Page 1

WEST MICHIGAN’S ENTERTAINMENT GUIDE FOR 28 YEARS » NOVEMBER 2016

FREE! / MUSIC / ART / FILM / DINING

Dive Bar Tour Make your own high-end cocktails Get to know your local bartenders Local distillers discuss their favorite spirits Bill Welter, Journeyman Distillery


NOVEMBER 5 - DECEMBER 17

English subtitles for people with hearing impairments

2 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

SpaNISH SUbTITLES


STAR-STUDDED ENTERTAINMENT! CALL 1.800.514.ETIX, VISIT ETIX.COM OR THE SOARING EAGLE/SAGANING BOX OFFICE NOV. 18

NOV. 26

NOV. 19

TICKETS START AT $50

TICKETS START AT $44

DEC. 27

DEC. 10

DEC. 4

TICKETS START AT $44

TICKETS START AT $34

TICKETS START AT $12

DEC. 28

DEC. 30

DEC. 29 TICKETS START AT $18

TICKETS START AT $49

TICKETS START AT $18

DEC. 31

FEB. 17–18

JAN. 27

$60/PERSON • $100/COUPLE

TICKETS START AT $24 TICKETS START AT $25 ON SALE NOVEMBER 25

EAGLE CONCERT EXTRAS DAY OF SHOW: • $20 IN PREMIUM PLAY

P

R

O

P

E

R T

I

E

S

Visit SoaringEagleCasino.com for complete details.

WATERPARK PACKAGES STARTING AT $

189

• FREE DESSERT OR APPETIZER WITH PURCHASE OF ENTRÉE AT SINIIKAUNG STEAK & CHOP HOUSE •15% OFF KIDS QUEST

ENTERTAINMENT ROOM PACKAGES AVAILABLE

Get your tickets at the Soaring Eagle box office, etix.com, or call 1.800.514.ETIX

RESORT PACKAGES STARTING AT $

229

PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS THEN CALL 877.2.EAGLE.2 TO BOOK YOUR ESCAPE!

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

3


4 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016


REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

5


6 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016


REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

7


8 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016


WHAT’S INSIDE

November 2016 | Volume 28, Issue 11

SCENE: 13 15 16

What’s Going on this Month Biz Beat Eclectic: Will Juggle

SOUNDS: 19 20 21

Local: The SEVENTth and Waldo Bear vs. Shark Local album review: Crystal Drive

SPECIAL SECTION: THE DRINKING ISSUE

THE DRINKING ISSUE

23

24 28 30 32 36 38 40 42

The Art of the Cocktail Bartender Profiles Signature Cocktails and Recipes Principle Food & Drink Grand Rapids Dive Bar Tour Distillers’ Choice: Favorite cocktails Trend Alert: Draft Cocktails Coming Soon: Kalamazoo Stillhouse

SIGHTS: 45 48 50 52

Comedy: Trailer Park Boys Q&A Julia Sweeney Lit Life: Vintage and used bookstores Style Notes: Cool Jewelry

DINING & DRINKING: 55 58 60 62 64

Restaurant Guide Food Trucks in Grand Rapids Beer: Great American Beer Fest Recap Kalamazoo Beer Festival Downtown Allegan Revival

SPECIAL SECTION: REVUE ARTS 1A

58

FOOD TRUCKS

DIVE BARS

36

An exploration of West Michigan’s cultural arts scene and the people who drive it (See the center of this issue, after page 34)


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

A

t a time when consumers and bartenders alike are rediscovering long-forgotten cocktails as well as creating new concoctions, they have more options for locally-made spirits than at any time in recent history. While craft breweries have been the story of the past decade or two, it’s likely that distilleries will take center stage in the years ahead. Like with craft beer, the craft spirits movement has certainly established itself in West Michigan. In just the past year, Gray Skies Distillery in Grand Rapids, Bier Distillery in Comstock Park and Kalamazoo-based Green Door Distillery have all opened their doors. New Holland Brewing Co.’s plan for its Knickerbocker Pub in Grand Rapids is to focus on gin production once the company’s new still arrives. The growth of craft distilleries also shows no sign of letting up, with new producers set to come online in Holland, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. Turn to page 42 for a story about one of those newcomers, Kalamazoo Stillhouse. That’s why, hot on the heels of last month’s Beer Issue, Revue presents what we’re affectionately calling the Drinking Issue for November. It’s loaded with information about the best in craft cocktails (now on draft!) and where to drink them. We chatted with a handful of distillery owners to learn about their favorite drinks and asked the region’s top bartenders and mixologists to make us something special. But we’re not so fancy that

we’ll refuse to explore the bottom shelf, as evidenced by our tour of dive bars on Grand Rapids’ west side on page 36. (Free advice: Bring cash!) Elsewhere, the second-ever issue of Revue Arts, located in the center 24 pages of this edition, includes Justine Burdette’s look into how West Michigan women are trying to break into the notoriously male-dominated film industry. Perhaps filmmaker Lisa Enos best summed up the main challenge women face today: “I’m getting to the point where people aren’t talking down to me because of my age. It’s not that I’m a young person. It’s the female thing. … It’s kind of insulting.” Additionally, check out Samara Napolitan’s feature story on what West Michigan orchestras are doing not only to stay relevant, but also to become a more vital part of their communities. The section is packed with information about what’s coming up in the cultural arts in the month ahead, as well as preview stories and profiles of artists from across West Michigan. As always, please let us know what you think. Drop me a note at joe@revuewm.com.

Cheers,

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

EDITORIAL Publisher Brian Edwards / brian@revuewm.com Associate Publisher Rich Tupica / rich@revueholding.com Editor Joe Boomgaard / joe@revuewm.com Associate Editor Josh Veal / josh@revuewm.com Copy Editor Claire Boomgaard DESIGN Creative Director Kim Kibby / kim@revuewm.com Revue Arts Design Rachel Harper CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Missy Black Justine Burdette Dana Casadei Mark Deming Dwayne Hoover Marla R. Miller Eric Mitts

Samara Napolitan Troy Reimink Nicole Rico Jane Simons Josh Spanninga Elma Talundzic Kayla Tucker

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Katy Batdorff Seth Thompson SALES / 616.608.6170 / sales@revuewm.com Kelli Belanger / kelli@revuewm.com DIGITAL EDITOR Kim Kibby / kim@revuewm.com

FIND US ONLINE! Joe Boomgaard, Editor Website: revuewm.com Twitter: twitter.com/revuewm Facebook: facebook.com/revuewm Instagram: instagram.com/revuewm

UPCOMING ISSUES DECEMBER Get ready for the holidays with a gift guide, sweet treats, events and more, plus some best-of-2016 features.

JANUARY A special focus on fitness to help you uphold your New Year’s resolutions. TO ADVERTISE: Call (616) 608-6170 or email sales@revuewm.com. Space reservation is the 15th of the month before publication.

10 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

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

ON THE COVER: Bill Welter of Journeyman Distillery enjoys his favorite cocktail. Photo: Bob Coscarelli. See The Drinking Issue on page 23.


GET RE A DY TO SEE STA RS

THE B-52s

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10 TICKETS START AT JUST $49

THE FRAY

WITH SPECIAL GUEST AMERICAN AUTHORS

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19 TICKETS START AT JUST $59

LEE GREENWOOD & CRYSTAL GAYLE

SAWYER BROWN

SPECIAL HOLIDAY SHOW THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 29

TICKETS START AT JUST $29

TICKETS START AT JUST $25

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

GET RE ADY. GET SET. GET YOUR

ON

â„¢

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

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

11


12 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016


/// BEST BETS

WHAT’S GOING ON THIS MONTH 11/4-6

SATURDAY 11/12

Lamp Light Music Festival

The Avett Brothers

Grand Rapids’ Eastown Neighborhood Nov. 4-6 $15-$40, all ages lamplightmusicfestival.com

Grand Rapids’ DIY house show festival is running strong after hitting some snags in previous years. For 2016, four houses have been chosen along Benjamin Avenue SE to host nearly 40 local bands and individual musicians. The lineup includes plenty of local stars like The Great Ones, The Go Rounds and The Soil & The Sun. There’s folk rock like Cold Country, hip-hop like shamarAlef, experimental solo artists like The Hunt Is On, and more. The festival also hosts multiple DIY workshops, such as “Intro to Natural Dyeing” with Megan Roach and “Sprouts and Nutrition” with Matt Wroblewski.

Van Andel Arena, 130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids Nov. 12, 8 p.m., $39.50-$59.50 vanandelarena.com, (616) 742-6600 The Avett Brothers stop into Van Andel this month, touring in support of a new album, True Sadness. The folk-rock band has been scoring hits since debuting in 2009 with I and Love and You. Since then, the brothers have made appearances on nearly every late night talk show and had their music featured in television shows like Parenthood and Friday Night Lights.

THURSDAY 11/10

Lamp Light Music Festival, Nov. 4–6 (Pictured: Cold Country)

The B-52s

Firekeepers Casino, 11177 E. Michigan Ave., Battle Creek Nov. 10, 8 p.m. $49-$79, 21 and up firekeeperscasino.com, (877) 352-8777 Referred to as “the world’s greatest party band,” the B-52s have been the resident new wave weirdos for 40 years. With hits like “Love Shack,” “Roam” and “Rock Lobster,” the band fills a quirky niche in pop history. The newest album, 2008’s Funplex, debuted at number 11 on the Billboard charts and includes the band’s usual themes of space and travel, along with lyrics about taking diet pills and cruising the mall.

Kalamashoegazer

Louie’s Trophy House Grill, 629 Walbridge St., Kalamazoo Nov. 11-12, times vary $8-$10, all ages facebook.com/kalamashoegazer Kalamashoegazer returns for its tenth year to bring shoegaze, dreampop, twee and C86-influenced music to Kalamazoo. The event takes place Nov. 11-12 at Louie’s Trophy House Grill and features music from Dead Leaf Echo, Glowfriends, Field Sleeper and Lightfoils, among others. Founded in 2007 by April Zimont, the festival aims to “bring a cross-country community of indie bands and fans together in the name of shoegaze.”

MONDAY 11/14 Appleseed Cast w/ Caspian

Pyramid Scheme, 68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Nov. 14, 7 p.m., $15 advance, $17 day of pyramidschemebar.com, (616) 272-3758 The Appleseed Cast, an emo kid staple, brings its ethereal sound to Pyramid Scheme on the heels of the 10th anniversary of the landmark LP Peregrine, which just landed a reissue. For the impatient fans, the band is also playing several new, yet-to-be-released songs on this tour. Headlining the tour is Caspian, one of the better known post-rock bands in the world. The group released Dust & Disquiet last year, an album New Noise Magazine called “emotive, well-written and utterly enthralling.”

FRIDAY 11/18 Protomartyr

Pyramid Scheme, 68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Nov. 18, 8:30 p.m., $12, 21 and up pyramidschemebar.com, (616) 272-3758 Detroit’s own Protomartyr is a post-punk band evoking the vibes of Pere Ubu and the Constantines. The band has

performed at SXSW and Pitchfork Music Festival, among others. According to AllMusic, the group is “one of the smartest and toughest bands of their day.” Warming up the stage are Lost System and Fred Thomas.

SATURDAY 11/19 The Fray w/ American Authors

Firekeepers Casino, 11177 E. Michigan Ave., Battle Creek Nov. 19, 8 p.m. $59-$89, 21 and up firekeeperscasino.com, (877) 352-8777 When The Fray released its debut album, 2005’s How to Save a Life, it was soon certified double Platinum and charted in the top three of the Billboard Hot 100. Five years later, the band was listed as one of Billboard’s “Artists of the Decade.” Opening the show is American Authors, best known for the relentlessly played single “Best Day of My Life,” featured in every television commercial a couple years back.

Santa Parade

Downtown Grand Rapids Nov. 19, 9 a.m., santaparadegr.com

Santa’s Workshop

Grand Rapids Public Library 111 Library St. NE, Grand Rapids

Nov. 19, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. FREE, all ages grpl.org, (616) 988-5400 Kick off this holiday season with the Santa Parade. Started in the 1800s, the Santa Parade includes marching bands, carolers, themed floats and local performers. The parade starts at 9 a.m., heading along Monroe Avenue between The B.O.B. and Atwater Brewery. Warm up afterward by heading to the Grand Rapids Public Library for Santa’s Workshop. Santa and Mrs. Claus will stop by to read children’s stories. Attendees can also decorate their own tabletop holiday tree and help light the library tree.

SUNDAY 11/20 A Drag Queen Christmas

DeVos Performance Hall, 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Nov. 20, 8 p.m., $22.50-$152.50, all ages devosperformancehall.com, (616) 742-6500 Attention divas and supermodels! The stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race are on the road, with a stop at DeVos Performance Hall, Nov. 20. A Drag Queen Christmas features performances by Alyssa Edwards, Pearl, Latrice Royale, Naomi Smalls, Kim Chi and Roxxxy Andrews. The night is hosted by last season’s winner, Bob the Drag

Continued

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

SCENE SOUNDS | SIGHTS | DINING | SCHEDULE

11/11-12

The Avett Brothers

13


/// BEST BETS

Queen. Get your tickets right now to check out their charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent. NOVEMBER FIRST-RUNS OPENING NOVEMBER 4 Benedict Cumberbatch in DOCTOR STRANGE OPENING NOVEMBER 11 Amy Adams in ARRIVAL OPENING NOVEMBER 18 FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM OPENING NOVEMBER 23 Disney’s MOANA NOVEMBER SPECIALTY NOVEMBER 1 Gene Kelly in SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN NOVEMBER 2 Cary Grant in SUSPICION NOVEMBER 4, 5, & 6 Julie Andrews in SING-A-LONG-A SOUND OF MUSIC NOVEMBER 9 Kurt Russell in THE THING NOVEMBER 14 Marilyn Monroe in GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES

SCHEDULE | DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE

NOVEMBER 17 & 20 Kenneth Branagh in THE ENTERTAINER

The originator of ’70s witchy cool, Stevie Nicks is known for fronting Fleetwood Mac and looking boho-chic while doing it. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and has had a successful solo career – releasing her eighth studio album, 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault, in 2014. Artists as varied as Mary J. Blige and Courtney Love cite her as an influence, and she’s been called “the reigning queen of rock and roll” by Rolling Stone Magazine.

TUESDAY 11/22 Flosstradamus

The Intersection, 133 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Nov. 22, 8 p.m., $25, all ages sectionlive.com, (616) 723-8571 DJ duo Flosstradamus of Chicago hits Grand Rapids this month. Members J2K and Autobot have had a massive impact on EDM and hip-hop, working with artists like The Cool Kids and Three 6 Mafia. The duo has also become known for remixing pop hits and dropping singles with famous artists like Travis Porter and Waka Flocka Flame. All in all, the show is pretty much guaranteed to be one huge dance party from start to finish.

WEDNESDAY 11/23 Stevie Nicks: 24 Karat Gold Tour with The Pretenders

Fauxgrass

Bell’s Eccentric Café, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo Nov. 23, 9 p.m., FREE, 21 and up bellsbeer.com, (269) 382-2332

Stevie Nicks Van Andel Arena, 130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids Nov. 23, 7 p.m., $49-$150 vanandelarena.com, (616) 742-6600

Taking the Long Road Cocktail Competition In partnership with the Grand Rapids chapter of the United States Cocktail Guild, Long Road Distillers is hosting this first-ever competition, which is meant to bring awareness to the guild and inspire people who are passionate about being a professional bartender. The competition provides a forum for bartenders in Grand Rapids to show off their skills in the art of creating craft cocktails using Long Road’s spirits. Judges include: • Tammy Coxen, a cocktail educator from Ann Arbor and a regular commentator on Michigan Radio

DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE PLEASE CHECK

14 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

• Dave Kwiatkowski, owner of the Detroit Optimist Society, a restaurant group including Sugar House, Wright & Co., The Peterboro, Cafe 78, Honest John’s and the Bad Luck Bar • Adrianne Martin, the staff mixologist and craft brand representative for Republic National Distributing Co. Michigan, the distributor for Long Road Distillers • Joe Boomgaard, editor and beer czar at Revue and editor of MiBiz Long Road Distillery, 537 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids Dec. 5, 5:30–8 p.m. More information to come at longroaddistillers.com.

Repeal Day Party Remember when a bunch of batty idealogues brainwashed the nation and convinced many normally sensible people that their crazy ideas made for good governance? No, we’re not talking about this year’s Republican National Convention, but rather the temperance movement that succeeded in Prohibition becoming the law of the land in 1920. Thankfully, the nation regained its wits 13 years later and ratified the 21st Amendment, putting an end to truly dark days for America. Grand Rapids — whose renaissance has been built in some part on the rise of the craft beverage industry — will celebrate the vote to end Prohibition 83 years after the fact with a Repeal Day Party on Dec. 5. Long Road Distillers, Local First, Sidecar Studios and the United States Bartenders Guild — Grand Rapids Chapter will host the party at 642 Bridge St. NW, the site of the former Jesus Evangelistic Center. Look for live music, beer, cider, cocktails and a food truck. More details will become available at the partner websites closer to the event.

Visit drafthouse.com/kalamazoo for showtimes and tickets

FOR UPDATES

—Compiled by Nicole Rico

SAVE THE DATE: TWO BOOZY EVENTS ON DEC. 5

NOVEMBER 21 Brad Pitt and Edward Norton in FIGHT CLUB

DRAFTHOUSE.COM/KALAMAZOO

The members of Fauxgrass have created a name for themselves by blending a distinct Americana-rock approach with traditional folk music. Fauxgrass has become a regular in the Michigan scene, though the band is often relentlessly touring the country. On Nov. 23, the guys hit up Bell’s Eccentric Café. Opening the show is Cousin Avery.

Cocktail competition at Long Road Distillers


/// NEWS

WEST MICHIGAN

BIZ BEAT

A Roundup of Openings, Closings and other Local Business News

OPENING:

The Donut Conspiracy (1971 East Beltline Ave. NE) is the second of two Grand Rapids donut shops to open this year. Conspiracy offers a wide variety of donuts, many with candy or cereal in the mix, whether that be gummy worms, twix bars or Fruity Pebbles. There’s also some more subtle classics, such as one chocolate donut with coffee icing and chocolate drizzle. Creston got a new art gallery with Lions & Rabbits (1264 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids). The gallery will also sell local merchandise, such as jewelry and toys, as well as offering yoga classes. More than 50 artists have already committed to working with owner Hannah Grohman.

GROWTH:

Rockford Brewing Co.’s (12 E. Bridge St. NE, Rockford) kitchen has officially opened for dinner service. Executive Chef Ryan Bolhuis developed a menu that draws from various cuisines, featuring dishes like the Korean Sticky Wings and the Smoky Chicken Skillet Pot Pie.

OTHER:

Vegetarian and vegan restaurant Bartertown Diner (6 Jefferson Ave. SE, Grand Rapids) has changed its name to The Garden Diner & Cafe. Owner Thad Cummings said the name is intended to reflect a shift toward community involvement, including a catering menu, yoga and guest speakers.

CLOSED:

Grand Rapids’ Avenue of the Arts — a strip of South Division known for its galleries, nonprofit services and retail — lost two stores this month. Have Company (136 S. Division Ave.) sold handmade goods, clothes, zines, jewelry and other knick-knacks, and also acted as an artist residency. 106 Gallery and Studio (106 S. Division Ave.) also closed up shop. 106 was operated by Calvin College and housed faculty studios and artist lofts. Nearby, two Monroe Center locations also closed. After three years, Fat Johnny’s Cheesesteak Company (95 Monroe Center St.) very suddenly halted operations, with a Facebook status referencing being bought by a local company. A sign on the door, which has been removed, at one point referenced That Early Bird Cafe, whose owners declined to comment at this time. One block over, XO Asian Cuisine (58 Monroe Center St.) closed up shop as well, just a few months after temporarily closing after dozens of code violations. The new restaurant’s name (under new owners) is Soho Sushi and Bar.

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

KEVINmBbOerZEM3-A5N Nove

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

DAN CUMM

November

NOW OPEN: ATWATER IN GR

INS

10-12

A

ON S R E K A JAY O 17-19

BIG ovember N

Rieth said Atwater also plans to get creative with its events, including live music and trivia, brewery tours and beer dinners. Check the company’s Facebook page for upcoming plans. “We just want to offer Grand Rapids something unique and different,” Rieth said. — Reported by Joe Boomgaard

DAVE DYER

November 25 & 26 #drgrins REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

SCENE SOUNDS | SIGHTS | DINING | SCHEDULE

lthough Atwater Brewery in GR didn’t launch in time for ArtPrize as initially planned, that didn’t stop a group of patrons from queuing outside the brewery and pub to get their first pints on Oct. 13. Standing just inside the pub’s doors at 201 Michigan St. NW, owner Mark Rieth marveled at the initial response Atwater received from Grand Rapidians. It was just the kind of vibe the Detroit-based company hoped to create with its first location outside of Southeast Michigan, the goal for which was to create a connection between both sides of the state, he said. With the new brewery and pub, Atwater brings some if its signature offerings to Grand Rapids, while also giving the new location its own unique menu items and exclusive beer offerings, some of which will be made available locally. “We want to support our retail partners here with one-off beers,” Rieth said. The opening tap list included Atwater’s staples, plus a handful of Grand Rapids-only beers. (We tried the Michigan Wet Hop and both the cinnamon and amaretto flavored variants of the ubiquitous Vanilla Java Porter.) The plan is to have 40 rotating beers, plus serve Atwater’s line of spirits, hard cider and wine. On the food front, Atwater’s menu offers a plethora of different wieners (we tried the dirty bird and the pork hash and eggs), salads and pizzas, as well as Grand Rapids-specific items like braised pork shank with waffles, roasted pork belly, chicken schnitzel and more.

15


/// ECLECTIC

WILL JUGGLE FOR LAUGHS

Self-proclaimed introvert takes center stage to share quirky comedy | by Kayla Tucker

W

KEEPING LIFE INTERESTING

ILL OLTMAN MIGHT SEEM TO BE AN UNLIKELY PERSON to get on a stage and perform. He’s quiet, keeps to himself, and doesn’t look Oltman is led by his own curiosity, as he likes to learn as many skills as to be the center of attention. possible. So far, he’s dipped into karate, falconry, barbershop quartet “In real life, I’m an introvert,” Oltman said. singing, dancing, bowling, swing dancing with his wife and playing But once he’s on stage and all eyes are on him, the trumpet. he’s a different person. “I guess I’m a collector of hobbies,” he said with a laugh. “I’m usually the person who’s not talking a lot, so this gives me a If there’s one constant in his life, it’s Oltman’s sense of humor. static audience where I can be in front of the group and do my thing “My whole life, I’ve sort of been funny,” Oltman said. “I keep a and people will listen,” he said. notepad at the side of my bed to write jokes as I’m falling asleep. A native of the Chicago area, Oltman “I think comedy was just a natural outpouring of the people who learned how to juggle from a friend in I’m surrounded by.” fourth grade, and he’s never stopped. Since For his wife, that makes for an “interesting” life. then, he’s performed magic tricks, improv, “There’s silly voices and accents, inside jokes. … He makes up and more on stage. He started his career as a songs and the words don’t make any sense, but I think it’s hilarious,” 10-year-old when his mom drove him around Tasha Oltman said. to various birthday parties and events where Despite the accolades from family, friends and audience members, he would perform. Will Oltman continues to push himself and hold his shows to a high “Back then, I was Chilly Willy the standard, discussing the performances with his wife, who also takes photos. Amazing Conjurer and Juggler Extraordinaire,” “Part of my support in being there at every show is just to supOltman said. “I was doing pretty well for a fourth port him and have that familiar person there, a level of comfort and grader.” familiarity, and then also to help refine the act,” Tasha Oltman said. “I Oltman went on to attend the Illinois Institute can hear the crowd’s reactions to help him refine or tweak something.” of Technology. His wife, Tasha Oltman, brought him to Grand Rapids in 2005, where he finished his studies at Kendall College of Art and Design, with a bachelor’s degree in industrial design. His high school juggling partner introduced Oltman For a day job, Will Oltman works in product design and development to Tasha, who also participated in a juggling club. at Ada-based 2B Studio. Before that, he worked at Newell Rubbermaid, “He said, ‘She’s pretty cool, you should talk to her,’” where he helped design the PaperMate InkJoy Gel Pen. Oltman said. Oltman is a member of Civic Theatre’s Rapid Delivery Improv They started their relationship by talking on the Troupe and remains involved in Last Retort, a group he and local cophone and via instant messaging for half a year until median Amy Gascon started a year ago that produces they met in person. Oltman later transweekly sketch videos. ferred schools to be with her in Grand Additionally, Gascon and Oltman are trying to Rapids. SEE WILL JUGGLE start GR Comedy Tours to offer guests a comedic tour Today, Oltman goes by the stage name • Nov. 7, performing as part of of the city. He has already received his certification as Will Juggle and regularly performs around West Comedy Outlet Mondays a Grand Rapids Tourism Ambassador from Experience Michigan. He currently has a 30- to 45-minute Dog Story Theater, 7 Jefferson Grand Rapids. variety show featuring his main act of juggling, Ave. SE, Grand Rapids Regardless of his pursuits, Oltman says he’s thankalthough he often ventures off into puppeteering Show starts at 7 p.m., tickets ful to be fulfilling his comedic passions, and for always and improv. are $5 having his wife and favorite audience member around Oltman works everything from birthday par• Nov. 11, performing at to take in the daily impromptu performances. ties and corporate events to street performance, Flowerland’s Holidazzle “Occasionally on a Saturday morning, we’ll go but he’s also performed for the president of the Kentwood Flowerland, 4321 find a bunch of estate sales to drive around to, and I United States and on the streets of Paris. 28th St. SE, Kentwood might be talking entirely in gibberish all the way up 6-9 p.m., free and open to the “I’ve been from Reno, Nev. to Buffalo, N.Y. public. until lunch,” he said. and everywhere in between,” Oltman said. Registration required at Tasha Oltman said life is full of laughs. Having Currently, Oltman performs at Grand myflowerland.com fun with Will allows them to “escape the adult world.” Rapids-based Dog Story Theater for Comedy “The silly things just remind me how much I love Outlet Mondays every other month. His schedhim,” she said. “He’s constantly making me laugh and ule typically includes about 100 juggling shows making me feel happy, reminding me to be silly.” each year.

SCHEDULE | DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE

A LIFE OF PASSIONS

16 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016


New Holland Brewing’s new brewpub and distillery, The Knickerbocker, has arrived. Strategically placed at the gateway to Grand Rapids’ historic Westside, The Knickerbocker is a taste of many world traditions, rediscovered and presented with a fresh perspective. The Knickerbocker features a farm-fresh menu that celebrates the best of Michigan and Midwestern agriculture, craft beer, and craft cocktails, all handcrafted onsite, under one roof.

INDOOR & OUTDOOR SEATING • 4-STORY BEER GARDEN • DAILY TOURS GROUP RESERVATIONS • STREETSIDE TO-GO SERVICE LOCATED AT THE CORNER OF BRIDGE & BROADWAY ON GR AND R APIDS’ WEST SIDE

NE W HOLL A NDBRE W.COM


upcoming cornmeal LAITH AL SAADI STRFKR Fauxgrass New Mastersounds Karl Denson's Tiny Universe

SCHEDULE | DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

Eccentric Day

The Bad Plus Dopapod Jon McLaughlin

18 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016


/// LOCAL MUSIC

The Ever Wonderful Astronaut Gang GR rappers Waldo and The SEVENth return home | by Eric Mitts

As other artists like Savon and Amos Rose entered into the fold, the group of friends knew they had something too good to not give a name and make their business. e Ever Wonderful — it’s more than So in 2009, AGO officially launched. Since just the title to the first full-length then, the sky’s been the limit as the group has album by Grand Rapids rapper continued to push boundaries well beyond Waldo. It’s also a mission statethe city limits of Grand Rapids. ment of the “right place, right “I’ve seen like the whole thing, and I time” moment the young MC is think people should sit down and realize now experiencing with his explosive local lathat the Grand Rapids scene is pretty good,” bel/collective AGO, aka the Astronaut Gang. McCall said, citing the rise of local stars “Be Ever Wonder ful c a me f rom a like AB, Rick Chyme, Mike G., Lady Ace (1977) Earth, Wind & Fire song that my Boogie and SuperDre. “It’s not a big city, so father played for me,” Waldo, aka Kamron you shouldn’t expect like big city things, but Robinson, said. “But what comes to mind this thing is poppin’!” when I hear it is just positive vibes … and He added that the crew of artists has really just wanting to push a bigger, more performed in nearly every single club in powerful message out there.” the city over the last seven years, and that Raised on funk, soul, R&B and the hiphas motivated them to get out and help put hop of artists like Talib Kweli and Biggie Grand Rapids on the hip-hop map. Smalls, Robinson first started rapping at age “That drove us to be like, ‘OK we’ve got 13. A year later he had cut his first record, to get to Chicago. We’ve working alongside friend got to get to L.A.,’ McCall and future AGO collaborasaid. “We didn’t know how tor Sango. “I think people should we were going to do it, but Not long a f ter, he sit down and realize we knew we had to do it.” met other soon-to-be colAG O a r t i s t s h a v e laborators The SEVENth that the Grand Rapids had their work featured and Joose The Conqueror, scene is pretty good. in numerous nationallyas all four attended East recognized media sites like Kentwood High School It’s not a big city, so Fader, Billboard, HypeTrak, back in 2007. The f irst you shouldn’t expect Red Bull, Spotify, Pigeons day Robinson met The like big city things, but & Planes, and many more. SEVENth, aka artist/proThey also have an ongoing ducer/engineer Brandon this thing is poppin’!” affiliation with the L.A.McCall, the two recorded a track in Sango’s basement. —The SEVENth, aka based radio station/record “It’s hard to think back Brandon McCall label Soulection, which has helped them book club that far, but I remember and festival gigs all across trying to sneak Waldo and the country, mostly with a Sango into The Intersection decidedly “electronic-ish” feel. and Billy’s and Teazer’s (for shows),” “It’s not like we’re doing the typical McCall said of the group’s early days in the ghetto rap circuit,” McCall said of the tours mid-2000s, exploring Grand Rapids’ just he’s done. “These kids like to party and have blossoming hip-hop scene. a good time, and they hear about what we’re “Ever since then we’ve been family,” doing in our basement.” Robinson added.

B

Waldo and The SEVENth

major opportunities like that, allowing us to share our art with more people.” Currently, AGO has a compilation project in the works, while McCall plans on a 2017 release for a Side B follow-up to his EP, Skygod (Side A). “This is our responsibility. This is our city,” Robinson said of AGO’s continuing commitment to Grand Rapids amid all the outside success. “It’s not a big market here for hip-hop, so that definitely gives us the drive to create that scene.”

WALDO AND THE SEVENth

WSG. SuperDre, Joose The Conqueror The Pyramid Scheme, 68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Nov. 5, 8:30 p.m. $10 advance, $12 day of show, All ages pyramidschemebar.com, (616) 272-3758

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS | DINING | SCHEDULE

Robinson, now 24, and McCall, now 27, have been working on Be Ever Wonderful for the better part of the last two years. Before that, they toured Europe together in 2014, playing for audiences in London and Paris who surprisingly already knew every word. This past month the two artists toured together again, performing the new album in cities all across the country. They’ll end the tour back home this month with a headlining show at The Pyramid Scheme. Recently, Waldo and Sango have also had their song “SNS” featured in the pilot of Donald Glover’s new series ATLANTA on FX. “I recorded Waldo’s vocals in Sango’s apartment in Kalamazoo when he was attending (Western Michigan University),” McCall said of the track. “It’s crazy that we’re still so DIY, but we still get blessed with

PHOTO: BLAKE JACKSON

19


/// ON TOUR

Bear Vs. Shark: Round 2 | by Eric Mitts

SCHEDULE | DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

I

T’S R A R E FOR GR AND R APIDS TO ACT AS THE GR A ND FINA LE for any tour, much less a reunion tour that has sold out venues from New York to San Francisco. But considering the history Grand Rapids has with the recently reunited Bear Vs. Shark, it’s no surprise that the Michigan post-hardcore heroes will end their first run of shows in over a decade right here. “Grand Rapids has always been awesome to us,” Bear Vs. Shark’s freewheeling frontman Marc Paffi told Revue, rewinding to the band’s now legendary gigs at GR’s beloved, yet beleaguered, all-ages venue The DAAC. The band cut its teeth there not long after officially forming in 2001 near Ann Arbor, and sweat its way through several unforgettable shows inside the small art space before disbanding in 2005. Grand Rapids’ own Jeff VandenBerg, founder of local label Friction Records and co-owner of The Pyramid Scheme and The Meanwhile, was also the first to unleash Bear Vs. Shark on vinyl, issuing the band’s two full-length albums, 2003’s Right Now, You’re In The Best of Hands… and 2005’s Terrorhawk. He’s since immortalized the band with a massive painting — now hanging in The Meanwhile — depicting a bloody moment of the namesake battle. During the band’s absence, Paffi has toured and recorded as the lead of Bars of Gold, all while Bear Vs. Shark’s following only continued to grow. Word of the high-volume, high-velocity live shows has spread slowly but steadily over takes us back to that time where none of us gave two shits the last 11 years. Young fans not old enough to see them in about anything.” their heyday and diehards hoping for a comeback have all Known for flailing around onstage and screaming ditaken to social media. Last year, the band spawned a surprisrectly into front row fans’ faces, Paffi (now 37) isn’t sure he ing amount of interest after a post on Bars of Gold’s Facebook could still “sing like a 22-year-old kid with page teased at a BVS reunion. no gray hair” if he hadn’t kept performing While the members wanted to give it a all these years. go, Paffi said that getting the old band back BEAR VS. SHARK “When I’m onstage, I don’t feel 37,” he together wasn’t exactly effortless. wsg. Braided Veins, Bong said. “But then I feel like I’m 57 when I get “It’s definitely been challenging,” Paffi said Mountain offstage. It’s a whole different vibe up there.” of the BVS reunion. “We all have different The Pyramid Scheme The band’s members remained friends lives and jobs and things that we can’t just 68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand after the breakup in 2005, having known Rapids drop, so it hasn’t been the easiest, but we’ve Nov. 12, 7 p.m., SOLD OUT each other since as far back as third grade in definitely made it work.” pyramidschemebar.com, the small neighboring towns of Highland and Touring together as a six-piece, Paffi is (616) 272-3758 White Lake. joined by original BVS guitarists/bassists “We were definitely working ourselves John Gaviglio and Derek Kiesgen, longtime into the ground,” Paffi said of BVS’ original drummer Ashley Horak, original drummer run. “There were a lot of members who weren’t getting along Brandon Moss, and Bars of Gold bassist Nick Jones, who’s filling in for original bassist Mike Muldoon, who was unavail- whatsoever. The thought of even getting back in the van at that time, at least for me, I couldn’t imagine … but with how able to tour. everything’s going now, that didn’t seem to affect long-term “It definitely takes me back to that period of my life,” Paffi friendships. said of playing with BVS after more than 10 years. “Now I’m married and have a three-year-old daughter, but it definitely

20 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

Bear vs. Shark performs a sold-out show at The Pyramid Scheme on Nov. 12.

“It did definitely at the time, but those ‘wounds,’ I suppose, have been healed.” The band’s first show back was aimed at another sort of healing, performing as part of a benefit for the Flint Child Health and Development Fund at the Flint Local 432. The subsequent reunion tour has coincided with Equal Vision Records (the New York-based indie label who signed BVS in 2002) reissuing both of the band’s albums in September as a double gatefold vinyl release with entirely new artwork done by Paffi. It’s the first time the music has gotten the full reissue treatment, but it may not be the last anyone hears from them. “As of right now there aren’t any plans, but that’s not to say that there won’t be any,” Paffi said of the future of BVS. “I think we’re just kind of taking things step by step, just trying to make it through each one of these little adventures that we set up for ourselves. Once Grand Rapids comes and goes, we’ll see what happens next.”


/// ALBUM REVIEW

How To Go Solo:

vibe about it, Execute takes Szegedy boldly into the ’70s and ’80s. Execute is a headlong dive into vintage synth pop, dominated by historically accurate keyboard patches and heady, forward-moving melodies that are full of energy and personality even when the tone of the tune is meant to be downbeat. Szegedy says he’s been collecting period-appropriate keyboard and recording gear for years, and you can certainly tell he got his money’s worth with one spin of Execute. From the pitch wheel bends of “Only for the Money” to the Gary Numan-esque sweeps and squalls on “Chemical Children,” Execute doesn’t just smile and nod to the influences of classic synth pop — he’s created something that sounds less like a nostalgic recreation and more like the real thing. It would be very easy to do something like this with tongue in cheek, but judging from Execute, Szegedy isn’t playing this for laughs. His tunes are solid and boast hooks that are smart and imaginative as they point to inf luences from the Cars to Ultravox.

Szegedy’s vocals are f lexible enough to match the many electronic moods of these 10 songs, and he can give these tunes just the right amount of MTV-era swagger without sounding foolish or over the top. And while keyboards and electronics are at the forefront of these tracks, Szegedy’s drumming gives the music a pulse that’s steady but human, and Execute has warmth that sets it apart from other folks trying to evoke the Era of Many Keyboards. Not everyone who was into The Peoples Temple is going to enjoy George Szegedy’s new direction with Crystal Drive. At the same time, it’s not hard to imagine folks unfamiliar with his earlier work readily latching on to clever pop tunes like “Artificial Company” and “Only for the Money.” With Execute, Crystal Drive has presented an impressive debut album that lives in a world of its own and shows George Szegedy has no intention of resting on past glories.

Crystal Drive’s Execute | by Mark Deming

BRENDAN JAMES

PETER MULVEY

NOV 11 - $20 PETER MULVEY WSG RALSTON BOWLES NOV 25 - $25 DREW NELSON CHECK WEBSITE FOR SEATING OPTIONS. BAR AVAILABLE. MAJOR CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED. 21+

DREW NELSON

FOR A FULL SCHEDULE, VISIT

PINDROPCONCERTS.COM. SEVEN STEPS UP LIVE MUSIC & EVENT VENUE: 116 S JACKSON ST. SPRING LAKE, MI 49456 PINDROPCONCERTS.COM (616) 930-4755

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS | DINING | SCHEDULE

I

N 1985, MICK JAGGER BEGAN A NUCLEAR WAR WITHIN THE RO LLI N G STO N E S, relea si ng his solo album She’s The Boss. Keith Richards told a reporter that what bothered him most about the record was that it wasn’t music that he could not have done with the Stones. Keith went on to emphasize that if you were in a band and wanted to do a solo album, the first rule is to make music you can’t make with the group. What’s the point otherwise, outside of ego? Well, let no one say that George Szegedy has problems with his ego, or that he doesn’t understand the wisdom of Keith Richards. Szegedy was the co-founder of the f ine Lansing-based band The Peoples Temple, a group that created a unique mix of garage punk, psychedelia and indie rock. Sounding raw but contemplative at the same time, The

Peoples Temple demonstrated how to draw inspiration from the sounds of the past while adding a distinctly personal stamp. Between 2007 and 2014, the band released four albums — Sons of Stone, More for the Masses, Weekends Time and Musical Garden — that all made The Peoples Temple one of the most celebrated bands in Michigan’s underground music scene. The Peoples Temple was prolific, but that may have been a problem: in 2014, the group went on hiatus, and as of this writing, they haven’t returned to duty. But drummer George Szegedy has decided to start his own project, and he’s blazing a trail that’s clearly different from the Temple’s. Adopting the group name Crystal Drive, Szegedy has cut an album, Execute, that’s a solo album in the truest sense of the world. With the exception of electric guitar, Szegedy played every single instrument on Execute, and he also handled all the vocals. And while The Peoples Temple’s music had a smoky but distinct ’60s

NOV 1 - $25 BRENDAN JAMES

21


22 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

SCHEDULE DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE


/// SPECIAL FEATURE

West Michigan may be known for its unceasingly flourishing craft beer scene, but there’s no shortage of spirits, specialty cocktails and “domestic” brews either. Distilleries are assembling stills and tasting rooms all over, while the old guard of pubs and dive bars stand strong against the tides of change. In this issue, we highlight it all, from the most elegant of concoctions to the cheapest of taverns, and the people who make them both happen. We tour the Paddy’s Pubs of Grand Rapids. We ask local bartenders what makes them tick. We even pass along blueprints to the region’s best cocktails. Our point is: There’s something for everyone. So grab your Hamm’s or your Sazerac (or both) and drink up. PICTURED: COCKTAILS AT LONG ROAD DISTILLERS

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

23


ALL IN GOOD TASTE

The art of the cocktail by Missy Black

W

hether it’s a squat rocks glass carrying a perfectly crafted old fashioned or the long stem of a sophisticated martini glass, cocktails have an inherent style that speaks a language of personality and fine taste. It’s the reason you see so many people posing with an upscale drink in their Facebook profile pictures. But where exactly does the fascination come from? For some places, exploring that fascination is an integral part of the culture. Sidebar of Grand Rapids is one of those bars, tucked away underground and down a flight of stairs somewhere just off Monroe Center. “Our style begins before you walk through the frosted glass door with our name on it,” said Bar Manager Duncan McCargar. “It’s always shut. It’s a small, intimate atmosphere and the style starts with having to know a guy that knows a guy, etc.” The hidden lounge bar provides an unforgettable experience through handcrafted cocktails with the finest spirits. Sidebar subscribes to the school of “less is more” — when things are done with care, they elevate to an art form. “Drinks take longer to make. That’s where our style comes in and the artistry. It’s in the process,” McCargar said. “We’re all performing. We make that our style. You watch an entire process.” It’s the same thing for Kate Leeder, co-owner of Aperitivo. She believes simplistic, yet flavorful, cocktails speak for themselves. “Don’t let sugar hide what you’ve got,” Leeder said. “Don’t overdo it. Sweet cocktails are passé. People want to try different alcohol and it’s worth it to stretch their palates.” Aperitivo’s most stylish cocktail is the Barcelona Vermut. This clean, four-ingredient recipe offers savory and sweet tones and is topped with an olive and an orange. “It’s very Spanish, and vermouth is food friendly,” Leeder said. “We didn’t reinvent the wheel on this one.” Regardless of how complex a drink is or isn’t, many mixologists believe that presentation is everything. The desire

24 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

to drink something is strongly connected to its visual appeal. Just ask Calin Skidmore, general manager and Hand of the King (a Game of Thrones reference) at SpeakEZ Lounge. He understands that a fashionable looking cocktail gets noticed. “You see it in food, too,” Skidmore said. “People pay more for an entrée if it’s plated well. Style or presentation can add to the experience.” The pared down approach ranks high at SpeakEZ, where drinks are created with a simplistic, classic technique without distractions. The mixologists have made an effort to beef up their house-made ingredients for better flavor. When it comes to SpeakEZ’s most stylish libation, it’s the Doom Of Valyria — hands down. It’s a smoked bourbon and elderflower concoction with plum bitters and fresh sage, served in a smoked

Duncan McCargar and Joel Ruberg of Sidebar. PHOTO: SETH THOMPSON

brandy snifter and named after a mythical plague in the Game of Thrones universe. When it comes to ordering drinks like this, there may even be an element of vanity. People follow and crave the attention that a beautiful drink garners. It can be something to talk about — way better than asking someone’s astrological sign. On the other hand, that same attention-grabbing nature can have its downsides, at least for the bartenders.


Sidebar’s Duncan McCargar hand-crafts ice cubes and prepares a Refinery Smoke cocktail. PHOTOS: SETH THOMPSON

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

25


Nov. 9-20, 2016

Doom of Valeria at SpeakEZ Lounge.

Celebrating the Michigan craft cocktail scene! Celebrando el arte del coctel de Michigan! Get into the spirits with: Pair and Share. Get 2 Michigan cocktails + a shared-plate appetizer for $25 (or less) at participating bars and restaurants. 2 cocteles Michigan + una entrada compartida por $25 o menos.

SCHEDULE DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

Grand Rapids Wine, Beer & Food Festival. Nov. 17-19, 2016. Now with an expanded spirits selection. Amplia selección de bebidas. Enticing Extras. Stay tuned for a full schedule of cocktail events taking place during Cocktail Week GR. Actividades Adicionales!

For details and participating venues, visit Para más detalles y lugares de participantes, visite

CocktailWeekGR.com

26 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

#CocktailWeekGR

PHOTO: TIM MOTLEY

“We had a cocktail we took off our menu because people were ordering it from the way it looked,” McCargar said of a drink that was designed to be lit on fire. “They were ordering it over and over. If you made one, you had to make five more.” The real problem, however, was that the staff wasn’t entirely happy with the way the drink tasted. While the drink certainly added to the experience of visiting, guests were choosing form over function too often. That being said, different establishments have different takes. At Divani (formerly known as Bar Divani), there are multiple cocktails that require some tableside flair. The Campfire Martini, for instance, uses fire as a theatrical element, toasting the guest’s marshmallow with a small torch. The bar also makes a drink with a flamed orange where the peel is set on fire, releasing the oils and creating a flame “poof.” Bartender Courtney Snody believes that the appearance of a drink can make or break the cocktail experience, which is where that extra flair comes into play. “When people are out for the evening and you set a cocktail down in front of them, it’s almost like the first drink they take in is with their eyes,” Snody said. But sometimes all it takes to elevate a drink is a little adornment, such as a garnish or rim. If done right, these final touches can even inspire a photo opportunity. “Garnishes should be beautiful,” Sidebar’s McCargar said, “usually some sort of color or shape to draw the eye.” They should also have a purpose, however, like how a maraschino cherry that dramatically

settles into the bottom of a glass also adds flavor. Ice can even fall into this category. “We freeze really big cubes then chip off for a crystal clear iceberg style,” McCargar said, adding that there’s visual interest, it’s fully functional and “really big rock ice melts slower and dilutes the cocktail less.” And everyone knows that glassware is important as anything else. From highballs to coupe glasses to copper mugs, the shape of the glass acts as a canvas for the art of the cocktail. “If you have glassware that isn’t visually appealing, no matter how hard you work, you’ll be a step behind from aesthetics and from scent and taste,” McCargar said. “We have snifters to highlight the aromas. You can’t make a proper martini in a rocks glass.” Combining all of these elements with expertise and ingenuity, you can liquidly transport people to a more stylish scene. So what’s Sidebar’s most elegant sipper? While not on the menu yet, they’ll be collaborating with the Grand Rapids Art Museum for the Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion exhibition to create a concept drink. Sidebar has looked at dresses from the designer’s Refinery Smoke collection to spur their imagination and dream up a cocktail reminiscent of a runway gown. “Over time, those dresses tarnish,” McCargar said. “Our plan is to make a cocktail with a hollowed ice orb with bitters in the center that come out, and there’s smoke on the top. As the ice melts, that will develop a smoky flavor and the bitters will seep out into the drink to form a rusty umber cocktail.”


SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS DINING SCHEDULE

27

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |


BEST OF THE BARKEEPS by Troy Reimink

SCHEDULE DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

Alex Calley at The Winchester.

PHOTO: KATY BATDORFF

Bartenders play many roles, depending on the bar and the patron — armchair psychologist, liquid pharmacist, philosopher of debauchery and so on. Between all these roles, they play a valuable (crucial, even) part in the community. Ask pretty much any bargoer their favorite barkeep and the name of at least one enigmatic drink-slinger will rise to the top. It’s someone who makes them feel welcome, excited, comforted or special in some particular way. They’re the light in the dark, the face that gets the night started off right. Earlier this year, Revue asked West Michigan that very question with our Best of the West survey. These are the names that rose to the top.

Rychel Roach, Stella’s Lounge You’ll know the Duchess of Fun is behind the bar the moment you walk in. “I’m super loud and obnoxious,” Rychel Roach said proudly and without hesitation. Known to Stella Lounge’s customers by her surname — and unmistakable thanks to her booming voice, gregarious personality and pile of dreadlocks — Roach took first place in Revue’s Best of the West survey earlier this year in the bartender category. Roach attributes her win to the rapport she has developed

28 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

with customers at Stella’s, both the weekend regulars and the newbies who instantly take to her. “I try to treat them like my friends,” she told Revue on a recent afternoon, while sipping a Coke at the bar in Stella’s side room to remedy a hangover that comes as a professional hazard. The only way to wipe the perma-smile from her face is to act entitled or impolite. Do not, in other words, snap your fingers at her (or any bartender, ever, because … come on). “Don’t check your manners at the door,” Roach said. Roach hails from St. Ignace. She first moved to Grand Rapids in 2006 and, after a stint out west for a few years, returned and began working at Stella’s as a server when the

downtown whiskey joint, restaurant and video arcade opened in 2010. Her favorite drinks to serve fit nicely within the bar’s business plan. “I love pouring PBRs and shots of cheap whiskey,” Roach said. She has no plans to leave Stella’s, but if she were to move on and open her own place, it would be of the hole-in-the-wall, unironic dive variety. As far as what role Roach plays as a bartender, she firmly belongs to the Andrew W.K. wing of the profession.


“On the weekends, I never feel like I’m missing the party, because the party comes to me,” she said.

Alex Calley, The Winchester The Winchester bartender Alex Calley has a simple request of his customers that, in a zen-like way, doubles as a guiding principle for basically any aspect of life. “Don’t be a dick. That’s my mantra,” Calley said. In his nearly five years at The Winchester, Calley has found that, more often than not, his patrons don’t need the reminder. The restaurant and bar attracts a cross-section of nearby residents, sports fans, downtown professionals on happy hour, and suburban visitors to the booming East Hills dining/drinking corridor. And while Calley said he was surprised to land among the top three bartenders in Best of the West, he agrees he’s built an uncommonly strong rapport with the bar’s patrons. “I’ve made friends with my customers here. They’re actually people I hang out with after work,” Calley said. “I’ve had the same regular customers for the five years I’ve worked here. This is my social life, really.” Calley, a Milford native, started at The Winchester as a dishwasher and now is one of the longest-serving employees. He prefers serving cheap beers with whiskey shots, and many of his favorite customers are fellow industry people who frequent The Winchester because its kitchen stays open late. “They’re usually the most needy customers, but also the best tippers,” he said. His perfect bar environment would be a hybrid of The Winchester and something with a little more grit.

“I’m a sucker for dive bars, like on the west side,” Calley said. “I like my bars to be kind of dirty.” His keys to success include quickness, proficiency at giving high-fives and, when his mantra is put to the test, knowing how to respond: “Know how to be a dick when you have to.”

Brian DenBoer, Harmony Brewing Company In nearly four years behind the bar at Harmony Brewing Company in Eastown, Brian DenBoer has learned that the art of conversation is as big a part of the job as mixing drinks and pouring beers. “I’m pretty OK talking about anything, and I think that’s my main strength,” said DenBoer, who also landed in the top three for the bartender category in Best of the West. “If you like books, I love talking about books. You like video games, I’ll talk about video games. If you like drinking beer, I’ll talk about drinking beer.” DenBoer is from Houghton Lake, moving to Grand Rapids eight years ago for school, work and friends. He was employed at TGI Friday’s when a former coworker recruited him to join the staff of the cozy, popular brewery and pizza restaurant. He came aboard Jan. 1, 2013, and soon was promoted to bartender, where he quickly endeared himself to Harmony regulars. “I know most people’s first and last names when they walk through the door,” DenBoer said. “You need the ability to remember people when they sit at your bar, and have a conversation and make their night memorable.” DenBoer is an enthusiast of Grand Rapids’ craft-beer scene in general — he spoke to Revue by phone while visiting Atwater Brewing’s new downtown location. He most enjoys pouring from

Brian Den Boer at Harmony Brewing Co. PHOTO: KATY BATDORFF

Harmony’s rotating beer selection, but also points out that the brewery’s spirits selection is deeper than the tap list. DenBoer recommends both the fisticuffs (a twist on the Moscow Mule) and the dizzybird (a twist on the Negroni, named for the local record label). He projects a mellow, unflappable demeanor, but certain behaviors do get under DenBoer’s skin, like customers dropping names of employees, thinking it will get them served quicker. Still, the vibes at Harmony, he said, are almost always strong. “I love working in a small place with good people,” DenBoer said. “Harmony is one of those places where people get along really well.”

SELECT MERCHANTS & RESTAURANTS OPEN UNTIL 9PM OR LATER*

* VISIT DOWNTOWNMARKETGR.COM FOR INDIVIDUAL HOURS

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS DINING SCHEDULE

LATE NIGHT DRINKS & BITES

29


Divani, Pop Rock Punch

Terra, Brown Butter Tea

DRINK DNA

We asked bars and distilleries around Grand Rapids to choose one of their signature cocktails and give us the inside scoop on its components and inspiration. Two of our recipes even feature exact amounts and detailed instructions so you can try it at home — assuming, of course, you have the tools, ingredients and skills. Either way, be sure to check out these concoctions at their sources first. It’s important to let the masters show you how it’s done.

POPROCK PUNCH

TERRYLAND

BROWN BUTTER TEA

raspberry vodka, lychee cordial, freshly squeezed lemon, cranberry juice, pop rocks, strawberry sugar rim

X-Rated Fusion Liqueur, PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur, Absolut Mango Vodka, Sprite

brown butter-infused bourbon, Michigan maple syrup, ginger beer, lemon wedge garnish

A throwback to your childhood, this pink cocktail hits a festive note starting with pop rocks at the bottom of your glass. The bartender shakes the rest of the ingredients together at your table, then pours it over the rocks, which snap, crackle and pop. “It’s definitely a party drink,” said bartender Courtney Snody. “You see the rocks fly and sparkle out of the drink like fireworks.” This sweeter beverage is probably an experience best enjoyed during a night on the town with friends. It’s an attentiongetter, with a lot of sparkle and personality.

Inspired by photographer-about-town and Apartment regular Terry Johnston — notorious for his signature pink glasses — this cocktail might be trouble (kind of like the man himself). It sports an ombre look, clear at the top and deep pink at the bottom. “It brings to mind the bright colors of Morocco,” said General Manager Eric Zuniga, who has labeled this potent concoction as a party starter. “Anyone rolling in with the Ghost Riders (a Grand Rapids moped crew) and Terry always have one before they hit the road.” We asked Zuniga to finish this sentence: “I drank a few Terrylands last night and …” He replied, “I was definitely transported into a very colorful land.” It’s a special blend for anybody wanting to cushion their evening with a little sass.

This drink actually has a following, often coming up in conversation around Terra. One fan in particular, photographer Rob Meendering, loves the drink for its “bright ginger zing straight to the taste buds, awakening the palate. (It’s) bubbly, yet still rustic,” he said. “The warm and inviting bourbon coats the tongue like a warm fleece blanket on a fall dawn.” Somebody get this guy a dining column! The savory tea has an acidity, with a little bit of creaminess behind it from the brown butter bourbon. It’s a refreshing cocktail served in an etched Collins glass with a lemon garnish. It should also be noted that Terra makes its own ginger beer, so there’s yet another handcrafted element.

by Missy Black

from Divani SCHEDULE DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

The Apartment, Terryland

30 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

from The Apartment Lounge

from Terra GR


MAKE THIS SWEET CHERRY LIME

from Long Road Distillers 1.5 oz. Wendy Peppercorn Vodka 1 oz. cherry simple syrup .75 oz. fresh lime juice .5 oz. vanilla almond milk 1 oz. egg white

For the cherry simple syrup: Juice and pit cherries, then combine with an equal weight of cane sugar. Combine all ingredients in an 18 oz. tin, cap with a 28 oz. tin and do a vigorous “dry shake” (no ice) for about 20 to 30 seconds. This starts to get the egg white nice and frothy, like a meringue. Now we open up the shaker and add ice to the 18 oz. tin, to a rounded top. Shake again vigorously (always vigorously!) for another 20 to 30 seconds. Next, grab

Social Kitchen & Bar, Ghostbuster Margarita

Long Road Distillers, Sweet Cherry Lime PHOTO: KATY BATDORFF

GHOSTBUSTER MARGARITA from Social Kitchen & Bar

This spicy and sweet drink reminds Sherie Ritzler, managing partner at Social, of Cinco de Mayo. She thinks if it were a celebrity, it would be actress Salma Hayek “because she’s got a sassy kick to her, but a good girl thing going on as well.” Instead of the traditional salt, this little number wears sugar on its rim and has a pink hue from the ghost pepper jam. “It is literally jam, thick and viscous jam. We put it in and shake it up, and you see jam bits floating around,” she said. A crowd pleaser, this quirky margarita appeals to the younger crowd going out for Tequila Tuesdays, or it’s a great pairing with brunch.

—Instructions by Daniel Lovig, general manager Pictured: Long Road bartender Courtney Beltran. PHOTOS: KATY BATDORFF

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS DINING SCHEDULE

reposado tequila, ghost pepper jam, orange, lemon, sugar rim

your hawthorne strainer and a fine mesh strainer and double strain into an 8 oz. glass. This drink takes inspiration from two things: 1. Our love of local farms and the amazing fruit grown here in West Michigan. 2. Watching YouTube videos of Dr. Steve Brule. As we were working through the creation of this drink, we found that pink peppercorn and cherries paired really well together. The drink then needed some acidity to balance the sweetness of the cherries (hence the lime) and egg white was added to bind all the flavors together, but it still needed something else. We don’t like to use cream behind the bar at Long Road so we went for our vanilla almond milk and that provided that little bit of fat to finish the drink. And of course, being an egg white drink allows the bartenders to get as creative as they’d like with designs in the foam. The drink, starting with the idea of expressing Michigan cherries, came out very nicely and ended up in a way that we hadn’t really expected.

31


MAKE THIS ST. GERMAIN

from Principle Food & Drink

SCHEDULE DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

1.5 oz. Green Chartreuse .75 oz. grapefruit juice (fresh and finely strained) .75 oz. lemon juice (fresh and finely strained) 1 egg white .5 oz. homemade simple syrup Tools: Shaking tins or Boston shaker Cocktail strainer Fine strainer For the simple syrup, “simply” combine 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar in a sauce pan. Place over medium-high heat, stirring regularly. Once the sugar is completely dissolved, remove from heat and let cool. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. The St. Germain Cocktail was found in The Savoy Cocktail Book, written in 1930 by Harry Craddock. This drink was named for the Count of St. Germain, an eccentric European aristocrat and adventurer who claimed to be 500 years old. Craddock felt this cocktail could, at the very least, make a person feel like they were drinking the elixir of life. Separate the egg white into the smaller of your shaking tins. We like to do this part first, just in case we mess up — we don’t want to waste any of the other ingredients, especially the Chartreuse! Then add all the other ingredients into the tin.  Put the larger half of the shaker on and give it a nice smack, creating a seal. Shake the heck out of it for 8 to 10 seconds without ice. This will really help to whip the egg white and to completely emulsify the ingredients. Open up your tins and add ice. Re-seal and then shake the heck out of it again, this time a little longer, closer to 12 to 15 seconds. Open up the tins and double strain (with the cocktail strainer and the fine strainer) into a cocktail glass. I think it looks really pretty in an over-sized coupe or absinthe glass. And that’s all there is to it. Also, it’s important to double strain the cocktail for a couple of reasons: 1. Making sure that there aren’t any little bits of egg shell or ice sneaking into the final drink. 2. It helps a little bit to undo some of the over-aerating, giving the drink a smooth, creamy mouth feel. —Instructions by Dan Reinisch, bar manager

32 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

The St. Germaine at Principle Food & Drink. PHOTO: MATHEW PIETSCH

RAISING THE DEAD

How Principle is resurrecting old spirits by Josh Veal

D

oing something “on principle” means acting on firmly held beliefs, and Principle Food & Drink has plenty of those. The Kalamazoo restaurant and cocktail lounge is all about laying a foundation of strong techniques and ingredients, and then elevating from there. Since opening in fall of 2015, Principle has set a new standard for craft cocktails in Kalamazoo (and very arguably, West Michigan), and we mean that in more ways than one. Let’s start where all customers do: The price tag. Principle doesn’t currently have a cocktail on the menu that’s more than $10, and most are less. Owner Casey Longton said the business just doesn’t make as much profit off each drink as other establishments, but he doesn’t care. “They’re priced very low because we want people to feel comfortable,” Longton

said. “I’d rather people have a couple than one.” Principle actually uses some of the highest quality liquors and liqueurs around. Not only that, but the syrups, sours, juices and shrubs (a flavored vinegar-based syrup) are all made in-house. Many of the ingredients aren’t exactly common, but neither are the recipes Longton and his team use to build the menu. In fact, one of the coolest things Principle is doing is bringing back cocktails of days long past. The “Classics” section of the menu specifically focuses on those drinks of yore. But Longton made sure to emphasize again and again: It’s not the ingredients in the glass that make these true classics — above all else, it’s the techniques. “It’s telling a story, connected with the past, about people’s talent,” he said. “It’s really important for the guest to engage in that history. To do a true classic, there’s a certain way to execute that. So many folks out there are just unaware of these old techniques. It’s very educational.”

That education goes for both sides of the bar. Longton said his team spends a lot of time studying and researching old recipes and their histories and techniques. Then his staff passes on that wealth of knowledge to the guests, so they can truly appreciate what they’re drinking. Between the venerable cocktails and Principle’s prohibition-era basement lounge, the whole experience is a return to the roots of a thoughtful, skilled craft. Still, Longton’s team is always coming up with new concoctions of their own design, offering about 24 different cocktails at any given time. “This is our livelihood. This is what we do,” Longton said. “We’re always going to push for something different.” Principle Food & Drink is located at 230 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo. principlekzoo. com


REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

33


34 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016


2016

CLASSICAL CONUNDRUM

As orchestras across the country struggle with funding and attracting concertgoers — especially younger audiences — West Michigan’s symphonies have sought out new and innovative ways to connect with the communities they serve. But the question remains: How do they go from simply being relevant to becoming an essential part of their communities? SEE PAGE 18A. STORY BY SAMARA NAPOLITAN. PHOTO OF GRAND RAPIDS SYMPHONY COURTESY OF TERRY JOHNSTON PHOTOGRAPHY.

PAGE

4A

BEHIND THE CAMERA

PAGE

14A

MUCH ADO

PAGE

20A

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 | EPIC PROPORTIONS

1A


2

9

kpl.gov/teenfilmfest

Call For Entries

Films Due January 20, 2017 2A | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016


Marc-André Hamelin

[BEST BETS]

MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN

1

Beauty and the Beast

West Michigan Symphony Ep!C

KAYLA TUCKER

WEST MICHIGAN SYMPHONY EP!C

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

3A


[FEATURE]

Stories From Behind the Camera BY JUSTINE BURDETTE

ivansxtc and

3.4% entertainment

HIGHLIGHTING WOMEN IN FILM

4A | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016


HEADING OFF ‘COAST BIAS’

“I think there’s some kind of weird Midwest thing that goes on where it’s like, ‘Other really important people make films. We don’t do that here, especially not you, little woman.’ You kind of throw up your hands. (Making movies) is what I do. No one ever questioned me in London. No one ever questioned me in Los Angeles. I’ve just been met with complete disbelief here.”

-

COLLECTIVE POWER

DRIVING CHANGE

-

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

5A


[VISUAL ARTS]

-

Tanglefoot artists celebrate 25 Years of the Open Studio Event BY JUSTINE BURDETTE

-

TANGLEFOOT ARTISTS’ OPEN STUDIO EVENT: CREATIVITY & COMMUNITY

6A | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016


A LOOK AT TANGLEFOOT BUILDING ARTISTS A SECOND HOME FOR ARTISTS

CARLOS ACEVES TOMMY ALLEN JEFF CONDON

ALYNN GUERRA CATHY MARASHI MICHAEL PFLEGHAAR

ELAINE DALCHER GRETCHEN DEEMS

JASON VILLAREAL NIKKI WALL

MAINTAINING A CONNECTION

ST

Patricia Barker, Artistic Director

The Nutcracker

A

RT

AT $ 2 0

Dec 9-11 & 16-18, 2016

DeVos Performance Hall Set and Production Design by Chris Van Allsburg & Eugene Lee Choreography by Val Caniparoli Live music by Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra

Presented by

UNWR AP THE MAGIC AT GRBALLET.COM REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

7A


[VISUAL ARTS]

Celebrate the season, support programming at festival of trees BY MARLA R. MILLER

-

HIGHLIGHTS:

8A | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

FESTIVAL OF TREES


Short competition offers cash prize to filmmakers BY MARLA R. MILLER

-

SAUGATUCK SHORTS FILM COMPETITION

MERCYME 29 NOVEMBER

TUESDAY 7:30PM RESURRECTION LIFE CHURCH Featuring The ResLife Choir

Concert Sponsor:

STEENSTRA’S ™ WINDMIILL COOKIES

Tickets start at

$30

ORDER TICKETS NOW CALL 616.454.9451 x 4 GRPops.org REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

9A


[VISUAL ARTS]

Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo links neighborhoods, schools via new arts partnership BY JANE SIMONS

SUPPORTING LOCAL ARTS

-

ADDING VIBRANCY

10A | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

STAYING ENGAGED


[VISUAL ARTS]

WADADA LEO SMITH:

PREVIEW BY DANA CASADEI

RARY REPRESENTATIONAL ARTISTS

-

BROAD ART MUSEUM

CHRISTMAS AND HOLIDAY TRADITIONS AROUND THE WORLD FESTIVAL OF TREES

SAM JURY: TO BE HERE

LUMINESCENCE: FROM SALVAGE SAYAKA GANZ

FIRE WITHIN: A NEW GENERATION OF CHINESE WOMEN ARTISTS

GRAND RAPIDS ART MUSEUM LOWELLARTS! SAUGATUCK CENTER FOR THE ARTS

IRIS VAN HERPEN: TRANSFORMING FASHION

LOWELLARTS HOLIDAY MARKET

TRIBUTES OF AUTHENTIC HERO-

2116: FORECAST FOR THE NEXT CENTURY

MUSKEGON MUSEUM OF ART URBAN INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTS

KALAMAZOO INSTITUTE OF ARTS

FREDERIK MEIJER GARDENS & SCULPTURE PARK

SCALED UP: SCULPTURE BY MARCIA WOOD

DAVID DEMING: SCULPTURE COMING HOME

ALMOST HOME: GR IN FOCUS

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

11A


[THEATRE]

Local actress, comedian advocates for those who need theater the most BY KAYLA TUCKER

-

ALWAYS HELPING OTHERS

COMEDY OUTLET MONDAYS

12A | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016


INSPIRING OTHER SUPERSTARS

“I knew I didn’t want to marry a man, and I knew I didn’t want to work for money. I just wanted to help people. It turns out I’m gay and a humanitarian.”

The untold true story of the Witches of Oz

NOVEMBER 9 – 27

MSU’S WHARTON CENTER HURRY FOR THE BEST SEATS WhartonCenter.com • 1-800-WHARTON

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

13A


[THEATRE]

Award-winning What A Do Theatre drives for community impact BY JANE SIMONS

A FOCUS ON YOUTH HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

14A | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016


AN EYE TO THE FUTURE

! s a m t s i r h It’s C

Wednesday, Nov. 30 @ 7:30 p.m. millerauditorium.com • (269) 387-2300 • (800) 228-9858 REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

15A


[theatre]

preview BY DANA CASADEI

KALAMAZOO’S CIVIC THEATRE

WMU THEATRE

FARMERS ALLEY THEATRE

THE FOREIGNER

RAMONA QUIMBY

DISGRACED

SHOW BOAT

KALAMAZOO COLLEGE

THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW

A CHRISTMAS STORY - THE MUSICAL

FACE OFF THEATRE COMPANY MILLER AUDITORIUM

ACTORS’ THEATRE OF GRAND RAPIDS

RENT: 20TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR

DREAMGIRLS GRAND RAPIDS CIVIC THEATRE

AMERICAN IDIOT

16A | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST


Opera GR launches careers with Collegiate Vocal Competition

[classical music]

BY SAMARA NAPOLITAN

OPERA GRAND RAPIDS’ COLLEGIATE VOCAL COMPETITION PUBLIC CONCERT

Doug Wright Lyrics by Amanda Green Music by Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green Nov.18–Dec.4 2016 Beardsley Theater Book by

Corporate PARTners

w w w. m u s k e g o n c i v i c t h e a t r e . o r g REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

17A


[CLASSICAL MUSIC]

In Concert with Community BY SAMARA NAPOLITAN

-

18A | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

“It’s the mandate of orchestras to reimagine the concert experience. We always say that we hope classical music doesn’t become like a museum, but we should be so lucky because museums are way ahead of us. The classical music experience hasn’t changed much in the last 100 years.”


BRIDGING THE DISCONNECT

BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS

REMEMBERING WHAT MUSIC IS FOR EXPECTED EXPERIENCES

-

-

“We’re thinking about how we take that success and build a bridge between the Pokemon and the Mahler. A positive experience is hugely important. We’re looking at community engagement as a way to remove those barriers to participation and enjoyment.”

AN ONGOING EFFORT

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

19A


[CLASSICAL MUSIC]

From video games scores to concert halls BY MARLA R. MILLER

-

-

WINTORY

20A | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016


-

and

St. Cecilia Music Center P R E S E N T S

OF LINCOLN CENTER SERIES

scmc-online.org 616.459.2224

The

the

Café

JAzz

Series

MUSIC SOCIETY

Acoustic

series

the CHAMBER

SPECTACULAR

Destination Vienna

Langhorne Slim

Cécile McLorin Salvant

Incredible works for strings by Mozart, Schoenberg, and Brahms.

Banjo-driven rock-folk-pop with artistry and depth.

2016 Grammy Award winner for Best Jazz Vocal Album.

November 10

November 17

December 8

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

21A


[MUSIC]

PREVIEW -

MERCYME are

DESTINATION VIENNA

BY DANA CASADEI

JAKE SHIMABUKURO

KALAMAZOO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

THE GILMORE

LANGHORNE SLIM MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN WEST MICHIGAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA GRAND RAPIDS SYMPHONY

UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY

E.T. - MOVIE + SCORE SPECIAL COLLABORATION: A TERRY RILEY CELEBRATION

BERLIN PHILHARMONIC HOPE COLLEGE GREAT PERFORMANCE SERIES

ST. LAWRENCE STRING QUARTET

THE SNOWMAN

EMMANUEL CEYSSON GABRIELI: A VENETIAN

22A | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016


Q&A: jeremy crosmer

-

INTERVIEW CONDUCTED AND CONDENSED BY JOSH VEAL

-

-

A Nazi flight cap, or a POW’s ticket home?

CROSMER

ARTIFACT 1946.6.1 Nazi Flight Cap | Donald Scholten

With a harsh bite in the German air, Donald Scholten, a young soldier from Holland, MI, grabbed this Nazi flight cap to keep warm during his escape from a Nazi prison camp. Experience the rest of Scholten’s story at the Holland Museum’s yearlong WWII exhibit: For the Future Peace.

Discover Holland’s Stories. -

HOURS: Wed.-Sat. 11am-4pm , Closed Sundays

HollandMuseum.Org | (616) 392-9084 |

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

23A


Theatre Kalamazoo is a nonprofit collaboration between the live theatre organizations in Kalamazoo, Michigan. We take great pride in promoting the diversity and richness of theatre in Kalamazoo and foster a spirit of cooperation and support among this strong and talented community.

THEAT RE KALAMAZOO MEMBER THEAT RES: Festival Playhouse

All Ears Theatre

of Kalamazoo College

Barn Theatre School for Advanced Theatre Training

Miller Auditorium

Center Stage Theatre

The New Vic Theatre

The Civic Theatre

Queer Theatre Kalamazoo

Black Arts & Cultural Center’s Face Off Theatre

University Theatre of Western Michigan University

Farmers Alley Theatre

Check out what’s happening on the many stages of Kalamazoo!

www.theatrekalamazoo.com 24A | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016


> YOU Any IT Threat ®

The Security Professional Program You think an added dose of paranoia is a good thing. You understand the importance of protecting your data and hackers but you love thinking like one. You look at the mountain of security issues facing any IT Pro and gladly accept the challenge.

YOU > You Think You Are

Grand Rapids Kalamazoo 616.574.7500

Lansing 517.318.4005 nhls.com

Flexible tuition funding options and job placement assistance are available. We accept corporate tuition assistance and training grants for those who qualify. Our classes are available on campus and online for your convenience.

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS DINING SCHEDULE

what’s at stake if you don’t. You hate the idea of malicious

35


The Pubb

Point Bar

SCHEDULE DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

Web Bar

Sometimes, you just need to step back and celebrate life’s simple pleasures, like the changing of the seasons, holidays with family or day-drinking with friends. For the latter pursuit, there’s unlikely a better place to be than Grand Rapids’ dive-bar-rich west side neighborhood. It’s compact enough to be walkable, but the less adventurous may want to Uber from stop to stop. More importantly, the bars on the west side have a personality of their own, which lets Grand Rapids’ “best side” shine through with all of its quirks and charm. Putting our passion for journalism ahead of our pride, Revue set out on a late Monday morning to explore some of the haunts that make the west side worth visiting.

by Joe Boomgaard

36 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

The Pubb

Point Bar

Revue started this tour on a warm fall day when we stopped first at The Pubb. Bartender Brian was inviting, pouring us generous portions of Octoberfest and Miller Lite while regaling us with all the details of Pubb’s renaissance, of sorts. At long last, it seems the bar is finally getting windows to overlook Richmond Avenue. But never mind: The drink — and especially the food — brought a light to each of us. The Monday lunch special was the olive burger with fries for a cool $6.95. Sign us up. There were also entertainment options like Nudgemaster and shuffleboard. Wi-Fi: Yeah, they have that, too. It’s a no-frills neighborhood pub, with good food and a decent selection of drinks. Just don’t go there expecting a dive.

Next up was The Point Bar. You don’t end up here unless you’re going on purpose. The Point is a journey unto itself, since it doesn’t lie on any main drag. But what a destination it was. Mondays gave us an excuse to have $1.50 retro cans, and we ordered Stroh’s and Hamm’s with near reckless abandon. The lunch ambiance was fairly chill, with a few regulars eating and daytime TV on the, well, TV. Pool was free, although we did not play. Overall, The Point was more along the lines of what a neighborhood dive bar should be. It was equal parts dark, cigarette-stained and cheap. Although we did not partake, Jell-O shots were both available and affordable, clocking in at three for $1, according to the sign over the bar.

1568 Broadway Ave. NW, Grand Rapids (616) 608-7420

1720 Hamilton Ave. SW, Grand Rapids (616) 361-8460


Triangle Bar

Monarchs’ Club

We heard The Point is popular with the biker crowd, which probably means avoiding the late-night and weekend crowds is a good policy. Still, it was a nice place to enjoy a “retro” beer and entertain one’s companions with the weekend’s conquests.

644 Richmond St. NW, Grand Rapids The Web was by far the diviest place on our tour. From the outside and on the inside, it gives no f***s. The area underneath the bar was piled high with spent soldiers, mostly of the Budweiser variety. Meanwhile, a Clydesdale mirror and other macro-beer signs lined the wall. Web’s bar area was distinctly HOT — as in, it was warm. Luckily, the $1.50 cans of Rolling Rock were ICE COLD. If you get hungry, you’re

SOL, except for bags of chips and pretzels, which cost a whole $1 and are available behind the bar. If you wanted to play shuffleboard or Nudgemaster, you’re in luck at The Web. All you need to do is avoid the creeper at the end of the bar who just burned a square in his car — and catch the attention of the barmaid who often stepped out the back to do the same. All in all, The Web caught us in a true divebar experience, complete with daytime judge shows you’ll love to hate.

Triangle Bar

1200 Walker Ave. NW, Grand Rapids (616) 454-1238 Leaving The Web, we headed south toward what would normally have been a stop at The Westsider for lunch or breakfast. Instead, we

Monarchs’ Club

646 Stocking Ave. NW, Grand Rapids (616) 233-9799 I’ll not lie: The delicious olive burger from The Pubb had worn off by now, and I was hungry, so I suggested we take a detour to Monarchs’ Club, a new favorite stop of mine on the “old” west side. While Monarchs’ offers a respectable selection of craft beer, all you really need to know can be summed up in three words: Red Lion Hotdogs. That’s right, this dive bar has perfected the recipe for the west side classic chili dogs and priced them right at just $2.50 each. Do yourself a favor and order a pair. The bar offers a pleasant ambiance with more than a handful of well-selected taps, plus a new game room and great summer patio. The beers range from local favorites to national craft brands and German offerings. One really cannot go wrong. Monarchs’ is also a hangout for other west side bartenders, so you can go and get the straight scoop on bar politics in that part of the city. Let’s just say they’re friendly, but willing to tell you how it really is.

Kale’s Korner

511 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids (616) 451-9638 From there, we hoofed it a couple of blocks over to Kale’s Korner, a real throwback to different times. Credit cards? Ha! Cash only, you dolt. Draft list? Ha! Cans and bottles only, you narc. Luckily, Dee was a great bartender, hurling insults and advice to the patrons with abandon. The other side benefit: A giant bowl of cheese doodles, pretzels and popcorn plopped in front of each party. After all, you need something to soak up all those Millers Lite. (I realize that’s not the proper pluralization, but I’m humoring reporter Nick Manes who thinks it’s the greatest joke on the West Side to create the construction thusly.) Kale’s is a cop hangout, so don’t mind the badged pig on the bar or the overwhelming smell of bacon, err, cheap eats that pervade the room. It’s a dive bar in the true essence, with a real neighborhood feel that will no doubt be challenged by the “gentrifying” force from a spate of new developments in the immediate area. We suspect Dee will do her best to keep them at bay.

The Knickerbocker by New Holland Brewing Co. 417 Bridge St NW, Grand Rapids (616) 355-6422

Lastly, we caved to the gentrifying force and headed to a part of the “new” west side: New Holland Brewing Co., where the people were friendly, and one drink cost more than a round of four Rolling Rocks at The Web. But no matter: These are artisanal creations personally made for you by one of the friendly staff, each of whom goes the extra mile in search of that je ne sais quoi that goes into a craft cocktail. Our Sazerac, Old Fashioned and elderflower fancy pants (not the real name) certainly tasted delicious, in that $10 kind of way. The ambiance was cool, but certainly didn’t offer any stale cigarette terroir. I n o t h e r w o r d s , N e w H o l l a n d ’s Knickerbocker is a great place, but it didn’t fit on our dive bar tour. Alas, don’t discount it, but rather accept it for the change it is.

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS DINING SCHEDULE

Web Bar

Kale’s Korner

entered Triangle Bar — despite the regular who sat outside smoking a ciggy and clearly did not want these interlopers clogging up his bar. The inside at Triangle was dark. The windows were obscured, and the only light came through the illuminated paintings that lined the westward wall. The bar itself offered a handful of taps, plus an extensive liquor selection, with a side of old-lady-watching-Fox-News spectacle fit for the west side. This is clearly TRUMP COUNTRY here. Is Hillary Clinton corrupt? A couple of the denizens will be more than happy to give you their take on the matter. As well, the patrons buzzed with an uncanny excitement over news about The View and whether Joy Behar had an affinity for hard drugs. (You can’t make this up.) Chalk up points for the Budweiser Clydesdale globe light, the drunk man yelling out monosyllabic utterances, and the creeper playing pool by himself. Alas, we also can’t forget the other creeper, who asked for something from the bartender’s pocket. Really, it’s best to stop to the Triangle when your time is short and you need a stiff drink. (Jameson worked for us.)

37


“My favorite drink is Journeyman Last Feather Rye neat in a Staymaker old fashioned glass as pictured. What I love about whiskey is the history and time that passes from when the whiskey goes into barrel and the time it comes out. Sitting down with a glass of Last Feather Rye gives me pause and time to think about all that’s transpired with Journeyman and all that is still to come.” —Bill Welter, owner, Journeyman Distillery, Three Oaks

PHOTO: BOB COSCARELLI

DISTILLERS’ CHOICE: Booze purveyors talk about their favorite spirits and cocktails By nature, distillers are a reflective lot. They make spirits and then often store them away in barrels for years on end to allow the wood and alcohol to mellow into a delicious quaff. That time-consuming process creates opportunities for introspection — and drinking, of course. Revue asked distillery owners from around West Michigan about their favorite spirits and cocktails. Here’s what they had to say. Compiled by Joe Boomgaard and Josh Veal

38 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016


Josh Cook

Co-founder, Green Door Distilling Co., Kalamazoo

“Over the past year while starting Green Door, I’ve found myself gravitating towards great value bourbons. (Small business owners don’t have much of a whiskey budget!) One in particular is on my mind: Old Grand-Dad 114. It’s an incredibly bold, full-flavored, and high-gravity bourbon. I enjoy it either neat, or with a 2-inch cube of ice, served in an 11-ounce rocks glass.”

Paul Marantette

General manager, Coppercraft Distillery, Holland “For me, the most enjoyable cocktail we make is our Rye Manhattan. Not only does it feature my favorite spirit we produce, our Rye Whiskey, but it also shows the true spectrum of how we craft cocktails here at Coppercraft. Operating under a manufacturer’s license, everything we serve here we make completely from scratch, including the sweet vermouth and bitters that complete our manhattan. The spice of our rye shines through while being complemented by the luscious sweetness of our vermouth, giving it an incredible mouthfeel that will satisfy any spectrum of cocktail drinkers. We serve our manhattan in a rocks glass with a single large cube, flamed orange peel and an in-house brandied cherry.”

Jon O’Connor

Co-founder, Long Road Distillery

SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS DINING SCHEDULE

“At Long Road, we pride ourselves on making authentic, honest and truly world class spirits, 100 percent from grain to glass. This take-noshortcuts philosophy is important to me both on and off the clock. I wouldn’t say that I necessarily have a go-to spirit or drink, but when I do have the opportunity to enjoy a drink outside of Long Road, I look for spirits that are made in a similar fashion to the way we make ours: honest about their process, bold in flavor and those that respect and honor their traditions. Some of my favorite drams include Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon, Del Maguey Vida Mezcal and Fernet Branca, all served neat of course.”

Brandon Voorhees

Co-founder, Gray Skies Distillery, Grand Rapids “My go-to cocktail is the Manhattan, preferably with my favorite spirit: rye whiskey. I tend to go light on the vermouth, for just a sweet background, while allowing the spiciness of the rye and a couple drops of bitters to do most of the work. This old-school cocktail is a perfectly balanced sipper, especially as we get into the winter months. This will be the first cocktail I mix up once our very own Gray Skies Straight Rye is done slumbering in barrels sometime in 2018.”

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

39


CONSISTENCY ON TAP

The rise of draft cocktails by Troy Reimink

SCHEDULE DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

M

ixed drinks from a tap. The very idea seems almost … sacrilegious, somehow, doesn’t it? But with craft distilleries putting a deeper footprint in West Michigan’s food and beverage economy, spirit-makers are embracing yet another big-city trend — the draft cocktail. While the idea is relatively new, establishments in the area have found undeniable upsides to the format. “Draft cocktails are useful for consistency of product, speed of service and quality of product,” said Daniel Lovig, general manager at Long Road Distillers. He emphatically dismisses the suggestion that, conceptually, a cocktail poured from a keg violates something intrinsic to the bar experience — in which the wizened bartender uses the cocktail glass as a canvas, and the step-by-step drink-making performance is part of what the customer is buying. “Creativity is not nearly as important as proportions and execution,” Lovig said. “The strength of a bar comes through execution. Creativity is only wonderful when you have those standards. The draft cocktail relieves the pressure of service from the bartenders. ” Another advantage is portability. Bringing a kegged cocktail to an outside event is easier than lugging around cocktail ingredients. It also mutually benefits the bar’s bottom line and the patron’s wallet, Lovig explained. If a bartender can prepare a drink in a few seconds, the business can do more volume on a busy night, which scales the price downward. A Long Road draft gin and tonic, for example, is $4 during happy hour and $6 regularly — competitive prices even against bars that serve well liquor with carbonated mixers out of a soda gun. “I want bartending to be more about math than flair,” Lovig said. Long Road also offers a draft adult (vodka) soda and an Aquavit cucumber tonic in its tasting room. Draft options were part of the plan when Long Road’s owners, Kyle Van Strien and Jon O’Connor, began mapping out their distillery, which opened in May 2015. Its upstairs event space, the Rickhouse, has on tap a Polish Falcon, which is Long Road’s spin on the Moscow Mule and has proved exceptionally popular. Similarly, the draft Moscow Mule — conspicuous in its chilled copper mug — quickly has become the top-selling drink at Gray Skies Distillery, which opened in March in Grand Rapids’ North Monroe business district. Its draft cocktail menu — which outsells conventional cocktails two-to-one — also includes a Gin Gin Mule, a Dark ‘N’ Stormy, a rum-coconut-pineapple concoction and an Apple Bottom cider-rum cocktail. “A lot of craft scenes in bigger cities, like Chicago and Denver, were starting to experiment with this, so we wanted to see how it would fit here in Grand Rapids,” said Brandon Voorhees, co-owner of Gray Skies. “People enjoy the concept, but more importantly people enjoy the consistency of it.” One of the biggest challenges in hand-making a cocktail, Voorhees and Lovig agreed, is maintaining a uniform level of

40 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

Bartender Courtney Beltran pouring a draft Aquavit Cucumber Tonic at Long Road Distillers. PHOTO: KATY BATDORFF

carbonation, which can get lost when a carbonated mixer is poured over ice. Drawing the already proportioned drink from a tap eliminates this variable. “When you’re measuring in a quarter ounce of this, a half ounce of that, and an ounce of this, when things get busy around here, it takes a lot of time to get that perfect every single time,” Voorhees said. “In this case, we pull a tap handle, and you get that same cocktail day after day and weekend after weekend.” The concept is also catching on further west, said Trevor Doublestein, who opened Our Brewing Co. in downtown Holland in 2012 and has been serving draft cocktails since this spring. Like most establishments, its draft offerings are twists on classics rather than experiments; Our Brewing currently offers a rum Manhattan and a gin and tonic. “Our bartenders don’t lose a step while pouring all the varieties that we offer by having to stop and shake or mix a cocktail,” Doublestein said. “It also makes it impossible to over or under-pour the booze.” And as much as some customers might miss the edifying personal touch of a handmade cocktail, the unexpected sight of one coming from a tap is its own novelty, Doublestein said. “I do think pulling a cocktail on draft has an awe factor right now because most people are still unaware that it is a thing.”

Draft Moscow Mule at Gray Skies Distillery. COURTESY PHOTO


SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS DINING SCHEDULE

41

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |


Kalamazoo Stillhouse eyes November or December opening by Joe Boomgaard

SCHEDULE DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

T

42 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

he path to opening a distillery can take many twists and turns. Just ask Nic and Joanna Merrill. The couple have been working on The Kalamazoo Stillhouse since 2013, when they purchased the building at 618 East Michigan Ave. Some three years out, they’ve yet to open, but the runway for them to start producing spirits is significantly shorter now. After taking delivery of their 18-plate, splitcolumn 750-gallon Vendome still in April, the Merrills have been busy working on their facility, which remains under construction as this report went to press. In the best-case scenario, the company will be offering clear spirits for sale by Thanksgiving — Christmas at the latest. “The still was purpose-built to make vodka,” Nic Merrill said, noting that the company plans to make a range of spirits, including bourbon. “I like bourbon and we’re in corn country, so it’s a natural that we’d do bourbon.” The distillery will release clear spirits first as it racks away whiskey for aging in barrels. At full production, Kalamazoo Stillhouse can make 1,500 bottles of vodka in an 18-day period. Nic Merrill learned the business from his father, who operates a distillery and winery in Washington. The husband and wife duo say they’ve been welcomed with open arms by the distilling community nationwide, as many companies have taken them in, shown them their operations and helped them understand the business — especially what not to do. “Everyone is so open,” Joanna Merrill said. “It’s not like in the restaurant industry where there’s just so much competition.” Kalamazoo Stillhouse was actually the first distillery in the city to receive a federal license to produce spirits, but others — namely, Rupert’s Brew House and Green Door Distillery — have opened ahead of them. The Merrills say they prioritized selecting a location in downtown Kalamazoo — it’s located along Portage Creek and Michigan Avenue between the Bell’s Brewery Eccentric Café and Arcadia Brewing Co.’s taproom — because they wanted to have a direct connection to the city where they grew up, met (in first grade, no less) and have started raising their young family. “It’s bittersweet how long it’s taken us to open, but we’re looking at this as a legacy business,” Nic

Joanna and Nic Merrill, Kalamazoo Stillhouse owners Merrill said. “And we we wanted to be in the heart of downtown. It was important to us to own the space we’re in.” Currently, Kalamazoo Stillhouse plans to be a production-only facility, given its current permitting with the city, but the owners ultimately hope to open a tasting room and offer small plates. However, they have no plans for a splashy marquee on the front of their building, which they enlisted a crew of muralists to create art for last month. The company’s first release will be a 500-bottle batch of Bronson Park Gin, the label for which features a rendition of the park. Kalamazoo Stillhouse teamed up with the Bronson Park 21st Century Campaign as a sponsor, with the proceeds from the bottles going to benefit the park foundation. “We intend this to be an annual endeavor to further our relationship with the Kalamazoo community,” Joanna Merrill said.


D O W N T O W N G R A N D R A P I D S | D O W N T O W N H O L L A N D | C I T Y F L AT S H O T E L . C O M

SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS DINING SCHEDULE

HAPPY HOUR

4PM - 7PM

H A N D C R A F T E D C O C K TA I L S , C R A F T B E E R , A N D C A R E F U L LY S E L E C T E D W I N E S !

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

43


EXPERI ENCE TH E ORIGI NAL HOT YOGA

SCHEDULE | DINING | SIGHTS SOUNDS | SCENE

Real Hot! Real Certified Bikram Teachers! Real 90 Minutes! Real Results!

44 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

Largest Yoga studio in town! 8 showers! Free parking!

BLACK FRIDAY SALE! Buy One Class Package, Get One FREE!

3 Days Only! 11/25, 11/26 and 11/27

Existing students, BOGO must be of equal or greater value than your current or previous package. Limit one per customer. Excludes drop ins, autopay, online purchases, 5 class card, and 10 days for $10.

Already have a package? Each new class package goes on hold until your current package is used up! This offer is available to current and new students. No combining discounts.

Phone Orders Accepted!

bikramyogagrandrapids.com earthwalk2k@yahoo.com 231.392.4798


by Eric Mitts

COMEDY

Randy and Mr. Lahey bring the ‘Trailer Park’ to Kalamazoo

W

HEN YOU HAVE CANADIAN ACTOR JOH N DUNSWORTH ON THE PHONE with friend and fellow actor Pat Roach, don’t expect to get in too many serious questions. The Trailer Park Boys duo talk about their tour in and out of character — all while bantering back and forth with each other like they have for 11 seasons. Dunsworth, 70, has worked with theater groups in Canada as an esteemed performer and educator for decades now. Still, he doesn’t shy away from the liquor-soaked absurdities of Lahey’s life, and he and Roach have no shame when it comes to the success they’ve had thanks to Trailer Park Boys. Here’s just some of our conversation, discussing drinking, legalizing marijuana and even this month’s election.

Speaking of stupidity, you’ll be here just a few days before the U.S. presidential election. What’s your take on that?

What would you tell people to expect when they come to see you two perform?

DUNSWORTH: Well, Jim Lahey likes to drink. But John

ROACH/RANDY: We love it. I think it’s the most political scenario I’ve ever seen. I mean, Bernie Sanders, he makes great chicken. And Donald Duck, he’s great. He’s got those nephews that drive him nuts, Huey, Duey and Louie. DUNSWORTH: We try to stay away from hard-nosed stuff. We’re very political and I have a lot of opinions, but I try not to get too vociferous. ROACH/RANDY: Vociferous means flaccid penis. DUNSWORTH/LAHEY: Not now Randy! ROACH/RANDY: Oh, it’s a type of tree with leaves! DUNSWORTH/LAHEY: Yeah, you’re right, Randy. It’s a type of tree and you’re the apple that falls far from it, down the s*** hill and into the s*** river, and floats all the way down to the s*** sea, Randy.

At least tell us how you feel about the legalization of marijuana. Dunsworth doesn’t. John doesn’t mind having a toke once in a while, though. But Randy has the real problem, because they won’t let him bring his honey bong across the border. ROACH/RANDY: That’s right. Marijuana is just a leaf!

JOHN DUNSWORTH: If they’re ‘Trailer Park’ fans, I tell them to expect a lot of ridiculousness, and just silliness. And if they’re not ‘Trailer Park’ fans, I say, ‘Ah, maybe you shouldn’t come out.’ PAT ROACH (AS RANDY): We just want people to know that they can get drunk and have a good time…

Does it feel like your real-life identity is intertwined with your characters?

Welcome, Randy. What do you think of the U.S. from the time you’ve spent here?

What do you like about being able to connect with your fans face to face? DUNSWORTH: Whether it’s in Europe or Canada or the U.S.,

a Trailer Park fan is a Trailer Park fan — they’re just all around cool people. ROACH/RANDY: We’re not talking about the type of fans you plug in to cool off, Mr. Lahey. DUNSWORTH/LAHEY: Randy, no, we’re not. We’re talking about people who can’t wait to see season 11 coming out on Netflix. We’re talking about people who sign up to swearnet.

com, Randers. We’ve got a whole bunch of material on there that you can’t see anywhere else, including the Randy and Lahey show. ROACH/RANDY: Yeah, and we’re going to the World Series. Oh look, Mr. Lahey, a drive thru! DUNSWORTH/LAHEY: We’re not pulling off for a cheeseburger just yet, Randy. We’re doing an interview. What do you think it is about the community at Sunnyvale that connects with so many people around the world? DUNSWORTH: People get happy when they see Sunnyvale because they realize they’re smarter than everyone on the show — except, of course, Jim Lahey. It makes them feel good to know that they’re not as stupid as Ricky.

Shakespeare’s Pub 241 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo Nov. 5, 8 p.m., $25, 21+ shakespearespub.com, (269) 488-7782

What can you tell us about the next season of the show?

ROACH/RANDY: It’s the best season yet, right Mr. Lahey? DUNSWORTH/LAHEY: I think so. I think everyone who loves Trailer Park Boys is going to love season 11. It’s my favorite season and I’ve been doing them all. Also, I just want you to let people know that, on the record, Jim Lahey wants everybody to exercise their franchise and get out and vote!

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS DINING | SCHEDULE

ROACH/RANDY: We like the U.S. because they have great cheeseburgers, there’s great people and we have tons of fans, and you have cheaper liquor in the U.S.A. Like, here, they tax us. It’s friggin’ sweet ‘n’ sour chicken balls is what it is.

DUNSWORTH: Well, it isn’t absolutely. I was just in a couple of different series, and I have offers to play other roles that aren’t the Lahey type. But when I go home, I’m not Lahey, and that’s RANDY AND MR. LAHEY all that matters. “NO PANTS UNPISSED ROACH: Yeah, and sometimes I TOUR” actually wear a shirt.

45


INDIE FILM

by Josh Spanninga

Cast, Crew & Culture:

The Grand Rapids Film Society

SCHEDULE | DINING | SIGHTS SOUNDS | SCENE

T

AMARYN TOBIAN WEARS MANY HATS. She’s a publicist, brand strategist, and the owner of Spectacle Creative Media — but underlying all that, Tobian is one huge f ilm enthusiast. When she decided to help lead the Grand Rapids Film Society (GRFS), all of that expertise came into play. The society began as a Facebook group created by David Blakeslee and Patrick Goff in 2014, but has since grown into a full-f ledged organization, complete with financial backing from the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. That growth was spurred by the loss of Michigan’s film incentive program in 2015, when Gov. Rick Snyder signed Public Act 117 into law. “People began to discuss, ‘What can we do in a post-incentive environment? How can we still continue to champion the filmmakers that we have here and create an environment where our local filmmakers thrive?’” Tobian said. “And then the lightbulb sort of went on that, well, to be honest we don’t have a film-watching culture that really appreciates independent documentaries and world cinema. “The way to do that, the way to shine a spotlight on that, is to have a film society.” The group has also partnered with Creative Many Michigan, an advocacy organization providing accounting and legal support. The GRFS is still in its early stages, working hard to solidify what the organization will look like in years to come. “We hope to be our own nonprof it before the end of 2018. Certainly, if we’re able to do that sooner, we will,” Tobian said. “The opportunity to work with Creative Many Michigan, to really take our time planning who’s going to be on our board of directors, and to fundraise ahead of some of that business development is wonderful. It allows us to be steady before we become our own nonprofit.”

46 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

“Movies NOT in the Park” Returns to UICA

W Grand Rapids Film Society Of course, the GRFS isn’t the first of its kind. Its leaders looked to existing film societies in Austin and Denver for inspiration. GRFS then took a long look at the filmgoing demographic in Grand Rapids. “While other societies are more broad in their scope, we’re really trying to focus on that culture aspect, which hasn’t been paid attention to for 30 years,” Tobian said. “In that way, I think there are pieces of Austin and Denver’s film societies we can emulate, particularly … the types of things they’re curating and the programming they’re doing.” Even though it’s still in the building stages, the GRFS has already gone to work building a stronger film culture in Grand Rapids. The society made its first official appearance as an organization at ArtPrize

PHOTO: DAN IRVING

OnScreen in September, recruiting new members at screenings of exactly the types of movies they want to promote. “We were able to tell them ‘Hey, if you like these types of movies, we’re starting this film society, and you should be a part of it,’” Tobian said. “That was really the big push — to be at each of those screenings, and to have a presence there and talk with people about what we’re trying to do.” You can find out more about the Grand Rapids Film Society at grfilm.org. While you’re there, be sure to join the newsletter to gain free membership to GRFS through Dec. 31, 2017.

ith the weather cooling down and winter ready to rear its frosty head, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. has rolled up the inflatable movie screen and closed out the 2016 Movies in the Park series. But not to fret movie fans, there’s plenty more programming to come. This just means the festivities are moving indoors to the UICA with a slightly different series: Movies NOT in the Park (See what they did there?). “We use the series to kick off public voting on the films for next summer’s season, so it’s a fun way to keep the Movies in the Park momentum going throughout the year,” said Andy Guy, chief outcomes officer for Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. The series kicks off at 8 p.m. on Nov. 5 with Batman Returns. This is followed up a week later with a 5:30 p.m. screening of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York on Nov. 12 and Cool Runnings on Nov. 19, also at 5:30 p.m. The series continues through December, with eclectic classics Gremlins (Dec. 3), The Mighty Ducks (Dec. 10), and the big finale of Nightmare Before Christmas (Dec. 17). As always, each event is free, but seating is limited, so get there early. For more information and showtimes visit uica.org/movies.


New Season. New Vision.

with

SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS DINING | SCHEDULE

See the Fall colors the way you should,

LASIK

KEIL LASIK VISION CENTER p. 616.365.5775

info@keillasik.com

www.keillasik.com

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

47


by Josh Veal

Q&A

The Sympathetic Atheism of Julia Sweeney

J

ULIA SWEENEY IS NOT YOUR TYPICAL ATHEIST. The former SNL cast member and current mother, actor and comedian introduced in 2004 her one-woman show, Letting Go of God, in which Sweeney humorously and frankly discusses her 40-year journey from Catholic to nonbeliever. That’s why she’ll be joining author of The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins, on stage at Fountain Street Church for an open conversation on religion. While they have many beliefs in common, they do disagree on whether religion still has value in the world. Revue had a lively, laugh-filled conversation with Sweeney about the duo’s upcoming event, along with why she doesn’t think religion is evil, despite hating all “the bad parts” of it. Your talks don’t go into a lot of detail on the “evils” of religion. Right! Because I don’t really feel that way. But the biggest thing I hate about religion … is that it quells the natural curiosity in a person. There are so many great things about it and I’m so happy that I was raised in the Catholic church. But the thing that I’m most upset about is that I could’ve been enlightened so much younger than I was.

SCHEDULE | DINING | SIGHTS SOUNDS | SCENE

How so? I was like 40 and I really feel like I might have been a scientist or something otherwise! We even accepted evolution, but still because I imagined there was this supreme being that kind of created it all, it made me much less interested in how it happened. When I really understood how evolution and science work, it was so mindblowing. … I wish I had another 20 years of my life to look at the world that way.

48 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

Does that differ, in your mind, from most atheists? So often I think that the New Atheists in general — and I’m not particularly saying this about Richard Dawkins — they’re often white intellectuals who came from a privileged and intellectual background. They’re not rejecting their culture to not believe in God. … So the idea that those people are RICHARD DAWKINS saying the others should just leave IN CONVERSATION (religion), it’s ludicrous. W/ JULIA SWEENEY On the other hand, there needs Fountain Street Church 24 Fountain St. NE, Grand to be more openness about not Rapids believing in God and more casuNov. 7, 7-p.m., $29 alness about it, and all that stuff cfimichigan.org, (616) is brought about by these people 706-2029 like Richard Dawkins. Even people who are extreme, that I don’t agree with everything they’re saying, it’s good just that it’s out there in the zeitgeist and making it easier for people to say, “I don’t believe.” But I think they should have more understanding of people who are in religious traditions. You poke a lot of fun, but I never get the sense you’re trying to “convert” people in your talks. That’s funny, because I have a whole relationship even with that phrase, “trying to convert.” People at first really wanted me to reassure them that I was not trying to convert them. Why do I need to reassure you that much? Why can’t you just hear what I have to say and then you just decide to believe whatever you’re going to believe?

How about religion’s impact on the world at large? When I look at how religion plays itself out, religions are so much about controlling women and their sexuality and freedom, I’m the most personally upset by that part of it. It reinforces a power structure to keep people down, basically. I really think that the whole “submitting” and “surrendering” yourself — even though poetically I can really get into those ideas — in practical ways, I think it keeps people passive. Why do you think that we shouldn’t just lose it all, then? I think there’s so much culture transmission that comes through religion. … Not only that, there is a lot of great advice for living and wisdom. I think there are great things in each religion that we can learn that will help us do better. I also think that it brings community and solidarity and insurance,

going every week to a community place where you know other people that share a similar ideology. … It really strengthens the tribe and community and that isn’t something you should just let go of.

Julia Sweeney

Have you ever had anyone tell you that you convinced them? Oh my god, so many people! In fact, it’s the greatest thing of my life! I have had so many people say that watching my show is what started it for them. And, of course, people will say anything when they see someone, but it seems like it’s true! [Laughter] This is a condensed report of our conversation. For a longer, more illuminating version, visit revuewm.com.


REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

49


by Elma Talundzic

LIT LIFE

Oldies but Goodies

Grand Rapids’ vintage and used bookstores There’s nothing quite like the charming atmosphere of an old bookstore. It’s difficult to walk in and not immediately feel a wave of comfort wash over you. A modern bookshop can’t replicate the vibes and many people say picking up an e-reader just doesn’t compare to the pages of a dusty, well-loved book. Here’s a small guide to get you started. Happy reading. A selection of politics, biography and travel books from Bombadil Books

SCHEDULE | DINING | SIGHTS SOUNDS | SCENE

Redux Books

“We have a lot of pretty nice books behind glass” said Hogeterp “Frequently, 1349 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids [customers] have to open those glass doors reduxbooks.com, (616) 742-2665 and see what’s in there. They want to touch it, they want to feel it, they want to interact Back in May 2001, when Redux Books first with it.” opened its doors, the shop lined its shelves Along with the extra special books, with roughly 3,000 books from owner Redux carries a wide variety of paperbacks, Clarence Hogeterp’s pertextbooks and best sellers. sonal collection. You’ll f ind biographies, “My wife said to me, cookbook s, Michigan ‘It’s either you or the books, Histor y book s, fa ntasy buddy. Somebody’s got to books and much more. And leave,’” Hogeterp said. “So Hogeterp does a fair amount I thought I’d better get rid of traveling throughout the of the books.” country to bring books into Fif teen yea rs later, the shop, so that means Redux has expanded its inventory is constantly growcollection to include more ing and changing. than 200,000 books — if “People get attached to you include the online them. Not just the book, store and warehouse, which but the literature,” Hogeterp —Clarence Hogeterp, said. “It’s very gratifying, Hogeterp’s son runs. Redux Books actually, when people buy When you step foot into the shop, you’re imbooks, to know that they’re mediately greeted by that not only interested in the oh-so-sweet book smell and a veritable wall contents but they’re interested in the book of book-packed shelves. The space may seem itself as an artifact.” small, but down a set of stairs is the basement, lined with even more literary towers. Redux uniquely specializes in rare, outof-print and antiquarian books. The shop 1405 Robinson Road SE, Grand Rapids offers customers the opportunity to purchase argosbooks.com, (616) 454-0111 first editions, signed copies of their favorites and a whole lot more.

“My wife said to me, ‘It’s either you or the books, buddy. Somebody’s got to leave.’ So I thought I’d better get rid of the books.”

50 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

Argos Book Shop

Bombadil Books bombadilbooks.com, (616) 419-0667

Bombadil Books owners Tim Albon and Danielle Alexander Just two doors down from Redux Books, Argos Book Shop not only caters to the fellow bookworm, but to the comic book nerd as well. “We are a fully-stocked used book shop, with books of all kinds,” owner James Bleeker said. Open since 1975, Argos boasts one of the largest stocks of used comics in town alongside its massive book collection. Search to your heart’s content through piles of oldschool comics, graphic novels and newer items. On the other side of the store, sunlight pours through a large window, illuminating shelf upon shelf of old paperbacks. The store also has a selection of display and storage supplies, so you can keep your precious finds protected (and maybe show them off a little).

Although Bombadil Books just closed up shop at its 315 S. Division location, that is by no means the last you’ll see of them. For one thing, the shop is still offering its products and services online while searching for a new location. The owners of Bombadil Books, Danielle Alexander, 25, and Tim Albon, 27, had simply outgrown the old space on Division. “We were out of room for books and struggling to fit people in for events and workshops. It was a good problem to have,” Alexander and Albon said. “We’re trying to be pretty particular about finding the perfect space this time around. We want to be in Grand Rapids for the long haul.” For now, the online shop lets you peruse Bombadil’s collection of used and rare books, zines made by local artists, the couple’s own line of handmade journals, and options for repair and custom cases. Not only can you expand your personal library, but you can have your old favorites revamped and repaired. “Most of the time, we replace worn and broken covers with new, archival quality ones,” Alexander said. “The books most often have extreme sentimental value, so the reactions their owners have is a bonus of the job.” Alexander and Albon are hoping to have a new location by the new year. Keep an eye out!


HOLIDAY SHOP HOP THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1 - EVENT BEGINS AT 4PM - FREE SHUTTLES FROM 4-10PM

You’re invited to two fun events with snacks & bevs: Wish List Party (11/15, 5-8pm), and Holiday Shop Hop (12/1, 4-9pm). Put these stacking rings by designer Lika Behar on your wish list! 978 Cherry St SE, GR shop@metalartstudioinc.com

(616) 459-5075

1113 Wealthy St. SE & 3850 29th St. SE | Grand Rapids | verheycarpets.com


STYLE NOTES

by Missy Black

The Language of Jewelry S

SCHEDULE | DINING | SIGHTS SOUNDS | SCENE

ure, jewelry is fun — but can it tell the world who you are? Pieces of Me thinks so. The jewelry company creates cuff bracelets and earrings that empower people by building their self-confidence. With 30 different icon designs each representing a specific personality trait (easy-going, leader, passionate, sassy, strong, etc.), “you see the icons and they are a reminder of your strengths. It’s a boost of positivity,” said Elsa Vogel, founder of the company. “You know that’s who you are. If it’s a gift, someone sees those positive traits in you. It’s a time to remember your self-worth,” Vogel said. You can purchase single cuff bracelets with one personality stamped all the way around or cuff bracelet sets, such as the True Friend set, which has both a loyal and a compassionate cuff. Custom cuff bracelets even let you pick four traits to show off at once. Material options include 14K gold-filled, brass, rose gold and sterling silver. They’re perfect for gift giving, especially for milestone occasions such as graduations, birthdays or bridal showers. Head to buypiecesofme.com and start your jewelry journey.

Featuring black tassels, antiqued brass and oxidized silver components, these lightweight earrings from Luminous Creation are fun to wear and make a big impact (available in other colors). $17, etsy.com/shop/ LuminousCreation and Dear Prudence, Grand Rapids.

52 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

Sable + Company, a lifestyle brand, makes this necklace with real wood and sterling silver. The simple design highlights the natural beauty of the branch. $65, Dime & Regal, Grand Rapids.

Talk about a statement piece. Feel sexy in this hammered bronze ring with hand-tied Greek leather creating a mini, knotted corset. It’s edgy with a femininity that grabs you. $68, Studio Jewel, Grand Haven. studiojewel.com. *TESTIMONIAL: I own this ring and it’s like a talisman, sending shivers of beauty and strength through me with every wear. Pictures don’t do it justice. Ladies, you’ve got my style seal of approval here.


REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

53


great food

live music

Sunday Brunch 11am-4pm

HOURS:

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

novmeber shows 11/3 Kathy Lamar Trio 11/5 An Dro 11/10 Chris Collins Band 11/12 Organissimo 11/17 Brant Satala Trio 11/19 Natchez Trace 11/26 TBD

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

SCHEDULE DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

Note Worthy Dining.

Downtown Grand Rapids

54 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

Excludes alcohol. Cannot be used on holidays. Expires 11/30/16. Revue Magazine.


Restaurant listings arranged by region

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

Brewery Vivant 925 Cherry St. SE. 616-719-1604 FRENCH/BELGIAN. Housed in a refurbished funeral chapel, this brewery won Best Ambiance in Revue’s Best of the West with its stained glass windows and European beer hall setup. Along with farmhouse style beers, the LEED-certified BV is known for its FrenchBelgian cuisine, from duck nachos to roasted bone marrow. » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: The Burger (2nd place Best of the West). 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

CitySen Lounge 83 Monroe Center St. NW. 616-608-1720 AMERICAN. CitySen Lounge, located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, is a bar with a big-city feel, offering exciting options for lunch, dinner and breakfast on the weekends. The focus is on fresh ingredients and a full bar with local brews, wine and creative cocktails. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner (Breakfast on weekends). OPEN: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: Daily happy hour The Cottage Bar 18 Lagrave Ave. SE. 616-454-9088 AMERICAN. The Cottage Bar is the oldest operating restaurant and bar in downtown Grand Rapids. Come in for the Cottage Burger, smothered with green olives, bacon, lettuce, tomato, hickory mayonnaise and Swiss and American cheeses. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Closed Sundays GO THERE FOR: The Cottage Burger. Divani 15 Ionia Ave. SW. 616-774-WINE. ECLECTIC. Divani offers a sophisticated environment, with chefs using Michigan-made ingredients in their creations, such as Dancing Goat Creamery, Otto’s Chicken, S&S Lamb, Ingraberg Farms, Mrs. Dog’s and Madcap. For the thirsty, the bar serves more than 300 types of liquor, 300 wines and 50 beers to complement each handcrafted meal. » SERVING: Dinner after 4 p.m. OPEN ON: Everyday but Sunday. GO THERE FOR: Wine and Local Cuisine. Erb Thai 950 Wealthy St. SE #1A. (616) 356-2573. Additional locations at 4160 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, Suite B, and 820 Michigan St. NE. THAI. Food rooted in traditional Thai cuisine, but also made to accommodate health conscious and special diets. Not too strong, not too weak, like harmony and melody. Marketing representative Molly Rizor was a Thai virgin when she went and is now glad Erb Thai was her first experience. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Peanut Curry Noodles. Founders Brewing Company 235 Grandville SW. 616-776-1195 BREWPUB. A beer-lover’s paradise with a national reputation for flavorful, award-winning beers. Likewise, the brewpub’s menu consists mainly of flavorful handcrafted deli sandwiches that can stand up and

complement the beers (or vice versa). » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Award-winning beer, handcrafted sandwiches.

and Chicago-style stuffed pizza, as well as pasta, sandwiches, salads, and wings. Online ordering, too. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Pizza.

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.

Grand Rapids Brewing Company 1 Ionia Ave SW. 616-458-7000 BREWPUB. GRBC features a menu stocked with locally grown ingredients. With a diverse selection of beers on tap inspired by historical Grand Rapids figures and a hearty array of shareables (try the Kale Popcorn), burgers/sandwiches, and entrees, this place represents the best of the brewery’s 120-year legacy. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Beer, happy hour specials and locally sourced food.

Garage Bar & Grill 819 Ottawa Ave. NW. 616-454-0321 AMERICAN. This bar and grill serves up real food with fresh ingredients. Known for its all day happy hour with a $2 draft, $3 well drink and $4 glass of wine. Also look for the freshly-ground 7 oz. Garage Burger, served with hand-cut fries. The casual bar’s diverse menu ranges from soups and wedge salads to brisket sandwiches and hand-battered onion rings. A long list of icecold craft beers tops off the experience, with block parties on Wednesday throughout the summer. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Burgers, Chicken Tenders, Live Music. Gilly’s 20 Monroe NW. 616-356-2000 SEAFOOD. Gilly’s may not be the biggest name on the seafood block, but it takes second place to no one in regards to quality, freshness and inspiration. A vast array of exotic fish is line-caught, flown in and prepared fresh daily. Every facet of Gilly’s speaks to impeccable attention to detail. » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: Closed on Sunday. GO THERE FOR: Fresh seafood at a great price. 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

Grand Woods Lounge 77 Grandville Ave. SW. 616-451-4300 AMERICAN. The restaurant’s interior exudes a warm, casual ambiance reminiscent of the great eateries of the Pacific Northwest; the outdoor porch features two outdoor bars and a fireplace. Menu stocked with affordable appetizers great for sharing, plus salads, sandwiches, and entrées. Lots of domestics and microbrews, plus an array of martinis including the “Woodstini,” a tasty mix of Stoli Orange Vodka, mandarin oranges and raspberries. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Cocktails. Harmony Brewing Company 1551 Lake Dr. SE (616) 233-0063 BREWPUB. Harmony features 12 craft-brewed beers in addition to signature root beer for the kiddos. Named one of the top-five brewpub menus in West Michigan by yours truly, Harmony offers 10” rustic wood-fired pizzas and great soups and sandwiches. Check out their new location, Harmony Hall, at 401 Stocking Ave. NW. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Pizza and brews. The Holiday Bar 801 5th St. NW. (616) 456-9058 AMERICAN. Tucked smack dab in the “Heart of the Westside,” The Holiday Bar boasts a classic 40-foot Horseshoe bar, along with cheap eats and drinks, both served until 2 a.m., with specials happening daily. The Holiday Bar has a full menu that features pub fare like chicken strips, pierogis, battered homestyle mushrooms and more. It’s a great place to watch the game, listen to music or just hang out with friends. » SERVING Lunch Dinner. OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Cheap eats and drinks. HopCat 25 Ionia SW. 616-451-4677 TAVERN. Named “Best Brewpub in the USA” by RateBeer.com, 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 cheese ale soup, BBQ Pulled Pork, crack fries (not real crack), Killer Mac & Cheese and other dishes meant to pair well with beer. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS DINING SCHEDULE

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.

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

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

55


DINING

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

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. One Trick Pony 136 E. Fulton. 616-235-7669 AMERICAN. One Trick Pony unveiled a new menu last April with the tagline “Fresh, Local

Fare with a Beat.” The restaurant is a part of FarmLink and supports local growers and remains focused on sustainability. Connected to the Cottage Bar, the menu spans pizza, salads, homemade soups, smoked prime rib and more. Pair the food with live music, which OTP features weekly. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Eclectic pizzas. Pearl Street Grill 310 Pearl St NW. 616-235-1342 AMERICAN. Dine in a relaxing environment where kids eat free (hotel guests only) and the chef uses local vendors and suppliers. Conveniently

located in downtown Grand Rapids, Pearl Street Grill serves sesasonal comfort food and offers nightly happy hour specials. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner. OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Late night specials. The Pita House 1450 Wealthy SE, 3730 28th Street, 4533 Ivanrest SW (Grandville). 616-454-1171 MEDITERRANEAN. Gyros so big you can club someone with them, the smoothest hummus in town and other Mediterranean fare, including kibbe, kafta and falafel. Additional locations on 28th Street and Kalamazoo SE. Sandwiches are made to order with fresh vegetables and ingredients. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Fresh pita wraps. Reserve Wine & Food 201 Monroe Ave. NW (616) 855-9463 ECLECTIC. With 102 wines available by the glass and more than 300 by the bottle, paired with an ever-changing food menu influenced by West Michigan grown foods, Reserve promises diners a unique experience. Cocktails and craft beers add depth to the primarily wine-centered menu. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner OPEN ON: Closed on Sunday GO THERE FOR: Wine and food pairings, charcuterie, happy hour. River City Saloon 1152 Leonard St. NW. 616-451-0044 AMERICAN. Combine your tastes of live music and filling food at River City Saloon. The restaurant and bar has Mexican options, burgers, salads and more. On the weekends, indulge in any of these menu items or a couple drinks while listening to some local music by bands like Hey Marco, OTC, Litt Up, Drop 35 and more. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: Wednesday olive burger special Rockwell-Republic 45 S. Division Ave. 616-551-3563 ECLECTIC. Menu offerings range from sushi to burgers and everything in between. The craft cocktail menu runs the gamut from classics like the Manhattan to more modern concoctions and the beer and wine menus are nicely curated. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Specialty cocktails, broad menu, lively atmosphere.

SCHEDULE DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

The Advent Mystery of New Beginnings

56 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

GAYLE BOSS ILLUSTRATED BY DAVID G. KLEIN

Stella’s Lounge 53 Commerce Ave. 616-356-2700 TAVERN. The Chicago-style whiskey bar has more than 200 varieties of distilled spirits, old-school video games, and a menu filled with vegetarian and vegan bar food — and stuffed burgers. Did we mention you can sip cans of PBR and other classic beers out of a mason jar? » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Whiskey, vegetarian and vegan bar food. Terra GR 1429 Lake Dr. 616-301-0998 AMERICAN. Terra boasts fresh, healthy ingredients in every dish. The restaurant doesn’t feature one menu, either. It offers a Saturday and Sunday brunch menu, as well as menus for lunch, dinner, dessert, beverages, wine, happy hour and kids. The food is inspired by the seasons and ingredients come straight from one of Michigan’s many farms. » SERVING: Brunch Lunch Dinner. OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Fresh foods with ingredients from regional growers.

Wheelhouse Kitchen & Cocktails 67 Ottawa Ave. SW, Grand Rapids. 616-226-3319 AMERICAN. Nestled into the ground floor of Grand Rapids’ new Arena Place tower, this casual/fine dining bistro is all about refined, locally-sourced versions of classic dishes


in a modern, yet intimate, atmosphere. With an 85-seat porch, Wheelhouse wants to provide a true community experience. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner. OPEN ON: 7 days (Sat.–Sun. dinner only). GO THERE FOR: Tartines, outdoor dining. The Winchester 648 Wealthy St. SE. 616-451-4969 ECLECTIC. This upscale bar and restaurant feels like it was plucked from Chicago’s Bucktown or Logan Square neighborhoods. A comfortable spot to drink or dine, with an always evolving menu featuring shared plates, salads and inventive sandwiches and specials. When available, some produce items are harvested from their garden across the street. » SERVING: Brunch Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: DIY Bloody Mary Bar Special, Yucca Fries. Wolfgang’s Restaurant 1530 Wealthy St. SE. 616-454-5776 BREAKFAST. The bustling Eastown breakfast spot is home to some of the heartiest breakfast dishes and funniest menu descriptions. Courteous staff never fails to offer a cup of coffee to go after we’ve finished breakfast. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Breakfast all day.

KALAMAZOO/BATTLE CREEK Arcadia Brewing Co. 103 Michigan Ave., Battle Creek. 269-963-9520 BREWPUB. You’ll find some of the usual suspects on the Battle Creek brewpub’s menu, including wood-fired pizzas and some of the best barbecue in the region. But you’ll also find some delightful surprises — Osso Bucco in a brewpub?! — on the menu, courtesy of award-winning Chef Sean Kelly. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Handcrafted ales and barbecue. Bell’s Eccentric Cafe 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave. 269-382-2332 BREWPUB. The Eccentric Café features eclectic fare sourced from sustainable local ingredients, inspired by and designed to complement Bell’s award-winning beers. On tap, you’ll find 30-40 different beers, many exclusive to the Café and brewed right next door at the original brewery. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: The Beer Bravo! 5402 Portage Rd., Kalamazoo 269-344-7700 ITALIAN. Muchlauded restaurant has earned its stripes over 23 years as one of the region’s best dining experiences, including a 3-star rating in the 2010 Forbes Travel Guide. The Tuscan-inspired cuisine is spectacular, the atmosphere comfortable and

intimate, and the service first-rate. Also brews its own beer in small batches for pairings with menu offerings. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. (Closed Sat. lunch) GO THERE FOR: A great dining experience. Central City Taphouse 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall. (269) 492-0100 TAPHOUSE. If Central City doesn’t have the kind of beer you want on tap, you’ll probably find it with the 75+ bottles. OH, you say you’re not a beer drinker? Well, Central City offers 20 wine ‘taps’ and a full bar. If you’re not the drinking type, that’s cool too. There are a number of food options to pick from, including a raw menu, a pizza menu and the all-day menu, which features burgers, soups and entrees. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Diverse beverage selection. Fieldstone Grille 3970 W. Centre St., Portage. 269-321-8480 AMERICAN. Lodge-retreat atmosphere overlooking the Moors Golf Club natural wetlands. The “field-to-plate” menu features burgers, pizzas, steaks and some eclectic items like quail. Try the FSG chips, a combination of potato, beet and sweet potato chips. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Blue Burger, Almond Crusted Walleye, FSG Chips. Food Dance 401 E. Michigan Ave. 269-382-1888 AMERICAN. Food Dance is committed to building a thriving and sustainable local

food system, supporting artisans who practice craft food processes. It’s about the connection with people and places the food comes from. Offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, private dining space, catering and delivery, while an on-site market offers humanely raised meats, artisan cheeses, fresh bread and pastries. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Fresh Local Foods. Martell’s 3501 Greenleaf Blvd., Kalamazoo. 269-375-2105 AMERICAN. Tucked away in a quiet neighborhood that overlooks Willow Lake, Martell’s offers casual ambiance and an expansive menu with steaks, prime rib and other comfort food entrées like Italian style meatloaf and pork shank. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days (Sundays-dinner only) GO THERE FOR: Quiet casual ambiance. Old 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 Ave., Kalamazoo. 269-381-5677 AMERICAN. The food at Old Dog Tavern is just about as eclectic as the entertainment offered. The menu has

SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS DINING SCHEDULE REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

57


DINING

TRUCK

YEAH!

SCHEDULE DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

GR gets friendly with food trucks

Patty Matters gourmet burger truck, which plans to stay open year-round

58 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

DURING THIS YEAR’S ARTPRIZE, downtown Grand Rapids was filled with the expected sights — oversized artwork, misused crosswalks, the guy riding a fish bicycle. But there was a surprise greeting visitors who flocked to the eighth-annual event: Food trucks. All over the place. With lines in front of them.

Grand Rapids has been notoriously slow to embrace the food truck trend, but an expanded presence at ArtPrize coincides with a push to make the city friendlier for the mobile businesses. Over the summer, the City Commission passed a long-sought ordinance to more clearly regulate food trucks and establish several public spaces where licensed operators can park and sell their cuisine. “It was phenomenal,” said Lauren D’Angelo, who owns the Patty Matters gourmet burger truck, which spent most of the three-week competition in prime ArtPrize real estate alongside the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Over that time, D’Angelo estimates she did about $40,000 in sales. D’Angelo opened Patty Matters in 2013 and, like most food truck proprietors who have tried to do business in Grand Rapids, encountered resistance from restaurants, prohibitive costs and impractical rules. The existing laws, adopted in 2012, allowed food trucks to operate only on private property (special events like ArtPrize notwithstanding). To do so, property owners had to purchase a $1,900 permit, which only the GRAM did. Otherwise, food truck proprietors were required to operate with transient merchant licenses. “It was equivalent to being an ice cream truck, which means you’re supposed to drive around and only stop when people flag you down,” D’Angelo said. “It’s not really safe to operate a food truck that way.” Proponents have been pushing for reform for years. The GR Forward master plan, approved last year, cited food trucks as a downtown priority. Several truck proprietors earlier this year formed the Grand Rapids Food Truck Association to push for a new ordinance. Grand Rapids’ new mayor, Rosalynn Bliss, is a food truck supporter and has met with the association. A draft proposal appeared over the summer, and a final

version of the ordinance — minus an earlier requirement that trucks remain 100 feet away from restaurants — was unanimously approved in August for a two-year trial run. The new rules allow licensed vendors to operate in several downtown and neardowntown locations, including Calder Plaza, Lyon Square, Gillette Bridge (the blue pedestrian bridge) on the west bank of the Grand River, Rosa Parks Circle, Sixth Street Park, and metered parking areas on Ionia, Grandville and Commerce Avenues.

“I think in two years, we’re going to be leaps and bounds from where we are now. … [W]ith the new spots, and being able to park outside The Intersection and by Van Andel Arena and Grand Valley, that just gives us that much more opportunity.” —Lauren D’Angelo, Patty Matters

“I think in two years, we’re going to be leaps and bounds from where we are now,” said D’Angelo, who plans to run Patty Matters through the winter. “Whether the ordinance passed or not, we were going to find a way to be open year-round. Now with the new spots, and being able to park outside The Intersection and by Van Andel Arena and Grand Valley, that just gives us that much more opportunity.” Grand Rapids has nearly 20 food trucks (almost half of which serve barbecue), and that number is likely to grow under the


by Troy Reimink

new ordinance. Omar Anani is originally from Kentwood, but moved to Detroit after buying a food truck about five years ago and finding Grand Rapids an inhospitable environment for it. After the new ordinance passed in Grand Rapids, Anani has decided to move back. Anani’s f lagship truck, the Twisted Mitten, has found success with a changing menu of farm-to-table (or “farm-to-street”) cuisine and Mediterranean options such as falafel and shawarma. The Twisted Mitten was twice named best food truck in Detroit by WDIV-TV. He now runs a small fleet of trucks serving Asian fusion, gourmet ice cream and halal barbecue that has become popular among metro Detroit’s large Arab American community. But when Anani returned to Grand Rapids, he didn’t exactly get the red-carpet treatment, he said. ArtPrize, not the city, decides where to put the trucks during the event, and Anani did not get a high-foottraffic location.

“Instead of putting me in Rosa Parks Circle with the other trucks, I was in Calder Plaza,” he said. “The first day I did $50. I operated at about a $1,000 per week loss. I sent my employees back to Detroit.” After a slow week on Calder Plaza, he moved to a few other spots, but said restaurants complained he was too close. “The silver lining is a lot of people tried my food and liked it.” Still, Anani said he was optimistic about doing business in Grand Rapids. Detroit’s food-truck scene has become saturated, he said, whereas Grand Rapids still is full of opportunity. He wants to build another fleet here and envisions partnering with local chefs on ambitious concepts. “I know for a fact I can make more money in Detroit than I will here,” he said. “But I want to come home, and if I do it, I want to do it on the ground f loor like I did in Detroit. I hope everything goes well and I can continue working here.”

Fall SPECIALS

SW E ET P OTATO CU R RY

BUT TE R NU T SQ UASH CU R RY

P UM P KIN SP ICE L ATT E

LIMITED OFFER

LIMITED OFFER

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS DINING SCHEDULE

The B.O.B. / 20 Monroe Ave NW / Downtown GR 616.356.2000 / www.thebobsbrewery.com / #BOBsBrewery

59


BEER

Drinking Michigan Beer in the Mile High City

Revue goes to the Great American Beer Fest

W

H E N I T C O M E S TO CO N D U CTI N G RE SEARCH for this beer page, Revue is willing to go the extra mile — or rather, the extra 1,200 miles. This writer and Revue Publisher Brian Edwards flew to Denver in October for the Great American Beer Fest, a three-day celebration featuring more than 3,800 beers from some 800 breweries across the country. The 35th annual event sold out in 67 minutes, but New Belgium Brewing kindly offered us a pair of tickets (and a place to crash) for the final session. Realizing the research potential, we decided to join 59,998 other beer fans in the spectacle, which takes place in the 379,000-squarefoot Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver. While the Mile High City may be two time zones away, we met up with a lot of familiar faces, including West Michigan brewers and brewery owners, plus other craft beer fans from the region. Michigan brewers in general were well represented at GABF, even though only 14 of them poured beer at booths in the convention center. Representatives from many other breweries came

just to check out the latest trends in the industry and scope out the beer scene in Denver. The team from Railtown Brewing Co. even drove out to Colorado and camped in a nearby city. It’s a good thing they had the extra cargo capacity, too: The Dutton-based brewery took home a bronze medal in the milk or cream stout category for its Good Mooed Milk Stout. Nine other Michigan breweries took home medals, including, from West Michigan: Bell’s Brewery (silver, Expedition Stout), Brewery Vivant (bronze, Angelina), Cedar Springs Brewing Co. (bronze, Küsterer Original Weißbier), Founders Brewing Co. (silver, reDANKulous), and Latitude 42 Brewing Co. (bronze, Bangin The Mash). GABF served as a reminder that the competition among craft breweries remains steep. The number of beers served at the fest proved overwhelming, really. It’s also not a proper setting to study nuanced flavor profiles, as the 1-ounce pours (typically from a pitcher) made it necessary to shock the palate to really stand out. (Like many attendees, we took the wine tasting approach and even poured out a lot of beer because it simply wasn’t worth consuming the additional calories or alcohol content. Sad, right?)

Wob from Mitten Brewing and Joe Boomgaard

SCHEDULE DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

Brian Edwards contemplating the joys of beer

Hey, it’s Francesca Jasinski from Founders!

60 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

They call it the Mile HIGH City, dude.

New Holland had one of the best “bars” at GABF. PHOTOS: JOE BOOMGAARD AND BRIAN EDWARDS


by Joe Boomgaard, Revue Beer Czar

Joe Boomgaard and Dave Ringler from Cedar Springs Brewing Co. Because of the pouring situation, we went for a lot of big beers, typically of the bourbon barrel-aged variety, with Bell’s 2016 Black Note Stout being our unanimous favorite. Still, several clear trends emerged: Flavored beer is in, whether with coffee, spice or other ingredients; the rise of sours continues to expand and morph into various subcategories; and, perhaps most interesting, many brewers are going back to lagers, marzens and other traditional German styles. In all, GABF is one of those events that every craft beer fan needs to experience at least

once. Yes, it’s crowded and the pours are small, but there’s nowhere else to sample that many world-class beers all in the same place. The people watching isn’t half bad, either. Finally, a word about Denver: While it may be a city of around 650,000 people, it’s surprisingly walkable — well, stumble-able, at least after a few beers — and loaded with dozens upon dozens of solid breweries and great food. The other bonus: While it may get cold in Denver, the city averages around 300 sunny days a year. (Remember the sun? It’s that giant orb in the sky we’ll maybe get to see in five months.)

SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS DINING SCHEDULE REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

61


by Dwayne Hoover

BEER

Kalamazoo Craft Beer Festival

Keg Curling, Food Pairing and Education

A

S WEST MICHIGAN’S CR A F T BEER SCENE CONT I N U E S T O G R O W, S O too does the number of festivals that honor our microbrewery mecca. From brand-themed events like Founders Fest to Brewery Vivant’s stylespecific Wood Aged Beer Fest, not to mention the nationally touring America on Tap, there is no shortage of opportunities for celebratory samplings.

The Kalamazoo Craft Beer Festival at Wings Event Center, now in its third year, boasts its own unique offerings to set it apart from the other beer fests in West Michigan. Not only can patrons sample dozens of different brews, they can also take part in beer and food pairing classes, catch some live music, watch college football on the 40-foot video screen, and play a number of different games including cornhole, Hammerschlagen and even keg curling.

SCHEDULE DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

LET'S PARTY LIKE IT'S 1933!

FOOD pabst blue ribbon

specials DRAFTS

glad rags cocktail fedora

62 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

Keg curling + beer = danger “Our world famous Keg Curling Tournament is pretty awesome,” said Emilie VanderLaan, special events manager for Wings Event Center. “We leave a square of ice exposed for tournament participants to test out their curling skills with kegs. Let me say, kegs are not designed to curl, but it’s a blast to try! Helmets required.” For those who are more interested in learning about beer than they are in fun and games, hand-picked specialty brews are tapped every 30 minutes and the brewers are around to talk about them in depth. Additionally, the beer and food pairing classes have been a favorite among attendees who enjoy educating their palates. “Beer and food pairing classes are complimentary for guests to attend, although they do require tokens toward the beer,” VanderLaan said. “We offer five sessions throughout the day and they fill up fast. Last year, they were taught by KVCC and the KALSEC Center for Sustainable Brewing Education.” And while we all love and support our beer from right here in The Mitten, the Kalamazoo Craft Beer Festival opens its doors to breweries from all over, giving people the chance to taste something new. “Many festivals in Michigan only allow Michigan breweries, whereas we have breweries from all over the country, and sometimes the world,” said VanderLaan. “This is an opportunity to talk with the brewery reps that aren’t around as often and try some beers you might not have otherwise.” The KCBF also has a venue primed for the event’s specific needs. Not only does the Wings Event Center offer an indoor setting, saving you from the unpredictability of

Saugatuck Brewing Co. offerings weather and Porta-Potty odor, it also has the capacity to grow as the event itself does, which VanderLaan says is definitely happening. “Last year we expanded from one rink to two and from 47 breweries to more than 70,” she said. “There’s a lot more space here that we can grow into as the festival continues to expand.”

KALAMAZOO CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL Wings Event Center 3600 Vanrick Dr., Kalamazoo Nov. 4, 1 p.m., $45, $65, $95 wingseventcenter.com, (269) 345-1125


SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS DINING SCHEDULE

63

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |


DINING

Allegan’s Ascent

SCHEDULE DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

I

f the quaint little town of Allegan hasn’t been on your radar recently, it might be time to take another look. While definitely an attractive locale, with historic downtown buildings and a beautiful riverfront area, the city hasn’t always been known as a destination location to other West Michiganders. That’s all changing. In 2013, the city’s riverfront started undergoing a transformation, beginning with a redesign of the Veterans Memorial Park and an LED lighting system for its historic Second Street Bridge. Last year, the city also opened a new event plaza and stage, expanding the town’s live music scene and welcoming the likes of The Electric Red, The Dani Jamerson Band and even The Crane Wives to perform. “The city’s goal is to have something once per month,” said Kelsie King-Duff, promotions director for the City of Allegan. King-Duff is also involved with local organization Positively Allegan, a group that helps promote the community’s entertainment and lifestyle offerings. The city has a recently opened kayak launch and mountain bike trail, with future plans for a disc golf course and a zip line across the Kalamazoo River. “One thing that Positively Allegan has been wanting to express is the outdoor recreational activities,” King-Duff said. “It does seem like people say, ‘It’s so far away. Why would I drive to Allegan from Kalamazoo or Grand Rapids when there’s things going on (in those cities) all the time?’ But it’s almost a little getaway from the city.” Another reason to make the trip would be to visit the town’s first microbrewery, Millgrove Brewing Co. That’s right, Allegan is getting in on West Michigan’s thriving craft beer scene, too. Since opening in June of 2014, Millgrove has tripled its brewing capacity and now offers food and entertainment options. Along with a variety of Allegan bands and musicians, Kalamazoo’s own Megan Dooley makes regular appearances at the brewery, and on Nov. 12, Delilah DeWylde will grace the stage.

64 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

The new event place and music stage in downtown Allegan. PHOTOS: DWAYNE HOOVER

Millgrove Brewing Company

Millgrove boasts a solid variety of delectable beers on tap, from local favorite Wayfarer Cream Ale to an ever-changing selection of experiments. “It’s normal for us to have between 10 and 13 taps,” said Chris LaPonsie, brewer and owner of Millgrove. “Part of that is because some of the small batches we do are 10 gallons and they only last a few days. We kind of have a tap for a weekly experimental that’s usually there on Tuesday and gone by Thursday. Right now we’re doing a thing called ‘Vulgar Display of Porter,’ where we release a new porter every week.” Variety is at the heart of LaPonsie’s brewing philosophy, where seeking customer input and trying new things is valued over specializing in any one kind of beer. “We don’t confine ourselves to anything,” LaPonsie said. “We just experimented with a gueuze style sour. We don’t focus on any one

particular thing. Mostly we listen to what our customers ask for when they come in.” And while LaPonsie loves exploring new concepts, he admits that sometimes the process is ingredient driven. For instance, a home grower might come in and want to see how their hops fare in a beer. Other times, an order Millgrove placed just gets messed up, so they work with what they get. “Recently I ordered some oats, but instead of getting oats, I got rye,” he said. “Rather than deal with the hassle of sending the rye back, I talked to the supplier and they sent me some oats. But then I had all this rye on my hands. So right now, we have an Experimental Rye IPA. I just started making up recipes.” High quality beer isn’t the only thing that locals and visitors have to look forward to. November will see the opening of a new restaurant, Redtail 412, in Allegan’s historic downtown, a venture started by local resident


by Dwayne Hoover

and developer Bob Sosnowski and his business partner Wayne Allen. In the kitchen will be Sosnowski’s son-in-law, Blair Sutton, who brings a wealth of culinary experience from his time as a chef in Chicago, as well as plans for a dynamic menu for the new restaurant. “Everything’s going to be extremely seasonal,” said Sutton. “My main philosophy on food is to order things when they’re in season and fresh, and then when they’re not, quit ordering them. … That’s how I’m going to serve the freshest food and give my customers the best price while still serving a high quality product.” The core of the menu will focus on seafood, vegetables and meat, but the ingredients themselves will be constantly rotating based on quality and availability, meaning your fish and chips may not be the same thing twice in a row. “My fish and chips I’m going to have on the menu are going to be Japanese tempura

style, but it’s going to be whatever fish is freshest,” Sutton said, adding that at any given time, it could be walleye, whitefish, perch, branzino, etc. “It could be a million different things.” Sutton is excited about what the restaurant has to offer patrons, with menu items that include duck confit, shrimp and grits — maybe even bone marrow and octopus — as well as a whiskey and bourbon focused bar serving up craft cocktails. But he’s also excited about supporting locally. “We want to do everything as local as we can,” he said. “It’s hard to start there, but that’s what we’re going to be moving into and focusing on. And I mean everything, from linens to food to beer, we want to go as local as we can and support the people who are supporting us.”

Experience Where it all started

– 35+ Beers On Tap – Full-Service Restaurant – Live Music & Special Events – free Tours DOWNTOWN & COMSTOCK BREWERIES

– general store & homebrew supplies

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

SCENE | SOUNDS | SIGHTS DINING SCHEDULE

bellsbeer.com

65


DINING

so much on it that it might even bring some harmony between picky and adventurous eaters. » SERVING: Brunch Lunch Dinner. OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: The eclectic menu options. Olde Peninsula 200 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo 269-343-2739 BREWPUB. Downtown brewpub serves up the expected (e.g., steaks, ribs), the authentic (e.g., London Broil) and some pleasant surprises (e.g., extensive vegetarian offerings, Italian food). Offers a range of beers brewed on the premises and served on tap, plus a full bar. Check out the seasonal porters on tap right now, including the Vanilla Porter (5.5% ABV) and Stout Chocula (5.25% ABV). » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Beer-B-Que Ribs, London Broil.

NAUGHTY GIRL STOUT is deeply flavored yet refreshing and cooling. An infusion of real organic mint complements rich chocolate flavors. Our chocolate mint stout delivers everything you love about chocolate mint cookies, without all the crumbs in your sleeping bag. rightbrainbrewery.com

Union Cabaret & Grille 125 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo. 269-384-6756 AMERICAN. A partnership with WMU, 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.

LAKESHORE 8th Street Grille 20 W. 8th St., Holland. 616-392-5888 AMERICAN. This eclectic grille offers a mix of draft and bottled craft beers and a variety of pub classics and new, American beer-inspired dishes. Happy hour includes half-off appetizers and $1 off drafts. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: 28 taps of craft beer.

SCHEDULE DINING SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE

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.

66 | REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016

CityVu Bistro 61 E 7th Street, Holland. 616-796-2114 AMERICAN. A distinctive rooftop dining experience in downtown Holland with fresh gourmet flatbreads and an array of seasonal entrees. The contemporary-yet-casual atmosphere, full bar and unique menus make it the ideal spot for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: flatbreads

Everyday People Cafe 11 Center St., Douglas. 269-857-4240 AMERICAN. REVUE Publisher Brian Edwards calls Everyday People Café his favorite restaurant along the lakeshore. The atmosphere is casual and upbeat, the staff knows its stuff about wine and food, and the seasonal menu is filled with meticulously prepared, eclectic comfort food like Butternut Squash Risotto, Braised Lamb Shank and Ahi Tuna. A great wine list and tremendous

desserts. » SERVING: Brunch (Weekends) Lunch Dinner OPEN: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Gorgonzola Pork Chop, Greek Salad with Grandma Gigi’s Dressing (Edwards).

Fricano’s Pizza Tavern 1400 Fulton Ave., Grand Haven. 616-842-8640 ITALIAN. Claims to be the first pizzeria in Michigan, but customers care less about its longevity than the amazingly crispy thin crust and simple ingredients atop its much-lauded pies. Four other locations around West MI, including Comstock Park, Muskegon, Holland and Kalamazoo. » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Pizza. Hops at 84 East 84 East 8th St., Holland. 616-396-8484 TAVERN. A beautiful taproom sporting reclaimed wood and copper. With 60 beer taps, two English beer machines, eight wine taps and an extensive spirits menu, Hops has a special beverage for everyone. The menu includes brick-oven pizza, burgers and sandwiches, chicken wings and a rotating special of the day. There are also gluten-free options, including their famous pizza. Several large-screen TVs adorn the restaurant if you’re in the mood to watch the big game. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: Craft beer and brick-oven pizza. New Holland Brewing Company 66 E. 8th St., Holland. 616-355-6422 BREWPUB. One of West MI’s premier microbreweries serves up better than average pub grub, including savory sandwiches chock full of Michigan ingredients, plus a seasonal entree menu. Also try their artisan spirits. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Mad Hatter IPA, Dragon’s Milk. Phil’s Bar & Grille 215 Butler St., Saugatuck. 269-857-1555 AMERICAN. This cozy (some would say “small”) bar and grille in downtown Saugatuck is one of those unassuming spots you might easily overlook, though locals in Saugatuck will tell you about their love affair with Phil’s. Eclectic menu is all over the place, but in a good way, and the staff is super-friendly. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Portabella Mushroom Fries. Salt of the Earth 114 East Main St., Fennville. 269-561-7258 AMERICAN. Salt of the Earth is a farm-to-table-inspired restaurant, bar, and bakery located in the heart of SW Michigan farm country in Fennville. Focuses on fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients whenever possible. Also serves up live music on weekends. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: House made rustic cuisine. Saugatuck Brewing Company 2948 Blue Star Highway. 269-857-7222 BREWPUB. Enjoy a traditional Irish-style pub that features quality beer, wine, food and service. Try one of 12 unique brews that are served in the pub and bottled and distributed throughout the Midwest. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Beer in a family friendly pub environment.

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


S A– I Y A D Y R E V –E

! Y T R A P o pat i

NovemBER GROOVES

Turkeys & Turntables

Happy Hour Monday-Friday 2-6p

E G E L L O C E R I F P M A C S Y A D S R THU DJ Matt B

f f O f l a H s

• Burger afts Dr • Select ckets u B y d o • Wo

sunday funday

REVUEWM.COM | NOVEMBER 2016 |

67


Revue Magazine, November 2016, The Drinking Issue  

REVUE is West Michigan's most comprehensive free monthly entertainment guide covering music, arts, beer, dining and more. Visit us at revuew...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you