AMERICAN. One Trick Pony unveiled a new menu last April with the tagline “Fresh, Local Fare with a Beat.” The restaurant is a part of FarmLink and supports local growers and remains focused on sustainability. Connected to the Cottage Bar, the menu spans pizza, salads, homemade soups, smoked prime rib and more. Pair the food with live music, which OTP features weekly. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Eclectic pizzas.

San Chez has been serving meals that people love to share since 1992, and we’re bringing back 24 of the best-of-the-best dishes to enjoy again. Follow us on Facebook to see our two throwback features every month — for a limited time only!

Located at 38 W. Fulton St. (2 blocks East of Van Andel Arena) • 616.774.8272

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Pearl Street Grill 310 Pearl St NW. 616-235-1342 AMERICAN. Dine in a relaxing environment where kids eat free and the chef uses local vendors and suppliers. Conveniently located in downtown Grand Rapids, Pearl Street Grill offers nightly happy hour specials that include signature cocktails and Michigan beer, as well as a $10 burger and beer special, $5 pizzas and more. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner. OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Late night specials. The Pita House 1450 Wealthy SE, 3730 28th Street, 4533 Ivanrest SW (Grandville). 616-454-1171 MEDITERRANEAN. Gyros so big you can club someone with them, the smoothest hummus in town and other Mediterranean fare, including kibbe, kafta and falafel. Additional locations on 28th Street and Kalamazoo SE. Sandwiches are made to order with fresh vegetables and ingredients. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Fresh pita wraps.

Reserve Wine & Food 201 Monroe Ave. NW (616) 855-9463 ECLECTIC. With 102 wines available by the glass and more than 300 by the bottle, paired with an ever-changing food menu influenced by West Michigan grown foods, Reserve promises diners a unique experience. Cocktails and craft beers add depth to the primarily wine-centered menu. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner OPEN ON: Closed on Sunday GO THERE FOR: Wine and food pairings, charcuterie, happy hour. River City Saloon 1152 Leonard St. NW. 616-451-0044 AMERICAN. Combine your tastes of live music and filling food at River City Saloon. The restaurant and bar has Mexican options, burgers, salads and more. On the weekends, indulge in any of these menu items or a couple drinks while listening to some local music by bands like Hey Marco, OTC, Litt Up, Drop 35 and more. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: Wednesday olive burger special Rockwell-Republic 45 S. Division Ave. 616-551-3563 ECLECTIC. Menu offerings range from sushi to burgers and everything in between. The craft cocktail menu runs the gamut from classics like the Manhattan to more modern concoctions and the beer and wine menus are nicely curated. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Specialty cocktails, broad menu, lively atmosphere. San Chez Bistro 38 West Fulton St. 616-774-8272 SPANISH/ECLECTIC. San Chez is both a café and a Tapas Bistro, now both housed in the same room. This is a social setting where people can remember the one rule of kindergarten: sharing. Featuring small, delicious dishes, San Chez can satiate your desire for variety. It’s also a hidden secret for breakfast in downtown Grand Rapids, offering a great start to any day. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 Days. GO THERE FOR: Tapas, Breakfast, Sandwiches Six.One.Six. 235 Louis St. NW. 616-242-1448 ECLECTIC. Market-inspired menus, sweeping views and progressive rhythms combine to create a memorable dining experience. The dishes tempt taste buds and is the perfect spot for foodies. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 Days GO THERE FOR: Variety and being seen. Stella’s Lounge 53 Commerce Ave. 616-356-2700 TAVERN. The Chicago-style whiskey bar has more than 200 varieties of distilled spirits, old-school video games, and a menu filled with vegetarian and vegan bar food — and stuffed burgers. Did we mention you can sip cans of PBR and other classic beers out of a mason jar? » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Whiskey, vegetarian and vegan bar food. Terra GR 1429 Lake Dr. 616-301-0998 AMERICAN. Terra boasts fresh, healthy ingredients in every dish. The restaurant doesn’t feature one menu, either. It offers a Saturday and Sunday brunch menu, as well as menus for lunch, dinner, dessert, beverages, wine, happy hour and kids. The food is inspired by the seasons and ingredients come straight from one of Michigan’s many farms. » SERVING: Brunch Lunch Dinner. OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Fresh foods with ingredients from regional growers.

Restaurant & Delivery Hours:

Monday-Friday - 12 noon to 9 p.m. | Saturday & Sunday - 4:20 p.m. to 9 p.m.

10 Jefferson Ave SE, Grand Rapids | 616-490-4911 | | Visit our FB page for daily specials. REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |


Dining Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill 760 Butterworth St. SW. 616-272-3910 AMERICANA. You might walk into Tip Top for the cheap happy hour specials or one of the many rockabilly acts. But get comfortable with one of the venue’s signature menu items. Get classic with a sandwich or burger, but we recommend immersing yourself fully in GR’s West Side and ordering Tip Top’s Polish Plate. » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Dinner, drinks and a show.

fast dishes and funniest menu descriptions. Courteous staff never fails to offer a cup of coffee to go after we’ve finished breakfast. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Breakfast all day.

of pub classics and new, American beer-inspired dishes. Happy hour includes half-off appetizers and $1 off drafts. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: 28 taps of craft beer.


Wolfgang’s Restaurant 1530 Wealthy St. SE. 616-454-5776 BREAKFAST. The bustling Eastown breakfast spot is home to some of the heartiest break-

8th Street Grille 20 W. 8th St., Holland. 616-392-5888 AMERICAN. This eclectic grille offers a mix of draft and bottled craft beers and a variety

Bil-Mar Restaurant 1223 S. Harbor St., Holland. 616-842-5920 AMERICAN. A destination restaurant for more than 60 years. Dazzling sunsets and an all-American menu featuring fresh seafood and hand-cut steaks. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Lake perch, lobster strudel, prime rib.

SchulerBooks&Music 33 years as your local, independent bookstore!


7, 14, 21, 28 10am







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Scrabble club meets in the community area at the rear of the store. All ages and all skill levels welcome.


Join host Rina Sala-Baker in the studio for a discussion of Italian language and culture.


We invite you to renew your energy for your purpose-based business with a network of Unstoppable Women. Our goal is to provide a community of support that offers simple tools for motivation and inspiration.


Join Mayumi Balfour of Sister Cities International as she leads a monthly discussion focusing on different aspects of Japanese language and culture.

CRIBBAGE GAME NIGHT IN THE COMMUNITY AREA! Join Dave Aiken, editor of Cribbage World Magazine, on the last Wednesday of every month as he hosts a game night dedicated to the game of cribbage! All ages and skill levels welcome.


Join us for another Girls’ Night Out author talk and book signing, featuring author Christie Craig! Christie is the bestselling author of the Divorced and Desperate series, as well as a number of other romance novels. Visit for a complete list of events. All events are subject to change.

2660 28th Street SE • (616) 942-2561

Sours are brewing on the Westside.

More releases coming soon! APRIL: Firkin Fridays @ 5:30pm

La Gabelle Gose now on tap.

rel e a Se part y



Harmony Hall

401 Stocking Ave NW

be more awesomer.





gold medal

2011 Great american Beer Festival experimental Beer ~ 225 e. 16th Street ~ traverSe city ~ michigan





The Go Rounds • The Crane Wives


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Saturday ~~Aprilof16Pig Porter Live music ~ pig roast lots ~ ~ on tap & 22 oz bottles!




by Joe Boomgaard, Revue Beer Czar


Pucker Up!

An introduction to the world of sour beers and wild ales


n America, the IPA reigns s u preme among craft beer drinkers.

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But many beer lovers have discovered a new-found love for some of the oldest of beer styles that date back centuries to the earliest of brewing traditions in Europe. Back in the day, brewers made sour beers and wild ales because that’s all they could make. They didn’t have the cultured brewers yeast that’s available today. Rather, they relied on the natural “bugs” and open fermentation to do its work. The styles have undergone a renaissance in recent years and are growing in popularity among local breweries. (See page 80.) The beers can pack huge flavors or subtle complexities and typically are aged in wood and blended from a range of vintages. Many craft beer drinkers immediately dismiss them on principle because of the connotation with the name of the style — “Beer should be hoppy, not sour, because ’MERICA!” — but even the American palate seems to be coming around to embrace the funk. That said, they’re certainly not for everyone and that’s part of the process of discovery.

Generally speaking, traditional Belgian sours can lean more toward the Balsamic vinegar spectrum of flavors and have a higher alcohol content (around 7 percent ABV). By comparison, the German sours and wild ales are lighter, often in the 3 percent to 5 percent ABV range, and focus on tart flavors. American versions of the styles — well, they’re all over the map. To understand the sours and wild ales and the many variations of these beers, Revue called up brewer Mitch Ermatinger, the co-founder of the yet-to-open Speciation Artisan Ales, for help with a guided tasting. Here’s what we uncovered.

Barrel Weiss

Brewery Vivant, Grand Rapids, Mich. Style: Berliner weisse (a “loose interpretation”) ABV: 6% Berliner weisse (pronounced “vice”) is a bright, traditional German-style wheat ale with an ABV ranging from 3-4 percent. The style can be very effervescent and champagne-like with flavors that span from tart to sweet in each sip. They’re a showcase of lactic acidity, rather than funky notes.

Sierra Nevada Otra Vez Tasting notes: This anniversary ale is bigger than a typical Berliner weisse and the aromas ranged from apple cider vinegar to dill. The flavor featured a grainy cereal quality (think Cheerios) and then some citrus notes. It pours deep amber in color. Thin but bubbly.

Otra Vez Brewery Vivant Barrel Weiss

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Jolly Pumpkin Bam Bière

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, Calif. and Mills River, N.C.

Style: Gose-style ale brewed with cactus and grapefruit ABV: 4.5% Gose (pronounced “goze-uh”) is a traditional German style wheat ale that’s often spiced with coriander and salt, leaving a nice tangy finish. These are light beers that would taste great on warm summer days. Tasting notes: This would be a great starter sour — an easy transition for fans of wheat beers. It’s

Sour Mouth Glossary

Here are some sources of flavors for sour and wild beers. n  Acetobacter — Produces acetic acid, which has distinct vinegar-like flavors; typical in Flanders red ales n  Brettanomyces — Common flavors include earthy barnyard funk, “horse blanket” or balsamic vinegar n  Lactobacillus and Pediococcus — Yeast strains that produce lactic acid, which yields tart flavors, as in yogurts n  Butyric acid — A common off-flavor in sour beers that tastes like bile or vomit (yum!) n  Pellicle — While it’s not a flavor, it’s a thin film of organisms that forms on the top of a barrel of sour beer that’s caused by bubbles of carbon dioxide in the fermentation process. —Reported by Joe Boomgaard

simple, crisp, balanced and somewhat fruity, although it lacks the salty finish of most iterations of the gose. With a light body, it’s tangy and refreshing.

Oude Gueuze Cuvée René

Brouwerij Lindemans, Vlezenbeek, Belgium Style: Old gueuze ABV: 5.5% Gueuze (pronounced “gurz-ah”) is an aged Belgian lambic style beer made with aged hops and unmalted wheat and spontaneously fermented without the addition of any cultured yeasts. The beer is aged and then various vintages are blended, leaving a wonderful complexity. Gueuzes are often very effervescent and earthy, with some funk.

Golden Sour

Pike 51 Brewing Co., Hudsonville, Mich. Style: American wild ale ABV: 8.6%

Tasting notes: Sour beer nerds like to throw out odd descriptors like “wet dog in a phone booth” or “horse blanket,” the latter of which really fits this beer’s grassy character. The aromas are an interesting study and not everyone will like the funky flavors and finish.

Bam Bière

Jolly Pumpkin, Dexter, Mich. Style: Farmhouse ale or saison ABV: 4.5% Jolly Pumpkin was among the early American breweries to embrace wild and sour ales. They ferment all their ales in large wooden barrels known as foeders and use a mix of Belgian-strain yeast and yeast brought in on the outside air at the brewhouse for a true “Michigan” terroir. Tasting notes: It’s a straightforward wild farmhouse ale that should improve in complexity (and acidity) over the years. Light and drinkable with a bitter finish, an easy entry into the style.

Le Terroir (2014)

New Belgium Brewing Co., Fort Collins, Colo. Style: Dry-hopped sour ale ABV: 7.5% Le Terroir starts as a golden beer with peachy aromas that’s aged in wooden foeders for three years. The yeast and the wood give it an earthy quality that’s then dry-hopped with Amarillo and Galaxy hops to add even more fruity flavors. New Belgium pasteurizes its beers, meaning that aging it in the bottle does not really add to the complexity of flavors like in unpasteurized examples. Tasting notes: Straight forward, easy-drinking and approachable. The flavors, with notes of peaches and citrus, would not be foreign for fruit beer drinkers. Very enjoyable and smooth with a tart bite.

Blue Sunday Sour (2015)

New Holland Brewing Co., Holland, Mich. Style: American wild ale ABV: 7%

Lindemans Oude Gueuze Cuvée René

New Belgium Transatlantique Kriek

Each year, New Holland blends vintages of cellared barrels of Blue Sunday with newly made ale. The result features the barrel flavors as well as the malt in a tart, sour ale.

Grand Cru

Tasting notes: Some sours produce butyric acid that’s close in taste to bile or vomit and that was detected by a couple of tasters here. It can be — and was — off-putting. The dominant smell and flavor was vinegar, which finished dry and dull. This was not a favorite among the beers sampled at the tasting, but it could develop into something different in the bottle as it’s aged over the years.

Flanders red ales are boiled for many hours. They often highlight very sharp, sour and tart flavors developed using special yeast strains and are aged over a long time in oak foeders. Typically, these examples are blended using two-thirds vintage and one-third young beer.

La Folie (2015)

New Belgium Brewing Co., Fort Collins, Colo. Style: Sour brown ale ABV: 7% New Belgium uses the solera method to make this beer. La Folie starts as two beers, a pale named Felix and a dark beer named Oscar, which age for two to three years in the wooden foeders. Each of the foeders has a different “ecosystem” of yeasts that imparts unique characteristics to the liquid. Once the beers are blended, the foeders are topped off with fresh beer and the process starts again. Tasting notes: La Folie pours a clear burnt umber color and features a brash aroma of caramel, berries and malt, which carry over to the flavor, along with the addition of some stone fruit notes and green apple. Definitely a favorite among tasters, this beer could easily become a go-to sour.

Brouwerij Rodenbach, Roeselare, Belgium Style: Flanders red ale ABV: 6%

Tasting notes: The vinegar and berry aromas of Grand Cru welcome you into this beer. Its flavor is malty and fruity with hints of blueberries as well as some balsamic vinegar notes. It’s complex, earthy and funky, yet accessible.

Transatlantique Kriek

New Belgium Brewing Co., Fort Collins, Colo. Style: Kriek ABV: 7% Kriek (pronounced “creek”) is a Belgian lambic style ale produced with cherries. The cherries impart a sour tart quality and give the beer its signature red color. Krieks made in the old Belgian tradition should not be sugar bombs, but rather taste like fresh-picked cherries with a hint of the barrel. Tasting notes: This pleasingly red beer with a pink head smells like fresh cherry pie with some malt. The flavors are tart, sour cherries with only flashes of effervescent malt sweetness. Highly drinkable and balanced, it would be a great dessert beer. n

REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |

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Tasting notes: Pours a clear golden color with a nice head. The aroma features a distinct funky, woody and wheaty quality that really defines the experience of this complex beer, which is reminiscent of a fine champagne. Great, longlasting finish. Lindemans is known for its fruity lambics but this is really a better beer from them, one that flies way under the radar yet is highly available.

Brewers have different interpretations of American wild ales, but this beer was fermented in a used “super-funky” barrel without the addition of any yeast. The base was an imperial blonde ale. It’s the Wild West for the American style but they can range from barnyard flavors, like this one, to minerally and grainy.


by Joe Boomgaard, Revue Beer Czar


Sour spotlight Harmony Brewing Co.


s the kickoff for its newly launched sour beer program, Harmony Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids released its La Gabelle, a 4.4 percent ABV gose. “We’ve been interested in sours for a while and we were looking to do a gose,” said co-founder Jackson Van Dyke. “I’ve been obsessing about goses for years.” During a recent visit to Harmony Hall, 401 Stocking St. NW, Grand Rapids, Revue sampled the golden hazy brew, which features fruity esters and lemony tartness and finishes with a refreshing tang of salt and hints of coriander. Harmony’s Head Brewer, Benjamin Isbell, teamed up with Speciation Artisan Ales co-founder Mitch Ermatinger to develop a few recipes that will be released in the coming months. The goal, according to Isbell, is to have a sour on tap full-time going forward. “Mitch helped us out with five or six recipes, so we’ll have a good variety of styles,” Isbell said. Look for a Berliner weisse to be among the next styles to be released.

Harmony Brewing Co.’s La Gabelle Gose and Pike 51’s Sour Rye Triple. PHOTOs: Joe Boomgaard

Pike 51 Brewing Co.

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rewer Jeff Williams loves the artistic license he gets when it comes to brewing sour beers. He’s not out to brew a certain style or replicate any particular recipe. Rather, he’s just interested in seeing what the barrel gives him. “It’s never the same thing twice,” Williams said. “I love the magic of it, when so much of brewing is precision and science. It lets the creative juices flow.” During a recent visit to the taproom at 3768 Chicago Dr., Hudsonville, Revue sampled the 8.4 percent ABV Sour Rye Triple. The beer has juicy fruit notes in the front, followed by some not-too-acidic funk and a grainy finish. The Sour Rye, which started life as a Belgian tripel made with rye malt, was the fifth beer that’s been aged in a “funky” barrel Pike 51 acquired a couple of years ago from The Livery, a brewery in Benton Harbor. Williams simply adds the unfermented beer and lets the existing yeast in the barrel do its thing. He’s also started to culture new yeast strains for other sour barrels. All but eight of the brewery’s 26 barrels are currently dedicated to sours, he said. Fans of Pike 51’s sours who can’t make it to the taproom are also in luck, as the brewery started to release limited-run bottles for distribution at select shops in the greater Grand Rapids area. By the end of April, look for the taproom release of a sour imperial stout. n

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Sour Patch Kids: Where to get Michigan sours A handful of West Michigan craft breweries have started producing sour beers. Here is a (by no means exhaustive) list of some of the locally made sours and wild ales. Arclight Brewing Co.

544 N. Main St., Watervliet The Opus series of American-style sours includes Kriek, Framboise, Fraise, Fraise Rhubarbe, Reserve and Michigan Red.

Bell’s Brewing Inc.

355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo La Contrebassiste and The Wild One have been typically available on draft or pubonly releases.

Brewery Vivant

925 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids Barrel Weiss was the first in an ongoing series of sours and wild beers that will be made in the brewery’s newly acquired

foeders. Past sour releases have included Escoffier, Paris and Tart Side of the Moon.

Harmony Brewing Co.

1551 Lake Dr. SE and 401 Stocking St. NW, Grand Rapids The sour program kicked off in March with La Gabelle gose and will continue with regular draft releases throughout the year.

HopCat Brewpub

25 Ionia Ave., Grand Rapids The brewpub has been experimenting with sours for a while, including the recent release of Red Nymph, Lost Doses and Unicorn On Acid.

New Holland Brewing Co.

66 E. 8th St., Holland The Funk & Sour program has produced a series of wild ales and sours, including Blue Sunday, Incorrigible and Incorrigible Reserve.

Odd Side Ales

41 Washington Ave., Grand Haven

The card theme is in play (pardon the pun) with Queen of Tarts, King of Tarts and Joker of Tarts.

Perrin Brewing Co.

5910 Comstock Park Dr. NW, Comstock Park Releases have included Cherry Capital Sour, Kettle Sour, Roeselare, Pellicle and You Bretta Run.

Pike 51 Brewing Co.

3768 Chicago Dr., Hudsonville The growing sour program has included Crimson Chin, Crooked Rode, Funk Buddies, Golden Sour, Jolly Stave, Renegades of Funk and Sour Rye Triple.

Short’s Brewing Co.

121 N. Bridge St., Bellaire Sours have started to creep into the brewery’s distribution portfolio with Peachy Pom Pom in March. Past “Private Stache” releases like Pinball Whispers, Alicornucopia, and The Creepster were pub-only.

Q&A: Mitch Ermatinger, Speciation Artisan Ales


Speciation Artisan Ales


hen Mitch Ermatinger stopped by for the Revue sour beer tasting, he brought along a couple of pilot homebrew test batches as a teaser for what he plans to brew when he opens Speciation Artisan Ales. Let’s just say we agree with the exuberance expressed by Jeff Williams, the head brewer at Hudsonvillebased Pike 51 Brewing Co., who said, “There’s not anyone I’m more excited about opening than Speciation. Mitch’s beers are stupid good.”

est M ichigan native M itch E rmatinger brewed awardwinning sour beers at Denver-based Former Future Brewing Co. He and his wife, Whitney, have returned to the region with plans to launch Speciation Artisan Ales, an all-wild brewery. The pair are still working to identify a location in Grand Rapids but the plan is to open a taproom for a bottle release one day per month and later expand to weekly hours. In the meantime, Ermatinger is helping Harmony Brewing Co. to launch its own sour program. His key test for how well one of his sours tastes: He has his mom, who’s not a big beer drinker, try it. “She’s much more open than I am,” he said. Ermatinger spoke with Revue about what makes sour beers and wild ales so special.

How did you get into sour beers? I went to Lost in the Woods at New Belgium Brewing. (The event gets into the history of the brewery’s process, how they’re made and blended.) It changed my opinion of sour beer. From there, I just got further into them. What defines these styles? I don’t know how to classify it. It’s using wild yeast, but that’s a controversial statement. There’s no good guideline saying, ‘This is a sour.’ There’s a lot of history behind them. They’ve been made for 150 years in Belgium. It’s been on the palates for a long time. People left sugar water out and it turned into some really funky stuff.

Why do you want to brew only sours and wild beers at Speciation? It’s something I can create that no one has experienced before. It’s something different on the palate, it’s a different experience. And it can be like that forever. With beer, there are a lot of variables, but there’s not a ridiculous amount of variation. (An IPA is an IPA.) With sours, they change from year to year. They’re the go-to for evolving palates and flavors.

There’s been some controversy in the brewing world about kettle sours, which are soured in the brewing process, versus traditional sours that are aged for years to develop their complex flavors. Where do you fall in the argument? The bummer about kettle sours is that it’s reduced the perceived value of beers like (New Belgium’s) La Folie or (Lindemans’) Cuvée René when you can get a sour at $10 per six pack versus $10 per bottle. It depends if you value complexity or getting a $10 six pack. But then goses (which are kettle soured) are authentic beers that don’t cost a lot to make. Outside of the uber craft beer nerds, who’s a typical sour drinker? There’s a lot of white wine or red wine drinkers who like sours, especially the darker sours. What many people don’t realize is that cider and wine have a lower pH than sour beers — they’re way more sour. What’s your inspiration when it comes to developing your beer recipes? I love citrusy, dank hops. They go great with a sour beer. n


Style: IPA made with brettanomyces and dry hopped with Citra, Mosaic and Rakau hops ABV: 7.2%

Tasting notes: This beer offers a slightly different take on the fruity IPA craze of late, only without the addition of actual fruit. It’s made using the hops and the yeast to create highly tropical flavors. Vicariance offers some great ripe fruit notes.


Style: Hoppy Berliner weisse that’s dry hopped with Cascade, Galaxy, Mosaic and Motueka hops and made with malt from Byron Center-based Pilot Malt House ABV: 5.4%

Tasting notes: Incipient features a lovely bouquet of hops on the nose. The flavor is earthy, like a cider only with less acidity. It’s smooth and citrusy. —Reported by Joe Boomgaard

Interview conducted and condensed by Joe Boomgaard.

REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |

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Most of these are sipping beers in that you’re looking for nuances and complexity, right? You can pound a beer like Otra Vez or Bell’s Oarsman — when it’s good — but sours are all about the experience, everything from the label to the presentation to the color.

How do you pitch sours to the IPA crazy public? People will come around to them, especially when they get sick of super hoppy or roasty beers. You can only drink so many imperial stouts.


Taste This

New Restaurant Review:

by Troy Reimink

lands on the higher end of the greasiness spectrum, which for some customers, I suppose, is a selling point. The chips are scalloped, parmesan-garlic seasoned waffle fries that are less aggressively flavored than either of the well-known fries at Waldron’s sibling restaurants — “Chronic” at Stella’s and “Crack” at Hopcat — and, to my tongue, even better. (Waldron House offers all-you-can-eat fish and chips from 4–9 p.m. on Fridays.) My guest, Chris, ordered another highly touted menu item, the $9.95 Bangers and Mac. The dish cleverly substitutes the potatoes in traditional UK bangers and mash with macaroni and cheese underneath a Division Street pork sausage from Corridor Sausage Co. in Detroit. It also incorporates Welsh rarebit, a cheese sauce served over a large, hot biscuit from Nantucket Baking Company in Grand Rapids. Between that and the macaroni noodles, it’s arguably a bit carb-superfluous, but Chris enjoyed the comfort-food heaviness of the entree. While the cheese sauce produced a considerably different flavor than The Waldron also claims to serve the best fish and chips he remembered from the blue box mac-and-cheese he grew up in Grand Rapids, which is a bold statement in a city already with (intrinsic as it was to any 1980s or ’90s childhood), he liked home to several popular fried seafood joints and a feverish it as a novel eating experience. subculture devoted to Lenten fish-fry dinners. Devising a $13.95 For vegetarians, the only entrees available are a tempeh downtown/upscale version of a working-class food that’s plenti- Reuben sandwich and an intriguing-looking whisky mushroom ful and cheap if you travel two miles in any direction isn’t as and potato pie (think shepherd’s), with one soup and a couple easy as dropping some whitefish in a fryer. of appetizers and desserts scattered around the menu. To that end, Garry Boyd, menu alchemist for Waldron and Service, however, was well above par. Our server was atother BarFly restaurants, has whipped up an Alaskan cod fillet tentive without being overbearing (a rarer feat than one might inside a brown ale batter which perfects the complex dance of think). Of particular note: While Chris’ 11-year-old son, Jack, moving pieces that make great fish and chips was enjoying a plain hamburger and cola, the appear effortless. The two fillets with my entree server, without asking, brought him another order were in the Goldilocks zone: nearly meltdrink without taking away his original glass. The Waldron in-mouth rich, but not so flaky they’d fall apart That’s ace detail work. with the first bite, and a batter exterior that was Public House Now, as to whether the weekend dance 58 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids crisp but not crunchy. nights maintain McFadden’s levels of hedonistic, (616) 454-9105 However, the waxy paper lining my plate indulgence, you’re on your own. Some memoall but disintegrated as I ate, suggesting the fish ries, hazy or otherwise, needn’t be revisited. n

BarFly’s New Venture: Waldron Public House


have only a faint recollection of McFadden’s, which is most likely: a) Common b) For the best

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The long-running Irish pub — relatively vacant restaurant by day, notoriously wild dance club by night — closed its doors in late January. For some reason, I thought that had happened long ago, possibly because I’m now older than dirt. The business was acquired in 2010 by BarFly Ventures, the Grand Rapids-based family of restaurants that includes Stella’s, Grand Rapids Brewing Company and the ever-expanding chain of Hopcat brewpubs. It reopened in February as the Waldron Public House, a direct reference to the 58 Ionia Ave. building’s birth name, when it was first opened as a hotel. The ambitious relaunch introduces a menu and decor inspired by the British Commonwealth, along with fancy craft cocktails, live jazz and weekend DJ nights aiming to retain some regular McFaddenites.

82 | REVUEWM.COM | April 2016

great food

live music



Sunday Brunch 11am-4pm



T U E - W E D 1 1 AM- 1 0 PM T H U R - F R I 1 1 AM- 1 1 PM S A T 5 PM- 1 1 PM & S U N 1 1 AM- 4 PM

APRIL shows 4/2 Fauxgrass Quartet 4/7 Monica da Silva 4/9 Troll for Trout 4/14 The Last Revel 4/16 Organissimo 4/21 The Weatherheads 4/23 Natchez Trace 4/28 Kathy Lamar 4/30 TBA

136 East Fulton, Grand rapids | 616.235.7669 | onetrick.BIZ

Open for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner: 7 days a week

Note Worthy Dining.

10% OFF Inside Holiday Inn 310 Pearl St. NW (616) 235-1342

with this coupon

Excludes alcohol. Cannot be used on holidays. Expires 4/30/16. Revue Magazine.

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Downtown Grand Rapids



CityVu Bistro 61 E 7th Street, Holland. 616-796-2114 AMERICAN. A distinctive rooftop dining experience in downtown Holland with fresh gourmet flatbreads and an array of seasonal entrees. The contemporary-yet-casual atmosphere, full bar and unique menus make it the ideal spot for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: flatbreads Fricano’s Pizza Tavern 1400 Fulton Ave., Grand Haven. 616-842-8640 ITALIAN. Claims to be the first pizzeria in Michigan, but customers care less about its longevity than the amazingly crispy thin crust and simple ingredients atop its much-lauded pies. Four other locations around West MI, including Comstock Park, Muskegon, Holland and Kalamazoo. » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Pizza. Hops at 84 East 84 East 8th St., Holland. 616-396-8484 TAVERN. A beautiful taproom sporting reclaimed wood and copper. With 60 beer taps, two English beer machines, eight wine taps and an extensive spirits menu, Hops has a special beverage for everyone. The menu includes brick-oven pizza, burgers and sandwiches, chicken wings and a rotating special of the day. There are also gluten-free options, including their famous pizza. Several

large-screen TVs adorn the restaurant if you’re in the mood to watch the big game. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: Craft beer and brick-oven pizza. New Holland Brewing Company 66 E. 8th St., Holland. 616-355-6422 BREWPUB. One of West MI’s premier microbreweries serves up better than average pub grub, including savory sandwiches chock full of Michigan ingredients, plus a seasonal entree menu. Also try their artisan spirits. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Mad Hatter IPA, Dragon’s Milk. Phil’s Bar & Grille 215 Butler St., Saugatuck. 269-857-1555 AMERICAN. This cozy (some would say “small”) bar and grille in downtown Saugatuck is one of those unassuming spots you might easily overlook, though locals in Saugatuck will tell you about their love affair with Phil’s. Eclectic menu is all over the place, but in a good way, and the staff is super-friendly. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Portabella Mushroom Fries. Salt of the Earth 114 East Main St., Fennville. 269-561-7258 AMERICAN. Salt of the Earth is a farm-to-table-inspired restaurant, bar, and bakery located in the heart of SW Michigan farm country in Fennville. Focuses on fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients whenever possible. Also serves up live music on weekends.

» SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: House made rustic cuisine. Saugatuck Brewing Company 2948 Blue Star Highway. 269-857-7222 BREWPUB. Enjoy a traditional Irish-style pub that features quality beer, wine, food and service. Try one of 12 unique brews that are served in the pub and bottled and distributed throughout the Midwest. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Beer in a family friendly pub environment.

Kalamazoo/Battle Creek Arcadia Brewing Co. 103 Michigan Ave., Battle Creek. 269-963-9520 BREWPUB. You’ll find some of the usual suspects on the Battle Creek brewpub’s menu, including wood-fired pizzas and some of the best barbecue in the region. But you’ll also find some delightful surprises — Osso Bucco in a brewpub?! — on the menu, courtesy of award-winning Chef Sean Kelly. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Handcrafted ales and barbecue.

Bell’s Eccentric Cafe 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave. 269-382-2332 BREWPUB. The Eccentric Café features eclectic fare sourced from sustainable local ingredients, inspired by and designed to complement Bell’s award-winning beers. On tap, you’ll find 30-40 different beers, many exclusive to the Café and brewed right next door at the original brewery. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: The Beer Bravo! 5402 Portage Rd., Kalamazoo 269-344-7700 ITALIAN. Muchlauded restaurant has earned its stripes over 23 years as one of the region’s best dining experiences, including a 3-star rating in the 2010 Forbes Travel Guide. The Tuscan-inspired cuisine is spectacular, the atmosphere comfortable and intimate, and the service first-rate. Also brews its own beer in small batches for pairings with menu offerings. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. (Closed Sat. lunch) GO THERE FOR: A great dining experience. Central City Taphouse 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall. (269) 492-0100 TAPHOUSE. If Central City doesn’t have the kind of beer you want on tap, you’ll probably find it with the 75+ bottles. OH, you say you’re not a beer drinker? Well, Central City offers 20 wine ‘taps’ and a full bar. If you’re not the drinking type, that’s cool too. There are a number of food options to pick from, including a raw menu, a pizza menu and the all-day menu, which features



Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene

Lo c a L Ly S o u R c e D I n G R e D I e n T S b o R n f R o m T h e e a RT h

Pineapple CURRY NOODLE Stir-fried rice noodles in sweet and spicy red curry sauce with onions, pineapple chunks, carrots, and snow peas.

950 Wealthy ST SE Suite 1A Grand Rapids, MI 49506 616-356-2573

• Wood fired pizzas • Handcrafted cocktails • Sustainable seafood • Pasture raised meats • Michigan craft beer

4160 Lake Michigan DR NW Suite B Grand Rapids, MI 49534 616-724-4102 LIMITED MENU


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820 Michigan ST NE Grand Rapids, MI 49503 616-454-0444 LIMITED MENU

616.301.0998 • Insta: TerraGRrestaurant • 1429 Lake Drive Southeast • Grand Rapids



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On Tap Starting THU., APRIL 14 20 MONROE AVE NW GRAND RAPIDS | 616.356.2000 THEBOBSBREWERY.COM | 3768 Chicago Drive, Hudsonville, MI 49426


CRANKER’S RESTAURANT & BREWERY 454 68th St SW, Grand Rapids 616-827-1919

CRANKER’S BREWERY 213 S State St, Big Rapids 231-796-1919

CRANKER’S RESTAURANT & BREWERY 1207 E Pickard Rd, Mount Pleasant 989-779-1919


Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule




Fieldstone Grille 3970 W. Centre St., Portage. 269-321-8480 AMERICAN. Lodge-retreat atmosphere overlooking the Moors Golf Club natural wetlands. The “field-to-plate” menu features burgers, pizzas, steaks and some eclectic items like quail. Try the FSG chips, a combination of potato, beet and sweet potato chips. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Blue Burger, Almond Crusted Walleye, FSG Chips.

INTRODUCING AQUAVIT. A Scandinavian favorite, distilled right here in Grand Rapids, featuring caraway, dill, cinnamon, and other notable spices. 537 LEONARD ST. NW, GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN 49504 WWW.LONGROADDISTILLERS.COM

April 23, 9pm

April 2, 9pm

Ben Daniels Out of favor April 15+16, 9pm Band April 30, 9pm Mainstays boys Cliff Erickson

Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene


Martell’s 3501 Greenleaf Blvd., Kalamazoo. 269-375-2105 AMERICAN. Tucked away in a quiet neighborhood that overlooks Willow Lake, Martell’s offers casual ambiance and an expansive menu with steaks, prime rib and other comfort food entrées like Italian style meatloaf and pork shank. » SERVING: Lunch

To submit or to correct information in a dining listing, e-mail















Union Cabaret & Grille 125 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo. 269-384-6756 AMERICAN. A partnership with Western Michigan University, Union features eclectic food and cocktails, plus live jazz music performed by WMU faculty and students. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Closed Sunday. GO THERE FOR: Portabella Fries, Bloody Maries with infused vodkas. n


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Old Dog Tavern 402 East Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo. 269-381-5677 AMERICAN. The food at Old Dog Tavern is just about as eclectic as the entertainment offered. The menu has so much on it that it might even bring some harmony between picky and adventurous eaters. » SERVING: Brunch Lunch Dinner. OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: The eclectic menu options.

Food Dance 401 E. Michigan Ave. 269-382-1888 AMERICAN. Food Dance is committed to building a thriving and sustainable local food system, supporting artisans who practice craft food processes. It’s about the connection with people and places the food comes from. Offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, private dining space, catering and delivery, while an on-site market offers humanely raised meats, artisan cheeses, fresh bread and pastries. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Fresh Local Foods.


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Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days (Sundays-dinner only) GO THERE FOR: Quiet casual ambiance. Old Burdicks Bar & Grill 100 W. Michigan Ave. (269) 226-3192 AMERICAN. Old Burdick’s Bar & Grill features tasty sandwiches, burgers, salads and entrees, as well as a great selection of cocktails, wines and beers. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner. OPEN: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: The Old Burdick Burger.

burgers, soups and entrees. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Diverse beverage selection.

RiverTree Community Church, Wyoming, MI

Great mission, great people, great supplemental/school/part-time job! Learn more about RiverTree CC at

(269) 384-6756 S. Kalamazoo Mall - Kalamazoo, MI 125

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To inquire, get a complete job description, or apply, email or call 616-916-7140.


spring fever thuRSDAY DJ MATT B // $5 BOMBS // $15 WOODY BUCKETS





ladies night

party on the patio






Grandwoodslounge.Com REVUEWM.COM | April 2016 |


April 2016, Revue Magazine  

REVUE is West Michigan's most comprehensive free monthly entertainment guide covering music, arts, beer, dining and more. Each month, we dis...

April 2016, Revue Magazine  

REVUE is West Michigan's most comprehensive free monthly entertainment guide covering music, arts, beer, dining and more. Each month, we dis...