Page 1

West Michigan’s Entertainment Guide for 27 years » November 2015

Music / Film / Art / Dining / Free!

West Michigan

Bar & Cocktail Guide High-End Cocktails Oldest Bars in West Michigan How to Be A Frugal Barfly … and more!

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



Get the scoop. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest entertainment, promotions and giveaways! Get your tickets at the Soaring Eagle box office,, or call 1.800.514.ETIX

38586 SECR November Revue Ad Approved.indd 1



First class room. Based on double occupancy.



$20 IN PREMIUM PLAY DAY OF SHOW With purchase of 2 or more tickets at the Soaring Eagle box office.*



Show your concert ticket day of show.

With entrée purchase. Show your concert ticket day of show.*

*Visit for complete details.

10/15/152015 2:44 PM REVUEWM.COM | November | 3

November 6

brandi carlile wsg brynn elliot

November 20 & 21

Upcoming Shows

December 12

Brandi Carlile wsg Brynn Elliot

December 13

November 6

The Wizards of Winter, with The Original Members of TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA

November 13

CHRISTMAS with John Berry

Dru Hill feat. SisQo, Nokio, Jazz, and Tao

November 22

jeff daniels

wsg the ben daniels band

Frankie Ballard, Country Christmas

November 14

December 20

November 20 & 21

January 16

Australia’s Thunder From Down Under A Girl’s Night Outback

Jim Brickman Comfort & Joy Holiday Tour wsgs Anne Cochran & Tracy Silverman

Warren Miller Chasing Shadows

November 22

Short’s Brewing Company & KST Present: Beer & Bluegrass feat. Del McCoury & Jeff Austin Band wsgs Don Julin & Billy Strings Trio

November 27 & 28

Girls Night: The Musical A Susan G. Komen Benefit

Jeff Daniels wsg The Ben Daniels Band Greensky Bluegrass

December 4

Brian Regan Live Comedy Tour

4 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

December 19

February 6

February 12

All-Star Blues Bash Featuring Bobby Rush, Joe Louis Walker, Wayne Baker Brooks, and Shawn Holt

REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 |


6 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015


asters’ e’ve taken Hotbox Ro

n beans finest South America

this incredible and woven them into

mpassing subtle Nut Brown Ale. Enco mel, toffee, hints of melted cara ht chocolate and toasted almonds, lig e aroma. a fresh-brewed coffe

Now Available in Cans and on Draft! 616-551-1957 -


6275 28th St SE Grand Rapids, MI 616-301-3388

turntables | amps | speakers | home theater | tvs | hi-res audio 8 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

What’s Inside

November 2015 | Volume 27, Issue 11

SCENE: 12 Eclectic 14 All Ages

SOUNDS: 17 18 20 22 24 26 27 28

bar & Cocktail guide


iron bartender


Local: Megan Dooley Touring: All Time Low Touring: GWAR Touring: Sublime with Rome Local: Jared Knox Classic Stereo Returns WYCE Playlist Third Man Records

SPECIAL SECTION: 30 Bar & Cocktail Guide: Where to Find Good Cocktails 32 High-end Cocktails 34 Cocktail Trends 36 Frugal Barfly 37 Karaoke Bars 38 Iron Bartender 40 Distilleries 42 Beer-based Cocktails 43 Hey Bartender Review 44 Oldest Bars in West Michigan

SIGHTS: 47 48 49 50 52

Lit Life: GRPL Music in the Stacks Visual Art: Broad Museum UICA: Macabre Style Notes Indie Film: Elder Island

DINING & DRINKING: imperial stout face-off


Cygnus 27’s new menu


55 Restaurant Guide 60 Taste This: Cygnus 27 62 Beer: Imperial Stout Faceoff 66 Last Call: MLCC at Reserve

Letter from the Editor West Michigan is a hotbed for Michigan-made beers — it seems like a new brewery pops up every day. Revue even has a reporter assigned to solely and continuously cover the brewery scene: The “Beer Czar” Joe Boomgaard. But this issue isn’t celebrating the thriving local craft beer (sorry, that was last month). This issue is all about West Michigan’s bars and assorted watering holes. Sure, they’re not in the back brewing up their own booze, but each pub has its personality, regulars and specials. This issue celebrates those places serving up fancy cocktails, but also the ones with cheap PBR — both sides of the barroom spectrum. With the hype of craft beer, you may not have heard much about the Cocktail Renaissance happening not only in West Michigan, but across the map — this issue delves deep into this classy revitalization. But we also divulge where to find cheap hot dogs and a “build-your-own-tater tot buffet” … it’s the best of both worlds. Cheers!

W est M ichigan ’ s E ntertainment G uide

Editorial Publisher Brian Edwards / Editor Joe Boomgaard / Managing Editor Rich Tupica / Associate Editor Jayson Bussa / Design Creative Director Kim Kibby / Ad Design Rachel Harper, Phil Artz Contributing Writers Missy Black Pete Bruinsma Steven G. de Polo Audria Larsen Dwayne Hoover Nick Manes Steve Miller Eric Mitts

Abigale Racine Nicole Rico Rei Robinson Josh Spanninga Marjorie Steel John Wiegand Sarah Winterbottom

Contributing Photographers Katy Batdorff Revue Minions Michael Coletta, Elma Talundzic, Jacqueline Bull, Kristen Guilbert

Rich Tupica, Managing Editor

Sales / 616.608.6170 / Kelli Belanger / Digital Editor Jayson Bussa / Find us online!

Revue is Hiring! Revue Advertising Sales Representative

Some sales experience is preferred. This is a full-time position.

Revue Magazine Delivery Driver A valid driver’s license and car insurance is required. Must be available one or two days each month. Must have own transportation.

For more information contact Rich Tupica

Call: 517-898-0034 or email

10 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

Website: Twitter: Facebook:

Revue is published monthly by Revue Holding Company. 65 Monroe Center, Ste. 5, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 Office: 616.608.6170 / Fax: 616.608.6182 ©2015, Revue Holding Company. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part granted only by written permission of the publisher in accordance with our legal statement, fools.

On the cover: The Smoked Sazerac at Principle Food & Drink. The Bar & Cocktail Guide starts on page 30.



FireK Casin


Nov. JOB















Tickets available at the FireKeepers Box Office, online at or by calling 877.FKC.8777.

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

FK-24341_Nov_RevueMag_9.25x10.indd 1

REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 | 11 10/16/15 11:13 AM

/// Eclectic

A Shimmy Shakin’ November November is filled with decadent delights and extraordinary sights. Enjoy acrobats on wacky bicycles, unusual pizza recipes, a burlesque anniversary bash and a romp through a den of chocolate. By Audria Larsen

Shimmy Shack Burlesque Six-Year Anniversary Show

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Art: Anthony Carpenter

Shimmy Shack Burlesque has been shaking up the stage at Rezervoir Lounge since 2009, showcasing wild and raucous burlesque talent hailing from near and far. This month, Shimmy celebrates six years with a Valley of the Dolls-themed tribute show featuring Sadie Sparkles from Detroit and EV Velour from Chicago, along with local entertainers. “It’s a good first burlesque show to go to because it’s very casual and intimate,” said Sarah Jean Anderson, host and comedian. “It’s like we are having a party together between the performers and the audience.” Anderson notes that the show “is always different,” based on new themes and with a rotating line up of guest stars. The anniversary features contests, prizes and a rollicking good time. I have it on good authority. (Full disclosure: I’m the founder and producer.)

BARREL-AGED COCKTAILS HALF PRICED APPETIZERS Monday - Friday 2pm - 5pm & 10pm - Midnight Tap Room & Dine-In Only

Cirque Mechanics, “a rowdy circus where the mischief is on wheels,” presents Pedal Punk, a steam punk-inspired circus show that is not what you might expect. Described as an “acrobatic whirlwind where cycling is the escape from technologyobsessed society,” the show takes ordinary objects like bicycles and transforms them into exotic aerial apparatuses and naturally leads the audience on a journey to another world. From an old-timey penny farthing style bike crafted into an aerial hoop, or lyra, and the impressive German wheel (a large wheel, powered by an acrobat inside it), to teeny tiny tricycles, Circus Mechanics presents an endless array of custom, bicycle-themed props and a powerhouse cast of strong and bendy-flexy badasses to leave you wide-eyed.

Pizza is a passion that sways the majority of the population. And as evidenced by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and house pets everywhere, most creatures will vie for a bite if they get a chance. Woodpeckers are no different. Join the DeGraaf Nature Center for their Woodpecker Pizza Party, where you can learn about our native species and create a special pizza to tempt them with from your own backyard. But, like good stewards of nature, your woodpecker pizza will be crafted with the health of our feathered friends in mind. The crust is made out of suet and topping choices include seeds, nuts, dried fruit and even sand, which means you get to keep all the ooey-gooey traditional style pizza for yourself. Please call to register. n


DeGraaf Nature Center 600 Graafschap Rd., Holland Nov. 14, 2 p.m., $6, (616) 355-1057


$3 DOUBLE CHEESEBURGER + FRIES $2.50 CHILI DOG + FRIES $2 HOT DOG + FRIES Monday - Friday, 8pm - 11pm

84 East 8th Street, Historic Downtown Holland • 616.396.8484

12 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

Woodpecker Pizza Party

Miller Auditorium 2200 Auditorium Dr., Kalamazoo Nov. 1, 3 p.m., $25–$45, (269) 387-2300

Rezervoir Lounge 1418 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids Nov. 22, Doors 8 p.m., show 9 p.m., $5

Shimmy Shack Burlesque “Valley of the Dolls” Anniversary Show

Cirque Mechanics: Pedal Punk

Tap Room & Dine-In Only

REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 |


/// All Ages At The B.O.B. Grand Rapids, MI 616.356.2000

Family Events in November Get in the holiday spirit early by touring a chocolate factory, shopping in a traditional Dutch Kerstmarkt and singing carols in Hackley Park. Then, head over to Ludington to celebrate beauty and scholarships. By Steven G. de Polo

Chocolate Factory Tour

Chocolates by Grimaldi 219 N 7th Street, Grand Haven $3,, (616) 935-7740


November 5-7 D



Satisfy your family’s sweet tooth at Grand Haven’s own chocolate factory, Chocolates by Grimaldi. The shop makes everything on site using chocolate with no artificial ingredients, preservatives or waxes. Founded in 2012 by Molli and Steve Laham and their two sons, the factory focuses on using local and Michigan-made ingredients in their gourmet confections to ensure a high-quality product. Take the Chocolate Factory Tour Mondays through Friday. Learn about chocolate from pod, to bean, to delicious chocolate from the master chocolatiers. Taste fresh samples right off the line and visit the production area to see where the magic is done. Check out their 1950s chocolate enrober machine just like on I Love Lucy. Tours are Monday through Friday and cost $3 per person. Willy Wonka is wack, yo. Grimaldi is where it’s at.

scholarships. Get there early for the Pink Princess Pageant for girls ages 4-12.

2016 Miss Ludington Area Scholarship Pageant

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene


NoveAmN PATTE ber 19 RSON -21

YER7-28 D E V A D ber 2


14 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

Handmade goods at Dutch Winterfest Kerstmarkt

West Shore Community College Center-Stage Theater 3000 N Stiles Rd, Scottville Nov. 7, $10, (231) 690-3797

Dutch Winterfest Kerstmarkt

We could all use a little more scholarship, style and success in our lives. Bring your kids to watch the 2016 Miss Ludington Area Scholarship Pageant. The pageant is a local affiliate of the Miss Michigan and Miss America Organizations. “Our program is focused on providing growth and scholarship opportunities to young women in Mason, Manistee and Oceana counties,” said pageant Executive Director Kaley Petersen. “Titleholders spend a year dedicating their time to serving the community in a multitude of ways, including supporting the Children’s Miracle Network and their personal platforms.” The event is great for families to attend as the evening includes an opening number, on-stage questions for each contestant, swimsuit and fitness portion, talent and evening wear. The pageant culminates with the crowning of the new Miss Ludington Area who receives over $3,000 in

Enjoy a bit of the Netherlands at a European-style, open-air holiday market in Holland. Kerstmarkt in the Dutch language means Christmas market. Such markets pop up all over the Netherlands during the Christmas season offering hand-crafted gifts by local artisans and specialty shops. Based on markets in Germany, the city uses wooden roofed booths that are dismantled, stored and reassembled for the new season. Thrifty. Holland’s Kerstmarkt houses 16 vendors offering greenery, home decor, jewelry, fur and wool items, toys, pet gifts, pottery and artistic items. Look for Osman’s Flowers and Firs, Heirloom Spoons, Wooden Toys and Boxes and Shady Side Farm. Enjoy authentic Dutch food, watch the fabulous Parade of Lights and sneak a peek at Sinterklaas. A tradition for many West Michigan families, vendors report visitors from as far away as Texas to experience the All-American Kerstmarkt.

8th Street Market Place, Holland Nov. 27, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Nov. 21, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; Nov. 28, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Holidays in the Cities Downtown Muskegon Nov. 28, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Muskegon’s Holidays in the Cities event expands this year out of downtown to spread cheer throughout the historic Lakeside District, Roosevelt Park, the East Town Shops on Seminole Road and even the Lakeshore Museum. “Holidays in the Cities is how Muskegon kicks off the season,” said Downtown Muskegon Now’s Ellen Berends. “It’s a great night for everyone to get together and support their neighbors.” There will be historic holiday tours and carriage rides at the Lakeshore Museum Center with all of the historic sites lit up for the festivities. Jumpstart your gift shopping at the artisan market and craft show hosted by the Century Club. Carolers will be singing at 6:30 p.m. in Hackley Park and then there will be the community tree lighting. Look for food specials at restaurants around town. Santa Claus might make an appearance to update his list of good little boys and girls. Don’t miss the Festival of Trees at the Muskegon Museum of Art. There will be specially decorated trees, wreaths and other holiday decor created by local designers and sponsored by individuals and organizations in the community. n


JACOB BULLARD Wednesday, November 4 7:00 pm Main Library


Thursday, December 17 7:00 pm Main Library


Thursday, January 21 7:00 pm Main Library


Thursday, February 11 7:00 pm Main Library


Wednesday, March 16

7:00 pm Main Library Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

NATHAN KALISH & THE LASTCALLERS Wednesday, April 6 7:00 pm Main Library



/// Local Music

|  by Eric Mitts


orn in the parking lot of Borgess Hospital 29 years ago, singer-songwriter Megan Dooley has tried to embody the city of Kalamazoo in everything she does. Especially her music. That’s why titling her new album, Made In Kalamazoo, just made perfect sense. “Literally everything about the project, except the actual pressing and manufacturing, was made in Kalamazoo,” Dooley said of the album. “Everything from the actual recording process, to the contributing musicians, the businesses sponsoring me, the photography and even the design of the project itself were all based and created in Kalamazoo. …Even the guitar I recorded with was a ’70s-made Megan Dooley Kalamazoo Gibson.” PHOTO: Fran Dwight With the old Gibson “Made In Kalamazoo” logo tattooed on her left shoulder, Dooley has strong pride in the music community that has gotten her to where she is now. The host of a weekly open-mic night at Louie’s Trophy House, as well as a regular at Old Dog Tavern, The Union, Bell’s Eccentric Café and just about any other place in Kalamazoo that has live music, Dooley has emerged as something of an ambassador to the city’s vibrant and inclusive music scene. “I’ve spent my entire happy career here with a lot of support from the city and its members over the years,” Dooley said. “I love Made In Kalamazoo is also Dooley’s first Kalamazoo and I try to be an active person release under just her own name and she in the community because I really care about couldn’t be happier about that. the music scene here, and I hope to contribute “I feel so confident about this project to the wide-range of talent that I would just like to that this area has to offer. pretend that I’ve never I’m so proud of where I’m released anything before “I love Kalamazoo and I from and this album that this,” Dooley said of her try to be an active person previous LPs with past I want everyone to know where it all came from.” in the community because project Dooley Noted. Funded by the Arts “Technically, I’ve released I really care about the Co u n c i l o f G r e a t e r three albums, but all of music scene here, and I Kalamazoo, through them more than eight their Kalamazoo Artistic years ago, and I’ve kept hope to contribute to the Development Initiative them quiet for a reason. wide-range of talent that (KADI) grant, Dooley reI’m a live musician, what this area has to offer.” corded Made In Kalamazoo can I say?!” at La Luna Recording and Live, Dooley has Sound with Kalamazoo distinguished herself by mainstay Ian Gorman this past summer. developing her style over the better part of She collaborated with numerous area the past 20 years. Growing up, she’s gone musicians on the set, including Grand Rapids’ from what she describes as an “angry rock/ Delilah DeWylde, who Dooley calls a “mentor blues open mic’er” to a much more versatile and very good friend.” The pair have played performer, known for her rich vocals, beautiful together quite a bit recently, even sharing the banjolele and contagious, melodic whistling. “stage” while performing during a class at The “I play a lot of different styles of music Funky Buddha Hot Yoga Studio in Holland. from many different time periods,” she said,

Kalamazoo Made Megan Dooley Keeps it Local

reorganized everything to make this her solo debut. “It all sounds pretty stressful and it was, but it was a true blessing after everything was said and done,” she said. “In the end, I had complete creative control over everything. I could work with all of the people I’ve been dying to work with my whole career and I could release something that I was really proud of… It’s been a long, weird journey, but I feel like I’ve finally found my voice. Playing these styles of music and recording this album has been like coming home for me.” n

Megan Dooley Made In Kalamazoo Album Release

Delilah DeWylde, BoneJo, Hannah Rose and the GravesTones Bell’s Eccentric Café, Kalamazoo Nov. 12; 8 p.m. doors; 9 p.m. show FREE; Ages 21+; (269) 382-2332


REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

listing American roots, old soul, folk, torch, swing and even old country, as genres all close to her heart. “So at this point I can keep Johnny hipster happy while giving grandma a big smile from that good old Ink Spots cover I play. It’s really important to keep people guessing as a solo female performer. Folks look at you and expect a certain thing. Call it stereotyping or whatever, but 10 minutes into my set, that notion usually gets thrown out the window — and I just live for that shit.” Made In Kalamazoo also comes after the disbandment of her previous project, Moxieville, following her breakup with former Moxieville bassist Andrew Whiting this past May. “Unfortunately, Andrew became less and less interested or involved in the project,” she said. “It was a really, really hard situation to bounce back from. On top of going through a terrible breakup, moving and playing tons of shows alone for the first time in years, I had to push back my recording timeline, find replacement players, rehearse like crazy and rearrange all of the music in a very short period of time.” Scrambling for those two months, Dooley rewrote music, replaced arrangements and


/// On tour

Known for their onstage humor, All Time Low’s latest tour is inspired by yet another of their favorite movies: Back to the Future. “I’m a little bummed I don’t have a hover board yet, if I’m being honest,” Gaskarth said. The band is currently co-headlining their Back to the Future Hearts Tour with Grand Rapids post-hardcore transplants Sleeping with Sirens, while supporting their newest release: Future Hearts. The record is the band’s sixth LP and debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard chart this past spring. “It’s really about looking back and reflecting on how far we’ve come from the days when we were kids touring in a van for the first time,” Gaskarth said about the album.“To our fans,

“I’ve never really thought our music sounded much like Blink. It’s more of the way we’ve always thought about our live show and our attitudes about what we’re doing. We’ve never taken ourselves very seriously. Our job is ridiculous, so we maintain that attitude when we take the stage.” All Time Low plays Nov. 13 at The DeltaPlex.

Highs and Lows

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

All Time Low: From MySpace to Now |  by Eric Mitts


like Facebook and Twitter, going all the way back to their early lth o u g h th e n ew m ovi e Fa n days as a high school band self-promoting on MySpace in 2003. Girl is a wish-fulfillment for steadfast All Time “I feel it’s really important to have a solid connection with Low fans, it’s also an astonishing honor for the the people who are fueling your fire,” Gaskarth chart-topping pop punk band. said about the band’s loyal fans. “Music is very “To have a movie out there special to people and I know we have very pasthat loosely revolves around us All Time Low wsg Sleeping With sionate fans, many of whom see our music as means we’ve had some kind of Sirens, Neck Deep, One Ok Rock The DeltaPlex, Grand Rapids a way of coping with, or letting go of, their impact on society as a whole,” All Time Low Nov. 13; 5 p.m. doors; 6 p.m. show everyday struggles. I never expected it to be like vocalist/guitarist Alex Gaskarth told Revue. $32.50 GA floor; $29.50 GA that when we first started, but over time I’ve “That is crazy to think about.” grandstand come to realize that the very real moments we In the spirit of teen flicks like Mean Girls,; (616) 364-9000 can share with our audience makes the comFan Girl follows a teenage superfan as she works munity around our band that much stronger.” on a film class project and ultimately lands at Before their appearance in the fictionalized an All Time Low concert. Co-starring Meg Fan Girl, All Time Low had only previously appeared in their Ryan and Kiernan Shipka, the movie premiered on ABC Family own 2009 documentary titled Straight to DVD. last month. It’s inspired by screenwriter Gina O’Brien’s own “I live my life according to Purple Rain,” Gaskarth quipped daughter and other social-media-obsessed millennials who have when asked how movies influence him personally. latched onto the band’s open embracement of online networks

18 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

it’s a message to keep pushing forward because dreams come true with perseverance. We’re living proof of that.” Something of a super fan himself, Gaskarth grew up in the same Maryland music scene that helped birth other successful pop-punk bands like Good Charlotte and SR-71 around the turn of the millennium. “There were a lot of great bands coming up when we were,” he said.“The local music scene was beginning to thrive and there was a little community that made some ripples in the industry. We were one of a few lucky bands who managed to catch that ripple and turn it into a wave, but it really all comes down to how nurturing all the people were in the community.” With all of their success, All Time Low most often is compared to pop-punk heavyweights Blink 182, which Gaskarth takes as a high compliment, especially after working with Blink vocalist/bassist Mark Hoppus on the Future Hearts track “Tidal Waves.” “I grew up listening to Blink, mimicking their stage banter and generally just loving the fact that they all seemed like they were having such a good time playing music and being in a band,” he said. “They definitely shaped us as we grew up into what we are now, so I don’t mind the comparison. I’ve never really thought our music sounded much like Blink. It’s more of the way we’ve always thought about our live show and our attitudes about what we’re doing. We’ve never taken ourselves very seriously. Our job is ridiculous, so we maintain that attitude when we take the stage.” So when asked if he could hop in a DeLorean now and go back in time to talk with his 19-year-old self, Gaskarth concluded he isn’t sure if that guy would like him very much. “I was kind of a shit back then — thought I knew everything,” he said. “I’d tell him to trust his creativity and his gut, but stay humble about it.” n

Brass Band of Battle Creek presents


Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.


| W.K. Kellogg Auditorium

Ring in the holiday season with the Brass Band of Battle Creek! Take part in a holiday tradition that has been bringing thousands of people to Battle Creek for over 25 years! This family friendly concert with returning conductor Michael J. Garasi celebrates all of the season’s classics along with songs sure to be new favorites! This concert sells out fast so don’t delay, order your tickets today! (Bring a friend —music makes a great holiday gift!) Tickets available at, Piper Instruments or by calling 269.789.2222.

Is IT the Right Career Choice? What area of IT has the most opportunity? What area of IT is right for me? How much does each job earn? Which certifications should I pursue?

Download our free eBook, “The Value of Microsoft Certification” to learn what you need to do to launch your IT Career today.

Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo 616.574.7500 Lansing 517.318.4005

MS Download.indd 1

3:39:32 PM REVUEWM.COM 9/17/2015 | November 2015 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Diing | Schedule

You have Questions. New Horizons and Microsoft have the Answers.


/// On tour


The Unstoppable Evolution of GWAR |  by Josh Spanninga

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene


20 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

ife isn’t always easy for interplanetary warriors trying to bide their time on Earth. Just ask Pustulus Maximus, lead guitarist for GWAR, the legendary shock-rock band. “I started out my tenure on this planet very disheveled. I just wanted to drink bottles of Jim Beam and lay in some gutters.” Pustulus explained. “Now I’m very disheveled.” And who could blame him? The past few years have been difficult for GWAR, with the deaths of both Flattus Maximus in 2011 and frontman Oderus Urungus just last year. While the band, which formed in 1984, has always had a rotating lineup, the two devastating losses caused many fans to question the future of GWAR. Still, the band trudged on with an overhauled lineup and continues to bring its grotesque, theatrical metal to the masses. “Nothing in GWAR is going to stay permanent. It’s going to be an ever-evolving machine,” Pustulus said. “Shit happens, you know? Who knows, I could drink myself into an early grave — well, at least I’m trying.” What’s not changing anytime soon is the irreverent, noisy carnage that constitutes a GWAR concert. With plenty of outlandish costumes, loud music, bathroom humor and a

generous dose of forged bodily fluids, GWAR branched out into some rather unlikely shows are not for the faint of heart. markets. Whether through their GWAR-B-Q The band has even made a habit of mutisauce, craft beers, or their very own bar and lating and disemboweling effigies of celebrities grill, these industrious scumdogs have a knack and politicians like Hilary Clinton, Paris for finding innovative ways to market new Hilton and Pope Francis. merchandise. While there is no current “We’re always looking shortage of celebrities to “We’re always looking for something,” Pustulus said. choose from, Pustulus is for something. We’re “We’re going to try to be like still weighing up the options KISS, only not as shitty.” going to try to of who will be their latest So what’s next for this be like KISS, only victim. band of mutated misfits? “I really want to kill Grammy awards? Reality not as shitty.” Trump, but I’m waiting TV? Presidential nominabecause the shit that comes tions? Actually, that last one out of his mouth is hilarious,” Pustulus said. has piqued Pustulus’s interest and a career in Those courageous enough to make it out politics may not be far off as he has already deto their Nov. 4 show at the Orbit Room will vised a plan to win a seat in the White House. not only witness this bloody spectacle, but “If you vote for Pustulus I will kill everywill also see opening bands Born of Osiris body,” Pustulus said. “I will kill anyone on and Battlecross. Earth who makes over $200,000 per year and “It’s kind of cool that we can tour with we can spread that money amongst ourselves anybody at this point,” Pustulus said of his and buy crack cocaine.” n tour mates. “GWAR is such an obnoxious, loud, noisy band that it doesn’t even matter what genre we pick for an opener. It could be GWAR wsg Born of Osiris and Battlecross death metal, black metal, punk rock, rock and The Orbit Room, Grand Rapids roll, screamo or whatever.” Nov. 4, 6 p.m. $25, $20 advance /, (616) 942-1328 Of course, in the current concert climate, it’s difficult for a lot of bands to eke out a living from shows and records alone. That’s why Pustulus and his inhuman cohorts have

Thank you to everyone that contributed to our Fall Fund Drive. Your support of your local radio station directly impacts the community you live in. You allow the music that is loved here, and the music that is made here, find an audience.

THANK YOU. Upcoming Events The Bubble Bash December 17 H.O.M.E. at The B.O.B. WYCE Jammies XVII February 19 The Intersection

Since 1987 REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Non-Commercial. Volunteer Powered. Listener Sponsored.


/// On tour

Always Here

How Sublime’s Legacy Refuses to Die |  by Eric Mitts

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene


22 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

h e re are m o m e nts w h e n Ro m e R a m i r e z still can’t believe what he gets to do for a living. A Sublime fan, first and foremost, he would’ve never dreamed that he’d get to front his all-time favorite band, let alone sing the immortal words of beloved Long Beach icon Bradley Nowell for a whole new generation of fans. So to get up onstage now, with one of his boyhood idols-turned closest friends playing bass beside him, he can only feel grateful yet aware of the huge shoes he has to fill every night. “Sublime has touched all kinds of people, man,” Ramirez told Revue. “Their music has such an effect on people at such a formidable time in their lives. I think that everything that happens [with the band] today is just an effect of the positivity that it created long before I joined. The songs had something to say and music. I’ll roll with my boy forever. If we have they still do. They still get played on the radio to change the band name [again], we’ll change today. The fact I’m even a part of that legacy the band name, I don’t care. But I’m always is pretty mind-blowing.” here.” Before listening to Sublime, Rome Inspired by the positive reaction they had never even picked up a guitar. He was received from their shows, the trio hit the only eight years old at the time of Nowell’s studio and released their first LP, Yours Truly, in death from a 1996 heroin 2011. However, after briefly overdose and like many he touring in support of that discovered the reggae-rock “Sublime has touched album, Gaugh left the band band’s influential catalog later that year to focus on his all kinds of people, only after its tragic end. family back home. man. …The fact “My uncle had the self“As long as Eric wanted I’m even a part of titled CD. He gave it to me to play music I was there,” and told me that I would Ramirez said, addressing that legacy is pretty like it,” Ramirez recalled. the controversy following mind-blowing.” “He was totally right.” Gaugh’s departure. “None At just 21 years old, of those decisions are in my Rome met original Sublime bassist Eric hands in the sense that I would never step up Wilson, who soon asked him to form a newly to Eric or Bud and tell them that they have to reunited Sublime along with original drumplay in Sublime. I’m in no position to ever say mer Bud Gaugh in 2009. that. If they want to quit, then they’ll quit.” Following a subsequent lawsuit from the Enlisting legendary punk drummer Nowell family, the group changed their name Josh Freese, Wilson and Ramirez carried on, to Sublime with Rome. winning over new fans with their onstage “Eric has a lot of music in him,” Ramirez musicianship while surprising loyal Sublime said of Wilson. “He never got to play any of fans with their inspired new material. these songs, so he was kind of robbed. If he This past summer the band released its wants to keep playing music, I’ll keep playing second album entitled Sirens.

Sublime with Rome “This one was definitely a little bit more open for us,” Ramirez said about the new album. “It was really about coming in and not really thinking so much about what would Sublime do, just thinking about making an album that we would really like that showcases our abilities within the genre.” Outside of Sublime, Ramirez has worked as a solo performer and a producer, famously guesting on The Dirty Heads’ radio hit “Lay Me Down,” as well as co-producing the band’s most recent album. Last year he released his first solo LP and said he and Wilson plan to begin work on another Sublime with Rome record next year. “I’ve got music in my bones,” he said. “I’m always working on music. Whether it’s for me or Sublime or Dirty Heads or whatever, I’m always trying to work on new tunes and set the bar higher and higher for our next project.” n

Sublime with Rome

The Orbit Room, Grand Rapids Nov. 12, 7 p.m. $40, $35 adv. /, (616) 942-1328

HOPE COLLEGE PRESENTS “Julian Lage might well be the next renaissance man of jazz guitar.” - All About Jazz




MOTOWN IN MOTION Covenant Fine Arts Center | 8pm | $20

GRAMMY Nominated Artist




HEATHER MALONEY with special guest | Ladies Literary Club | 8pm | $10



for tickets call 616.395.7890



GREAT LAKE SWIMMERS with special guest | Ladies Literary Club | 8pm | $15


with Nos Vemos | Covenant Fine Arts Center | 8pm | $20

Changing the conversation about popular culture.

616.526.6282 REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule




/// local music

Southern Roots

Jared Knox and the Hägar Bombs countrify West Michigan

|  by Abigale Racine


Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

Jared Knox

24 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

o cal c o u ntry ban d Jare d Knox an d th e Hägar Bombs deliver an energetic, modern country sound that’s as enjoyable as the spicy, bitter German liquor its namesake is borrowed from. The group is making a name for itself, too — at least, until Jägermeister finally decides to fire off a cease-and-desist letter. “We kept going back and forth about a band name and we wanted something to distinguish us,” Knox said. “At band practice we were also sharing stories about drinking too much and we kept hearing about Jägerbombs.

Our drummer, Travis [Hanko], is from Hagar [Township]. It was his idea to name us the Hägar Bombs.” While based in Southwest Michigan, the band offers authentic southern roots via Louisiana-born Knox. He moved up north after graduating high school in 1996, following his family after his sister married and settled in South Haven. “I grew up singing in church a lot,” Knox said. “It was a big part of growing up in the South and the influence in my vocals runs deep.” In fact, his voice is often compared to the famed Keith Whitley, one of Knox’s musical idols. It was his love for country music and his passion for performing in front of a crowd that

kept Knox operating as a solo artist, circuiting venues for a whole decade by himself despite his desire to form a band. That’s when he took an unconventional route to performing with a “full band.” “I had a crazy idea 10 years ago while I was getting frustrated about my music,” Knox said. “So I got together with a karaoke DJ in South Haven. I thought, ‘I’m going to put together a set list like any other band.’ I promoted it, the place was packed and people loved it.” Eventually Knox found that he could control his sets using a laptop, but performing without an actual rhythm section just wasn’t doing it. The vocalist found what he was looking for when he came across Hanko drumming for a different local band. While Hanko’s multicolored Mohawk might not scream country music, it fit what Knox was looking for. “I fell in love with his style,” Knox said. “He has this rocker side and I liked the way he played. I never met a guy who performed like that and was a center piece.” About a year ago, the band came to fruition by picking up members to flesh out the line-up — Chris Hamilton (guitar), Jayson

Bussa (bass) and recent addition Kelly Kalinas (guitar). “I was blessed,” said Knox of his band’s lineup. “I was getting discouraged and then the heavens parted. It was perfect timing, perfect everything. We all hit it off.” The band runs the spectrum, from oldschool Hank Williams Jr., to the booty-shaking stylings of Luke Bryan. They also have plenty of originals. “I always tell people we are really highenergy country music,” said Knox, who sports a black, 10-gallon hat onstage, “When we play a song, people are going to get moving. We do acoustic ballads, hard and heavy rock. We have a good blend.” Knox has a solo album available on Amazon, entitled I Would Show Her. The band is currently working on new material to be released this winter. n

Jared Knox and the Hägar Bombs

Nov. 13-14: Roadhouse Bar and Grill, Paw Paw Nov. 21: M89 Sports Bar, Plainwell Nov. 25: Whiskey River Saloon, Grandville

SPECIALS & EVENTS SuNDAYS Whatchu Saay Sundays Hosted by DJ Dean Martian | 9pm

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!

11/6 11/7 11/12 MON-SAT 3PM-2AM KITCHEN 3PM-11PM SuN OPEN AT 7PM

Happy Hour



11/13 11/14 11/17 11/19 11/20 11/21 11/25 12/2 12/4 12/5 12/11

Fri. November 6


$22 adv / $25 day of

Pharoahe Monch

wsg Dezert Eez, Manchild, Obese Ghost Children Doors 8:30 pm — Show 9:30 pm

Sat. November 7

$17 adv / $20 day of

The Infamous Stringdusters wsg Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

Doors 7pm — Show 8pm

Fri. November 13

Andy Frasco & the U.N.

wsg the Mainstays, Jesse Ray & the Carolina Catfish

$12 adv / $14 day of Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Sat. November 14

Seth Bernard, Chris Bathgate, Gifts or Creatures Doors 8

$10 pm

Tues. November 17

— Show 9pm


Live! On Stage Jonathan Richman w\Tommy Larkins on the drums!

Doors 7:30 pm — Show 8:30 pm

Sat. November 21

$12 adv / $15 day of

The Ragbirds

wsg Olivia Mainville & the Aquatic Troupe

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Thurs. December 3


May Erlewine

Doors 7:30 pm — Show 8:30 pm

Fri. December 11

Luke Winslow-King & the Madcat Midnight Blues Journey Doors 8

$10 pm

— Show 9pm

Thurs. December 17 $10 adv / $12 day of

Strange Arrangement wsg PEMG

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Thurs. December 31


Feat. Kansas Bible Company, The Go Rounds, Vox Vidorra

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

New Years Eve Party

REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Open Hours

After Funk! (from Toronto) wsg That Freak Quincey Greg Nagy Band Kim Wilson with the Steve Nardella Blues Band Rusty Horse wsg The Lazy Hands Boy From School with TBA Amy LaVere Bex Marshall (from England) New Holland Brewing Tap Takeover with The Strapping Owls Joe Buck Yourself with Mikey Classic and his Lonesome Spur and 40RTY The Law The Yawpers Lazy Lester The Madeira Twistin’ Tarantulas Album Release Party



/// business beat

november 6 - $28

Honor By August honor by august

november 7 - $20

DAniel CHAmpAgne

Some of the Classic Stereo team enjoying the sounds in the new store’s Speaker Room.

november 8 - $25

Willie nile

november 13 - $50

pAulA Cole

november 14 - $35 daniel chamPagne

CHeryl WHeeler + Kenny WHite november 15 - $35

willie nile

mAttHeW perrymAn Jones + leigH nAsH (sixpenCe none tHe riCHer)

november 17 - $20

Jesse terry + KorBy lenKer november 22 - $20

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene


Paula cole

Seven StepS up Live MuSic & event venue: 116 S JackSon St., Spring Lake, Mi 49456 pindropconcertS.coM | (616) 930-4755

for a full schedule, visit

26 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

PHOTO: Nicole Rico

Wall of Sound

Classic Stereo Rises from the Audio Ashes |  by Rich Tupica


or those of you keeping tabs on the digital download market, you probably know Neil Young isn’t happy with all of these blasé millennials listening to music on thin sounding, lo-res MP3s. His passion even inspired him to create Pono, a high-quality portable player and streaming service. Sure, he mildly comes off as a grumpy old man — but the veteran rocker’s got a point. Artists labor for days in the studio and then their fans only hear a fraction of the sounds. For those looking to step it up sonically, the once defunct Classic Stereo reopened last month. The recognizable brand, which closed in 2008 amid the financial crisis, is back and once again stocked with high-quality home stereos and home theater systems. The newly built storefront, located at 6275 28th St. SE Grand Rapids, is an extension of the appliance store Bekins. The store is staffed with a team of audiophiles, many of whom are veterans of the old Classic Stereo team. Even the store’s former owner John Higgs is back on staff as an “electronics expert.” “This new store is about 3,000 square feet, the old store on 28th Street was about 10,000 square feet,” Higgs said. “The old store emphasized more and more on video and big screens. This new store is a little more specific on 5.1, 7.1 Dolby Atmos surround. We have enough TVs, but we’re not loaded with TVs. We’re about how it sounds.” Scott Bekins, owner of the newly relaunched Classic Stereo, said he recognizes the fact younger generations lean toward handiness, but he and his team hope to show them better methods. “The struggle for music is the fact people have traded quality for convenience over the past few years,” Bekins said. “There’s a whole generation of people who haven’t experienced music the way it was intended to be

heard, or has been heard by generations past on CDs and higher quality sound systems.” With turntables at Classic Stereo ranging from $399 to $15,000 — there’s something for college kids and their well-off parents. “You don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy good quality music,” Bekins said. “A really good pair of headphones are just a few hundred dollars and with the proper high-quality downloads, you’ll be listening to better-than-CD quality music. “Often people have some pieces of equipment and they just need a couple extra pieces to make it a lot better,” he added. “They don’t know how to do it correctly. What we’re trying to do is re-educate the public who may not understand what they’ve been missing.” Unlike big-box stores, after a quick visit to Classic Stereo, you’ll be offered a demonstration of what their walls of speakers and systems can do. “I can talk until I’m blue in the face, but that doesn’t make any difference,” Bekins said. “I can take my iPad and say, ‘Let me show you.’ We let you listen to it. You’re not taking somebody’s word for it that might not have your best interest at heart. Audio is subjective, there are many opinions. What matters is your opinion and how your ears perceive it and your brain reads it.” As for what’s next in the auditory world, Bekins said vinyl is trendy but hi-res downloads, like those championed by Neil “Get off My Lawn!” Young, are likely the next hot trend. “Vinyl buyers are listening to LPs on their turntables and going, ‘Wow, this is a lot better than my iPod.’ They’re getting more emotionally connected to the music,” Bekins said. “Then they’ll look for ways to get those same emotional highs without the hassle of the vinyl. That’s where they’ll start seeking out other formats, like streaming or downloading in hi-res audio. There are a lot of different services and download sites now. It’s truly high-end audio that’s better than CDs and with the convenience people want.” n

/// playlist

Songs We Like Vol. 4 by Pete Bruinsma, WYCE Music Director, and WYCE staff

Lettuce — “He Made a Woman Out of Me”

In honor of the beginning of flu season, we began our playlist with this highly contagious new song. Lettuce is a WYCE favorite and has played Founders Fest, Electric Forest and The Intersection in recent years.

Martin Sexton — “You (My Mind is Woo)”

[Nov. 5 @ The Intersection] Sexton always puts on a great show for his growing fan base. He is one of those rare individuals who can absolutely captivate any audience.

Afro Zuma — “Not Me Not Now”

[Nov. 7 @ Pyramid Scheme] Afro Zuma is a Grand Rapids-based, 12-piece collaboration of journeyman jazz artists, late-night rockers, music teachers and world-traveling beat heads — all paying homage to Afrobeat’s greatest artists. They won WYCE Jammies in 2014 for “Album of the Year” and “Best New Artist.”

The Icicles — “Trees Touch Skies”

[Nov. 6–8 @ Lamp Light Music Festival]

This monthly playlist is a collaboration between WYCE, AMI Jukeboxes and Revue West Michigan. You can hear this mix as a playlist on AMI Jukeboxes and stream it on — from Grand Rapids to the world! Also, some of these bands are headed to West Michigan this month, check out the show info.

This all-star collaboration of Minneapolis alternative hip-hop artists and producers is not to be missed when they play GR. The artists unselfishly spread cameos throughout the songs, perhaps most notable its new single, “Final Boss.”

Lamp Light Music Festival is an unexplainably lovely, heart-warming music and friends festival hosted in the living rooms of Eastown. This year, the Icicles debut some new songs from their forthcoming EP.

Seinabo Sey — “Younger” This woman is really going places. It seems like we get calls every time we spin her tracks. Her first release For Madeleine kind of flew under the radar, but we can assure you this new one, Pretend, won’t. It’s simply gorgeous.

Protomartyr — “Dope Cloud” The Agent Intellect, the third release from Detroit’s Protomartyr, finds the post-punk group thriving on galloping, scuzzed-up guitars and gloomy atmospheres.

Mr. Gnome — “Melted Rainbow”

[Nov. 21 @ Pyramid Scheme] Mr. Gnome are a married, Cleveland-based duo whose melancholy, prickling, guitar-driven sound nods to Cat Power-influenced indie rock acts like Lightning Dust. Their latest album, The Heart of a Dark Star, was praised by NPR for its “raw, romantic sound.”

St Germain — “Sittin’ Here”

With some serious staying power after 15 years on the scene, St Germain (aka Ludovic Navarre) “remains a sly master of the textural mix” according to NPR. Rolling with

King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard — “Paper Mâché Dream Balloon” This is the title track from the band’s highly anticipated upcoming LP. Recommended for fans of neo-psychedelia and the garage-rock revival — plus, it’s just fun to say. n the usual French electronics, the new album adds various musicians from the African diaspora.

Doomtree — “Final Boss” [Nov. 30 @ The Intersection]

Check out the full playlist online, including more songs from The Wood Brothers, Yonder Mountain String Band, Guster, Heather Maloney, City and Colour and Battles.

WITH SPECIAL GUESTS: Born of Osiris • Battlecross • Murder Party



NOV 12


REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule



/// road trip

Third Man Records Opens Detroit Storefront Jack White Opens Second Shop in Motor City |  by Steve Miller


Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

ot eve n a m i le fro m what was once the Gold Dollar, the dive-bar launching pad of endless beers and garage bands in the mid-to-late ’90s, Jack White’s Third Man Records will open a Detroit branch of its Nashville-based operations. But it’s not just the Gold Dollar that is within a mile. “It’s the Freezer, the Bronx Bar, the First Unitarian Church, Cobbs Corner, the original Creem Magazine headquarters, the Old Miami,” points out Ben Blackwell, a honcho at Third Man and nephew to Third

28 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

Man creator Jack White, whose White Stripes were among the bands to get a start at the Gold Dollar, which closed in 2001. The store opens on Nov. 27 — Black Friday — in a 4,300-square-foot storefront at 441 Canfield St., which it will share with watchmaker Shinola and a running store, among others. It’s a larger version of the Nashville retail store, which is full of merch, records, books and its famous Record Booth, a refurbished 1947 Voice-o- Graph machine that’s attracted the likes of Neil Young and Weird Al Yankovic. But to be clear, Third Man is not moving its headquarters from the tidy complex it now owns just off downtown Nashville, which also

offers a performance venue, recording studio, warehouse and offices. “I think people think that it’s going to be exactly what we have in Nashville,” Blackwell said, adding that hundreds of people have already inquired about work at the new outlet. That said, the space is large enough for intimate live performances, but nothing has been decided. “There is no analogue to compare this to, pardon the pun,” Blackwell says, as Third Man has been a driver in the vinyl revolution, releasing thousands of records in the face of digital downloads and streaming. “This thing is new and it will be a quasisatellite store. But a lot of stuff is new here and we’ll be spending a lot of time in [the fall] getting it ready.” The storefront has been around for a few years, part of it rented by Shinola founder Tom Kartsotis. But after a few meetings between White and Kartsotis, the idea to jointly buy the building was hatched. It is part of the vaunted Jack White’s first Third Man Records retail Midtown revival in Detroit that will be pushed store was opened in Nashville in 2009. for better or worse by a $650 million sports mega complex that is 60 percent financed by taxpayers. Third Man, the label, began in Detroit “I just felt like I didn’t have any friends,” in 2001, launched by White as he and White he told me in a 2012 interview. “I loved my Stripes mate Meg White were starting their hometown and I loved music … it felt like trajectory to fame beyond everything had turned upside either of their imaginations. down.” When it all ended, Jack Fame and inexplicable “I just felt like I didn’t White moved to Nashville local resentment had gotten have any friends. and Third Man became an him to that point. entrepreneurial endeavor “I would rather have my I loved my hometown with few bounds, starting friends and the Gold Dollar and I loved music … with the purchase of a halfinstead of all this, if that was acre that was neighbors the choice,” he said. it felt like everything with a homeless shelter and Things, though, have had turned methadone clinic. turned out well. And he’s The Nashville space remained part of the city. upside down.” hosts panel discussions, art —Jack White, on leaving He’s devoted himself philexhibits, movies and live Detroit in 2005 anthropically to Detroit, bands, taking up two addonating silently for the joining buildings that were upkeep of a local park in once in a dilapidated area just off downtown, 2009 (was it him?) and paying the delinquent which is now building its way to Third Man tax bill on the Masonic Auditorium in 2013. as if by summons. Updates on the new Detroit store will White reluctantly left Detroit in 2005, likely emerge soon, keep up to date at thirdwhere he was living in Indian Village. The n Grammy Award-winning Motor City native felt driven from the city.

Postcard Calendar by

The 27th Annual UICA Holiday Artists’ Market Shop for beautifully crafted gifts and goods from dozens of regional artists, including jewelry, home goods, fine art, holiday cards, accessories, and toys. Enjoy live music and local food and beverage vendors while you shop for incredible handmade gifts for your friends and family. Support regional artists by shopping locally this holiday season. This year HAM is at Steelcase Town Hall so we can bring you even more artists, more room to stroll, and more all-around holiday goodness. Admission and parking are both free at this two-day event.

Steelcase Town Hall 901 44th St. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49508 Friday, Dec 5th Member Preview: 5:30pm–6:00pm Public Welcome: 6:00pm–9:00pm Saturday, Dec 6th 10:00am–7:00pm



IRAKERE 40 Five GRAMMY® Awards Three Latin GRAMMY®

$18 - Adults $13 - Seniors $6 - 18 and under

REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

for tickets call 616.395.7890


/// Special Feature

West Michigan

Bar & Cocktail Guide Beginner’s Guide:

Finding a Good Cocktail in West Michigan Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Because lists are fun, here’s a roundup of some must-visit places to get a good cocktail. by Missy Black 1. BUTCH’S DRY DOCK in Holland strives to be more

cutting-edge when it comes to cocktails and their cultured clientele. From the Smoker in the Rye using six-year-old whiskey to their Cucumber Basil Martini using house made cucumber vodka, guests can relax and sip from a selection of around 80 whiskeys. After that, they can enjoy cocktail history, education and banter from bar manager Lance Kelly, “the only bartender downtown people know by name” — which is quite the honor and well-deserved. Kelly has taught whiskey classes at the restaurant and is currently working on a drink using 12-year-old aged rum from Trinidad featuring half a lime turned inside out to make a bowl that’s lit on fire and caramelized.

2. MIXOLOGY at in Grand Rapids has Bar Arts, a

program challenging their bartenders to create top-notch cocktails. The drink menu changes quarterly but it’s all about quality here so

30 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

expect fresh lemon and lime juices for margaritas, not premade sour ingredients. The space is stylish and cosmopolitan with a view of the river and a marble bar. Try the moody Midnight Margarita featuring Herradura Reposado Tequila, Cointreau, blackberry puree and fresh squeezed limejuice and sip it downtown in the heartbeat of the city.

3. THE KITCHEN BY WOLFGANG PUCK is the new kid on the block in Grand Rapids and we can’t help but crush on them longingly while leaning up against our locker like in high school. With six specialty cocktails on the menu, including an Autumn Bourbon Sour featuring local ingredients, The Kitchen tempts with the bar and dining room offering beautiful views of the river and outdoor seating. Assistant Food and Beverage Director Tammy Augustoni described high-end cocktails using “fresh ingre-

West Michigan is overflowing with trendy new breweries, but lest we forget the old fashioned watering hole. From where to score the best Happy Hour deals to the budding Cocktail Renaissance, this special guide is all about the local pubs and taverns.

dients and garnishes,” where you’ll see “perfectly thought through and balanced recipes with mixes made from scratch.” Swing on in for The Aviation, a classic cocktail featuring crème de violet and New Holland Gin. It’s a refreshing blend that offers up both a sweet and savory flavor.

4. LONG ROAD DISTILLERS in Grand Rapids is respect-

ing the craft of high-end cocktails like a boss in a 120-year-old building that they preserved with original hardwood floors and a tin ceiling. These guys source ingredients, not spirits, and are creating their own vodka, gin, white whiskey, coffee simple syrups — even almond milk. “This is the place where things are made by people who are doing things by hand,” said owner Jon O’Connor. If you hang at the huge half-moon shaped bar, you can expect staff to be shaking, stirring and hustling — all with quality ingredients. “My farmer stops by with raspberries — fresh picked by his 80-year-old mother and we make raspberry syrup,” O’Connor said. Long Road is as transparent as possible when it comes to its craft right down to the production area and equipment, viewable from the bar area. Speaking of bars, there’s a second one upstairs and they are looking to expand with a rooftop deck as well. Stop in for a tasting flight and understand the word legit.

5. HOPS AT 84 EAST in Holland has a newer cocktail program to complement their strong craft beer selection. “Craft cocktails are really big right now and we have the space and clientele,” said Steve Van Dommelen, resident beer guy who oversees the beer and spirits program. In the ring they jumped with high-end whiskeys, bourbons and tequila and barrel-aged cocktails using barrels purchased from Journeyman Distillery out of Three Oaks. Indulge in a Manhattan made with maple whiskey and bourbon. They usually have a rotation of three barrel-aged cocktails on hand. Bartender Julie DeHaan is serving a special Hops Mule featuring whiskey infused with orange peel that’s “drop dead outstanding,” and c’mon, who doesn’t like that special arctic-like, chilled copper mug? The inside of this establishment is a Dirk Nykamp design with

Midnight Margarita at Mixology

Currant Smash at Central City Taphouse

The Lower Westside at Long Road Distillers

an upscale Chicago bar vibe featuring two giant doors that open for nice weather. “This bar is made for the evening,” Van Dommelen said. “It owns the night completely.” Want to try whiskey flights? They do this pretty well, too.

6. FLAT LANDER’S BARstillery in Grand Rapids

has the market cornered on purposeful. Get your fill of handcrafted whiskey, rum, gin, vodka and bourbon as well as homemade bitters and infusions, too. And let me tell you that white whiskey is smooth yet charged. I mean, guys, even the water is organic here. The space is raw (charred roof from a fire in the 70s to exposed brick and beams) but everything you touch is new and clean at this barstillery, which means they can accommodate you with beer and wine, giving you flexibility with friends. Chill in the building’s old furnace room listening to live music from the birdcage stage or toss a few back under the Mad Max-esque fabricated salt flat racer that hangs from the wall. People throw the word authentic around but I’m nailing this proclamation to the door. I love the vibe here where I feel like I’m hanging out in some dude’s garage and this dude can make drinks.

Mezcal Mule at Donkey Taqueria

unveiled a new elevated cocktail program all about made-fromscratch ingredients, so now is the time to stop in and see what’s fresh (literally). They’ve always had an extensive scotch, bourbon and whiskey list but now they can whip up an Aztec Old Fashioned for you. Thank new chef James Sumpter for this concoction featuring an intriguing Cocoa Shrub, which consists of many raw cacao beans, water, sugar, walnut leaf, sarsaparilla and Miel de Cacao infused together for two weeks. The shrub is then mixed with Aztec bitters, luxardo cherry, cachaça, a lime slice and a sugar cube and you’ve got a twist on an old favorite with a deep cocoa flavor.

this. We had guests from Greece last night,” said barkeep Andy Szumowski. The idea is to use excellent ingredients to make topnotch cocktails. “We don’t use a soda gun. We don’t have any juices in our fridge. Everything is made from scratch right in front of each customer,” explained Szumowski. Inside, they only spin records so you’ll hear everything from The Rolling Stones and Nat King Cole to The Smashing Pumpkins and 80s hip-hop. That eclectic mix is represented in the bar’s clients, anyone from skateboarders to doctors and lawyers.

8. SIDEBAR in Grand Rapids offers only 18 seats, so if you

9. DONKEY TAQUERIA in Grand Rapids is located in a

around 130 different bottles. “We’ve exhausted shelf space,” said Assistant General Manager Brad Sherred, who is constantly researching tequila to find out what’s new. High-end bottles and every tequila you can imagine are buckling the shelves but go sample the Jalapeno Classic Margarita, featuring jalapeno-infused tequila blanco, fresh-squeezed lime juice and orange curacao, and report back to us. A menu staple is the popular Prickly Pear Margarita but if you’re a “mezcal nerd,” Sherred is stockpiling and ready for you. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt when the Interim Vice President of the Grand Rapids Cocktail Guild (Rob Hanks) sings your praises: “Brad did a mezcal negroni and it was one of the best cocktails I’ve had in a long time.” n

want to get in on the classic cocktail action you best hurry. “People are curious about craft cocktails and want to come to a place like

1920s service station and it’s filled to capacity with tequila. When it comes to tequila and mezcal (agave-based liquor), they have

REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Old Fashioneds at Flat Lander’s Barstillery

7. CENTRAL CITY TAP HOUSE in Kalamazoo recently


Bars & Cocktails

APPLESHINE Flat Lander’s Bar, 855 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids It’s a slow dance of premium white whiskey mixed with Michigan apple cider and other secret ingredients topped with house-made bitters and a kiss of cinnamon. In the fall and winter, the drink can also be served warm and goes by the name of Hottieshine with whipped cream on top. It’s like apple pie in a glass or like lightning to your system. Served in a mason jar, this stuff is smooth like forget-your-name-and-what-day-it-is kind of happy. “It’s an all-year-round, perfect blend of everything drink,” said Flat Lander’s owner Robert Grimes.

SMOKED SAZERAC Principle Food & Drink, 230 South Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo

Classy Cocktails Smoked Sazerac at Principle Food & Drink


orget that old go-to swill you’ve been drinking. It’s high time you branch out in West Michigan and meet these six life-changing, high-end cocktails. by Missy Black

32 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

“It’s a take on the New Orleans classic that’s moody and darker,” said Casey Longton, operations manager and owner of Principle Food & Drink. “(Its) dried star anise smoke took us exactly where we wanted to be.” While the chilled cocktail infuses with the smoke in a decanter, the guest is presented with a glass containing a large ice cube misted with Pernod and a lemon peel. When the drink is ready, the guest pours it themselves, creating a multi-sensory experience. The mix of American rye whiskey, Demerara syrup and Peychaud’s bitters offers up spice qualities, a rich molasses earthiness and an herbaceousness you won’t forget. Why does that description sound like someone’s Tindr profile? Either way, it’s one to try — the drink I mean…

POLISH FALCON Long Road Distillers, 537 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids Take a swig of West Side history right here. This falcon comes served in a tin cup and features vodka that’s fermented and distilled from 100-percent Michigan Red Winter Wheat from Heffron Farms in Belding. It creates a smooth, sweet flavor with hints of vanilla. They add in lime and to-die-for ginger beer that’s “sweet and citrusy with a bold ginger bite,” said owner Jon O’Connor. I’m one to play favorites so I’d put this one on repeat all night. It’s what hard work tastes like and I give it my official “Polish Girl Seal of Approval” (for whatever that’s worth).

OBSIDIAN Sidebar, 80 Ottawa, Grand Rapids Barkeep Andy Szumowski sums up this drink in one word: Brooding. “We are Beer City and we love our bitter IPAs but cocktails can stop being totally sweet these days,” he said. “It’s nice to highlight the bitter and earthy flavors of this drink.” The Obsidian requires only four ingredients. It’s a stormy mix of Reposado Tequila with Cynar (Italian artichoke liqueur) and Amontillado sherry and cream sherry. It’s sort of jet black in color and served with a huge shard of ice resembling an obsidian rock. “The drink ends up smelling like a bitter, dark chocolate bar,” Szumowski said. With oaky, nutty and bitter flavors, this imposing concoction was born out of a bartender challenge. “We go off the menu all the time,” Szumowski added. It’s definitely moody and silky smooth and, in the glass, it’s pretty.

BABETTE’S FEAST Reserve, 201 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Here’s where an appreciation for sherry results in a drink. It’s a true story and it comes from Rob Hanks, bar manager and vice president of the Grand Rapids Cocktail Guild. He’s proud of this cocktail made with brandy, bourbon, Amontillado sherry, shagbark hickory syrup and barrel-aged bitters. Fall-inspired and with deep, woodsy and spicy flavors, this spirit was born of Hanks’ love for sherry and to “try and figure out how to make people drink more sherry. It’s a big thing in the cocktail world right now,” he said. Sherry is the

AUTUMN PUNCH Grove, 919 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids Yeah, you read that correctly and it does sound like an intense creation. Milk punch is a blend of liquor and dairy dating back to the 1700s. It takes three days to make and has flavors from pears, maple syrup, chai tea, cinnamon, clove and coriander. “It has a great texture to it,” said Grove’s bartender and server Nate Cohn. “It tastes creamy but it’s not creamy. It’s a really nice fall punch with a ton of booze and you wouldn’t even know there’s dairy in it.” Cohn is actually working on a non-dairy version, too. The punch has a silky consistency that doesn’t weigh you down but is sunny enough to compare it to crisp and glowing autumn days and the color changes taking place outdoors. “It’s a great treat and a rare thing to see on a menu,” Cohn said. And hey, with Cohn serving up drinks, you’ll want to sit at the bar and hear the story of how drinks came to fruition. “There’s such history behind every bar with the rum, bourbon, absinthe and bitters — every bottle has a story,” he said. n

Polish Falcon at Long Road Distillers

Babette’s Feast at Reserve Food & Drink REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Autumn Punch at Grove

perfect way to balance drinks. It adds more acidity to balance out the sugar component without using lemon or limejuices. Sherry offers the same effect without diluting the drink. “It’s a riff on a Manhattan with darker, barrel-aged flavors but with a mid-palate brightness that shines through with a nutty flavor,” Hanks said. You’d like this beverage following Thanksgiving because “sometimes people need a stiff drink after family,” he added.


Bars & Cocktails


What’s Hot

Bloody Mary at The Green Well.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Photo: Katy Batdorff

Revue chatted with craft cocktail aficionados to find out what’s hot right now in West Michigan. by Missy Black

34 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

GETTING A TASTE FOR IT Ordering your usual has gone out the window. Mark Stankus, operations director at Flat Lander’s Bar, said he’s watched a shift in how people are ordering. Instead of two or three Old Fashioned cocktails, “They’ll have one Old Fashioned, a Mississippi Mule and an Appleshine,” Stankus said. “They’ll mix it up.” That one drink all night routine is tired and, with the high-end craft cocktail popularity, you’d be crazy to flirt with just one flavor. “People are sacrificing that dollar or two and might have one less cocktail but enjoy quality cocktails,” Stankus added. So pass on the four mediocre drinks for two with high-end ingredients and more care.

IN THE RED While the Bloody Mary Bar isn’t a new concept, the fact that this offering is popping up more frequently is worth noting. What started as a novelty at certain restaurants and bars now seems

to be a regular feature which begs the question: Why the need? Why is everyone hopping on board? “The guest’s expectations are raising the bar,” said Steve Van Dommelen from Hops at 84 East in Holland. Hops at 84 East offers a Saturday/Sunday morning Bloody Mary Bar (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) with three different types of vodka, vegetables, three different salt rims, various hot sauces and meats including two different types of bacon. “The trend is improvements in ingredients — more exotic offerings like jalapeno bacon,” Van Dommelen said. “The game used to be some celery, radishes and Tabasco.” Bloody Buddies are a thing, too. “[Patrons] rarely come alone, but want to admire their creations,” Van Dommelen said. Hops offers a chaser beer to cleanse the palate that’s included in the cost. And, according to Van Dommelen, “You never see a frown on anyone’s face at a Bloody Mary Bar.”

Get the gear! Top: Kathryn Chaplow’s barware line Gin + Juice is an exquisitely curated collection of vintage and retro barware. Bottom: Keep things cool with spherical ice. (Pictured: a cocktail with Sphericool ice sphere).

HOME BAR MOVEMENT With all the liquids, garnishes and accoutrements under one roof (plus, inclement weather and a lazy attitude) you’ve got the makings of a home bar. Speaking from the design and décor end, Kathryn Chaplow, owner of Kathryn Chaplow Interior Design, can tell you a thing or two about exquisite barware. Her collectable barware line Gin + Juice was born of the need to have an exquisitely curated collection of vintage and retro barware on hand. With a pop-up shop mentality, Chaplow said Gin + Juice is “a great way for a collector to get a fix,” and works for those growing numbers interested in entertaining with cocktails in the comfort (and style) of their own home. “I got the bug. It’s very easy to start collecting,” Chaplow said. “What we’re seeing in our culture today is that more people are entertaining and entertaining differently.” People will gather in the home and have cocktails before enjoying a meal out or make a whole evening of dinner and cocktails right in their own nest. Barware also serves as strong design elements. From the popular Mad Men television show to new design trends leaning toward cocktail style (everyone is selling and styling bar carts these days), there’s a strong push for in-home imbibing. Which brings us to…

Cocktail Week helps pair the public with great outreach events and partnership opportunities like the Grand Rapids Public Museum’s American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. It even helps get you some real live cocktail action. On Nov. 22, the Downtown Market and UICA will pair up for a lecture and demonstration series with cocktail tasting of themed-cocktails such as Pre-prohibition, Prohibition-era, Tiki and Modernist. The event runs 3–7 p.m. with the class portion focusing on local spirits with experts from the Grand Rapids Cocktail Guild offering up an interactive lecture on the cocktails through different historical periods.


ACCOUTREMENTS With an intimate selection of top shelf spirits, Art of the Table in Grand Rapids has an ear to the buzz of the cocktail crowd. From scotch, gin, vodka, bourbon and liquors like crème de Violette, there’s a bottle for every taste and personality and the paraphernalia to mix those drinks right. “For sure muddlers are a big trend as well as the juicers,” said Art of the Table owner Amy Ruis. “Even cocktail sticks with garnishes like strawberries,” are big sellers and speak to that trend and need for the necessary and fun items that go into crafting and presenting a drink. Ruis watches trends and finds more people trying and buying local craft cocktail mixers in vodka and gin selections as well as whiskey from Journeyman Distillery. Another tip? Get to digging out that old punch bowl because punch is on the comeback and people are mixing large batches of drinks most likely for those in-home soirees.


O’Haire’s trends touch upon using beer as a cocktail ingredient (something more than a boilermaker) or even lightweight cocktails. “There’s a trend toward session cocktails, like a session beer — you have one and go back to work,” he said. “It’s low alcohol and it might be four in the afternoon and you don’t feel like getting a buzz.”

SPECIFICALLY GR… While Grand Rapids is still finding it’s footing in the craft cocktail world, there’s a definitive shift taking place among consumers and restaurants. “We’re in a great stage right now,” said O’Haire, who considers it like the teenage years of the cocktail scene. “There’s definitely some messes and mistakes and we need some significant direction. But at the same time, there’s talent and effort.” There’s also Grand Rapids Cocktail Week. This is a firsttime collaboration between the Grand Rapids Cocktail Guild, Experience Grand Rapids and the Michigan Distillers’ Guild.

HAVE SOME BALLS Believe it or not, ice balls are all the rage. Craft cocktails are made with the finest ingredients so it seems counterproductive to throw in some low-grade ice from the fridge, right? Ice balls are one of the latest tools to have on hand and it’s a way to present a drink with class and without watering it down. Ice balls don’t melt as fast as regular, crushed ice but keep your drink chilled nicely. “I’ve been doing research and some places will hand-chisel the ice out of a larger block and make them into shapes, ice spheres are a huge trend,” Cook said. Guys, even Martha Stewart is hip to this, selling her own (overpriced) sphere ice mold. n

REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Cocktail makers and lovers are getting organized. The Grand Rapids Cocktail Guild, which formed this past February, is an official chapter of the United States Bartending Guild and a local collegiate of experienced professionals working to develop, enrich and share the history, art, culture and enjoyment of the distilled spirit. “It’s a great resource in the industry for people who want to network and improve their skills,” said President Torrence O’Haire. The group looks to improve the cocktail scene in Grand Rapids via education of bartenders and the general public by exploring spirits with more success and getting away from quantity to quality. “Everyone knows we’re Beer City but there was nothing like that for cocktails and the spirits’ side,” he said. O’Haire added that the recently-opened Sidebar in Grand Rapids: “Is doing a spectacular job and it’s a great spot to experience what I’m talking about.”

Green Door Distilling Company is calling it a craft renaissance or craft revolution. However you phrase it, there’s a general consensus that when it comes to beverage (and food) tasting, “Everybody wants to be a part of what you’re doing,” said cofounder Josh Cook. There’s a desire to learn and feel involved in the process. Where are your spirits being made? What ingredients are being thrown in? Are your ingredients local? Cook said these probing questions start “all the way from making our spirits to the cocktails themselves.” People are interested — even engaging Cook, curious if he’s adding bitters and if he made them himself. “We’ve gone from the quick and cheaper mentality to the handmade movement,” Cook said. “People are ok if it takes time, if they have to spend more money or if it’s healthier or naturally made. It’s part of a kind of story even down to a flamed orange peel — they like seeing that handmade stuff.” While Green Door Distilling Company isn’t open yet, they’re hoping to be making spirits by December. By January, they plan to have the distillery and tasting room open to the public. This grain-to-bottle distillery is passionate about making spirits and honoring the craft with a limited amount of machinery and loads of spirit smarts.


Bars & Cocktails

Why Pay More?

Barhopping tips for the frugal (and hungry) West Michigan barfly


t’s no secret that bar tabs can swiftly grow out of control. I mean, who hasn’t gone out for “just one drink” only to stagger home at 2 a.m. with a spinning head and a bar tab that would make Charles Bukowski wince? But while it’s easy to get carried away with libations, barhopping doesn’t have to be detrimental to your budget. Revue has provided you with some tips to guide you along your barhopping adventures and help you find deals that won’t break your wallet. by Josh Spanninga If You’re Hungry, Find the Place with the Cheapest Food I know it sounds like a simple rule, but it’s easy to underestimate the power of the drunken munchies. And if you’re going out with friends on an empty stomach, it’s important to remember that drink specials won’t do you a damn bit of good when you start eyeing that $13 burger. It’s best to get the food portion of your outing taken care of early. On Saturdays, Logan’s Alley (916 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids) offers a

build-your-own-tater tot buffet, complete with all the fixings (nacho cheese, sour cream, jalapenos, ketchup, mustard and more) until 5 p.m. Each plate costs only 75 cents. Sundays, they have a 75-cent slider buffet with similar toppings. If you’re still hungry after the Logan’s tots, you can head just around the corner to the Elbow Room (501 Fuller Ave. NE, Grand Rapids) where they have $6 sandwich and beer baskets until 7 p.m. Each day of the week a different sandwich is featured. These baskets come with all the fixings, plus fries and a domestic beer for just $6. If you’re into PBR, Sparta Pub’s $5 half-pound burgers and $1 pints of PBR comes out to the same price all day every day.

If you’re more of a late-night snacker, head out to Hops at 84 East (84 E 8th St., Holland). Here they have late-night burger baskets with fries for $3, or hot dog baskets for $2. Of course, it doesn’t get any cheaper than free, does it? Plenty of places offer free food with the purchase of a drink. The Elbow Room offers free hot dogs on Sundays, the Birch Lodge (732 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids) has free tacos on Sundays and the Apartment Lounge (33 Sheldon Ave. NE, Grand Rapids) dishes some free pizza each Monday night. Whoever said there’s no such thing as a free lunch needs to hustle harder.

If You’re Looking to Get Drunk, Find the Cheapest Drinks OK, so this one really is pretty obvious. Still, it’s important to remember that $5 tall boy of PBR can just as easily be $3 somewhere else. Below are some West Michigan watering holes where you can get the most bang for your buck: With $2 Mulligan stews (a shot with Baileys and 151) and cheap pitchers of PBR, you won’t need any drink specials at Mulligan’s Pub in Eastown — but

Happy Hours Done Right Peppino’s Sports Grille 130 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

Every weekday from 3–6 p.m., Peppino’s downtown location offers half off all well drinks, draft beers and house wines as well as 10-inch, 1-topping pizzas at a cool $4.99.

The Apartment Lounge 33 Sheldon Ave. NE, Grand Rapids

$1 off top-shelf liquor and $3 well drinks are nice, but it’s extra nice when these happy hour specials are available until 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Olde Peninsula BrewPub 200 E Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo

Monday through Friday from 3–6 p.m., enjoy cheap microbrews ($2.95 for a pint or $3.95 for 22 oz.). You also get $1 off any special dips and pizzas.

Happy hour offerings from Pints and Quarts in Muskegon

36 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

they still provide plenty for you anyway, like $2 bottled beers on Mondays from 8 p.m.–midnight. Also, all the concerts at Mulligan’s Otherside are FREE. Meanwhile Bar (also in Eastown) keeps it cheap as well. They hand out $3 pitchers of PBR on Mondays, $3 Long Islands on Tuesdays and their Wednesday Winesday will keep you socially lubricated for next to nothing.

GO FOR HALF-OFF SPECIALS God bless the person who invented half-off specials. I mean really, why ever pay full price when you can get a full pint for literally half the price? For those on a budget, the Apartment Lounge in downtown GR has half-off pretty much their entire menu on Thursday nights. J Gardella’s Tavern (also downtown at 11 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids) has the same special on Wednesday nights from 5–11 p.m. Or if you’re hungry, Pints and Quarts (Park Row Mall, 950 W. Norton Ave., Muskegon) offers buyone-get-one free burgers on Mondays and BOGO chicken wings each Tuesday — with $2 mugs of craft beer.

Take advantage of STEIN NIGHTS, MUG CLUBS AND MICHIGAN BEER SPECIALS Of course in Michigan we pride ourselves on our craft beer, so it’s no wonder so many places boast a myriad of microbrews on tap. Luckily plenty of bars feature local brews at discounted prices.

Or if you’d rather visit the brewery directly, why not take advantage of a mug club? Grand Rapids Brewing Company (1 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids) offers $2 off beer and half-off food for their mug club members on Mondays. Most breweries offer similar benefits for members. Maybe you want to bring your own mug. That’s OK. Plenty of breweries offer stein nights where patrons bring in their own steins (the bigger the better) and fill up at discounted prices. A couple of our favorites are Brewery Vivant (925 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids) and New Holland Brewing (66 E 8th St., Holland), which hosts Stein Nights on Mondays. n

by Jacqueline Bull

West Michigan has a fine spread of karaoke hot spots — some are stacked with the intense American Idol-ready crowds, others are newbie havens. Here are some watering holes to explore if you’re looking to hit that high note in front of a buzzed batch of regulars.

Stella’s Lounge 53 Commerce Ave. SW Karaoke: Sundays, 10 p.m.–close Play Station Pub 1141 Leonard St. NW, 988-7529 Karaoke: Wednesdays, 9:30 p.m. Kale’s Korner Bar 511 Bridge St. NW, 451-9638 Karaoke: Wednesday, 9:30 p.m.–1:30 a.m, Saturday, 9:30 p.m.–2 a.m. Fulton Street Pub 801 W Fulton St. Karaoke: Thursday– Saturday, 9 p.m.–1:30 a.m.


Holly’s Back Door Bar & Grill 131 Hotel Plaza 255 28th St. SW Karaoke: Friday–Saturday, 8 p.m.–close 537 LEONARD ST NW, GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49504 | LONGROADDISTILLERS.COM

REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Monday nights are great for the Michigan beer enthusiast. Graydon’s Crossing (1223 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids) offers $2 off Michigan beers. HopCat (25 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids) has $3 Michigan draft beers and Louie’s Trophy House (629 Walbridge St., Kalamazoo) has $3 Michigan bottles.

Karaoke Hot Spots in Grand Rapids


Bars & Cocktails

Iron Bartender contestant Maureen DiVirgilio at the Oct. 14 event.

Bartender Andy Szumowski with one of his secret ingredients. Photos: Katy Batdorff

‘Iron Bartender’ Competition Celebrates ‘Cocktail Renaissance’ Local Barroom Pros Head to Championship Finals

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

by Dwayne Hoover


f you’re familiar with the television cooking show Iron Chef, then you’re at least familiar with the general premise of the Grand Rapids Cocktail Guild’s Iron Bartender competition. It’s pretty simple: Bring in some talented culinary professionals, throw some surprise ingredients at them and see the creative ways they use said ingredients to create something delectable. Much like the show, the Grand Rapids Cocktail Guild’s event brings in a panel of judges to determine the mixologists’ fate, adds an element of stress with a time limit and keeps competitors guessing with unconventional secret ingredients. October’s competition saw bartenders figuring out how to work squid ink into cocktails — but the fight is not over. The Iron Bartender: Championship Finals is set for Nov. 18 at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. Attendees can enjoy cocktail samples, snacks, a cash bar and even partake in some audience participation with some of West Michigan’s best bartenders. By the end of the night, the next Iron Bartender will be crowned. And while the event is designed to be a fun, light-hearted night with tasty beverages and great people, it also serves to celebrate the emerging “cocktail renaissance” movement. Today’s professional bartenders are not just throwing pre-made ingredients into a glass. They want people to know that there’s art and science behind it.

38 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

Szumowski likened the practice to being a jazz musician. “We’ve worked to get recognized as a chapter of the United “You can go out there with a drum set or a bass and play the States Bartenders’ Guild,” said bartender Victor Cruz of Salt of craziest stuff you can possibly think of at that moment,” Szumowski the Earth in Fennville. “Everybody’s friendly and everybody’s recognizing that it’s a really awesome movement that’s going on right said. “But without an understanding of the tradition of where that instrument has gone, where it came from and how people used now. We all talk on a weekly basis, share ideas and are involved to play it in a cutting edge way, you don’t really have a round, rich in different events.” That camaraderie has been the driving force behind West understanding of what to do yourself.” But for cocktail newcomers, like Szumowski, having a supMichigan’s successful cocktail scene, which continues to grow and enables bartenders to be creative and portive group of veterans willing to share their knowledge is essential for overall growth. explore new territory, whether that’s inventing “The scene has been unexpectedly and something completely new or reimagining a Iron Bartender: classic drink. exceptionally welcoming,” Szumowski said. Championship Finals “Every single bartender I interacted with in “I really like the classic cocktail movement,” Grand Rapids Public Museum Grand Rapids for the last five years has gone Cruz said. “I think it’s a really sweet thing to 272 Pearl St. NW, Grand Rapids out of their way to not only be very nice and bring these awesome cocktails back. I like to Nov. 18, 7 p.m., $10, (616) 929-1700 accommodating, but also informative and learn as much as I can about the classics, play around with those and add my own little spin entertaining.” Over at the Winchester, bartender on them.” Maureen DiVirgilio said the welcoming, thriving Bartender Andy Szumowski, who mans the 400-square-foot specialty cocktail lounge, said he not only enjoys scene is lucky to have the Grand Rapids Cocktail Guild and its specialty events, like the Iron Bartender competition. reinventing the classics, but feels it’s an enormously vital part of “I think it’s great they’re promoting knowledge,” DiVirgilio said. the profession. “I think that’s the biggest asset that you can have for your clientele “The referencing of history is so important because it enriches and your guests. Events like this help promote awareness of this the tradition,” Szumowski said. “In respecting the tradition you have the capacity for a lot of freedom. Once everybody’s on the same being an art and a trade.” n page about what already happened you can then collectively and individually go forward in your own ways.”

Revue half pg Nov 15_Layout 1 10/22/15 4:50 PM Page 1

Your Downtown Comfort Zone We offer a wide range of drinks from Michigan Craft Beer to hand crafted flavored martinis. Our gastro pub style menu changes every two weeks with new items for lunch and dinner, ranging from hand-packed burgers to pot roast tacos.When available, our salads, wraps and soups are made with local farm fresh ingredients. Our downtown pub should be your Comfort Zone where you will enjoy Michigan craft beers, martinis, mixed drinks or aged Irish whiskeys. Happy Hour from 3 to 6 weekdays with additional specials at 9 pm. Monday is happy hour pricing all day. Tuesday, after 9 pm, $2 Calls, $3 Craft Beer Wednesday starting at 8, Open Mic with Jason Eller, after 9 pm $2 Calls and Domestic Drafts Thursday is College Mixer night with DJ Nayytive, after 9 pm $3 Calls and Craft beer Friday and Saturday live music

) 139 Pearl Street, SE ) Grand Rapids ) Phone 616 .454 .7852 )

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 |


Bars & Cocktails


Spirits rising

raft distilleries are opening at a pace that probably has the teetotalling proponents of Prohibition turning over in their graves. The influx of neighborhood distilleries surely has the fine people of West Michigan careening into the rapture, glasses filled with craft bourbon in each hand.

But the truth of the matter is a little less ominous as the rash of new craft distilleries has far more to do with the growing craft movement in general than it does with the end times. “People want to know where their stuff is coming from and they’re willing to pay a little bit of a premium for that and to know the people who made it,” said Kyle Van Strien, coowner of Long Road Distillery in Grand Rapids. Van Strien and fellow coowner Jon O’Connor opened Long Road in May 2015 after realizing, over some whiskey of course, that West Michigan was primed for some variety outside of craft beer. That’s the case throughout the U.S. as more people discover their thirst for craft spirits. “The trend in the industry shows that craft distilling is the next big thing, trailing craft brewing by maybe 10 to 15 years,” Van Strien said. For Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks, the decision to establish the distillery in Michigan in 2010 was equal part personal and pragmatic. Founder Bill Welter, an Indiana native, spent much

of his childhood in Michigan visiting both sets of his grandparents’ cottages. When Welter decided to open a distillery after spending some time in Scotland learning the trade, Southwest Michigan was an obvious choice. “It was almost like when you crossed the state line into Michigan you were on vacation and in a different place that was special,” Welter said. “So there are a lot of good feelings for me in Michigan — it was a natural draw.” When Journeyman opened, Michigan also had more progressive liquor laws than Indiana and allowed distilleries to sell on site, rather than just to distributors. “I didn’t think it was a viable business element without that on-site retail element that Michigan offered,” Welter said. With the success of the first wave of distillers, the distilling space is becoming more crowded as more budding spirits-makers have decided to launch their own operations. In Kalamazoo, three new distilleries — Green Door Distilling Co., Kalamazoo Distilling Co. and Distilled Kalamazoo

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

“The trend in the industry shows that craft distilling is the next big thing, trailing craft brewing by maybe 10 to 15 years.”

West Michigan Distilleries

Distilled Kalamazoo (Work in progress) 618 East Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo

Bier Distillery (at Cellar Brewing Co.) 500 E Division St., Sparta (616) 883-0777

Grand Traverse Distillery 781 Industrial Cir., Traverse City (231) 947-8635 Tasting room in the Downtown Market, 435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids (616) 288-5442

Coppercraft Distillery 184 120th Avenue, Holland (616) 796-8274

40 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

by John Wiegand

Long Road Distillers — are all in various stages of development. An additional unnamed distillery was also announced in Kalamazoo in mid-October, according to reports. Distilleries have also been attracted to West and Southwest Michigan because of the state’s access to high-quality grains that are available mostly year round. Quality grain results in a better finished product and purchasing that grain locally also instills a sense of pride in customers, Van Strien said.

Green Door Distilling Company (formerly Revival Distilling Co. and under construction) 429 E. North St., Kalamazoo

“It just makes sense and is something we can take advantage of,” he said. “I think that’s where you are seeing a lot of these distilleries pop up is because they’re close to the growing region where we can source those things locally.” Long Road sources all of its grain from Grand Rapids-based Heffron Farms and uses Byron Center-based Pilot Malt House to process its malt, Van Strien said. The distillery is also work-

(269) 820-2050

(616) 355-6422

Kalamazoo Distilling Company (Work in progress) 180 N. Edwards S., Kalamazoo

Rupert’s Brew House 773 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo (269) 337-9922

Jayda Gale Distillery (Under construction) 152 S. Main St., Wayland (269) 588-1139

Long Road Distillers 537 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids

Traverse City Whiskey Company 201 E. 14th St., Traverse City (231) 922-8292

Journeyman Distillery 109 Generation Dr., Three Oaks

New Holland Brewing 66 E. 8th St., Holland

Journeyman Distillery ing with local fruit growers to experiment with ingredients such as apples in its spirits. Journeyman selects Michigan farmers for all of its organic wheat grains, which it uses in the majority of its products. For Welter, the other main draw to Three Oaks in Berrien County was its supply of water. Unlike other cities that treat the hell out of their drinking water, Three Oaks draws its supply from an aquifer 130 feet below ground and keeps the chemicals to a minimum. The reason that’s important: Purer water produces better-tasting spirits, he said. Having opened its doors for some time now, established West Michigan distillers are starting

to expand their tasting rooms and their lineup of spirits. Journeyman recently opened its full-service Staymaker restaurant adjacent to its tasting room and production facility in Three Oaks. For its Detroit-style pizzas, customers can choose between crusts made with either the mash fill from the distillery’s bourbon or rye whiskeys. Meanwhile, Holland-based New Holland Brewery, which manufactures its own line of spirits, is also in the process of building their new satellite brewery and distillery on Bridge Street in Grand Rapids. Beyond its own expansion projects, this first wave of distilleries has also taken it upon themselves to educate people on distilling and spirits in general — how they’re made, what they’re made out of and so on. Sometimes that means encouraging people to try new things and helping them realize that their booze will probably taste better than whatever they can purchase in a plastic bottle. Spirits don’t have to be a hangover in a bottle. “With our gin in particular, a lot of times people will come in and pass on it and say: ‘I drank way too much cheap stuff like that,’” Van Strien said. “They’ll try it and go, ‘Whoa, that is really different’ and that’s because it is.” n


November 11-22, 2015

Celebrating local craft cocktail culture! Get into the spirits with: Pair and Share. Get 2 Michigan cocktails + a sharedplate appetizer for $25 (or less) Daring Duos Dinners. Enjoy handcrafted distilled spirits paired with scrumptious local dishes

For details and participating venues, visit #CocktailWeekGR


Restaurant, Cocktail & Wine Bar, Retail Beer & Wine, Private Dining 15 Ionia S.W. | 616.774.9463 |

REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Intoxicating Extras. Events developed in collaboration with the Grand Rapids Cocktail Guild


Bars & Cocktails

When Worlds Collide:

The Beer-Based Cocktail by Joe Boomgaard, Revue Beer Czar


he rise of Michigan-made craft beer may have displaced the art of mixology in local drinking culture, but the two beverage worlds are starting to converge. That’s because the same craftsmanship and attention to quality and flavors that’s present in craft beer has seen a renaissance of sorts with cocktails in recent years, according to HopCat’s David Zick. Given how ubiquitous Michigan-made craft beer has become in recent years, it was inevitable that craft beer would play an albeit small role in the rise of the craft cocktail, Zick said. “Because we’re Beer City USA, a lot of drinks and cocktails have been overshadowed,” said Zick, noting his “real passion is liquor” although he works at one of the region’s best-known beer bars. Every month, Zick creates a special beer-based cocktail or “beertail” for the Grand Rapids bar. Oftentimes, he also experiments with infused liquors and matches them with some of the best-known Michigan-made craft beers and ingredients. Last month, for example, HopCat Grand Rapids featured Zick’s Headless Horseman, which used Bell’s Best Brown Ale, Rakowski Farms maple syrup and Black Star Farms apple brandy paired with an in-house pumpkin-spice-infused Woodford Reserve bourbon. Zick said it’s easy to base beertails on brown liquors since many craft beer aficionados already have a familiarity with those spirits. “Craft beer drinkers have unique palates and are naturally interested in bourbons and scotches,” he said.

Likewise, many beertails also start with brown ales, particularly in fall, said Grand Rapids Brewing Co. General Manager Josh Hallwachs. “It really hits the senses and there’s a lot of flavors to play around with,” Hallwachs said of brown ales, noting their hints of vanilla and coffee. “If you’re a good cook, you can make a good cocktail. You know flavors — it’s all about contrasts.” GRBC is featuring Lucid Dreams as part of the November GR Cocktail Week, a spinoff of the GR Restaurant Week. The beertail, a take on the Spanish coffee cocktail, features GRBC’s John Ball Brown matched with overproof rum and Kahlua, as well as almond simple syrup — all served in a cinnamon sugar-rimmed glass. Meanwhile, at Grand Rapids-based Harmony Brewing Co., seasonal beers also play into bartenders’ beer-based cocktail choices, but they also offer a regular menu of standbys, including the Proud Mary (a take on the bloody mary made with the Black Squirrel smoked porter) and the house IPA-based Beergarita. “It’s a challenge to make a tasty beer-based cocktail. Beer is not always a great mixer,” said General Manager Luke Schmidt. “But using beer for a mixer just gives you some room to wiggle for experimental drinks.” According to all three bar professionals, the next step for local beer-based cocktails will be mixing locally-made craft spirits with West Michigan craft beer. And the timing couldn’t be better, Zick said. “We’re on the brink of a cocktail renaissance,” he said. “With beertails, we like to go way outside the box to a realm we’ve not even begun to tap into.” n

Brian Den Boer, floor manager at Harmony Brewing Co. makes a Beergarita. Photo: Katy Batdorff

Beer-based Cocktail Recipes Beergarita

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

(Harmony Brewing Co.) • Fresh lime and lemon • Orange bitters • Tequila • Triple Sec • Agave (for a “smooth, nottoo-sweet flavor,” Schmidt said) • IPA

Harmony Brewing Co.’s Proud Mary and Beergarita. Photo: Katy Batdorff

42 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

Shake up the lime, lemon, bitters, tequila, triple sec and agave and pour into a pint glass. Top it off with Harmony’s Fiddlestix IPA and finish with a lime wedge. Non-IPA fans may want to try it with cider.

Proud Mary

(Harmony Brewing Co.) • House bloody mary mix • Vodka • Dark beer Shake the mix and vodka and pour into a pint glass. Top with a dark beer, particularly Harmony’s Black Squirrel smoked porter. Garnish with pepperoni, cheese, olives, a pickle spear and finish with a lime.

Headless Horseman

(HopCat Grand Rapids) • 1 shot Woodford Reserve Bourbon (infused for a week with pumpkin spices) • 1 oz. Black Star Apple Brandy • 1/2 oz. Rakowski Farms Maple Syrup • 1 egg white • Bell’s Best Brown Ale Using an old fashioned glass, pour in the bourbon. Mix brandy and maple syrup and add. Pour in a few ounces of Bell’s Best Brown Ale. Add egg white for a silky froth. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Lucid Dreams

(Grand Rapids Brewing Co.) • Bacardi 151 rum • Kahlua • Almond simple syrup • Cinnamon sugar • John Ball Brown Ale Rim the glass with cinnamon sugar. Add overproof rum, light on fire. Sprinkle with more cinnamon. Add in Kahlua and simple syrup. Top with brown ale. Find more recipes at revuewm. com.

Classy Cocktail Class

Pair a Hands-On Cocktail Class with a Film Screening


n celebration of Grand Rapids Cocktail Week, on Sunday, Nov. 22 the UICA and Grand Rapids Downtown Market are hosting a hands-on cocktail class from 3–5 p.m. at the market and are pairing it with a 5:30 p.m. screening of the 2013 documentary Hey Bartender at the UICA. The class, held at the market’s teaching kitchen, features lectures hosted by organizers from the Grand Rapids Cocktail Guild. They’ll discuss the “history, practice and techniques behind making perfect cocktails.” The market will also host its own cocktail hour with drinks and appetizers. After that is when everyone heads to the UICA to watch the documentary.


Hey Bartender Documenting the Resurgence of Cocktail Culture (Rated PG:13) There are those who bartend to pay the bills and then there are those who bartend as a way of life. The 2013 documentary Hey Bartender follows members of the latter group as they navigate a world of upscale New York bars, decadent parties and the Mecca of cocktail culture itself: The Tales of The Cocktail festival in New Orleans. The film, which screens Nov. 22 at UICA, begins with this quote from American journalist Pete Hamill: “The culture of drink endures because it offers so many rewards … above all the elusive promise of friendship and love.” From here, through a series of interviews, it delves headfirst into the wonderful world of cocktails and mixology, a scene populated with eccentric bartenders who consider their trade not only highly-skilled work, but an art form.

A still from the 2013 documentary Hey Bartender. This is a world where bartenders wax their mustaches, wear bowties and prepare their own bitters and garnishes from local farms. They turn bartending into a ballet of sorts by spinning bottles and putting that ever-important little extra flourish into their gesture as they place the final garnish in the glass. Throughout the movie the filmmakers interview a wide array of mixolo-

gists, restaurateurs, food critics and bartenders who give first hand accounts of the resurgence of cocktail culture in America. While the film’s subjects do have the tendency to get a bit elitist at times (I mean, we get it, you only drink at world-class bars and namedrop as often as possible), the beautiful liquid delicacies they make are more than enough reason for viewers to stick around. These gin fizzes, mint juleps and cosmopolitans are pure pieces of culinary art and watching the detailed preparation process (from crushing mint leaves to juicing fresh lemons) is enough to make any foodie drool. The filmmakers also dig deep to uncover all sorts of interesting facts about the history of bartending, from the “Golden Era” of bartending in the 1880’s to the detrimental effects of prohibition, all the way up to the current cocktail resurgence. Overall the film does a good job of exploring a scene some may be unfamiliar with. The drinks themselves look dazzling, the bartenders prepare them in a hypnotizing fashion, and a generous dose of history is thrown in to give viewers a firm foundation for this decadent industry. Sure, not everyone can afford to get ice flown in from Scandinavia to chill our Old Fashioned, but it sure does look delicious. —Josh Spanninga

Big Screen Cuisine

Nov. 22 Downtown Market, 435 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids UICA, 2 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids $35 (includes class, snacks, cocktails, movie admission)







H O U R !



Black Heron Kitchen & Bar 428 Bridge St NW Grand Rapids, MI 49504


616.608.1731 / CITYFLA T S H O T E L . C O M / 7 7 M O N R O E C E N T E R N W , G R A N D R A P I D S , M I

REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule


r in g a n d b a r fe a tu n e h c it k d e s u e fu ll y M ic h ig a n -f o c o o k in g , a c a r c y r a r o p m k ta il s . u p s c a le c o n te a n d c r a ft c o c t, s li r e id c & sourced beer


Bars & Cocktails

West Michigan’s Oldest Bars Nick Fink’s and Louie’s are Aged to Perfection by Dwayne Hoover

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene


hey don’t make ‘em like they used to. That’s how the saying goes, anyway. And at Nick Fink’s, the oldest bar in Grand Rapids, they’re absolutely fine with that adage. While developers are continually constructing flashy, new breweries and trendy pubs across the state, other more ripened watering holes hang their hats on heritage. “It’s definitely old and eclectic,” said manager Matt Rule of the historic building in Comstock Park, built in 1888. “You can’t replicate a place like this. We could come in and make it look all fancy and crazy, try to make it something it’s not, but you don’t change something like this.” Nick Fink’s, located at 3965 West River Dr NE, enjoys a colorful and assorted history, which includes serving as a post office and grocery store. It was a frequent stop for Ernest Hemingway, who’d stop in on his way to Torch Lake. It also served as the location for the very first “flight” in the county. “[The flight] was by a Fink,” Rule said. “He built a bike with wings attached to it and he drove it off the top of the building. He made it only so many feet and he broke his collar bone, but it was actually the first documented flight in Kent County.” There was a time in America’s past, however, when serving alcohol, at least publicly, wasn’t an option. So the Finks turned to other means in order to make a buck. “During Prohibition is when [it was a brothel],” Rule said. “Upstairs, to this day, there are numerous hotel rooms. That’s how they made their money. They had these old hotel check cards where it was checked off and it had the girls’ names on them and what they were paid.” As with any building with a long-standing history, there will inevitably be rumors of ghosts that linger around the establishment. And while Rule says he doesn’t necessarily believe in that sort of thing, there’s no denying some weird goings-on even he can’t explain.

44 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

“The jukebox, every other day, still turns on by itself,” Rule said. “I don’t know why it happens. I’ve had the electrical redone and even a new jukebox. It still just turns on a couple times a week by itself.” Paranormal activity aside, the bar’s longevity is what’s charmed locals for decades. “[The community] has a lot of pride in this bar,” Rule said. “Everybody either has a tie to this with family members or just came here when they were younger. They’ll always support it because it’s a staple here.”

Nick Fink’s in the good old days.

Kalamazoo Louie’s Trophy House Grill enjoys the distinction of being Kalamazoo’s oldest bar. Opened in 1918 by the Nowaks, a family of Polish immigrants, it’s rumored to have operated as a speakeasy during Prohibition. Louie’s stayed family-owned until 2007 when it was purchased by long-time customer Mike VandeMaele. What makes this bar unique other than its age? That’s where the “Trophy House” part of the name comes in. “When patrons walk in, the first thing they notice is the taxidermy-lined walls,” said Jax Kappeler, talent buyer for the music venue, Louie’s Back Room. “We feel as though it gives the customers a certain aesthetic specific to the Michigan lifestyle – a cabin on the lake feel.” Louie’s, located at 629 Walbridge St., also serves as a must-visit stop in Kalamazoo’s entertainment scene. They host a comedy show every Tuesday, an open mic night every Wednesday and live music every Friday and Saturday. But whether you’re stopping in to catch a cool band, enjoy a few laughs, or simply to take advantage of one of their nightly drink specials, Kappeler said the one thing you’ll always find at Louie’s is a hospitable atmosphere. “Louie’s is a home away from home for our regulars,” Kappeler said. “And for every new customer that walks in, they walk out feeling like they just spent an evening with old friends.” Well, old friends and lots of wildlife, too. n

Just one example of the taxidermy at Louie’s Trophy House in Kalamazoo.


109 Generations Drive Three Oaks, Michigan Daily Tours 269-820-2050









REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule



46 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

by Elma Talundzic


Turn Down For What? Music in the Stacks: Breaking the “Shh” Stereotype

|  by Jacqueline Bull


s kids, we were always taught to keep it down in the library or risk being hushed by the stern librarian keeping watch in the corner. Fear not fellow bookworms/music nerds: The Grand Rapids Public Library is breaking the “shh!” stereotype with its Music in the Stacks, a free and all-ages concert series.

Día de los Muertos: Honoring Day of the Dead

Nov. 1, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Main Library: 11 Library St NE, Grand Rapids Immerse yourself in art and culture on Día de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday of honoring and celebrating the dead. Day of the Dead remembers and rejoices the life of the dead in colorful and beautiful expressions of art in the form of altars, food and music. Come and honor those you have lost, but also experience the lives of others on display. The altars are a look into the lives of citizens past and present in the community. Together they create an interesting narrative mosaic of the life of Grand Rapids citizens.

Racism in GR (Part 4)

Nov. 16, 6:30 p.m. Main Library: 11 Library St NE, Grand Rapids This series is a direct conversation with community members and is an open space for discussions and reflections of race, bias and inequality in Grand Rapids. Community Conversations and Partners of a Racism-Free Community hosts and moderates, creating a safe space for the difficult, but needed dialogue.

Jacob Bullard performs at GRPL’s Music In the Stacks Nov. 4

Pajama Time! The event kicks off Nov. 4 with a musical performance by Michigan native Jacob Bullard of the indie-folk outfit, Antrim Dells. He has also performed or written for a slew of bands including Backyard Songbook, Strawberry Heritage, Ton Hymm and Care. Recently, Bullard released the E.P. Future Release with his new band Major Murphy. This season the Grand Rapids Public Library hosts a series of six shows, once a month from November 2015 to April 2016. Broderick said she strives to choose from a number of genres including alternative, rock, folk, Americana, rap and hip-hop. “Music draws people of all ages and backgrounds together,” she said. “We strive to be welcoming and open to all of our patrons.” n

Nov. 3, 10, 17, 24, 6:30 p.m. West Leonard Branch: 1017 Leonard NW, Grand Rapids Seymour Branch: 2350 Eastern SE, Grand Rapids For those looking for a calming way to wind down with the kids after work, while inspiring the tikes to open a book, Pajama Time might be the place. The little ones can don their pajamas and bring the stuffed bunnies to cozy up to. This bedtime event, for children 3-5 years old, features stories and lullabies.

REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Diing | Schedule

“The Stacks,” referring to the library’s endless rows of book shelves, is where the intimate concerts are held. Specifically, the concerts are held in the beautiful and historical Biography Room at the downtown GRPL, making for an unconventional, sonically rich experience. “One of the big reasons I like it ‘in the stacks’ is for the acoustics,” said Katie Broderick, a reference librarian at the GRPL who spearheaded the series. “I like to think the books are absorbing the Music in the sound and creating great acoustics.” Stacks The program has been a success for the Grand Rapids Main Library, library — with crowds ranging from 70 to 111 Library St. NE 100 people. And it offers an alternative to All shows FREE, all ages, (616) 988-5400 late-night barroom shows. “What I love about Music in the Stacks Jacob Bullard is that it’s a new place to check out a local Nov. 4, 7–8 p.m., band that’s not in a dark, crowded bar,” Broderick said. “There’s no alcohol. It’s all Tokyo Morose ages. It’s warm and inviting. And you’re Dec. 17, 7–8 p.m. surrounded by books.” Tommy Schichtel Broderick said she has envisioned havJan. 21, 7–8 p.m. ing music in the library ever since she was studying to become a librarian. Villalobos After further inspiration from the Take Feb. 11, 7–8 p.m. Away Show on La Blogotheque, Broderick Lady Ace Boogie made the suggestion a few years back when Mar. 16, 7–8 p.m. she was an assistant at the library. Since becoming a full-time librarian last sumNathan Kalish and mer, and with nearly nine years at GRPL, The Lastcallers Broderick took on Music in the Stacks with Apr. 6, 7–8 p.m. the hope of drawing in the harder to reach 20 and 30 somethings. “My goal is to increase their awareness of the depth of our collections and wide range of resources we offer,” she said. “The program not only serves as a platform for independent artists, but it also brings local music enthusiasts together to share a unique, intimate experience.”

Other Grand Rapids Public Library Events


Road Trip: art

by Sarah Winterbottom

State of the Art Broad Art Museum Brings Historic and Modern Works to East Lansing


Schedule | Dining | Sights Sounds | Scene

n a c o l l e g e ca m p u s peppered with analogous brick buildings, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum stands alone. The sleek $45 million structure, built in 2012, was designed by world-renowned Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid. Since then it’s been described by some locals as the “spaceship,” “shark” or “the Mach 3 Razor.” The stainless steel building strays from conventional architecture as it was built with almost no 90 degree angles. Once you’re indoors, its sprawling windows fill the interior with an unexpected amount of natural light. The unique 46,000-square-foot structure, nested in the heart of downtown East Lansing, is so futuristic it was chosen as one of the sets for the upcoming Batman v Superman film — yes, Ben Affleck was in attendance. Beyond its otherworldly facade, the Broad is known for its ever-changing exhibitions of contemporary art from around the world. It’s also a hive of music, culture and special events. Its permanent collection, inherited from the Kresge Art Museum, houses historically prominent works alongside modern pieces. Revue chatted with Whitney Stoepel, the museum’s director of public relations — here’s what she had to say.

How does the Broad fit into the Michigan art scene? I think that if you wanted to do a Michigan art tour, you would go to the University of Michigan Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Broad Art Museum and then end the tour in Grand Rapids at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts and the Grand Rapids Art Museum. I don’t think people realize that we’re on that trail now of world class art. I think that we fill that gap, we have contemporary work, but it’s not as edgy

48 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

The Broad Art Museum in East Lansing

Broad Exhibitions: Through Feb. 14, 2016: Moving Time: Video Art at 50, 1965–2015 explores the development of video art from its earliest presentation to the present day.

or emerging as MOCAD or UICA. I think we’re filling the gap between MOCAD and the DIA.

At least it’s hard to miss as you’re driving down Grand River Avenue, right?

After the Broad was first built, some locals were upset with the innovative design of the building, why do you think they were not happy?

When I’m telling people about it, regardless of what they call it, it’s hard to miss. You can’t say that about any other building except maybe the capital here. But what really surprises people is that it looks kind of ominous and intimidating from the outside, then you come in and it’s this beautiful, light-filled space with giant ceilings.

I know it gets a lot of flak or side eyes because it’s a crazy looking building but it’s really avant-garde. And there are a lot of buildings throughout history, like the Eiffel tower or the Guggenheim, that people found shocking when they first went up. Part of what makes this so exciting is that it divides people. And that’s what good art does really. It rises something up in people that makes them excited or makes them argue and debate.

How has the Broad impacted Mid-Michigan? I think that people are impressed and excited that they have this architectural gem in their town. It makes it a destination, for reasons other than what MSU is typically famous for like sports or agriculture. It’s another reason for people to come to East Lansing. I did; I moved here. n

Through March 27, 2016: Immediate Things: Material Culture from West Africa questions how cultural artifacts are contextualized and valorized within museum spaces. Nov. 6–April 8, 2016: Material Effects brings together artists from West Africa and the diaspora whose work examines the symbolic, economic and everyday value of objects and materials. Nov. 7–April 24, 2016: Andrew Sendor: Paintings, Drawings, and A Film features Sendor’s meticulously crafted paintings and drawings, influenced equally by photography and cinema. Although his hyper-realistic renderings create an appearance of photographic reproductions, they display elements of the theatrical, the mystical and the absurd. For a full list of events, visit broadmuseum.

visual art

by Rich Tupica


UICA Gets Ghostly with ‘Macabre’ Exhibition


APRIL 19-24

MARCH 15-20 “The best musical since ” The Lion King.

Show is Part of the ‘Coming Home’ Series TIME


w of

ear! the Y



he Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts launched its new series, Coming Home at the end of October. The five exhibitions feature works by emerging and established Michigan artists. One of the shows, Macabre, which features works by more than 20 artists, incorporates themes and imagery from both Halloween and Día de Muertos. The ethereal ambiance is a perfect fit for Lansing-based photographer Nicole Rico, her piece “Hierophant” is among the featured works. “I have always been drawn to the occult and the idea of unseen beings living amongst us,” Rico said. “My work revolves around the concept of an ‘Other’ — a living, breathing consciousness that inhabits us or follows our lives unseen yet aware of our every move … within my photos I explore the ‘Other,’ their inward dwelling and their entanglement within our lives.”


Sho e’s #1

“Hierophant” by Nicole Rico, from the Macabre exhibit at UICA



Full schedule of Coming Home exhibitions:

Jacob Wiseheart — Through Jan. 17, 2016 Wiseheart is a Grand Rapids-based artist whose paintings vary between “landscapes, figurative process and conceptual abstraction.”

Sandra Wilcoxon — Through Jan. 17, 2016 Wilcoxon’s Embellished Bones explores the themes of memento-mori and macabre while honoring the spirit of the animals used in her work. Lisa Walcott — Nov. 7–Feb. 7, 2016 Walcott is a Holland-based installation artist and kinetic sculptor. Her work “utilizes themes of sculpture in motion, mechanized kinetic activation and playfulness.” Jerry Gretzinger — Nov. 21–Feb. 28, 2016 Gretzinger’s works embody “themes of mapping and making real the imagined.” The Michigan-based artist uses a variety of mediums, including acrylic marker, colored pencil, ink and collage. His work is “dictated by the interplay between an elaborate set of rules and randomly generated instructions.” n





For more details on the series of shows, visit

REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Diing | Schedule

Macabre — Through Nov. 29, 2015 Macabre is a community-focused exhibition that will feature works by more than 20 Michigan artists. Work included in Macabre will incorporate themes and imagery from both Halloween and Día de Muertos. The show features artists Brianna Baurichter, Ryan Brady, Sarah Brennan, Kaylee Britton, Rachel Britton, Shannon Czaja, Hayley Hungerford, Cori Kromrei, Nathan Margoni, Sarah Mizer, Randall Nyhof, Matt Oberski, Nicole Rico, Deborah Rockman, Tony Shechtman, John Shaw, Tyler Space, Christopher Struck, James Tingley, Bridgette Toigo, Scott Whitworth, Amy Wilkinson, Renee Zettle-Sterling and Amanda Zylstra.


Style Notes

by Missy Black

My Favorite Things Revue’s Style Writer Offers Up Her Must-Haves

This Matcha Green Tea Facial cleanser is a blend of matcha green tea powder and organic green tea extract that’s great for problem skin. $8–$15.

This time of year, I bring out my plaid-itude. Take this plaid button-up flannel dress with front pockets and a faux suede braided belt. $49. Jade, Rockford

Schedule | Dining | Sights Sounds | Scene



Just try and catch me not wearing my front/back earrings. This stud and pearl combo sit in the lobe and peek out from behind it for a little something different. $19.95. Boutique Emmanuel, Grand Rapids

50 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

ant to kn ow what make s m e sm i le? We can start with super dark denim and my favorite tea-inspired face scrub…. Local, handmade artisan pieces speak to me. My latest interest happens to be a Michigan Mug that’s dishwasher and microwave safe from Megan Akiyama Ceramics. The mugs are made of stoneware and are whole state friendly, with the Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula represented. Gaze upon the mugs at Bailey & James Boutique featuring a mix of vintage and wholesale pieces including home décor such as pillows, candles and Rifle Paper Co. items. $25, Bailey & James Boutique, Rockford

Rich, dark denim has my heart. Check out this paint splatter style from Mother Denim. $188. Studio K Clothing Company, Holland

6740 CASCADE ROAD 6 1 6 . 9 4 2 . 9 8 8 6


REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 |


indie film

The Inspectors Boasts Kalamazoo Talent

by Josh Spanninga

Elder Island Explores the Creepy Side of Michigan



Schedule | Dining | Sights Sounds | Scene

hen it comes to nationally-syndicated crime dramas there’s certainly no shortage of sexy, physically fit actors running around chasing bad guys and saving the day. CBS is trying to challenge that image with their new series The Inspectors, starring Kalamazoo-born actor Bret Green in the lead role of Preston Wainwright, a wheelchair-bound intern working for the United States Postal Inspection Service’s crime lab. The Inspectors airs Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. on CBS. Green was raised in Kalamazoo but upon graduating from Western Michigan University, he headed out west to pursue a job in marketing. It wasn’t long before he knew it wasn’t his passion and made a final trip out to California to pursue acting. When he learned about the role of Preston, it was an offer he couldn’t refuse. “The first thing that drew me to the show in general was the opportunity,” Green explained. “I had small roles on a couple of TV shows that I was really excited about and super grateful to work for, but this was a great opportunity for me to finally be a lead on a show.” Green said that the role was challenging, but it was a challenge he readily accepted. “It required not only a lot of physical preparation of being in the wheelchair and figuring out how to maneuver it, but there was also a psychological aspect to it as well,” Green explained. The first 22-episode season is complete. From here, Green is only looking upwards. “I definitely have an interest in getting involved in feature films,” he said. “The creative freedom when it comes to film is a little more prevalent than in TV. But they’re both fantastic and I’ll take any opportunity to do what I love to do and make a living doing it.”

Bret Green

52 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

Characters from Elder Island

f yo u as k anyo n e vacati o n i n g in Michigan what they’re here for, you’re bound to hear a lot of answers concerning Motown history, the Great Lakes, good beer and fudge. But if you were to ask director Darrin James and producer Fabricio Cerioni what brought them here, they would have a much more macabre answer. This past year the pair came to Michigan to shoot their film Elder Island, a movie based on some of the darker history of Beaver Island. Sure it’s a popular Michigan tourist attraction, but it also has a creepy history involving religious monarchies, a power-hungry preacher and (of course) murder — in other words, a great starting point for a horror movie. James and Cerioni, who also wrote the screenplay together, found inspiration in this actual history, but also had no problem taking liberty and making the horror story their own. “One of the things we found as we were writing the story was we ended up writing something that was a little more like Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th or Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” Cerioni said. “We actually went a little bit retro with the story we had. Instead of have it be this gorefest we actually have a very interesting bad guy and all of these great characters that have great motivations and so forth. We felt much happier with that kind of story.” Of course neither James nor Cerioni want to be pigeonholed as horror filmmakers. They’ve worked with a variety of genres, creating an eclectic portfolio of independent features and shorts. “We’re basically storytellers, so we don’t want to tie ourselves down to any particular genre,” Cerioni said. “The horror/thriller setting was just very apt for the Reverend, for the bad guy in the movie. That’s why we went in that direction.” When it came down to finding locations to shoot the film, Michigan was the obvious choice. Not only were there obvious historical ties to Beaver Island in their story, there was also the plentiful Michigan wilderness creating the perfect setting for a scary movie. “Let’s face it, woods, when shot right, can be creepy no matter where you are,” James said. “And in Michigan you guys have so much green everywhere.” As if those weren’t enough reasons to shoot entirely in Michigan, Cerioni and James were also awarded a roughly $90,565 film incentive, some of the last of the Michigan Film Office’s budget, generously boosting the funds for the movie. Cerioni and James haven’t settled on a distribution deal quite yet, but they have plans to premiere the movie in Michigan. “There are a number of directions we’re going in,” James said. “As far as film festivals, we want to do those. We’re looking at international distribution. If it catches on from there hopefully we can move on to domestic distribution. I mean, that’s always the end goal.” n

KPL_2016TFF_RevueAd.pdf 1 10/21/2015 4:04:38 PM

13th Annual Teen Filmmaker Festival The Best Film Festival for Teens in Michigan.







Deadline to enter: January 30



For info and how to enter: CAMPAIGNPICTURES

Scene | Sounds | Sights Diing | Schedule REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 |



a steak that’s served

gift is the perfect


Grand Rapids | 616.776.6426 | Inside the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel |

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



Restaurant listings arranged by region

Grand Rapids Angel’s Thai Café 136 Monroe Center NW. 616-454-9801 THAI. This downtown restaurant makes your order fresh, fast, and hot. You can order your entree with your choice of meat and spice level, or create your own. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Thai Steak and Yum Talay. Bar Divani 15 Ionia Ave. SW. 616-774-WINE. ECLECTIC. Bar Divani offers a sophisticated environment, with the chefs use local ingredients in their creations. Taste the homegrown flavor in the Prosciutto Flatbread, the Linguine Alfredo or the Plum Salmon. By pairing with Dancing Goats Creamery, Otto’s Chicken, S&S Lamb, Ingraberg Farms, Mrs. Dog’s and Madcap, Bar Divani serves extraordinary tastes. But, what would a night out be without a few drinks? The bar serves more than 300 types of liquor, 300 wines and 50 beers to compliment each handcrafted meal. » SERVING: Dinner after 4 p.m. OPEN ON: Everyday but Sunday. GO THERE FOR: Local Cuisine. 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.

The B.O.B. 20 Monroe Ave. NW. (616) 356-2000 ECLECTIC. If you’re not sure what kind of dining you want, you can just head into The B.O.B., where you can choose from one of its several venues. Go into Gilly’s, where you can dine on seafood or B.O.B.’s Brewery, the restaurant’s in-house brewery. You can dress down for some pizza at Bobarino’s or dress it up for a steak at Judson’s Steakhouse. For after dinner, take in a show at Dr. Grins or enjoy live music at H.O.M.E. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Beer and numerous dining options. Bombay Cuisine 1420 Lake Dr. SE 616-456-7055 INDIAN. Offering savory and subtly spiced dishes from northern India, Bombay Cuisine is a hot spot for those who like to add a little flavor to their lives. With a lunch buffet served every weekday, this restaurant provides its eaters with an array of traditional Indian cuisine. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: Naan, Butter Chicken. Brewery Vivant 925 Cherry St. SE. 616-719-1604 BREWPUB. Housed in a former funeral chapel, Brewery Vivant crafts Belgian-style ales with a focus on barrel aging. The brewpub also brings Belgian tradition when it comes to food, featuring French and Belgian-style meals to pair perfectly with the beer. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: The Burger Chapbook Café 2660 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids. 616-942-0595. CAFE. Take a break from browsing the shelves at Schuler Books with a homemade selection of soups, sandwiches and quiches. Soups are prepared in-house daily and served with fresh baked bread to accompany a small-but-elegant sandwich menu. Try a quiche or traditional Italian Panini grilled on fresh ciabatta bread, or for a quick bite, grab a bagel or scone from the dessert case. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days GO THERE FOR: Homemade soups and sandwiches

CitySen Lounge 83 Monroe Center St. NW. 616-608-1720 AMERICAN. CitySen Lounge, located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, is a bar with a big-city feel, offering exciting options for lunch, dinner and breakfast on the weekends. The focus is on fresh ingredients and a full bar with local brews, wine and creative cocktails. » SERVING: Weekend Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: Daily happy hour The Corner Bar 31 N. Main St., Rockford 616-866-9866 AMERICAN. The downtown Rockford tavern serves a solid menu of burgers, burritos, salads and sandwiches, but it is best known for hot dogs — serving almost 1,000 per day. Its hot-dog-eating challenge has been conquered by more than a few, but it raises the question: Why would you want to consume Corner Bar dogs in a hurry rather than savor each bite? » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Hot dogs. The Cottage Bar 18 Lagrave Ave. SE. 616-454-9088 AMERICAN. The Cottage Bar is the oldest operating restaurant and bar in downtown Grand Rapids. Come in for the Cottage Burger, smothered with green olives, bacon, lettuce, tomato, hickory mayonnaise and Swiss and American cheeses. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Closed Sundays GO THERE FOR: The Cottage Burger. Cygnus 27 187 Monroe Ave. NW. 616-776-6425 ECLECTIC. Enjoy the skyline atop the Glass Tower. Indulge in a variety of globally infused dishes at this AAA Four-Diamond restaurant. Casual attire; no jacket required. Private dining also available. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Seasonal Sunday Brunch. Erb Thai 950 Wealthy St. SE #1A. (616) 356-2573. Additional locations at 4160 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, Suite B, and 820 Michigan St. NE. THAI. Food rooted in traditional Thai cuisine, but also made to accommodate health conscious and special diets. Not too strong, not too weak, like harmony and melody. Marketing representative Molly Rizor was a Thai virgin when she went and is now glad Erb Thai was her first experience. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Peanut Curry Noodles. Founders Brewing Company 235 Grandville SW. 616-776-1195 BREWPUB. A beer-lover’s paradise with a national reputation for flavorful, award-winning

beers. Likewise, the brewpub’s menu consists mainly of flavorful handcrafted deli sandwiches that can stand up and complement the beers (or vice versa). » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Award-winning beer, handcrafted sandwiches. Ganders 4747 28th St SE. 616-957-0100. AMERICAN. Ganders by Hilton Doubletree presents modern American menu options dedicated to locally grown ingredients representing the best farms, markets and food artisans of West Michigan. The restaurant also features a number of local craft beers on tap and by the bottle. The restaurant works directly with local breweries to create multi-course beer tasting menus featuring beer incorporated into every course. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 Days. GO THERE FOR: Fresh, locally grown ingredients and Michigan-made beer. Garden Court Lounge 187 Monroe Ave. NW. 616-774-2000 LOUNGE. An excellent choice for a quick drink with friends or when you desire relaxing with your favorite drink. The Garden Court Lounge offers a fine array of beer, wine, cocktails and liqueurs. » SERVING: Drinks OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Specialty cocktails.

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

REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule

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

Blue Water Grill 5180 Northland Dr. 616-363-5900 SEAFOOD. One of Grand Rapids’ most inspired restaurants in terms of overall ambiance, with Frank Lloyd Wright-style architecture, a massive fireplace, and some of the best water views in West Michigan. The food is similarly inspired, drawing from Italian, Mediterranean and classic American influences. All the traditional favorites are accounted for with a wide variety of wood-fired pizzas, seafood, steaks, chops, salads, and sandwiches. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Grass Fed Beef.

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



salads, and wings. Online ordering, too. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Pizza. Grand Rapids Brewing Company 1 Ionia Ave SW. 616-458-7000 BREWPUB. Good for the environment and your palate, GRBC is Michigan’s first certified organic brewery and features a menu stocked with locally grown ingredients. With a diverse selection of beers on tap inspired by historical Grand Rapids figures and a hearty array of burgers, melts and hand-cranked sausages, this place represents the best of the brewery’s 120-year legacy. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Organic beer and locally sourced food. Grand Woods Lounge 77 Grandville Ave SW. 616-451-4300 AMERICAN. The restaurant’s interior exudes a warm, casual ambiance reminiscent of the great eateries of the Pacific Northwest; the outdoor porch features two outdoor bars and a fireplace. Menu stocked with affordable appetizers great for sharing, plus salads, sandwiches, and entrées. Lots of domestics and microbrews, plus an array of martinis including the “Woodstini,” a tasty mix of Stoli Orange Vodka, mandarin oranges and raspberries. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Cocktails. The Holiday Bar 801 5th St. NW. (616) 456-9058 AMERICAN. Tucked smack dab in the “Heart of the Westside, The Holiday Bar boasts a classic 40-foot Horseshoe bar, along with cheap eats and drinks, both

served until 2 a.m., with specials happening daily. The Holiday Bar has a full menu that features pub fare like chicken strips, pierogis, battered homestyle mushrooms and more. It’s a great place to watch the game, listen to music or just hang out with friends. » SERVING Lunch Dinner. OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Cheap eats and drinks. Harmony Brewing Company 1551 Lake Dr. SE (616) 233-0063 BREWPUB. Harmony features 12 craft-brewed beers in addition to signature root beer for the kiddos. Named one of the top-five brewpub menus in West Michigan by yours truly, Harmony’s ultimate deal is a take-out combo that features one of its 10” gourmet wood-fired pizzas and a growler of beer for $20, as well as a $5 cheese and $6 pepperoni pizza deal every Tuesday. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Pizza and brews. HopCat 25 Ionia SW. 616-451-4677 TAVERN. Rated the 3rd best beer bar on the planet by Beer Advcoate, HopCat’s spin on its food is thus: “It’s the food your Mom would feed you, if your Mom loved beer.” That’s specifically true for HopCat’s beerbar cheese, cheese ale soup and porter braised beef, but mom would also love the Hippie wrap (it’s vegetarian), the crack fries (not real crack), and Killer Mac and Cheese. Because what mom doesn’t like mac and cheese? » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Widest variety of beers, crack fries.

Lumber Baron Bar 187 Monroe Ave. NW. (616) 774-2000 LOUNGE. Settle into the warmth and charm of this historic bar — complete with a fireplace, leather club chairs and a large selection of premium drinks and appetizers. » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: Closed Sundays and Mondays GO THERE FOR: Scotch or Brandy after a Symphony concert.

Marie Catrib’s 1001 Lake Dr. 616-454-4020 ECLECTIC. The East Hills eatery makes everything from scratch with local ingredients, and there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. Get there early for lunch, as there is almost always a wait. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Salads, soups and sandwiches. Mixology 235 Louis St. NW. 616-242-1448 LOUNGE. Casual, upscale service and atmosphere allows guests to relax and enjoy the city views. This type of service allows guests to complete business tasks while still enjoying the accessibility to great food and libations. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: Specialty cocktails.

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


Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene

Bar ter town Diner and Cult Pizza deliver delicious (and affordable) eats to your door. Pizzas, sandwiches, tacos. Plus breakfast and dinner, too.

56 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

Call 616-490-4911 for delivery today!


Visit our FB pages for daily specials!

After Black Friday, customers can enter to win a “GIFT BASKET” full of condiments, gift accessories, and gift certificates. We'll be drawing weekly up until Xmas week. 950 WEALTHY ST SE SUITE 1A GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49506 616-356-2573





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

Note Worthy Dining.

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

with this coupon

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

REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule

Downtown Grand Rapids



The Pita House 1450 Wealthy SE, 3730 28th Street, 4533 Ivanrest SW (Grandville). 616-454-1171 MEDITERRANEAN. Gyros so big you can club someone with them, the smoothest hummus in town and other Mediterranean fare, including kibbe, kafta and falafel. Additional locations on 28th Street and Kalamazoo SE. Sandwiches are made to order with fresh vegetables and ingredients. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Fresh pita wraps. Reds on the River 8 E Bridge St #100, Rockford. 616-863-8181 AMERICAN. Relaxed ambiance, great food and a view of the river equate to an enjoyable time out. With quality food and fresh ingredients you’re sure to find a meal that tickles your fancy. Staff is trained to help you should you encounter unfamiliar territory. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days GO THERE FOR: Red’s Steak Burger Reserve Wine & Food 201 Monroe Ave. NW (616) 855-9463 ECLECTIC. With 102 wines available by the glass and more than 300 by the bottle, paired with an ever-changing food menu influenced by West Michigan grown foods, Reserve promises diners a unique experience. Cocktails and craft beers add depth to the primarily wine-centered menu. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner OPEN ON: Closed on Sunday GO THERE FOR: Wine and food pairings, charcuterie, happy hour. River City Saloon

1152 Leonard St. NW. 616-451-0044 AMERICAN. Combine your tastes of live music and filling food at River City Saloon. The restaurant and bar has Mexican options, burgers, salads and more. On the weekends, indulge in any of these menu items or a couple drinks while listening to some local music by bands like Hey Marco, OTC, Litt Up, Drop 35 and more. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: Wednesday olive burger special

products, San Chez is both a café and a Tapas Bistro, and is now both housed in the same room. This is a social setting where people can remember the one rule of kindergarten: sharing. Featuring small, delicious dishes, San Chez can satiate your desire for variety. It’s also a hidden secret for breakfast in downtown Grand Rapids, offering a great start to any day. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 Days. GO THERE FOR: Tapas, Breakfast, Sandwiches

Rockwell-Republic 45 S. Division Ave. 616-551-3563 ECLECTIC. Menu offerings range from sushi to burgers and everything in between. The cocktail menu runs the gamut from classics like the Manhattan to more modern variations and the beer and wine menus are nothing to sneeze at either. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Specialty cocktails, broad menu, lively atmosphere.

The Score 5301 Northland Dr. NE. 616-301-0600 SPORTS BAR. The perfect combination for beer and sports lovers. More than 70 TVs carry major sports packages and there are 128 beers on tap. During summer, enjoy live entertainment every day, outdoor dining (with real palm trees) and volleyball tournaments. The menu ranges from burgers to pizzas and wings tossed in one of The Score’s 16 sauces. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner .OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Lots of beer options.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House 187 Monroe Avenue NW. 616-776-6426 STEAKHOUSE. Serving only the best steaks, Ruth’s Chris hand-selects its steaks from the top 2% of the country’s beef, which is then broiled to perfection at 1800 degrees. Enjoy the freshest seafood, classic sides and homemade desserts that satisfy any craving. » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: Closed Sundays. GO THERE FOR: Steak. San Chez Bistro 38 West Fulton St. 616-774-8272 ECLECTIC. Using local

Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene

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

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

58 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

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

Stella’s Lounge 53 Commerce Ave. 616-356-2700 TAVERN. The Chicago-style whiskey bar has more than 200 varieties of distilled spirits, old-school video games, a superexcellent jukebox stocked with rock and punk classics, and a menu filled with vegetarian and vegan bar food — and stuffed burgers. Did we mention you can sip cans of PBR and other classic beers out of a mason jar? » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Vegetarian and vegan bar food. Terra GR 1429 Lake Dr. 616-301-0998 AMERICAN. Terra boasts fresh, healthy ingredients in every dish. The restaurant doesn’t feature one menu, either. It offers a Saturday and Sunday brunch menu, as well as menus for lunch, dinner, dessert, beverages, wine, happy hour and kids. The food is inspired by the seasons and ingredients come straight from one of Michigan’s many farms. » SERVING: Brunch Lunch Dinner. OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Fresh foods with ingredients from regional growers. Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill 760 Butterworth St. SW. 616-272-3910 AMERICANA. You might walk into Tip Top for the cheap happy hour specials or one of the many rockabilly acts. But get comfortable with one of the venue’s signature menu items. Get classic with a sandwich or burger, but we recommend immersing yourself fully in GR’s west side and ordering Tip Top’s Polish Plate. » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Dinner, drinks and a show.

The Winchester 648 Wealthy St. SE. 616-451-4969 ECLECTIC. Upscale Wealthy Street bar and restaurant feels like it was plucked from Chicago’s Bucktown or Logan Square neighborhoods. A comfortable spot to drink or dine, with an always evolving menu featuring shared plates, salads and inventive sandwiches. The Cuban Reuben, originally created as something of a joke, remains a (very tasty) staple item. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: DIY Bloody Mary Bar Special, Yucca Fries. Wolfgang’s Restaurant 1530 Wealthy St. SE. 616-454-5776 BREAKFAST. The bustling Eastown breakfast spot is home to some of the heartiest breakfast dishes and funniest menu descriptions. Courteous staff never fails to offer a cup of coffee to go after we’ve finished breakfast. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Breakfast all day.

Lakeshore 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. 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.

Phil’s Bar & Grille 215 Butler St., Saugatuck. 269-857-1555 AMERICAN. This cozy (some would say “small”) bar and grille in downtown Saugatuck is one of those unassuming spots you might easily overlook, though locals in Saugatuck will tell you about their love affair with Phil’s. Eclectic menu is all over the place, but in a good way, and the staff is super-friendly. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Portabella Mushroom Fries. Salt of the Earth 114 East Main St., Fennville. 269-561-7258 AMERICAN. Salt of the Earth is a farm-to-table-inspired restaurant, bar, and bakery located in the heart of SW Michigan farm country in Fennville. Focuses on fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients whenever possible. Also serves up live music on weekends. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: House made rustic cuisine. Saugatuck Brewing Company 2948 Blue Star Highway. 269-857-7222 BREWPUB. Enjoy a traditional Irish-style pub that features quality beer, wine, food and service. Try one of 12 unique brews that are served in the pub and bottled and distributed throughout the Midwest. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Beer in a family friendly pub environment.

Kalamazoo/Battle Creek Arcadia Brewing Co. 103 Michigan Ave., Battle Creek. 269-963-9520 BREWPUB. You’ll find some of the usual suspects on the Battle Creek brewpub’s menu, including wood-fired pizzas and some of the best barbecue in the region. But you’ll also find some delightful surprises — Osso Bucco in a brewpub?! — on the menu, courtesy of award-winning Chef Sean Kelly. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Handcrafted ales and barbecue. Bell’s Eccentric Cafe 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave. 269-382-2332 BREWPUB. The Eccentric Café features eclectic fare sourced from sustainable local ingredients, inspired by and designed to complement Bell’s award-winning beers. On tap, you’ll find 30-40 different beers, many exclusive to the Café and brewed right next door at the original brewery. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: The Beer Bravo! 5402 Portage Rd., Kalamazoo 269-344-7700 ITALIAN. Much-lauded 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 Tuscaninspired 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.

New Hours. Town Hall Seating. Breakfast Pizza. Cult Pizza will be expanding its weekend hours and scaling back weekday lunch hours. We’ll also be opening the new Town Hall space between Cult Pizza and Bar ter town with additional seating for both restaurants. Free wireless! New Fall/wiNTer HourS: Wednesday to Friday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday-Sunday Open 12 noon to 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, we’ll be offering a variety of breakfast pizzas at Cult, featuring local produce, cheeses, meats and eggs (plus a whole lot of other good things!) Come check out West Michigan’s only farm-to-crust breakfast pizza! 10 Jefferson Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI Visit our FB page for daily specials


REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule

Everyday People Cafe 11 Center St., Douglas. 269-857-4240 AMERICAN. REVUE Publisher Brian Edwards calls Everyday People Café his favorite restaurant along the lakeshore. The atmosphere is casual and upbeat, the staff knows its stuff about wine and food, and the seasonal menu is filled with meticulously prepared, eclectic comfort food like Butternut Squash Risotto, Braised Lamb Shank and Ahi Tuna. A great wine list and tremendous desserts. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Gorgonzola Pork Chop, Greek Salad with Grandma Gigi’s Dressing (Edwards).

New Holland Brewing Company 66 E. 8th St., Holland. 616-355-6422 BREWPUB. One of West MI’s premier microbreweries serves up better than average pub grub, including the Tarheel barbecue Pulled Pork, Grilled Portobello and The Treehugger, which is billed as “a vegetarian sandwich utopia.” » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Mad Hatter IPA, Dragon’s Milk.


Taste This

Manchego Fritters at Cygnus 27

Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene

Cygnus 27’s New Latin Menu Is a Slam Dunk


But chorizo croquetta and lamb empanadas have replaced ygnus 27 is changing its tune the old menu’s lumpia and sushi, and “ambience” is clearly with the addition of its new chef Tim Moreno. The restaurant is taking on a new flavor part of the Cygnus 27 experience. Hey, if gazing at a breathtakas it changes guards with new manager Manny ing view of the city as you eat your albondigas is important to you, then you couldn’t find a better place. Rivera and his Latin-influenced freshman chef. Cygnus 27’s new menu is certainly inventive, as one Formerly featuring heavily Asian-infused cuisine, Cygnus 27’s new menu has turned its would expect from an ambitious young chef. I started off with the Manchego Fritters, which are tasty little molten bombs attention to south of the border thanks to the of sheep’s milk cheese encased in a crispy Mexican heritage of Chef Moreno. Growing outer shell, finished with, of all things, red up in Holland, the second generation son of bell pepper jam. I’m normally a sweet/savory Mexican immigrants was immersed in Latin Cygnus 27 Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, 187 segregationist, but the sweet from the jam cuisine thanks to his extended family. Many of Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids didn’t feel overpowering, and it worked. the dishes on the menu, like Chicken Adobo, (616) 774-2000 Next I tried the Shrimp Aguachile, which and Crab Pozole, are spin-offs of his family’s was my favorite. Michigan raised shrimp, recipes. thinly sliced cucumber and giant kernels of To be honest, before dining there to write homily (white corn) hung out in a serrano chile broth which, this review, I’d never actually been to Cygnus 27 outside of their Cygnature events (which are a blast — at least, I think amazingly, did NOT engulf my entire digestive system in fire. they are. My memory of them gets a little fuzzy past the first As someone who never orders more than two stars in Thai cocktail). Although the restaurant is categorized as “casual” restaurants, I found myself slurping down the rest of the serdining, the 27th floor of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel is a rano broth with only the slightest discomfort. Overall the dish was fun and refreshing. little too much swank for my blood, which isn’t used to wine To finish, I decided to pull a Ratatouille on myself and that costs more than $10/bottle. Also, I rationalized that if I wanted good lumpia, I could pay way less for it at ground level. ordered the most ordinary, nostalgic plate on the menu: the

60 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

Adobo Chicken. Made with organic Amish chicken, Chef Moreno’s adobo definitely follows a more Latinate style, acting more like a marinade than the saucy dishes you find in Southeast Pacific cuisines. Ambitious and true to his Mexican heritage, Chef Moreno raises the stakes by adding cinnamon and cloves to his adobo marinade and garnishing the dish with pickled cauliflower, frijoles charros and knob onions. While I’d certainly give the dish as a whole an emphatic four stars, I did find the cinnamon and cloves a bit distracting and unnecessary. The boyfriend, who dutifully allowed himself to be dragged to the top of the Amway Grand and fed, dove into the Beef Short Ribs and he polished off his entire entree — with the exception of the bite I stole for the sake of good journalism. The short ribs were mouth-meltingly tender and not too over-adorned by flavor — a slam dunk on both our accounts. Overall, I loved the playfulness and sense of heritage in the menu and could feel Chef Moreno’s enthusiasm shine through in both the way the waitstaff described his dishes and in their presentation. There are certainly a LOT of flavors going on at Cygnus and I wouldn’t recommend the fare to those who are faint of palate. To the taste stalwart, however, Cygnus 27’s new menu and breathtaking view are definitely worth the elevator ride. n

by Marjorie Steele

Naughty Girl Stout

Food biz Notes The Piper in Macatawa closes Iconic lakeshore restaurant The Piper in Macatawa closed its doors early in September as Pat Eldean, the owner, retires after 31 successful years. The restaurant opened in 1985 as the Sandpiper, a fine-dining establishment which was rebranded more casually as The Piper in 1997. Eldean was seeking a buyer for the restaurant earlier this spring, but in September it was announced the restaurant is indeed closing. As for the location, The Piper Building is being remodeled for mixed-use. Wade Eldean, owner of the Eldean Shipyard, is seeking new commercial tenants and restauranteurs for the space.

Electric Hero is here to save us from bike-delivered subs Ambitious young West Michigan entrepreneur Nicolas Mika is taking Jimmy John’s sandwich delivery service head on with his quickly growing franchise Electric Hero. Featuring meat and cheese from Boar’s Head, natural and organic veggies and homemade ingredients, Electric Hero’s “way more interesting” sandwiches are made from scratch. Inventive sandwiches like “The Tesla” feature unique ingredients such as gouda, chorizo, spring chicken salad and BBQ pulled pork, with prices averaging around $8. Founded in Grand Haven a few years ago as Electric Cadillac, Electric Hero has brick and mortar locations in Grand Haven, Holland and, most recently, downtown Grand Rapids. The sandwich shop also owns two food trucks, one of which operates seasonally at Grand Haven State Park. The other runs at festivals and is available for private events. You may have seen Electric Hero’s food truck in the BOB’s parking lot during ArtPrize. In addition to its brick-and-mortar business, Electric Hero offers boxed lunches with free delivery (with a 5 order minimum) and corporate catering. Mika’s business is built on an aggressive, accessible franchise model. “We are a lot less strict with our rules


because it allows the franchisee to tailor their business around their community,” Mika said. More details at

Visit our tap room this holiday season to enjoy Naughty Girl Stout in 22 oz bottles, 16 oz cans and on draft.

Food trucks take Grand Rapids Ever since 2012 food-truck legislation in Grand Rapids shifted to allow mobile vendors the freedom to operate, food trucks have become an increasingly important part of the Grand Rapids food scene. Favorites like A Moveable Feast and What the Truck have been commonplace for a while, but new mobile food venues continue to crop up – sometimes from the most unlikely of sponsors. For instance: Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids has partnered with the Grand Rapids Community Foundation to expand their social enterprise workforce development program with the purchase of a new Goodwill food truck, Blue Spoon. The $100,000 grant from GR Community Foundation helps Goodwill “offer Grand Rapidians an opportunity to eat locally sourced food while also supporting Grand Rapids residents as they develop skills that will help earn a living wage,” according to the local organization. Goodwill’s Blue Spoon truck offers simple but hearty fare, like fajita bowls and kebabs, ranging from $4-$8. The truck is an extension of Goodwill’s already thriving Blue Spoon catering, and Blue Spoon Soup & Spuds, which is located at the Downtown Market. Another new addition is the River City Cup and Cake food truck. Professionally trained pastry chef and barista Lorin Tate cashed in on a longtime dream of his last August when he opened the windows to his River City Cup and Cake food truck. Offering Parisian-style coffee and pastry fare, the food truck is based off an idea Tate developed while living in Italy, offering Grand Rapidians a taste of Europe. The new mobile venture also comes with social responsibility: Tate’s zero-waste policy ensures that any leftovers from the day are given to Mel Trotter Ministries. n



GOVERNMENT WARNING: (1) According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems. Right Brain Brewery, 225 E. 16th Street, Traverse City, MI 49684


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

Lunch from Electric Hero

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

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


Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule



/// Beer

by Joe Boomgaard, Revue Beer Czar

Imperial Stout Taste-Off Blackest of the Black Edition


henever Black Sabbath founder Tony Iommi straps on a guitar, he releases an aural evil that manifests itself in the form of some of the heaviest, most sinister riffs known to man, woman or devil-beast. Known as the father of heavy metal, Iommi’s songwriting style can be summarized as equal parts deep, dark and brooding, and he backs that with a fluid complexity that defies what someone with only eight complete fingers should be able to play. In many ways, an Iommi riff shares many similarities to a finely crafted imperial stout. Most people look at imperial stouts as big, thick malt bombs. While they are indeed all of those, they’re also nuanced pours, often infused with savory, roasty flavors (coffee and chocolate, in particular) and sweet aromas. Many are also quite hoppy. They have a complexity beyond their evil, blacker-than-black appearance. And lucky for Mitten State drinkers, Michigan’s craft breweries also make a lot of them. We assembled nine Michigan-made imperial stouts from those available at the time and from the cellar and decided to see which ones we liked best in a blind tasting. Reviewers for this most difficult assignment included: n Joe Boomgaard, the Beer Czar of Revue who thinks the best vocalists of Black Sabbath are, in order from best to worst: Ronnie James Dio, Ian Gillan, Glenn Hughes, Tony Martin, bassist Geezer Butler’s fart and some guy who mumbles a lot. n Jayson Bussa, assistant editor of Revue whose idea of “hard rock” is Fall Out Boy. n Rachel Harper, the new designer for sister publication MiBiz who gets her one free pass from the embarrassment of these cheeky comments. n Nick Manes, a reporter at MiBiz and restaurant menu fan who likely already knows that the Black Sabbath burger at Kuma’s in Chicago comes with blackening spice, housemade chili, pepperjack cheese and red onion and costs $13, which coincidently, was the number in the title of Black Sabbath’s latest album. n John Wiegand, a reporter at MiBiz, millennial and musical n00b who probably thinks Black Sabbath is a band of African-Americans who only play on Sundays.

Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene

Here’s what we determined.

62 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

The beers 1. Plead The 5th

Dark Horse Brewing Co., Marshall, 11.0% ABV Whoa — here’s a stout with a super-thick body that’s the color of motor oil with great chocolatey and dark roasty flavors. It’s “delicious as hell” and “smooth in all the right places” — whatever that means. Did we mention it’s thick? A very well-executed stout that’s so well done, the Beer Czar actually gave it a perfect score. Goddamn! Score: 94.4

2. Expedition Stout

Bell’s Brewery, Galesburg, 10.5% ABV Another thick stout that pours nearly black with a tan head. Light carbonation. This one really clings to the glass. Not much in the aroma, but the taste is phenomenal. Sweet and roasty, yet it manages to go down smooth. “It’s hefty with a body like an angel,” said one reviewer, obviously drunk. Score: 92.4

3. Breakfast Stout

Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, 8.3% ABV It’s obvious this is a coffee-flavored stout. Coffee carries over to the beer’s flavor, which leans heavily toward espresso notes. It’s no one-trickpony, as there are complementary notes of dark chocolate thrown in for good measure. It looks and tastes the part of a flavored imperial stout, although it’s slightly thin in body. (BRING BACK THE BABY ON THE LABEL!) Score: 89.0

4. Imperial Stout

Founders Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, 10.5% ABV This beer is DARK and “so thick you could cut it with a steak knife.” The great chocolate and coffee aromas give way to a slightly boozy taste. This one “coats the tongue like a quart of Valvoline.” It’s savory, roasty and smooth — the perfect fireplace sipper. There’s a lot going here. Score: 85.4

5. 30th Anniversary Ale

Bell’s Brewery, Galesburg, 11.0% ABV

Thick and oily with a khaki head. There’s more carbonation than in some other examples that helps bring out the big, slightly sweet aroma. The taste offers some smoky notes matched with a welcome hoppy bitterness. But it’s boozy. Here’s one to throw in the cellar for a while and revisit with a little age. Score: 83.8

6. Giant Slayer

Tri-City Brewing Co., Bay City, 9.0% ABV Coats the glass nicely, and offers some roasty aromas. It almost comes across as a barrelaged stout in the nose. However, the flavor is a bit harsh, if not tart (cherries?) at the end. It’s syrupy and chewy and moderately carbonated. “It’s just OK.” Score: 73.4

7. Dystopia

Greenbush Brewing Co., Sawyer, 9.0% ABV Looks and feels thinner and lighter than an imperial stout should. The brewer’s yeast almost overpowers the aroma — as well as the taste. That said, it tastes better than it smells with some slightly sweet notes. It’s not a bad beer, but it’s also not at the top of the pack. Score: 68.8

8. Berserker

North Peak Brewing Co., Traverse City, 9.0% ABV While one reviewer liked this one — “It’s f***ing great, but I could be intoxicated,” he said, clearly acknowledging his state of inebriation — the rest said it had issues. It’s thin and soapy looking. Some sugary and molasses notes give it a somewhat sweet aroma, but the flavor lets you down like a bad date. “Meh.” Score: 67.2

9. Moher Stout

Short’s Brewing Co., Bellaire, 9.7% ABV Something seemed off with this one. It featured a pungent, acidic aroma one reviewer likened to nail polish remover. Likewise, the taste was overpoweringly acidic, with a dry, “cider-esque” finish. “Not a pleasant drinking beer.” Score: 51.6

Stop by to try all of our craft beers on tap The B.O.B. / 20 Monroe Ave NW / Downtown GR 616.356.2000 / / #BOBsBrewery

REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule



Dining 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

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

November 2015 Events






5:30pm 5, 12, 19, 26


Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene













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

2660 28th Street SE • (616) 942-2561

64 | REVUEWM.COM | November 2015

Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days (Sundays-dinner only) GO THERE FOR: Quiet casual ambiance. Old Burdicks Bar & Grill 100 W. Michigan Ave. (269) 226-3192 AMERICAN. Old Burdick’s Bar & Grill features tasty sandwiches, burgers, salads and entrees, as well as a great selection of cocktails, wines and beers. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner. OPEN: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: The Old Burdick Burger. Old Dog Tavern 402 East Kalamazoo Avenue, Kalamazoo. 269-381-5677 AMERICAN. The food at Old Dog Tavern is just about as eclectic as the entertainment offered. The menu has so much on it that it might even bring some harmony between picky and adventurous eaters. » SERVING: Brunch Lunch Dinner. OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: The eclectic menu options. Union Cabaret & Grille 125 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo. 269-384-6756 AMERICAN. A partnership with Western Michigan University, Union features eclectic food and cocktails, plus live jazz music performed by WMU faculty and students. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Closed Sunday. GO THERE FOR: Portabella Fries, Bloody Maries with infused vodkas. n

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

Ballet Arts Ensemble Cathleen Huling Artistic Director with the

Daniel Brier Conductor

Saturday, December 5

2 pm and 7 pm

Sunday, December 6

2 pm

Chenery Auditorium • Kalamazoo MI Featuring

Guest Professional Dancers Kalamazoo Children’s Chorus Suzuki Violin Academy Dr. Raymond Harvey as Mother Ginger Reserved Seats $13 to $20 Tickets available at Miller Auditorium box office (269.387.2300) or online at <>. Special ticket rates for groups of 20 or more are available.

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

The first annual Grand Caroling on the steps of the Welsh Auditorium

Friday, December 4: West Michigan Gay Men’s Chorus Friday, December 11:  Sweet Adeline's Friday, December 18: Girls Choral Academy with the Grand Rapids Women's Chorus

Located inside the DoubleTree Hotel 616.957.1111 • 4747 28th Street SE REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule

Carol with area choirs on the first three Fridays in December from 6 p.m.–7 p.m. outside the stunning Welsh Auditorium, on the bank of the Grand River. Following the caroling session, stroll downtown visiting the restaurants and shops trimmed with holiday cheer! Get your joy on!


Last Call by Rei Robinson / photo by Katy Batdorff


Reserve Wine & Food 201 Monroe NW, Downtown Grand Rapids My experience with cinchona dates back to the time I stepped into Reserve, a boutique of wine, fine foods and (as with any and every place I would tread) exceptional cocktails. There I experienced the MLCC, a rum and Bonal mix that steps leisurely amongst oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s palate, with a bright entry that reposes into an anise finish.

How to Make it: Combine equal parts: -Caliche White Rum -Bonal Gentiane-Quina Wine -Pernod Anise Spirit -Fresh-Squeezed Lemon Juice Garnish with Luxardo Bitter Maraschino Cherries. Shake and double-strain into a chilled cocktail coupe.


The Best

on th




alatnieot! P eP


NOV 06 NOV 13 NOV 20 NOV 27



sunday funday







REVUEWM.COM | November 2015 |


November 2015, Revue Magazine  

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

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you