Revue Magazine, May 2017

Page 1

Best of the West Vote today in our 2017 Readers Poll! See page 10A.

May 2017

Music / Arts / Dining / Beer / Free!

Also Inside:

Michigan Wine & Spirits Doughnuts from Rise

Dawn of the





MAY 27 | Tickets start at $52


JUNE 1 | Tickets start at $25

HERE COMES THE FUNNY TOUR JUNE 22 | Tickets start at $89







JULY 15 | Tickets on sale soon

JUNE 3 | Tickets start at $37


JUNE 10 | Tickets start at $35


JUNE 19 | Tickets start at $20





AUGUST 8 | Tickets start at $20





SEPTEMBER 3 | Tickets on sale soon





AUGUST 2 | Tickets start at $16



SEPTEMBER 14 | Tickets start at $26


Entertainment Room Packages Available



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JULY 20 | Tickets start at $25

Eagle Concert Extras •15% OFF KIDS QUEST

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JUNE 24 | Tickets start at $20




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




REVUEWM.COM | May 2017 |


Relax at Rosa MAY 4 - SEPTEMBER 14

Free Lunchtime Entertainment Every Thursday | All Summer | 12:00 PM-1:30 PM | Rosa Parks Circle

Avalon Cutts-Jones May 4

Jesse Ray & The Carolina Catfish May 11

The Moxie Strings May 18

Kathy Lamar May 25

The Crane Wives June 1

Chris DuPont Trio June 8

Phillip-Michael Scales June 15

Black Bear Combo June 22

Cousin Avery June 29

Karisa Wilson July 6

Conrad Shock + The Noise July 13

All American Funk Parade July 20

Melophobix July 27

Watching for Foxes August 3

Blue Soul Express August 10

May Erlewine August 17

Big Dudee Roo August 24

Juan Daniel Castro Quintet August 31

Ttypes September 7

Cabildo September 14


4 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2017

REVUEWM.COM | May 2017 |






W/ Beach Slang

may 11 KORN


Kloser 2 U Tour

w/ Animals As Leaders, Ded

w/ Lucero, The Sword








JulY 21 ZOSO –

The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Tribute




w/ 24hrs, ELHAE, Lil Aaron

w/ Brotha Lynch Hung, Krizz Kaliko, Stevie Stone, Ces Cru

w/ Letters From The Fire, Kaleido





w/ Arizona, The Greeting Committee

w/ Luis Coronel


25th Anniversary Middle of Everywhere Tour

August 5 TESLA

w/ The White Buffalo, Dylan Walshe




w/ Klangstof

SepTEMBER 15 APOCALYPTICA Plays "Metallica By Four Cellos" Tour



6 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2017

w/ Behemoth


Perrin Brewing Company REVUEWM.COM | May 2017 |


8 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2017

What’s Inside

May 2017 | Volume 29, Issue 5


What’s Going on this Month


Biz Beat




Local Music: Mark Lavengood


On Tour: Mike Posner


WYCE Songs We Like


On Tour: Jessica Hernandez


Wine & Spirits guide



Style Notes


Comedy: Heather McDonald


Eclectic: PotterCon

Revue Arts Doughnuts

1A An exploration of West Michigan’s cultural arts scene and the people who drive it. (See the center of this issue)

SPECIAL SECTION: Wine & Spirits 33

Michigan Winery Directory




45 North: Why Michigan Wine Works


Mead and Cider


Farmhaus Cider


How to Enjoy Local Spirits


Mark Lavengood



Restaurant Guide




Beer: Try Before You Buy


Last Call: Principle Food & Drink

Letter from the Editor


hen it comes to West Michigan, everyone’s always talking about Beer City. But what about Wine Country? From New Buffalo down by the Indiana border to the Leelanau Peninsula, grapevines line the countryside, bringing dozens of wineries with them (nearly 80, to be more precise). Not that beer and wine are exactly competitors. It’s rare that someone is debating heavily between cracking open a cold one and uncorking a vintage bottle. Wine historically has been seen as offering a different experience — slower, more romantic and more nuanced. While that’s changing with the rise of craft beer, winery tasting rooms still offer a very different experience. A wine tour means standing at a well-lit bar and being talked through small sips of many varieties. It means scenic drives through grape-filled hills and along rocky freshwater shores. It means ordering a spread of aged cheeses and cured meats, rather than a thick burger and fries. That’s not to mention mead and cider, both of which fall under the category of wine and are increasing steadily in popularity across the region. So in this month’s issue, coinciding with the 2017 Michigan Wine Month, we tackle it all. From

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

grapes to apples, honey and spirits, we have the lowdown. But all that aside, let’s not forget the most important (I’m joking… kind of) part of May: Revue’s second annual Best of the West. Last year’s contest was a bigger success than we ever expected, but this year we’re aiming even higher. We want more votes, more nominations and more conversation. If you have a restaurant, band, hair stylist — anything local at all — that you think deserves praise, now is the time to make that known. Head to starting May 1 and check out our new contest engine and new categories. “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves, and the only way they could do this is by not voting.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt

’Til next time,

W est M i ch i g a n ’ s E nterta i nment G u i de

Editorial Publisher Brian Edwards Associate Publisher Rich Tupica / Editor Joe Boomgaard / Managing Editor Josh Veal / Copy Editor Claire Boomgaard Design Creative Director Kim Kibby / Contributing Writers Missy Black Eric Mitts Dana Casadei Samara Napolitan Maureen Di Virgilio Troy Reimink Dwayne Hoover Nicole Rico Nick Macksood Jane Simons Marla R. Miller Kayla Tucker Contributing Photographers Katy Batdorff Advertising / 616.608.6170 / Kelli Belanger / Joe Langlois / Digital EditorS Kim Kibby, Josh Veal

Josh Veal, Managing Editor

Upcoming issues June: The Music Issue

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

Find us online! Website: Twitter: Facebook: Instagram: 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 ©2017, 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.

July: The REVUE Guide to Pets

Revue is going to the dogs. (And cats.) West Michigan is a great place to enjoy with our four-legged companions. We explore the best shops for products to spoil your pets, locally made pet items, and where you and your pets can spend time together. To AdvertisE: Call (616) 608-6170 or email 10 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2017

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

On the cover: Doughnuts from Rise Grand Rapids. Photo by Devin Hendrick. See page 50.

REVUEWM.COM | May 2017 |


/// best bets

what’s Going on this month |  Compiled by Nicole Rico and Revue staff

5/2 Pat Benatar and Neil


Kalamazoo State Theatre 404 S. Burdick, Kalamazoo May 2, 7:30 p.m., $59.50-$99.50, (269) 345-6500 Pat Benatar ruled the ’80s with an iron fist. She had two Multi-Platinum albums, five Platinum albums, and 19 Top 40 singles. Catch her at the Kalamazoo State Theatre to hear hits like Hit Me With Your Best Shot, Love Is a Battlefield and We Belong Together, among others.

5/3 Mike Posner & The Legendary Mike Posner Band

Kalamazoo State Theatre 404 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo May 3, 8 p.m., $25-$30, (269) 345-6500

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

If you’ve paid any attention to radio in the last decade, you’ll recognize Mike Posner from his hits Cooler Than Me, I Took a Pill in Ibiza, and Bow Chicka Wow Wow. Posner is a singer, songwriter and producer, has also written songs for Justin Bieber and worked alongside Pharrell Williams and Iggy Azalea.


Author Talk: Gary D. Schmidt Schuler Books 2660 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids May 5, 7 p.m., (616) 942-2561

Young adult author Gary D. Schmidt of Grand Rapids has found success with Orbiting Jupiter, earning starred reviews from publications like Publishers Weekly, Booklist and Kirkus Reviews. The novel follows the story of a teenage father trying to find his baby (named Jupiter), whom he’s never met.

12 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2017


Kehlani at The Intersection

Sip & Savor

Leelanau Peninsula May 6-7, $35, (231) 642-5550

Head up north for a beautiful day of wine tasting with this self-guided tour along the Leelanau Wine Trail. More than 22 wineries are participating, including Rove Estate, L Mawby, Green Bird Organic Cellars and so many more. You just have to pick one to start at and head out from there. The ticket includes a souvenir wine glass as well as a featured wine and food pairing at each winery. And most wineries will let you try a few more tastes for free. Buy a ticket and go either Saturday (11 a.m.-6 p.m.) or Sunday (12-6 p.m.), it’s up to you.


Chefs Live! Cooking & Food Show

DeltaPlex Arena 2500 Turner Ave. NW, Grand Rapids May 7, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., $5, (616) 364-9000

If you’re a fan of cooking shows, this is the event for you. Chef Jenna Arcidiacono is leading a demonstration at the DeltaPlex, so you’ll learn how to cook just like the increasingly popular Amore Trattoria Italiana chef. The event also has a bloody mary bar and food sample booths from local restaurants. If you want to get the VIP experience, buy a $40 ticket for special seating, wine tasting and a free cocktail. Parking for the event is free too, so you might as well.

Jimmy Eat World

20 Monroe Live 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids May 7, 7 p.m., $25-$70, 1-844-678-LIVE (5483) Darlings of the emo scene Jimmy Eat World stop by 20 Monroe Live this month. With nine albums under the belt, the band

gained renewed interest last year when an ad featured Taylor Swift lip syncing to its hit The Middle. Opening the show is Beach Slang.

The Mainstays

Salt of the Earth 114 E. Main St., Fennville May 7, 7 p.m., $15 saltoftheear, (269) 561-7258

Based out of Kalamazoo, The Mainstays create a sound that is deeply inspired by funk and soul. The band is comprised of two former members of the funk and dance band Funktion, which merged party aesthetics and folk-influenced tunes.

5/8 Kehlani

The Intersection 133 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

May 8, 7 p.m., $25, (616) 451-8232 Kehlani just keeps rising up the ranks. With her latest album, SweetSexySavage, the Californian shows her ability to cross genres, from R&B to pop and everything in between. And being openly bisexual, she’s bringing some welcome change to the scene too. Ella Mai, Jahkoy and Noodles open the show.

5/9-14 Motown the Musical

Miller Auditorium 2200 Auditorium Dr., Kalamazoo May 9-14, times vary, $38-$88, (269) 387-2300 Fans of Motown will want to check out this musical chronicling the life of Motown founder Berry Gordy and the music of the label he created. Star characters include Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye.

5/10 Lil Wayne: Kloser 2 U


20 Monroe Live 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids May 10, 7 p.m. $59-$145, All ages, 1-844-678-LIVE (5483) Signed to Cash Money Records at the age of nine, Lil Wayne has managed to pack a lot of work into his 34 years of age. His newest album, Tha Carter V, is scheduled to be released sometime this year. According to Lil Wayne, “I personally plan on this being my final solo album, yes, and it’s definitely the final Carter album.”

5/11 Eric Church: Holdin’ My Own Tour

Van Andel Arena 130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids May 11, 8 p.m., $22.50-$89.50

Find more events in the Revue Arts section and at!, (616)742-6600 If you love Eric Church, now is the time to see him — he’s playing this tour without an opener, which means he plays two sets a night. His latest album, 2015’s Mr. Misunderstood, was nominated for Album of the Year at the ACM Awards and features songs about independence and loyalty.


20 Monroe Live 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids May 11, 7 p.m. $59-$150, All ages, 1-844-678-5483 Starting in the nu metal scene in 1993, Korn has had several hits over the years with songs like Got the Life, Freak on a Leash and Falling Away from Me. May 11, the band performs at 20 Monroe Live with supporting acts Animals As Leaders and DED.

5/13 New Kids On The Block: The Total Package Tour

Van Andel Arena 130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids May 13, 7:30 p.m., $29.95-$199.95, (616)742-6600 New Kids On The Block are still hangin’ tough with the 2017 The Total Package Tour, so prepare your giant buttons and dust off your vintage NKOTB t-shirts. Also on the bill are multiplatinum-selling group Boyz II Men and Paula Abdul, who had seven numberhit singles. Hence, “The Total Package.”


Herman’s Boy 220 Northland Dr. NE, Rockford May 13, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., (616) 866-2900 Herman’s Boy’s annual Grillapalooza, a.k.a. Big Green Egg, festival is back. The alternative name comes from the grill of choice for Herman’s Boy. The grill looks, as you’d expect, like a big green egg, and can be used to smoke, slow cook, simmer, etc. The Rockford deli/bakery/smokehouse/coffee roastery/fudge shop (Yes, it’s all of those.) will have eight Eggs at the event, all grilling up a wide variety of dishes. Plus: activities for the kids!

5/19 Michigan Wines Dinner

W.K. Kellogg Manor House 3700 E. Gull Lake Dr., Hickory Corners May 19, 6:30-9 p.m., $55, (269) 671-2160 Join wine expert Terri Stingley in the W.K. Kellogg Manor House’s grand living room, learning all about Michigan wines while enjoying a five-course dinner, which includes dishes like a Cornish Pasty with beef tips, rutabaga, mirepoix and a venison demi-glace. The presentation will go over varietals, terminology and vintages. A tour of the estate will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Wayne Brady at firekeepers casino

5/20 Barley, BBQ & Beats


Van Andel Arena 130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids May 20, 5-9 p.m., $40, (616)742-6600 Well, this one’s title pretty much speaks for itself. Whiskey, music and barbecue — what more do you need? Try some cocktails from nine local distilleries, grilled meats from 13 local pitmasters, and tunes from local bands like Vos Vidorra and Mid-Life Crisis. The ticket comes with three servings of barbecue and three cocktails, but of course, you can always buy more. And best of all: proceeds benefit the Hospice of Michigan’s Open Access program.


Wayne Brady

Osteria Rossa 16 Monroe Center St. NE, Grand Rapids May 11, 6 p.m., $100, (616) 988-9350 Mario Rizzotti is an Italian culinary expert and a judge on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America. This year, he’s been bringing his 4 the Love of Italian Food tour around the country and is now stopping at Osteria Rossa. The evening includes a four-course meal over a three-hour dining experience, with Rizzotti telling stories of growing up in Italy and teaching how to use Italian ingredients, especially extra-virgin olive oil and barrel-aged balsamic vinegars.

While he’s most well-known for being the musical comedy powerhouse on Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Wayne Brady has found plenty of success on his own as a stand-up comedian, Broadway performer and game show host. Brady is bringing his unique brand of comedy (sometimes musical, sometimes not) to FireKeepers at the end of May.


Grand Rapids Bodybuilding Show

Grandville High School Auditorium 4700 Canal Ave. SW, Grandville May 27, 5 p.m., $25-50

If you want to see people pushing the human body to its limit, this bodybuilding show is the place to be. Completely ripped men and women from all over show off their carefully sculpted bodies in various events, all filled with elaborate posing. The event is also a national qualifier for the competitors.

Mindbender Mansion

Grand Rapids Public Museum 272 Pearl St. NW, Grand Rapids May 27, $10, (616) 456-3977

Brainteasers, puzzles, hidden clues, secret passwords and themed rooms are what make this mansion such a mindbender. From May 27 to September 3, the exhibit will take over the Grand Rapids Public Museum, putting the city’s minds to the test. With 40 individual brainteasers and five large-scale group activities, the exhibition means a full day’s worth of challenges for friends and family. The most skilled visitors can add their portrait to the Wall of Fame by collecting three passwords from throughout the mansion.

Spring Peddler’s Market

Downtown Zeeland May 27, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., free, (616) 772-6400

Every spring, Zeeland’s Church Street becomes a market for all things peddled — vintage furniture and decor, fresh flowers and botanicals, farm-to-table snacks, antiques and so much more. Last year had more than 65 vendors and this year is shaping up to be no different. n

REVUEWM.COM | May 2017 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Mario Rizzotti: 4 the Love of Italian Food

FireKeepers Casino 11177 E. Michigan Ave., Battle Creek May 26, 7 p.m., $19+, (877) 352-8777, (616) 893-3368


/// news

west Michigan

biz beat

A Roundup of Openings, Closings and other Local Business News

OPENING: Herb & Fire Pizzeria (2121 Celebration Dr. NE) just opened its second location, this time in Grand Rapids. The Grandville-based concept offers sandwiches and gourmet personal pizzas, with options like the Vestito Di Bianco: white sauce, grilled zucchini, bacon, garlic-wilted spinach, tomatoes and mozzarella. Nothing Bundt Cakes (5121 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids) arrived in the Cascade area, and the name pretty much says it all. Brace yourself for every flavor of cake you could imagine, from Chocolate Chocolate Chip to Carrot and White Chocolate Raspberry. For a smaller serving, get your hands on a bundtlet or the even smaller bundtini.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

7 Monks Taproom (740 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids) is here with 51 craft beer taps and all kinds of gastropub

14 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2017

delicacies, like Korean Nachos, the Bacon Jam Burger and a Sweet Potato Pizza. Expect this concept from Traverse City to become a Michigan Street staple. Just up the road, Palio Ristorante (545 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids) opened its doors with a very quick turnaround after El Barrio Mexican Grill’s closure in February. Named after a famous horse race in Italy, the restaurant was founded in Ann Arbor, offering high-end pizzas, pasta and other Tuscan-style cuisine. Bostwick Bakery (4029 Plainfield Ave., Grand Rapids) opened a new location in Northview, bringing its signature large donuts and baked goods to the area, along with lunch options like chili dogs, burgers and fries. Dokl’s Meat Market (4615 West River Dr., Comstock Park) is the first place on our list this month that’s not

Nothing Bundt Cakes a second (or third, or fourth, etc.) location. This brand new market set up shop in Comstock Park, offering all kinds of choice meat and cheese. In Muskegon, 18th Amendment Spirits Co. (250 W. Western Ave.) had its grand opening with whistle punk., a once-closed pizzeria that teamed up with 18th Amendment for a second life. Stop in for a wood-fired pizza and craft spirits made into top-notch cocktails. The owners of Riverside Liquor opened Riverside Lounge (5430 Northland Dr., Grand Rapids) directly next door, in the space that once held Real Food Cafe — which has moved to Plainfield. The lounge has 50 taps, focusing on specialty beers that are unusual or hard to find. Sit

back, have a beer and then fill up your growler or grab a crowler to go.

CLOSED: Sip Organic Juice Bar (423 Norwood Ave. SE, Grand Rapids) shut down its Eastown location very suddenly, giving one day of warning to the public. Now, only the Forest Hills location remains at 888 Forest Hills Ave., Grand Rapids. n —Compiled by Josh Veal

If you have any closings, openings or other business news for REVUE, e-mail

REVUEWM.COM | May 2017 |


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great food Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

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16 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2017

/// Local Music

Huggy Bear’s Hometown Hootenanny

Grand Rapids bluegrass ambassador Mark Lavengood celebrates release of third LP |  by Eric Mitts


sound captivated me and a year-and-a half later, I ended up learning how to play it. Now I’m making a living at it and elevating the stature of it throughout the Midwest.” After graduating from Alma College in 2007, Lavengood started working at Founders Brewing Company. There he earned the nickname Huggy Bear — as he’s affectionately now known by his friends, fans and colleagues in the roots music community. “That’s where I started playing music and that’s how I started to perform with my first band,” Lavengood said of Founders and his first foray into bluegrass with the band winter/sessions. “We were just a bunch of young kids really wanting to play this acoustic music,” Lavengood said. “I was pretty skeptical to embrace (bluegrass) at first, largely because I couldn’t play it all that well. And also the association that it gets of being back-country. … So it took a little bit for it to sink into

Mark Lavengood my bones, but persistence kept up, and now it’s what I’m most known for: playing the Dobro and just generally having a positive vibe onstage.” In 2015, Lavengood briefly relocated to Nashville with the other members of Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys before finding himself drawn back to his family and home here in GR. Now splitting his time between GR, Nashville and the road, Lavengood is constantly working. Whether touring, working on the new Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys album (due out later this year), or collaborating with his John Prine Tribute band, Prine Time, and the Michigan-based Earthwork Music Collective, Lavengood always has his busy hands in one project or another. Needless to say, he took his time creating We’ve Come Along, spending more than a year recording the album before completing it. Along the way, Lavengood also became a father for the first time. His son, Louis Allen, has proven to be an unexpected source of inspiration for his music, and he’s included two compositions in honor of him on We’ve Come Along.

PHOTO: John Hanson

“You can look at it from the human species and civilization itself, like representing growth or evolution,” Lavengood said of his album’s title. “The implications, of course, being that we’ve come along, but not necessarily for the better or worse. Yet here we are nonetheless, still kicking it.” n

Mark Lavengood Bluegrass Bonanza! We’ve Come Along album release show wsg. Trout Steak Revival, Railway Gamblers The Pyramid Scheme 68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids May 13, 8 p.m., $12, (616) 272-3758

Mark Lavengood Bluegrass Bonanza! + Seth Bernard Dual Album Release wsg. The Lil Smokies Bell’s Eccentric Café 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo May 25, 8 p.m., $10, (269) 382-2332

REVUEWM.COM | May 2017 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

a r k L av e ng o od h a s come a long way. The multi-instrumentalist/ singer/songwriter/bandleader f i r st rose to fa me play i ng resonator guitar for the award-winning, Michigan-based Americana outfit Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys. In 2010, he released his solo debut, From Dust To Steel, an LP of entirely his own bluegrass originals. He then followed that up with 2014’s No Part of Nothin’ and has since assembled his own group of West Michiganbased pickers with the Mark Lavengood Bluegrass Bonanza! Now something of an ambassador for GR’s roots music scene, Lavengood will return this month with his third LP, We’ve Come Along. “I’ve played everywhere with Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys, and people know me from there, but the Bluegrass Bonanza as a band is still kind of starting,” Lavengood said. “So we wanted to put out a solid release and have these new songs and different arrangements.” Before going bluegrass, Lavengood, 32, started out as a sixth grade percussionist. He soon taught himself to play the drums, before later moving on to the guitar, ukulele, congas and ultimately the Dobro resonator guitar. “I remember the first time I saw Joe Wilson (of Lansing’s Steppin’ In It) play a Dobro at Meijer Gardens in 2005,” Lavengood said. “It just blew my mind. The

“I was pretty skeptical to embrace (bluegrass) at first, largely because I couldn’t play it all that well. … So it took a little bit for it to sink into my bones, but persistence kept up, and now it’s what I’m most known for: playing the Dobro and just generally having a positive vibe onstage.”


/// On Tour

Happy Pill

Ibiza superstar Mike Posner discusses his joy and hard-earned artistic freedom |  by Eric Mitts


Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

Mike Posner

Revue-17.indd 1 18 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2017

Photo: Meredith Truax

hese days, Mike Posner m igh t be on e of t h e most soft-spoken superstars on the pop charts. The Southfield, Mich. native and multi-platinum singer/songwriter behind such hits as I Took a Pill in Ibiza and Cooler Than Me hasn’t let his surprise success go to his head. Posner, 29, talks slowly and quietly in conversation, choosing his words deliberately. He centers his thoughts on finding his own authentic joy and his desire to share his inner truth. That truth first started to fully emerge on his 2015 EP appropriately titled The Truth. While writing and recording those songs, Posner found himself at the darkest point of his career. He had achieved moderate commercial success straight out of college with his debut album, 2010’s 31 Minutes to Takeoff, and hits he helped pen for other people like Justin Bieber and Maroon 5, only to find himself left on standby. Trapped in label hell after having two full-length records rejected, creative and personal happiness escaped Posner. So he

from, he said, ‘I live on the beach, because set out to write songs close to his heart. He I don’t believe in having to pay to live on toured the country playing small shows, Earth. I just want to put art first.’ So instead solo and acoustic, while confiding in his of having to do some other job, or cater his friend, country star Jake Owen. art in order to sell more of it, he sleeps in He chronicled it all in his original an alley. And he doesn’t need any money, acoustic, country-esque rendition of Ibiza, therefore he can paint whatever he wants.” where he bore the burden of being a borNow completely free, artistically and derline celebrity for all to see. financially, Posner has done exactly what When Norwegian EDM duo SeeB he wants. In March, he released both a remixed the track in tropical-house fashion, book of poetry entitled Tear Drops and the ironic juxtaposition launched Posner to Balloons and a collaborative side-project LP, international stardom. The song reached Mansionz, with his friend and L.A. rapper/ the top of the charts in more than 20 difsinger, blackbear. ferent countries and currently continues “It’s completely liberating because I to climb closer to nearly 1 billion streams kind of do the opposite in Mansionz that I on Spotify. do for my own stuff,” Posner said. “All of Earlier this year, Ibiza also earned these things that I would be afraid to do for Posner his first Grammy nomination for Mike Posner, I suddenly have the medium.” Song of the Year. Despite his celebrity, Posner still “It meant that my work was recogspends as much time as he wants back in nized, because the Grammys are voted on Michigan, and said he actually lived here by other artists and producers and writers, a lot last year. so that was quite nice,” Posner said. “But “It’s the soil from which this flower is on another level, it’s my job not to care, blooming,” Posner said of his musical and right? Just do the music, and if people like familial roots in Michigan. “And I think no it, they like it.” matter how tall the flower grows, it will still That balance of caring but not caring be the soil from which it blooms.” is something Posner still struggles with Currently on tour, Posner plans to creatively. He’s profoundly prolific, havpremiere a new poem at every concert, ing previously written more than 100 songs in addition to performing per year earlier in his career. hits with his Legendary Mike So to sit back on his success Posner Band. He will end the and bask in material rewards Mike Posner & the run of shows on May 3 with holds no value to him now. Legendary Mike his first-ever performance in “I’m really blessed where Posner Band Kalamazoo. I really have enough things,” Kalamazoo State Theatre “It’s the last show of the Posner said. “If anything, I 404 S. Burdick St., tour, so we’ll be celebrating,” need less possessions, so that Kalamazoo May 3, 7 p.m., $25 he said. “There’s definitely results in an artistic freedom. advance a homecoming element, a I met a man two days ago on, (269) pilgrimage element added to the beach in Los Angeles and 345-6500 the show.” n he was selling artwork. When I asked him where he was

SATURDAY, MAY 20, 2017 | Van Andel Arena | 5 - 9 pm Join us at Barley, BBQ & Beats and sample the area’s best barbecue and fixin’s from leading pit masters and barbecue restaurants. Enjoy hand-crafted cocktails from Michigan whiskey distillers. Tickets: $40 pre-sale, $45 at the door. (Guests must be 21+) Purchase tickets at or contact Alexandra Wilson: 616-356-5288 / Presented by

Music by Vox Vidorra, Mid-Life Crisis and Fast Hands Blues Band

Proceeds benefit Hospice of Michigan’s Open Access Program, ensuring quality end-of-life care regardless of ability to pay. | 888.247.5701 2/27/17 3:59 PM




Sat, May 6


May erlewine

Julian Allen, Tyler Duncan, Max Lockwood Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Thur, May 11

$10 adv / $12 day of



Jarrod Dickenson

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Fri, May 12

$10 adv / $12 day of

Dams of the west

Doors 8:30 pm — Show 9pm

Sat, May 13

zion lion Sat, May 15

$6 adv / $8 day of Doors 8:30 pm — Show 9pm

$20 + tax & gratuity

Tacos & beer dinner Sat, May 20

Dinner at 6pm

$20 adv / $24 Day of

Donna the buffalo

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Sun, May 21

$12 adv / $14 Day of

Jessica Hernandez & the deltas

Doors 7pm — Show 8pm

Fri, May 26

$18 adv / $22 Day of Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

Sat, May 27

big dudee roo, cousin avery

Who Hit John?

Wed, June 7


Doors 8:30 pm — Show 9pm

$16 adv / $18 Day of

The Joy Formidable Cusses

Doors 8pm — Show 9pm

REVUEWM.COM | May 2017 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Joe hertler & the rainbow seekers


Circle Pines Center

/// playlist


b uttermilk j amboree June 16 - 18


Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

• The Slambovian Circus of Dreams • • Anne Weiss • B-Side Growlers • BenJammin • Bigfoot Buffalo • Britt Kusserow • Brotha James • Cabildo • Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer • Chameleon Culture • Channing & Quinn • Claudia Schmidt & Sally Rogers • Conklin Ceili Band • Cooperfly Puppet Troup • Corn Fed Girls • Cousin Avery • Dede & The Dreamers • Detroit Pleasure Society • Diff & Dudley • Eric Engblade • Fable the Poet • Hannah Rose & the GravesTones • Gordon Henry • Hawks & Owls • Jill Jack • Jive at Five • Jordan Hamilton Trio • K. Jones & the Benzie Playboys • Lac La Belle • Less Is More • Libby DeCamp • May Erlewine • Megan Dooley • Northern Fires • Peter Madcat Ruth • Red Sea Pedestrians • Roberta Lee & Denny G. • Robin Connell & Kathy Lamar • Shari Kane & Dave Steele • Slim Gypsy Baggage • The Change • The Mainstays • The Mickeys • The Moxie Strings • The Porters • The Shrock Brothers • The Weatherheads • Thunderbolt & Lightfoot • Tia Imani Hanna •

Four Stages of Music • Kid’s Commons • Folk School Michigan Beer, Mead, & Wine • Delicious Food Beautiful Camping, Nature Trails & Swimming

20 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2017

Songs We Like by Adrianna Walker, WYCE

This is a sonic collaboration among Revue, WYCE and AMI Jukeboxes. Play this mix as a playlist on AMI Jukeboxes, read about it here every month and stream it on Each of the bands featured will be performing in West Michigan in May 2017. Here are just a few highlights. Please check out the full streaming tracklist with venues and dates at

Shaun Martin, “One Big Party”

(Founders Taproom, May 24) When he’s not accepting Grammys or grooving with jazz-fusion band Snarky Puppy, Shaun Martin is leading his own jazz collective with funky pieces like “One Big Party.” This feel-good jam has no time for lyrics with all of its instrumentation, nor does it need any. People can be heard in the background of the song having a good time, even further conveying the feeling of being at one big party.

Primus, “Too Many Puppies”

(20 Monroe Live, May 20) Perhaps you’ve heard Primus’ bizarre alternative sound before without knowing it. The band wrote and performed the oddball theme song for “South Park.” Even stranger, “Too Many Puppies” is a great example of

Frontier Ruckus

what Primus has in store. On this funk-metal combination from 1990, Les Claypool slaps his aggressive bass riffs like no other while singing about metaphorical puppies.

Frontier Ruckus, “Visit Me”

(The Pyramid Scheme, May 5) Michigan band Frontier Ruckus has nestled in and found itself a comfortable place on WYCE’s airwaves lately. This folk-rock tune is not just so much an invitation for a lover to visit as it is an articulate plea, with standout lyricism and soft guitars.

Meat Puppets with Mike Watt, “One More Drop”

(Founders Taproom, May 6) Another veteran rock band has made its way onto the list. “One More Drop” comes from Meat Puppet’s 2013 album, “Rat Farm.” The singer makes an iffy promise to clean up his act and pull it together, after just one more drop, of course.

The Besnard Lakes, “Towers Sent to Her Sheets of Sound”

(The Pyramid Scheme, May 16) This twirling track sounds like it was inspired by a kaleidoscope — not an uncommon theme from the progressive psych-rock The Besnard Lakes. This song is rich in harmony, with sparse but shiny lyrics f loating over psychedelic melodies. The Besnard Lakes will perform at the Pyramid Scheme with local band Book of Symbols. n

REVUEWM.COM | May 2017 |


/// On tour

Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas

Tearing Down That Wall

Jessica Hernandez bridges the divide with dual bilingual albums

|  by Dwayne Hoover

I Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

t’s an unfortunate time i n ou r nat ion ’s recent history when the cultural divide is so wide, chants of “Build the wall!” are commonplace. Yet even as some seem to embrace a sort of national exclusivity, others are celebrating the melting pot that is more truly reflective of this country’s very foundation.

22 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2017

Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas, a dark, soul-filled pop outfit out of Detroit, looks to combat that divisiveness directly with its upcoming dual bilingual albums, Telephone and Telefono. And while the initial intent of releasing both an English and Spanish album side-by-side had nothing to do with the current state of political discourse, the band feels its releases couldn’t be more timely. “The album was recorded right before the election,” Jessica Hernandez said. “I really thought Hillary was going to be in office,

so I wasn’t writing this and thinking about it in that way. But then as things started culminating and the scope of everything immediately changed, by then I was actually going in to record vocals and it definitely shifted everything.” Hernandez, whose father is Chilean and whose mother is Mexican, initially conceived the concept of the bilingual albums as more of an homage to her heritage than as a societal statement. The intent was to bring fans of each style of music together and expose

them to music that they might not have been otherwise. “One of the reasons I wanted to do this was to merge the two worlds and to get Spanish speakers into the idea of listening to American music, and to get English speakers open to the idea of listening to music in Spanish,” Hernandez said. “I think that by creating these two albums and having things that are exclusively on one or the other, it was more of an incentive for fans to think, ‘Well, I’m curious about this song, but it’s not on here. So maybe I’ll give it a listen.’ “(We hope to) kind of broaden people’s minds a little bit.” The process by which Hernandez approached her Spanish vocals for the album was nothing short of immersive, traveling to Mexico City and speaking and singing exclusively in Spanish for several weeks to ensure the record’s musical authenticity. “It definitely made me want to dig a little bit deeper into that world,” Hernandez said. “When you’re doing something in Spanish, you’re so focused on articulation and on understanding exactly what you’re trying to say. You realize how often you take for granted breathing and articulation. I feel like it made me a better vocalist because it helped me understand what I’m doing in English, (and what) I can bring to my Spanish-speaking voice and help that.” The new albums are slated for release early this summer. But if you’d like a taste of what’s to come, you can check the band out at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe this month. n

Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas

Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo May 21, 7 p.m., $14, 21+, (269) 382-2332



FireK Casin


















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




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

FK-28691_May_RevueMag_9.25x10.indd 1

4/11/17 10:30 AM REVUEWM.COM | May 2017 | 23

Hype r O p t i k 1134 Wealthy Street 6 1 6 . 3 0 1 . 1 9 1 1


Style Notes

by Missy Black

The Traveling Closet



pen your doors to the latest trend in convenience shopping: the mobile boutique. More specifically, we’re talking about the Grand Rapids-based Marie La Mode. This little trailer allows you to shop a collection of the ultimate in daily apparel, wherever it is. “We strive for easier pieces that are still very fashionable but comfortable,” said owner Liz Haan. “We’ll carry some trendy pieces like jean overalls or a ’60s-type denim jacket, but everything is in small amounts so only six people will have the same item.” Accessories are offered as well, including hats, scarves, sunglasses, purses and jewelry from Rose Water Designs out of Spring Lake.

Fruit picks liven up the scene. Grab some small food-related decorations for your shindig at The Found Cottage in Hudsonville, $10.

Stock your event with plenty of humorous napkins for maximum laughs. Wine is a necessity, too. Art of the Table in Grand Rapids recommends Innocent Bystander Moscato — an easy bottle for everyone to love. It’s bold, effervescent and lightly sweet, perfectly paired with fresh fruit and gorgonzola cheese. Innocent Bystander Moscato $15, J.P. Chenet Sparkling Rose $4.70, Cocktail Napkins $5.50–$6.

REVUEWM.COM | May 2017 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining | Schedule

Anyone can host Marie La Mode, with the big perk (in this busy world) being that you can combine shopping and a night with friends. On top of that, the host receives 40 percent off their total purchase. You could entertain outside as the weather turns warmer, traipsing in and out of the trailer, which has a dressing room. The mobile boutique comes to you, but you can also shop online and there’s a storefront open on Tuesdays only, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. This spring, Marie La Mode unveils a new brand, Mod Ref, and offers a whole lot of boyfriend denim and pieces with embroidery — you’ll see this trend on jackets, jeans and shoes. Check it out at


by Eric Mitts


Gossip Gal

Comedian Heather McDonald dishes on celebrity dirt, motherhood


ta n du p com edi a n He at her McDona ld is always searching for the steamiest, most scandalous and shocking stories from Hollywood. And when she finds them, she’s never shy about sharing. From the comedy stage to late-night TV and her own binge-worthy podcast, Juicy Scoop with Heather McDonald, the 46-yearold comedian, mother and author has always loved the thrill of the dish. “I had one magazine subscription when I was young: People Magazine,” McDonald said. “I would read it cover to cover and

then spread all my copies around me. (So) I thought about how great would it be if I could just talk to everyone about my magazines. I now have that forum with Juicy Scoop.” With more than one million downloads per month and several devoted fan pages on social media, Juicy Scoop is a hit for McDonald, who hosts, writes and produces the podcast. “I love all things juicy like Dateline, gossip from friends, Hollywood romances — whatever I think is a juicy scoop,” McDonald said. “Then I get to share it with a group of people who have the same passion.”

Schedule | Dining | Sights Sounds | Scene

Downtown GRAnD RAPIDS / Downtown hollAnD

Eat. Drink. Be Happy.

GR 616.608.1720 / Holland 616.796.2100

26 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2017

Heather McDonald as a staff writer and roundtable Like a combination of Joan regular on the E! hit series Rivers and Nancy Grace, Juicy Heather McDonald Chelsea Lately for seven years Scoop takes a more investigaDr. Grins Comedy Club — there’s actually nothing juicy tive look into celebrity gossip 20 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids about their relationship now. and other hot topic headlines May 18-20, $10-$20 than most tabloid programs. “She’s doing another, (616) 356-2000 McDonald started the podcast ect and I wish her the best,” in June 2015 and she’s since McDonald said of Handler, who featured many of her celebrity currently hosts Chelsea on Netflix. friends — including NSYNC’s Lance Bass, McDonald’s first-ever comedy special, I who recently discussed his experiences with Don’t Mean To Brag, debuted on Showtime Scientology on the show. in 2014 and earned countless new fans when The podcast also allows McDonald it premiered on Netflix in 2015. That same to continue to showcase her unique knack year, she also co-hosted TLC’s late-night for celebrity impressions. She’s absolutely roundtable show All About Sex, where she mastered the likes of Celine Dion, Jennifer proved that motherhood hasn’t changed her A niston, K ris Jenner, K im Cattrall ’s comedy. Samantha from Sex and the City, and several “When I was single I would talk about of the Real Housewives. And even after years dating, girlfriends, my parents,” McDonald of performing, she’s not tired of doing any said of her early days in comedy. of them. Anyone who has read either of her best“I have meet-and-greets after my shows selling tell-all memoirs — 2010’s You’ll Never and I’ll happily do the impressions all night Blue Ball in This Town Again: One Woman’s long for any fan who asks,” she said. Painfully Funny Quest to Give It Up and 2013’s If she had to pick just one, her favorite My Inappropriate Life (Some Stories Not impression is still Drew Barrymore. Suitable for Nuns, Children, or Mature Adults) “She’s such a naturally positive, sweet — already know she’s not one to hold back on person,” McDonald said of Barrymore. “It’s anything in her own life either. easy to get her point of view, so I can write “When I became a mom, I would talk new material all the time.” more about my family, husband and chilA lt houg h t here have been some dren,” she said. “But my act is still full of headlines online touting a feud between pop culture, what’s going on in the world McDonald and her former collaborator with celebrities, and stories about my single Chelsea Handler — with whom she worked friends.” n






by Dwayne Hoover

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

Fantastic Parties and Where to Find Them

PotterCon brews up a potion of nostalgia, magic and spirits


STEVE IOTT May 11-13

HEATHER MCDONALD Schedule | Dining | Sights Sounds | Scene

May 18-20



28 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2017


our years ago, M a rg a r e t A n n Kaminski found herself staring at a bunch of robes, wands and cauldrons, leftovers she had from attending midnight releases of Harry Potter books and movies. As she gazed upon the pile of nostalgia, she couldn’t help but feel that an important, even magical, part of her life was missing, and she intended to reclaim it. So she threw a Harry Potter-themed party at a local bar and invited some of her close friends to attend, who lovingly informed her that this get-together counted as her birthday party as well. She had so much fun at that little gathering that she decided she wanted to do it again, only bigger, so she found a larger space and launched the very first official PotterCon: a Harry Potter party for grown-ups. “That year, we had more than 300 people attend and there was a crazy line around the block,” Kaminski said. “People showed up and they were in costume, and it became clear at that point that it wasn’t just a party.” In the few short years since its debut, PotterCon has not only outgrown its initial space, but also spread to cities throughout the country. Hundreds upon hundreds of fans show up to relive the magic they once knew and to stand side-by-side with their fellow “Pottheads” in a celebration filled with day-drinking, trivia, a costume contest and even a Sorting Ceremony. “We have a Goblet of Fire that people can throw their names into and they can be chosen by the Goblet to come up and be sorted,” Kaminski said. “We have a comedian come up and they pull names out of the Goblet, and whoever has been chosen comes up on stage. We put The Sorting Hat on their head and they are asked a handful of personality questions.


The Orbit Room, 2525 Lake Eastbrook SE, Grand Rapids May 20, 2-8 p.m. $16, 21+, (616) 942-1328

“After they answer the questions our host will turn to the audience and say, ‘1-23, sort!’ and then everyone in the audience will shout what house they think the person belongs in.” But PotterCon isn’t just for the die-hard fans. Kaminski says everyone is welcome, whether you align yourself with Gryffindor, Slytherin, or even if you’re a Muggle. “We have a lot of people who just show up in a Harry Potter T-shirt or a vaguely magical hat of some kind, and a lot of people get dragged there by their superfan friends,” Kaminski said. “I say ‘dragged there,’ and

maybe they’re not too excited when they first walk through the door, but I hope everyone leaves thinking, ‘I just saw something incredible.’” Kaminski said she’s worked diligently to put together a celebration that not only she as a huge fan personally wants to attend, but one that attendees make their own. “We don’t put on a show, the fans put on a show,” she said. “We can do the same show in every city, but it’s going to be different every single time, because it’s the people who attend, and their enthusiasm and spirit, that makes the show what it is.” And really, she couldn’t be happier about what she has created for like-minded fans of the Harry Potter world. “This went from my birthday party to my entire career,” Kaminski said. “If you need any proof that magic exists, I think this is it.” n







30 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2017

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

May 2017

HIGH-SKILL MUSICAL Ever-improving high-school theater productions are inspiring students to pursue the stage as a career. SEE PAGE 4A. Story by Jane Simons. Photo by Brian Wolfe.



GOLDBERG RUSH Rube Goldberg fills the GRAM



TAKING THE HELM GR Symphony’s new president and CEO



EPIC FAIL FAILURE:LAB celebrates defeat


JUNE 6-11 | DeVos Performance Hall | ON SALE NOW! visit BROADWAYGRANDRAPIDS.COM or

1-800-745-3000 • TICKETMASTER.COM Grand Rapids engagement is welcomed by Autocam Medical; The Gilmore Collection; Paul Goebel Group; The Sharpe Collection; Waters Center; and Wolverine Worldwide.

2A | REVUEWM.COM | May 2017

MuSIc & LyrIcS By


Lin-Manuel Miranda

Quiara Alegria Hudes


cOnceIved By Lin-Manuel Miranda

In the Heights The casual observances of a bodega owner in Manhattan will be brought to the stage with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights at Kalamazoo College’s Festival Playhouse. Miranda, who gained worldwide acclaim for his title role in Hamilton: The Musical, created and originally starred in this tale of a young storeowner in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, watching the daily goings-on of the community. The musical was nominated for 13 Tony awards in 2008 and won Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations, along with a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album.

In the Heights is presented through special arrangement with R&H Theatricals,

—Reported by Jane Simons

May 11–14, 2017

Thurs, Fri, Sat 7:30 p.m. • Sun 2 p.m.

Nelda K. Balch Playhouse

• 129 Thompson St.

TicKeTs Students $5, Seniors $10, Other Adults $15 Box Office/Info (269) 337-7333 • All performances handicapped accessible. ALDs available upon request.


In the Heights Festival Playhouse of Kalamazoo 129 Thompson St., Kalamazoo May 11-14, $15 adults, $5 students

The Barber of Seville Opera Grand Rapids ends its 49th season this month with a story that features everyone’s favorite barber-turned-wingman. If The Barber of Selville sounds familiar to you, that’s probably because you remember Bugs Bunny torturing Elmer Fudd to the zany sounds of the opera’s overture. The plot is equally silly: Count Almaviva falls in love with the charming Rosina and enlists the help of Figaro to steal her away from her creepy guardian. Musical bedlam and vocal gymnastics ensue. Distinguished director Bernard Uzan returns for his 17th production with Opera GR to present this comic masterpiece. —Reported by Samara Napolitan

Seniors of the Sahara A simple, well-liked retiree returns from her grandson’s wedding in Israel with a souvenir she bought at an outdoor market. She soon finds out the old teapot she bought houses an arthritic, geriatric genie named Eugene. Sylvia Goldberg struggles to keep the genie a secret from her friends in the retirement community, while protecting herself from Eugene’s former master. This romantic comedy brings humor to the life of a retiree, set on Sylvia’s beachfront condo complex in New Jersey. —Reported by Kayla Tucker


Seniors of the Sahara Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids Spectrum Theater 160 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids May 18-28, $22, (616) 234-3595


The Barber of Seville DeVos Performance Hall 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids May 12-13, 7:30 p.m., $25+, (616) 451-2741


High-Skill Musical

High-school theater productions keep getting better, inspiring students to act for life

by Jane Simons

Lizzy Stone, a music theatre major at Western Michigan University, said her parents enrolled her at Portage Northern High School specifically for its esteemed drama program. “My mom was raised on classical musicals,” Stone said. “She can’t sing, so she just raised me with musicals and movies. I started singing show tunes when I was four years old.” At six, Stone was performing in shows at a drama camp where she later became a counselor at age 14. Her last year there, she directed shows starring elementaryage students. But high school was where she began to refine her acting skills in productions with a high degree of professionalism. Stone said this was when she knew that acting as a career was something she wanted to pursue. She plans to move to New York City after graduating to “pursue the life of an actor” and also would like to incorporate teaching and directing into the mix. Ashley Bowen, director of Portage Central High School’s Theatre Department, said she sees the benefit for her students in working with professionals to meet expectations they didn’t think were possible. “We hire a professional choreographer and all of a sudden these kids, most of whom never took a dance class in their lives, are doing really professional stuff like tap dancing,” Bowen said. “Creating this level of performance really does support the kids and allows them to be even more

4A | REVUEWM.COM | May 2017

successful than they thought possible.” Joe Dely, who was a student performer at Portage Central, said his high-school acting experiences were a continuation of a passion that began for him as a child. “I didn’t get serious about acting until high school,” he said. “There was a summer when I went to Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and was in a production of Godspell and that was the first time I really sang on stage. I knew I could sing, but I didn’t really know until I was in that production.” Now 27, Dely is a professional actor

Portage Public Schools' production of Shrek: The Musical. Photo: Brian Wolfe

and director with What A Do Theatre in Springfield. He majored in music theatre at W.M.U., but said by this time, he was anxious to pursue an acting career which has now extended to directing. Although some of Bowen’s former students are acting onstage, a number of them also are working behind the scenes on the technical side and in non-acting professions. “Being involved in the arts prepares people to be better communicators and understand people from different backgrounds,” she said. “Many of these kids go on and become business people or lawyers and they’re fantastic communicators.” She said the students are the reason so much time and effort is put into producing high-quality productions. However, community support is critical to the ongoing success of theater programs such as hers. Bowen’s theater department does not have a budget from the school. Instead, proceeds from ticket sales go right back into funding the program. “We hire a sound design company, choreographer and costumer,” she said. “We also have parents who volunteer to help and we have a teacher on staff to do our set design. We budget to hire a good number of adults to work on the production. “As we began to receive more support and recognition, we were able to add to our productions.” At Loy Norrix High School in Kalamazoo, money is provided to purchase the rights to shows and musicals. However, the bulk of the theater program’s budget comes from ticket sales and advertisements in programs, said Julie Pelligrino, who serves as music director for musicals at the school. “For us, funds have been increasing in the past couple of years, but we definitely don’t have the same amount of attendance as Portage does,” she said. But there has been enough money generated through Loy Norrix productions to hire a choreographer, stage manager, sound system and set design professionals. Pelligrino said this is a long way from what her high-school acting experience looked like. “The level of professionalism is definitely up and even more is expected of the students,” she said. “I think students appreciate being part of something that’s bigger than themselves. It takes guts to be onstage, but if you’re with your friends, it doesn’t feel like such a daunting task. “It gives them a chance to show their peers and families what they can do and it helps them to come out of their shells. Bowen, who is a product of Portage Northern’s drama program, said she was

one of those shy kids who found a voice onstage. After an 11-year hiatus from professional acting, she will be performing in Sister Act at the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre. She said she can relate to her current students and those former students who are trying to make a career in the theater – one of whom is touring with The Sound of Music and several who are starring in musicals at

Disneyworld. “When you sign up to be in the theater world professionally, you don’t sign up to be in one place,” Bowen said. Even so, Stone said she’s ready to try. “I think you have to be comfortable in knowing that the majority of what goes into it is purely luck and drive and you have to be comfortable with rejection,” Stone said.

“Multiple professors have said if you could be comfortable doing something else, do that. A lot of actors could do something else, but they’re most happy when they are performing. “I don’t know very many people, only performers and artists, who would choose to live in a tiny apartment and eat pizza so they could follow their dreams.” ■

SchulerBooks&Music 34 years as your local, independent bookstore! MAY 2017




Pre-school Story Time

A member of the Schuler Books Children’s bookselling staff will read a variety of new, favorite and best picture books.

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

Talk and Signing with Celebrated Military Hero Noah Galloway THURS 05/04 7PM

Join us for a talk and book signing featuring military hero and beloved Dancing with the Stars alum Noah Galloway! In his bold memoir, Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier, Noah shares his life story, and how losing his arm and leg in combat forced him to relearn how to live -- and live to the fullest.

Talk and Signing with Newbery Honor-Winning Author Gary D. Schmidt FRI 05/05 7PM

We are very pleased to welcome acclaimed, Grand Rapids young adult author Gary D. Schmidt to the store for the paperback release of his touching novel, Orbiting Jupiter! The novel earned starred reviews from School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist and Kirkus Reviews, and was named an ALA Notable Book for Children in 2016 and cited in the YALSA 2017 Best Fiction for Young Adults list.

Talk and Signing Acclaimed Literary Horror Novelist Josh Malerman THURS 05/25 7PM

We are delighted to welcome Josh Malerman back to Schuler Books. Our staff went gaga over his hit literary horror debut Bird Box, named one of the Library of Michigan’s 2015 Michigan Notable Books, and optioned for film adaptation by Universal Studios before it even hit shelves. Now we are geeked for the release of Black Mad Wheel, a chilling novel about a group of musicians conscripted by the US government to track down the source of a strange and debilitating sound.

Visit for a complete list of events. All events are subject to change. 2660 28th Street SE 616.942.2561 REVUEWM.COM | May 2017 |



Japanese Animaaon, Film, and Art eXpo

Above: Rube Goldberg, Foolish Questions Postcards, c. 1910. Right: Rube Goldberg's Inventions, United States Postal Service Stamp. courtesy photos

Defining Rube Goldberg by Dana Casadei

Rube Goldberg is more than just a man — he’s also an adjective.

Cosplay, Culture & Entertainment - 6A | REVUEWM.COM | May 2017

Defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “accomplishing by complex means what seemingly could be done simply,” the iconic American cartoonist and illustrator’s work — including his famous invention drawings — will be on display this month at the Grand Rapids Art Museum in its latest exhibit. “We felt like Rube Goldberg was somebody whose name was probably familiar to a number of people but whose work wasn’t really,” said Ron Platt, the museum’s chief curator. “He was just one of those remarkable people who I think is underappreciated.” The Art of Rube Goldberg — the first comprehensive survey exhibit in nearly 50 years demonstrating Goldberg’s talent — will take guests through his 72-year career with drawings, photographs, sketches and

animated films. The GRAM is the second stop this year for the exhibit, which will be at select museums across the country through 2019. Platt’s favorite part of the exhibit is the 16 invention drawings on display, which he said are the nut of the show. Describing those drawings as complex would be a huge understatement. Each drawing shows a series of chain-reaction machines designed to perform simple tasks. One example is a self-operating napkin, which for some reason also throws a cracker at a parrot and sets off a rocket before doing the originally designed task.

The Art of Rube Goldberg Grand Rapids Art Museum 101 Monroe Center, Grand Rapids May 20–August 27, (616) 831-1000

While the drawings show Goldberg’s artistic skills, the captions bring to life his deadpan sensibility. “I think one of the overarching themes in his work is the idea that we sort of chase after new and novel technology,” Platt said. “I think it’s just more prescient than ever.” Especially if you’re reading this from your iPhone. Those invention drawings, and Goldberg’s work in general, have left a lasting legacy still felt today, including in the 30-minute film The Way Things Go. The museum will play the Peter Fischli and David Weiss video throughout the show’s run in the middle of the exhibit. “It’s like a Rube Goldberg contraption kind of come to life in the studio,” Platt said. The exhibit — which will have educa-

tional activities throughout its duration, including a lecture from the originating curator Creighton Michael — will also show guests the man behind the work. “He’s sort of been condensed into this idea of a complicated contraption,“ Platt said. “We felt that it was a really neat opportunity to sort of investigate and present a much fuller picture of him.” The exhibit does just that through rare personal photos and memorabilia from the Goldberg archives. Platt said he learned a lot about Goldberg, like how his father encouraged him to get a degree in engineering and how he worked for San Francisco’s Department of Water and Sewers before becoming a full-time cartoonist and illustrator. The Pulitzer Prize-winning artist was BFFs with Charlie Chaplin and also wrote a screenplay that starred a few of the Three Stooges before they became Stooges. On top of that, he was a founding member and the first president of the National Cartoonists Society, which now has an award named after him. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, with Goldberg creating an estimated 50,000 cartoons in his lifetime. “I just love the idea that his sort of crazy imagination in part was driven by practical concerns,” Platt said. “I like to think his dad would have been ultimately proud.” ■

Find us!


Local for over 117 years, We offer a wide variety of Art Supplies, Framing and Matting, along with Gifts and Souvenirs all at competitive prices. We carry Montana Gold Spray Paint 30 West 8th Street Holland, MI 49423

616.396.6518 -

REVUEWM.COM | May 2017 |



Capturing the Magnitude of a People

MMA embarks on epic summer exhibition with The North American Indian by Marla R. Miller

Many people recognize and collect Edward S. Curtis’ portraits of Native Americans and canyon and desert landscapes in America’s west, but his real intent was to document the lives of the indigenous tribes he spent nearly 30 years studying. Epic in its breadth and depth, Curtis’ The North American Indian consists of 20 leather-bound volumes of ethnographic research, along with 723 portfolio photogravures depicting Native American life and culture west of the Missouri River. Muskegon Museum of Art plans to tell the whole story of The North American Indian and show the entire body of work this summer for what it believes to be the first time. More than a century ago, as a way to help fund the project, Curtis sold The North American Indian as a subscription to various libraries, museums, universities and wealthy collectors — even the King of England received a gift set. The MMA is fortunate to have one of the sets and long held it for safekeeping on behalf of the Hackley Public Library. Although there is little documentation as to why, Hackley Public Library’s director Lulu Miller in 1908 signed up for a subscription. “She had barely been in the job a year, and just decided to do it,” said MMA’s Executive Director Judith Hayner. “It was $3,000 (around $74,000 in today’s dollars)

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and something that was going to happen over time.” The museum officially acquired the library’s set No. 70 in 2014, around the time Hayner got the idea to display all 723 portfolio photogravures, or fine art intaglioprinted photographs. “We had done a couple of small shows of Curtis’ work a few years ago, and I was really struck by the interest of that,” she said. “Then I started realizing it was very, very likely that no one had put them all out before.” Now, the museum has devoted nearly all of its galleries to its new exhibit, Edward S. Curtis: The North American Indian, with the goal of attracting a national audience and bringing large crowds to downtown Muskegon. The intent is to shine a light on Native Americans’ rich cultural heritage through the work itself; explore Curtis’ life, influences, achievements and the controversies surrounding his work; and explain what drove Curtis on a desperate, decades-long quest to document a people he considered “a vanishing race.” The exhibit includes all the volumes on display, original field recordings of Native music, historic objects from Curtis’ life, and examples of Native American cultural artifacts on loan from other museums. Hayner called in help to organize the large undertaking. Guest Curator Ben Mitchell, who previously lived and worked at art institutions in several northwestern states, said he gave it serious thought before agreeing to take this project on, because of its sheer size. While half of the photogravures are portraits on display throughout the museum, the main Walker A & B galleries feature more than 300 photogravures arranged thematically: families and children, people

Edward S. Curtis, A Tewa Girl, photogravure. Courtesy Photo

at work, men at war, the spiritual world, architecture, and many more. More than 10,000 Native Americans participated through photographs and interviews, resulting in the 20 bound volumes with 5,000 pages of narrative text, 82 languages captured, at least 40,000 photographs, and 10,000 wax cylinder audio recordings. There are another 2,200 photogravure prints bound in the books, but the photographs are just part of the story, Mitchell said. Curtis and his team, including journalists, anthropologists and interpreters, were gone for months and years at a time doing field research between 1907 and 1930. The books record ceremonies, lists of genealogy and clan structure; tribal lore;

Edward S. Curtis: The North American Indian

Muskegon Museum of Art 296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon May 11-Sept. 10 Opening reception: May 11, 5:30-8 p.m., (231) 720-2570

traditions; arts; and details about food, housing, recreation and other customs. He also wrote biographical sketches of tribal leaders. “These are the kinds of things that can sometimes get lost when people just focus on his great photographs,” Mitchell said. “The depth of his work often gets lost. To be surrounded by it will show the breadth of the scholarship.” Both Hayner and Mitchell hope people will appreciate the historical value of The North American Indian and the huge undertaking that it was. They hope visitors simply come and experience it and make their own judgments. “It’s a remarkable accomplishment,” Hayner said. “What he captured is unique and would not exist if it had not been for the work he did.” In many ways, the exhibit is about history, and along with additional programming will help people understand the depth and richness of early 20th-century Native American culture, how strong it is today and how lucky we are it has persisted, Mitchell said. “As a social issue, the belief at the time was that Indian culture would completely disappear,” Mitchell added. “What we can be celebrating is that he was wrong. Indian culture today, this exhibit reminds us, is a vibrant part of the complex fabric that we call the United States.” ■


PREVIEW In May, the weather is finally tolerable, so we get that you probably want to spend every minute outside. While you’re out and about, take a minute away from all the sunshine and visit one of the new exhibits opening this month — you don’t want a sunburn. by Dana Casadei Kay WalkingStick, New Mexico Desert, 2011, oil on wood panel, 40 x 80 x 2 in. Purchased through a special gift from the Louise Ann Williams Endowment, 2013. National Museum of the American Indian 26/9250, courtesy American Federation of Arts

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park 1000 E. Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, (888) 957-1580

High School Area Show and Art Competition, Through June 4

A citizen of the Cherokee Nation and one of the country’s most celebrated artists of Native American ancestry

LowellArts 223 W. Main St., Lowell, (616) 897-8545

Ai Weiwei: Natural State, Through Aug. 20 Michigan All State Bonsai Show, May 13-14 Dedicated to the art of bonsai — the Japanese art form using trees grown in a container — this show will feature bonsais of all shapes and sizes, and a variety of workshops and demonstrations from top artists in the region. Iris Show, May 27-28 Stop by the Meijer Gardens later in the month for the Iris Show. Grown by local iris enthusiasts, the show’s pieces were all created under the theme Simple Country Pleasures. Vote for your favorite while there. Grand Valley Iris Society members will be at the show to answer questions and provide tips.

Grand Rapids Art Museum 101 Monroe Center, Grand Rapids, (616) 831-1000 Prints and Processes, Through June 25 Black Waves: The Tattoo Art of Leo Zulueta, Through Aug. 27 The Art of Rube Goldberg, May 20-Aug. 27

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S. Park St., Kalamazoo, (269) 349-7775 West Michigan Area Show 2017, Through May 28 Pressed for Time: History of Printmaking, Through July 2

Who’s Who? LowellArts Members Exhibition, Through June 3 Janet Y. Johnson: A Tribute Exhibition, Through June 3 This gallery will celebrate the life and art of a LowellArts! founding member, Janet Y. Johnson, who passed away in February. Her work includes watercolor and acrylic paintings, spanning a variety of subjects and styles.

WELCOME THE ARTIST Community Welcome: Wednesday, 6/14, City Hall Artist’s Talk: Thursday, 6/15, KIA Opening Celebration: Saturday, June 17, KIA Kay WalkingStick: An American Artist is organized by the American Federation of Arts and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

The exhibition in Kalamazoo is made possible by


Muskegon Museum of Art 296 W. Webster. Ave., Muskegon, (231) 720-2570

435 W. South St. 269/349-7775 Open Tuesday-Sunday $5 / $2 Students / Free through age 12

Edward S. Curtis: The North American Indian, May 11-Sept. 10

ARTS FAIR IN BRONSON PARK JUNE 2-3 Bell’s Beer Garden Friday 4-10


Saugatuck Center for the Arts 400 Culver St., Saugatuck, (269) 857-2399

Art camps for ages 4-17

MOVE IT! The Art, Science, and Fun of Toy Design, Through May 26

Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts 2 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids, (616) 454-7000

A Magical Comedy By Barbara Pease Weber Presented by: Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids GRCC’s Spectrum Theater 160 Fountain NE May 18, 20, 25 & 27 @ 8 p.m. May 21 & 28 @ 3 p.m.

US IS THEM: Art from the Pizzuti Collection, Through May 14

Tickets: 616-234-3946 or Online:

Here + Now, Through May 14 Fresh Pick: Eana Agopian, Through Aug. 6

Impressions: Printmaking in Japan, Through July 23

June 17 – September 10

MEGA 2017, Through July 31

be Jewish ’t have to You doen Jewish Theatre to lov

REVUEWM.COM | May 2017 | ReviewSeniorsJTGR.indd 1


4/5/17 12:28 PM

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

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DING, DING! Round two!


ast year, we introduced Best of the West as an experiment, a test to see how an entirely reader-driven contest covering the whole of West Michigan would fare. More than 4,000 nominations later, we feel pretty good about the results. The eight-week process was fun, exciting and, at times, surprising. Since then, all kinds of last year’s winners have displayed the Best of the West logo on their counter, window or Facebook. But this year, we want to go even bigger, better and more fun(ner). We’ve learned a thing or two, tweaking the categories and building a whole new contest engine that’s easier to use. If your favorite didn’t win last year, this is your chance to spread the word and get people

on your side. The more votes we have, the more the end results mean. Vote for your favorite spots to eat, drink and shop, or let the world know about your favorite artists, stylists and musicians. It’s all here, from best food truck to favorite bookstore and most-talented photographer. As for the nominations, those are 100-percent generated by YOU. We start with a blank slate and let the readers fill in their favorite coffee shop, dog park and comic book store. Voting begins May 1 and runs through June 25, with the winners being announced in our August issue. This is your chance to make your voice heard, and the best part is: no electoral college. Now get out and vote.

Best of the West readers poll Nominate and vote online until June 25. bestofthewest

The Categories Arts

Visual Artist Alternative Art Gallery Art Gallery Art Museum Live Theater Group Photographer Filmmaker Tattoo Artist


Cover Band DJ Symphony Music Festival Music Venue Original Band Radio Station Solo Musical Artist Vinyl Record Store

Dining Bakery BBQ Ambience

Breakfast Brunch Burgers Chili Chinese Coffee Desserts (from a restaurant) Diner Farm to Table Food Truck Fried Chicken Fries Hot Dogs Ice Cream/Frozen Treats Indian Italian Lunch Mediterranean/Middle Eastern Mexican New Restaurant (opened in past 12 months) Patio Pizzas Sandwich/Deli Seafood Service

Steak Sushi Thai Upscale Restaurant Vegetarian Vietnamese Winery Wings


IPA (Brewery - Beer) Stout (Brewery - Beer) Bloody Marys Brewery Cidery Cocktails Craft Beer Selection at a Restaurant/Bar/Brewpub (not a brewery) Distillery Happy Hour Hard Liquor (Distillery - Spirit) Margarita Meadery New Brewery (opened in past 12 months)

Wine List Winery

Vet/Animal Clinic Yoga Studio

Services & People

Nightlife & Activities

Auto Repair Bank/Credit Union Barber Shop Bicycle Shop Car Wash/Detailing Catering Fitness Club/Gym Bartender Chef Comedian Hair Stylist Instagram Account Radio Personality TV News Personality Massage Nail Salon Optical Personal Trainer Salon Tattoo/Piercing

Annual Event/Festival Bar/Pub/Tavern Beach Bowling Casino Dive Bar Dog Parks First Date Spot Karaoke LGBTQ Bar Movie Theater Night Club Open-Mic Night Park/Trails Sports Bar Tourist Attraction

Beer/Wine/Liquor Store Book Store Butcher Comic Book Store Ethnic Food Store Farmers’ Market Florist Gift Shop Grocery Store Health Food Store Home Decor Jewelry Store Men’s Clothing Musical Instrument Store Pet Store Thrift/Consignment Shop Tobacco/Cigar Shop Vape Shop Vintage Clothing Store Women’s Clothing

*Categories subject to change

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REVUEWM.COM | May 2017 |


[CLASSICAL MUSIC] Stulberg International String Competition nurtures the talent of tomorrow by Samara Napolitan

A new children’s book, The Dance of the Violin, is based on superstar violinist Joshua Bell’s first competition at the age of 12. The book vividly retells how the young Bell fumbled while performing a piece very difficult for someone his age — Edouard Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole. The judges gave Bell a second chance, and he went on to place third and then first when he returned the subsequent year. That competition was the Stulberg International String Competition, which this year

takes place May 13 at the Dalton Center Recital Hall in Kalamazoo. The Dance of the Violin is only one story that conveys the nurturing and transformative atmosphere of the Stulberg Competition, which can best be described as a vibrant network connecting the industry’s best. “The competition is very much a grass-













Proceeds from the GR Asian Festival fundraiser will support WMAAA scholarships and Kids’ Food Basket.


Young adults compete at Stulberg for $6,000 and the chance to perform with local symphonies. Courtesy Photo

roots investment in the future for very deserving young musicians,” said Margaret Hamilton, executive director of the Stulberg Competition. The annual competition invites young string instrumentalists to Kalamazoo for an exhilarating day of performances. Gold medalists receive a $6,000 award and the invitation to perform a concerto with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra or the Grand Rapids Symphony — a rare opportunity for any musician under the age of 20. This year, 12 young musicians from across the continent will compete. The 2017 semifinalists were selected from a pool of 170 applicants — the largest group yet, according to Hamilton. One of the many draws of the competition is the opportunity to perform for its judges, who are consistently luminaries of the string world. This year, the judges for the competition are: concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra, David Kim; renowned violist Yizhak Schotten; and sought-after cello pedagogue Amit Peled. Judges remain in Kalamazoo the day after the competition to hold master classes for regional students. The competition is named in honor of Julius Stulberg, who before he passed away in 1974 was a professor of violin at Western Michigan University, conductor of the university’s symphony, and longtime conductor of the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony. The impact of Stulberg’s work on the local music community was immeasurable, and his legacy continues today through the competition. “There is a real outreach vibe that is felt here — a very human element,” Hamilton said. “Everyone who is involved views it as a chance to shape the artistic world of tomorrow.” All of the competitors are undoubtedly technically superior, and each judge has his or her own perspective on what makes a competitor deserving of the top prize. How-

ever, past Stulberg Competition winners do share some qualities — in the words of Hamilton: They are all extraordinarily deep people with passion, commitment and a message to communicate. “Most of our Stulberg winners go on to become professional musicians — either as solo performers, quartet members, touring group members, orchestra players or University professors,” said Grace Field, who has served as board president and chair of the Music Committee for Stulberg. “In order to fill any of these roles, today’s musicians have to be able to connect with their peers as well as their audiences.” The competition semifinals begin in the morning. After each participant performs a J.S. Bach solo piece and a movement from a concerto of their choosing, they are narrowed down to six potential winners. Many audience members who attend the semifinals return for the final evening concert to cheer on their favorites. “I often compare the intensity of competition day to the Olympics,” Hamilton said. “But there really are no losers. Every one of the 12 participants has a great career ahead of them.” ■

42nd Stulberg International String Competition

Dalton Center Recital Hall May 13 Semifinal performances 9 a.m.-4 p.m., free Final concert at 7:30 p.m., $20 adults, $5 students, (269) 343-2776


More Than a Spoonful MCT’s Mary Poppins mixes fantasy and reality in heartwarming musical by Marla R. Miller

Featuring a 42-member cast, singing, dancing and highflying effects, Muskegon Civic Theatre hopes to fill Frauenthal Theater and wow audiences with its spring musical, Mary Poppins. A magical and loving woman named Mary Poppins arrives on the scene to rescue a young and dysfunctional family who can’t keep a nanny. The musical is based on the 1964 Disney movie, one of the most popular and critically acclaimed Disney films of all time, with some elements from the book mixed in. Bert, narrator and jack-of-all-trades, introduces the audience to the Banks family. It’s 1910 in Edwardian London, and father George Banks returns home from his job at the bank to find another nanny has quit due to the mischievous antics of Jane and Michael. The magic begins when Poppins descends on their doorstep, hires herself for the job and starts to teach the family how to value each other again. Filled with laughter and fantasy, she takes the children on several magical and memorable adventures, while devising a plan to make serious George appreciate time with his children. The all-ages show features musical numbers from the movie such as Feed the Birds, Jolly Holiday, Step in Time, A Spoonful of Sugar, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and the Academy Award-winning Chim-Chim Cher-ee. Director Jason Bertoia and two of the musical’s main stars, Maddie Fox as Mary Poppins and Jarod Peterson as Bert, all said they grew up loving the movie. “It’s such a touching story, because it’s so real to so many people,” Fox said. “It’s dealing with a broken family that desperately needs relationships restored. So many people can relate to that, whether

The cast of Mary Poppins rehearses for the upcoming Frauenthal Theater production. Courtesy Photo

you are a child going through that or a parent.” Bertoia, who heads the musical theater program at Western Michigan Christian High School, said more than 70 people auditioned. She praised the cast and crew for their synergy, energy and talent. “The 42 (people) we have are some of the most amazing talent in the greater Muskegon area,” he said. “Besides the technical magic of the show, it’s the cast. We’ve seen a lot of them in various roles in previous shows for MCT and elsewhere and they have come together in this amazing, magical group.” Fox, a Mona Shores High School graduate, was active in the school’s drama and musical theater programs. Home this semester from college in Chicago, the 23-year-old Fox also appeared in MCT’s Legally Blonde in 2014 and hopes to bring some of her own personality to the role. “MCT is committed to bringing as much magic to the show as possible,” she said. “There will be flying. There will be incredible dance numbers. The magic that you feel in the movie is being incorporated in new and fresh ways into this stage show.” Peterson said he wanted to play Bert

because “he is such a kooky character” and the role fits his personality. Poppins and Bert both have an air of mystery to them, and Bert joins Poppins and the children on some of their fairytale journeys. He appears with various jobs, seemingly to assist, and it’s never quite revealed if they are working as a secret team. “There’s so many theories (about Bert and Mary),” he said. “I believe they are not of this world — they’re both guardian angels looking after the world. They work as a team, trying to bring the light back to everybody they come in contact with.” ■

Mary Poppins

Muskegon Civic Theatre Frauenthal Center 425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon May 4-6, 7:30 p.m., matinee May 7, 3 p.m., $22-$24,, (800) 585-3737

REVUEWM.COM | May 2017 |


[classical MUSIC]

PREVIEW The classical music scene this month has artists ranging from a German a cappella quintet to an eight-member San Francisco jazz ensemble. You can also check out all kinds of virtuosos tickling the ivories. by Dana Casadei

Fontana Chamber Arts 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 200, Kalamazoo, (269) 382-0812

Calmus: “All the World’s a Stage” May 5, 8 p.m., $30 The a cappella quintet will perform an evening of music inspired by the plays and poetry of the bard himself, William Shakespeare. The songs — which will all be performed in English by the Leipzig (a city in Germany) musicians — were written by composers from all

over the world ranging across five centuries.

San Francisco Jazz Collective: The Music of Miles Davis at St. Cecilia Music Center. Photo: Jay Blakesberg

The Gilmore 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 101, Kalamazoo, (269) 342-1166

Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner May 14, 4 p.m., $25 Pianist Sanchez-Werner is about to make you feel like an underachiever. The 2014 Gilmore Young Artist started piano studies at two, made his orchestral debut as a soloist at six,

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.

and was selected as artist-in-residence at the Canandaigua Music Festival in New York at 12 years old. Oh, and at five he became a fulltime student at Ventura College, where he was the youngest person to earn an associate of arts degree. The evening’s program will include pieces by Bach, Beethoven, a new work by Sanchez-Werner, and others.

Grand Rapids Symphony 300 Ottawa Ave. NW Ste. 100, Grand Rapids, (616) 454-9451 Access to Music May 3, 9:30 a.m. & 10:45 a.m., FREE GRS Youth Choruses Spring Concert May 6, 2 p.m. Grand Rapids Youth Symphony & Classical Orchestra Concert May 14, 3 p.m.









thru May 7

May 5 – May 21 May 5 – June 3

May 9 – May 14

May 11 – May 14 May 13

May 19 – May 27

May 27

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

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Beethoven’s “Eroica” May 19-20, 8 p.m., $18+ The evening’s performance, featuring soprano Susan Lorette Dunn, will take viewers for a ride into the romantic era with the Eroica Symphony (a.k.a. Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 3”). Debussy’s Afternoon of a Faun and Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne will also be performed by the symphony.

Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra 359 Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 100, Kalamazoo, (269) 349-7759 Don Giovanni May 26, 8 p.m., $12+ The Mozart opera is coming back to the KSO

this month. Based on the legends of Don Juan, a fictional libertine and seducer, the two-part opera brings together seven opera singers for the semi-staged production. Fun fact: the KSO’s last performance of Don Giovanni was in 1980.

St. Cecilia Music Center 24 Ransom Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, (616) 459-2224 San Francisco Jazz Collective: The Music of Miles Davis May 4, 7:30 p.m., $43+ The eight-person ensemble — which launched in 2004 — will perform a night of works by the legendary jazz musician Miles Davis. For those who have never heard of Davis (seriously?!), the trumpeter, composer and bandleader changed the sound of jazz numerous times over his long-standing career. The octet will also perform some original compositions.

West Michigan Symphony Orchestra 360 W. Western Ave., Muskegon, (231) 726-3231 All That Jazz May 6, 6:30 p.m., $160 Rachmaninoff no.3 May 19, 7:30 p.m., $18.75+ The WSO, along with guest artist Olga Kern, will perform what is considered one of the most difficult piano concertos in the standard classical repertoire: Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto no.3 in D minor.” Tchaikovsky’s final completed symphony, the Pathetique, will also be featured.


Grades K–5





Elementary Arias

production of

Grand Rapids vocal artists, educators and students team up to create children’s opera by Samara Napolitan

Colorful paintings line the halls of the K-12 building at the Grand Rapids Ellington Academy of Arts and Technology. Each work exists as an individual expression, made even more powerful in abundance. A larger, collective canvas is in the works as sixth, seventh and eighth graders prepare to conceive, produce and perform their own opera during a weeklong intensive. Leading up to the May 19 performance, students at the Academy will share stories, ideas and emotions to create their own production together with Opera Grand Rapids Emerging Artists. “I think that culture and arts are one in the same, and this school has its own culture,” said Jill Collier Warne, a cellist, teacher and leader of innovative workshops. “The opportunity to perform is so validating and an expression of identity, and that’s what we hope for with this project.” Collier is the founder of Creative Connections, a musical immersion collective that engages musicians across the globe in short-term performance projects. Since 2009, Creative Connections has partnered with organizations like the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids to span diverse backgrounds through musical experiences. Creative Connections also works with students in the Grand Rapids Symphony’s Mosaic Scholars program to compose an original piece every year for the Symphony with Soul event. During this month’s intensive at Ellington Academy, Creative Connections is facilitating a co-collaboration among young professional vocal artists and students. The rehearsals act as a place to unearth a common vision for the composition as they brainstorm themes, respond to the social and political environment, share what inspires them and reveal their most expressive selves. Jared Rader is one of the Emerging Artists working with the students. “Since I’m more classically trained, I view this as an opportunity to participate in things outside of my comfort zone with the kids,”

he said. “I want them to understand that it’s perfectly normal to try new things during the artistic process, especially if you really care about what you’re creating.” The Creative Connections process stems from an egalitarian approach that reflects the contributions of all involved. Participants possess varying levels of musical knowledge and skill, but workshop leaders encourage all to embed their voice in the lyrics, melodies and rhythms that manifest in the final composition. “The idea that someone is talented or not really shoots the arts in the foot,” said Collier. “My hope is that young people recognize the human connection that the arts can bring — that we’re all capable of creating art and everybody can participate.” Even with a mere week to improvise and prepare a production for a live audience, Collier is confident that the experience will be rewarding for both participants and onlookers. This is due in part to the strong foundation for creative collaboration at Ellington Academy. “The teachers really understand the importance of everyone showing up in the same space to create something together, and they have a vision and need that lines up with the project,” said Collier. Band Director Jeff Ingraham believes that the process is what the teachers want more for their school. “We are a school that’s working toward being focused on performing arts and technology. But like other schools, our attention is pushed toward being just another school trying to prepare for standardized testing,” he said. “Through this process, though, we can create a language for students to learn, build skills, and come up with ideas that can be integrated into the rest of their lives so they become much stronger students.” ■

Music and Lyrics by Elton John & Tim Rice Additional Music and Lyrics by Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, and Hans Zimmer Book by Roger Allers & Irene Mecchi Based on the Broadway production directed by Julie Taymor Music Adapted & Arranged and Additional Music & Lyrics and “Luau Hawaiian Treat” written by Will Van Dyke “It’s a Small World” written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman


Conceived and developed by David De Silva Book by Jose Fernandez • Lyrics by Jacques Levy • Music by Steve Margoshes Title song “FAME” written by Dean Pitchford and Michael Gore FAME JR. is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

A one-week one-week intensive intensive A for students students in in grades grades 6–12 6–12 for

June 19–24, 2017

Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 3:30 pm Frauenthal Center Session I — July 17–21, 2017 Session II — July 31–August 4, 2017 Session III — August 14–18, 2017

For more information: 231-722-3852 or

GREAAT Children’s Opera Performance Grand Rapids Ellington Academy of Arts and Technology 600 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids May 19, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., free, (616) 451-2741

REVUEWM.COM | May 2017 |



Failure:Lab invites community leaders to tell stories of failure openly and honestly, often without a clean or tidy resolution. courtesy photos

Celebrating Failure by Kayla Tucker

Failure is not a word that many people take lightly. It's certainly not something many would like to admit they are dealing with or have experienced. And yet, a local business-turnedmovement is celebrating five years of failure this month. Failure:Lab was co-founded as an experiment by Jonathan Williams and his business partner Jordan O’Neil in 2012. It soon grew to become a global movement, with Failure:Labs now taking place in places as far apart as Atlanta and India. “The whole purpose is to really push back on the fear and isolation and stigma around failure,” Williams said. This year’s event is going to be held at Fountain Street Church, the biggest venue the event has booked so far, with a 1,600-person capacity. “That space is so perfect for what we

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do,” Williams said. “It’s really intimate, dimly lit, minimally-produced. There are no emcees or introductions — it’s kind of like a dark play, blended with local musicians and entertainers.” The show features six storytellers, who get 10 minutes each to present public confessions. “No lessons or morals, that’s kind of the provocative part of what we do,” Williams said. “We invite community leaders or people we view as progressive … and we just ask them to open up about a time in their life where they felt like they were failing, or a time where they weren’t sure they were going to get through it. They’re really leading the audience up to a cliffhanger.”


Fountain Street Church 24 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids May 12, 7 p.m., $20

Talking about failure in work and at school Beyond the annual performance, the company works year-round providing training sessions to companies and schools. The staff of three works with vendors to facilitate curriculum for groups. “We’ll go into a company and we’ll do a private event or write a training and, essentially, it’s the same mission as Failure:Lab, which is to remove roadblocks to innovation, collaboration and creative thinking,” Williams said. Recently, the company did a workshop with Dell, Inc. in Austin, Texas and finished up projects in New York and Florida. They have also facilitated workshops locally with Grand Rapids Community College and Grand Valley State University and businesses such as Steelcase and Herman Miller. The training focuses on addressing failure, understanding blame, measuring success and expectations, practicing how to learn from failure, tackling stigma and incorporating more of a learning culture into the environment of the company.

Williams said this draws some criticism, as most people want to hear a solution to a problem. However, because the event takes guests out of their comfort zones, it has succeeded in opening up a new type of dialogue in the community. “After each story … the audience gets 90 seconds of reflection, and they can

share on social media via our hashtag their thoughts or their lessons,” Williams said. In the digital age of 2017, Williams said it’s less common for people to seek out these types of activities — many guests leave the show with some processing to do. “People are just kind of hungry for vulnerable narrative, authenticity, being

“People are just kind of hungry for vulnerable narrative, authenticity, being honest about what’s not working.” —Jonathan Williams

honest about what’s not working,” Williams said. “I think if I’ve learned anything from this project, it’s that we all go through different circumstances but we’re still battling the same feelings.” Williams said guests can expect to be taken on a “rollercoaster ride,” as the show moves through six storytellers and seven entertainers. “The music and the entertainment, they go before and after each story,” Williams said. “It’s really designed to clear the air, recharge the room and be an upbeat piece.” One of the unique, recurring themes of Failure:Lab is that each story is different

but everyone can relate. “Anything you’re starting is scary,” Williams said. “There’s just this fear, whether it’s a relationship or parenthood or whatever you’re trying to do, we all have that moment where we doubt ourselves.” Since the genesis of Failure:Lab, Williams has coached about 200 storytellers. In being personally immersed in all of these lessons and stories, the founders of Failure:Lab are continuing to learn even more as time goes on and want to share that story with their audience. Williams said the company’s goal is to make as big of an impact as possible. “We’re trying to reach people around the globe to remind them they’re not alone and that failure is a part of the process,” Williams said. “Our goals for the communities and companies we work with are to help them overcome fear, stigma and isolation around failure. We’d like to change the conversation around failure and create environments where people feel safe communicating and trying new things.” For now, the Grand Rapids community is invited to attend the next storytelling event this month. “It’s our signature annual event,” Williams said. “So it’s always kind of the one that means the most to us, because it’s where we began.” ■


WINNER! 5 TONY AWARDS INCLUDING BEST MUSICAL Based on Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir

The National Tour Company of Fun Home. Photo: Joan Marcus


Composed by Gioachino Rossini


“ONE OF THE BEST NEW MUSICALS OF OUR ERA. A rare sighting that could induce a theater critic to genuflect it if not erupt in a chorus of hallelujahs” —Charles McNulty

MAY 12 & 13 | 7:30 PM DEVOS PERFORMANCE HALL TICKETS start at $25 | Students $5 616.451.2741 |

Opera Carolina | Mitchell Kearney Photography


East Lansing engagement welcomed by Delta Dental of Michigan.

REVUEWM.COM | May 2017 |




May is rife with musicals. There’s everything from Motown classics to the musical Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote before Hamilton, and some stuff for the kiddos too. Check it out! by Dana Casadei

Circle Theatre 1703 Robinson Road SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 456-6656

Broadway Grand Rapids 122 Lyon St. NW, Grand Rapids, (616) 235-6285

The Addams Family

Motown the Musical

May 4-20, times vary, $27 Based on the beloved comic strip characters, The Addams Family tells an original story of the creepy and kooky family. Wednesday Addams falls in love with a sweet, smart man from a *GASP* normal family — it’s every father’s nightmare come true. The families then meet for a dinner hosted by the Addams that neither group will forget.

May 2-7, times vary, $37+

Dog Story Theater 7 Jefferson Ave. SE, Grand Rapids

Here 2 There May 19-21 and 26-28, times vary, $14 The festival of 10-minute plays, manned by

Based on the 1992 Whoopi Goldberg comedy of the same name, Sister Act starts with a literal bang. Disco singer Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder (by her super awful boyfriend) and is put under protective custody… at a local dying convent. The musical — which has music by the legendary Alan Menken — follows Deloris as she brings back some life to the convent and gains a sisterhood in the process.

The Addams Family at Circle Theatre local playwright Stephen Wright, will explore the theme of connection. If you want to love theater but have a too-intense case of ADHD to watch a two-hour production, this might be for you.

Farmers Alley Theatre 221 Farmers Alley, Kalamazoo, (269) 343-2727

The Andrews Brothers Through May 7, times vary, $30+

Festival Playhouse Kalamazoo College 129 Thompson St., Kalamazoo, (269) 337-7333

In the Heights May 11-14, times vary, $15

Grand Rapids Civic Theatre 30 N. Division Ave., Grand Rapids, (616) 222-6650

Fancy Nancy April 21-30, times vary, $10-$16 Fancy Nancy The Musical brings the extremely popular children’s book series to life. Nancy — who believes that more is always better when it comes to being fancy — auditions for the school play, hoping to get cast as the mermaid. But then, of course, she’s cast as a tree. Will she rally and make this play a huge success or quit the show altogether? This is the family-friendly musical’s West Michigan regional premiere.

Kalamazoo’s Civic Theatre 329 S. Park St., Kalamazoo, (269) 343-1313

Sister Act May 5-21, times vary, $25

18A | REVUEWM.COM | May 2017

The Borrowers May 19-27, times vary, $10 Arriety Clock and her parents, Homily and Pod, live a quiet little life under the floorboards. From there, they are able to borrow anything they need. Arriety, your typical teenager, wants to help her father borrow from upstairs. When her family won’t let her, she decides to do it anyway — dang youths — and what follows is having to leave their home and venture into the world, where things might not be as bad as they expected.

Miller Auditorium 2200 Auditorium Dr., Kalamazoo, (269) 387-2300

Motown the Musical May 9-14, times vary, $38+

New Vic Theatre 134 E. Vine St., Kalamazoo, (269) 381-3328

Trios May 5-June 3, 8 p.m., $25 This original musical revue from the theater will feature music from popular musical trios of the ’30s and beyond. The production will feature a load of New Vic favorites as well as a few newcomers.

Opera Grand Rapids 1320 E. Fulton, Grand Rapids, (616) 451-2741

The Barber of Seville May 12-13, 7:30 p.m., $25+

GREAAT Children’s Opera Performance Grand Rapids Ellington Academy of Arts and Technology, 600 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids May 19, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., free


we have David Lockington as Music Director Laureate, who will be returning to the podium next season. We really are blessed to have this group of fine musical leaders. They are the ones that determine the artistic things that we do and my job is to facilitate it.

Peter Perez

photo by Terry Johnston

Peter Perez

President and CEO, Grand Rapids Symphony by Samara Napolitan

Peter Perez has been a magnet for uncommon musical experiences his entire life. From conducting his youth festival orchestra as a youngster to requesting that his upstairs neighbor, Placido Domingo, “please rehearse louder,” such experiences have led him to his new role as the Grand Rapids Symphony CEO. Perez has a background mainly in manufacturing, from president of Steinway & Sons to the deputy assistant secretary for Manufacturing in the US Department of Commerce, but he’s always made time for the symphony. Having served the organization in various capacities, including board chairperson and co-chair of the 2015 LiveArts event, Perez looks forward to his next chapter with the Symphony.

When did your love of music begin? I grew up around a culture of the arts. I was born and raised in Elkhart, Ind., the headquarters of the instrument manufacturers C.G. Conn, The Selmer Company, Armstrong Flute and more. As a child, I was exposed to music in a process that is still familiar today, where kids are introduced to instruments around the fifth grade. Mine was viola. Everytime I see the violas at the symphony I say, “Go violas!” With your background in manufacturing, what are the similarities you’ve found between the manufacturing and symphonic worlds? You know, manufacturing is a lousy word. People view it as something that grandpa did. But it’s not that way at all today. It involves robotics; you have to have a degree; and it’s a high-paying job. It’s a great pro-

The Symphony serves around 200,000 people per year. That’s an impressive number, but there’s always room for more. As CEO, what are your priorities to help grow the GRS audience? We want to make sure the foundational events — our classical, pops and signature concerts — continue to be exciting for the community and encourage all ages to participate. It’s important to have a continuum of programs that engage people at all ages and backgrounds. Those programs include Student Passport, which offers $5 tickets to students, and Free for Families, where for as little as $18 a parent can come to a concert and bring two children. With Symphony Scorecard, people who qualify for aid from the State of Michigan can attend concerts for free. These programs are our effort to make sure that the entire community who has interest in symphonic music can participate. What about events outside of the concert hall?

We’re really excited about the Music for Health program, which pairs up our musicians with music therapists at Spectrum Health to introduce music to health care settings. We recently launched an initiative where our musicians composed music to be paired with photography of Michigan nature. These are now featured on a relaxation channel at five Spectrum Health hospitals. Patients can tune in, relax and go to another place for a few hours. Also, we’re launching a program in June for the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. All of this, I hope, helps people view the GRS in a different way. It sounds like the symphony has a lot of exciting things on the horizon, including a trip to Carnegie Hall. What else are you looking forward to? Certainly the implementation of our fiveyear strategic plan that Michael Kaiser, former Kennedy Center director, helped us develop. We also dream of touring. We’re putting our toe in the water at our August 5th concert with Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan, a leading mariachi group in Mexico. The conductor will also be from Mexico, and maybe our conductor will be in Mexico sometime soon! These small, initial steps are in addition to exciting, one-off events that are opportunistic. We’re excited to be creative and explore new opportunities. ■

Pops at the Pier Tribute to Julie Andrews featuring Diane Penning & Paul Langford

fession to be in, but it’s saddled with the perception that it’s outdated. Similarly, the symphony has a connotation of “Hmm, I’m not sure that I want to go to a symphony concert. You kind of have to dress up for that, don’t you?” Well, that’s wrong too. What I hope is that we continue to be an organization that’s indispensable for this community. How do you envision the orchestra’s role alongside the city’s growth? We are in such a wonderful place with Music Director Marcelo Lehninger and Principal Pops Conductor Bob Bernhardt. Associate Conductor John Varineau has been involved in the Symphony for more than 30 years. Chorus Director Pearl Shangkuan is among the best at what she does in the country, along with Youth Chorus Conductor Sean Ivory. And, of course,

Thursday, June 15, 7:30pm Eldean's Boat Shed, Holland JK's Bakehouse gourmet food truck, beer & wine available! Jazz starting at 6:30pm for tickets: or 616-796-6780 REVUEWM.COM | May 2017 |


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Special Feature

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Michigan Wine & Spirits Guide Wine, mead, cider, spirits — truly, our cup overfloweth here in West Michigan. Every year more people are diving deeper into the everexpanding wide world of alcohol. The variation is endless, from bourbon-barrel-aged wine to cyser, essentially a mixture of mead and cider. In this year’s Wine & Spirits Guide, we cover it all. We have a close look at why Michigan wine tastes the way it does, where to meet all your local cider and mead needs, and why rosé may be the hottest drink of the summer. We also asked local distillers how to drink their favorite spirits, with recipes and all. Basically, if it’s not beer and it has alcohol in it, you’ll find it in the pages ahead. There’s a lot to drink in here, so pace yourself.

32 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2017

Michigan Winery Directory

A Short List of Mitten State Wine Destinations

Wineries are a little harder to find than breweries — they’re not really popping up in urban hotspots. But that doesn’t mean we have any shortage of the stuff in West and Northern Michigan. Sprawled across the mitten’s surprisingly diverse landscape, dozens of wineries are pumping out more than enough vino for all (supposedly thanks to a France-esque climate). Southwest Michigan and Traverse City are particularly dense with vineyards if you know where to look. Well, guess what? We know where to look. Read on.

Southwest Michigan 12 Corners Vineyards

1201 N. Benton Center Rd., Benton Harbor, (269) 927-1512 Located 4 miles from Michigan’s Gold Coast, this 115-acre estate is planted with both vinifer a and hybrid grapes. 12 Corners offers Riesling, Cabernet Franc and Gewurztraminer, among plent y of other varieties. Aside from the outdoor patio overlooking the vineyard, there’s also a tasting room, gift shop, kids’ corner and meeting rooms for large groups. The winery also has tasting rooms in South Haven and Grand Haven.

Baroda Founders Wine Cellar

Cody Kresta Vineyard & Winery

45727 27th St., Mattawan, (269) 668-3800 This small 20-acre, family-run farm winery is set on an 1882 estate. Enjoy the wine from a secluded tasting room — or relax and take

Cogdal Vineyards

7143 107th Ave., South Haven, (269) 637-2229 At the family-owned Cogdal Vineyards, the philosophy is “to create outstanding, small-batch wines using Michigan-grown grapes.” That includes the Cogdal brand as well as Little Man Wines, a series of “fun and eclectic wines.”

Contessa Wine Cellars

3235 Friday Rd., Coloma, (269) 468-5534 Offering a host of reds, whites and fruit wines, as well as a blush, Contessa features a tasting room reminiscent of an old Italian villa. Enjoy views of the vineyards and Coloma Valley from the terrace.

Domaine Berrien Cellars

398 E. Lemon Creek Rd., Berrien Springs,, (269) 473-9463 An all-estate winery, Domaine Berrien Cellars grows, ferments and bottles all of its wines onsite to maximize control and quality. Being situated on one of the highest points in Berrien County with south-facing hillsides gives the vineyards a unique advantage in the Lake Michigan Shore region.

Fenn Valley Vineyards

6130 122nd Ave., Fennville, (800) 432-6265 Based in Fennville, Fenn Valley Vineyards offers a range of products including white and sparkling wines, red wines, specialty wines

like port and ice wine and fruitbased products. The Fennville Estate is a beautiful place to enjoy a glass of wine and a small plate or a picnic.

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

Free Run Cellars

Lemon Creek Winery

10062 Burgoyne Rd., Berrien Springs,, (269) 471-1737 For more than 25 years, Free Run Cellars has specialized in Alsacestyle white wines such as Riesling and Gewurztraminer along with dry reds such as Cabernet Franc and Syrah. The company has recently added spirits including cognac-style brandy, calvadosstyle brandy and grappa.

533 E. Lemon Creek Rd., Berrien Springs,, (269) 471-1321 Lemon Creek’s historic vineyard and winery, located in the heart of Michigan’s wine country, has 160 years of history and features award-winning wines that are all estate-grown and bottled by the Lemon family. Pro tip: The winery also operates a tasting room in Grand Haven at 327 N. Beacon Blvd.

Glass Creek Winery

450 N. Whitmore Rd., Hastings, (269) 948-2752 A small family-run winery operated by Eric and Donna Miller just a few miles from Hastings, Glass Creek offers a variety of wines ranging from dry, oak barrel-aged reds to sweet, fruit-based offerings. The winery also offers a hefty selection of craft beers, from oktoberfests to stouts. The tasting room is open Tuesday through Sunday.

Gravity Wine

10220 Lauer Rd., Baroda, (269) 471-9463 Gravity offers views of rolling hills, vineyards and a private lake at its 2,000-square-foot tasting room, which features a large deck and patios. Altogether, the winery can seat more than 140 guests. The friendly staff will help you prepare a custom wine flight to fit your palate.

Round Barn Winery

Round Barn Winery

Hickory Creek Winery

750 Browntown Rd., Buchanan, (269) 422-1100 Specializing in old world European wines from locally grown grapes, Hickory Creek pours a range of 19 styles from its “charming” tasting room inside a red barn. The company also features apple wine made from heirloom apples.

Karma Vista Vineyards

6991 Ryno Rd., Coloma, (269) 468-9463 Featuring a host of standbys and limited-run wines, Karma Vista focuses on providing a “great tasting experience in a beautiful

setting.” You’ll notice many of the wine names are loosely based on musical references. The reason: “We envision the wine label as our version of album art from the glory days of vinyl.”

Lawton Ridge Winery

8456 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo, (269) 372-9463 Lawton Ridge Winery started as a vineyard in 1973 and then opened its tasting room in 2008. The 4,400-square-foot space includes a production area, tasting room, lab and space for classes and private tastings. All of its wines come from grapes grown either in its vineyard

10983 Hills Rd., Baroda, (800) 716-9463 The Round Barn (formerly known as Heart of the Vineyard) is a trifecta of spirits: A winery, distillery and brewery. Family-owned and operated, Round Barn proudly uses local produce from area orchards, vineyards and farms to produce its 50 different varietals, brandies, vodkas and beers.

More on page 35 ➤

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

8963 Hills Rd., Baroda, (269) 426-5222 Established in 2009 by Leonard Olson, the selection at Baroda Founders ranges from classic varietals and fruit-flavor enhanced wines to dessert offerings like ice wine and chocolate-infused reds.

in scenic views from the gorgeous back patio.

REVUEWM.COM | May 2017 |


St. Julian Winery

716 S. Kalamazoo St., Paw Paw, (800) 732-6002 With more than 95 years of experience, St. Julian Winery is a pioneer among Michigan winemakers. The company offers tasting rooms around the state, including at its home base and main winery in Paw Paw.

Michigan Wine & Spirits Wine guide guide

50 Shades of Rosé: Taste Test

Whether you prefer still or sparkling, there’s a pink hue just for you at Aperitivo. Il Follo: An Italian selection with delicate bubbles, this rosé has strong notes of strawberries and cream. It has a dry finish and is perfect to pair with cheese, olives and nuts. $16/bottle; $10/glass. Villa Wolf: From Germany, it’s delightfully refreshing, a little on the dry side, slightly minerally and offering the tiniest bit of effervescence. It has a clean finish and is great for crowds and parties. $14/bottle; $9/glass. Bru Mont: This French option features the most acidity, is pretty dry and has tart cherry tones that give it a perfume of blossom-like appeal. $13/bottle; $8/glass.

A selection of rosés at Aperitivo

Trend alert:

ROSÉ ON THE REG Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

by Missy Black

The rise of rosé is here, and it’s time to peel back the many layers of summer’s big sip. Even if the Hamptons are running dangerously low on rosé — and that was a real New York Post page six story — Grand Rapids is plenty stocked. Summer already is flipping its hair and flirting with us and there’s no better way to celebrate than with the official wine of the season. “Spring and summer are the seasons for rosé,” said Rob Hanks, bar manager at Reserve. The restaurant and wine bar offers about five still and sparkling rosés by the glass. While Reserve has always put emphasis on rosé year-round, it’s really the darling of summer, pairing perfectly with “raw shellfish, seafood, patios and air,” according to Hanks. Technically, rosé is runoff juice from red wine production. In other words, it was wine that didn’t sit on the grapes long enough to

34 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2017

become red. With such meager beginnings, the pink wine has come a long way. It’s extremely fashionable to be seen in public, sipping and gesturing with a glass of rosé. Bartenders across the country realized its versatility in making frozen variations (frozé), tempting wine lovers and cocktail drinkers alike. “As wine culture in America becomes more adult, rosé offers a nice lesson into red wine. People can experiment with the red world and rosé is a great bridge,” said Hanks, who’s constantly challenging men

to try it as well. “Just because it’s pink, we can get over that.” One of his favorite selections is Haden Fig’s Pinot Gris Rosé. There’s a significant marketing boom to pay attention to as well. Merchandise such as apparel and accessories emblazoned with the slogans “rosé all day” and “no way rosé” infiltrate boutiques. It’s become the marching orders for summertime fun. “Merchandising speaks to how rosé is seen in the media, and more commercial entities are getting behind that as they sense that shift in culture,” said Martha’s Vineyard Wine Specialist Charlie Elkins. He sees rosé as extremely versatile and user-friendly. The store offers an Arca Nova Vinho Verde Rosé from Portugal that’s “literally almost like liquid strawberries made from the espadeiro grape,” according to Elkins. It pairs well with fish dishes or Japanese food. Another favorite is Clos Cibonne Tibouren Rosé from 90-year-old vines in France. Elkins described it as compelling, aromatic and spicy.

Instagram’s pop-culture personality The Fat Jewish has his own brand (White Girl Rosé), as does Drew Barrymore. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s Chateau Miraval Rosé sold out within five hours of its release. There’s even a rosé wine club subscription service: Summer Water Societé, where members receive bottles along with roséthemed gifts. “I think that rosé has definitely become a thing,” Hanks said. “Millennials feel they can closely identify with it — it’s more of a thing you can do all day long and traditionally our parents wouldn’t touch it. Millennials might feel it’s uniquely theirs.” If you’re a red wine drinker and want to try something different this summer, Kate Leeder, co-owner of Aperitivo, will steer you to the rosé. While rosé is a garden party and poolside staple, Leeder also strongly believes it deserves year-round attention. “If it says anything about how much we love rosé, we carry between six and eight varieties during the winter, when people think it isn’t rosé season,” said Leader. “It’s a reason to celebrate summer and it’s very approachable.” Aperitivo’s choices mostly fall in the $15 to $20 range, so it’s a fun, easy introduction into wine without breaking your budget. Sales have doubled in the last five years according to Elkins, who has noticed the country’s fascination and movement toward embracing European food culture. “Wine and rosé have never been a bigger interest in West Michigan than now,” he said. n

Michigan Wineries, continued Tabor Hill Winery

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

Vineyard 2121

2121 Kerlikowske Rd., Benton Harbor,, (269) 849-0109 Vineyard 2121 started with a passion for quality wine shared by Jeffrey and Deborah Pallas, a husband and wife team. Tucked away in the hardwoods and pines lining the property’s perimeters, the charming raspberry farm boasts three duck ponds and tranquil scenery fit for an outdoor wedding or event. Choose from a list of wines and hard ciders, as well as some select food items.

Warner Vineyards

706 S. Kalamazoo St., Paw Paw, (800) 756-5357 F o un d e d in 193 8 , War n e r Vineyards is an O.G. winemaker on the shore. The company features a range of whites, reds, sparkling, fruit and dessert wines — as well as the ability to personalize labels for a special gift. Warner also offers tasting rooms in South Haven, Holland, New Buffalo and Marshall.

Wolfe Creek Winery

118 Cleveland Rd., Galien, (269) 369-3900

Chateau Grand Traverse

12239 Center Rd., Traverse City, (800) 283-0247 For more than 40 years, the familyowned Chateau Grand Traverse has focused on 12 European grape varietals, specializing in Riesling wines. The company operates 122 acres of estate-owned vineyards in Nor thern Michigan, plus another 80 acres contracted with area growers.

Wyncroft Wines

1055 64th St., Pullman, (269) 409-1855 Wyncroft is known for its extremely high-end wines that have been aged for years. However, in recent years, the winery rolled out a new brand: Marland, which sources its grapes from several local vineyards and are younger, more affordable wines, which don’t require any cellar aging.

West Michigan Cascade Winery

4665 Broadmoor Ave. SE, Grand Rapids,, (616) 656-4665 Since 2003, Cascade Winery has been a family-owned, awardwinning winery. Guests at the tasting bar can sample reds, whites, fruit wine, meads and more (including a selection of beers). The location also carries unique gift items, home-vintner supplies and customized labeling.

Heavenly Vineyards

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

Hudsonville Winery

3768 Chicago Dr., Hudsonville, (616) 662-4589 Hudsonville Winery — owned by Steve Guikema and Ron Snider,

Leelanau Cellars

Lemon Creek Winery

who also co-own Pike 51 Brewing Co. — carries more than 30 different wines. The list includes Pinot Grigio, Bruno and White Zinfandel. On top of that is a large selection of fruit wines, such as Peach, Acai, Raspberry, Hudsonberry, Pomegranate and Black Cherry. All the wines are made onsite.

Jomagrha Vineyards and Winery

7365 South Pere Marquette Hwy., Pentwater,, (231) 869-4236 Located just miles from Lake Michigan between Pentwater and Ludington, Jomagrha Vineyards and Winery was founded in 1999 by Harry Sanford and specializes in old-world French grapes, alongside new American and French hybrids. The handcrafted wines include Marechal Foch, de Chaunac and a new light port, among others.

Kayla Rae Cellars

31 Courtland St., Rockford, (616) 951-7001 Tucked away in the quaint downtown area of Rockford, Kayla Rae offers a handful of wines and ciders along with nibbles. Bonus: The cel-

lar also offers growler fills for cider and sangria.

program, occasionally releasing extremely limited brandies.

Oceana Winery & Vineyard

Bowers Harbor Vineyards

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

Northwest Michigan Black Star Farms

10844 E. Revold Rd., Suttons Bay, (231) 944-1270 Black Star Farms has not one, but two tasting rooms: one in Suttons Bay and one on Old Mission Peninsula. The winery has just released its spring varietals, from a 2016 Pinot Noir Rose (which is full of fresh fruit and vibrancy) to a 2015 Pinot Gris (which is more complex, but still refreshing). Black Star also has a small distillation

2896 Bowers Harbor Rd., Traverse City,, (231) 223-7615 A boutique winery located in Northern Michigan on picturesque Old Mission Peninsula, Bowers Harbor offers a range of awardwinning wines — as well as unique greetings from one of the company’s three winery dogs. Focused on cool-climate viticulture, Bowers Harbor produces wines like Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc, plus a signature meritage blend known as 2896, Langley Vineyard.

Chateau Chantal

15900 Rue de Vin, Traverse City, (231) 223-4110 Chateau Chantal offers a French style three-room B&B, winery and vineyard located on a vast 65-acre estate on Old Mission Peninsula, one of the most scenic areas of the Great Lakes. Enjoy views of Grand Traverse Bay, Power Island and rolling vineyards that abound from each window.

5019 N. West Bay Shore Dr., Omena,, (231) 386-5201 After decades of producing awardwinning wines in Michigan’s Wine Coast, Leelanau Cellars’ philosophy has remained the same: “Produce quality, consumerfriendly wines, affordable to everyone.” Relax during the day at the winery’s tasting room, which is open year-round.

Left Foot Charley Winery

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

Willow Vineyards

10702 E. Hilltop Rd., Suttons Bay, (231) 271-4810 Willow Vineyards, established in 1992, is located on a striking, wind-swept hillside in Suttons Bay. Panoramic views of Grand Traverse Bay add to the majesty of the location. You can sample from award-winning vintages in the tasting room or purchase by the bottle, half-bottle or magnum. n

REVUEWM.COM | May 2017 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

White Pine Winery

317 State St., Saint Joseph, (269) 281-0098 While White Pine’s tasting room is based in one of the oldest buildings in St. Joseph, all of the grapes are grown in Lawton. The winery specializes in aromatic white varietals like Pinot Grigio and Riesling.

Wolfe Creek just recently joined the party, tucked down in Galien (nearly in Indiana). This winery has all kinds of red and white and dessert wines, from a capriccio to cranberry. The boutique, set in a historic brick building, is available for parties, meetings and any other private event.


Wine & Spirits guide

There’s No Place Like Home 45 North Vineyard and Winery explains why Michigan wine works

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

by Nick Macksood


s is often said, all 50 states make wine these days — but that doesn’t necessarily mean they should. I mean, sorry, but can you imagine a Nebraskan Pinot Gris? Fortunately, Michigan has long been blessed with a climate conducive to winemaking. As far back as the late 17th century, French settlers began to cultivate wild grapes they discovered in abundance near the Detroit River. In a letter to the governor of New France, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac notes of a wine that, “considering its newness, was not at all bad.” How classically French: complimentary, but with a faint whiff of condescension.

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Since then, serious winemaking in Michigan has traveled west and northward, seizing upon the proximity to Lake Michigan and the northern peninsulas for their temperature-regulating qualities. Today, there are dozens of wineries in Michigan and each year almost a million consumers from in and out of state travel to discover a young, but emerging wine region in the country. The Old Mission and Leelanau peninsulas alone host enough vineyards and wine loops to get any wino in trouble if they don’t regulate their own temperature properly (if you catch our drift). So we decided to find out what makes Michigan wine great with the help of the folks at 45 North Vineyard

and Winery, a spot known for consistent quality, beautiful facilities and happy dogs. Relatively new to the peninsula, the winery began in 2006 when owners Steve and Lori Grossnickle purchased a centennial farm directly on the 45th parallel. Not long after, the two began a relationship with the Leelanau Conservancy and donated a conservation easement that protects the land forever, restricting development and assuring that it will always remain farmland. Committed to sustainable farming practices, 45 North farms 35 acres of varietals ranging from the Rieslings that Northern Michigan is best known for to the Cabernet Francs that occasionally

45 North Winery PhotoS: Tom Balazs, Two Twisted Trees Photography

Coupled with Michigan’s cooler climate, the sandy soil of the northwest peninsulas retains heat and drains well, which not only resists pests better than other soils but also helps make the most out of the region’s 165-day growing season. What that all means for the final product is red varietals tend to be softer, while the best whites trend pale in color, with a crisp finish and a highly aromatic nose, according to Briggs. His personal favorite creation, a 2013 Pinot Gris — which won a 2015 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Best of Class medal in addition to a 2014 Riverside International Wine Competition Chairman’s Award — was the product of an unseasonably long

and hot 2012 Michigan summer. In other words: perfect. Each wine 45 North cultivates begins with estate grapes and regional grapes as close to the peninsula as possible. Briggs said grape pressing and fermentation are accomplished onsite in small batches, only 500 to 1,000 gallons at a time, which means the wines take on additional nuance, especially from year to year. Briggs said the last several years have each seen a 20-percent increase in traffic, partly due to more wineries appearing, as well as the multiple area wine loops which make wine tourism easier to plan.

But even amid the constant growth and competing tourism in Northern Michigan, 45 North continues to distinguish itself, adding a mountain bike trail onsite and carving out space for more apple trees, a move that will afford more estate-grown ciders in the coming years. What Cadillac, the Frenchman, would have thought of a 45 North Pinot Gris, we’ll never know. But if a garcon ever turns his nose up at the notion of Michigan wine, tell him to trace his finger east from the mitten across the 45th parallel north. Watch his Gallic lips purse as he strikes Bordeaux, Provence, the Rhône… n

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surprise us. To date, the winery has produced 109 different wines, garnering 72 awards at competitions from Sonoma County, Calif. to the Finger Lakes in New York. I asked 45 North’s winemaker, Jay Briggs, what it is about Michigan’s climate that affords him the ability to surprise outsiders with quality wine year after year. “It’s the water, the Great Lakes, the Peninsula,” he said. “They all contribute to regulating the air temperature yearround, so it insulates in the winter and keeps the land cooler in the summer.” Temperature extremes from sunrise to sunset are also less frequent and as such, less likely to threaten the grapes.


Wine & Spirits guide

Meaderies and Cideries

Apples, Honey and Booze, Oh My! by Josh Veal

T Virtue Cider

Acoustic Draft Mead

119 N. Maple St., Traverse City As its name suggests, Acoustic is a little on the lighter side. Its musically-themed meads come in at an average 6-percent ABV. Combine that with the light carbonation in every bottle (hence the word “Draft”) and Acoustic’s selection drinks more like a beer or cider than most meads. To live it up, try the Electric Bzzz, made with apricot and orange zest.

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Arktos Meadery

1251 Century Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, (616) 350-0412 Arktos has made quite the splash in West Michigan with its eye-catching bottle design, tasteful nuance and bear-centric mythology. The mead itself has garnered multiple awards in just a few short years, offering an ever-expanding selection of flavors: coffee, blackberry, pumpkin, etc. All these can be found at the Grand Rapids tasting room, where goblets line the bartop and mead flows from nitro taps.

Bardic Wells Meadery

8844 Water St., Montague, (616) 837-8035 Coming from a long line of beekeepers, the owners of Bardic Wells know their honey start to finish, inside and out. A mead lover myself, I strongly recommend hunting

38 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2017

down the Traditional Mead. It’s balanced, smooth, unpretentious, and unusually affordable. Bardic is the first ever licensed meadery in Michigan, if that tells you anything.

Bee Well Meadery

3533 Derenzy Rd., Bellaire Bee Well keeps growing as the four sibling owners work to spread their mead far and wide. The tasting room in Bellaire is coming up on a one-year anniversary, open Thursday through Sunday. Make the trip to try out some Hopped Honey or Antrim Apple Pie, straight from the source. They have cider too!

Black Dragon Meadery

While it has yet to settle down into a tasting room (distribution only), Black Dragon is worth seeking out. Paul Peterson, aka Pete Wylde the MeadMaster, has won 18 awards for his meads since 2009. Coming in 2017: Peach Mead, Black Mead, White Mead and more. Bottles are available for purchase at blackdragonmeadery.

Farmhaus Cider Co.

5025 Stanton St., Hudsonville, (616) 920-1867

here’s a je ne sais quoi to hard cider and mead that separate them both from the pack. They exist in this liquid twilight, neither beer nor wine nor liquor. Cider is light and sweet like a wine, but with the ABV and carbonation of a beer. Mead, made from honey, is its own beast entirely, smoother and richer than wine, almost boozy at times. And for whatever reason, breweries and wineries outnumber cideries and meaderies by a longshot. But more and more people are realizing the merit of an excellent craft cider — not Woodchucks, but the good stuff, well-balanced and full of interesting flavors. And every year, we have more mazers (mead-makers) than the one before. So if you’re looking for something special, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s our guide to all the fermented apples and honey you could ever want. Farmhaus blew up fast, opening in 2015 with a Cidergarten and beginning to distribute statewide in just two years. The couple-owned cidery aims for simplicity, with styles like the Halbbitter, which is described as fresh, bright and semi-sweet, and the Trocken, which is unfiltered, dry and tart. Look for the signature tallboys at your local store.

Painted Turtle Hard Cider, (616) 644-3047 Painted Turtle came on the scene just last year, and it’s clearly here to stay. The Apple Crisp, Blueberry Bliss and Java Vanilla ciders have made a splash, being packed full of flavor without going overboard. While there’s no tasting room, look for the cute little reptile on the tallboy cans at your local party store.

PUX Cider

1051 Harding St., Conklin, (616) 780-7257 PUX is brand new, just beginning distribution this spring. And yet, right out of the gate, the cidery has a wide variety of flavors, including barrel-aged tart cherry, a hopped cider and a single-apple varietal. Schaefer Ciders, who makes PUX, is still working on putting a taproom together, but for now you can find the stuff at area retailers., (231) 674-2040 Located off M-37 near West Michigan’s famous apple ridge, Ridge Cider Co.’s tasting room is big and full of wood. It features a range of top-quality ciders and servers that are passionate and knowledgeable about the products. We advise you to try the Porch Sittin’, a cider with prominent cinnamon and a hint of vanilla.

Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery

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

Passed down through five generations, Robinette’s has been making cider since 1971, which means they’ve had plenty of time to get it right. In 2006, they started making it with alcohol too. Now, you can swing by at any time of the year to taste six wines or hard ciders for just $3.

Sietsema’s Cider

8540 2 Mile Rd. NE, Ada, (616) 676-5584 At Sietsema’s, the story starts with preserving heirloom apples, which give the company’s hard ciders a unique flavor profile. In the fall months, the tasting room offers draft hard ciders and bottles for purchase, along with traditional non-alcoholic cider mill fare (read: doughnuts). Sietsema’s hard ciders are popping up in restaurants and

Ridge Cider Co.

351 W. 136th St., Grant

More on page 40 ➤

REVUEWM.COM | May 2017 |


Wine & Spirits guide

Mead and Cider (continued)

stores (including Meijer) across West Michigan, but we advise you to stop in and see where it all originates.

St. Ambrose Cellars Meadery

841 S. Pioneer Rd., Beulah, (231) 383-4262 St. Ambrose’s affordably-priced selection is out of control in the best way possible. Draft mead, still mead, honey wine, it’s all there in an outrageous variety of flavors. If you’re a big fan of sour beers, this is the meadery for you — try the Wild Ginger, a sour mead with ginger. The owners keep their own bees, so they know their stuff.

Starcut Ciders

121 N. Bridge St., Bellaire, (231) 498-2300

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Starcut Ciders, made by Short’s Brewing Company, was born in 2014 out of a desire to utilize the apple orchards of northern Michigan. Starcut features both unique and traditional ciders. Keep your eye out for Immortal Jelly, a cider inspired by Soft Parade and fermented with raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries. It’s slightly sour, slightly fruity and totally delicious.

Sunshine Meadery

Distribution only, Lowell

Right now, Sunshine’s sticking to distribution, but its two meads are worth checking out. The Hakuna Matata, infused with vanilla bean and tea flavors, provides an unusual twist for the beverage. For a more traditional metheglin (spiced mead), pick up the Autumn Sunset. This time last year, Sunshine was just getting off the ground. Now the distribution-only meadery has at least seven meads under its belt, including Monarch, made with Macintosh apples, Monterrey cherries, star anise, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon.

The People’s Cider Co.

600 Maryland Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, (616) 322-7805 People’s Cider is still at work on its Leonard Street location next to Long Road Distillers, but there doesn’t seem to be any rush — the cidery is doing just fine with its current setup east of Downtown Grand Rapids. Catch People’s on local tap lists around town or at the Fulton Street Farmers Market.

Ridge Cider Co.

Uncle John’s Cider Mill

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

One of the oldest apple farms in the country, Uncle John’s hard cider is simple but well-refined. Classic flavors like Cherry, Blueberry and Apricot make the cider easily accessible, but with enough options to offer some variety. Look for the cans in stores or make the trip to St. Johns, north of Lansing.

Vander Mill Cider

505 Ball Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, (616) 259-8828 Vander Mill is a powerhouse, likely the largest hard cider producer in the Midwest. The new Grand Rapids taproom

reflects that, with an indoor deck overlooking the massive new production facility that quintupled the cidery’s capacity last year. While you’ve definitely heard of mainstays like Totally Roasted and Blue Gold, hit up the taproom (or select stores) for specialty ciders like the Loving Cup, made with peppercorn and hibiscus.

Virtue Cider Co.

2170 62nd St., Fennville, (773) 868-6878 Virtue’s ciders are legit and true to the dry European style. The Glouchestershire Old Spot pigs — common to Old World cideries — add to the traditional vibe at the farm and cider mill. Stop in for a tasting or to buy a bottle or five of these Michigan-centric ciders. The Mitten, a bourbon barrel-aged cider, remains a fan-favorite. n

Kindred Michigan Spirits Two unique Midwest dining experiences, Two friendly bars 230 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo | 269.743.6563 |

40 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2017

114 East Main St., Fennville, MI | 269.561.7258 |

P lan Your Adventure

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Wine & Spirits guide

The Great Apple Grapple Farmhaus rides the cider wave despite zoning battle by Troy Reimink


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o find the heart of West Michigan’s cider boom, one may need to look beyond the “burgeoning” city neighborhoods. Farmhouse Cider Co. is quietly helping a craft beverage revolution from the least assuming location imaginable — a generations-old family farm on a dirt road outside Hudsonville, in the hinterlands west of Grand Rapids and south of Grand Valley State University’s Allendale campus. “It’s a place unlike anywhere else,” said John Behrens, who operates the two-yearold business with his girlfriend, Megan Odegaard. “It feels like you’re a million miles from anywhere, but you’re like 15 miles from downtown.” The location is a parcel of a few hundred acres where Behrens’ great-grandparents built a farmhouse when they arrived in West Michigan as German immigrants after the Civil War. Behrens, a long-time brewing enthusiast, bought the property from his grandmother a few years ago and began experimenting with cider recipes, which he’d make with family and friends and distribute on a word-of-mouth basis. But Farmhaus Cider Co. quickly outgrew his ambitions. Not long after going into business, Behrens’ ciders won some prominent awards and developed a following. When Farmhaus partnered with some neighboring farmers last fall to host a small harvest festival event, cars were parked for a mile along his road.

Today, Farmhaus distributes a handful of canned ciders to about 250 stores in Michigan and Illinois. It operates a locally popular outdoor cider garden, open seasonally, where visitors can fill growlers with more experimental recipes or sip the week’s offerings at picnic tables scattered throughout the trees around the farmhouse. The cidery’s production capacity is now incapable of meeting demand, and Farmhaus is in the process of securing permission for an expansion that will allow it to use larger tanks, operate a small indoor tasting area and extend its hours. A final plan will go before the township for approval May 9, Behrens said. Farmhaus has put out multiple pleas on social media asking its fans to come out to local township meetings and send emails to the zoning board, showing support for the expansion. If the plans aren’t approved, the cidery fears it will have to leave behind a farm that’s been in the family for 150 years just to continue to provide its product to an evergrowing audience. Farmhaus owes its quick and biggerthan-expected success to a variety of factors, Behrens said. Now that heavier craft beers like IPAs and porters are commonplace even in small towns, tastes are expanding in more obscure directions. “People are continuously looking for something new, and the direction they’re going towards is sours and some of the wild ferments,” he said. “Cider is a natural next step for that.”

Experience Northern Experience Northern Experience Northern Michigan Wine Country Michigan Wine Country Experience Northern Michigan Wine Country Michigan Wine Country



42 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2017

Cider-making also aligns with other trends in craft brewing. Since ciders are naturally gluten-free, there’s a built-in audience. Farmhaus also is hyperlocal, producing many of its ingredients on-site. All of the fruit for the ciders comes from orchards within a 15-mile radius of the farm. The maple for its Brunch cider comes from a place around the corner. The raspberries for the Raspotle (as in raspberry-chipotle) come from a nearby farm. And finally, Behrens credits Farmhaus’ success to a changing community. “I think there’s a transformation happening in the greater Hudsonville area,” he said. “People that have lived elsewhere and have

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returned to West Michigan, or people who have lived in Grand Rapids for a while and are moving to start families because they’ve heard about the school districts and maybe don’t have the same preconceived notions that everyone’s grandparents did — they want local things to do, places they can go and grab a drink and hang out with their friends.” Farmhaus Cider Co. is located at 5025 Stanton St. in Hudsonville. Its tasting area will be open Wednesday-Saturday into the fall. Find more info at n

Open Daily!


Grand Haven Tasting Room 327 N. Beacon Blvd. Grand Haven, MI 49417

Winery & Vineyard Tasting Room 533 E. Lemon Creek Rd. Berrien Springs, MI 49103




Located down a quiet gravel road on a 150 year old family farm 20 minutes from downtown, we offer authentic and creative hard ciders you can’t find anywhere else!


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Wine & Spirits guide

In High Spirits Local distillers explain how to enjoy their best libations by Maureen Di Virgilio

Since summer is just around the corner (we hope), it’s time to dust off the patio furniture, clear all the winter debris out of the bonfire pit, and ponder some important decisions. Number one: What will you and your friends be drinking in your backyards and on your porches this season? While craft beer is a West Michigan standard, our distilleries have been getting a lot of national attention lately. With more newcomers — including the just-opened 18th Amendment Distillery in Muskegon — continuing to arrive on the scene, here’s a roadmap of sorts to the signature spirits that local distillers have to offer, and how to enjoy them at home.

Long Road Aquavit

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Long Road Distillers, 537 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids Dist iller ’s Notes: Dill & caraway dominate, supported by the soft, mellow structure of Michigan winter wheat; imagine biting into rustic, earthy rye bread. Finishes bright and clean with a ghost of anise. “It’s an old-world spirit we can make with local ingredients,” said co-owner Kyle Van Strien. Taking a chance on this innovative product established Long Road on the international scene, with awards flowing in ever since. This Aquavit has topped Scandinavian aquavits in competition and won multiple Best of Show awards. Skål is the traditional Scandinavian equivalent of “cheers,” a toast to friendship and goodwill. Van Strien suggests

44 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2017

enjoying aquavit in the style of skål — chilled and taken as a shot — or in a citrusy cocktail like the house gimlet. Long Road also just released its first Old Aquavit: a buttery, barrel-aged version with notes of vanilla and cumin. The decision to add an aged aquavit to the roster was inspired partially by a desire to experiment with old world traditions, according to Van Strien, “and partially because we just knew it would be awesome.” It is.

Coppercraft Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Coppercraft Distillery, 184 120th Ave., Holland

Distiller’s Notes: Distilled in copper pot stills and aged for two years; made with West Michigan corn and rye.

Coppercraft Bourbon

Long Road Aquavit

A house favorite at Coppercraft, this bourbon can be enjoyed neat but is also delicious in a Manhattan, mixed with the distillery’s house-made sweet vermouth and bitters. “Every once in awhile, we’ll spice it up with some tobacco tincture for a nice smoky flavor,” said Paul Marantette. The process of making the tincture is simple — it involves the steeping of tobacco in unaged, high-proof bourbon — but yields complex flavors. Marantette advises spritzing the glass with the tincture prior to pouring. This augments the smoky aroma of the cocktail. “Top it off with a flamed orange (which doesn’t end up in the glass) for some citrus oils, garnish with a house-made brandied cherry, and sit back to enjoy.”

Gray Skies Apple Brandy

The GSD team loves playing around with apple brandy in cocktails. Favorite recipes are “generally very spirit-forward,” said co-owner Brandon Voorhees, “only adding small amounts of other ingredients to help coax out the best qualities of the spirit.” He recommends this riff on the classic Sazerac: Gray Skies Apple Brandy Sazerac In a rocks glass, add 0.25 oz of absinthe and rinse interior walls. Discard remaining absinthe (or consume it!) and set glass aside. In a mixing glass, stir 2.5 oz. apple brandy, 0.25 oz. turbinado syrup, and 4 drops of aromatic bitters together with ice. Strain into prepared glass. Spritz absinthe mist to taste, preferably using an atomizer. Garnish with fresh lemon peel.

Last Feather Rye Whiskey

Journeyman Distillery, 109 Generation Dr., Three Oaks

Distiller’s Notes: Fresh apple, subtle banana and vanilla on the nose; more apple and vanilla on the palate, joined by cinnamon and tropical fruit; medium-dry finish ends with spicy rye.

Distiller’s Notes: Aged for 14 months in Minnesota White Oak casks; super smooth for a rye owing to an abundance of organic wheat in the mash bill; notes of butterscotch, vanilla, caramel, pepper.

Gray Skies sources apple juice and ferments it onsite into hard cider with a special yeast typically used for rum, which creates the unique aroma of the finished product. The brandy is aged for a short time in used rye whiskey barrels, which adds texture and spice.

Blake V is sing, head bar tender at Journeyman, recommends enjoying Last Feather neat with a drop of water, out of a Glencairn Whiskey Glass (available for purchase at Journeyman). Fun fact: this special piece of glassware, designed by a Scottish company, was inspired by the

“nosing copitas” used by master distillers in Scotland — the tapered mouth of the glass allows the drinker to enjoy the complex flavor of the whiskey while simultaneously smelling the different layers of its aroma.

Henry’s Absent Absinthe Verte

Bier Distillery, 5295 West River Dr. NE, Comstock Park Distiller’s Notes: Wormwood, green anise, sweet fennel and an undisclosed mix of other botanicals combine to make this herbaceous spirit deceptively complex — yet it’s smooth on the palate at 69-percent ABV.

“Although sometimes referred to as a liqueur, absinthe is not bottled with added sugar, and not lit on fire,” said distiller Joel Bierling. Absinthe is actually classified as a spirit. Contrary to popular belief, it’s been legal in the U.S. for a decade, and claims that absinthe is psychoactive have been proven to be myth. Try this Michigan-made absinthe the traditional way — replicating the process at home is simple, even without your own personal absinthe fountain. Bierling suggests dripping 0.75 oz. of water over a sugar cube placed on an absinthe spoon (a slotted or perforated spoon will work too) into a glass containing 0.75 oz. of Henry’s Absent Absinthe. The liquid will “louche,” turning a milky white color. After a quick stir, your absinthe is ready to sip.

Knickerbocker Brewpub & Distillery

417 Bridge St NW, Grand Rapids.

One of the most exciting developments from New Holland Brewing Co. is the opening of a Grand Rapids location on the newly-revitalized Bridge Street, complete with a secluded upstairs cocktail lounge. Erin Mullis, Knickerbocker’s beverage director, shared the recipe for a twist on the classic Pimm’s Cup, “a great springtime cocktail” which is easy to replicate at home. Knick Cup 1.5 oz. Knickerbocker Gin 0.5 oz. sweet vermouth 1 dash Angostura bitters 2 strawberries 2 cucumber slices 1 lemon wedge Lemon-lime soda Garnish: cucumbers, strawberries, lemon wheels, mint In a tall glass, layer lemon wheels with layers of cucumbers, strawberries and ice. In a mixing tin, combine Knickerbocker Gin, vermouth, strawberries, cucumber and lemon. Muddle, add ice and shake. Double strain into the glass. Top off with lemon-lime soda, then garnish with mint and cucumber slices. n

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Gray Skies Distillery, 700 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids

Bier Distillery Absinthe


Wine & Spirits guide

Revue Recipe: The Poptail by Missy Black


Photo: Missy Black

f you’ve been spending time and energy on your signature summer drink, don’t bother — we’ve got an easy wine-based cocktail that’s festive, fizzy and filled with the fruits of summer. Wine brings people together, but sparkling wine brings the party. If you love wine but want to jazz it up, this two-ingredient beverage is waiting for its umbrella. “The point of drinks in the summer is to celebrate the end of winter, especially in Michigan,” said Rishi Makkar, owner of Rishi’s International Beverage in Grand Rapids. “They’re a talking point, a fun way to unite the community and to bring people together — and that’s what our industry is all about: good times, good culture and unity.” Prosecco’s crisp and clean flavor makes it ideal for mixing. Makkar’s favorite prosecco is Lunetta. “The whole point is to be able to mix it. Lunetta is refreshing, dry and harmonious, with crisp apple and peach flavors and a clean finish,” he said. It sells for around $11.99 and when you add the meager cost of popsicles, you’ve got a unique, topnotch wine hybrid for less than $20. If you want the best money can buy, Makkar recommends Bottega, which comes in three different tiers: a rosé, a semisweet and a dry for around $30.

When it comes to popsicles, use only real frozen fruit bars. There’s a plethora of flavors out there, including strawberry, peach, mango, pineapple, raspberry and, really, any fruit flavor that appeals to you. The Outshine brand can be found at Meijer and local grocery stores. Mokaya in Grand Rapids will be offering a Latin American version, paletas, with flavors like blackberry rosewater mint and lemon lavender coconut. If you’re looking to support a local brand, check out MI Ice Pops — handcrafted with whole ingredients using Michigan beet sugar, honey and maple syrup for sweeteners. They’ll be on hand at the Grand Rapids Color Run on July 29. Serving suggestion: It helps to let the popsicle disintegrate a bit for maximum slushiness. Add in fresh fruit on top, just because berry overkill is what it’s all about. n Ingredients Prosecco sparkling wine Real fruit popsicle Preparation Pour prosecco in a wineglass. Add in a frozen fruit popsicle. Let melt a bit. Garnish with extra berries of your choice. Repeat, often.





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A Sour IPA brewed with 4 hop varieties and 7 different malts, and aged in oak for 7 months. The result is a highly drinkable and funky IPA. Hop notes of lemon, grapefruit, and orange blend with the full malt body. Have you ever been smashed, grabbed, and hop dusted? REVUEWM.COM | May 2017 |



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Enjoy our breakfast station, salad station, carving station, and hot entree selections. Be sure to save room for our array of tempting desserts and so much more! 4747 28th St SE, Grand Rapids • RESERVATIONS: Call 616.957.1111








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820 MICHIGAN ST NE GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49503 616-454-0444

C A G E F R E E E G G S • V E G E TA R I A N • V E G A N

Restaurant listings arranged by region

Grand Rapids

Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Beer and numerous dining options.

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.

Butcher’s Union 438 Bridge St. NW 616-551-1323 AMERICAN. Butcher’s has its fortes — meat and whiskey — but it’s not exactly niche. Expertly-crafted cocktails (made with every kind of spirit) are here at a refreshingly affordable price, along with a high-end food menu for carnivores and vegheads alike. The historic building sets the mood, giving off an “old fancy-bar in London” vibe. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Meat, whiskey, cocktails.

Anna’s House Multiple locations BREAKFAST/LUNCH. Anna’s House recently went through a dramatic makeover, going from an already-beloved breakfast hot spot and neighborhood staple to an ever-growing concept with five locations across West Michigan. Why all the success? The menu is unique, but accessible. The interior design is refreshing, but not overbearing. And the service is great. » SERVING: Breakfast, Lunch OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Inventive breakfast specials. 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.

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

Chapbook Café 2660 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids. 616-942-0595. CAFE. Take a break from browsing the shelves at Schuler Books with a homemade selection of soups, sandwiches and quiches. Soups are prepared in-house daily and served with fresh baked bread to accompany a small-but-elegant sandwich menu. Try a quiche or traditional Italian Panini grilled on fresh ciabatta bread, or for a quick bite, grab a bagel or scone from the dessert case. » SERVING: Breakfast Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days GO THERE FOR: Homemade soups and sandwiches CitySen Lounge 83 Monroe Center St. NW. 616-608-1720 AMERICAN. CitySen Lounge, located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, is a bar with a big-city feel, offering exciting options for lunch, dinner and breakfast on the weekends. The focus is on fresh ingredients and a full bar with local brews, wine and creative cocktails. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner (Breakfast on weekends). OPEN: Open 7 days GO THERE FOR: Daily happy hour The Corner Bar 31 N. Main St., Rockford 616-866-9866 AMERICAN. The downtown Rockford tavern serves a solid menu of burgers, burritos, salads and sandwiches, but it is best known for hot dogs — serving almost 1,000 per day. Its hot-dog-eating

challenge has been conquered by more than a few, but it raises the question: Why would you want to consume Corner Bar dogs in a hurry rather than savor each bite? » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Hot dogs. The Cottage Bar 18 Lagrave Ave. SE. 616-454-9088 AMERICAN. The Cottage Bar is the oldest operating restaurant and bar in downtown Grand Rapids. Come in for the Cottage Burger, smothered with green olives, bacon, lettuce, tomato, hickory mayonnaise and Swiss and American cheeses. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Closed Sundays GO THERE FOR: The Cottage Burger. 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. » 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 beerlover’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. Graydon’s Crossing 1223 Plainfield NE. 616-726-8260 TAVERN. An authentic take on the English Pub, with a huge selection of beers on tap and a menu that includes classic English dishes like Fish & Chips, Shepherd’s Pie and Irish Stew, as well as Indian specialties like Tandoori Chicken and Tikka Masala. A great casual atmosphere for drinking and dining. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Beer and authentic pub food. G.R.P.D. (Grand Rapids Pizza and Delivery) 340 State St. SE. 616-454-9204 ITALIAN. The current location opened in 2004 as the first established pizzeria in Heritage Hill A common meeting spot for local folks, business professionals and college students, a place where one could gather for a quick meal or a reflective lunch. It offers both hand-tossed pizza and Chicago-style stuffed pizza, as well

as pasta, sandwiches, salads, and wings. Online ordering, too. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Pizza. Grand 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. Lindo Mexico Restaurante Mexicano 1742 28th St. SW. 616-261-2280 MEXICAN. One of the lessdiscussed Mexican eateries is also one of the most popular, especially on the weekends. The atmosphere? Very communal, occasionally with excellent live music. The food? Full of flavor on the cheap. The service? Always friendly, always helpful. » SERVING: Lunch, Dinner OPEN: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Unique margaritas made fresh. 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. 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

REVUEWM.COM | May 2017 |

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Bistro Bella Vita 44 Grandville Ave. SW. 616-222-4600 ITALIAN. One of Grand Rapids’ best dining experiences, featuring Mediterranean-inspired 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 French-Belgian 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).

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


Taste This

by Troy Reimink


Dawn of the Doughnut

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n an early Halloween episode of “The Simpsons,” Homer eats a forbidden doughnut supplied by the devil (Ned Flanders) and gets sent to hell. He lands in the Ironic Punishment Division, where a demon interrogates him: “So, you like doughnuts, eh? Well, have all the doughnuts in the world!” He is then force-fed a never-ending supply of generic doughnuts, which he consumes gleefully, failing to understand that he’s being tortured, his waistline ballooning to accommodate his insatiable hunger. Twenty-plus years later, one wonders what Homer would make of today’s fancying-up of the simple doughnut. Would he continue to inhale them indiscriminately, or would he pause to Instagram

D’arts Donuts

1444 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids D’arts Donuts opened in Eastown in August — coincidentally, not long after Propaganda Doughnuts’ controversial closure in the Heartside district — but was already familiar to pastry enthusiasts who had made the eponymous food truck a popular local fixture. Basing his work on a nearly century-old family dough recipe, owner Adam Ouellette has struck a deft balance between contemporary culinary trends and the comforting warmth of traditions passed through generations.

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the artisan creation before him, pondering its optional gluten content and locally sourced glaze before savoring each bite? Either way, a new era of doughnut consumption has dawned. West Michigan already is home to several beloved doughnut stops that receive well-deserved praise every time a media outlet needs to generate clicks with a best-of slideshow. So while we eternally extend the maddest of props to Marge’s Donut Den, Sandy’s Donuts, Van’s Pastry Shoppe and all other perennial must-visits, we’re interested today in some of the impressive new players that have joined the market in the past year. We have some hearty recommendations to show for the pounds acquired in this process.

D’arts offers a menu that rotates weekly with about a dozen options categorized as either “classics” or “signatures.” On a recent visit, we grabbed one from each menu: a Michigan honey-glazed yeast doughnut from the classic side for me (I opted for one with sprinkles, because I am not a monster). My companion chose what has become D’arts’ biggest hit: a cake doughnut topped with crumbles of maple bacon. Because, America! The menu also includes vegan and gluten-free options and, for more expansive appetites, doughnut sliders, breakfast sandwiches and doughnut poutine.

The Donut Conspiracy

1971 East Beltline NE, Grand Rapids Since opening in October near Knapp’s Corner, Stacy Williams’ Donut Conspiracy has established itself as perhaps the area’s most wildly experimental doughnut destination. Creative toppings abound on its menu of nearly 40 varieties — candy bars, cream cheese, cereals, cookie crumbs, bubble gum — with names like Rehab and Anger Management, Midnight Snack and Cookie Monster.

I believe in deploying a scrambled-egg principle when assessing a breakfast/dessert treat like an elaborate doughnut. Meaning: You can often judge a quality chef by how seriously he or she approaches a seemingly simple item, i.e. scrambled eggs. So in a recent order of a handful of ornate Donut Conspiracy doughnuts, I included as a control the Bedazzled, a straightforward frosting-and-sprinkle option. Its tiny spherical sprinkles added a perfect crunch to a chocolate cake doughnut roughly as dense as a dying star, and it ended up being my favorite. In other words, they’re not messing around here.


Available in various locations The all vegan/gluten-free bakery does not yet have a storefront; it operates out of a rented commercial kitchen space on Grand Rapids’ West Side, where it produces doughnuts, cookies, cupcakes, pies (*pauses mid-list to wipe drool from chin*), buttercreams, cheesecakes and tarts. Baker Nick Van Liere’s handiwork is available at coffee shops throughout the city, such as Ferris, Lantern, Squibb, Sparrows, Global Infusion and Lightfast. Van Liere, who became vegan in high school, applies rigorous dietary ethics to Rise’s extensive menu of dairy-, gluten- and soy-free doughnuts, available in nearly 20 varieties, ranging from the traditional (chocolate sprinkle, classic glazed) to the less-so (orange cardamom, peanut butter sriracha). n

REVUEWM.COM | May 2017 |



the food with live music, which OTP features weekly. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Eclectic pizzas. 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.

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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:

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Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Specialty cocktails, broad menu, lively atmosphere.

Kalamazoo/Battle Creek

Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Diverse beverage selection.

The Sovengard 443 Bridge St. NW 616-214-7207 NEW NORDIC. There’s really nothing like The Sovengard. The menu changes with the seasons, but the quality doesn’t. Expect innovative, beautiful dishes in the Scandinavian tradition. It’s not cheap, but you get what you pay for. The West Side restaurant also boasts an excellent taplist, perfect for sipping in the biergarten. » SERVING: Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Something special.

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.

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.

Stella’s Lounge 53 Commerce Ave. 616-356-2700 TAVERN. The Chicagostyle 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.

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

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.

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:

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

Old Dog Tavern 402 East Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo. 269-381-5677 AMERICAN. The food at Old Dog Tavern is just about as eclectic as the entertainment offered. The menu has so much on it that it might even bring some harmony between picky and adventurous eaters. » SERVING:

reach for the 7

Sun - Wed: 11AM - 12AM | Th - Sat: 11AM - 2AM 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49007 269.382.2332 REVUEWM.COM | May 2017 |

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by Joe Boomgaard, Revue Beer Czar



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henever you buy a new craft beer at the store, you essentially roll the dice on whether you’ll like it and hope that it will meet your standards for flavor and quality. Unlike going to a brewery where servers are happy to let you try a sample before you buy a pint, most retail stores typically do not offer consumers a preview of the product, even though they’re dropping $10-$20 per six-pack for craft beer in most cases. And the price is even higher for craft spirits. Luckily, that trend is starting to change as new specialty stores create space for small bars, taprooms or growler/crowler filling stations within their footprints.

Horrock’s Market, 4455 Breton Road SE in Kentwood, was among the earliest adopters, carving out space inside its grocery store to add a bar so patrons can sip and shop, try a handful of beers and fill growlers. But two new Grand Rapids-area stores also have latched on to the concept. A cross between a beer bar, a whiskey bar, a neighborhood pub and a cozy living room, Riverside Lounge opened last month at 5430 Northland Drive in Grand Rapids next door to Riverside Liquors. “We felt like this area needed something more upper class, like a speakeasy,” said co-founder Roger Plowman, who owns the adjacent store. “I like a relaxed atmosphere where you can sit, type up emails or just come to chill.” Riverside Lounge offers 50 taps of craft beer and cider — 42 of which were dedicated to Michigan beers when Revue visited — plus an extensive array of craft spirits, including more than 100 bourbons and whiskeys, with the goal of reaching 700. The bar also sells crowlers, making it one of the first non-brewery locations in the Grand Rapids area to offer the 32-ounce filled-to-order cans. Plowman said the idea behind the lounge was to offer customers a way to try products before they bought them at the store.

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Riverside Lounge

Try Before You Buy “If you’re not sure about a bottle of scotch or bourbon, try a sample pour (at the lounge) and then buy it next door,” he said, adding that the same goes for beer. “We want to stay strictly craft, for everything from spirits to beer. We think craft can survive in this town.” Riverside Lounge also posts its tap list online using Digital Pour. Patrons can download a free phone app to see what’s on tap in real time, the cost per pour and how much is left in the keg, as well as what’s on deck. The company is one of only four breweries or bars in West Michigan to leverage the user-friendly platform. Plowman said he thinks the app could help draw in customers from around the region, especially for rare or specialty beers. Riverside Lounge also plans to work with a different local craft brewery every month on exclusive beers. When Revue visited in April, the two specialties — a Mosaic IPA and a Strawberry Stout — were both brewed at Saugatuck Brewing Co. On the spirits side, customers receive cocktails with all craft spirits — no bottomshelf liquor allowed, Plowman said. All the mixers and other ingredients are handmade and hand-pressed, and the bar will be adding a “master mixologist” by the time this report hits the stands.

“We also want to bring spirits to a new level,” he said. While the business may offer food at some point, it currently plans to work with local restaurants and food trucks, according to Plowman. Meanwhile, across the street from the Downtown Market in Grand Rapids, Craft Beer Cellar is focusing strictly on beer for the moment. Owned by Jessica Beeby and Brian Beaucher, Craft Beer Cellar is a locally-operated franchise beer store and taproom selling more than 600 different brands in bottles or cans, and offering 20 beers, ciders or meads on tap at any given time. The local owners are leveraging the back office for business questions and support, but make their own decisions about who to hire and which beers to sell, said Beeby, who grew up in Kalamazoo. “We order in relatively small quantities unless we know it’s something people want,” she said. “With a lower quantity, we keep stuff fresh and turn it over.” Patrons can buy a single bottle, pay a small uncorking fee and try the beer before plopping down the full amount for a six pack. The cozy, laid-back bar area also features a range of tasting events with breweries, as well

as a plethora of board games to play while you sip. “We want to focus on beer — we’re a bottle shop first,” Beaucher said. “We do a lot of our own research.” Interestingly, owners at both Riverside Lounge and Craft Beer Cellar say their most popular beers have been New England-style IPAs, especially M-43 from Old Nation Brewing. On the spirits side, Plowman said sales at Riverside have been strong for Sazerac and Weller 12-year bourbon. Cocktails like the 77 — made with St. Germain, lemon, in-house simple syrup and champagne — have also gained traction in the opening days, he said. n

Other options: Craft Draft 2 Go 4520 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo • 50 taps of regional craft beers • Offers 5-, 10- and 16-ounce pours, as well as fills growlers and crowlers Campau Corner Meat Market & Growler Fill Station 6785 Whitneyville Ave. SE, Alto • 23 craft beer taps • Fills 16-, 32- and 64-ounce resealable glass containers



German Menu Live Music Every Wednesday!

Biergarten Open!



17 S. 2ND ST GRAND HAVEN, MI 616.414.7822


Blue Magic is an easy drinking ale brewed with organic lavender from Light of Day Organics. Prepare for an intriguing floral aroma and light body, followed by a strong lavender finish.

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Join us Thursdays for




50% off food for our friends in the food industry. *Please bring recent paystub*



Craft Cocktails


$6 Craft Cocktails day 50% OFF FOOD for ourallfriends in the food industry

AND... $6 Craft Cocktails ALL DAY! (269) 381-5677 | | 402 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo

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.

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 beerinspired 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. 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.



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Makes a Great Gift!




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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. Kirby House 2 Washington, Grand Haven. 616-846-3299 AMERICAN. Formerly a historic hotel, The Kirby House retains its old-world charm while providing all the pleasantries of new world fare, with a diverse but primarily Americaninfluenced menu. Check out the new island bar with 5 HDTVs and walk to Lake Michigan right after. The Kirby House also hosts The Grill Room and a pizzeria (complete with pool tables) called K2. The lower level has also been renovated to include a wine cellar and a premier nightclub, Dark. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Nightlife. New Holland Brewing Company 66 E. 8th St., Holland. 616-355-6422 BREWPUB. One of West MI’s premier microbreweries serves up better than average pub grub, including savory sandwiches chock full of Michigan ingredients, plus a seasonal entree menu. Also try their artisan spirits. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Mad Hatter IPA, Dragon’s Milk. Phil’s Bar & Grille 215 Butler St., Saugatuck. 269-857-1555 AMERICAN. This cozy (some would say “small”) bar and grille in downtown Saugatuck is one of those unassuming spots you might easily overlook, though locals in Saugatuck will tell you about their love affair with Phil’s. Eclectic menu is all over the place, but in a good way, and the staff is super-friendly. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: Open 7 days. GO THERE FOR: Portabella Mushroom Fries. Salt of the Earth 114 East Main St., Fennville. 269-561-7258 AMERICAN. Salt of the Earth is a farm-to-table-inspired restaurant, bar, and bakery located in the heart of SW Michigan farm country in Fennville. Focuses on fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients whenever possible. Also serves up live music on weekends. » SERVING: Lunch Dinner OPEN ON: 7 days. GO THERE FOR: House made rustic cuisine. 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, e-mail

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Try our deli delights! • Famous bagel dogs, bagel sandwiches, and fresh salads • Coffee, both iced and hot • Wednesdays: try our smoked chicken wings • Thursdays: try our turkey burgers fresh off the grill • Fridays: try our smoked back ribs

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HOURS M-F 6:30A-8P SAT 7:30A-6P SUN 10A-5P 220 Northland Dr., Rockford | | 616.866.2900 | Find us on Facebook!

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Last Call by Josh Veal / photo by Katy Batdorff

The Siciliano

Principle Food & Drink, Kalamazoo When inventing cocktails, Principle Food & Drink looks toward the classics as a guiding light, according to Bar Manager Dan Reinisch. For The Siciliano, the Kalamazoo restaurant and cocktail specialists started with a classic Negroni: gin, Campari and vermouth rosso. Reinisch said Principle’s twist on the drink starts with Beefeater gin, thanks to its dry nature that will cut through the syrup and sweetness of the other ingredients while not giving an excessive amount of character like other gins might (i.e. Bombay Sapphire). Then comes the Campari, a classic bitter orange liqueur from Italy, lending brightness, bitterness and a little bit of sweetness. Along with that is the Dolin Rouge, a French red vermouth that “lends a little bit of florality but doesn’t make the body too thick or rich,” Reinisch said. The rest of the recipe derives inspiration from the Negroni Slushies at Parson’s Chicken & Fish in Chicago. They’re “basically the most refreshing, delicious thing in the world,” Reinisch said. To emulate that, Principle adds some blood orange juice, which doubles down on the Campari flavor, and then a bit of lemon juice to add acidity and simple syrup to balance everything out. To top it all off, The Siciliano is garnished with a dehydrated grapefruit wheel in a large coupe glass. It’s meant to be drunk quickly, which shouldn’t be a problem for anyone. Ingredients 1.5 oz. Beefeater Gin 1 oz. Dolin Rouge 0.5 oz. Campari 0.5 oz. blood orange juice 0.5 oz. lemon juice 0.5 oz. simple syrup Pour into a shaker, in this order: the simple syrup, lemon juice, blood orange juice, Campari, Doulin Rouge and Beefeater. Throw some ice in the shaker, give it a hefty rattle (about 10 to 12 seconds) and then strain into a coupe glass. The drink doesn’t need more ice in the glass — it’s perfect as is. If you happen to have a dehydrated grapefruit wheel on hand, go for it, but don’t stress too much. Finally: head to the porch, get situated in your old rocking chair and sip away. ➤ See how it’s made: Check out for an exclusive video tutorial on how to make the Siciliano with Principle’s Bar Manager, Dan Reinisch.

58 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2017



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