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West Michigan’s Entertainment Guide for 27 years

» August 2015

Free! / Music / Culture / Dining / Beer

Also Inside: Cool Venue: The Pyramid Scheme Richard Bowser, Violent Apathy Jeff Haas, Jazz Musician

The DAAC Strikes Back A reinvigorated Division Avenue Arts Collective searches for a new home


© 2014 Bell’s Brewery, Inc., Comstock, MI


R U O Y P U K N A CR

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REVUEWM.COM | August 2015 |

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TRAVERSE CITY SUMMER

MICROBREW & MUSIC FESTIVAL AUGUST 21 & 22, 2015 TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN

THE AVETT BROTHERS ROBERT RANDOLPH & THE FAMILY BAND

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from 60+ craft breweries homebrewer’s challenge local food vendors • Brew camp festival shuttles • and more

W W W. M I C R O B R E WA N D M U S I C . C O M 4 | REVUEWM.COM | August 2015


REVUEWM.COM | August 2015 |

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What’s Inside

August 2015 | Volume 27, Issue 8

SCENE: 11 Random Notes 12 Eclectic Road Trip 14 All Ages

SOUNDS: 14 Best Bet: UFO Dictator Records Fest 17 G Love + Local Music Events 18 Richard Bowser Q&A 19 WYCE Playlist

The Daac searches for a new home

32

20 22 24 25

Aerosmith Jeff Haas Festival: Cheeseburger in Caseville Best Bet: TC Microbrew & Music Fest

26 Revue Rewind: Electric Forest 28 Cool Venue: Pyramid Scheme 30 American Authors 30 Best Bet: Hoxeyville Music Fest

SIGHTS: 32 DAAC searches for a new home 34 Comedy: Brian Regan 36 Indie Film: Brunch, Brews and a Movie

28

37 Sightseeing/Oddities: MI Prison Tour 38 Style Notes: Jewelry

DINING & DRINKING: 41 Restaurant Guide 44 Taste This: Pronto Pups 46 Beer: Dutch Girl Brewery 50 Beer and Booze News 54 Last Call: Bar Divani

44

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W e s t M ichi g an ’ s E n t ertainmen t Guide

Letter from the Editor

I

f you attended rock shows and other arty events at The Division Avenue Arts Collective building at 115 S. Division, I’m sure you’re well aware the brick structure has been vacated for the past two years. The current owner forced them out in July 2013 and the building with the distinct babyblue octopus in the window was promptly emptied. It could have been the end of an era. Luckily, it wasn’t. From there, the DAAC Board of Directors trudged along without a stable location and kept the spirit alive via an assortment of sporadic pop-up shows. Now, with donated funds, they’re actively shopping around for a new building.

“As fractured as we’ve become without a space, we’re still working towards this goal because we believe in it,” said John Hanson, one of six DAAC board members. It’s that passion, dedication and never-say-die spirit that’s kept the DAAC alive sans a physical location. It’s never been about making profits. The DAAC is about putting art and music FIRST. It’s about being a resource for the community, most importantly: Local youth.

“We, as citizens, have a vested interest in keeping community spaces open,” Hanson told me. He’s right. Having a safe all-ages venue for impressionable teens is essential in a city that prides itself on supporting the arts. Not every youngster is content with joining the football or basketball team. West Michigan’s future artists need an accessible home base, too. Perhaps there should be more civil involvement with getting the collective — an asset to our community — back on track? Your donations are welcome, I’m sure. If you want to support the DAAC and help them on their mission of finding a new permanent home, check out the story in this issue and then visit them at: thedaac.org.

Editorial Publisher Brian Edwards / brian@revuewm.com Associate Publisher Molly Rizor / molly@revuewm.com Editor Joe Boomgaard / joe@revuewm.com Managing Editor Rich Tupica / rich@revueholding.com Design Creative Director Kim Kibby / kim@revuewm.com Ad Design Rachel Harper, Kim Kibby Contributing Writers Missy Black Dwayne Hoover Brian Bowe Ben Mepham Steven G. de Polo Steve Miller Mark Deming Eric Mitts Alexandra Kadlec Allan I. Ross Nolan Krebs Josh Spanninga Audria Larsen Josh Veal Proofreaders Cliff Frantz, Nicole Rico Contributing Photographers Katy Batdorff, Nicole Rico

Later, Revue Minions Tayler Keefer and Kimberly Peloquin Sales / 616.608.6170 Kelli Belanger / kbelanger@revuewm.com Molly Rizor / molly@revuewm.com

Rich Tupica, Managing Editor Digital Editor Jayson Bussa / jayson@revuewm.com Find us online! Website: revuewm.com Twitter: twitter.com/revuewm Facebook: facebook.com/revuewm

Advertising index

Holiday Bar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

Schuler Books. . . . . . . . . . . . 52

Holland Park Theatre. . . . . . . 27

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Barfly Ventures . . . . . . . . . . . 40

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Bartertown Diner. . . . . . . . . . 42

Cult Pizza. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

Long Road Distillers . . . . . . . 47

Bell’s Brewery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Downtown Zeeland . . . . . . . . 56

MI Irish Music Festival. . . . . . 25

Bell’s Eccentric Cafe. . . . . . . 21

Dr. Grin’s Comedy Club . . . . . 34

Old Dog Tavern. . . . . . . . . . . .43

Terra GR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

BMW Motorcycles. . . . . . . . . . 27

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The Intersection. . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

BOB’s Brewery. . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Firekeepers Casino . . . . . . . . . . 9

Palazzolo’s Gelato . . . . . . . . . 33

The Pyramid Scheme. . . . . . . . . 5

Boba Bliss. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

Founders Brewery . . . . . . . . . 10

Pearl Street Grill . . . . . . . . . . 44

Brewery Vivant. . . . . . . . . . . . 51

Ganders/Doubletree Hilton . . 51

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GRandJazzFest. . . . . . . . . . . . 50

River City Saloon. . . . . . . . . . 12

Cascade Optical . . . . . . . . . . 39

Grand Rapids Public Library. 15

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. . . . 53

Celebration Cinema. . . . . . . . 35

Grand Woods Lounge. . . . . . . 55

San Chez Bistro. . . . . . . . . . . 45

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Central City Taphouse. . . . . . 43

Gravel Bottom Brewery . . . . . 43

Saugatuck Brewing Co.. . . . . 51

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Kzoo Island Festival. . . . . . . . 25

SMG/Van Andel Arena. . . . . . 35

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 ©2015, 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.

Soaring Eagle Casino . . . . . . . . 3

Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill . . . 25 The Union. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

On the cover: The Division Avenue Arts Collective is still active and seeking a new home.

See full story on page 32.


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Random Notes TV ///

It was only seven years between Chris Farley’s first sketch on Saturday Night Live in 1990 and the late December morning in 1997 when he was found dead in his Chicago apartment. But the comedy legend, who was larger than life in every way possible, continues to cast a giant shadow on the pop culture landscape. In the new documentary I Am Chris Farley, premiering Aug. 10 on Spike TV, his friends, family and admirers — including Bob Odenkirk, David Spade and Bob Saget — share their stories about Farley and lament the loss of a genius whose enormous talent for making people laugh was only outweighed by his personal demons.

MOVIES ///

In the late ‘80s, gangsta rap infiltrated America’s suburbs. Led by the South Central L.A. rap group N.W.A., the movement unleashed a dress code, language and attitude that was every bit as revelatory about the inner city African-American experience as it was brilliant music-making. The biographical drama Straight Outta Compton, out Aug. 14, tracks the rise of Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella as they invented a sound that revolutionized the music industry.

Josh Hoyer and The Shadowboxers at Tip Top Deluxe of the film with an introduction followed by a remote Q&A with the director and a few of the celebrity narrators.

MUSIC ///

Singer/songwriter Ellis Paul was part of the folk-pop music revival of the mid-‘90s, and for 20 years his challenging and sophisticated lyrics and melodies have kept him on the road and recording albums. Ellis takes the stage at Seven Steps Up in Spring Lake for a pair of shows this month: On Friday, Aug. 21, he plays a traditional set and the next morning he’ll play a family friendly show featuring some of his more lighthearted fare. Josh Hoyer and The Shadowboxers is a soul/funk/R&B sextet with a high-energy performance that plays to the back row. Hoyer leads the band — which includes a three-piece horn section — with his inventive keyboard work, laying down a contem-

Tom Green

porary groove that appeals to fans of Otis Redding, George Clinton and modern-day hip-hop. Special guest Laura Rain and the Caesars open the Aug. 5 show at the Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill in Grand Rapids.

COMEDY ///

Tom Green once led a cow into a grocery store and convinced a customer to drink fresh milk directly from its udder. He used to do terrible things to strangers, his friend, Glenn, and his parents, and capture it all on video for his popular MTV show. And he’s made a few movies, including the notorious Freddy Got Fingered. Green rolls into Dr. Grins Comedy Club Aug. 20-22.

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS ///

About three dozen local and national breweries take over Ludington City Park on Saturday, Aug. 15 for the Suds on the Shore Craft Beer + Wine Festival. $30/$25 advance. 21-up only. Tickets include entry, 8 tokens (4-oz beer, cider or mean or 2-oz wine) and souvenir beer glass. sudsontheshore.com Disappointed that Magic Mike XXL wasn’t a 3-D movie? Get a glimpse of what that could have looked like on Aug. 7 when Magicmen Live! struts into the Orbit Room for a one-night stand … and bump … and grind. General admission is $25, but for $35

you can get up close and personal with the performers in one of the first four rows. At Kalamazoo’s Island Festival (Aug. 27–29), international artists will cast a spell with their distinct versions of reggae and dub for a free three-day ode to long days, warm temps and social justice. Acts includes the Grammynominated Pato Banton, the R&B-infused Dubtonic Kru, and Canadian reggae singer Lazo, who will fill Mayor’s Riverfront Park in Kalamazoo with the sounds of summer.

THEATER ///

For the last five summers, the Rose Theater at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake has served as a de facto time machine, whisking audiences back to the 16th century to see what an authentic Shakespeare performance would have looked and sounded like. The Rose is a half-sized replica of an Elizabethan Era theater that features a thrust stage, Juliet balcony and seating for about 600 in the space’s two galleries. This month, the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company will perform a pair of the Bard’s greatest hits, with benefits going to the Blue Lake Public Radio. On Aug. 13, you can take in the original genderswapping madcap comedy Twelfth Night and on Aug. 29 the Danish prince will deliver the famous soliloquy from Hamlet. n Random Notes is compiled by Allan I. Ross.

REVUEWM.COM | August 2015 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

The heady documentary Unity features 100 celebrity narrators, including Common, Edward James Olmos and Michelle Rodriguez, who pontificate on the possibilities of humanity. Sure, we do a lot of messed up stuff to each other and the planet, but we’re also capable of such kindness, of creating such beauty out of what we find around us. Unity utilizes some of the most powerful film footage ever captured — including imagery of nature, warfare and art. On Aug. 12, Celebration! Cinema’s Grand Rapids North & IMAX theater screens a special presentation

Ellis Paul at Seven Steps Up

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/// Eclectic

Explore the Mitten on an Eclectic Road Trip If you’re a summertime loving sort who is clutching at your heart because August features the slow death knell of all that is great (sunshine), not to fret. While the roads will soon be treacherously iced over, there’s still time to venture outside of West Michigan on an eclectic road trip across the state. Fire up the motorcar, it’s time to go! By Audria Larsen

Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum Farmington Hills Mon.–Thurs., 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Fri.–Sat., 10 a.m.–11 p.m. Sun. 11 a.m.–9 p.m. marvin3m.com, (248) 626-5020

Step back in time at Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum where fun is aplenty and coin operated wonders abound. The Guinness Book of World Records lists this magical den of curiosities as one of the most unusual museums in the United States. Much like a penny arcade of yore, Marvin’s features historic, antique machines alongside more modern contraptions. Some are games, others are like the iconic Zoltar fortune telling machine and many are essentially automated miniature dioramas like the moving, ghoulish 1936 display depicting a Spanish Inquisition torture chamber (it’s morbid but not too gory). A perfect day trip, Marvin’s is so jammed packed with curiosities that you can’t experience it all in just one trip.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Dinosaur Gardens Prehistoric Zoo

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Ossineke, Michigan Monday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–8 p.m. Sunday, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. dinosaurgardensllc.com, (989) 471-5477

Move over Jurassic World, Dinosaur Gardens Prehistoric Zoo offers excitement and kitsch without the imminent threat of danger. Created in the ‘30s the garden allows you complete access to the dinos, for all of your shameless selfie stick pleasure. Situated on 40 acres of wooded land, a trail leads you to many creatures featuring scenes of dinosaurs battling, prehistoric peoples heaving rocks and you can even climb inside the belly of a brontosaurus. Known for the subtle Christian touches juxtaposed among the ancient beasts, the park offers an interesting vibe.

Dinosaur Gardens Prehistoric Zoo Enjoy the new Pteradon Nest, putt-putt golf, guided carriage tours and even a frozen yogurt bar.

Michigan Honey Festival

Harvey Kern Pavilion, Frankenmuth August 1, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. FREE for children under 14, Ages 14+ up $5 michiganhoneyfestival.com, (810) 614-3191

As you may know, the global honey bee population is in decline. It’s up to us to rally for our fuzzy insect friends. Dubbed the “Sweetest Day of the Year,” the festival offers much more than education and expert speakers. See a live bee hive opened up and check out all the “working parts.” Partake in a honey tasting and even learn to make mead, a sumptuous alcoholic brew created with fermented honey. Flowers and plants are available for purchase along with many other honeyed products like soaps, lotions, oils and even honey bee swag like t-shirts and hats. If you want to personally help bolster the bee population you can find out everything you need, from beekeeping to flower tending.

Perseid Meteor Shower Sail Wenonah Park, Bay City August 12–13, 10 p.m.–1 a.m. $37 Adult, $27 Student baysailbaycity.org, (989) 895-5193

This month the sky will put on one heckuva show thanks to the annual Perseid meteor shower. Lucky you, the non-profit organization BaySail offers special schooner rides aboard the Appledore IV. If the night is dark you can often see over 50 meteors whizz by per hour. “The area is one of the best places to stargaze, you don’t have the light pollution out on the bay as you would in the city,” said Scott Ellis, marketing and communications manager. “[We] anticipate the show will be pretty good this year. It’s probably the most heavily viewed [meteor shower] in North America and produces the most meteors of any time of year.” To give you an educational edge, astronomers from Delta College Planetarium will give a live, onboard presentation about the Perseid shower. While dinner is not provided on this particular sail, popcorn and other concessions like soda and water are available. Also, Ellis noted that you are allowed to BYOB. So bring that homemade mead and stargaze. n


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/// All Ages

Best Bet: Punk Rock

NOTS

GRandJazzFest Photo: Christopher John Wilson

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

“UFO Dictator” may be a sloppy, obscure 1979 punk 7-inch by the defunct Italian band Tampax, but it’s also a long-running punk and rock ‘n’ roll festival in Kalamazoo. The one-night blowout was founded in 2004 by Useless Eater, a veteran WIDR radio DJ and guitarist/vocalist of the local band No Bails. In the past it’s been held at Kraftbrau Brewery, then Louie’s Trophy House, then 411 Club – now, UFO Dictator Fest #11 lands at its new home: Bell’s Eccentric Café. This year’s roster features six bands for the totally punk-rock price of $8. Headlining is NOTS, a Tennessee-based outfit on the mighty Goner Records imprint. Pitchfork Media praised NOTS for its “breed of Memphis garage-punk fire.” Also performing are Rev Norb & The Onions (Green Bay, Certified PR Records), Last Sons Of Krypton (Manitowoc, Wis., Kryptonite Records), Trampoline Team (New Orleans, Pelican Pow Wow), No Bails (Kalamazoo, Pelican Pow Wow) and Disastronaut (Grand Rapids, Independent Fries). —Reported by Rich Tupica

Summer Road Trip It’s summer time and the driving is easy. Now that you have a young family, there’s no more crashing with friends at murder motels. It’s time to load up your minivan, grab your kids and let’s drive at the speed limit across this great state in search of some all-ages fun. By Steven G. de Polo

GRandJazzFest

Rosa Parks Circle, Grand Rapids August 15-16 Free! grandjazzfest.org

Headlined by Paul Brown and Nate Harasim of The Producers, with special guest Deon Yates, the fourth annual jazz celebration takes place downtown August 15-16. Now in its fourth year, GRandJazzFest was founded by jazz enthusiast Audrey Sundstrom and her husband Greg, who wanted to bring a free weekend-long festival of jazz music to Grand Rapids. The family-friendly event features a fun and diverse lineup of ten world-class acts like Brian Simpson and Jackiem Joyner, Grupo Ayé and the always lovely Edye Evans Hyde with the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra. Plus, there are plenty of eateries around Rosa Parks Circle. Keep the kids busy with free face painting, mini-hula hoops and guitar lessons by GRandJazzFest performer Bryan Lubeck.

UFO Dictator Fest #11 @ Bell’s Eccentric Café 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo Friday, Aug. 14, 8 p.m., $8 bellsbeer.com/eccentric-cafe

14 | REVUEWM.COM | August 2015

Located throughout Huron, Sanilac, and Tuscola Counties, the trail is a way to celebrate community, barn preservation and the history and art of quilting. Some 38 states have quilt trails; the Thumb Quilt trail was founded in 2014 with 21 barn quilts, another 24 were added this year. Rural communities have the tradition of mounting beautiful and noteworthy quilts in 8’ x 8’ square frames and placing them at the peak of a barn, sort of like a billboard but more charming. One quilt was cherished because it was used to save children from an 1881 fire that devastated their homestead. Another farmer mounted the quilt sewn by his late wife. The barns are also meaningful, such as the 10-cent barns in village centers where farmers paid to park their horses. The trail includes the Smith Alpaca Farm, a log cabin village, Janiks Orchard and an Octagon barn. It’s great fun for barn enthusiasts, quilters, photographers, artists, agriculture buffs and families looking to enjoy nature.

MSU Dairy Store Thumb Quilt Trail

Huron, Sanilac, and Tuscola Counties Weekends thumbquilttrail.com, (989) 751-1927

Anthony Hall, 474 South Shaw Lane East Lansing dairystore.msu.edu, (517) 355-8466

Our next stop takes us to the Dairy Store at Michigan State University in Anthony Hall in

East Lansing. The Dairy Store is part of the agroschoolin’ at the land grant college, which trains future farmers of America about food safety, nutrition and industrial food processing. They offer nearly 40 flavors such as Buckeye Blitz, Badger Berry Cheesecake, Final Four Fudge Dribble and Nittany White Out, which is popular with the kids. Order sundaes for the family and grab a half-gallon for home. Don’t forget to buy some hand-made cheese like Caerphilly, Dagano and Smoked Cheddar while you’re there. If you’re a Wolverine like me, do your best to forget you’re in Spartan Country.

Holland Water Sports Jet Ski and Boat Rentals 1810 Ottawa Beach Rd., Holland hollandwatersports.com, (616) 399-6672

Finally, let’s head back across the state to Holland Water Sports Boat and Jet Ski Rentals on the Big Bay of Lake Macatawa. Holland Water Sports offers something fun for the whole family to enjoy on the water. Check out their pontoons made out of rusty oil barrels. Their 50-horse power jet skis will get your hair blowing in the wind as you fly past the sand dunes. Remember to pack a lunch and then grab dinner at one of the nearby restaurants. n


AUGUST HIGHLIGHTS AUTHOR VISIT: TOBIN BUHK Monday, August 3, 2015, 7:00 pm Main Library – 111 Library St NE

10 BOOKS & 33 EVENTS

Local author Tobin T. Buhk will share stories of murder and mayhem involving a prominent West Michigan family. His latest book Poisoning the Pecks examines the murder plot that Arthur Warren Waite attempted to execute in order to inherit his wife’s family fortune. Buhk will discuss how he researched the family, the crime, the investigation and punishment.

IMPRESSIVE BICYCLE REPAIR Wednesday, August 19, 7:00 pm Main Library – 111 Library St NE Do you have a bicycle that could use a tune up but don’t know a spoke wrench from a tire lever? Spoke Folks is a bicycle co-op designed to make cycling accessible to everyone. This class will teach you everything you need to keep your bike in top condition and impress everyone with your skills.

ALSO CHECK OUT THESE EVENTS

JUNE 1 – AUGUST 31, 2015 SUMMER READING ALL GROWN UP

Stepping into Silence with Eugenia Marve Wednesday, August 5, 7:00 pm Main Library – 111 Library St NE Life Underground: Work in Michigan’s Historic Copper Mines Thursday, August 6, 7:00 pm Main Library – 111 Library St NE The Raptor Experience Saturday, August 8, 1:00 pm Main Library – 111 Library Street NE Green Gold! Monday, August 10, 7:00 pm Main Library – 111 Library St NE Women of Color: Leading the Way in the Workplace Thursday, August 13, 7:00 pm Main Library – 111 Library St NE

WWW.GRPL.ORG/GRREADS 616.988.5400 FUNDED BY:

Rookie Renovator Class – Plumbing Saturday, August 29, 10:00 am Home Repair Services – 1100 S. Division

MEDIA SPONSORS: REVUEWM.COM | August 2015 |

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/// ON TOUR

local music news

Fauxgrass Grand Rapids roots-rockers Fauxgrass play on August 1 at Founders with special guest Big Slyde out of New York. Another notable and folk-flavored show taking place Aug. 6 at Founders is Bigfoot Buffalo (Grand Rapids) and Hannah Rose and the Gravestones.

PHOTO: Emmett Malloy

Get Sauced at Bell’s

G. Love & Special Sauce head to Kalamazoo |  by Dwayne Hoover

P

The Sugar sessions were unique, the band worked with a couple of different producers — each approached the recording process differently. And while Dutton admits no method is necessarily better than another, he typically prefers to do it the old fashioned way: Live. He said it’s not about a capturing a perfectly clean track. “I don’t want my shit to be polished,” he said. “I don’t care about radio-friendly.” “(Recording live) you have to be connected physically and emotionally and capture the moment of the music,” he added. “We’ve had the most success when we do it live and have our shit together — when we don’t break it down and everyone’s committed to each other’s performances in the studio.” n

G. Love & Special Sauce

Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, Kalamazoo Aug. 6, 9 p.m. $27.50 adv, $30 day of show bellsbeer.com, (269) 382-2332

Fat Guy Fest 2, featuring regional, national and international punk, hardcore, ska, indie and metal bands, runs Aug. 6-10 at Shakespeare’s Lower Level in Kalamazoo. Some of the roster includes Cheap Girls, Beast in the Field, Bars of Gold, Cardboard Swords and Cavalcade.

Boring People A good mix of local bands will be shreddin’ on Aug. 8 at Louie’s Trophy House Grill, including Boring People, Camp DaD, and the Wrap. Also on the bill is Ami Saraiya (Chicago). —Nolan Krebs

REVUEWM.COM | August 2015 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

e o p l e o f t e n s ay n o m u s i c i s tr u ly o r i g i nal. That’s probably true given songwriters openly cite their musical influences while occasionally suing each other for copyright infringement. Garrett Dutton, better known as G. Love, understands nobody is reinventing the harmonious wheel. “Music is not something you can really own,” Dutton said. “The biggest thing is you have to take whatever you learn from wherever you get it from and make it into your own words and your own style. You only need one chord or one string as long as you have something to say.” Growing up in Philadelphia, Dutton, 42, was exposed to a wide variety of musical styles that contributed to the G. Love & Special Sauce sound. Everyone from Run DMC and the Beastie Boys to Bob Dylan and Bo Diddley shaped his future. While those iconic

acts first hit the ears of Dutton many years ago, all still inform the music he plays today. But it wasn’t just the big-named bands that provided stimuli for his signature brand of playfully poppy yet sloppy alt-blues tunes. “I grew up right downtown,” Dutton said. “There were all types of people there: homeboys, skateboarders, rich people, poor people, gangs and families. It was a real melting pot of cultural forces.” The band’s 2014 album Sugar not only brought back the original trio after eight years apart, it also rekindled the raw, jam-session style, bluesy hip-hop flavor that was indicative of the group’s debut album from 20 years back. In June the band also dropped some previously unreleased tracks from those sessions on the Sweet ‘N Blues EP. “We had a bunch of leftover tracks that were pretty hot,” Dutton said. “When you make a record you usually cut more than you can put on a record or should put on a record. But after time goes by you’re like, ‘Why didn’t we put that on the record?’ It was a great chance to get some of those tracks out.”

Cheap Girls

17


/// profile

Decades of taste |  by Steve Miller

The Bowser checklist:

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

■■ A founding member of Violent Apathy, West Michigan’s first authentic punk rock band. He played a blue Mosrite guitar, just as one of his influences, Johnny Ramone, did ■■ 30 years off and on as an informed music curator and on-air record flipper at WIDR, the only progressive radio station in Michigan ■■ Go-to DJ for anything calling for coolness, from a wedding to a basement party to swap meet to a book signing ■■ More musical stints in bands including Dr. Xeron and the Moogulators, Latch Key Kids and the God Bullies in a production of the play, Woyzeck ■■ Exhibiting photographer with a bent for the good black and whites

18 | REVUEWM.COM | August 2015

W

h e n h e’s out an d about in Kalamazoo, little kids will sometimes see Richard Bowser, his portly stature and flossy white hair and beard, and think: Santa Claus. And Bowser, a man with a sense of humor and fun, will engage them. “Have you been good?” he’ll say. If it’s summer, he lets them know he’s on vacation from the North Pole. But Bowser is, in real life, a cultural Santa Claus for the region. The 56-year-old musician/radio personality/ DJ/culture vulture is a real deal bohemian who lives it. He’s a Jackson native who came to Kalamazoo to go to Western Michigan University in 1977 and never left. The place agreed with him and he agreed with it. He’s lived in the same house in a woodsy neighborhood since 1997. Suitably, it’s a 10-minute walk from the Kal-

The Bohemian Outlier, Richard Bowser amazoo Psychiatric Hospital; Bowser’s day job is with Van Buren Community Mental Health. Inside the house, there are records. Vinyl stuff, from stacks of 78s (Joe Turner’s “Shake Rattle and Roll”) and 45s (Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart’s “Alice Long”) to long players of everything from Earth to the Germs to King Crimson to obscure ’80s hardcore bands. It is a tribute to decades of taste. “It’s funny now to see the return of vinyl,” he says. “I never really stopped buying vinyl, and always thought everything about it is better.” Bowser has freely given his time to his town, region and state, usually with little or no pay. It’s not the money, it’s the art. On a given weekend, he might spin discs at an afternoon event then head over to a basement to play a party with his band. He gets paid for weddings and some events, and not for others. “It depends on the audience and what it’s for,” he says. In the fall of 2004, Bowser would drive from Kalamazoo to Lansing to play for five people at Mac’s Bar in the Moogalators, a three-piece noise ensemble that featured his

childhood friend and former VA bandmate, Ken Knott, stalking the stage with a toy raygun and muttering cryptic slogans. Bowser donned a Devo-esque yellow plastic hazmat gown and drum kit. Yeah, he plays drums, too. They’d play, receive no money, and he’d drive back, getting home at 4 a.m. just in time for a couple hours of sleep before heading to work. Over the years, he’s done this dozens of times. “Sometimes you have to sacrifice a couple things to have that kind of fun. Like sleep.” Today he continues to devote Sunday nights to his Sounds in Space: A Revolution in High Fidelity radio show from 6–8 p.m. on WIDR. His latest musical venture is Brown Company, a space rock quintet thick with aged prog rock/ heavy influences from Captain Beyond to Blue Cheer. “I have a good job and for me the whole thing is that if you’re going to try to make money off art, you’re going to have to water it down,” Bowser says. “And if you can make a living, then have your art, you’ll be more free to do what you want to do.” n


/// playlist

WYCE 88.1 FM eats up a lot of music each week, but occasionally we also throw down in the food realm as well. Last week our staff had some tacos with the AMI staff, some tapas with Revue editors, and it all mixed together nicely into this new playlist collaboration. Revue has the looks, WYCE has the songs and AMI has the jukeboxes. Each month, you’ll be able to read, stream and hear the latest mix in playlist form on AMI Jukeboxes, in print and online at Revue and at WYCE.org. Here is the first installment. Bon Appetit! — Pete Bruinsma, WYCE Music Director

Alabama Shakes — “Don’t Wanna Fight”

We all had absolutely nothing to worry about. The Alabama Shakes’ 2015 album Sound & Color is every bit of a start-to-finish punk-soul-blues anthem as 2012’s Boys and Girls. Brittany Howard is truly a special singer, songwriter and performer.

Courtney Barnett — “Pedestrian at Best”

Australian Courtney Barnett is already the darling of many music fans and tastemakers with her intelligent, rocking debut LP. The message is complicated, offbeat and artistic with nuances of comedy – it’s one of the best alternative releases in modern times. Fans of this song should also check out “Nobody Really Cares if You Don’t Go to the Party” and even dig into last year’s The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas.

Lord Huron — “Fool for Love”

Haunted songwriting and dark pop can describe Lord Huron’s sound. The band’s name and founding member come from Michigan and they are beloved by its people.

Father John Misty — “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)”

The Arcs — “Stay in My Corner”

Here we have the highly-anticipated new single from Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys – it’s his new side project. We hope the whole album has as much grit and crud in the mix as the few songs we’ve heard so far. Sub the primal uneasiness of Thickfreakness with the confidence of an experienced producer who is still lo-fi at heart and you get The Arcs.

Melody Gardot — “Preacherman”

Melody’s music is amazing but her journey is incredible. Her debut release came out three years after a terrible bicycle accident after which she was forced to re-learn basic motor skills. With the release of Currency of Man, her sixth album, she embodies her own teachings of music as therapy. This song is inspired by “Preacherman” Emmitt Till, which also recalls the more recent tragedies of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

Ibeyi — “River”

Lisa and Naomi are the twin daughters of Miguel Diaz, founding member and conga player of the Buena Vista Social Club. The song “River” is a great intro to the beautiful harmonies, sonic exploration (that beat!) and fusion of their French, African and Cuban roots. “Ibeyi” translates as “Twins” in Yoruba.

I Love You Honeybear was already dubbed “Album of the Year” back in January by staff member Larae and many critics agree. Josh Tillman, the “Dick Destiny” of indie folk, is whimsically complicated, intelligent and refreshingly off-kilter. Distinctively he collects dreams, churns them into butter and adds an eightlevel spice for the listening pleasure of the detached hipster charlatan.

Hot Chip — “Huarache Nights”

My Morning Jacket — “Compound Fracture”

After 15 years of constantly surprising releases and reinvention of psychclassic-indie rock, let’s just sit back and enjoy this accomplished masterpiece. Don’t listen to the haters, enjoy the song.

Right now, Kate is a “discovery,” but we think she’s really onto something. The British author and poet has transitioned into a spoken-word poet, rapper and musician and is currently on her first US tour doing something she strongly believes in.

Houndmouth — “My Cousin Greg”

Leon Bridges — “Coming Home”

Waxahatchee —“Under a Rock”

Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds — “Mama Says”

Katie Crutchfield’s solo project touches on the 90’s post-punk alternative sound in all of the best places. Whether or not you were a Throwing Muses fan this works on many levels, fueled by excellent songwriting. Plus, she used to play with former WYCE affiliate Sam Cook-Parrott of Radiator Hospital. If Pitchfork can mention it, we can too.

Kate Tempest — “Lonely Daze”

Fans of label mate Raphael Saadiq will want to check this guy out. He’s the newest vintage retro-soul performer and this new 30-minute album is smooth as silk.

SS is an explosive, energetic, eclectic ensemble, taking traditional genre themes like Soul, Funk, Rock & Gospel and flipping them on the hypotenuse. Filled with great folks with great big hearts and great big personalities, Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds simply fit here.

REVUEWM.COM | August 2015 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

These guys straddle Americana, pop and Heartland rock, while offering a loose “live” arrangement that’s even better in concert. See them if you get a chance! We could have easily gone with “Sedona” or “Black Gold” but “My Cousin Greg” is a great bar anthem for the ol’ jukebox.

One of the top songs of the year and Program Director Matt Jarrells’s favorite. It’s so catchy and danceable.

19


/// On tour

Back In The Saddle Again: Aerosmith make long-awaited Van Andel return |  by Eric Mitts

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

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ith th i s year marking Aerosmith’s 45th year together, the “Bad Boys from Boston” will bring this summer’s Blue Army Tour to a triumphant close with their August 4 return to Grand Rapids. “Grand Rapids is part of the section of the country where we first made it,” Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton told Revue, recalling West Michigan’s 1970s-era, denim-clad fans. “When we’re playing in a city like that we know we’re going to have a great time. We know it’s going to be a great audience, so we really look forward to it.” Aerosmith last played Van Andel in 2005, shortly after the release of their covers set, Honkin’ on Bobo, and riding on the commercial success of the iconic band’s 2001 platinumselling album Just Push Play. Since its inception, the band has hit some colossal milestones: Becoming one of the best-selling American rock bands of all-time, winning four Grammy Awards and landing in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Yet the band has refused to stick to a formula. The group continues to evolve, earning fresh generations of fans while remaining loyal to their history as Aerosmith an explosive, legendary w/ Living Colour live band. Van Andel Arena, “When someone Grand Rapids shows up backstage Aug. 4, 8 p.m. or to a meet and greet $25–$149.50 vanandelarena.com with their 12-year-old son or daughter and says this is their first concert, it’s a great feeling,” Hamilton said, adding the band is at the top of its live game. “I feel proud of the fact that after all of these years we really know how to play these songs, so we’re probably going to go out there and rip this kid’s head off.” The band’s drive to remain relevant went digital with the 2008 release of Guitar Hero Aerosmith, an unprecedented video game allowing fans, young and old, the opportunity to virtually play along with the band. In 2010 they fended off break-up rumors when front man Steven Tyler stepped into a

20 | REVUEWM.COM | August 2015

different spotlight as a judge on American Idol, turning new faces onto the band’s music once again. Sure, it’s been a long road. Injuries, illness, and occasional feuds aside, the band has always come back, overcoming every obstacle together – including Hamilton’s personal battle with cancer that sidelined him from tours in 2006 and 2011. “I think with all the repetition in doing this with these particular people there’s just something that’s been burned in really deep,” Hamiltion said about playing with the band’s original lineup for over 40 years. “We still mess up here and there, but generally we can take almost any song that we’ve ever played and do a really good version of it.” Hamilton said the band plans to dig in with this tour and add deep album cuts like “Hangman Jury” and “Adam’s Apple” to their sets already filled with hits like “Livin’ On The Edge,” “Walk This Way” and “Sweet Emotion.” “It feels amazing, especially being almost anywhere in the world and playing those bass notes and people recognize it,” Hamilton said of “Sweet Emotion” which he co-wrote with Tyler in 1975. “A lot of [our music] came out in a different world really, not just a different era,” he added about playing the band’s older material for new audiences. “When we play Moscow or St. Petersburg, it would have been against the law when we first started out and now here we are playing those places.” Currently without a record label, following the release of their last LP, Music From Another Dimension, Aerosmith still plans to continue to move forward with new music. “We might have to wait another six months to a year before everybody in the band can really get into the idea,” Hamilton explained. “We really worked hard on the From Another Dimension album and we kind of overdid it. We put too many songs on it. But it was 10 years [in the making] and everyone had something they wanted to express before this whole thing comes to an end. So we did it, and I think we made a really good guitar album, but I think we also learned what was working

and what wasn’t working, so I’m anxious to go in and follow through on that. I’d love to go in and make a nice, tight, concise album, or maybe even an EP.” Tyler also just released a country-focused solo album as the rest of the band regroups from the current tour. But, like the past four

decades, Hamilton said he already feels some new tunes brewing. “There’s plenty of creativity left. There are plenty of ideas we’d like to finish,” he said. “The time will come where the idea for another Aerosmith album will present itself.” n


upcoming

at SEP

16

LORD HURON

plus special guest | Covenant Fine Arts Center | 8pm | $23

Thurs. August 6

$27.50 adv / $30 day of

G. Love & Special Sauce

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Fri. August 21

$10

Luke Winslow-King

SEP

23 EAGLE ROCK GOSPEL SINGERS Covenant Fine Arts Center Recital Hall | 8pm | $10

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

$25 adv / $30 day of

Sat. August 22

Keller Williams Grateful Grass

Outdoor Show – Rain or Shine

$25 adv / $30 day of

Sun. August 23

Lake Street Dive

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Outdoor Show – Rain or Shine

wsg the Crane Wives

Doors 7pm — Show 8pm

Thurs. August 27

$15

Vulfpeck

wsg Kim Vi & the Siblings

$7

The Go Rounds Album Release wsg Heavy Color

Turkuaz

SYLVAN ESSO

with special guest | Covenant Fine Arts Center | 8pm | $23

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Sat. August 29

Thurs. September 3

SEP

25

Doors 8

pm

— Show 9

OCT

7

pm

COLONY HOUSE & COIN Covenant Fine Arts Center | 8pm | $15

$10 adv / $12 day of

wsg Dumela Project

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Thurs. September 10

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

$10

Fri. September 25

Mustard Plug

wsg

Freight Bandits & Camp Dad

Fri. October 23

Of Montreal

wsg Diane Coffee

NOV

12

NATE REUSS of fun. Spoelhof Fieldhouse Complex | 8pm | $30

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Oct 17 | Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors

$17 adv / $20 day of Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Oct 31 | Milk Carton Kids

www.calvin.edu/boxoffice

616.526.6282 REVUEWM.COM | August 2015 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

The Crane Wives Album Release

21


/// feature

Big two-hearted piano man

Jeff Haas combines classical rigor with jazz pulsations at two Traverse City area gigs by Lawrence Cosentino

I Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

f Jeff Haas is a cocktail pianist, he mixes a heady cocktail. The Traverse City-based pianist and composer has been swirling the music of Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and other jazz legends with his own original compositions, along with fresh takes on the Great American Songbook, at two jam-packed summer gigs in northwest Michigan all summer.

Haas and his star guests from around the state aren’t much interested in serving up an unobtrusive counterpoint to clinking glasses. “I’ve heard so many musicians tell me you can’t play ‘Pithecanthropus Erectus’ or ‘Reincarnation of a Love Bird’ on a commercial gig,” Haas said, naming two of bassist Charles Mingus’ most famous compositions. “But I beg to differ.” For Haas, careful rehearsal, well-crafted arrangements and an openness to the limitless possibilities of the moment make the difference between forgettable Muzak and a memorable night of jazz. “I think it’s similar to why rock bands don’t play Frank Zappa,” Haas said. “It’s not that Zappa isn’t engaging; it’s just not something you can call without rehearsal. Monk and these other composers are filled with intriguing, engaging melodies.” The formula has proved an astonishing success. This year, Haas is in his 22nd summer in residence at Chateau Chantal Winery and Inn, 12 miles north of Traverse City. Beginning this summer, Haas has also been holding fort each Wednesday through Sept. 2 at Cafe Lelu, a small cafe and boutique

22 | REVUEWM.COM | August 2015

hotel in Northport near the tip of the Leelenau Peninsula. The Cafe Lelu group includes Randy Marsh on drums, Ann Arbor bassist Bruce Dondero and, on occasion, longtime Haas bandmate Laurie Sears on saxophone and flute. Each week at Chateau Chantal, Haas is joined by veteran bassist Jack Dryden and drummer Randy Marsh of the Lansing-based

organ trio organissimo. Guests have included many of the state’s best jazz musicians, including bassist Marion Hayden, drummer Sean Dobbins, guitarist George Benson and legendary trumpet master Marcus Belgrave, a longtime friend and collaborator whose death last May was a blow to the jazz world. Belgrave’s trumpet proteges, Chris Lawrence

and Anthony Stanco, also sit in with Haas from time to time. For over two decades, the Chateau Chantal gig has been the envy of every jazz musician who made the trip to Traverse City to play with Haas. Usually, Haas said, they start texting him excitedly on the caravan drive from his home in Traverse City to the gig.


Jazz at Sunset with Jeff Haas and friends Thursdays through Sept. 3, 7–9:30 p.m. Chateau Chantal Winery and Inn 15900 Rue Devin, Traverse City FREE (231) 223-4110

Jeff Haas Trio

Lelu Cafe, 109 Nagonaba St., Northport 7-10 p.m. Wednesdays through Sept. 2 FREE (231) 386-1600

Painting of Jeff Haas at a live performance by Lisa Flahive.

As soon as Haas discovered Motown and jazz, he was down the rabbit hole of groove, improvisation and swing. He decided to pursue a jazz career, despite his father’s stern disapproval. Haas is still a bifurcated soul. His music oscillates between formal discipline and off-road bouncing, Bruce Banner and The Hulk, and the tension infuses his music with a urgency and drive. During breaks at Lelu Cafe, people come up to Haas and request connoisseur favorites like “The Oracle” by bassist Dave Holland or “One Finger Snap” by pianist Herbie Hancock. At Chateau Chantal, Haas relies a bit more on the standards, but he has found audiences receptive to whatever he dishes out. “They’re right there with us,” he said. When Haas tackles an intricate or challenging composition, he never strays far from what he considers to be the three main ingredients of music: harmony, melody and rhythm. “Give them one of those ingredients — an ostinato line, a groove, something people can hang their hat on — people will go much further with you than we assume they will,” he said.

REVUEWM.COM | August 2015 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

“It’s a stunning drive about 12 miles north from Traverse City on Old Mission Peninsula,” Haas said. “There are vistas where you can see both east and west bay.” The dining room where Haas plays holds about 120 to 130 people. If the weather is good, doors and windows open onto decks on both sides of the room that hold another 200. A panoramic sunset view opens onto the east and west bays around Old Mission Peninsula. “We started on a mid-June Thursday in 1993 and it’s literally been a packed room every Thursday since,” Haas said. Chairs are set up inside, concert-style. “There’s a ton of respect for the music,” Haas said. “The people outside socialize and listen to the music with one ear. The people who sit inside are avid listeners.” “Jazz at Sunset” could have been a 19thhole, celebrate-the-easy-life gig, but that would never have suited a restless soul like Haas. Jeff is the son of Karl Haas, host of Adventures in Good Music, a popular classical radio show that ran coast-to-coast from 1970 to 2007. Growing up in Detroit, he clambered over pipe organs and grand pianos and hung out with his father’s famous friends, icons like Leonard Bernstein, Anton Rubinstein and Igor Stravinsky.

Like his father, Haas is a teacher at heart, but it took a while for the son to navigate around his father’s long shadow. (When Haas was young, his father told him jazz would ruin the needle on a turntable.) After a long period of estrangement, each came to appreciate the other. (Karl Haas died in 2005.) After making his own mark as a jazz musician, Haas realized that he absorbed more from his dad than he realized. “My dad always told me to surround myself with great musicians,” Haas said. “Over the years, I’ve sorted out the ones who are, to be blunt, assholes off the bandstand and surrounded myself with people who are like-minded. If someone gives me grief about calling a Mingus tune because they think the audience won’t like it, my response is to at least give it a try.” Haas is active on many fronts, as a composer, performer, and radio host, but he’s most proud of what he calls his “social work.” His non-profit organization, Building Bridges Through Music, has toured the state dozens of times, performing concerts in rural and urban areas, exposing kids to musicians of colors and creeds different than their own. A cushy winery gig didn’t seem like a good fit for Haas, but as a classical music apostate, he was intrigued that Chateau Chantal was founded by a former priest and a former nun, Robert and Nadine Begin. After leaving the church, the Begins bought land in Old Mission Peninsula and had a daughter, Marie-Chantal Dalese, now the CEO of Chateau Chantal. Dalese said Haas has become “family” to her family and staff in Jazz at Sunset’s 22 years. “It started as a way to promote the winery, to draw people to come here and enjoy some great music while tasting wine, but it’s grown to a community event on its own,” Dalese said. Despite his classical pedigree, Haas is a sweaty-underarm, in-the-trenches piano man and educator. He had no interest in winery

snobbery and feared the worst when he went to meet the owners and staff in 1993. “I had a preconception about people who had a passion for wine. I expected people to hold their wine glasses with their pinkies up,” he said. “I expected a certain amount of aloofness.” He wouldn’t have stayed so long if that were so. “It’s just a welcoming place,” he said. “Bob will give tours with as much glee and passion to people arriving in limos from Bowers Harbor to guys riding up in their Harleys in muscle T-shirts and tattoos.” Along the way, Haas has hosted countless benefits at Chateau Chantal for area nonprofits like the Children’s Advocacy Center. Haas and his group recorded two Jazz at Sunset CDs to celebrate the 10th and 20th anniversaries of the gig. “Not only is it a wonderful gig, but I feel there is a mutual level of respect and commitment to community support that continues to this day,” Haas said. “They are remarkable people.” About four years ago, Haas picked up an interesting “bandmate” who has become an integral part of the Chateau Chantal gig: artist Lisa Flahive from Grand Haven. “She’s fascinating to me,” Haas said. Flahive, a former Las Vegas cop, broke her ankle in hot pursuit of a perpetrator. She ended up with a frustrating desk job, took early retirement and concentrated on her passion for drawing and painting. About four years ago, she approached Haas and asked to draw a portrait of the band. Haas set a condition: do it live, on stage, while the band was playing. “Visual artists aren’t usually public performers,” Haas said. “It was hard to find visual artists who would go on stage with us and create art, but Lisa didn’t bat an eye. She dove right in.” Haas introduces her as part of the band: “Jack Dryden on bass, Randy Marsh on drums, Lisa Flahive at the easel.” “There’s an uncanny energy to her art,” Haas said. “She bops around and moves to the music.” n

23


/// festival

Welcome to Paradise Cheeseburger in Caseville, an annual Jimmy Buffett festival, draws 300,000 attendees

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

|  by Allan I. Ross

O

n t h e s u r fa c e , t h e citi es of Casevi lle, in winter-logged Michigan, and Key West, in sun-soaked Florida, don’t have much in common. Look a little closer and similarities start to emerge. They’re both beach communities. They’re both situated at the tips of peninsular states. They both rely strongly on the tourism industry. And for the last 17 years, they’ve both claimed the world’s most prodigious beach bum as their patron saint. That’s right: Jimmy Buffett, the founder of Parrothead Nation himself, has an unofficial home in the Great Lake State — for a week and half a year, at least. Welcome to Cheeseburger in Caseville, an award-winning annual festival that’s one of the things that hundreds of

24 | REVUEWM.COM | August 2015

thousands of self-declared “Fruitcakes” and “Barefoot Children” love best about Michigan. Caseville is a bedroom community located at the tip of the Thumb with a year-round population of about 800. In the summertime, that number balloons to about 15,000, counting seasonal campers and lake house owners. Then every August something special happens. For 10 days, starting on the second Friday of the month, over a quarter of a million revelers — bedecked as pirates, parrots and anthropomorphic sea creatures — flock to Caseville’s beaches, boats and bars. They sing ballads, they drink margaritas and they make no attempts to amend their carnivorous habits. Steve Louwers, president of the Caseville Area Chamber of Commerce and one of the event’s co-organizers, has gone on record saying the city goes through about 30,000 cheeseburgers a day during the festival. That’s 300,000 burgers total or about 75,000 lbs. of red meat. (No word on how the state’s cardiologists do in the weeks following Cheeseburger.)

The festival is, of course, named after Buffett’s 1978 hit song “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” also the first song off his greatest hits album. Never mind that Uncle Jimmy is best known for his drunk anthem “Margaritaville,” the ultimate ode to spending the summer getting blackout drunk on the titular “frozen concoction.” Caseville’s decision to go with Buffett’s other song with a consumable in the title is probably the most responsible thing they could have done under the circumstances. The festival got its start in 1999 when one of Caseville’s year-round residents pitched the idea of a Jimmy Buffett-themed party to attract tourists for an end-of-summer final hurrah. The fun-in-the-sun Parrothead ethos appealed to the Chamber and a tradition was born. About 5,000 people from around Huron County attended the inaugural event, then a simple weekend-long affair. It soon expanded to four days, then a week, and then – seven years ago – to 10 days of concerts, fireworks, sandcastle-making contests, cheeseburger-

eating competitions and laser light shows on the beach. Caseville even got a new nickname: Key North. The centerpiece of the festival is the Parade of Tropical Fools, held on the Wednesday that falls in the middle of the proceedings. Last year, an estimated crowd of 55,000 lined Main Street to collect candy thrown from the floats, listen to version upon version of “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes,” and, of course, consume mass quantities of the eponymous “sensuous treat.” Diehard “Nautical Wheelers” start setting up their chairs at 6 a.m. for the parade, which doesn’t start for another 12 hours. The floats range from bedazzled tractors to a three-storytall construction crane decorated to look like a pink flamingo. The parade lasts for about two hours, during which tens of thousands of assorted beads, candy and random other tchotchkes are tossed to the assembled kids and dignity-be-damned grown-ups. Buffett, the unwitting founder of the feast, has yet to land the Hemisphere Dancer — his vintage Grumman Albatross seaplane — in the blue waters of Lake Huron but it hasn’t been for a lack of trying on the part of organizers. There’s even been a documentary made about their efforts: The 2012 independent film Chasing Jimmy chronicles Thumb resident Bob Brown’s mission to invite Buffett to take his rightful crown as Commander of the Fools. (Brown didn’t get to meet him, but he also didn’t get slapped with a stalking charge so it seems to have been a wash.) So what does the future hold for Cheeseburger in Caseville? Given its evergrowing popularity, it wouldn’t be surprising to see it top half a million attendees within the decade. At some point you could expect to see it on a reality show about outlandish American festivals. It’s also conceivable to see it continue to expand until it encompasses the entire month of August, especially because there are no other holidays to compete with that month. And given his never-ending touring schedule, it’s not entirely unreasonable to think that Buffett just might pop in for a cheeseburger in Caseville. And if he does, remember: He likes his with lettuce and tomato, Heinz 57 and Frenchfried potato, big kosher pickle and cold draft beer. n

Cheeseburger in Caseville 2015

Downtown Caseville Aug. 14-Aug. 23 Parade of Tropical Fools: 5:30 p.m., Aug. 19 cheeseburgerincasevillefest.com


Best Bet: Festival

The Avett Brothers Craft beer heads have the opportunity to make a pilgrimage up north for some serious brews and music on Aug. 21 and 22. The 8th Annual Traverse City Summer Microbrew & Music Festival has everything covered that you’d want in a summer beer fest. Endless line-up of brews? Check. Music? Yup – this year features Robert Randolph and The Family Band on Aug. 21 and The Avett Brothers on Aug. 22. They also have you covered on food. It’s all going down at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. Visit microbrewandmusic.com for more information. —Reported by Jayson Bussa

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25


/// Revue rewind

Electric Forest 2015 by Rich Tupica / Photos by Nicole Rico

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

O 26 | REVUEWM.COM | August 2015

n a va st e stat e o f wo o d e d pro pe rty in Rothbury, Mich., the annual Electric Forest Festival, held June 25-28, once again illuminated the rural stomping grounds and tall pines with grandiose light displays — creating a haven for hippies and ravers partaking in the psychedelic experience. While the forest itself was peppered with oddball sculptures, gong circles, club houselike structures and modest music stages, the sonic boom you’d hear likely emanated from outside the trees. The dusty forest paths, overflowing with some of the 40,000 attendees, lead to the colossal main stages. That’s where you’d find open grass to dance, sit with friends or, as some did, take a power nap during a thumping concert. The annual event always hosts a balanced mix of big-name rootsy-jam bands and EDM superstars. This year’s roster boasted Skrillex,

String Cheese Incident, BASSNECTAR, Carl Cox and Paul Oakenfold, to only name a few. Yonder Mountain Sting band also performed, the band’s singer was quick to note, “It smells like Colorado out here!” In the end, even if EDM and patchoulismellin’ jam music isn’t your thing — the people watching and extravagant light displays are worth the price of admission alone.

QUOTES from the Electric Forest: Raeyln Jewison, 19, Williamston, Mich.: “The colors and light shows, how they light it up makes it look so beautiful. They have the creative structures but they don’t look as cool without the illumination and lights. That’s what gives it the electric feeling.” Sissy McCloud, 24 Bay Miller, Mich.: “The best part is meeting people. My neighbors at the campsite are cool, they’re from Texas, we’ve been hanging out a lot. I’m a Yooper-

bitch, I don’t mind camping — this ain’t nothin’.” “Fizz,” 28, Pittsburgh: “I think it’s the trippiest place I’ve ever seen in my whole life. It’s absolutely memorizing and euphoric. I want to come back every year and make it an annual experience.” Brian Baer, 27, New York: “You’re at ease here. You feel at home. There is so much love and positivity here. Everyone is embraced, there is no judgment and everyone can be who they are. But it is a little hectic, you can get a little lost at night, but that’s the joy of it. You see something new every night and experience something new. You take it all in.” George Heritier, 64, Oak Park: “As for the cops, they’re great. If they are needed, they step in. Otherwise they’re greeting people, saying ‘hi.’ They’re being really nice.” n


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27


/// cool venue

An dre wW .K.

Rock This Town The Story of The Pyramid Scheme’s ‘Electric Energy’

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

by Tayler Keefer / photos by Katy Batdorff

P

yramid Scheme employee Julius Hayes wi ll b e th e f i rst to a d m i t his fervent dedication to the downtown Grand Rapids music venue. “This is about how much people care about this place,” said Hayes, who’s worked in various roles at the bar for the last two years. “There was one incident where a customer got angry and he got put out — politely put out,” said Hayes of an unusually dramatic evening. “We talked to him very calmly, but he ended up busting one of our front windows by the garage and he took off running.” Within seconds, a doorman sprints into action for a serious foot chase through ice,

28 | REVUEWM.COM | August 2015

snow and slush. Starting on Commerce Street from the bar’s location in GR’s Heartside neighborhood, he catches the man by the Van Andel Arena. Conveniently, a member of the Grand Rapids Police Department is nearby. The officer opens the backdoors of the squad car — the dedicated doorman throws the troublemaker in. Justice is served. “Not all places have employees that will do things like that,” Hayes said. “It’s like, ‘Hey man, you have disrespected a place that I value very much.’” When The Pyramid Scheme opened its doors in April 2011, the atmosphere its coowners had in mind was clear. They wanted employees who cared about their establishment, their neighborhood and, above all, the

music. If they had that, everything else would fall in to place. “Jeff (Vandenberg) and I wanted to create a bar that we’d want to hang out at,” said Tami Vandenberg, one half of the brother/ sister partnership duo. “Grand Rapids has a lot of great bars. It has a lot of shitty bars. We wanted a place that appreciated communities we were a part of, which was the art community, the musician’s community and the activist’s community.” The idea for a music venue came up back when they opened The Meanwhile in 2007, but its location, in a sleepier part of Eastown, called for more of a neighborhood pub. So the hunt was on for a more rockin’ abode. She said the obvious choice soon became Heartside District.

De ad Pre z

“I feel like Heartside is one of the few places in the city where you get such a wide variety of people in the same neighborhood,” Vandenberg said. “Our homeless neighbors are here, there’s Rumors, there’s Rockwell’s, there’s all the artist’s residencies. I really like how people cross paths in Heartside that maybe wouldn’t in other places.” The Pyramid Scheme’s open door led to a diverse staff — not surprising with a selfproclaimed (and proud of it) feminist and activist owner. “As far as the music and the staff go, this is the most diverse job I’ve ever been at,” Hayes said. “It’s a good look to be one of the few Grand Rapids places that has a diverse crowd and it works. … It’s good to see equality.” Along with a diverse staff is the venue’s diverse roster of concerts. The eclectic mix of shows has been invigorating for the employees’ personal playlists. “I’ve been finding we’re all branching out as far as our musical tastes go,” said Pyramid Scheme’s venue manager Nicole LaRae. Originally adverse to metal, LaRae saw Baroness perform and felt a change of heart. “We’ll see something we thought we weren’t going to like, and then — damn! They’re just awesome. The Baroness show was so good. I’m not going to totally knock something just because it’s labeled something I don’t think I’ll like.” The taste level of the booking team is perhaps the best excuse to check out The Pyramid Scheme. Acclaimed acts such as Charles Bradley, Grandmaster Flash and Dead


Fut ure Isl an ds

Prez have taken the stage, along with some 900 others and counting. The club’s most recent anniversary show brought in HUM and Andrew W.K., which amazed staff and patrons alike. “I’ve never felt as much electric energy in this room as the Andrew W.K. night,” LaRae said. “They were like, ‘It’s OK if people want to get up (on stage) and dance as long as they don’t overstay their welcome.’ People were getting up on stage, taking pictures with him and going crazy. It was like 60 minutes of non-stop, absolute chaos.”

Acts like these have made The Pyramid Scheme a force to be reckoned with in the GR music scene. The venue has come a long way from a rocky start. “In terms of expectations, with a couple of years the numbers came in significantly lower than what we’d planned for,” Vandenberg said. “It took a while to break in. The music industry is no joke. There’s a reason why venues pop up and go under regularly.”

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Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

With killer sightlines for 420 people, the venue gives fans a chance to see bands in that “we knew them when” context.

Hayes recalls a time when shows would get 15, maybe 20 people in attendance. “Now we can go into a week with three or four sold-out shows,” Hayes said. Pyramid Scheme has also earned a good rep with the talent it books. The venue respects the talent. “They’re on the road and that’s not an easy life to live,” said Jeremy Hirsch, general manager of The Pyramid Scheme and live music nut. “They are looking for any bit of comfort. It means so much. Whatever we can do to make them feel more comfortable goes so far.” The Pyramid Scheme has targeted the mid-size market for music venues in Grand Rapids and offers a more intimate performance space. With killer sightlines for 420 people, the venue gives fans a chance to see bands in that “we knew them when” context. A then obscure Future Islands played last year before exploding into the big time. The smaller setting also allows for one hell of a performance when bigger acts like Of Montreal come through and gives local artists major exposure when opening for headliners. “I’m just grateful to be here and be able to bring bands in. When people show up it just makes my heart swell,” LaRae said. “Anyone that’s ever bought a ticket, you’re the reason why we keep going. Keep supporting this place, because it really is a special spot in Grand Rapids.” n

29


/// ON TOUR

Good Times, Bad Times How American Authors Fought for a Hit Single

“We’ve been a super DIY band for a really long time,” Barnett said, alluding to the band’s self-released early material. “So however people hear about us is great. As long as people like the music and enjoy themselves and ne listen to American Authors’ it makes them happy, that brings joy to us.” smash hit single, “Best Day of My Life,” and it’s Barnett and company also love winning over new easy to think the band has only seen sunshine fans via the stage, whether on the road opening for and good times. OneRepublic last year, or following a NASCAR race at But talk to lead singer Zac Barnett about Michigan International Speedway earlier this summer. his band’s road to success and a deeper different story “We’ve never really done a show like that, and that unfolds. demographic — that’s not usually what we’re used to While writing “Best Day of My Life,” the band had playing,” Barnett said about the first-time festival event. been living together in a small Brooklyn apartment, hav“But we always want to have fun at a show and make the ing dropped out of Berklee College of Music in Boston, best out of it. It turned into one of the best where they first started the band five years frigging shows that we’ve done.” earlier. American Authors have just finished American Authors & Barnett had just lost his day job, recording their second album and plan on Andy Grammer they were almost out of money and then a tentative fall release for the follow-up to w/ Matt McAndrew Hurricane Irene swept in and struck New District Square, Kalamazoo their 2014 debut, Oh, What A Life. They’ve York City. Aug. 11, 6:30 p.m. doors also released a new single, “Go Big or Go “The only thing we had going for us $23, all-ages Home,” a tune featured during the NBA was the four of us sticking together and districtsquare.co, (269) playoffs that speaks directly to the band’s continuing to write,” Barnett said about 264-4229 philosophy. those rough times. “With that song, there So what’s some advice he’d offer up to was definitely the idea, ‘Well you’ve got all enterprising young bands? this stuff going on right now, what are you supposed to “This is going to sound so cheesy — but you really do? Do you quit or just keep going and find that escape?’” need to go big or go home,” he said. “It’s so rare these That escape has become the band’s new reality as things are overnight and you just find your place. So “Best Day of My Life” found near-ubiquity on a string you’ve got to take those chances. You need to go out and of television spots, commercials and radio stations across network and mingle and hustle every single night. You the country. have to do it yourself.” n Even now the band enjoys hearing how new people

|  by Eric Mitts

O

continue to discover their music every day despite some considering them an overnight sensation.

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

Best Bet: Roots Music

30 | REVUEWM.COM | August 2015

Greensky Bluegrass

“This is going to sound so cheesy — but you really need to go big or go home. It’s so rare these things are overnight … You need to go out and network and mingle and hustle every single night. You have to do it yourself.”

For those who prefer banjos and steel guitars The Hard Working Americans headline Saturday night and over synthesizers and laptops, the 12th annual Hoxeyville according to their website the band is here to “remind us Music Festival might be just the ticket. Taking place within that Jerry Garcia is as important as Ben Franklin and that Manistee’s National Forest, the earthy event combines an rock’n’roll is as much a birthright as the Constitution.” The final night is reserved for the Joshua Davis Trio. intimate folk-fueled concert experience with open-air and camping. The roots-heavy lineup features the Joshua Davis Many may recognize Joshua Davis from The Voice, an EmmyAward winning singing show, in which Davis Trio, Greensky Bluegrass, Hard Working placed within the top four. Other performAmericans, the Jeff Austin Band and more. Hoxeyville Music ers include: Seth Bernard & Friends, Red The rustic festival grounds are surrounded Festival Sea Pedestrians, Rachael & Dominic John by 85-acres of campsites and 25’ x 25’ wooded August 14-16, $40-$120 Davis, The Go Rounds, May Erlewine & the campsites. Nearby are also several mountain Manistee National Forest, Moonlighters and Jen Sygit & the Lincoln biking trails, the Pine River and a paddle 11130 W 48 1/2 Rd Wellston County Process, among others. Three-day sports playground. For those of you who are All Ages pass tickets are available for $120, single day more into glamping, there are Deluxe RVs hoxeyville.com passes are $40-$50. —Reported by Nicole Rico and a vendor village with craft beers on hand.


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31


/// feature

A crowd outside the former DAAC space at 115 S. Division Ave.

The DAAC Strikes Back

Once left for dead, a reinvigorated Division Avenue Arts Collective searches for a new home. By Tayler Keefer and Rich Tupica

Schedule | Dining | Sights Sounds | Scene

W

hen the Grand Rapidsbased Division Avenue Arts Collective lost its home at 115 South Division two years ago, the organization that for a decade helped give voice to countless local artists and musicians faced an uncertain future. It could no longer offer the local creative community a permanent, all-ages venue — regardless of how unglamorous the former space was — where they could push the boundaries of art and music. But while it’s been a bumpy ride, the DAAC has managed to avoid fading into obscurity.

32 | REVUEWM.COM | August 2015

After a series of community events and a continued outpouring of support, the reinvigorated organization has emerged with a plan to become a legitimate, sustainable nonprofit and to find a new location to serve generations of artists to come. “We want to do it right and stoke the fire and let everyone know we’re still here,” said John Hanson, a local musician and one of six DAAC board members. “We’re kind of making this shift from being an all-DIY space to becoming a more stable nonprofit art organization.” The board members believe that stability will come when the DAAC owns its own building and is not left to the whims of new landlords. From its founding in 2003 until 2013, the DAAC operated from the blink-and-you’llmiss-it brick building on Division Street, easily identified by the large baby-blue octopus in the window. While the structure itself was simple — nothing much more than a blank canvas of

brick walls and wood floors — the site served as a haven for creative minds of all ages. Despite the building’s beat-up mic stands, multiple battle wounds that included a hole in the wood floor — feasibly produced by an overzealous stomping boot, and graffiti-tagged and stickered bathrooms, the DAAC thrived for the sake of art and music. It embraced the independent spirit. “It was just a space run by artists who allowed for creative expression of all sorts,” Hanson said. “It wasn’t a place run by old people. It wasn’t a clean, pristine place. It was a pretty raw environment that really fostered a raw energy and raw communication. “It was the place where anyone could hang out, any band could play and it was all run by artists. There was no wacko bureaucracy.”

FINDING FOOTING Then, unexpectedly, the DAAC was put out on the street when its landlord sold the property in July 2013 and the new owner wanted to take the facility in a different direction.

“We had to be out by the end of the month,” said Mike Wolf, a DAAC board member and an exhibitions assistant at Kendall College of Art and Design. “That really only gave us 10 days to move out. The new owner wanted us out to make way for an ‘arts and culinary corridor,’ so he thought it made sense to kick out the arts collective that had been there for 10 years. It’s been used as storage space for two years now. To put it nicely, we were all upset.” Since then, the DAAC has managed to live on without a permanent venue, but the board remains committed to finding a new space for the organization — ideally one that it will own so it doesn’t face a similar situation down the road. “As we move forward, we want to look into certain protections that would ensure a permanent space or just have a more stable foundation where that situation can’t happen again,” Hanson said. “That’s kind of the end goal: Buy a building – that way we don’t have to worry about rent every month, just taxes.


… We don’t have a secured place yet, but it’s in the works.” After the organization was forced out of its previous location, it raised about $20,000 in a crowdfunding campaign on RocketHub, but backers know they’ll need more funding to buy a building outright. “We’ve got a little money in the bank but haven’t found the right space to acquire yet,” Hanson said. “It’s not enough money to buy a building.”

CREATING COMMUNITY Prior to being ousted from 115 S. Division, the DAAC building served as a second home to a diverse batch of local musicians, artists and creative types from 2003-2013, Wolf said. The venue instituted few limitations, playing host to everything from hardcore punk shows and performance-art pieces to film screenings and zine readings. “We let groups and individuals use the space however they wanted, within reason,” Wolf said. “The space played host to all-ages music shows, workshops, poetry readings, puppet shows, visual art exhibitions, lectures and panel discussions. We’d host VHS, book and vinyl swaps. We were flying under the radar. We had a dance hall permit so we could have people in the space. But we weren’t a nonprofit like some people think. We were just a scrappy, community space.” A chief component of the DAAC has always been its all-ages accessibility, he said. “As an all-ages venue, the majority of the participants fell into the 14-24 age range because it was one of the few places for people under 21 to see and play shows that brought in a lot of energy and created a strong community,” Wolf said. While there’s been a downturn in DAAC activity since its 2013 exiling, its spirit is alive and growing as the collective continues to host events at various locations, said fellow board member Hanson. “The DAAC has managed to survive in this community,” Hanson said. “It started because the space was available but the idea is what attracted people. As fractured as we’ve become without a space, we’re still working towards this goal because we believe in it.”

Luckily for the DAAC, it’s not having to do all the fundraising for its new home on its own. In April, La Dispute, a band that cut its teeth at the venue and played a few legendary gigs at the original location, played a fundraiser for the DAAC at the Covenant Fine Arts Center. But beyond raising funds, the DAAC organizers have been buoyed by an outpouring of community support in recent months. Kendall College hosted the “DAAC @ The Fed” event that opened June 19 to a reception of more than 300 people and offered a series of events, workshops and public discussions with local artists.

As for the Harris Building, the DAAC’s former home at 115 South Division, new owner Robert Dykstra of Harris Lofts LLC said the building will be back in use by Sept. 2. “We are becoming an event center at the Harris Building – there is a door in between them so we’re using it for event space,” Dykstra said. “ “We’re going to do a lot of music, events, dinner theater — all of that good stuff,” Dykstra said, noting his company is undecided on a name for the event center. “It’s the Harris Building, but we’re trying to finalize on a new name for the entity.”

The DAAC offered musicians a chance to record a song for a new mixtape to be released as part of the event. A pop-up studio recorded music for anyone who secured a slot. For the first time in three years, the DAAC also brought back its Sunday Soup GR program and raised $125 for a mini-grant that it awarded to the Grand Rapids Feminist Film Festival. The organization also got involved with supporting the Grand Rapids Zine Fest. The DAAC has also sponsored events such as the Lamp Light Music Festival, held pop-up shows and established partnerships around Grands Rapids, he said. According to Wolf, workspaces were utilized, bands performed, zines were devoured and minds met. The DAAC felt reinvigorated. “Now that everyone has been supportive and we’ve managed to raise this money, we feel there is a responsibility to see this through to last not only another 10 years, but another 20, 40, 50 years,” Wolf said. “It’s an important resource for the city to have, so we’re trying to be patient about it, rather than rushing in to a space and figuring out we can’t stay there. We want to be in a good situation and in a neighborhood that makes sense.” Along those lines, the organization is taking a hard look at what its next phase of life should be. “The closing of the space, the Fed gallery opening and new-found support are the seeds of a new chapter in the DAAC’s life,” Hanson said. “The question is: How do we make this sustainable? In our business plan and moving forward, we’re working on integrating more engagement programming, like workshops and creating a space that’s not just sold as a music venue but can be used for all types of learning and engagement practices.” “Right now, we’re taking our job seriously and looking at our business plan. It’s just not decisions that are easy to make. … We still want to be productive and engage in the community.” n

Scene | Sounds | Sights Diing | Schedule

COMING HOME

New event space planned for old DAAC site

REVUEWM.COM | August 2015 |

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by Eric Mitts

Comedy At The B.O.B. Grand Rapids, MI 616.356.2000 www.thebob.com

Brian Regan: A ‘Comedian’s Comedian’ Stand-up Star Performs at Meijer Gardens

MIKE MERRYFIEL August 6-8

NATE BuAstR13GA-15TZE Aug

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nlike many stand-up comedians, superstar Brian Regan doesn’t fear the infinite space of the great outdoors. “Most comedians I think are a little hesitant to play outdoors, but I don’t have a problem with it,” Regan told Revue. “I was doing a show one place outdoors and I was doing a joke about the moon. I looked up and I literally saw the moon up there and I was like, ‘Wow, I guess I’m a prop comedian. Take a look! It’s the biggest prop in comedy history.’” The only comedian on Meijer Gardens’ slate of shows this summer, Regan hasn’t hesitated to perform at outdoor venues throughout his 35-year career — including a memorable evening at the legendary Red Rocks in Colorado. Still, his show here in Grand Rapids marks his first at botanical gardens and will lead into a series of other surprising firsts for the veteran comedian, including his first-ever live-broadcast special from New York’s Radio City Music Hall — airing Sept. 26 on Comedy Central. Over the years Regan’s studied mix of clean jokes and physical comedy has attracted a surprisingly multi-generational audience, although he says that’s entirely accidental. “I had jokes about little league baseball and feeling stupid in school and stuff like that,” he said of his early career. “I didn’t know until I started playing theaters where people could bring kids that [they were fans.] So at first it kind of weirded me out, like, ‘Oh jeez, I don’t want people to think I’m doing a kiddie show. I don’t want them to think I’m going to be Brian Regan twisting balloon animals onstage.’ Frederik Meijer Gardens, “I mean they’re not going to be ofGrand Rapids fended by anything I say, but at the same Aug. 26, 6:30 p.m. doors, time I have jokes about signing mortgage 7:30 p.m. show documents and I have jokes about having $53 meijergardens.org, (616) high cholesterol,” he added. “So kids aren’t 957-1580 going to necessarily relate to everything I say.” Now a father himself, Regan admits that having a career in comedy lets him reconnect with his own childhood in more ways than just making funny faces and getting to play outside. “Everybody loves Halloween because it’s the one day you have an excuse to put on a Dracula outfit and go, ‘This is OK for today.’ And it’s the same thing with comedy,” he said. “I have a built-in excuse to get onstage and act silly for an hour because I’m doing a comedy show. If I just broke out and started acting like that at a party, I think people might start looking at me strange.” Joking aside, Regan has an impressive list of TV appearances, including two previous Comedy Central specials, and a staggering 28 spots on The Late Show with David Letterman. He performed there for the last time this past May during Letterman’s final run of shows. “He’s not a social butterfly,” Regan said of Letterman. “But I would hear from his writers and the people on the staff that he likes what I do. When somebody of that caliber likes what you do, it feels like being

PHOTO: Jerry Metellus

knighted, like you’re kneeling before them and they’re putting their sword on your shoulder.” Known as a “comedian’s comedian,” Regan can count Letterman, Jerry Seinfeld, Dennis Miller, Chris Rock and other legendary funnymen as his longtime fans. Rock even cast Regan as a snarky satellite radio show host in his movie Top Five last year. It was Regan’s first proper film credit. His only other role came when he played himself in Dying to Do Letterman, a documentary about a terminal cancer patient’s quest to perform on the show. Offstage, Regan said his family remains his biggest fans, his brother Dennis Regan has followed suit by also making his living in stand-up. “I was doing comedy for a few years and I think he probably saw me onstage and said, ‘This is the guy I put in a headlock. If he can do this, I can do this,’” Regan said. “He has a little bit more of an edge to what he does. He reads a lot. He likes to write jokes about a wide variety of subjects. So I watch his show and think, ‘All I do is cross my eyes and hunch over.’ While he’s up there talking about the Great Wall of China, his travels and his readings, I’m like, ‘Just make some silly noises, man! Crawl around, that’s what I do!’” n


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616.608.1731 / CityFlatsHotel.com / 77 Monroe Center St NW, GR 49503

AUGUST PROGRAM - JULY 31 - AUGUST 27 celebrationcinema.com/indie

REVUEWM.COM | August 2015 |

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ADULT ADULT EVENING EVENING -- $8 $8 MATINEE, MATINEE, CHILD, CHILD, STUDENT, STUDENT, SENIOR SENIOR -- $5 $5

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indie film

by Josh Spanninga

You Talkin’ To Me?

Enjoy Brunch, Brews and a Movie with Grand Rapids Brewing Company and UICA

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s i d e fro m pi zza, b ru n ch i s pro bab ly t h e m o st u n i v e r sally loved meal of all time. I mean, you get to eat all the classics like French toast, eggs and bacon, but you get to sleep in. Add to that some beer and a movie — and you have heaven on Earth. On August 2 Grand Rapids Brewing Company teams up with the UICA to bring their latest installment of the Brunch, Brews, and a Movie series. The series features film buffs from the West Michigan community discussing a movie over (what else?) brunch and beers. When everybody’s full, the event moves over to the UICA where the movie in question is then screened. For August’s iteration of the event, Shirley Clemens Griffin, a local screenwriter and marketing director for Thriller! Chiller! Film Festival, discusses the 1976 Martin Scorsese classic Taxi Driver. A self-professed Scorsese geek, Griffin said she jumped at the chance to be a part of the event. “He’s an American master. I think every time he makes a film he’s talking to you, so if Scorsese is talking you should pay attention,” Griffin said. “Even if you don’t necessarily like his films — and some people don’t like the violence, or gangster movies — but he’s made such a wide variety of movies that within that there’s probably something he’s made that can speak to you.” For those uninitiated with Taxi Driver, it follows mentally unstable Vietnam vet Travis Bickle (played by Robert “You talkin’ to me?” De Niro) as he roams the streets of a crimeridden, sleazy New York in his taxi, becoming increasingly frustrated with society. In a downward spiral of loneliness and aggression, Bickle becomes obsessed with vigilante justice. Despite his penchant for violent thoughts and his tendency to creep people out, Bickle is one of the main reasons Griffin chose this movie for her lecture. “I know this is going to

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sound like a strange thing to say, but I think Travis Bickle is someone we can all relate to, because of the universal themes of alienation — the sadness and not feeling that you belong anywhere,” Griffin said. Prior to watching the film, attendees are invited into a private room at Grand Rapids Brewing Company where they’ll be served from a special brunch menu and offered one complimentary beer. At brunch, Griffin presents a film lecture on Taxi Driver and some enticing door prizes to sweeten the deal. As for the focus of Griffin’s lecture? “I’m a story person. I love all the aspects of filmmaking, but that’s the first thing for me, I’ll look at the story and the acting,” Griffin said. “So, I’m probably not going to talk about a lot of the technical aspects. It’s probably different than how other people would approach it, which is what makes this series interesting.”

Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver

Of course the driving force behind the story of Taxi Driver is the award-winning, Grand Rapids-born screenwriter Paul Schrader (who, coincidentally, stops by the UICA Sept 3–4 as part of the Visiting Film Artist Series). When asked about her thoughts on Schrader, Griffin responded enthusiastically. “He’s a living legend himself,” Griffin said. “He’s a film scholar as well as a screenwriter and director, and there’s a lot to learn from having a conversation with someone of his stature.” Schrader, who has a penchant for delivering dark, gritty stories, certainly didn’t hold back on this script. It’s filled with all sorts of shady characters — from a manipulative pimp (portrayed by a young Harvey Keitel) to eerie perverts, gangsters and other such fare. Still, Griffin urges film buffs old and new to check out the event.

“Obviously it’s a hard story, but there’s still so much to learn from it,” Griffin said. “It’s like film school in a box.” Tickets to the event can be purchased at Grand Rapids Brewing Company. $20 gets you a brunch entree, one beer, a spot at the lecture and a ticket to the film. Of course, those who opt to just see the film can buy movie tickets separately for $8 (or $4 for UICA members). Not able to make it to Taxi Driver? No worries, the Brunch, Brews, and a Movie series continues through December, with plenty of classic picks from local film buffs. n

Brunch, Brews, and a movie Grand Rapids Brewing Co. and UICA, Grand Rapids $20 ticket includes: Brunch entrée, one drink, a film lecture, complimentary admission to UICA galleries, and a film screening at UICA. More info at uica.org/ movies. Schedule: Aug. 2 — Taxi Driver, with Shirley Clemens Griffin of Thriller! Chiller! Film Fest Sept. 13 — A Clockwork Orange, with MLive film critic John Serba Oct. 4 — The 400 Blows, with GVSU film professor Toni Perrine Nov. 8 — A Face in the Crowd, with ArtPrize Executive Director Christian Gaines Dec. 6 — 2001: A Space Odyssey, with Thriller! Chiller! co-founder Chris Randall


by Steve Miller

oddities

Locked Up:

Go Inside the Walls of Michigan’s Prisons

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the legal system, as in the old “have you ever been convicted of a FELONY? “(upper case on the application). Send that off to the respective prison with a self-addressed, stamped envelope and wait. And wait. Remember, these are bureaucrats we’re talking about — nothing gets done in a hurry. Once you’re approved, check the visitation schedule, also at the website. It’s a bit of a maze, easy to get confused and it differs for each facility. Inmates carry different levels according to the severity of their crime, time served and their behavior behind bars. Some are in protective custody, like Grant. It all affects their visitation. Check it before you go. Also check your threads. Holes and hoodies are not permitted. Ditto extremely loose fitting clothes. Shoes and underwear are mandatory. Show up between the appointed times and sign in at the desk of the prison. You’ll be given a key and directed to a locker. It’s where you put the stuff you have that’s not permitted inside, which includes everything except your ID, a prepaid card for vending or some change, depending on the facility, and the visitor pass issued at the desk. You’ll go through a pat down, metal detector passage and ID check before you pass a series of automated prison doors, some of which have the metallic thunk when they shut. And you’re in.

Presumably, your excursion will be pleasant. Some of the guards are even friendly on occasion. I’d like to say the Michigan Department of Corrections was responsive when I called for some help on this piece. But I can’t. Let’s just say that when it comes to the public, the state continues with its “who cares?” attitude.

County Jail: County jails are a different story. Who hasn’t had a friend land in the drunk tank for a few days, or opt to serve a few weeks over a sizable fine for some minor offense? They can get visitors too and the procedure is hardly as onerous as visiting a killer. Jails have more leeway in terms of security as they are usually run by local law enforcement, be it city or county. I highly recommend the Andrew C. Baird Detention Facility in downtown Detroit, run by Wayne County. It’s a return to the old school of prisons, where the doors clang, elevators rattle and generations of paint layers encase every surface. I went there to visit Bob Bashara, who was convicted of first-degree murder last year for his part in the murder of his wife in 2012. The ride up the creaking, clacking elevator to the seventh floor was a treat. I got to the seventh floor, where he was staying, and a guy behind a double-paned window pointed me to the left. I got to a steel door, opened it and

there was Bashara behind the glass. We talked through greasy plastic phone receivers.

Don’t know anyone in the clink? If you’re not friendly with a convicted criminal, there’s a prison experience alternative in the Original Historic Jackson Prison Tour, where you can check out Michigan’s version of Alcatraz. This big house, Michigan’s first state-run prison, was built by inmates and opened in 1839. By 1882, it was the world’s largest walled facility. Today it’s the pleasanter home to the Armory Arts Village, a resident artists’ community. But the tour takes you to the “old solitary area” while promising you’ll “hear the echoes of thousands of inmates past.” Check it out at historicprisontours.com. While you’re there, visit the Cell Block 7 Museum, where you can walk around a onceactive cell block. If things work out for you, you’ll never be part of the inside of a prison. Visiting and studying these institutions is good deterrent to any funny ideas you might have. n Steve Miller’s fourth true crime book, Murder in Grosse Pointe Park: The Killing of Jane Bashara (Penguin/Berkley), is scheduled for release in the fall.

REVUEWM.COM | August 2015 |

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love going to prison. Once in a while I head west on I-96 from my place in Lansing to Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility in Ionia to see Stephen Grant, the man convicted of strangling and dismembering his wife in 2007. The first time I did it I was writing a truecrime book, A Slaying in the Suburbs: The Tara Grant Murder (Penguin/Berkley, 2009), and Grant was cooperating.  Bellamy is a major correctional facility and the layers of security are considerable. But it’s an educational place to visit, one of the more interesting off-the-beaten path sources of knowledge. Michigan has 34 state prisons, which offer opportunities to see how the other half really lives. That is, 44,000 folks who have found themselves on the wrong side of the justice system, including an element of our population that finds murder to be a suitable alternative to anything — even divorce. To take advantage of this tourism opportunity, you’ll have to know someone who is staying behind the walls. If they like you, they’ll put you on their visitation list, which is then provided to the administration at the prison. Your only job is to send in a form that is downloadable at the Michigan Department of Corrections’ website. You’ll need the prison number of your pal, a government-issued ID and some detail of your own incursions with

“If things work out for you, you’ll never be part of the inside of a prison. Visiting and studying these institutions is good deterrent to any funny ideas you might have.”

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Style Notes

by Missy Black

CHASING THE SUN

While we have the summer sunlight, let’s find jewelry that reflects it. Shine on in these styles from local boutiques and suppliers.

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hird & Co. Studio makes jewelry that not only looks summer spectacular but it’s also earth friendly. “I really like not adding more stuff to the world,” says owner and designer Dana Pearson. “I like to repurpose and I’d rather use something that’s already been used in design.” That’s why you’ll see a lot of vintage chain in her imaginative necklaces and funky bracelets. She’s into doing custom pieces and her favorite stones to work with are agates. “Agates are bountiful, there’s tons of variety and they’re not terribly expensive.” Find pieces at Babe Boutique located inside Cheeky Strut Hair Salon and on Facebook at facebook.com/thirdandcostudio.

This Boho tassel bracelet from Rose Water Designs is an exclusive Sparrow collaboration piece featuring a trio of hand strewn beads with an ivory tassel and 14K Gold finishes for that sought after shine. $28. Sparrow Boutique in Muskegon.

Step into the light with this hand cut brass necklace with hand stamped details and black coated brass chain. The glass cut stones have a slight iridescence to them so it’ll add some shimmer to your tanks and dresses.

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$45. Prettylittlethings.com

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You’ll love the little sparkles at your wrist with these earth tone jeweled bracelets. Stack them with other bracelets in different fabrics and textures for a curated look. $16. Paperdoll Boutique in Rockford.


6740 CASCADE ROAD 6 1 6 . 9 4 2 . 9 8 8 6 www.cascade-optical.com

HyperOptik 1134 Wealthy Street 6 1 6 . 3 0 1 . 1 9 1 1 www.hyper-optik.com PHOTO: ROB CONENS FRAME: ANNE ET VALENTIN MODEL: HAIJIN CHOI

REVUEWM.COM | August 2015 |

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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. Bar Divani 15 Ionia Ave. SW. 616-774-WINE. ECLECTIC. Bar Divani offers a sophisticated environment, with the chefs use local ingredients in their creations. Taste the homegrown flavor in the Prosciutto Flatbread, the Linguine Alfredo or the Plum Salmon. By pairing with Dancing Goats Creamery, Otto’s Chicken, S&S Lamb, Ingraberg Farms, Mrs. Dog’s and Madcap, Bar Divani serves extraordinary tastes. But, what would a night out be without a few drinks? The bar serves more than 300 types of liquor, 300 wines and 50 beers to compliment each handcrafted meal. » SERVING: Dinner after 4 p.m. OPEN ON: Everyday but Sunday. GO THERE FOR: Local Cuisine. Bentham’s Riverfront Restaurant 187 Monroe Ave. NW. 616-774-2000 AMERICAN. Enjoy great breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert options while looking out at the Grand River. Casual attire. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch OPEN ON: Open 7 days, closes at 2 p.m. GO THERE FOR: Lunch buffet.

The Bistro 11 Monroe Avenue NW (at Courtyard Marriott). 616-2426000 AMERICAN. Serving American food bistro-style, whether it’s grab-and-go or guests dining in for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The Bistro offers fresh seasonal options, serves Starbucks beverages and has a full-service bar. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: Sandwiches. 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

Blue Water Grill 5180 Northland Dr. 616-363-5900 SEAFOOD. One of Grand Rapids’ most inspired restaurants in terms of overall ambiance, with Frank Lloyd Wright-style architecture, a massive fireplace, and some of the best water views in West Michigan. The food is similarly inspired, drawing from Italian, Mediterranean and classic American influences. All the traditional favorites are accounted for with a wide variety of wood-fired pizzas, seafood, steaks, chops, salads, and sandwiches. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Grass Fed Beef. 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. 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 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 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: Weekend Breakfast Lunch Dinner 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. Cornucopia 187 Monroe Ave. NW. 616-774-2000 DELI. A refreshing option for on-the-go, or casual, lighter fare. Enjoy deli options such as homemade soups, salads, Panini sandwiches and freshly brewed gourmet coffee. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Sandwiches. Cygnus 27 187 Monroe Ave. NW. 616-776-6425 ECLECTIC. Enjoy the skyline as you dine atop the Glass Tower. Indulge in a variety of globally infused dishes at this AAA FourDiamond restaurant. Casual attire; no jacket required. Private dining also available. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Seasonal Sunday Brunch.

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. Garden Court Lounge 187 Monroe Ave. NW. 616-774-2000 LOUNGE. An excellent choice for a quick drink with friends or when you desire relaxing with your favorite drink. The Garden Court Lounge offers a fine array of beer, wine, cocktails and liqueurs. » SERVING: Drinks OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Specialty cocktails.

GP Sports 187 Monroe Ave. NW 616-776-6495 SPORTS BAR. Catch the big game on one of 30 televisions, including a big screen for optimal game viewing. This colorful and casual restaurant not only caters to sports fans, but also features top-notch burgers, pizzas and specialty drinks. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Score Big Burgers.

REVUEWM.COM | August 2015 |

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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.

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.

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, revuewm.com. 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@ revuewm.com.

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Dining

because THE REVOLUTIOn STARTS EARLY

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 burgers, melts and hand-cranked sausages, 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.

now serving breakfast five days a week

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WE’RE STIRRING UP A REVOLUTION AT BARTERTOWN DINER WITH DELICIOUS, PLANT-BASED BREAKFAST, BRUNCH AND LUNCH ITEMS. We make everything from scratch using produce from local farmers and we carry a variety of locally made beverages including direct trade coffee, kombucha and soda. F O R D E L I V E R Y, C A L L

616-233-3219

DELIVERY HOURS Wednesday-Friday: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. RESTAURANT HOURS Wednesday-Sunday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

bartertowngr.com 6 Jefferson Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 Visit our Facebook page for daily specials.

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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. 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 friends. » SERVING Lunch Dinner. OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Cheap eats and drinks. 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’s ultimate deal is a take-out combo that features one of its 10” gourmet wood-fired pizzas and a growler of beer for $20, as well as a $5 cheese and $6 pepperoni pizza deal every Tuesday. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Pizza and brews. 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. Lumber Baron Bar 187 Monroe Ave. NW. (616) 774-2000 LOUNGE. Settle into the warmth and charm of this historic bar — complete with a fireplace, leather club chairs and a large selection of premium drinks and appetizers. » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: Closed Sundays and Mondays GO THERE FOR: Scotch or Brandy after a Symphony concert. 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. 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, Absolut Bloody Mary bar. Olive’s Restaurant 2162 Wealthy St. SE. 616-451-8611 ECLECTIC. Gaslight Village mainstay for Easties looking to have a cocktail and casual dinner. The menu is surprisingly broad, with innovative starters (e.g., Napoli fritters, Paella cakes) and diverse entrées like Southern meatloaf, braised short ribs and mobu tofu. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: A broad selection. One Trick Pony 136 E. Fulton. 616-235-7669 AMERICAN. One Trick Pony unveiled a new menu in 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. 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


Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule

DON'T WAIT TIL 5:01... START AT 402 E. KALAMAZOO AVE. AUG

1ST AUG TH

29

LUAU PARTY Pig roast, drink specials and music all day long! Duffield Caron Project (5-8pm) Night time music & activities (9pm-1am) with a special appereance by The Ukelele Choir as well as performances by Moonrays, Delilah DeWylde and Guitar Up!

VINTAGE BIKE SHOW Come check out Classic, Vintage and Collectible bicycles! Food/drink specials and music by Red Sea Pedestrians!

(269) 381-5677 | olddogtavern.com REVUEWM.COM | August 2015 |

43


taste this

by Tayler Keefer

TASTE THE SUMMER AT TERRA GR locally sourced ingredients born from the earth

• Wood fired pizzas • Handcrafted cocktails • Sustainable seafood • Pasture raised meats • Michigan craft beer 616.301.0998 • terragr.com Insta: TerraGRrestaurant • facebook.com/terragr 1429 Lake Drive Southeast • Grand Rapids

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

Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene

Note Worthy Dining.

Downtown Grand Rapids

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

44 | REVUEWM.COM | August 2015

with this coupon

Excludes alcohol. Cannot be used on holidays. Expires 12/31/15. Revue Magazine.

Hot Dog!

Pronto Pups is a Grand Haven must-have

A

f ixt u r e o n th e c oast o f d ow n tow n G r a n d Haven, the Pronto Pups stand has undergone few, if any, changes since it sold its first pup 68 years ago. And second generation owner Carl Nelson is just fine with that. “We only serve one thing, so when you walk up to the window we don’t ask you what you want, we ask you how many you want,” Nelson said. “There’ll never be anything more or anything less. The system we have right now is a well-oiled machine.” It’s hard to argue with Nelson’s logic when you’ve had the longevity that Pronto Pups, located at 313 S Harbor Dr, has achieved decade after decade. Although the stand exclusively serves pronto pups (a highly superior corndog) and soft drinks sans ice, it has become an institution to West Michiganders and beyond. “We have people take day trips from Chicago on their motorcycles and then head back home,” said Nelson. “We get a phone call at ten o’clock in the morning asking, ‘are you open today?’ Absolutely.” The stand was first opened in 1947 by the Nelson family, inspired by a similar venture they saw during a visit in Florida. Carl Nelson’s

father, Chuck Nelson, eventually became sole proprietor of the stand. It became a hot spot near the boardwalk in the then nearly vacant downtown area. It also evolved into a treasured family heirloom. “I started working in eighth grade,” reminisced Carl Nelson. “It’s fun! Actually, I can’t say it’s a job. It’s a good paying hobby. I spent my summer vacations there. I got paid to hang out where everybody was anyway.” A sentiment Nelson’s own daughters now share, as employees of the stand themselves and future owners. The family-focused attitude and bustling location is a recipe for a good time. Despite having nearly constant lines, the stand’s patrons and staff work together in making the experience. “Long before the saying ‘pay it forward’ came about, our customers were ordering ten or 15 and taking them halfway down the line to just hand them to random people,” said Nelson. “At the stand people are always smiling, in a good mood. They’re just ecstatic they’re eating a couple of Pronto Pups. It still blows me away how people react to this stuff.” “I guess I get it, though,” he added. “I’ve been eating them my whole life.” n


Farm crust you CVLT Pizza is now delivering West Michigan’s original farm-to-crust pizza right to you. At the office or at home. Made with fresh produce, cheeses and meats from Michigan farmers. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options available.

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to order, call 616.490.4911

cultpizzagr.com 10 Jefferson Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 Visit our FB page for daily specials

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REVUEWM.COM | August 2015 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule

SPECIALS ARE HERE

45


/// Beer

by Joe Boomgaard, Revue Beer Czar

Dutch Girl Brewery’s Imperial Milk Stout (left) and bar (right). PHOTOS: Joe Boomgaard

Going Dutch: New Spring Lake brewery specializes in balanced beer styles

Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene

A

fte r n early th re e years of planning, Kelly Rozema Finchem and Luke Finchem have finally realized their dream of opening a craft brewery in West Michigan. The creators of Dutch Girl Brewing Inc. employed a different startup philosophy than most brewery owners in that they launched their company with plenty of room to grow. Rather than cram a taproom and brewing equipment into a tiny space to save cost up front, the husband-and-wife duo took their time in finding a location that would accommodate the business with an eye to the future. “We can expand here without having to move to another space,” Rozema Finchem said. Dutch Girl also took a different approach to the beers it had available at the time the company opened, offering often-overlooked styles such as the Vienna lager, Kolsch and ESB. It was an intentional tactic on their part, said Finchem, who’d been homebrewing since 1993. With so many companies trying to out-hop one another and create the next radical IPA, Dutch Girl saw an opening for balanced, more traditional European styles of beer. “It’s really a wonderful time to be in the craft beer business,” he said, noting that there’s plenty of room

46 | REVUEWM.COM | August 2015

for companies like Dutch Girl to carve a niche in the local beer scene. Dutch Girl is operated out of a 7,500-square-foot location at 14964 Cleveland St. in Spring Lake — directly across the street from Vander Mill Cider. The brewhouse and barrel-aging program takes up about 4,500 square feet and is separated from the taproom by roll-up glass doors that allow patrons to get a firsthand glimpse of the beer-making process. The owners came up with the design after touring breweries across the U.S. and Canada and taking note of what they as patrons liked best. They also intentionally sought a site in their hometown of Spring Lake because of its proximity to great beer ingredients, everything from hops and malted barley to fruits like apples and blueberries, Finchem said. To that end, Dutch Girl has established relationships with local growers so it can use a high percentage of Michigan-grown ingredients, he said. Look for a blueberry gruit, a cherry saison and fresh-hopped ale to be offered in the taproom later this year. The best-selling beer so far for Dutch Girl has been its Dirty Boots, an 8.0 percent ABV imperial milk stout. (Just don’t ask for Dirty Boobs, as some patrons have mistakenly called it, quipped Rozema Finchem.)

The success of Dirty Boots has certainly come as a surprise for the owners and head brewer Josh Lentz, given the style is not typically a summer beer. Additionally, its roasted chocolate characteristics come strictly from the grains and not the addition of adjuncts, said Lentz, formerly a brewer at Jolly Pumpkin on Old Mission Peninsula north of Traverse City. Just One More — a balanced and malty Vienna lager at 5.1 percent ABV — has been the second mostpopular brew, followed by Trees, an 8 percent ABV double India Pale Ale made in the West Coast style. Aside from the 7Mile Smile English-style IPA, Dutch Girl’s beers lean more toward the malty, balanced offerings. The F.T. Banks (as in, “forget the banks” — at least in polite company) is a made-to-style ESB that mixes sweet notes and biscuity malts with an astringent bitterness from the grain bill rather than the hops. The Street Scrubber saison offers peppery notes from the Belgian yeast, and thanks to the addition of copious amounts of malt, is darker than the typical offerings in that style. Dutch Girl offers Michigan-made pre-packaged snacks and nibbles, but the owners hope to open a full-service kitchen within a year. In the meantime, the brewery is looking to partner with local food trucks to offer more substantial eats. They also plan to use Michigan Mobile Canning to package their beers for retail distribution in the near future. That said, Dutch Girl has already started to put its beer into kegs. Look for the company’s signature wooden tap handle with a bright orange Dutch wooden shoe at the top. They should be appearing in select beer bars and restaurants around the region, Rozema Finchem said. In time, Dutch Girl plans to offer live music and events, potentially in the large parking area in front of the building where the brewery could also add an outdoor patio, she added. “It was in our mission to grow and have a place we could grow into, not out of,” Finchem said. n

Dutch Girl Brewery Inc. Location: 14964 Cleveland St., Suite B, Spring Lake (Located directly across M-104 from Vander Mill Cider) Contact: (616) 607-2026, dutchgirlbrewery.com Ambiance: The taproom is adorned with Old World family photos from Kelly Rozema Finchem, a.k.a. the Dutch Girl. The space features a long wooden bar and a mix of low and high-top tables. Glass doors offer views of the brewhouse. The space feels airy with plenty of natural light. What’s in a name: Dirty Boots is a reference to the owners’ dog, Boots, a German shorthair. F.T. Banks (forget the banks) offers the founders’ opinion of dealing with local financial institutions. Meanwhile, 7Mile Smile is a nod to Spring Lake’s motto, “Where nature smiles for seven miles.” Looking ahead: Look for Dutch Girl to start packaging and distributing four-packs of 16-ounce cans of its most popular brews. The company already has tap handles in select local beer bars. Bonus: Detroit Lions fans should plan to stop in this fall and commiserate — er, celebrate — with Rozema Finchem, a diehard fan. “This is their year,” she said. (Uh, huh. Keep dreaming, Kelly!)


Dining 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. Reds on the River 8 E Bridge St #100, Rockford. 616-863-8181 AMERICAN. Relaxed ambiance, great food and a view of the river equate to an enjoyable time out. With quality food and fresh ingredients you’re sure to find a meal that tickles your fancy. Staff is trained to help you should you encounter unfamiliar territory. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days GO THERE FOR: Red’s Steak Burger 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 cocktail menu runs the gamut from classics like the Manhattan to more modern variations and the beer and wine menus are nothing to sneeze at either. » 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 ECLECTIC. Using local products, San Chez is both a café and a Tapas Bistro, and is 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

The Score 5301 Northland Dr. NE. 616-301-0600 SPORTS BAR. The perfect combination for beer and sports lovers. More than 70 TVs carry major sports packages and there are 128 beers on tap. During summer, enjoy live entertainment every day, outdoor dining (with real palm trees) and volleyball tournaments. The menu ranges from burgers to pizzas and wings tossed in one of The Score’s 16 sauces. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner .OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Lots of beer options. Six.One.Six. 235 Louis St. NW. 616-242-1448 ECLECTIC. Marketinspired 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. Speak EZ Lounge 600 Monroe Ave. NW. 616-458-3125 ECLECTIC. While this lounge may be modeled after the year 1933, its food is not. There’s a variety of food for all to enjoy whether you’re omnivore, vegan or gluten free. Come in for a bite of Rustic Sage Risotto that goes perfectly with one of the lounges signature drinks. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: The diverse menu

The Farm to Table Movement Now Fits in a Bottle. STOP BY FOR COCKTAILS DONE OUR WAY. LOCALLY SOURCED. LOCALLY DISTILLED. LOCALLY SERVED.

FARM FRESH FOOD | BOTTLES TO-GO HAPPY HOUR TILL 6PM MON-FRI | OPEN DAILY

537 LEONARD ST NW GRAND RAPIDS, MI LONGROADDISTILLERS.COM

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, a superexcellent jukebox stocked with rock and punk classics, 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: 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. 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. The Winchester 648 Wealthy St. SE. 616-451-4969 ECLECTIC. Upscale Wealthy Street bar and restaurant feels like it was plucked from Chicago’s Bucktown or Logan Square neighborhoods. A comfortable spot to drink or dine, with an always evolving menu featuring shared plates, salads and inventive sandwiches. The Cuban Reuben, originally created as something of a joke, remains a (very tasty) staple item. » SERVING: Lunch

Traditional Belgian Wit blended with citrus and brewer’s sugar resulting in a truly unique beer. A beer creamsicle!

ON TAP NOW!

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule

Ruth’s Chris Steak House 187 Monroe Avenue NW. 616-776-6426 STEAKHOUSE. Serving only the best steaks, Ruth’s Chris hand-selects its steaks from the top 2% of the country’s beef, which is then broiled to perfection at 1800 degrees. Enjoy the freshest seafood, classic sides and homemade desserts that satisfy any craving. » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: Closed Sundays. GO THERE FOR: Steak.

to any day. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 Days. GO THERE FOR: Tapas, Breakfast, Sandwiches

20 Monroe Ave | Grand Rapids thebobsbrewery.com REVUEWM.COM | August 2015 |

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B

eser r k o o

va

soo s n o ti

n!

RESTAURANT WEEK GR Experience the flavor of Grand Rapids during Restaurant Week GR. Savor tasty, unique 3-course dinners at participating restaurants throughout the city – all for only $28 per person (or 2-for-$28). Visit restaurantweekgr.com to view over 60 participating restaurants.

60+ Restaurants | 3 Courses | $28 or 2-for-$28 #RWGR

Major Partners

Major Media Partners & GRAH AM BROT LA

media grand rapids

Supporting Partners Valley City Linen Jeltema Brothers

Supporting Media Partners

48 | REVUEWM.COM | August 2015

BLACK STAR FARMS

Underwritten By


Dining

Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: DIY Bloody Mary Bar Special, Yucca Fries.

FEATURED RESTAURANTS

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

Lakeshore The Bandit Queen

Gravity Taphouse Grille

thebanditqueengr.com

gravitytaphouse.com

Bistro Bella Vita

The Green Well

bistrobellavita.com

thegreenwell.com

Brewery Vivant

Grove

breweryvivant.com

groverestaurant.com

The Bull’s Head Tavern

Lindo Mexico Restaurant

thebullsheadtavern.com

lindomexicorestaurant.com

Charley’s Crab

The Melting Pot

muer.com

meltingpot.com

CitySen Lounge

One Trick Pony

cityflatshotel.com

onetrick.biz

Cork Wine & Grille

Pearl Street Grill

corkwineandgrille.com

pearlstreetgrillgr.com

Reds on the River

cottagebar.biz

redsontheriver.net

FireRock Grille

Reserve Wine & Food

firerockgrille.com

reservegr.com

Fricano’s of Caledonia

Rush Creek Bistro

fricanos.com

rushcreekbistro.com

Ganders

Terra GR

doubletreegrandrapids.com/ ganders

terragr.com

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. 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 Everyday People Cafe 11 Center St., Douglas. 269-857-4240 AMERICAN. REVUE Publisher Brian Edwards calls Everyday People Café his favorite restaurant along the lakeshore. The atmosphere is casual and upbeat, the staff knows its stuff about wine and food, and the seasonal menu is filled with meticulously prepared, eclectic comfort food like Butternut Squash Risotto, Braised Lamb Shank and Ahi Tuna. A great wine list and tremendous desserts. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Gorgonzola Pork Chop, Greek Salad with Grandma Gigi’s Dressing (Edwards). 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. Kirby House 2 Washington, Grand Haven. 616-846-3299 AMERICAN. The Grill Room doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is — a chop house and grill. Atmosphere is warm with Tuscan tones, atmospheric lighting, classically cool music and leather booths. The menu focuses on steaks and chops and makes no apologies. The steaks are prime USDA choice, the seafood

Mia & Grace 1133 3rd St., Muskegon. 231-725-9500 AMERICAN. Calls itself a bakery and bistro, but that’s too limiting to describe the creativity of Mia & Grace’s menu. The farm-to-table eatery in downtown Muskegon is casual and comfortable and serves lots of one-of-a-kind items like the Pork Belly Reuben or the Duck PB&J (duck confit, carmelized onions, cashew-peanut butter, green pepper jelly, anadama bread). » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch OPEN ON: Closed on Sunday. GO THERE FOR: Salads, Soups, Creme Brulee. 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 the Tarheel barbecue Pulled Pork, Grilled Portobello and The Treehugger, which is billed as “a vegetarian sandwich utopia.” » 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. Piper Restaurant 2225 South Shore Drive, Holland. 616-335-5866 AMERICAN. Upscale-but-casual spot located on Lake Macatawa, offering great views from virtually every table. Menu includes tastefully prepared items like Almond Crusted Walleye and Grilled Pork Loin, as well as wood-fired pizzas. Reservations are welcomed. » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Almond Crusted Walleye. 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

REVUEWM.COM | August 2015 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule

The Cottage Bar

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 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.

selection immaculate, and the wine and beverage list is top shelf. Relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Nightlife.

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/// drinking

Beer and Booze News

T

|  by Joe Boomgaard

I

Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene

n case you forgot, it’s almost time for ArtPrize. To benefit the annual celebration of artistic renderings of Jesus and assorted other professional and amateur artworks, Founders Brewing Co. is again releasing a beer to correspond with the competition. This year’s brew, Spectra Trifecta, is a traditional Kolsch style made with chamomile, ginger and lemongrass. Look for it in six packs of 12-ounce bottles starting in September (or slightly beforehand). The beer’s label, a mixedmedia piece with markers, ink and watercolors, was created by Grand Rapids-native and Founders Brewing employee Alexis Brooke. Proceeds from the sale of Spectra Trifecta go to support the nonprofit ArtPrize organization.

50 | REVUEWM.COM | August 2015

S

tarcut Ciders plans to start shipping six-pack bottles of three Michigan-sourced ciders by the end of this month. The division of Bellairebased Short’s Brewing Co. will launch distribution with two flagship ciders, the semi-sweet “Octorock” and semi-dry “Pulsar,” as well as a seasonal release known as “Squishy,” a semi-sweet cider made with cherries. Starcut worked with nationally-known artist Don Pendleton for the label artwork. “Like anything born of Short’s, it was important to create a memorable icon for each of these ciders,” said Art Director Jesse DenHerder. “Don’s work is so unique and was a perfect vehicle to express the personality of each cider.”

N

ew Distillery Alert: Long Road Distillers LLC has opened for business at 537 Leonard Street NW in Grand Rapids. The tasting room offers views of the stills that are

Pulsar, from Short’s Brewing Co.’s new line of ciders used to produce the spirits, as well as a limited food menu. The company launched with three clear spirits — vodka, gin and white whiskey — and plans to add other products in the future. Be sure to check out a flight of the craft spirits. The Spring Sour, Cold Vein and Polish Falcon mixed drinks are also recommended.

hree Oaks-based Journeyman Distillery LLC in Southwestern Michigan has changed the name of its award-winning rye whiskey from Ravenswood to Last Feather. The reason: Some major corporate-owned winery took issue with the similarity of the product’s name to its brand and demanded that Journeyman change it. While founder Bill Welter may have been left with only his “last feather” out of the ordeal, he says the only thing that’s changed about the spirit is its name. (Pro tip: Whatever it’s called, Journeyman’s rye is damn tasty.)

A

ttention beer connoisseurs: For this year’s beer edition that will drop in October, REVUE West Michigan is taking suggestions for the best “no-rules” mixed six pack. If you had to pick six different beers — available in Michigan or not — which would they be and why? Send your “desert island” six pack ideas to joe@revuewm.com for a chance to win some REVUE swag. Cheers! n


MADE WITH FRESH AVOCADO LIMITED TIME OF�ER

TRY THE

E NW AVOCADO SMOOTHIE 950 WEALTHY ST SE SUITE 1B GRAND RAPIDS MI 49506 PHONE: 616.454.1156

BobaBliss

A new look, a new menu, a new restaurant For GranD rapiDS

REVUEWM.COM | August 2015 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule

Located inside the DoubleTree Hotel 616.957.1111 • 4747 28th Street SE

51


Dining

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. Eccentric Café’s regular menu of appetizers, sandwiches, sides and salads — plus the daily soups and specials — exists for a simple and important purpose: to complement the Kalamazoo microbrewery’s award-winning beers. Eat up while you drink up. » 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 burgers, soups and entrees. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Diverse beverage selection.

August 2015 Events

6

7pm

11

7pm

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Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene

7pm

#1-BESTSELLING AUTHOR LORI NELSON SPIELMAN PRESENTS SWEET FORGIVENESS LORI HAS FOLLOWED HER SMASH HIT THE LIFE LIST WITH SWEET FORGIVENESS, IN WHICH A WOMAN’S RECEIPT OF TWO “FORGIVENESS STONES” SENDS HER SEARCHING FOR ATONEMENT.

TALK & SIGNING WITH ACCLAIMED LANSING FANTASY AUTHOR JIM C. HINES USUALLY WE ARE WELCOMING LANSING-BASED FANTASY AUTHOR JIM C. HINES TO PRESENT A BOOK FROM ONE OF HIS POPULAR SERIES -- JIG THE GOBLIN, THE PRINCESS SERIES AND THE LIBRIOMANCER SERIES, BUT THIS TIME HE IS CELEBRATING THE RELEASE OF FABLE: BLOOD OF HEROES, A STORY FROM THE SUCCESSFUL AND CRITICALLY-ACCLAIMED FABLE ® VIDEO GAME FRANCHISE (ON SALE 8/4).

AUTHOR TALK, COOKING DEMO AND BOOKSIGNING WITH THE WELLNESS FORUM’S CHEF DEL SROUFE! WE ARE SO PLEASED TO ONCE AGAIN PARTNER WITH THE WELLNESS FORUM FOR A TALK AND SIGNING WITH ACCLAIMED CHEF DEL SROUFE! DEL IS THE AUTHOR OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, FORKS OVER KNIVES THE COOKBOOK, AND IS NOW PROMOTING THE RELEASE OF THE CHINA STUDY QUICK AND EASY COOKBOOK.

Visit www.SchulerBooks.com for a complete list of events. All events are subject to change.

2660 28th Street SE • (616) 942-2561

52 | REVUEWM.COM | August 2015

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. 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. 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. Old Dog Tavern 402 East Kalamazoo Avenue, 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. Olde Peninsula 200 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo 269-343-2739 BREWPUB. Downtown brewpub serves up the expected (e.g., steaks, ribs), the authentic (e.g., London Broil) and some pleasant surprises (e.g., extensive vegetarian offerings, Italian food). Offers a range of beers brewed on the premises and served on tap, plus a full bar. Check out the seasonal porters on tap right now, including the Vanilla Porter (5.5% ABV) and Stout Chocula (5.25% ABV). » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Beer-B-Que Ribs, London Broil. 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 Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days (Sundays-dinner only) GO THERE FOR: Quiet casual ambiance. 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

To submit or to correct information in a dining listing, e-mail editor@ revuewm.com.


S:9.25”

make it a girls night out with S:10”

juicy gossip over a

filet .

Grand Rapids | 616.776.6426 | Inside the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel | ruthschris.com

REVUEWM.COM | August 2015 | 200 Varick St. New York, NY 10014 : Phone 212-805-7500

53


Last Call by Rei Robinson

The Little Birdy

Bar Divani, Downtown Grand Rapids The Little Birdy holds the sharp mélange of an amber, woody brandy and grapefruit. Found at downtown’s Bar Divani, the Birdy’s brandywine entanglement with the bitterness of grapefruit creates a taste almost like soft tequila.

how to make it • Reverse-bail 1.5 oz of Pisco Brandy into a Martini Glass • Add .75 oz of St. Germain Elder Flower Liqueur to your vessel • Sink in Fresh Grapefruit Juice, to taste • Then, .5 oz Pineapple Juice • And then, .5 oz Lemon Juice • Garnish with a Lemon Twist Enjoy, dear reader.

54 | REVUEWM.COM | August 2015

Photo: Katy batdorff


The Best

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on th

THURSDAYS K O O R B E L D D DON MI 5PM TO 8PM DJ MATT B SE O L C O T M 8P

Kari Lynch Jake Mellema & Friends Jam Session

FRIDAY come NIGHTearly! LIVE cover starts at 9:00pm

August August August August

7th – Avon Bomb 14th – Drop 35 21st – Borrowed Time 28th – Stereo Vegas

www.grandwoodslounge.com

REVUEWM.COM | August 2015 |

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FOR M OR E I N FO R M AT IO N OR TO R E G I S T E R AS A P E D D L E R V I S I T W W W. F E E LT H E Z E E L .C O M

August 2015, Revue Magazine  

REVUE is West Michigan's most comprehensive free entertainment guide covering music, arts, film, dining and family entertainment. We distrib...

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