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Best of the West Vote today in our first-ever Readers Poll! See page 50

May 2016

The Food Issue

Exploring West Michigan’s Dining Scene

Music / theatre / Dining / Beer / Free!

Be st B u rg e & Fr i e r s s! Plus Q& As w ith lo chefs a nd mor cal e

2 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2016

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Relax at Rosa MAY 5 - SEPTEMBER 15

Free Lunchtime Entertainment Every Thursday from 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM at Rosa Parks Circle.







ESME May 19




AN DRO July 14










d o w t o w n g r. o r g

Please visit our facebook page for a list of band performances and food options organized by the Grand Rapids Food Truck Association.


8 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2016

What’s Inside

May 2016 | Volume 28, Issue 5

SCENE: 13 Random Notes 14 Best Bets: What’s Going on this Month

SOUNDS: 19 Local: Emma Loo 20 Touring: Ghost 22 Touring: Baroness 24 WYCE Playlist 26 Local Music Briefs

The food issue



SPECIAL SECTION: 29 The Food Issue 30 Best Burgers 32 Best Fries 34 Q&A: Amore Trattoria Italia 36 Q&A: Bartertown Diner 38 Local Butcher Shops

Emma Loo

40 New Restaurants & Breweries 42 Q&A: Field & Fire

SIGHTS: 45 Comedy: Lewis Black 46 Film: Getty Drive-In 48 Theatre: Broadway GR season and other Theatre Events

DINING & DRINKING: 53 Restaurant Guide 58 Beer: Lakeshore Brewery Tour



Best Fries


59 Coppercraft Distillery News

Letter from the Editor Hello readers, This month you’ll notice some substantial ink given to Revue’s first-ever Best of the West contest. Yup, Revue is launching its inaugural readers choice survey and we need YOU to help make it happen. From “Best Auto Repair” to “Best IPA,” this online poll spotlights the top-notch people, places and events that make West Michigan inimitable. It’s easy: Go to revuewm.com/bestofthewest and then start clicking. That’s it! It’s the easiest way to support your favorite hardworking locals. If you don’t see your choice listed, simply write in your pick on the ballot. After you’ve voted, that choice will stay on the ballot so others can select it as well. Sure, there are other local “Best of the City” polls, but Revue’s audience is unique — so the list of winners will no doubt reflect that. The winners will be announced in our August issue. So be sure to check back and see who’s the best! (Find more details and list of categories on page 50 of this issue.)

W e s t M i c h i g a n ’ s E n t e rta i n m e n t G u i d e

Editorial Publisher Brian Edwards / brian@revuewm.com Editor Joe Boomgaard / joe@revuewm.com Managing Editor Rich Tupica / rich@revueholding.com Associate Editor Josh Veal / josh@revuewm.com Design Creative Director Kim Kibby / kim@revuewm.com Ad Design Rachel Harper, Phil Artz Contributing Writers Missy Black Dana Casadei Aebra Coe Steven G. de Polo Audria Larsen Dwayne Hoover Nick Macksood

Steve Miller Mayra Monroy Eric Mitts Troy Reimink Nicole Rico Josh Spanninga John Weigand

Contributing Photographers Jeff Hage


Revue Minion Elma Talundzic Sales / 616.608.6170 / sales@revuewm.com Kelli Belanger / kelli@revuewm.com

Rich Tupica, Managing Editor

Digital Editor Kim Kibby / kim@revuewm.com

Find us online!

Vote May 1!

Shout out your favorite local people, places and things to do.

Upcoming issues June: The Music Issue/Festival Guide

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

August: Best ofthe West Winners

Website: revuewm.com Twitter: twitter.com/revuewm Facebook: facebook.com/revuewm

Revue is published monthly by Revue Holding Company. 65 Monroe Center, Ste. 5, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 Office: 616.608.6170 / Fax: 616.608.6182 ©2016, Revue Holding Company. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part granted only by written permission of the publisher in accordance with our legal statement, fools.

Results from our first-ever reader poll to crown the best of West Michigan — music venues, restaurants, bars, shops and more.

September: The Arts Issue

A complete season preview of West Michigan’s cultural arts scene, artist profiles and ArtPrize coverage. To AdvertisE: Call (616) 608-6170 or email sales@revuewm.com.

revuewm.com/bestofthewest 10 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2016

Space reservation is the 15th of the month before publication.

On the cover: The Iron Burger at Iron Restaurant, shot by Jeff Hage. More burgers on page 30!



FireK Casin

















Tickets available now at the FireKeepers Box Office, FireKeepersCasino.com or 877.FKC.8777.



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

FK-25988_May_RevueMag_9.25x10.indd 1

11:47 AM REVUEWM.COM | 4/13/16 May 2016 | 11

12 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2016

Random Notes MUSIC ///

Touring in support of their newest album, Tell Me I’m Pretty, Cage The Elephant stops May 6 at the DeltaPlex Arena and Conference Center. The album was produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, who stamped his signature guitar tone on the LP. Their previous album, Melophobia, earned the Kentucky natives a Grammy Award nomination for Best Alternative Music Album. Opening the show are Portugal. The Man and Broncho. Visit deltaplex.com for tickets. Anyone not living under a rock has inevitably heard the movie scores of John Williams. He’s created iconic soundscapes for blockbusters like Home Alone, Superman, Saving Private Ryan and Star Wars, among others. Witness his songbook performed live when DeVos Performance Hall hosts The Music of John Williams from May 6-8, as performed by the Grand Rapids Pops. Bob Bernhardt conducts. Tickets range from $18$100. Times vary. Carmina Burana, once considered too scandalous to be translated into English, is a choral masterwork offering a glimpse into late Medieval/early Renaissance life by following the adventures of amorous young students and the biblical excursions of monks. See it presented by the Grand Rapids Symphony on May 13 at DeVos Performance Hall – show time at 8 p.m. Visit grsymphony.org for tickets. English folk singer-songwriter Frank Turner and his band The Sleeping Souls headline The Intersection May 26 at 6:30 p.m. His

Comic Fortune Feimster has been making a name for herself beyond the comedy-club stage. She was a full-time writer and performer for Chelsea Lately and is currently playing the role of Nurse Collette on The Mindy Project. She was also listed as one of both Fortune and Variety’s “Top 10 Comics to Watch.” Feimster brings her stand-up to Dr. Grin’s Comedy Club May 12-14. Times vary. For tickets, visit thebob.com/drgrinscomedy.

BEER ///

Featuring beers from West Michigan breweries, Beer City Springfest happens May 7 from 1-5 p.m. at Hudsonville Fairgrounds. This year’s selection includes brews from One Well Brewing, Peoples Cider Co., Fetch Brewing, Trail Point Brewing, among others. General admission tickets are $29 and include eight sample tickets. VIP tickets are $39, include 12 sample tickets and early entry at noon. For more information, visit beercityfestivals.com. n

Cage The Elephant at the DeltaPlex Arena and Conference Center. sixth studio album, 2015’s Positive Songs for Negative People, received much critical praise. AllMusic said the disc is “an invigorating, infectious set that reaffirms Turner’s faith in music’s power to motivate and heal.” Sharing the stage are Two Cow Garage and Homeless Gospel Choir. Tickets are $25, $20 advance.


Launching his new novel, The Charm Bracelet, Wade Rouse stops May 5 at the Grand Rapids Public Library for A “Charm”ing Evening. Rouse discusses how he came up with his pen name, the inspiration behind the book and his new series of novels from St. Martin’s Press. There will be a Q&A session as well as a book signing afterwards. The event starts at 7 p.m. Visit grpl.org for more info. Co-author of The People’s Lawyer: The Life and Times of Frank J. Kelley, the Nation’s Longest-Serving Attorney General, Jack Lessenberry will discuss the book’s namesake at the Grand Rapids Public Library on May 25. Kelley worked with everyone from John and Bobby Kennedy to Bill Clinton. He also helped begin the careers of U.S.

Senator Carl Levin and Governor Jennifer Granholm. Call (616) 988-5400 for more information. Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson visits Kent District Library (at 150 Six Mile Rd. NE, Comstock Park) May 26 as part of their KDL Reads program. She will read from her coming-of-age memoir Brown Girl Dreaming and discuss how poems “rich with family ties” helped her to find her voice. The night concludes with a book sale and signing. The free event starts at 6:30 p.m. and is all ages.

Random Notes was compiled by Nicole Rico. For more music, beer and entertainment news (and free stuff!), sign up for our weekly enewsletter at revuewm.com or find us on Facebook.

FILM ///

Loosely based on the tales of Giambattista Basile, Tale of Tales is the first Englishlanguage film by director Matteo Garrone. The film, hitting the UICA screen May 6-19, stars Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel and John C. Reilly. It follows three main stories, one about a fornicating libertine, another of a queen that has to eat an animal’s heart to become pregnant and a third tale about a strange animal. For a list of show times, check out uica.org/tale-of-tales.

Fortune Feimster at Dr. Grin’s Comedy Club.

REVUEWM.COM | May 2016 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

The Music of John Williams at DeVos Performance Hall.



/// best bets

what’s Going on this month wednesday



Alton Brown Live: Eat Your Science

Liz Longley

Seven Steps Up, 116 S Jackson St., Spring Lake May 14, 8 p.m. / $25-$35 pindropconcerts.com, (616) 678-3618

Devos Performance Hall, 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids May 4, 7:30 p.m. / $42.50-$99.50 devosperformancehall.com, (616) 742-6500

Nashville-based singer-songwriter Liz Longley plays an intimate, acoustic set for the Pin Drop Concert series at Seven Steps Up. Basing her songs on personal experiences, Longley said, “Every time I get into these songs they resonate with me. … I hope they connect with people and that they’ll help with whatever they’ve gone through.” Fans of Eva Cassidy or Joni Mitchell might want to check out the show.

As a follow-up to his Edible Inevitable tour, Alton Brown merges comedy, multimedia presentations and talk show antics with music, puppets and (potentially dangerous) experiments for his new Eat Your Science tour. There’s also an element of audience participation involved, so be prepared!

Five Finger Death Punch & Shinedown

Van Andel Arena, 130 W. Fulton, Grand Rapids May 4, 7 p.m. / $39.75-$49.75 vanandelarena.com, (616) 742-6600 Five Finger Death Punch and Shinedown co-headline this heavy show at Van Andel. Five Finger Death Punch has an impressive 15 Top 10 hits, five Gold albums and has sold 1.5 million albums in North America over their career. Drummer Jeremy Spencer said their newest and best-selling album, Got Your Six, is “more brutal, with more extreme dynamics.” P.O.D. opens the show.



Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Kiera Cass

Schuler Books & Music, 1982 Grand River Ave., Okemos May 6, 6 p.m. Free! schulerbooks.com, (517) 349-8840 New York Times bestselling author Kiera Cass stops at Schuler Books to talk about her final book in the Selection series, The Crown. Cass’s writing has been described as “deliciously entertaining” by Publishers Weekly and “charming, captivating, and filled with just the right amount of swoon,” by Kiersten White. After the talk will be a book signing. Tickets can be purchased by calling the store.

Robin Trower

Kalamazoo State Theatre, 404 S Burdick St., Kalamazoo May 6, 7 p.m. / $45 kazoostate.com, (269) 345-6500 Rock legend Robin Trower, formerly of Procol Harum, plays Kalamazoo State Theatre with his power trio,

14 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2016



An Evening with David Sedaris

Liz Longley at Seven Steps Up which includes bassist Richard Watts and drummer Chris Taggart. He’s known for his hits “Long Misty Days,” “Bridge of Sighs” and “Day of The Eagle.” Last month he released his new album, Where You Are Going To.



All Star Comedy Festival

Van Andel Arena, 130 Fulton W, Grand Rapids May 7, 8 p.m. / $37.50-$97.50 vanandelarena.com, (616) 742-6600 The 1st Annual All Star Comedy Festival features comedic stars from several television shows. The stacked line-up includes Tisha Campbell Martin from My Wife and Kids, Queens of Comedy’s Adele Givens, Last Comic Standing winner Lavell Crawford and Damon Williams from BET Comic View, among others.

Alton Brown in Grand Rapids


5/12–5/15 Garth Brooks

Van Andel Arena, 130 W. Fulton, Grand Rapids May 12-15, 7 p.m. / $66.23 vanandelarena.com, (616) 742-6600 For those who still can’t get the chorus of “Friends in Low Places” out of their head, modern-country pioneer Garth Brooks visits Van Andel Arena on May 14. Brooks released his Man Against Machine LP in 2014, his first studio album in 13 years. Joining the “Thunder Rolls” songster on the tour is his wife and fellow superstar, Trisha Yearwood.



Brian Posehn

Pyramid Scheme, 68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids May 13, 8 p.m. / $20 advance, $25 doors, all ages pyramidschemebar.com, (616) 272-3758 Brian Posehn is no doubt the king of nerd comedy (with an honorable mention going to Patton Oswalt). Posehn, 49, has been a distinct voice in stand-up since 1994 and continues to pack houses with his toilet humor and heavy-metal-related bits. Over the years, he’s also starred on Comedy Central-related shows, like The Sarah Silverman Program and the acclaimed Comedians of Comedy.

DeVos Performance Hall, 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids May 15, 3 p.m. / $37.50-$57.50 devosperformancehall.com, (616) 742-6500

Humorist David Sedaris is responsible for several bestselling books, including Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. For one night only he visits DeVos Performance Hall to present a selection of all-new readings and recollections. There will also be a Q&A session and book signings afterward.



Strumble Head

The Score, 5301 Northland Dr. NE, Grand Rapids May 17, 6 p.m. Free! thescore-restaurant.com, (616) 301-0600 Since 2009, Strumble Head has been covering hits from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. The Grand Rapids-based band blasts through a polished setlist of sing-along classic rockers and powerful ballads, closely mirroring the originals. Hear tunes from The Doors, Roy Orbison, Cheap Trick and The Who, to only name a few.

opens 5/19

The Bridges of Madison County: The Broadway Musical Wharton Center, 750 E. Shaw Lane, East Lansing May 19-22, times vary / $40-$75

Continued on page 16 ➤





JUNE 10-11 MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY Visit www.keloorah.com for tickets and camping


long features

short features

short Docs

more information

nxmwfilm.org animations


REVUEWM.COM | May 2016 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

free screenings saturday May 21 epic center downtown kalamazoo


b uttermilk jamboree.

/// best bets


Circle Pines Center

The Blasters June 10 - 12

The Black Dahlia Murder at The Pyramid Scheme

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

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

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

16 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2016

whartoncenter.com, (517) 353-1982 What started as a best-selling novel has now been adapted into a two-time Tony Award winning Broadway musical. Featuring music by Jason Robert Brown and direction by Bartlett Sher, the Daily News calls it, “one of Broadway’s best scores in the last decade.” The story is one of a lonely Italian woman who has an affair with a National Geographic photographer after a chance encounter. For ages 12 and up.

saturday 5/21 Barley, BBQ & Beats

Van Andel Arena, 130 Fulton W, Grand Rapids May 21, 5 p.m. / $35 advance, $40 at the door. 21+ vanandelarena.com, (616) 742-6600 Celebrating West Michigan’s love for barbecue and craft cocktails, Barley, BBQ & Beats serves up food from area barbecue restaurants along with whiskey distilled in Michigan. Live music comes courtesy of Domestic Problems, Mid-Life Crisis and Big Dudee Roo. The event also functions as support for Hospice of Michigan’s Open Access program.

tuesday 5/24

Disturbed and Rob Zombie

Van Andel Arena, 130 Fulton W, Grand Rapids May 24, 7 p.m. / $29.95-$49.95 vanandelarena.com, (616) 742-6600 Touring in support of their new Immortalized LP, mainstream-metal giants Disturbed co-headline this tour along with the gravelly-voiced, ghoul-lovin’ Rob Zombie. Immortalized is Disturbed’s fifth album to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. Meanwhile, last month Rob Zombie released his new album, The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser. Rolling Stone named it one of the “Most Anticipated Metal Albums of 2016.”

thursday 5/26 The Black Dahlia Murder

Pyramid Scheme, 68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids May 26, 7 p.m. / $18 advance, $20 doors, all ages pyramidschemebar.com, (616) 272-3758 Formed in 2001 in Waterford, The Black Dahlia Murder specializes in both extreme and melodic death metal. The band released its newest album, Abysmal, in the latter half of last year. Vocalist Trevor Strnad said the album is “more raw and natural sounding” than previous efforts. Opening the show are Fallujah and Disentomb.

friday 5/27

Keith Sweat — A Ladies Night

Kalamazoo State Theatre, 404 S Burdick St., Kalamazoo May 27, 8 p.m. / $43-$100 kazoostate.com, (269) 345-6500 Smooth-as-hell R&B crooner and innovator of the new jack swing genre, Keith Sweat stops May 27 at the Kalamazoo State Theatre. The singer-songwriter will perform his hits “Twisted” and “Make You Sweat,” among others. Sweat, who debuted in 1987 with his classic Make it Last Forever LP, is also an accomplished producer, recording tracks for Dru Hill, Immature, The Isley Brothers and The O’Jays. n —Compiled by Nicole Rico

Advance Warnings Ballads & Brews

Goei Center, 818 Butterworth St. SW, Grand Rapids June 2, 5:30 p.m., $125 operagr.org, (616) 451-2741 For Bavarian aficionados and Opera-lovers alike, Ballads & Brews might be the event for you. While you’re there, check out an exclusive preview of Opera Grand Rapids’ The Student Prince while enjoying craft beer in a biergarten-inspired setting. Attendees are encouraged to “don your best Bavarian Chic attire.”

Caroline, Or Change

Grand Rapids Civic Theatre 30 Division Ave. N, Grand Rapids June 3-19, $18-$35 grct.org, (616) 222-6650 This semi-autobiographical story tells of middle-aged African-American maid Caroline Thibodeaux. Based in 1963 in Louisiana, the play chronicles her life as she navigates through the changing nation and events like the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The story was written by Tony Kushner, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Angels in America.

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REVUEWM.COM | May 2016 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

May's Entertainment Schedule: May 17th Strumble Head May 18th Deep Greens & Blues May 19th Brena May 20th Drop 35 May 21st Electric Red May 22nd Livin' The Dream May 23rd Oregon Dreamchild


MAY 1 - $25
















JULY 1 - $20




/// local Music

E.L. the Extraterrestrial

Ancient’s alien vibe defies genre by design, starting with the bombastic “Panty Dropper,” which features guest guitar work from Jeffrey Kollnot of local metal bands Blackgate and Flood the Desert. “It turned out way crazy. I didn’t expect it to get as weird as it did,” Ward said of Kollnot’s guest spot. “He sounds like if a God stepped out of a cloud and started laying down some guitar.” The album is bigger and more theatrical than anything Emma Loo has ever done before, which is saying something, |  by Eric Mitts especially for anyone who has seen her high-energy live performances alongside boyfriend and fellow singer-songwriter m m a Wa r d , a k a E m m a L o o , Sam Kenny. doesn’t make weird music just for The pair, known as Emma Loo & Sam, have become the sake of being weird. She makes it weird because something of local open mic legends over the last three years, she is too and she likes it that way. gigging regularly all over Grand Rapids at places like Rocky’s This month the singer-songwriter releases her Bar & Grill and The Hideout Brewing Company. first solo album, Ancient, at the Tip Top Deluxe. Kenny recorded several instruments on Ancient, including The set list is years in the making for a performer who finally trumpet, saw and jaw harp. The duo is also working on a found the tools to make the songs in her collaborative album together. Next month, head a reality. they’ll tour together in support of Ancient. “I thought, ‘I can make this happen out It’ll be their fifth time touring the United loud. I don’t care how the hell I do it. I have States. to make this happen,’” Ward said. Originally from Lowell, Ward first met Backed by a successful KickStarter camKenny in her hometown in 2011, but the paign, she self-produced the album, working two didn’t start to collaborate musically alongside engineer Justin VanHaven of until 2012. NextDoor Audio, who mixed and mastered. “We ended up going on a date and Together they created many of the beats liking each other. We wanted to do music EMMA LOO: ANCIENT and otherworldly sounds accompanying together too, because we have the same CD RELEASE PARTY the tracks, which range from tipsy piano interests musically,” Ward said. “[We’re] w/ Sam Kenny, Joe, Brain ballads to tribal funk and beyond. just two crazy people doing crazy music.” Transplants, Dead Eye Zack “It definitely goes from really simple to Like many open mic performers, when Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill extraterrestrial,” she said. the duo started it was just the two of them 760 Butterworth St. SW, Grand Rapids May 7, 8 p.m. / $10, $8 adv. Ward was blunt about how to prepare singing along with an acoustic guitar. That facebook.com/emmalooandsam, to listen to her new disc and upcoming gigs. changed when Ward found a keyboard (616) 272-3910 “Am I allowed to tell people to smoke abandoned by the side of the road and a joint?” she said. “And maybe be ready to taught herself how to play, becoming much cry. I just want the show to be a lot different more prolific. as far as how elaborate I’m going to go. I want it to be more “We experiment with how we can take from different theatrical and a lot closer to the actual sound of the album, angles of different genres and mix them together,” she said. which is bigger than anything I’ve ever played onstage. I want “We love each other a lot as people and we like the music, you to be jumping with Kleenexes in your hand.” too — which really helps.” n

Emma Loo Releases Ancient LP


Emma Ward


Join us at Barley, BBQ & Beats and sample the area’s best barbecue and fixin’s from leading pit masters and barbecue restaurants. Enjoy hand-crafted cocktails from Michigan whiskey distillers. Tickets: $35 pre-sale, $40 at the door. (Guests must be 21+) Purchase tickets at hom.convio.net/bbbfestival or contact Alexandra Wilson: 616-356-5288 / awilson@hom.org Presented by

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

Proceeds benefit Hospice of Michigan’s Open Access Program, ensuring quality end-of-life care regardless of ability to pay. Revue.indd 1

www.hom.org | 888.247.5701 3:16 PM | REVUEWM.COM3/9/16 | May 2016

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2016 | Van Andel Arena | 5 - 9 pm


/// On Tour

Satanic Majesties Fresh off Grammy nod, Ghost brings ritual to Grand Rapids by Joe Boomgaard


n an era when most rock acts eschew theatrics to focus all too seriously on “the music,” Ghost proves to be a throwback to a time when bands could do both.

The Swedish band’s evil aesthetic is unmistakable. Fronted by Papa Emeritus III — the third iteration of the anti-Pope vocalist — and backed by a five-piece band of masked Nameless Ghouls, Ghost often causes a stir with its image before ever playing a note. And what subversive notes they are. On Meliora, the band’s latest album, Ghost mixes equal parts Moody Blues and Deep Purple with influences of doomy Black Sabbath and old-school Metallica to create a fully modern, accessible rock sound that belies its Satanic image. There are no Cookie Monster vocals here, only Papa Emeritus singing his decidedly humanist message. The music is unapologetically polished, anthemic and well-produced — as rock should be — and that same ethic carries over to Ghost’s “rituals,” as the band calls its concerts. “It’s a very theatrical and entertaining show,” a Nameless Ghoul told Revue, noting the band wants its fans to leave concerts feeling a state of euphoria. “Expect solemn and divine presence, but expect to be happy from it rather than afraid.” Call it accessible Satanism. “Obviously, we’re using Satanic symbolism and Satanic terminology in order to paint our picture, but I would not fully and intellectually say, with everything that I know and stand for, that we are necessarily a Satanic band,” he said. “We’re not an extreme metal band at all. … We are actually quite accessible in our approach.” But the band’s occult image comes with a certain liability, particularly in the more conservative parts of the country.


Devilish Details A Nameless Ghoul on … Winning a Grammy Award this year: “You have to realize that it’s more of an eye-opening thing from a business point of view rather than people are collectively orgasming at the same time and buying the album. But there’s an attitude that is definitely open, there are a few doors that I guess weren’t there before. It’s a stamp of approval. … All of a sudden, you have that little bit of Grammy metal on your chest. It means that you are legit and not just a campy, doomy, theatrical rock band.”

Whether Ghost is a truly Satanic band: “No, not in the sense that you mean that all members of the band are devoted Satanists. Speaking from a Bible-thumping point of view, our image and our schtick is definitely Satanic in our message. But that depends clearly on who you’re asking. … We are Satanic per default because we play rock and roll — ask anyone in Mississippi

and you will have that answer. It’s all in the eyes of the beholder.”

Developing the band’s image: “In my mind and the one person that was with me at the time, it was pretty evident that this is not just a T-shirt band. It doesn’t sound like a T-shirt band. The image or the vocal style or the lyrical themes — it just screams out something else. Right there and then, the whole imagery came, at least in theory, quite quickly. ‘It needs to be nameless, it needs to be faceless, and there should be some sort of preacher singing.’ … I think it was pretty much materialized in a day. It was just one evening. And then came the big task of making a record and sort of getting the imagery together and all that.”

Keeping band members’ identities a mystery and remaining nameless: “Within the Ghost world, we will remain masked and officially nameless. But for us, there’s a big difference between being nameless and masked versus anonymous. … Within the Ghost context, for as long as we are officially going as Ghost, we will definitely remain masked while we are on official Ghost business. But whatever we do when

young and old — even children, some of whom Even at the genesis of the band, the founding come dressed as the enigmatic Papa Emeritus. members realized they would need to let the music For a Nameless Ghoul, it’s been a wild ride over stand on its own. That’s why they posted their the past six years, rising from obscurity to global redemos on MySpace months before ever releasing nown. Despite the band’s outlandish and evil image, a photo of what the band looked like. Ghost even gets airplay on commercial rock radio. “We had this theory that it’s very important that “We can tell a little that we have somewhat of people have the music first because we knew that a spread on the radio,” a Nameless Ghoul said. “All the image would be quite strong,” a Nameless Ghoul of a sudden, people sort of react. You can hear a said. “There were thousands of people listening to portion of the crowd react to the more well-known (the demos) before we actually released a picture songs, as in the ones that have been on the radio.” of the band, and that was intentional. We wanted While Ghost relished the cult underground folto be able to say, ‘Now we know that we took our lowing it amassed over the years, it’s also embraced first steps without people knowing shit about how its newfound broader appeal. In fact, that success we looked.’” acts as a driver for the musicians, according to a Thanks to three acclaimed albums (plus a Nameless Ghoul. covers EP), a relentless global touring schedule “There’s always a few hundred and a 2016 Grammy Award for Best people in the room that do not really Metal Performance — for “Cirice” know your band very well,” he said off Meliora — Ghost has continued GHOST with Pinkish Black Black To The Future Tour of Ghost’s latest Black To The Future adding to its legions of devout fans. Orbit Room, 2525 Lake Tour. “That doesn’t mean that they Initially, they drew crowds of Eastbrook Blvd. SE, Grand don’t like you, it just means that they metal af icionados who liked the Rapids, don’t know some of the songs from imagery and the band’s hard rock May 20, 7 p.m. doors the first two records. They might songs. But on any given night now, $25, all ages orbitroom.com, (616) 456-3333 know the song from the radio really the crowd at a Ghost show features a diverse mix of men and women,


Courtesy pHOTO

we come off stage and whatever we do in other bands, that won’t remain masked. We cannot promise that. We are musicians, first and foremost.”

Planning for what happens if the nameless band members get outed for being in Ghost: “We’ve already accepted that all good things will come to an end. This won’t be forever, and I think all of us feel that we want to do other things as well. We’ll just take that as it comes.” —Reported by Joe Boomgaard, Revue

well, and they know the songs from your latest album. “I think that the upside of that is that it keeps a band on its toes a little because you cannot completely rely on you ‘owning’ the crowd. You have to work in order to convince them — you have to sell in a way.” Judging by the string of sellout shows in the U.S. (including a stop in Detroit last October) and abroad, it’s been easier for the band to sell its brand of theatrical rock than its Satanic image might suggest. A Nameless Ghoul said Ghost’s success hinges on the musicianship and the brand of entertainment the band has created over the past few years, versus any dark intervention. “We are here to entertain the people who are willing to be entertained by anything like us, and we’re here to entertain ourselves,” he said. “I’m sure we have a cool, fun and interesting image, but we would’ve never gotten anywhere without the music.” n

REVUEWM.COM | May 2016 |


/// On tour

From Shattered to Survivor

Baroness’ New LP Reflects the Band’s Horrific 2012 Bus Accident |  by Eric Mitts

hopefully we won’t have some disaster behind us again.” Purple is not only the first record since the bus crash, it’s also the band’s first with new aroness vocalist/guita r is t Joh n Ba i z ley drummer Sebastian Thomson and bassist/ is a surv ivor , pure and keyboardist Nick Jost, who joined the band in 2013. simple. He just doesn’t want that The revamped group’s onstage dynamic to define him forever. shined instantly, as they dug into the hardMaking international news est grooves of the band’s sludgy back-catalog, in 2012, his Georgia metal band including cuts from Baroness’ first two LPs: endured a horrifying bus crash while on tour 2007’s Red Album and 2009’s Blue Record. The in England, less than a month after the release of their colossal double-LP Yellow & Green. fresh take on the throwback tunes added a powerful presence to the already eerie, preBaizley himself suffered a broken leg and a scient elements of the band’s material. For broken arm. The injuries were so severe it was those who want to witness it live, on May uncertain if he’d be able play guitar again, or 7 that renewed sonic vigor rolls into The even be able to keep his arm. Meanwhile the band’s former drum- Intersection. “We’re better as a band than we’ve ever mer Allen Bickle and bassist Matt Maggioni been,” Baizley said. “We’re more excited as a both endured serious vertebrae injuries from band than we’ve ever been. Those two facts the wreck. The physical damages were so traumatic they parted ways with the group, alone changed the dynamic of the show into something that is better than it’s ever been.” leaving the band’s lineup shattered and its Produced by Dave Fridmann, who’s bestfuture uncertain. known for working with psychedelic-rockers Yet despite weeks in the hospital, months The Flaming Lips, Purple is also a healing of painful intensive physical therapy, and record, and a hopeful one, dethat soul-rattling near-death exspite lyrical images of burning, perience, Baizley and longtime visceral carnage. It’s a triumph guitarist/vocalist Peter Adams Baroness w/ Youth Code of the human spirit and a bold, soldiered on. Baizley kept The Intersection blunt celebration of life in the writing music, even lyrically 133 Grandville Ave. SW, face of death. addressing the accident, and his Grand Rapids May 7, 7 p.m. Naturally, the process of recovery, on songs that would $20 advance, $25 day of creating such a daunting LP later be included on the Purple show wasn’t easy. Especially considerLP. Released in December on sectionlive.com, (616) ing how Thomson’s background their own Abraxan Hymns 451-8232 in electronic music, and Jost’s label, Purple is Baroness’s first experience in jazz composition, new album since the accident. forced the band to come up “They’re not comfortable with a whole new way of crafting heavy music topics to engage in,” Baizley said. “I’ve never together. had songs that were about things that were “If you write as a four-piece and everyone particularly easy, so this really was nothing is a contributing member, [and] you remove new, although [this time] I had these much more imminent, obvious things to write about. one half of your band, then one half of your sound has the potential to change,” Baizley “It gave me, personally, a platform to said of working with Thomson and Jost on address some things that I couldn’t have Purple. “It’s whether that change is supportive addressed otherwise,” he added. “With those or destructive, and in the case of Nick and things all coming to the surface, it made Sebastian, I feel confident saying that it’s a things a little bit easier. It’ll probably be more 100-percent supportive change. It’s helped us.” difficult to make our next record, because

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene


22 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2016

Baroness Although there is a night and day difference in how he feels physically while playing now due to his injury, Baizley said he can only look towards the future and hope that all his hard work, both as a musician and as a visual artist, will help him continue to truly heal, both inside and out. “Inspiration is sort of a weird word, because to feel inspired is different from feeling some-

pHOTO: Jimmy Hubbard

thing compulsively, like the need to create. And I feel both,” he said. “The rare moments are the inspired moments, and the rest of it for me is a compulsive need to do it, because I’m less stable without art and music. I rely on them very heavily to keep my sanity intact. I hate to put it that way, but that’s the truth.” n



Fri, May 6 Kalamazoo Pride Presents


wsg Out of Favor Boys

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

The Crane Wives Sat, May 7

Digital Tape Machine

$15 adv / $17 day of

wsg Earphorik

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Fri, May 13


Mustard Plug

wsg Rude Boy George, Sailor Kicks

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Thurs, May 19

The Go Rounds


wsg Kansas Bible Company

Fri, May 27


wsg Downtown Brown, The Mushmen

Sat, May 28

May Erlewine

Seated show

Thurs, June 9

The Accidentals wsg Megan Dooley

Wed, June 22

Fri, July 29

Brett Dennen

Outdoor Show – Rain or Shine

Fri, Sept 2

Keller Williams

& More Than a Little

Outdoor Show – Rain or Shine

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

$15 Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

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

$25 adv / $30 day of Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Yonder Mountain String Band Outdoor Show – Rain or Shine

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Doors 7pm — Show 8pm

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

$25 adv / $30 day of Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

REVUEWM.COM | May 2016 |


/// playlist

Songs We Like, Vol. 9: spring mix by Benjamin Davey, WYCE

This is a sonic collaboration among Revue, WYCE and AMI Jukeboxes. Play Iggy Pop – “Gardenia” is one of the more tender moments on what this mix as a playlist on AMI Jukeboxes, read about it on revuewm.com and “Gardenia” stands to be Pop’s final album, Post Pop Depression. stream it on wyce.org. From Grand Rapids, to the world! Tender, yet eerie, his vocals have matured to an even Lapsley – “Operator (He Doesn’t Call Me)”

Bombino – “Timtar (Memories)”

“You can measure my pressure but I’ll blow up in a second.” These lyrics from 19-year-old pop artist Lapsley, out of context, are apt for what is sure to be a meteoric rise following her debut album. While the record follows a typical narrative arc of young heartbreak, “Operator” makes breaking up sound pretty fun.

Bombino’s latest release, Azel, produced by Dirty Projectors’ Dave Longstretch, shows the emerging artist establishing himself as a serious force in desert blues. Nigerian born Bombino stays true to Tamashek tradition, with the one-drop of reggae in “Timtar (Memories).”

RJD2 – “Peace of What”

Katy Goodman (formerly of Vivian Girls) returns with the fourth La Sera album, the first with her husband Todd Wisenbaker. “High Notes” illustrates a dreamier and more polished form of their alt-rock tradition, thanks to the production by Ryan Adams.

This is RJD2’s bombastic return to solo material after his under-appreciated collaborative release with STS last year. “Peace of What” opens the record brightly with his signature use of horns and complex drum samples.

La Sera – “High Notes”


7:30 PM

D&W Fresh Market




Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene


Media Partner:

Bowie Tribute Tickets start at



616.454.9451 x 4 PicnicPops.org

24 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2016

Series Partner:

more powerful level. Along with Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme and Dean Fortita as well as Arctic Monkeys’ drummer Matt Helder, this is a return to Pop’s Bowie-era of sleek pop.

Kendrick Lamar – “untitled 08 | 09.06.2014”

Kendrick Lamar’s untitled. unmastered. boasts no album or track titles or promotion. The listener is left with nothing but the music. Not an LP, EP, album, or a mixtape, it’s a collection of sketches giving us a look inside the process of a Grammy-winning album. On “untitled 08,” Kendrick laments financial difficulties faced by black Americans and contextualizes his own success despite them.

Andrew Bird – “Roma Fade”

“Roma Fade” reassures us that Bird still knows how to whistle like no other. He says this track is about “the wordless dialogue between the watcher and the watched and the fine line between romance and creepiness.”

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “Can’t Keep Checking My Phone” This is by far the oldest song on our list (released late 2015), but it’s the perfect fit for spring time’s bright, disco vibe. The band plays a dance-friendly show May 18 at the Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids.


Tune In, Hop Out New Belgium’s Citradelic Pairs Well with Local Music


airing brews with an assortment of tasty foods is a common practice among beer buffs, but for record collectors and livemusic regulars, combining tunes with the perfect bottle is a more sonically satisfying experience. With that in mind, New Belgium’s recently unveiled Citradelic is a citrusy IPA with fruit-forward hops all balanced by a light malty sweetness. Along with innovative flavors (tangerine in Citradelic and watermelon-lime

in Heavy Melon) comes a series of New Belgium-hosted music videos, the Citradelic Sessions, streamed via Stereogum. The videos showcase indie bands like Ra Ra Riot and blend livemusic performances with interviews. “Great beer is a natural tie in with great music and Citradelic has an exciting, electric flavor profile that ties in perfectly to good tunes,” said New Belgium Brewing’s Asher Attick. “The Stereogum series was a chance to collaborate with some of our favorite

HEATERS, performing at New Belgium’s Citradelic Experience May 28.

musicians and friends. Dr. Dog has been partnering with New Belgium for years now and Citradelic was the perfect fuel for Bayonne to craft his new single ‘Fallss.’ “People will have to keep an eye on the Citradelic site and my social channels to see if more videos arise,” Attick added. Citradelic also goes down easy with high voltage, Michigan-made rock ‘n’ roll. New Belgium booked Heaters, a reverb-soaked Grand Rapids-based psychedelic-rock trio, for its first ever Citradelic Experience concert on May

28. Visit newbelgium.com/events/mi for all of the details. Along with appearances from two other local bands — Flushed and Sleep Cheaters — the electrifying show also features the kaleidoscopic, interactive works of Black Light Visuals, a blacklight reactive art company known for its trippy apparel and body painting. “ Whether enjoying some Dr. Dog on your front porch or rocking out live to Heaters at a local music venue, Citradelic fits the musical bill,” Attick said.

Photo: Sacha Lecca

newbelgium.com/events/mi REVUEWM.COM | May 2016 |


sPeciALs & eveNTs MONDAys $1 chili Dogs and $1 Beers Free show with Desmond Jones

TuesDAys comedy Tuesday (No cover!) WeDNesDAys Open Mic Night hosted by sam Kenny (No cover!)

Live Music 5/4 5/5

Open Hours


Happy Hour

MON–FRi 3–7PM $2 DOMesTics, $2 WeLLs, $3 cALLs, $1.50 ReTROs


Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene


26 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2016

5/6 5/7 5/12 5/13 5/18 5/19 5/20 5/21 5/27 5/28

urban Pioneers The Red List and That Beatles Thing (FRee sHOW!) OMB emma Loo cD Release show Ancient Lucky Tubb and the Modern Day Troubadours wsg Luke Warm and the Not so Hots Jeff German & The Blankety Blanks with The Juke Joint Handmedowns Matt Woods with Jeff shepherd and stephen Lee Nathan Kalish & The Lastcallers and The Bootstrap Boys The Twistin’ Tarantulas with All Night Tigers Lisa B and the Backbeats Greg Nagy New Belgium presents: Heaters, Flushed, sleep cheaters

/// local Music

Solid State Sounds Local Music News and Happenings |  by Eric Mitts


rand Rapids post-hardcore outfit La Dispute plays a sold out show at The Pyramid Scheme  May 25. The band was recently the subject of Tiny Dots, a 2015 independent documentary film. The band also joins California rockers Thrice on a nationwide tour in June, including stops in Detroit (June 22) and Chicago (June 23). Also at The Pyramid Scheme this month is West Michigan veterans Small Brown Bike. The band plays its milestone 20th Anniversary show on May 14. The Marshallbased band and post-hardcore innovators first began in 1996 and have released albums on Florida punk label No Idea Records and California label Lookout! Records. Joining the band in its return to the stage is Lansingbased power pop champs Cheap Girls, Grand Rapids’ The Cardboard Swords and Kalamazoo’s Out. Grand Rapids ska legends  Mustard Plug plays two shows in West Michigan this month, May 13 at Bell’s Eccentric Café in Kalamazoo and  May 14  at Founders Taproom. New York-based ska cover band

Rude Boy George and Grand Rapids’ own “Skamericana” band The Sailor Kicks open both shows.  Also at Founders this month, the brewery hosts its Ninth Annual Bob Dylan Tribute on May 21. The event features several area musicians paying tribute to the folk-rock icon. Out near the lakeshore, nonprofit organization Buses By the Beach holds its annual Bus Benefit May 27-30 at Camp Blodgett in West Olive. The three-day camping, music and outdoor activity event raises money for The Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors. Featured West Michigan performers include Nicholas James & the Bandwagon, Tony LaJoye, Fauxgrass, Brother Adams, Olivia Mainville & the Aquatic Troupe and Roosevelt Diggs. Bell’s Brewery’s three-night Beer Garden Opener, set for June 2-4, has already completely sold out in advance. The annual event features Kalamazoo’s own Greensky Bluegrass. The popular Americana/jam band performs sets on all three nights before they head back out on the road. Also, if you’re counting down to festival season, be sure to look for the annual Revue Music Issue and Festival Guide hitting stands next month. n

La Dispute

PHOTO: Joanna Bongard

may 7, 9pm

keith halls home cookin may 14, 9pm

Kalamazoo Funk Collective may 20, 9pm

The Go Rounds may 27, 9pm

Big boss blues Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

may 29, 9pm

Crime Funk

(269) 384-6756 125 S. Kalamazoo Mall millenniumrestaurants.com REVUEWM.COM | May 2016 |


"We are proud to be family owned and operated for 15 years. I would like to thank the community for supporting our local business.� -Paul Comensoli

Seared Sea Scallop Pasta

Chef Allen Worman is creating a modern spin on classic Italian fare at family-owned Comensoli's Italian Bistro & Bar, a hidden gem located just outside of downtown Kalamazoo. We focus on Northern and Southern Italian classics with an emphasis on fresh seafood, local craft beer, and an extensive wine list. Chef Allen creates a rotating daily menu of seasonal dishes where he incorporates fresh, local ingredients.

762 West Main Street Kalamazoo,MI 49006 | 269-345-6755 | www.comensolis.com

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene


28 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2016

Special Feature





h s






Bon Appétit! Or, dig in! Whichever you prefer is fine with us. Revue welcomes all types and calibers of foodies and dining explorers to flip through this special section and seek out some new feasting haunts. From a shortlist of mouthwatering burgers and fries, to spotlights on top-notch local chefs and butchers, this yearly guide points out some of West Michigan’s tastiest options and trends. There’s also a rundown of the area’s newly opened or soon-to-open eateries. So be sure to include some fresh menus on your forthcoming epicurean outings. And while you’re out, don’t forget to relax, have a good time and then tip your server handsomely. “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” —J.R.R. Tolkien

REVUEWM.COM | May 2016 |


The Food Issue

The Burger (with frites) at Brewery Vivant. Photo: Paul Bomers

Revue’s Staff Picks for Must-try Hamburgers 30 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2016

is is a Th

er g

Bodacious Burgers

Jules Winnfield, Samuel Jackson’s gun-toting character in Pulp Fiction, once famously said, “Hamburgers! The cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast.” And while that was a scripted, flippant remark, a true burger addict would never turn down a mouthwatering sty Bur ta patty at any time of day. Luckily for you, Revue’s staff is stocked with extreme Hamburglars. Here’s some staff picks, detailing not only their favorite burger joints, but particular must-haves on their menus. Maybe soon, West Michigan will finally get a Big Kahuna Burger… I hear they got some tasty burgers. In the meantime, here are a few existing spots on Revue’s radar. —Rich Tupica

Joe Boomgaard

Revue Editor/Beer Czar

Iron Burger, $10 (featured on the cover of this issue) IRON Restaurant 25 Ottawa Ave. SW, #103, Grand Rapids irongr.com Pro tip: Don’t stop into IRON, one of the newest restaurants to hit the downtown Grand Rapids scene, and ask for ketchup. Chef Chris Perkey doesn’t believe in the vile red concoction. Instead, Perkey, who also owns Osteria Rossa, uses his proprietary Iron sauce (think BBQ sauce meets steak sauce with a hint of tomato) to top the cast iron skillet-seared patty of the restaurant’s eponymous burger. The patty itself is a special full-flavor blend of ground brisket, short rib and chuck roast sourced from Country Dairy in Muskegon. Topped with Michigan-sourced white cheddar, crispy charred onions, and greens from Grand Rapids-based Vertical Paradise, the Iron Burger comes situated in a grilled Field & Fire bun with homemade sliced pickles and a smear of horsey mustard on the side. The whole concoction is paired with a helping of Perfect Fries, which are made with kennebec tubers soaked in beef tallow and aged for a day before meeting their fate in the fryer. Pair it with a bottle of Dirty Bastard from Founders Brewing and you’re in for a delight. This newcomer has put the standbys on notice.

Josh Veal

Associate Editor

Three B’s Burger, $12 Brick & Porter 47 Monroe Center Ave., Grand Rapids brickandportergr.com

The Buffalo, $11.75 Stella’s Lounge 53 Commerce Ave., Grand Rapids stellasgr.com

BBQ Bacon Cheddar Burger, $8.09 Studio Grill 312 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo studiomoviegrill.com My god. You can stuff a patty with barbecue sauce. I don’t know what daredevil first took the leap, but we owe a lot to their intrepid experimentation. Studio Grill has nailed this tricky process, even going so far as to toss some cheddar cheese in there. After that, they load the burger up with more barbecue, more cheddar, and of course, some bacon. The result is one big, saucy, savory combo that was once voted the best burger in Kalamazoo.

pairing for this hot mess of a burger is a nice, cold beer to cool the palate. It all tastes even better on Sundays, when the price drops to $5.

burger, folks — it’s a gourmet meal on a bun. I suggest trying it with gruyere cheese on top ($1 extra).

Aebra Coe

Fry Bread Burger, $9.99 Gun Lake Casino Sandhill Café 1123 129th Ave., Wayland gunlakecasino.com/dining

Brick Road Burger, $9.50 Brick Road Pizza Co. 1017 Wealthy St. SE, GR brickroadpizza.com

Some traditional Native American fry bread — crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside — serves as a twist on the standard bun here, adding a shot of texture and flavor. Between those slabs of deep fried dough is a thick patty loaded with toppings: Two slices of tomato, a healthy portion of raw onion, pickle planks and lettuce. It’s your choice of mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise to finish it off. This burger is big and rich enough for two and can be ordered with ‘tater tots in lieu of fries.

The Brick Road Burger is one of those sandwiches that’s so good it doesn’t even make sense. I mean, a restaurant whose main attraction is pizza makes a meatless, dairy-less burger? How tasty could it be? But once you sink your teeth into this sweet, slightly nutty fresh-made veggie patty, the answer is obvious: abso-frickin-lutely scrumptious. Decked out with French fried onions, barbecue sauce, Daiya cheddar and veganaise, this is a burger sure to please everyone from hardcore vegans to the most finicky carnivore.

Revue Writer

EPC Burger, $9 Everyday People Café 11 Center St., Douglas everydaypeoplecafe.com Here’s a half-pound burger without too many frills that’s all about the meat. The beef is grass-fed and locally sourced from Creswick Farms northwest of Grand Rapids. This thick patty is bursting with flavor, served between a toasted brioche bun and jazzed up with a special sauce that doesn’t stray too far from aioli. Pickle planks add more crunch and flavor than your garden variety dill slices, and thinly-cut, crispy wisps of fried onion add just the right amount of flair to this otherwise humble sandwich. South of Bridge, $10.25 or $5 on Sunday O’Toole’s Public House 448 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids otoolesgr.com What this behemoth burger lacks in modesty, it makes up for in flamboyance. The beef patty plays a supporting role as bacon, brined jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, white cheddar and chipotle mayonnaise steal the spotlight in a kick of smoky spice accentuated by an encore of crispy haystack onions. My recommended

The Iron Burger at the new downtown Iron Restaurant. Photo: Jeff Hage

Josh Spanninga Revue Writer

The Burger, $14 Brewery Vivant 925 Cherry St., GR breweryvivant.com The first time I saw the price of this burger, I scoffed. However, once I finally plunked down the cash and gave it a shot, I was begging Vivant to take my money. Eight ounces of premium beef and crumbled bacon make up this decadent patty, topped with fresh bibb lettuce, tomato and a house-made bacononion marmalade. This is more than a simple

Station Grill Signature Burger, $9.29 The Station Grill 910 W Broadway, Muskegon stationgrill.com Sometimes you just want to forget all the frills and have a simple, greasy, old-fashioned allAmerican burger. Look no further than the Station Grill. Located in an old car service station, the Station Grill has a cool retrodiner atmosphere and huuuuuge burgers. Their signature dish is a Muskegon classic, with grilled onions, bacon and bar cheese. And if a half pound of meat isn’t enough for you, you can upgrade any burger to a three-quarter pounder.

Continued on page 33 ➤

REVUEWM.COM | May 2016 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

GR’s newest and downtown-est purveyor of brews and booze is also offering up some formidable competition in the cutthroat arena of local cuisine. Not surprisingly, the name for this burger comes from its three showcased toppings. The mild, creamy tang of boursin cheese balances out the smoky zest of blackened seasoning, with bacon coming in for an extra boost of flavor. You get what you pay for, too. My coworker described the patty as “girthy,” an accurate description, albeit an unfortunate word choice.

OK. I know publicly naming the Stella Blue as one of my favorite burgers ever would be, like, totally passé and super mainstream. So I’m not! This is The Buffalo. It’s different. Yeah, it’s still stuffed to the brim with gooey blue cheese crumbles and chewy little bits of bacon. And yes, it is also cooked to mouthwatering, juicy perfection. But it’s also slathered in celery mayo and spicy hot wing sauce. That extra dose of dressing takes an already flavor-filled fare to the next level and adds a new dimension of heat without going overboard. So yeah, it’s way different. I’m not mainstream. I’m hip.


The Food Issue

Totally Fried

Grand Rapids’ Must-try Fries By Troy Reimink


e do, in fact, want fries with that. Once upon a time, you would never be able to consume a plate of fries in public without leaving a bit of your dignity at the door. But we now live in the age of Fancy Versions of Ordinarily Inexpensive Things, so fries have gotten serious, becoming a canvas that allows chefs to play around with interesting flavor combinations and seasonings. If done exceptionally well, the rewards are immense for restaurateur and consumer alike (we’ll call that the HopCat Effect). If done less-thanexceptionally-well, there’s no real loss: It’s hard to not meet expectations when it comes to fries. Whether served as an appetizer, a side to a sandwich or doused in chili or gravy, there’s something in Grand Rapids for every fry craving. We’ll begin with some of the usual suspects.

HopCat: Crack Fries

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

25 Ionia St. SW, Grand Rapids, hopcat.com

HopCat’s expansion has spread the famous Crack Fries across the Midwest, where they have generated intense interest (and sometimes controversy over the name) wherever a new location opens. With its blend of seasonings whose secrecy is guarded like the nuclear football, the Crack Fries have become as much a Grand Rapids ambassador as a Founders beer or an Amway sales pitch. ($4.95 alone, $7.50 “Loaded,” $8.50 “Vladimir Poutine”)

Stella’s Lounge: Chronic Fries 53 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, stellasgr.com

This almost goes without saying, but Chronic Fries, crispy and dusted with a heavily spiced seasoning, absolutely live up to their billing. I’ve eaten thousands, and I’ll probably eat thousands more. ($4.95 alone, served alongside many sandwiches)

Winchester: Srirancha Fries 648 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids, winchestergr.com

32 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2016

A server recently boasted that this Winchester offering outdid the Crack Fries — a claim whose boldness demanded to be tested. The Srirancha Fries make a respectable go at it, but the differences make it hard to do an apple-apple comparison, since Winchester offers a softer fry whose spicy ranch seasoning delivers a more immediate kick. ($3.50 for a half-pound)

Waldron House: Scalloped Waffle Fries

58 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, waldrongr.com

The newcomer within the BarFly restaurant group offers a fry that is more subtle (and, to my tongue, better) than its Crack/Chronic siblings. The Scalloped Waffle Fries are beerbattered, seasoned with garlic and Parmesan and served with a curry ranch sauce. ($4.95)

Electric Cheetah: Southern Raw Fries

1015 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids, electriccheetah.com

Two solid options here, of which the Southern Raw Fries are the more straightforward. Lightly salted and topped with balsamic vinegar,

Crack Fries at HopCat

they find the sweet spot on the crispy-soft spectrum. The Chub and Tuck Fries are fried mac-and-cheese (we’ll set aside any debate about what exactly constitutes a “fry”) served under a chipotle barbecue sauce. ($6 Southern Raw, $10 Chub and Tuck)

Reserve: Pork Fat Fries

201 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, reservegr.com

There’s too much happening on Reserve’s menu of small plates and charcuterie for something as pedestrian as fries to be much of a standout, but its gluten-free pork-fat fries served with garlic mayo are effortlessly good. ($6)

Logan’s Alley: House Cut Michigan Fries

916 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids, logansalley.com

The steady improvements to the menu at this Medical Mile mainstay in recent years have been a pleasant surprise. Start with the simple House Cut Michigan Fries, served with a roasted garlic aioli, or get ambitious and upgrade to the Poutine version, which smothers them in gravy, gorgonzola, bacon and a fried egg. ($4.25 basic, $10 Poutine)

Brewery Vivant: Belgian Frites 925 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids, breweryvivant.com

Save yourself the anxiety about whether the Belgian Frites are pronounced “freets” or

“fritz,” just say “fries.” It’s OK, they’re not going to throw you out, and you probably won’t offend anybody in Belgium. Anyway, there are three options — truffle, garlic/parsley and the basic pomme frites — of which I slightly prefer the more boldly flavored truffle-oil variety. ($6 truffle and garlic/parsley, $5 pomme frites)

Cottage Bar: Cottage Fries

18 La Grave Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, cottagebar.biz

No need to fix what isn’t broken. This institution used to own the downtown burger-and-fry game, but even with stiff competition from every direction, Cottage still performs solidly. Its signature Cottage Fries are delicious skinon, deep-fried potato wedges. The restaurant also offers waffle fries, basic French fries and sweet-potato fries. ($3.79 Cottage Fries, $3.99 French fries, $4.29 Brew City waffle fries, $4.99 sweet-potato fries)

Grand Coney: Chili Cheese Fries

809 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids; 401 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids; 6101 Lake Michigan Dr., Allendale, grandconeygr.com

Like a siren’s song piercing the late night, Grand Coney beckons. The chili cheese fries are smothered in Colby cheese and Detroit-style Coney chili. Do it. You’ve earned it. ($4.99 chili cheese fries, $5.99 smothered waffle fries) n

 


Best Burgers, continued from page 31

Nick Macksood Revue Food Writer

Hamburg, $4.89 Choo Choo Grill 1209 Plainfield Ave., Grand Rapids facebook.com/ChooChooGrill What could be more simple than a classic burger? A ground beef patty slapped between a soft, squishy bun. Lettuce, tomato and onion. Cheese? Optional. Condiments: highly debated (mustard for me, with a nickel-sized splotch of ketchup). This is the way classic burgers are served up at the Choo Choo Grill, a postagestamp of a diner on the corner of Leonard and Plainfield that’s been dishing out burgers for seventy years. Seventy! And rightly so. The grill also offers a variety of other toppings and a one-pound patty, dubbed The Legend. Olive Burger, $6.50 Broadway Bar 740 Broadway Ave., Grand Rapids You might know this place for the wall-to-wall Christmas décor or spooky Halloween set-up, depending on the holiday season, but regulars know this as the spot for Notre Dame fans and alums alike. And while Jack and Robert Kennedy’s rich, charming gazes look down on patrons from the old pub’s walls, Broadway’s burgers are for the workingman. Fresh ground chuck is handcrafted into an irregularly sized, juicy pub patty — no perfect frozen pucks here. My favorite, the Olive Burger, is heavy on the olives and light on the mayo, so you know you’re being treated right.

Okay, so their whole “dogs playing poker” thing weirds me out, but the Blue Dog has some inspired burgers. One-third pound burgers are dished up in this English-style pub with one of the nicest looking bars in the city. My favorite is The Papa D: a pastrami burger with Swiss, Dijon mayo and kapusta, a braised cabbage. The Papa D was the People’s Choice runner-up in 2015’s Grandwich contest and deservedly so. This fat burger not only pays homage to the Westside’s Polish roots, it reminds us that, yes, there are delicious things you can do with cabbage.

Troy Reimink’s VeggieBurger Picks Revue Food Writer

Hippie Stuffed, $10.50 Stella’s Lounge 53 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids stellasgr.com I mean, who do you think serves the best veggie burger in Grand Rapids? The cockiness underscoring every aspect of the Stella’s presentation is on full display within its long list of vegan and vegetarian fare. The slightly better (although it’s close) of Stella’s two vegetarian burgers is a black bean and lentil patty stuffed with tempeh sausage and vegan Thousand Island dressing that provides an unexpected kick. Being one of the restaurants that raised the bar for vegetarian food in West Michigan, it’s no surprise Stella’s veggie burgers are every bit the standard-bearers as their nationally recognized meat counterparts.



114 East Main St. Fennville, MI

Executive Chef Matthew Pietsch & the SotE/Principle teams invite you to enjoy two unique Midwest dining and imbibing experiences.

Larry David, $10.25 Marie Catrib’s 1001 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids mariecatribs.com An entire episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm deals with Larry David’s doomed effort to get his favorite deli to name a decent sandwich after him. Marie Catrib’s didn’t need to be asked. Its Larry David has a lentil and wild rice burger topped with a spicy tomato jam and garlic veganaise, served with grilled onions, tomato and spinach on an oat bun. It’s hard to imagine David himself sampling his Grand Rapids namesake and not giving it his trademark endorsement — “pretty… pretty… good!” Sweet Potato Burger, $12 Winchester 648 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids winchestergr.com This sweet potato and wild rice patty, served on a Nantucket pumpernickel bun and topped with goat cheese and greens prompted the following revelatory question in my mind: Where has goat cheese on burgers been my entire life? Winchester’s menu rotates constantly, but this veggie burger deserves a permanent spot in the starting lineup. n

230 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo | 269.743.6563 | principlekzoo.com

REVUEWM.COM | May 2016 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

The Papa D, $12 Blue Dog Tavern 638 Stocking Ave., Grand Rapids bluedogtaverngr.com

Fresh Midwest Food & Drink!


The Food Issue

It’s Amore

Q&A with Chef Jenna Arcidiacono by Mayra Monroy

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Chef Jenna Arcidiacono in the kitchen at Amore Trattoria Italiana. Photo: James Richard Fry

Jenna Arcidiacono, a self-proclaimed foodie, is the owner and founder of Amore Trattoria Italiana. Arcidiacono brings authenticity and passion in every dish at Amore, having learned from her own observations in Italy, working alongside her husband and mother-in-law while studying other ristoranti e trattories. Amore’s specialty is simple but striking dishes. While seemingly simple in nature, her menu is packed with high quality, local ingredients. The proud “farm-to-fork, fork-to-mouth” advocate chatted with Revue about her humble beginnings and what’s most exciting about West Michigan dining these days. Here’s what she had to say.

How did you first delve into a career in dining?

When you’re not being a chef extraordinaire, what do you do in your downtime?

My first job ever was in Kentwood at Cook’s Drive-In. It was a small, family-owned, hotdog-chili-dog-root-beer-in-a-mug joint. I never thought that it would eventually become my passion to cook for others. I started to realize that food was a happy place for people. It built memories and made me feel good when I felt they were enjoying what I cooked. I already knew at age 14.

I love going to concerts, comedy shows, riding my vintage moped, traveling to Italy – I take people on culinary tours every year through Amore.

34 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2016

For newcomers to authentic Italian cuisine, what do you recommend at Amore? We have a five-course tasting menu every day of the week. It is a great way to be introduced to our food. It consists of an appetizer, soup,

salad, entree and dessert. There are two choices for each course, just in case you aren’t a fan of one, you’ll usually like the other. Being a part of the West Michigan foodie scene, what’s the most exciting thing happening right now? I love that vegetables are making a comeback, especially because I’m a vegetarian. I’m always looking for creative and delicious ways to eat healthy, yet still feel like I’m eating something tasty and fulfilling. I also love watching our food scene evolve. It has grown so much and since I’ve lived here most of my life, I feel proud to be a part of it. We are so diverse. I love the Facebook page EatGR where over seventeen thousand locals post photos of food from the area. I learn about new places [and] restaurants I never knew existed just by being in that group. What are some local establishments you’d recommend to our readers? I love to eat. It’s one of the first things I think about when I wake up. What should I eat today? I love Pho Soc Trang [4242 Division Ave.

S, Kentwood] for Vietnamese. I eat at Donkey Taqueria [665 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids] almost every Thursday night after work for flautas and tequila. I also love TerraGR [1429 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids]. I could eat their miso kale salad and turtle pie daily. Grand Rapids has a lot of choices, but what’s it missing? I’m dying for someone to open a Korean barbecue in town. Do you believe the farm-to-table movement is still going strong in West Michigan? Absolutely. I deal with local farmers every day. I’m lucky that Amore is near the “ridge” where many farmers have even asked me what they can grow for [the restaurant]. How cool is that? For example, Dunneback and Girls farm grow heirloom tomatoes just to supply Amore’s caprese salads in the summer months. They are gorgeous. n Amore Trattoria Italiana 5080 Alpine Ave. NW, Comstock Park (616) 785-5344, amoretrattoriaitaliana.com

Restaurant & Delivery Hours:

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

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


The Food Issue

The Rebirth of Bartertown Table Talk: Crystal Lecoy & Thad Cummings of Bartertown Diner By Nick Macksood

This month I sat down with the new owners of Bartertown Diner, Crystal Lecoy and Thad Cummings, to chat about their vegan diner’s recent transformation and revamped plant-based menu. Find out the reformist restaurateurs’ noble game plan and how they’re handling the business after taking the reins from former Bartertown owner Ryan Cappelletti.

So, what’s changed since you guys took over Bartertown? Lecoy: Lots. We really changed the interior of the space and the aesthetics to make it more comfortable and inviting for our staff to work in and for our customers to feel welcome. And we immediately got rid of tipping. We started our “Give a Taco, Take a Taco” program. There’s a community board on the wall as soon you as you walk into the restaurant, with $2 tacos and $5 bowls of food. Instead of tipping, customers can buy a voucher for the board or take the coupon with them so they can give it to someone in need of a healthy meal. Cummings: And we want to challenge the way that people look at the word “need.” Because people are going to automatically assume that it should go to a homeless person who can’t afford a meal. But, we all have bad days and that’s okay. It’s nice to have somebody just buy you a meal, even if you could afford it. Because then you’re just that much more likely to go and reciprocate in the community. And the no-tipping policy? You guys are like the Danny Meyer’s of Grand Rapids.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Lecoy: I think we’re the only ones in Michigan. At least that we know of. Cummings: Yeah, technically I cheated because I saw a video of some pizza place in New York where you can buy a slice for somebody if you want. I’d love to say I came up with it, but there’s people out there doing it. It’s pretty cutting edge stuff as far as restaurant culture goes.

Thad Cummings and Crystal Lecoy, in front of Bartertown’s “Give a Taco, Take a Taco” bulletin board.

36 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2016

Cummings: It’s a big part of how we’d like to change the restaurant model. When you make $3.10 an hour and you have a rainy week, nobody makes any money. So now you’re scrubbing toilets at $3.10 an hour. That’s not what people wake up and say they want to do with their life. If you can change that model and treat your employees with respect, pay them a livable wage and give them a chance not to worry about surviving paycheck to paycheck, that’s one of the goals here. Lecoy: I think that resonates equally with our staff and the community. We want to bring change and provide dignity to those who might not otherwise have the opportunity to

have a meal here. But we also want to provide that same dignity to our servers. So you could say Bartertown is not only changing the industry, they’re changing the world. Can a restaurant change the world? Cummings: That secret little voice inside my head says, “Yeah, let’s change the world and challenge this old model.” The reality of the situation is that I’ve worked for some of the largest corporations in this country and their business model is no different from the old restaurant model. At some point, you just stop and say, “What the hell are we doing in this world and why do we intentionally treat each other like shit?” At what point do you realize that we’re all human? Lecoy: So yes, we hope to change the world, in short. Any changes to the menu? Lecoy: We want to use more local [ingredients] and more seasonal offerings. Starting in May, our head chef Mitch and his sous-chef Emily will have a new seasonal menu for the summer. We’ll be adding Tuesdays to our calendar and dinner hours from 4 to 8 p.m. starting that month, too. We do want to keep some of Bartertown’s classics on the menu, so we’ll retain a little of that, but we want to offer our own take on plant-based food as well. Why do many vegan menus emphasize meat substitutes? Like tempeh “chorizo.” Why do that when you’re working with the variety of color, texture, smells and shapes of the plant kingdom? Lecoy: We’ve actually had a lot of conversations about color and flavor on the new menu. The old Bartertown used a lot of spice to flavor their dishes rather than the essence of the natural foods. We hope to change that when we’re using Michigan grown produce or foraging for natural ingredients, rather than relying on just spice, tofu and bread. [We’re] really getting rid of the high-carb content and focusing on what’s fresh and healthy and local. n Bartertown Diner 6 Jefferson Ave. SE, Grand Rapids bartertowngr.com (616) 233-3219

Hearthstone bistro ≤ bar ≤ grill

VOTED BEST RESTAURANT By the people of Muskegon & Ottawa Counties

Steaks ≤ Seafood ≤ Pasta ≤ Sandwiches ≤ Salads ≤ Our Famous Magical Cheese ≤ Fine Wines ≤ Craft Beers ≤ Cocktails ENJOY LU N C H O R D I N NE R O N O U R B E AU T I FU L EU R O P E A N GARDEN TERRACE

Norton Shores ≤ Corner of Business 31 at Norton Ave. ≤ 231-733-1056 ≤ HearthstoneRestaurant.com

Downtown Kalamazoo's Premier Wine Bar and Italian Restaurant

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209 S. KALAMAZOO MALL KALAMAZOO, MI 269-552-4444 | mangiakalamazoo.com Open for Dinner Service 7 Days a Week

V I S I T O U R O T H E R R E S TA U R A N T S !


3112 S. 9th Street Kalamazoo, MI 269-372-4600 mangiapizzaandpastacompany.com


139 W. Michigan Ave. Paw Paw, MI 269-657-7033 lacantinapawpaw.com

REVUEWM.COM | May 2016 |


The Food Issue

Meet the Butchers Where’s the Beef? Revue Investigates By JOHN WIEGAND

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

After a long day’s work there are few things I enjoy more than curling up, Ron Swanson-style, with a thick, juicy hunk of animal meat and an equally luscious single-malt scotch. While my appetite for vast quantities of meat is admittedly less than the mustachioed libertarian of Parks and Recreation fame, I do possess a vigorous ferocity for cuts of all shapes and flavors. Thankfully, this region has plenty of options to settle my inner carnivore into a placated, purring kitten. Be it traditional kielbasa or a city chicken, an aged cut of steak or the occasional pig roast, West Michigan’s butchers deliver. Here’s where to start.

38 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2016

With warmer weather on the horizon, your grill, lonely from those long winter months, is yearning for sausage season. If that’s the case, Lewandowski’s Market has you covered. The butcher shop, located at 1107 Walker Ave. NW on Grand Rapids’ West Side, forms an oldguard of West Michigan butcher shops and carries “only the good stuff,” according to Owner Vic Hill. Hill is a man of few words, but those words ring true in the ears of his customers, many of whom have been with him for nearly as long as the store has been in business. They travel great distances to purchase his shop’s legendary kielbasa, German Wieners and hot sticks. Hill takes his sausage very seriously and maintains a cadre of homemade recipes that include fresh garlic and no extras like MSG, he said. His staff also spends a lot of time ensuring that no “junk” — gristle, bone and other unsavory things — makes it into those all natural casings. “If I wouldn’t eat it, it’s not going in the sausage,” he said. Lewandowski’s also carries a complement of steaks, veal, city chicken and more, the bulk of which he buys from Fillmore Beef Co. in Holland. In addition to its meat products, Lewandowski’s also stocks an array of imported sauerkraut, pickles from Germany and Poland, sardines and other goods. In addition to the old-school meat slingers, a new vanguard of butcher shops opened in the region in response to customers wishing to be closer to their food.

One of those newcomers, E.A. Brady’s, opened 18 months ago in Grand Rapids’ Eastown neighborhood when two brothers sold a family business and opted to pursue their passion for meat on a larger scale. Now, instead of defrosting suckling pigs in their shower at home, the brothers are hanging quarters of beef and slinging homemade hot dogs — a customer favorite — in their new shop at 1413 Lake Dr. SE, said Founder Evan Brady. “Being in the backyard of SpartanNash and Meijer, it’s an uphill battle with people used to going to those places,” Brady said. “But we’re starting to convince people with stuff that people didn’t even know butchers do.” Beyond a full menu of homemade sausages and other typical meaty offerings, E.A. Brady’s has taken a cue from pre-World War II butcher shops by roasting chickens on Fridays and making their own Bolognese sauce and deli meats. Brady said his butcher shop focuses on unique cuts of beef like bavette, which is similar to a flank steak but meatier and more tender, and sells at prices more palatable for cost-conscious consumers. In addition to the meat counter, E.A. Brady’s sells an ever-growing complement of “meat accessories,” including mustards, cooking oil and pickles. Along the Lakeshore, Earl’s Meats has operated in Holland for the past 40 years and carries a wide variety of meats, cheeses and eggs from its shop at 5685 143rd Ave. At Earl’s, you’ll find everything from steaks — which the shop will cut to order — and pork chops to 30 different varieties of freshly made beef jerky, according to Earl Bosch who runs the joint with his two sons. The Bosch family has carved (har har) a name for themselves on their quality products, especially when it comes to steaks. All of Earl’s Meats’ steaks are aged for at least two weeks, making them much more tender than the store bought variety, Bosch said. “That’s why people come to me, because the grocery stores don’t have time to age the meat as long as I do,” Bosch said. “If you eat a steak that was butchered and not aged and then eat one of mine, I guarantee you’ll be able to tell the difference.” Beyond its meat counter fare, Earl’s also offers catering services. However, by catering I don’t mean little containers of pulled pork. These guys go all out with either a complete pig roast or a full-scale chicken barbecue, if the crowd is big enough. n Pictured left: E.A. Brady’s in Eastown. PhotoS: Megan Lendman Photography

More West Michigan Butcher Shops Bob’s Butcher Block & Bob’s Butcher Block West 7647 Riverview Dr., Jenison and 12059 Felch St # 40, Holland bobsbutcherblock.com, (616) 457-1210 and (616) 928-0682 Blue Star Meat Co. 4040 Blue Star Hwy., Holland bluestarcatering.com, (616) 392-4291 Delski’s Meats 1760 44th St. SW Suite 1B, Wyoming (616) 301-6949 E.A. Brady’s 1413 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids eabradys.com, (616) 226-6594 Earl’s Meats 5685 143rd Ave., Holland earlsmeats.com, (616) 392-6392

Leyen & Sons Meats 844 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids leyenandson.com, (616) 454-3057 Louise Earl Butcher 1106 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids louiseearlbutcher.com, (616) 930-3602 Meat Block Inc. 2330 E. Broadway Ave., Muskegon meatblockinc.com, (231) 773-0224

Galesburg Meat Co. 58 Mill St., Galesburg galesburgmeatco.com, (269) 665-9501

Montello Meat Market 451 Washington Ave., Holland montellomeatmarket.com, (616) 392-2253

Gil’s Market 654 River St., Kalamazoo facebook.com/gilsmarketcomstock, (269) 388-8036

Scott Meats Inc 303 E. Broadway Ave., Muskegon scottmeats.com, (231) 733-9573

Grand Butchers 855 Michigan St. NE #102, Grand Rapids grandbutchers.com, (616) 454-7411

Sheldon Meats 7405 Port Sheldon, Hudsonville sheldonmeats.com, (616) 875-8598

John Drummond’s Butcher Shop 6908 E. Apple Ave., Muskegon (231) 788-1928

Sobie Meats 3450 Remembrance Rd. NW, Walker sobiemeats.com, (616) 453-7201

Ken’s Market 3500 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids 2420 Eastern Ave., Grand Rapids kensfruitmarket.com, (616) 363-7888 and (616) 245-7040

Top Butcher Shoppe and BBQ 606 E. Savidge St., Spring Lake (616) 296-1371

Kingma’s Market & Butcher 2225 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids kingmasmarket.com, (616) 363-7575 Lewandoski’s Market 1107 Walker Ave. NW, Grand Rapids (616) 454-2281

44 East Eighth Street Holland, MI 49423 616.396.8227 | | @butchsdrydock www.butchs.net

ButchsDryDock-RevueMag • 4.375” x 4.875” • 4/0

Signature ”Gandered” Tots

A new restaurant for Southeast Grand Rapids. At Ganders, we’re passionate about Michigan.

Van Ball’s Prime Beef Inc. 3442 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids (616) 363-0801 V & V Quality Meats 5002 Wynn Rd., Kalamazoo (269) 382-0345


28th Street SE at Patterson Ave. doubletreegrandrapids.com/ganders

MICHIGAN GROWN MICHIGAN MADE MICHIGAN BREWED Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner

REVUEWM.COM | May 2016 |

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Frank’s Market 750 Fulton W., Grand Rapids facebook.com/grfranksmarket, (616) 454-2706

Fine Dine. Fine Wine.


The Food Issue

Now Open & Coming Soon

New Restaurant and Brewery Report

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

By Troy Reimink

By the time you read this list, it will probably be inaccurate. Ten years ago, the arrival of a new restaurant concept in little ol’ Grand Rapids was an extraordinary, blessed occurrence. Now, it seems not a day goes by without the announcement of a trendy new brewpub, smallplate restaurant, beer garden, artisan cocktail bar, tasting room or gourmet coffee purveyor, often attached to a mixed-use development and usually accompanied by a sleek Squarespace website. Frankly, it can all be a little exhausting. Who will go to all of these places, you might wonder? Excellent question. Maybe you! But how to choose from the expanding galaxy of dining options? First, educate thyself. The tentative (and by no means complete) list of newly opened and forthcoming restaurants includes upscale experiments by well-known chefs, adventurous offerings from talented locals and several breweries. Take a look:

40 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2016

Brick & Porter Brick & Porter Pub and Kitchen — Occupying the space of the departed (and much liked by me) Marado Sushi, Brick & Porter opened in March as a casual-ish tap house and grub-slinger notable for its long, inviting bar and creative twists on conventional pub fare. (47 Monroe Center NW, Grand Rapids; brickandportergr.com) Brighton Graye’s Bistro — The latest restaurant from the owners of Graydon’s Crossing, Logan’s Alley and Derby Station is preparing to open in June as an upscale dining spot in the site of the old D’Amico’s Food Mart in the Creston area. It promises small plates, craft cocktails and “the feel of urban dining.” (1747 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids; brightongrayes.com) City Built Brewery — This effort from Edwin Collazo and Dave Petroeljie — a veteran of Osgood Brewing in Grandville — is eyeing a summer opening in a mixed-use development in the flowering North Monroe business district. In addition to inventive, flavorful beers, City Built will offer barbecue and Caribbean-inspired cuisine. (820 Monroe Ave. NW, Suite 155, Grand Rapids; facebook.com/ CityBuiltBrewing)

Lightfast Coffee Bar

Ando Asian Kitchen — Joining New Holland Brewing in the Rockford Construction development on the corner of Bridge and Turner is a new offering from Robert Song, who opened the successful Maru Sushi & Grill on Cherry Street four years ago. The restaurant debuts in September with a menu of Korean, Vietnamese and Japanese dishes, offering what Song has described as “Asian comfort food.” (405 Turner Ave. NW, Grand Rapids)

Atwater Brewery — Did someone say brewery overload? I suppose if there’s going to be too many of something in Grand Rapids, it might as well be breweries, as opposed to, say, churches. Detroit’s popular Atwater Brewery is prepping a beer garden and tap house inside the Rowe development, scheduled to open sometime this summer. (201 Michigan St. NW, Grand Rapids; atwaterbeer.com)

Creston Brewery — Four partners, including Scott Schultz and Molly Bouwsma-Schultz of the popular local band Vox Vidorra, are opening a brewery in the former Dekorne Furniture Company showroom on Plainfield Ave. NE. They promise live music, a community gathering spot and an affordable menu comprising tacos, burritos, empanadas and other madefrom-scratch global fare. They’re shooting for a late June, early July opening. (1504 Plainfield Ave. NE; crestonbrewery.com) Elk Brewing (new location) — After its longdelayed opening, Elk has slowly grown at its Wealthy Street SE location from a tiny alsoran in a crowded market into a well-regarded brewery. To meet growing demand, Elk later this year will open a larger facility in Comstock

Park, near Fifth Third Ballpark. (400 Dodge St. NE, Comstock Park; elkbrewing.com) Field & Fire Cafe — Shelby and Julie Kibler’s wood-fired bakery was one of the original tenants at the Downtown Market, and by late summer, they aim to open a restaurant/ cafe with an expanded menu inside the aforementioned North Monroe mixed-use development. (820 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids; fieldandfire.com) Grand Coney (new location) — The local chain’s newest location at Madison Avenue and 28th Street keeps the lights on around the clock on weekends to accommodate late-night revelers and the early breakfast crowd. (401 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids; grandconeygr.com) Gray Skies Distillery — A convergence of “it” location (North Monroe) and “it” concept (craft spirits) points to a promising future for the city’s latest distillery, now open and practicing a “good hooch made local” philosophy via small batches of vodka, gin, bourbon and rye whiskey. (700 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids; grayskiesdistillery.com) Greyline Brewing Co. — Co-owners Nate Walser and Kevin Clancy, both Founders Brewing veterans, are readying a cozy, offthe-beaten-trail destination, with a small food menu to start. Setting up shop in the city’s northwest corner, the brewery’s opening is imminent as of press time. (1727 Alpine Ave. NW, Grand Rapids)

Madcap Coffee (new location) — The popular downtown coffee shop will open a second destination on East Fulton Street adjacent to the refurbished auto garage that serves as Madcap’s roasting facility. Also, they will serve waffles. I feel like that calls for a little more excitement: Also, they will serve waffles! (1039 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids; madcapcoffee.com) New Holland Brewing Company — The 40,000-square-foot Knickerbocker Brewpub and Distillery, tentatively set for a September opening, headlines Rockford Construction’s marquee West Side development, which will include retail and residential spaces. (Bridge Street and Broadway Avenue, Grand Rapids; newhollandbrew.com) Oh My Salad — A healthful oasis amidst a sea of fast-food franchises on 28th Street, this newly opened restaurant — created by partners Eric Williams and Smiljana Lazic — offers abundant salads, fruits and smoothies. (2919 28th St. SE, Kentwood; facebook.com/ OhMySaladGR)

Social Kitchen and Bar People’s Cider Company Tasting Room — Jason Lummen has been quietly building word of mouth since launching The People’s Cider Company in 2011. People’s joins Mitten Brewing Co., Long Road Distillers and Two Scotts Barbecue in turning Leonard Street on the West Side into a hot-dining district when it opens its doors, likely soon. (537 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids; thepeoplescider.com) Roots Brew Shop — Another newcomer to the coffee market makes appealing use of its large space on the West Side, and was the result of a successful GoFundMe campaign by owners Mallory Root and Austin Radebaugh. (600 7th St. NW, Grand Rapids; rootsbrewshop.com)

Oh My Salad

Social Kitchen and Bar — The Grand Rapids iteration of chef Zack Sklar’s wildly popular Birmingham upscale-casual spot fills the northeast corner of Grand Rapids’ Downtown Market, and opened its doors April 18. (435 Ionia Ave. SW; socialkitchenandbar.com) The Sovengard — I guessed, incorrectly, that “Sovengard” was a reference to something from The Lord of the Rings. This addition to the expanding dining/drinking corridor along Bridge Street, includes an outdoor biergarten and a menu exploring the Scandinavian roots of traditional Midwestern cuisine. Set for a soft opening in late May or early June. (44 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids; sovengard.com)

Jamaican Dave’s (new location) — The upcoming demolition of the strip plaza at 1059 Wealthy Street SE — for, you guessed it, a mixed-use housing and retail development — will mean a new opportunity for Jamaican Dave’s. The long-running Caribbean restaurant will move into a strip mall on South Division Avenue. (530 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids; jamaicandavesgrandrapids.com) Greyline Brewing Co.

Sweet Creams — Grand Rapids’ newest build-your-own-frozen-treat spot is at Hall Street and Giddings Avenue SE. If you get overwhelmed by the number of choices, visit

the Sweet Creams Facebook page, which offers “creation of the day” suggestions. (1163 Giddings Ave. SE, Grand Rapids; facebook. com/1163sweetcreams) That Early Bird Coffee Coffee & Food — This collaboration between Chef Joel Wabeke and Rowster Coffee is currently raising Indiegogo funds for its goal of offering expertly crafted beverages and distinctive baked goods. As if that’s not challenging enough in an increasingly competitive market, That Early Bird will also attempt to fill the shoes of Kava House, the beloved Eastown coffee shop that closed last year. (1445 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids; facebook.com/thatearlybird) Vander Mill Grand Rapids — Vander Mill, already a widely recognized maker of alcoholic (gluten-free, if that’s your thing) ciders, threw its hat in the taproom ring in late April. The company has started production in the former B&B beer distribution site, which features a large kitchen and restaurant space that also will host live music. (505 Ball Ave. NE, Grand Rapids; vandermill.com) The Wheelhouse — This casual-dining, “Michigan fare” concept from the Meritage Hospitality Group (whose other restaurants include Twister Rooster and Crooked Goose) opens this month as part of the long-in-themaking Arena Place downtown development. (158 Weston St. SW, Grand Rapids; meritagehospitality.com) n

REVUEWM.COM | May 2016 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Happy Cat Cafe — I am so into this it’s not even funny. Set to open any minute now, Happy Cat will bring to Grand Rapids the cat-cafe trend, which originated in Japan and has only recently taken off in large U.S. cities. Half gourmet coffee/pastry shop, half cat adoption center, at any given time the cafe will house eight to 10 cats, all of whom are eager to find their new best friend. (447 N. Division Ave., Grand Rapids; happycatgr.com)

Lightfast Coffee Bar & Art Collective — One of Grand Rapids’ newest coffee shops offers drinks and baked goods that are largely locally sourced, as well as a venue for provocative work by artists from the community. (944 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids; lightfastcoffee.com)


The Food Issue

Fired Up Q&A: Shelby Kibler of Field & Fire

By Troy Reimink

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Shelby Kibler

If you want to see Shelby Kibler’s eyes light up, ask him about the miracle of fermentation. His Field & Fire artisan bakery, one of the Grand Rapids Downtown Market’s original tenants, specializes in a style of baking consistent with the ethics of the “farm to table” movement, employing a two-to-three-day fermentation period for all dough awaiting its turn in one of the bakery’s two enormous wood-fired ovens. Kibler, who operates Field & Fire along with his wife Julie, came to Grand Rapids after 12 years with Zingerman’s, the wildly popular food business community on the east side of the state. Since opening in 2013, Field & Fire has slowly expanded its footprint in West Michigan. It recently started selling its bread in the Grand Rapids area’s three Harvest Health locations. Its products have been added to the Doorganics grocery-delivery service. Later this year, Field & Fire will open a second location, a cafe on Monroe Avenue NW. With the ovens crackling in the background, Kibler, 44, explained his methods.

42 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2016

What are the philosophies being expressed through Field & Fire? We are artisan bakers, first and foremost. We don’t just try to make something that tastes great, but something that is good for people, in a way that does not ravage the earth as much as if we didn’t care about anything except the bottom line. We’re passionate about fermentation here. Most of the products we sell are fermented by yeast and bacteria. Sourdough is big, which makes a baked good healthier. We use only organic flour, grain, nuts and seeds. For the layperson, could you explain how fermentation works? You take flour and add a liquid so it’s hydrated, then biological activity can take place. The flour is transformed by yeast and bacteria in a way that breaks down some of the constituents and produces some more healthful consequences. It’s pre-digestion, really. It gets digested prior to you consuming it in a way that you’re able to utilize almost the whole bit when you finally eat the product. Time is an ingredient in what we’re doing. Why did you come to Grand Rapids? When I looked into this community, it was underserved in this style of bak-

ing. There wasn’t anybody producing the type of stuff I envisioned selling. Because the beer scene has really caused a great deal of growth in this city, and consequently the food scene is really in its growing stage, it felt like it was a great time to get into this market. What would you recommend to somebody who’s never been to Field & Fire? I like to eat a wood-fired croissant every day. They’re especially good in the morning, so if a guest comes at 9 a.m., they should try a croissant. The best croissant I’ve ever had in my life is what we have here. Do people misunderstand bread when they participate in trends like low-carb and gluten-free diets? It’s a complicated matter. I try to remember what everybody wants is to be healthy. We don’t sell anything that’s gluten-free here, because that’s not what I do. My opinion is that if you take grains and you ferment them properly over a long period of time, you’re going to produce something that anybody should be able to eat. If you’re truly Celiac, then you can’t eat gluten. But most people who just

Field & Fire Butter Croissants feel a little sensitive to gluten can eat most of the stuff that we sell without any detriment. Because of the long, slow fermentation and high hydration, you’re left with a product that 100 percent of my intellect and spirit believes is healthful for the people who buy our stuff. n Field & Fire (In the Downtown Market) 435 Ionia St. SW, Grand Rapids (616) 551-3491 fieldandfire.com Monday-Saturday: 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.




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he way this year’s presidential primary season has gone so far, comedian Lewis Black wishes he could’ve written it as a novel. “I think it reads better as fiction than it does as reality,” Black said about the drama surrounding the campaign trail this spring. Black, 67, is no stranger to the literary life. The funnyman first started out as a playwright in New York City in the 1980s after graduating with an MFA from Yale. It was only later that he ventured into the world of standup, where he’s since been acclaimed as one of the top comics of all time, and become known for his rage-fueled rants and scathing sarcasm. Friday, May 20, he brings that venom to the Kalamazoo State Theatre. “It’s only luck, because I’m funniest when I’m angry. If I wasn’t, I’d just be a sad little man,” he said. Over the last 30 years, Black’s routine has become something of a hilarious human manifestation of America’s collective frustraLewis Black tion. With everything from his regular “Back in Black” segments on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show to his role as Anger itself in last year’s hit animated movie Inside Out, he’s mastered the art of “It’s one thing to watch the governor being well-informed, hot-blooded humor. But when Donald Trump runs for president — and truth becomes grilled, like when they were grilling his stranger than fiction — Black said his job as a stand-up gets trickier. ass about the catastrophe in Flint, but it’s “What is the necessity of a comic? Every time there’s this nonsense, we can’t write anything funnier than what we’re seeing,” he another thing to read something personal said. “When Sarah Palin appears onstage with Donald Trump, what’s from somebody who lives there and is my job? At this point, I wonder what my job is — other than to go onstage and go ‘Ta da!’” dealing with the water problem. I think that’s Yet, within all the hostility of the campaign, Black couldn’t be more interesting than these [politicians].” happier to see the unexpected movement forming around Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. “I finally have a candidate!” he said. “Even though to bitch about,” he said. “I mean, it’s one thing to watch he’s not going to win, at least I’ve got a candidate this the governor being grilled, like when they were grilling time. My whole life I never had a candidate.” Lewis Black: The his ass about the catastrophe in Flint, but it’s another A proud, longtime Democratic Socialist himself, Emperor’s New Clothes: thing to read something personal from somebody who and a strong Sanders supporter, Black said he gets why The Naked Truth Tour lives there and is dealing with the water problem. I people are turning to candidates outside of the mainKalamazoo State Theatre, think that’s more interesting than these [politicians]. stream establishment. 404 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo The reality of what they are doing to people is more “It’s stuff that needs to be said because the May 20, 7 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. interesting than they are.” Democrats haven’t said it,” he said of Sanders’ focus show $37.50, $47.50, $65 All laughter aside, Black is also a Voting Rights on supporting the working class. “We’re going through kazoostate.com, (269) Ambassador for the American Civil Liberties Union the same cycle again and again. We’re constantly in 345-6500 (ACLU) and hopes that the insanity of this year’s electhe spin cycle and I want to get to wash, dry and fold. tion will motivate more people to get to the polls. What they’re talking about is shit that should’ve been Soaring Eagle Casino & He’s just not holding his breath for huge voter done ten years ago. It’s saying that enough is enough.” Resort, 6800 Soaring Eagle turnouts. While on the road, Black has done over 125 Q&A Blvd., Mt. Pleasant “It’s because we’ve disenfranchised everybody,” he sessions following his standup performances where May 21, 8 p.m. $20-$52 said. “And even when you go, you’re just looking at two he reads emails sent to him by fans, which he then soaringeaglecasino.com, names. It’s basically a painful experience and there’s not webcasts online. (888) 7EAGLE7 “[They’re] written in by folks who really are bitcha lever that says ‘kill me now.’” n ing about things I wouldn’t even know where to begin


indie film

by Josh Spanninga

At the Drive-In The Getty Celebrates 68 Years

Schedule | Dining | Sights Sounds | Scene



46 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2016

r i v e - i n t h e at r e s wi ll foreve r be attac h e d to the bygone

eras of the 1950s and ’60s, but the Getty Drive-In is far from a thing of the past. Last month, Muskegon’s own Getty Drive-In — one of a handful of drive-ins still operating in Michigan — celebrated its 68th year in business. While it’s certainly a cinematic relic (no fancy recliners here, folks), the nostalgia of the throwback theatre continues to draw crowds. And it’s not just locals. “We have a lot of people from outside Muskegon who come in,” said Kevin Sims, general manager of the Getty Drive-In. “We have a couple from Saginaw that come every two weeks. They’re dedicated.” Sims said the drive-in has even hosted a wedding for one particularly devoted Chicago couple. “They’d met here in Muskegon at the The Getty Drive-In first opened its gate in 1948. This year, the cinema relic celebrates drive-in, so they wanted to get married here. I said, ‘Well, to be honest with you this is yet another summer. something totally new to me.’ But we did it. They set up a tent and it was fantastic,” Sims relying on clunky old drive-in speaker boxes, “I think back to the days when I first said. audiences could now tune their car stereos started. When I was like, ‘Oh, my god, are If anyone knows a thing or two about the to designated FM stations. This was a huge there going to be some fights going on?’ You Getty Drive-In, it’s Sims. He’s been visiting innovation for the theatre. didn’t see many families. It was rare. It was drive-ins since he was a kid. His first trip was For 20 years, the Getty Drive-In remained more of a teenage hangout,” he said. a Godzilla double-feature. By the early 1980s relatively unchanged. That is until 2012, when But Sims said those Rebel Without a Cause he had begun working at the Getty full time. theatres worldwide were forced by Hollywood days are long over. 2016 marks his landmark 35th to make the switch to digital projection. From “If you visit the drive-in year with the company. there, film-reel projectors became instantly now, it’s more like a picnic or “I graduated from college obsolete. It was a costly surprise. a festival atmosphere,” he said. Getty Drive-In with a degree in computer “The drive-ins had to make a decision “Everybody gets their blankets 920 E. Summit Ave., Muskegon programming,” he said. “But (231) 798-2608 then. Either you go digital or you’re going to out and their lawn chairs, and that was in the early ‘80s, when Gates open at 8 p.m. daily have to close down,” he said. “Of course, a the playground’s full. People Features begin at sundown. we had a major recession and lot of drive-ins are mom-and-pop places, and are playing Frisbee. I see a lot celebrationcinema.com/ jobs were not easy to come by. they don’t really have the amount of money of people bring tables and they location/GettyDriveIn Next thing I know, my friend’s to do it because each projector was $60,000 play cards before the movie dad hired me at the drive-in. I to $75,000 apiece. Luckily, being a part of starts.” figured I’d work here for a sumCelebration! Cinema, they helped us out.” As for the Getty, the mer or two. I guess the rest is history.” And while The Getty is a branch of theatre originally opened in 1948 as the NK As for the history drive-in culture overall, Celebration! Cinema, it’s far from a conDrive-In and featured only one screen. Jack cinephiles are surely familiar with the reputaventional film-viewing experience. Unique Loeks then bought the theatre in 1966 and in tion of the outdoor theatres being a passion perks: Leashed pets and outside snacks are 1978 added three more screens, making it the pit — a haven for hooliganism and adolescent allowed. Don’t try that at your local indoor four-screen drive-in it is today. sexual discovery. Sims said that was still hapmultiplex. n In 1993, the theatre introduced the pening in his earliest days at the Getty. option of in-car radio sound. Rather than

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by Dana Casadei


Other Theatre Events Murder for Two

Farmers Alley Theatre 221 Farmers Alley, Kalamazoo Through May 15 $30-$35, farmersalleytheatre.com, (269) 343-2727 Two men plus one piano equals this zany musical mystery. During the 90-minute show, two men play 13 different roles in a winking homage to the old-fashioned whodunit.


Circle Theatre 1607 Robinson Rd. SE, Grand Rapids May 5-21 $25-$27, circletheatre.org, (616) 456-6656 This Andrew Lloyd Weber-penned classic tells of the annual gathering of Jellicle cats as they prepare to send one of their own to the Heaviside layer.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

Schedule | Dining | Sights Sounds | Scene

Actors’ Theatre 160 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids May 12-14 & 19-21 $28, actorstheatregrandrapids.org, (616) 234-3946 Siblings Vanya and Sonia have always stayed in their childhood home, while their sister Masha traveled the world as an actress. Suddenly, Masha shows up with her new boy-toy in tow, stirring up all kinds of conflict — gotta love a little sibling rivalry.

The Bridges of Madison County Wharton Center 750 E. Shaw LN, East Lansing May 19-22 $40+, whartoncenter.com, (517) 353-1982

The heart-wrenching musical tells the story of a devoted Iowa housewife and her love affair with a National Geographic photographer. Bring tissues.

48 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2016

Motown’s Supremes performing “Stop! In the Name of Love”

On Broadway


ast month Broadway Grand Rapids announced its 2016-2017 season, with shows ranging from contemporary takes on beloved classics to nostalgic ’80s films revamped into hit musicals. It’s never too early to start planning your Broadway agenda, so check out its upcoming shows, mark your calendars and visit broadwaygrandrapids.com for all of the details.

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella,

Sept. 27-Oct. 2 Kicking off the season is Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella. The two-act musical follows the story of Ella, who dreams of a life better than the one she’s currently living, with her evil stepmother and stepsisters. Enter her Fairy Godmother, a charming Prince and a little bit of magic to help tell the beloved classic. This version has a contemporary take and a few twists but don’t worry, you’ll still see the glass slippers and pumpkin.

A Christmas Story: The Musical, Dec. 27-30

The first of two ’80s films turned into musicals this season is A Christmas Story: The Musical. Based off the classic 1983 film, the story takes place in 1940s Indiana, where 9-year-old Ralphie has one wish for Christmas: to get a Red Ryder B.B. gun. Just be careful not to shoot your eye out.

The Sound of Music, Feb. 21-26 In February, check out The Sound of Music and find out how you solve a problem like Maria, who takes a job as tutor to a large family while she decides whether to become a nun. The harmonious story of Maria and the von Trapp family is directed by three-time Tony Award winner Jack O’Brien in this new production, which is a Tony, Grammy and Academy Award winner for Best Score. Rent: The 20th Anniversary Tour, March 14-16

Twenty years ago there was a little rock musical called Rent that sent a shockwave through Broadway, forever changing the game of what a musical can be. Now, the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning show about a group of

bohemian artists living in New York’s East Village under the shadow of HIV/AIDS is bringing its 20th anniversary tour to Grand Rapids. See what Idina Menzel used to sing about before she became the ice queen of Arendelle.

Motown: The Musical, May 2-7

Following Rent is the jukebox musical, Motown: The Musical. Featuring over 40 Motown classics — think Detroit-made hits like “My Girl” and “Stop! In the Name of Love” — the story is based on the life of Motown record label founder, Berry Gordy, who went from featherweight boxer to a heavyweight musical mogul. The show also follows his relationships with icons like Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and more.

Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story Told on Stage, June 6-11

The second ’80s film turned into a musical this season is Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story Told on Stage. Based off the 1987 film starring the late Patrick Swayze, the musical follows Baby and Johnny, who come from very different backgrounds, during a summer that will change both of their lives. Seen by millions worldwide, the musical features hit songs like “Hey Baby” and “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.” Just remember: Nobody puts baby in a corner. n



A “Charm”ing Evening with Wade Rouse Thursday, May 5 7:00 pm Main Library 111 Library St NE Join us for the Michigan launch of Wade Rouse’s first novel, The Charm Bracelet. Wade will read from and discuss his novel as well as his decision to choose his grandmother’s name, Viola Shipman, as a pen name. Wade will also talk about his artistic inspirations, his concerns about the loss of family traditions and oral histories, and his new series of heirloom novels from St. Martin’s Press. A Q&A and book signing will follow.

An Evening with Jack Lessenberry: Michigan Notable Book Author Tour Wednesday, May 25 7:00 pm Main Library 111 Library St NE Author and journalist Jack Lessenberry will discuss Michigan’s longest serving attorney general, Frank J. Kelley. Lessenberry co-authored the Michigan Notable book, The People’s Lawyer: The Life and Times of Frank J. Kelley, the Nation’s Longest-Serving Attorney General, with Kelley. Lessenberry will talk about the man behind the book: why the so-called godfather of the Michigan Democratic Party is so important and why his story needs to be told.

MSU’s Wharton Center


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ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC 616.988.5400 WWW.GRPL.ORG Many of these events are funded by the Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation Donate: grplfoundation.org or 616.988.5399

REVUEWM.COM | May 2016 |

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MAY 19-22


Voting starts May 1! Vote for your favorite local people, places, businesses and more



(to vote in Revue ’s first BEST OF THE WEST readers poll)


evue is happy to announce our first-ever “best of” poll — the Best of the West contest. This online survey asks our West Michigan readers to nominate and vote for their most-loved local businesses, people and things to do. It’s simple: Just go online to revuewm.com/bestofthewest and select your picks.

Vote for your favorite spots to eat, drink and shop, as well as top local musicians, artists and more. From “Best New Restaurant” and “Best Dive Bar” to “Best Book Store” and “Best Auto Repair,” the competition spans our entire community.

It covers tried-and-true favorites such as “Best Burger,” along with fresh, fun and irreverent staff picks, like “Best Facial Hair” and “Best Cheap Date.” And since Revue covers all of West Michigan — not just Grand Rapids — winning a Best of the West Award means wider-spread bragging rights for its winners. Are you the best in West Michigan? Spread the word via social media and ask for your people to vote for you. Do you support local businesses? Make your voice count and vote today. Winners will be announced August 1, so pick up Revue’s August issue to find out who is Best of the West.

Best of the West readers poll Nominate and vote online from May 1 to June 25 revuewm.com/ bestofthewest

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52 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2016

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

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

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

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

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

REVUEWM.COM | May 2016 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule

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

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

REVUE’s dining listings are compiled by staff and minions. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of restaurants in the region. For an expanded list, be on the lookout for new and improved dining changes on our website, 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.



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

Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene

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.

54 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2016

O’Toole’s 448 Bridge St. 616-742-6095 PUB. This West Side pub offers delicious and outrageously topped burgers, as well as an extensive beer selection, and arguably, the best happy hour specials in town. If food is not your passion, this is a prime place to kick off your Sunday Funday with its $3 Absolut Bloody Mary bar. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 Days. GO THERE FOR: Gourmet burgers, Bloody Mary bar. One Trick Pony 136 E. Fulton. 616-235-7669 AMERICAN. One Trick Pony unveiled a new menu last April with the tagline “Fresh, Local Fare with a Beat.” The restaurant is a part of FarmLink and supports local growers and remains focused on sustainability. Connected to the Cottage Bar, the menu spans pizza, salads, homemade soups, smoked prime rib and more. Pair the food with live music, which OTP features weekly. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Eclectic pizzas. Pearl Street Grill 310 Pearl St NW. 616-235-1342 AMERICAN. Dine in a relaxing environment where kids eat free and the chef uses local vendors and suppliers. Conveniently located in downtown Grand Rapids, Pearl Street Grill offers nightly happy hour specials that include signature cocktails and Michigan beer, as well as a $10 burger and beer special, $5 pizzas and more. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner. OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Late night specials.

The Pita House 1450 Wealthy SE, 3730 28th Street, 4533 Ivanrest SW (Grandville). 616-454-1171 MEDITERRANEAN. Gyros so big you can club someone with them, the smoothest hummus in town and other Mediterranean fare, including kibbe, kafta and falafel. Additional locations on 28th Street and Kalamazoo SE. Sandwiches are made to order with fresh vegetables and ingredients. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Fresh pita wraps. Reserve Wine & Food 201 Monroe Ave. NW (616) 855-9463 ECLECTIC. With 102 wines available by the glass and more than 300 by the bottle, paired with an ever-changing food menu influenced by West Michigan grown foods, Reserve promises diners a unique experience. Cocktails and craft beers add depth to the primarily wine-centered menu. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner OPEN ON: Closed on Sunday GO THERE FOR: Wine and food pairings, charcuterie, happy hour. River City Saloon 1152 Leonard St. NW. 616-451-0044 AMERICAN. Combine your tastes of live music and filling food at River City Saloon. The restaurant and bar has Mexican options, burgers, salads and more. On the weekends, indulge in any of these menu items or a couple drinks while listening to some local music by bands like Hey Marco, OTC, Litt Up, Drop 35 and more. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: Wednesday olive burger special

Rockwell-Republic 45 S. Division Ave. 616-551-3563 ECLECTIC. Menu offerings range from sushi to burgers and everything in between. The craft cocktail menu runs the gamut from classics like the Manhattan to more modern concoctions and the beer and wine menus are nicely curated. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Specialty cocktails, broad menu, lively atmosphere. San Chez Bistro 38 West Fulton St. 616-774-8272 SPANISH/ECLECTIC. San Chez is both a café and a Tapas Bistro, now both housed in the same room. This is a social setting where people can remember the one rule of kindergarten: sharing. Featuring small, delicious dishes, San Chez can satiate your desire for variety. It’s also a hidden secret for breakfast in downtown Grand Rapids, offering a great start to any day. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 Days. GO THERE FOR: Tapas, Breakfast, Sandwiches The Score 5301 Northland Dr. NE. 616-301-0600 SPORTS BAR. The Score is the perfect combination for beer and sports lovers. More than 70 TVs carry all major sports packages and there are 128 beers on tap. During the summer months, enjoy live entertainment seven days a week, outdoor dining (complete 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.

Jasmine, a fragrant white flower, is associated in Thai culture with purity and gentleness. It is the perfect symbol for a mother's love. This is why it's the symbolic flower of Mother's Day. Because mothers in Thailand are the center of the traditional family and the primary caregivers, it is to honor and respect them. The mark of any good man or woman is the gratitude they show to the mother who raised them‌

Noon-9pm Sunday, May 8, 2016 A complimentary House Dessert for all Moms with their entree. Dine-in only, while supplies last. Wealthy Street Location Only. 950 Wealthy ST SE Suite 1A Grand Rapids, MI 49506 ErbThaiGR



REVUEWM.COM | May 2016 |


Dining Six.One.Six. 235 Louis St. NW. 616-242-1448 ECLECTIC. Market-inspired menus, sweeping views and progressive rhythms combine to create a memorable dining experience. The dishes tempt taste buds and is the perfect spot for foodies. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 Days GO THERE FOR: Variety and being seen.

happy hour $3 Glasses of Wine, $2 Well Drinks, $2 Domestic Bottles, $1 off Large Pitchers, $0.50 off Pints & Small Pitchers, 12 Draught beers available!

Stella’s Lounge 53 Commerce Ave. 616-356-2700 TAVERN. The Chicago-style whiskey bar has more than 200 varieties of distilled spirits, old-school video games, and a menu filled with vegetarian and vegan bar food — and stuffed burgers. Did we mention you can sip cans of PBR and other classic beers out of a mason jar?

33 years as your local, independent bookstore!


MAY / 2016

Happy Hour 11 AM - 7 PM & Jam with Everett 8 PM - 12 AM






Happy Hour 11 AM - 7 PM Karaoke with Patty B. 8 PM - 12 AM


5, 12, 19, 26


Happy Hour 11 AM - 7 PM Live Entertainment 9:30 PM 1:30 AM - No Cover Charge!



Live Entertainment 9:30 PM 1:30 AM - No Cover Charge! 3 Hard Shell Tacos for $2.75


Happy Hour 12 PM - 7 PM

Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene



56 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2016

Join us for an author event featuring Food Network founder Jack Clifford, as he presents his memoir, The Least Likely to Succeed.


Scrabble club meets in the community area at the rear of the store. Join Dr. Nebil Y. Misconi for ‘An Immigrant’s Journey into the Cosmos.’ immigrantsjourneybook.com



3 Hard Shell Tacos for $2.75 until 7 PM 50 Cent Tacos After 7 PM!!!




Happy Hour 11 AM - 7 PM


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.

The Winchester 648 Wealthy St. SE. 616-451-4969 ECLECTIC. This upscale 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 and specials. When available, some produce items are harvested from their garden across the street. » SERVING: Brunch Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: DIY Bloody Mary Bar Special, Yucca Fries.



Happy Hour All Day Long!

Happy Hour 11 AM - 7 PM

» SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Whiskey, vegetarian and vegan bar food.

24 7pm

John is touring for the release of anxiously awaited Redemption Road.


Join Kelsey Duthil-Catá, Ruth Harper, Ivan Jenson, Steve Poling, and John Warnock for Local Author Night.



Join us in the Schuler studio as musician Laszlo Slomovitz and poet Jennifer Burd present Receiving the Shore, a collaboration bringing together poetry by Jennifer Burd and musical setting of those pieces by Laszlo Slomovits. Visit www.SchulerBooks.com for a complete list of events. All events are subject to change.

2660 28th Street SE / 616.942.2561

Michig Postca


DEAD KETTLE India Pale A le

Citra, Magnum, Cascade and Centennial hops 70 IBUs

Now AvAIlAble IN 16 oz cANs.

Dead Kettle IPA is a resurrection from the hop gods. It’s light-bodied with a pleasant finish that won’t kill your palate. Large additions of Citra dry-hopping produce a balanced IPA showcasing heavy citrus notes and hop aroma. rightbrainbrewery.com

great food

live music


Sunday Brunch 11am-4pm



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

MAY shows 5/5 David Molinari 5/7 An Dro 5/12 Graffiti CD Release Party 5/14 Organissimo 5/19 Kathy Lamar 5/21 Natchez Trace 5/26 Mary Rademacher 5/28 No Music

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

Makes a Great Gift!


JULY 27th

1411 Robinson 1411 Robinson RoadRoad • 451-4732 Grand Rapids, MI facebook/foot outfitters (616) 451-4732 Footoutfitters.com Repairs Available Gift Certificates Available 3915497-01

Summer Sandals www.footoutfitters.com Follow us! @FootOutfitters

REVUEWM.COM | May 2016 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule




by Joe Boomgaard, Revue Beer Czar


Lakeshore Brewery Tour Growing beer scenes in Skee-town, GH offer plenty of top-notch options


f your day at the beach gets rained out, there’s no need to worry. Like the rest of West Michigan, the beach towns of Muskegon and Grand Haven have a budding downtown brewery scene that’s developed over the last five or six years. Both cities offer a pair of breweries — Unruly and Pigeon Hill in Muskegon, Odd Side and Grand Armory in Grand Haven — that are all within walking distance of each other, not to mention a host of other downtown attractions. On a gorgeous sunny Friday last month, this writer and the Revue team — aka The Merry Band of Millennials including Kelli Belanger, Rachel Harper, Nick Manes, Josh Veal and John Wiegand — decided to break out of the office to see what each of the breweries had to offer. Here’s what we uncovered.

What The Millennials Said: John: Walter Blondale really stood out to me. It was easydrinking but full of flavor with mild fruit undertones. Josh: Renegade is maybe the most-drinkable DIPA I’ve ever had. It’s not too malty despite being a double, and has a lot of citrus from the West Coast hops. Nick: I really liked the Skeeter On My Wheater. It was very easy-drinking, along the lines of Oberon but I thought it was quite a bit better. Rachel: For me, it was the Oatmeal Creme Pie (OCP), especially on nitro. Kelli: As someone who is not normally a fan of double IPAs, I assumed Renegade DIPA would knock me on my ass, but I would definitely drink this beer again.

Pigeon Hill Brewing Co.

Editor’s Pick: The Besto Bohemian Pils satiated my traditional European beer vibes with a true-to-style light and malty Czech pilsener that had the right hop kick.

Are you down with OCP? Pigeon Hill’s popular Oatmeal Creme Pie now comes in cans at retailers across West Michigan, but it pays to go to the source, where you can get it on nitro for that extra creamy kick. OCP is just one of the dozen or so beers Pigeon Hill aims to have on tap at any given time, said co-owner Michael Brower. “We like having a balanced board, not just 10 IPAs. We cover the spectrum with what we know we want to drink. We put the

Unruly Brewing Co.

500 W. Western Ave., Muskegon (231) 375-5184, pigeonhillbrew.com

Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene

beer first.” The laid-back vibe and frequent live music add to the setting, which features roll-up doors and outdoor seating in the summer. “It’s just cool to create a culture here. This is more than just a place to drink.”

Pigeon Hill Brewing Co. patio

58 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2016

Quite a flight: Grand Armory Brewing Co.

360 W. Western Ave., Muskegon (231) 288-1068, unrulybrewing.com Eric Hoffman loves the freedom in brewing everything from sours to hoppy double IPAs to barrel-aged stouts. The brewmaster and owner aims for full-flavored offerings

Getting unruly at Unruly Brewing Co.

regardless of style that are true to Unruly’s devil horns logo. That ethic translates into its taproom as well, which it shares with pizza slingers Rebel Pies and the Drip Drop Drink coffee house. There’s a stage, as well as TVs and games to keep everyone busy. “We wanted something to feel like you’re not in Muskegon, but maybe a larger city,” Hoffman said, noting the taproom has frequent live music and vinyl nights. “We just offer a really cool atmosphere, good beers and something for everybody. We want people to have fun.” For extra summer revelry, Unruly plans to install a sand volleyball court across the street, complete with bar service. Bump, set, spike! What The Millennials Said: John: I dug the punk/counterculture vibe they had going on. The Farmer’s Daughter pizza was on point. Beer wise, I especially liked the barrel-aged RJD. Josh: RJD (Ronnie James Dio), a bourbon barrel-aged Russian imperial stout, proved surprisingly balanced for a barrel-aged beer and not overwhelmingly boozy. It had a decent amount of vanilla and a nice, full body. Nick: Go for the Downtown Mike Brown Hoppy Brown and 60 Second Lover Red IPA.

Rachel: I liked the Tropic Thunder DIPA and the 60 Second Lover — and the punk vibe. Kelli: I don’t discriminate against beers with citrus or tropical notes, so naturally I enjoyed the Revel Rouser West Coast IPA, made with only Michigan hops. Editor’s Pick: The Tropic Thunder DIPA comes Les Grossman approved and is sure to make you want to put the booty of a Swisha at the end of a flame.

Odd Side Ales

41 Washington Ave. Suite 160, Grand Haven (616) 935-7326, oddsideales.com Tucked away in the corner of an old piano factory, the mad scientists at Odd Side Ales like to throw convention to the wind. “We’re definitely not a traditional brewery,” said Reid Warber, the taproom manager. “We’re outside of the box — it’s in our name. Don’t ever expect to have a normal beer here.” As such, the taplist ranges from bourbon barrelaged hazelnut stouts to sours to fruited witbiers, as well as IPAs, Belgians, coffee blondes, and everything in between.

As much as the brewery focuses on variety, it also wants to create an inviting atmosphere at the taproom — one without TVs to distract patrons. “It’s really conducive to people hanging out and talking,” Warber said. What The Millennials Said: John: The Beer Jito was a little heavy on the lime but I like that, and it proved to be relatively easy-drinking for being a uniquely flavored beer. Also, I’m not an IPA guy, but The Implication was on fleek. Josh: I don’t even know what to say about The Implication. It was just unlike anything I’ve ever tried before. Even the nose was heavy. Rachel: So many beer choices! I had to have a Bean Flicker because it’s one of my absolute favorites. The Brainy Day Brown was also pretty good. Kelli: Prepare to pucker! Sour Grapes was my favorite beer on the tour. Anyone who is a wine and cider drinker will likely enjoy this crisp, tart ale.

The new Grand Haven brewery is the yin to their neighbor’s yang, providing mostly historically accurate styles with a hint of DIY homebrewer innovation. “We wanted to add diversity to Grand Haven’s craft beer scene, and we’re sticking to the script,” Andrews said. Tabor added: “Grand Haven has been a pit stop, but we want to create a culture where it’s a destination for craft beer enthusiasts to stay.” Part of the attraction is the historic space the taproom occupies, which features the original YMCA basketball court wood floors and reclaimed Brunswick bowling alley lanes turned into tables. The brewery shares the space with several other businesses, including Righteous BBQ and Aldea Coffee.

17 S. 2nd St., Grand Haven (616) 414-7822, grandarmorybrewing.com

What The Millennials Said: John: The Goddess Blood, a blood orange and citra-hopped IPA, was hella good, as was the Espresso Milk Stout. Josh: Hanky Pank Citra Wheat was my favorite from Grand Armory. The citrus, spices, wheat and hops were balanced perfectly for my tastes, resulting in a complexity you usually don’t see with this style. Nick: The beer was pretty good all around, especially the Goddess Blood. Rachel: Favorite beer, hands down, was the Dewey Hill Amber on Fire with serrano and ghost peppers. The beer had a great taste and a slow burn. Kelli: I was already sipping on a deliciously amazing java concoction from Aldea Coffee when I tasted the Aldea Espresso Oatmeal Stout. It was the smooth and refreshing jolt I needed after a day of beer sampling.

Growth has come quickly for Grand Armory Brewing, as founders Ben Tabor and Ryan Andrews say they’ve hit year three of their business plan in just 18 months in operation.

Editor’s Pick: Don’t gas up the joint on your way to the bar to pick up a Crop Duster, an all-citra hopped American IPA. n

Editor’s Pick: You’ll go to Odd Side to have a beer and one of them you hardly know — a 13-percent ABV triple IPA — will catch your attention and you won’t be able to leave before you have one. Because of The Implication. But don’t worry, Dennis says no one’s in any danger.

Grand Armory Brewing Co.

Traveling the Cocktail Trail


Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule

olland-based Coppercraft Distillery plans to make a big splash in its third year as the official spirit for the Tulip Time Festival. Fresh off of winning a bronze medal for its Rum and a gold medal and best in class honors for its Cask-Strength Bourbon at the American Distilling Institute Expo last month, the craft distillery partnered with 13 local restaurants on the Copper Trail, a passport promotion running from May 7-31. The promotion is focused on the Copper Blossom, a cocktail made exclusively with the award-winning Rum from Coppercraft. Get three stamps and then head over to the distillery for a chance to win a $75 gift basket with swag and receive a free 2 oz. stainless steel Coppercraft-branded flask. Each site will have a different variation on Coppercraft’s recipe for the Copper Blossom: • 2 oz. Coppercraft Rum • 1 1/2 oz. orange juice • 3/4 oz. Falernum • 2 dashes of house bitters Add all ingredients to a cocktail tin with ice and shake. Strain into a rocks glass with ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with an orange spiral.

Participating locations include 8th Street Grille, Alpenrose Restaurant & Cafe, Boatwerks Restaurant, Big E’s Sports Grill, Butch’s Dry Dock, CityFlats Hotel, Crazy Horse Steak House, Curragh Irish Pub, Hops at 84 East, Park Theatre, Salt & Pepper Savory Grill and Pub, Sharkee’s Bar & Grill, and Tripelroot in Zeeland. — Reported by Joe Boomgaard

REVUEWM.COM | May 2016 |



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.

Kalamazoo/Battle Creek Arcadia Brewing Co. 103 Michigan Ave., Battle Creek. 269-963-9520 BREWPUB. You’ll find some of the usual suspects on the Battle Creek brewpub’s menu, including wood-fired pizzas and some of the best barbecue in the region. But you’ll also find some delightful surprises — Osso Bucco in a brewpub?! — on the menu, courtesy of award-winning Chef Sean Kelly. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Handcrafted ales and barbecue. Bell’s Eccentric Cafe 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave. 269-382-2332 BREWPUB. The Eccentric Café features eclectic fare sourced from sustainable local ingredients, inspired by and designed to complement Bell’s award-winning beers. On tap, you’ll find 30-40 different beers, many exclusive to the Café and brewed right next door

at the original brewery. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: The Beer Bravo! 5402 Portage Rd., Kalamazoo 269-344-7700 ITALIAN. Muchlauded restaurant has earned its stripes over 23 years as one of the region’s best dining experiences, including a 3-star rating in the 2010 Forbes Travel Guide. The Tuscan-inspired cuisine is spectacular, the atmosphere comfortable and intimate, and the service first-rate. Also brews its own beer in small batches for pairings with menu offerings. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. (Closed Sat. lunch) GO THERE FOR: A great dining experience. Central City Taphouse 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall. (269) 492-0100 TAPHOUSE. If Central City doesn’t have the kind of beer you want on tap, you’ll probably find it with the 75+ bottles. OH, you say you’re not a beer drinker? Well, Central City offers 20 wine ‘taps’ and a full bar. If you’re not the drinking type, that’s cool too. There are a number of food options to pick from, including a raw menu, a pizza menu and the all-day menu, which features burgers, soups and entrees. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Diverse beverage selection. 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. 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.

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

Lakeshore 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.

Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene

House Can Week at Tap House...

INTRODUCING AQUAVIT. means summer’s around the corner (269) 492.0100 CCTapHouse.com 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall downtown KALAMAZOO

(269) 492.3500 TapHousePortage.com 3251 w. Centre ave. PORTAGE

nkin’ Ne whool a p S d n a r B Olldd ScInternational Brews

60 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2016

all in Cans

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

Join us for our Mother’s Day Brunch.

Downtown Grand Rapids

Call 616-235-7611 for reservations. Room is limited. Inside Holiday Inn 310 Pearl St. NW (616) 235-1342 higrdt.com/pearlstreetgrill

German Tradition Crafted in Michigan.

German Tradition. Crafted in Michigan.

German Tradition. Crafted in Michigan.

Biergarten opens May 1st!

Open Daily 11am


Live music Mondays & Wednesdays.Live Music Begins in February:

ƈ Open Mic on Mondays Ɖ Live Tunes on Wednesdays Vote for Us for West Michigan’s Best Vet/Animal Clinic! BRAUHAUS, RESTAURANT, BIERGARTEN, WINERY. භ Other Groovy Events as Announced


95 N Main at Maple & White Pine Trailhead (616) 696-BEER • CSBrew.com

Schmeckt Gut!



(616)696ͲBEERභCSBrew.com REVUEWM.COM | May 2016 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule

Brauhaus & Restaurant



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



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.

Grand Valley Artists presents the 51st

Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene

Reeds Lake Art Festival 2016

BREAKFAST ANY TIME. CRANKER’S BREWERY 213 S State St, Big Rapids 231-796-1919

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


62 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2016

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


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

Hops at 84 East 84 East 8th St., Holland. 616-396-8484 TAVERN. A beautiful taproom sporting reclaimed wood and copper. With 60 beer taps, two English beer machines, eight wine taps and an extensive spirits menu, Hops has a special beverage for everyone. The menu includes brick-oven pizza, burgers and sandwiches, chicken wings and a rotating special of the day. There are also gluten-free options, including their famous pizza. Several large-screen TVs adorn the restaurant if you’re in the mood to watch the big game. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: Craft beer and brick-oven pizza.

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.

Gaslight Village Wealthy St. & Lakeside Dr. East Grand Rapids Saturday, June 18 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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




Ladi es Night


REVUEWM.COM | May 2016 |


Profile for Revue Magazine

May 2016, Revue Magazine  

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

May 2016, Revue Magazine  

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