REVUE West Michigan - May 2023

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and Spirits » MAY 2023
ALLARTWORKS: Helping Artists Sell
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4 MAY 2023 /


MAY 2023 | VOLUME 35, ISSUE 5


24 Going Beyond the Bottle: A Winemaker Q&A

26 The Art of the Cocktail

30 Portable Potables: Canned Wine & Cocktails

32 Revue Wine Trail


36 West Michigan Summer Bucket List

38 Cream of the Crop: Farmers Markets


10 What's Going On


12 Just a Dab Will Do: Cannabis Concentrates


14 City and Colour: Giving Voice to Grief

16 Max Lockwood: Digging Deep to Find "Diamonds"


18 Trey Kennedy: Grown Up Comedy for All Ages


20 Haus Sweet Haus


40 Masters of Voice and Piano at The Gilmore

44 AllArtWorks: Helping Artists Sell

46 Arts Calendar

MAY 2023 7
Photo Courtesy of Josiah Gentry

Wine and spirits have come a long way in West Michigan.

When I was a teen, I remember reading The Golden Compass and coming across a talking bear that “drank spirits,” which sounded cool. It took me the length of the book to realize spirits was another word for liquor, and not lingering remnants of human souls. I guess that says more about me than the state of the world, but this is my letter and I can write what I want.

The fact remains, locally crafted spirits and wine have seen a huge surge in recent times. Many of the distilleries and vineyards championed in this issue didn’t even exist 10 years ago, and now there’s no shortage of options for local wine and spirits, wherever you go. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a West Michigan without them.

In this year’s Wine & Spirits issue, we talk to a winemaker to get the scoop behind the scenes, chat with a bartender about how cocktails get created from start to finish (and how you can do

the same at home), and take a walk down the Revue wine trail. Plus, canned cocktails and wines for sunny adventures!

Speaking of which, this issue also gets summer planning kicked off with a bucket list for the season ahead and a guide to the best farmers markets around. I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to get out there and earn my sunburn.

Also check out our comedy and music interviews, including Vine star turned comedian Trey Kennedy, local solo artist Max Lockwood, and the recently reborn City and Colour project of Dallas Green.

As the temperatures rise and life gets busy—it always does, in the summer—just don’t forget that you don’t need to travel far to experience amazing food, wine, spirits and community.

’Til next time,


Serendipity Media, LLC

President, Kasie Smith


Managing Editor, Josh Veal


Designer, Courtney Van Hagen


Marketing Director, Loren Eisenlohr Marketing Coordinator, Jasa West


Kelli Belanger


Zachary Avery Allison Kay Bannister

Missy Black

John Kissane

Eric Mitts

Michaela Stock

ADVERTISING / (616) 458-8371

Media Sales Manager, Kelli Belanger

Media Sales Consultant, Maggie Mutch



Revue is published monthly by: Serendipity Media LLC

535 Cascade West Parkway SE Grand Rapids, MI 49546 (616) 458-8371

@2023 Serendipity Media LLC

All rights reserved.

8 MAY 2023 /
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Grand Rapids Public Museum

272 Pearl St. NW, Grand Rapids

May 4, 6 p.m.

Join the 2023 Collections & Cocktails fundraiser for an evening to support the Grand Rapids Public Museum and view selections from the Museum’s Rocks, Minerals, Gemstones, and Jewelry Collection, made up of over 5,000 specimens, many of them collected around 1854. The celebration will feature signature cocktails by New Holland Brewing and dinner accompanied by the stories and history of these artifacts.



Blandford Nature Center

1715 HIllburn Ave. NW, Grand Rapids May 6, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Join Blandford Nature Center for the annual Spring Nature Makers Market! This market features gifts and goods inspired by nature and created with natural materials. Over 30 vendors will be selling a variety of handcrafted goods including jewelry, textiles, prints and illustrations, stickers, ceramics, and more! Admission to the Nature Makers Market is FREE and open to all ages, no registration required. Shopping includes the Blandford Nature Center gift shop.


GLC Live at 20 Monroe

11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids May 6, 4-8 p.m.

Support the Hospice of Michigan with another annual Barley, BBQ & Beats celebration, a unique celebration showcasing barbecue from leading pit masters, hand-crafted cocktails from select Michigan distilleries and live music from hometown favorites. Each ticket includes food, cocktails, games and much more. Plus, the Grand Rapids version of this traveling event includes a special appearance by country pop star Kelsea Ballerini.


LMCU Ballpark

4500 W. River Dr. NE, Comstock Park

May 6, 2-6 p.m.

In 2017, the world’s first ever Donut and Beer fest was created in Kalamazoo, and it’s grown every year, always selling out. Each attendee gets local doughnut samples, beer and cider samples, a souvenir cup, and access to all kinds of fun, like a mechanical bull, music and more.


Downtown Holland

May 6-15

Since 1929, the city of Holland has blossomed with literally hundreds of thousands of tulips — and an equal number of tulip-lovers who attend the annual Tulip Time Festival. But the celebration is so much more than tulips, with national entertainment acts, events and activities for all ages, along with sights of the shores of Lake Michigan and some of the largest parades around. There’s also an Artisan Market with over 200 vendors, along with Dutch Dance performances, on May 6 & 7.



Griff’s Georgetown Ice Arena

8500 48th Ave., Hudsonville May 13, 4:30 p.m.

The screeching of the skates, the referees’ whistles, the hits, the bruises, the high-fives—it’s roller derby and it’s back! Come check out Grand Rapids’ very own flat-track roller derby teams as they duke it out and race to the finish, with some teammates doing derby since 2006. Still not convinced? Come for the skater names, like Bette Mangler, Buffy the Jampire Skater, Scary Magdelene and more.



Van Andel Arena

130 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids May 16, 7 p.m.

Breaking Benjamin are no strangers to the upper echelons of the rock charts. Since bursting onto the scene with 2002’s Saturate, the band has amassed an impressive string of mainstream rock radio hits, with ten songs hitting #1, and numerous platinum and multi-platinum songs and albums. See them at Van Andel with special guest Bush. 5/19


The Pyramid Scheme

68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids May 19, 7 p.m.

Bold and outspoken Chicago rapper CupcakKe achieved viral success and critical acclaim with her brazen, unapologetically explicit songs and videos. Her work explores sexuality in graphic detail, and while many of her songs are humorous and playful, she has more serious, introspective material that deals with sexual abuse, racial issues, and LGBTQ empowerment. See her at the Pyramid Scheme this month. 5/20


Grandville High School Auditorium

4700 Canal Ave. SW, Grandville May 20, 5 p.m.

The NPC Grand Rapids Bodybuilding Championships has been growing in size and status since its beginning. Coming into its 17th year, the show is put on by Professional Personal Trainer and Event Promoter, Mike Vruggink. The event itself is an exciting show with top physique athletes from all over putting on spectacular presentations and posing routines—and this year, they’re welcoming special guest and 2021 Mr. Olympia Champion Derek Lunsford. Whether you know a competitor or not, this show is a fun and family-

friendly evening in the very clean & classy suburb called Grandville in the city of Grand Rapids.



May 21, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Put on some pants with a little stretch in them and head over to this eatables extravaganza—now in its fifth year. Expect as many as 45 participating food trucks and trailers serving up a variety of tastes and treats. It’s one of—if not THE—largest festival of its kind in GR.



The Intersection

133 Cesar E. Chavez SW, Grand Rapids May 23, 7 p.m.

Mysterious, eccentric, good-hearted, and downright talented are all words that have been used to describe actor and musician Creed Bratton over the years. Creed may be best known for starring as a fictional version of himself on “The Office.” But on his Cool Beans Tour, you’ll see him perform incredible music made with a lifetime of experience, mixed in with a few jokes and stories along the way.



DeVos Performance Hall

303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids May 31-June 2

The New York Times opines, comedian Taylor Tomlinson “demonstrates tight joke writing, carefully honed act-outs and a ruthless appetite for laughs” in her second hour-long special, Look At You, now streaming on Netflix. New York Magazine adds, “Watching Tomlinson gives you the same comfort as a Swift concert or a Broadway show that’s been on for years. This is a professional. This performance will be ultra-produced. You do not need to be anxious.” What more do you need to know?

10 MAY 2023 / /// NEWS

JUST A DAB WILL DO: Cannabis Concentrates

Now that cannabis use has spread far and wide across Michigan, it’s time to take things to the next level. We’re talking about concentrates. Before the industry became so professionalized, “dabs” were the main word for concentrates, a clue that you just need a little bit to get the job done. They also gained a reputation for being off-limits to all but the smoking professionals, which has certainly shifted as the average person’s knowledge and tolerance goes up. So, let’s take a look at what cannabis concentrates are, how to tell them apart, and how to smoke them.


As the name implies, concentrates are cannabis extracts with extremely high amounts of cannabinoids and terpenes, often reaching THC levels of 60-90%. There are two umbrellas of extraction to know about, and while we won’t get into the debate of which is technically “better,” it’s good to know the basics of how they work.

There’s solvent-based extraction, which uses solvents such as ethanol, CO2 and butane to strip the plant material of trichomes, and then the solvents are burned off with heat. To avoid the small chance any trace of solvents remains, some consumers prefer to go with solventless extraction, which uses various methods like heat and pressure to squeeze out what’s known as rosin, or ice water and mesh to filter out trichomes (known as ice water hash, just FYI).

That said, most companies don’t bother to put their extraction method on the box, so if you really care, you’ll need to keep an eye out for products that proudly declare “solventless.”


One thing you will likely see marked on packaging is whether the concentrate is “live” or “cured.” This is actually pretty simple: The cannabis flower you smoke is typically cured, meaning dried out, so it’s not too damp to smoke. However, some terpenes are lost in the process, which makes concentrates made from this flower slightly less flavorful and cheaper.

Live concentrates, however, are made with cannabis that’s been frozen as soon as it’s harvested. Whether it’s in your dabs or your vape pen, “live” means that you’ll get a lot more of that natural cannabis flavor and aroma, not to mention more terpenes.


If you’ve ever seen a “dab rig,” they tend to look like a mad scientist’s bong, which can be a little intimidating, but they’re easy to get the hang of. The dab equivalent of a bowl is the “nail,” which doesn’t really look like the kind of nail you build furniture with, but instead is simply the place you put your concentrate. In fact, it could be made of glass or quartz, not just metal.

You heat up the nail with a butane torch (a regular lighter will not do) until it’s extremely hot, then put just a dab of your concentrate in there, and it quickly vaporizes, allowing you to smoke it through the mouthpiece. Chances are, you’re going to get a big, thick cloud of vapor, and a nice, long high to go with it.

There are simpler ways to smoke, too. You can get a dab pen, specifically made for concentrates. These arguably give a bit less control and produce less flavor, but they’re portable and super easy to use. Or you can use a nectar collector, like I do. It’s basically a straw with a metal tip, and you simply heat the tip with a butane torch and touch it lightly to the concentrate. Easy!



There are all kinds of different cannabis concentrates out there, and many of them are simply a matter of personal preference on texture. But with trial and error, you might find that a certain style of concentrate works best for your rig.

BADDER/BATTER/BUDDER: You won’t believe it’s not butter! This concentrate is a bit creamy and works great for adding to the middle of joints and blunts.

CRUMBLE: Exactly as you’d expect, this is less sticky/gooey and more crumbly, almost like sand at the beach.

SHATTER: A smooth but brittle product that snaps easily and looks like shards of caramel or dried honey.

WAX: The most basic, gooey, sticky texture.

ROSIN: Tasty, terpy, gooey, and always made from a solvent-less extract.

SAUCE: Tends to be lower in THC, but very high in terpenes. Great for flavor!

Just go to any one of your favorite local cannabis producers or dispensaries and they’re sure to have plenty of concentrates for you to choose from, and can even help guide you far beyond what we’ve done here. Smoke up, but don’t forget: Just a dab will do! ■

12 MAY 2023 / /// CANNABIS

CITY AND COLOUR: Giving Voice to Grief

Before making what would become his latest album, The Love Still Held Me Near , acclaimed singer/songwriter Dallas Green – aka City and Colour –reached a point where he wasn’t sure he’d ever write music again.

Green had just lost both his cousin, and his close friend and collaborator in less than a year’s time, and was facing down turning 40 in a global pandemic.

He was also holding onto his marriage of over 11 years by a thread, and experiencing what he calls a “perfect midlife crisis.”

“It was for me really just about finding the sheer joy in creating again,” Green said about how songwriting actually helped him process his pain. “That’s what I’m always striving for, is to find that personal fulfillment in making the art.”

Beset by tragedy after tragedy, Green felt a profound loss of identity when lockdown hit and took the only livelihood he’s ever really known away from him in an instant.

Completely unsure of the future, he found himself turning to his past, reconnecting with his former bandmates in iconic Canadian post-hardcore band Alexisonfire in 2021.

Reuniting a decade after parting ways— and two decades after first forming the band in their late —Alexisonfire made their first record together in 13 years, Otherness , at the same time that Green began working through the powerfully personal songs that fill his latest City and Colour record.

“I think finding that spark with those guys really just allowed me to come home every day from those jams so invigorated, just by the sheer sake of creating a song,” Green said. “And that allowed me to almost use that positivity to dig into all of the real personal stuff I was trying to write about on the other side.”

Green began City and Colour in 2005 as a quieter solo project separate from his work in Alexisonfire. He’s since released seven albums, four of which have topped the charts in his native Canada, and has gained fame and fans all around the world.

“I understand that I’ve had a very successful crack at this whole thing,” Green said. “But it’s been a very confusing ride with the two bands, and leaving one, and your solo thing becoming popular… I mean, I didn’t think anybody was going to like either of them.”

Touring nearly nonstop for almost 15 years in support of all his success, Green got blindsided by the abruptness of the pandemic forcing him to reexamine himself and his life built on recording and touring. His solution was to write the song “Begin Again,” the beautiful closing chapter to The Love Still Held Me Near

“When I first started digging into the first few lines in the verse, it was just a representation of where myself and my

friends were at in that moment,” Green said, discussing the shock they all felt following the sudden drowning death of their friend Karl Bareham. “That was February 2020. We hadn’t even experienced the pandemic yet.” When the pandemic did come, and Green began to see how it was affecting everyone, he realized he wasn’t alone in his feelings of loss, uncertainty, and grief.

“I think realizing that what was going on in my life was not singular to me, that everyone will feel this at some point,” Green said. “That became a real moment where I could go, ‘All right, I can just write about this, because I’m not being selfish. I’m not being too personal, because what I’m singing about are just things that everyone goes through.’

“And realizing that you have a voice for that is really beneficial, because there was a part of me that thought maybe I shouldn’t write about some of this stuff, or maybe I shouldn’t dig too deep into the personal side of what I had been experiencing. But then you start to realize music is such a beautiful gift to so many people who don’t seem to have the words. And when you hear certain things sung or put into a nice melody, it really changes your perspective.”

Releasing The Love Still Held Me Near late last March, Green intended the album to stand as a front to back listen, going on the emotional journey with him track by track. Co-produced with longtime band member Matt Kelly, the 12-song record pushes Green’s haunting voice more to the front than ever before, as the band explores an even more expansive, sonically engaging sound.

“We’ve only played a few songs live so far because we were out on tour before it had come out and then we’d been off for a little bit,” Green said about how he plans to approach bringing the album to the live stage. “I’m interested to see which ones start to infiltrate the set because I do have a lot of records and I understand that there are a lot of opinionated fans of my music who want me to play certain songs and I will, so I’m still going to play a bunch of old ones. But I think there will be a couple of times this year where we play the whole record front to back just because I feel like it needs to happen.” ■

14 MAY 2023 /
CITY AND COLOUR GLC Live at 20 Monroe | 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids May 3, 7 p.m., $33.50+ | (616) 482-2027, /// MUSIC
Dallas Green, City and Colour. PHOTOS COURTESY OF VANESSA HEINS | by Eric Mitts
MAY 2023 15

Grand Rapids singer and songwriter Max Lockwood has a problem with the old expression that a diamond is just coal that did well under pressure. Not just because it’s a cliché, but because it’s not even accurate.

Discovering that diamonds are formed much deeper in the Earth, in a way that’s much harder to describe, Lockwood took that new metaphor and applied it to the internal turmoil he underwent as an artist during the pandemic.

“The pandemic and being in lockdown did provide sort of a forced introspection,” Lockwood told Revue about the origins of his upcoming new album, Diamonds , due out May 12.

“There was so little social contact in a normal way for me and other people who weren’t working, whose livelihoods were just totally interrupted. There was a lot of confronting the way your identity is built around the work that you do, which is a real flimsy thing because that can come and go and you’re still there and like, ‘Well, what is this?

Digging Deep to Find 'Diamonds'


What am I? What is this life that I’m experiencing?’”

Staring down those lofty questions, Lockwood gradually found a way to continue the recording sessions he first began with drummer Mike Shimmin and bassist PJ George in February 2020 at Third Coast Recording in Grand Haven. Initially laying down three tracks for what he had thought would be an EP, he continued to write more songs as he recorded safely and remotely throughout lockdown.

“Most of my work comes from performing – gigging out, doing shows,” Lockwood said. “And we were planning on a really busy summer that year, and then it all went to zero, basically. So it was incredibly stressful and disorienting. And then at the same time, it provided a lot of opportunity for looking inward and taking some time to like learn about myself and go through some difficult times that were fruitful for growth and creativity and writing.

“So it was super challenging, and there were certainly some

dark times and mental health challenges at the time, like many people experienced. But there were a lot of positives and blessings through that time period for me personally.”

The most shining moment in all of that dark time came in the form of the new album’s powerful title track, “Diamonds.”

“There’s always one song where I’m like, ‘Oh, now I see it – it’s an album,” Lockwood said. “This idea of digging deeper inside to uncover those, what I refer to as diamonds in the song, of true wisdom that can guide and enrich our lives, that each one of us has, that are unique to us. That can really connect us with what we’re here to do.”

His third solo album, Diamonds best encapsulates every facet of Lockwood’s music career so far, one that also stretches back five albums with his GR rock band Big Dudee Roo.

“With the previous two solo records that I did, it was very much, ‘I wrote these songs that are different than what Big Dudee Roo does, so I’m going to do a

solo record because I wanted to do a different treatment with them, and work with different people,” Lockwood said. “And now I feel like this album represents a more holistic version of myself as a songwriter and creative person, where I think those elements are more blended together, the solo singer songwriter thing with like the rock edge of Big Dudee Roo.”

Diamonds also pulls direct inspiration from Lockwood’s regular gigging as frontman for the nationally touring Tom Petty tribute band The Insiders.

“Doing The Insiders and doing all the Petty stuff has been a huge influence,” Lockwood said. “His songs are so good and so clear and concise. So I think that can’t help but bleed into what I’m doing with my own songwriting.”

Playing over 100 shows with The Insiders pushed Lockwood as a vocalist, leading him to take voice lessons for the first time, and gaining more confidence in his voice as an instrument over the last three years.

On Diamonds , Lockwood recorded guitar, bass, piano,

synths, and cello himself. He also worked closely with his friend/ musician/engineer Joe Hettinga at both his home studio, and Second Story Sound in Grand Rapids. They were joined by members of The Insiders, Big Dudee Roo drummer Daine Hammerle and guitarist Justin Dore, as well as pedal steel guitarist Drew Howard, vocalist Samantha Cooper, and Eric O’Daly, who will open the album’s release show May 12 at The Midtown in Grand Rapids.

“It’s just a beautiful venue with a great crew and beautiful stage,” Lockwood said of the space formerly known as The Listening Room. “It sounds great in there. It’s a fantastic place to be able to debut a new record where people can really take it in; where I feel like I can really present this music, in a really intentional, thoughtful manner.”

After the release of Diamonds, Max Lockwood will also play the Robin Theatre in Lansing May 24 with Eric O’Daly opening, Buttermilk Jamboree June 16-18, The Ark in Ann Arbor July 27, and the Shagbark Festival Aug. 3-5. ■


Wsg. Eric O’Daly

The Midtown, 123 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids May 12, 7:30 p.m., $24-35,

16 MAY 2023 /
Max Lockwood. PHOTOS
MAY 2023 17


Grown Up Comedy for All Ages

Despite doing arguably the best impression of a middle schooler on the Internet, comedian and social media star Trey Kennedy feels like he has finally grown up.

Returning to Grand Rapids May 5 for two shows on his new Grow Up Tour, Kennedy will share from his own life, his childhood, and his experience becoming a father earlier this year.

“The idea of the ‘Grow Up’ tour has been in my head for years, and I feel like it finally makes sense for me,” Kennedy told Revue . “I talk about how I grew up, how much I’ve grown up now, and how everyone else needs to grow up. It’s the whole package.”

Before racking up over 12 million combined followers on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and elsewhere, hosting his own hit podcast “Correct Opinions,” and streaming his self-produced comedy special “Are You For Real?” on YouTube, Kennedy came to fame on the short-form videosharing app Vine.

“I was able to start to make a living doing that, which blew my mind,” Kennedy said about his beginnings. “So I was like, ‘where is this headed?’”

After pivoting to other social media sites following the shutdown of Vine in 2017, Kennedy continued to build a bigger and bigger following online, with many of his videos going viral. He then decided to take his brand of comedy to the live stage,

heading out on the “Are You For Real” Tour just before the pandemic hit in 2020. That gave him a moment to pause and refine his act, which includes him performing several of his popular songs, as well as doing standup based on a lot of his online content.

“(It was a) whirlwind getting thrust into live comedy shows and touring because of all the success I’ve been able to have on social media,” Kennedy said. “Doing that in a pandemic was an added element, but overall, it was only beneficial to me to navigate that challenge. And I think it only made me better. And having to deal with more difficult circumstances was only going to, at the end, make you sharper in terms of not only the performance, but just how you deal with the overall business and everything.

“And to go back on tour now where we don’t foresee any more pandemics in the near future, and to just go out and have fun and see everyone in the big room, not concerned or worried, I’m really excited for that experience.”

Born and raised in Oklahoma, Kennedy grew up a shy, sheltered kid, although his closest friends always knew he was funny. He remembers watching sitcoms like “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “The King of Queens” with his mom, because he couldn’t watch PG-13 movies until he hit his teens, and how his dad was a huge fan of Jim Carrey and Will Ferrell comedies.

“That’s how I was raised,” Kennedy said about doing clean comedy now. “And that’s

the kind of comedy I gravitate towards and want to write. And you hear a lot of people who come to my shows just say thanks for making stuff my kids can enjoy, and I can enjoy with my family. We get people all the time, like some 24 year old kid and their 50 year old parents come to the show and it’s cool to see the comedy kind of translate to a broad age range. And I think that’s the most thrilling part to me, that it’s bringing people together just to have a good time.”

Kennedy added that his content over the years has transformed from being about stuff like homework, to young professional jokes, to commenting on marriage. And now that he’s a father he’s ready to share that chapter of his life with his fans as well.

“It’s going to give me a lot of new material and content,” he joked. “That’s the only reason I had him, so I hope he serves me well. But it’s just been everything everyone said would be plus so much more, both good and bad. You know, people say, ‘Oh, you’ll never sleep again,’ and they’d be right.”

The experience has Kennedy looking back on his own childhood, including reexamining one of his most beloved characters from his videos, Middle School Maddox, which he created from just remembering how he behaved at that age.

“That’s one of those ideas and characters that just resonates with way more people than I thought,” Kennedy said. “And it’s fun to make that content without actually dealing with a snot-nosed middle school

kid. But we’ll have some eventually. So now I know what’s in store. But I just remembered how I acted, and did my best rendition, and I guess I wasn’t as bad. My mom said I was pretty normal.”

With many young followers, Kennedy has only begun to wrap his head around the surreal experience of being a role model and an actual influence on kids as his fandom expands more and more.

“I had a friend whose niece met me and she was like 13, and she said I was a bigger deal to her than Taylor Swift,” Kennedy said. “And I’m like, ‘What?’ The next generation, they’re idolizing the influencers, the YouTubers, the podcasters. And it’s still tough for myself, or I feel like any of us, of my generation, to really wrap our heads around that, that that’s really what the kids are consuming and really interested in. It’s hard to really comprehend.”

But when asked what he would say to his own middle school self if he could go back and talk to him, Kennedy responded: “I’d say, ‘Keep it up, man. You’re hilarious. Don’t listen to your parents.’” ■

18 MAY 2023 /
KENNEDY: GROW UP GLC Live at 20 Monroe 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids May 5, TWO SHOWS 7 p.m. AND 9:30 p.m., $29+ (616) 482-2027,
MAY 2023 19


Croft Haus owner Liz Haan says her new shop is all about comfort, quality and uniqueness so it’s only fair that you visit the shop and see if she delivers on that promise.

A croft is a small dwelling in Scotland that’s unique to its owner and meets their wants or needs. It’s the essence behind Croft Haus and in related news I’m starting #crofter because I’m already a super-fan and I want it to stick.

Haan, previous owner of Marie La Mode, is back in the retail game for many reasons. “There is something about the friendships I created while owning Marie La Mode and the opportunities I was a part of that drew me back in. You don’t realize what you have until it’s gone,” reflects Haan who also has a strong love for curating. “Not only curating displays and outfits but events, gatherings and business ideas.”

With one visit to the shop in Ada Village, guests are won over with quality over quantity (the store’s mantra). The Croft Haus concept is to have something for your home (home goods), something for your body (clothing) and something for a friend (gifts) and all of it reflects the Croft Haus vibe.

“You can buy a sweatshirt for yourself, a candle for your Mom, a rug for your kids bedroom and dog treats for your fur baby,” Haan said. Guys can find quality clothing pieces that can transition from office wear to daily wear or pick up some new glasses for their bar collection while women might fancy the modern mugs, dried flower bouquets and candles. If we’re name dropping lines you can expect Gola sneakers, Todo Blanco sets, Shinola purses and games and Fik and Co. artwork. If you ask Haan about one of the cooler items that she’s brought in she mentions “checkered rugs and the best part is that they are washable and with three dogs, they need to be.”

Which begs the question, will Haan’s three adorable dogs ever make an appearance at the shop? “So many people ask. They may make small appearances from time to time.” ■

20 MAY 2023 / /// STYLE
Croft Haus is located at 452 Ada Dr. SE in Ada Village. Take a peek on Instagram at @crofthaus. Croft Haus.
MAY 2023 21


Dear Grand Rapidians: Have you taken a stroll down Bridge Street lately? Not only are springtime-loving crowds beginning to form outside all of your regular favorites, like New Holland Brewing and Butcher’s Union, but a fresh, new group of local businesses are starting to open up or renovate during this warming season.

One such eatery is Nonla Burger, the fourth location of Kalamazoo-born burger joint co-owned by lifelong friends Kyle Monk and Johnny Nguyen. The latter’s longstanding career in fine dining, as well as the pair and their significant others coming from a variety of artistic and creative backgrounds, have seemingly earmarked the business for success, with their retrostyle diner setting and experimental flavor combinations hitting the mark for foodies and families alike.

“I hope everyone at least gives us a shot, just comes in and experiences Nonla Burger,” Monk said. “We are bringing something unique and fun to the community, and we care a lot about what we do.”

Approaching the sixth anniversary of Nonla Burger in Kalamazoo, Monk has had a lot to reflect upon during these first few months in the Grand Rapids location’s opening. What might have seemed like an impossible dream nearly a decade ago has quickly emerged into a burgeoning “chain” of restaurants, though Monk wouldn’t necessarily call it that. To him, the identity of Nonla Burger starts and ends with its employees, the customers they serve, and their ever-changing specialty menu of

burgers and sandos.

“At the end of the day, we’re a pretty small team,” Monk said. “We are very hands-on bosses and involved in the company. We’re present and not distant. So, I think our team sees us in the kitchen or in the fronthouse working alongside them, and that means a lot, too.”

So then, how did Nonla Burger begin?

There’s a little, old brick building in Mattawan on Front Street that housed a pizzeria called Bella Mia. Well, that closed down, and so Johnny Nguyen and his wife, Kelly, stepped in and took the place over, transforming it into a beloved spot called Nonla Vietnamese. Though Kelly hails from Michigan, the move from San Francisco to the Midwest certainly took Kyle and his wife, Natashia, by surprise. The four had been doing quite well in the bay area and southern California working their various careers, ranging from celebrity photography to clothing design. And yet, Nonla Vietnamese was a hit.

“I was impressed, it was doing well and had a good following,” Monk said. “At that time, Johnny said, ‘I’m ready to open up another restaurant, do you want to do this?’ And I was like, yeah, absolutely. Let’s do it.”

From there a second location opened, then a third—both in Kalamazoo. Carrying over the Nonla name seemed to bring good luck, since its preexistent following meant a boost in sales with each new storefront. Eventually, the shop that started it all would transition into the group’s third Nonla Burger, reuniting old fans with its new ones. And before long, Johnny and Kyle were

ready to expand northward to GR.

“We saw this spot and felt like we could fit in here,” Monk said. “We’ve been seeing a lot of growth in the westside community, so it seemed like a good time to be here.”

Since opening, Grand Rapids’ Nonla Burger has surprised us with incredible fusions of fan-favorite recipes. It seems they’ve got a twist on everything, from waffles, to churros, to milkshakes and more.

“If you browse our Instagram feed, there’s soft-shell sandwiches, Banh-Mi hotdogs, spaghetti and meatbealls,” Monk said. “I don’t think Johnny’s ever going to get tired of coming up with ideas for food.”

Indeed, eaters with an adventurous appetite will never be at a loss of what to try next with Nonla Burger. However, there is one tried-and-true way to upgrade your burger or sando that’s been with Monk and Nguyen since their very first opening. Evocative of “secret menu” items from restaurants out West, try saying this during your next visit:

“We have what we call, ‘Nonla Way,’ which is adding cilantro, cucumbers, and jalapeños to burgers,” Monk said. “That gives it that extra freshness and crunch.”

And with a new patio space connecting them to their neighbor Condado Tacos opening this summer, it’s safe to say that the Nonla Burger team in Grand Rapids will be receiving plenty of orders for refreshing milkshakes and root beer floats (non-alcoholic or spiked). And with the hotter months soon ahead, it seems that this new business’ opening couldn’t have come at a better time.

So, are you walking down Bridge Street? Perhaps it’s time to try something new.

“Thankfully, we have a lot of support from Kalamazoo,” Monk said. “There is support here in Grand Rapids, but I think it’ll take a little more time to spread the word. Let people come in and have that great experience, then they share it with friends. It grows from there.” ■

22 MAY 2023 / /// DINING
| by Zachary Avery
NONLA BURGER 449 Bridge St NW Suite 102, Grand Rapids 2103 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo 1700 S. Drake Rd., Kalamazoo 24050 Front St., Mattawan

As summer comes into view, many Michiganders will have wine tasting as part of their vacation plans. Seasoned wine aficionados and the oeno-curious alike have a lot to think about when venturing into the world of wine.

There’s a lot that goes into it, from navigating winemaking as a vintner to choosing wine as a consumer. To decipher all the nuances, we talked with Charlie Schmidt, an award-winning Leelanau County winemaker. Though Charlie didn’t grow up dreaming of being a winemaker, he became immersed in it in his college years and beyond, first by working in a tasting room, then taking classes and studying under other area winemakers, and eventually becoming head winemaker at French Road Cellars.

Here’s his take on all things wine.



Aside from the starting product, the grape, a lot of it is about cap management. The cap is the yeast and foam that forms in the upper portion of the tank during fermentation. If you smell that on a daily basis, you can kind of tell what’s going on. At the beginning of fermentation, you have plenty of nutrients and sugar, and all the things that a good fermentation needs. At the end of fermentation, if you’re lacking any of that, there are different tastes and smells from the cap of the wine that can indicate if something’s going wrong. If you catch it early enough, you can add what’s needed to finish out a clean fermentation. Once you’ve gotten through that process, the rest of it is fairly simple; you’re just tweaking the wine to taste. If you’re physically in the winery, getting your head in the tank every day, then you’re going to end up with a good wine.


Not really. Up here—and I’m sure it’s similar in other regions—the winemakers all know each other, and if there’s an issue and you’re not sure how to deal with it, you can always call another winemaker. Most of the time someone has an answer. Everyone is willing to help each other for the most part because having a bad winery up here hurts our reputation as a region overall. So there’s a lot of back and forth and winemaker tastings where we all get together and troubleshoot and collaborate.


You can make really, really good wine out of what I’ll call subpar fruit. Winemakers up here are familiar enough with Michigan fruit to know how to deal with it if it’s unripe. You can also take good fruit and botch things up if you’re not paying attention. The fruit is important, but it’s not as important as the team who is dealing with that product.


It’s definitely possible, within reason. We try to get everyone’s wine as close as possible to the previous year, as long as that’s what they were aiming for. Brix is a term for the system of measuring sugar content in grapes. If you have underripe fruit, you have to add enough sugar for the yeast to produce plus or minus 12% alcohol. So you can deal with the first part of it by making you sure you have the proper sweetness level of your juice before fermentation. To get everything as similar as we can after fermentation, that’s when the owners of the different wineries come in and taste against a ton of different samples. We might take a wine from last year and use that as a control, and sometimes they’ll pick one that’s the closest; other times they might pick one they like better, even though it’s different.


That’s an interesting question because my favorite part of winemaking is also my least favorite time of the year— and that’s harvest. Harvest is when you get to see the end result from the entire vineyard crew. You get to see the fruit coming in and you get to deal with that initial fermentation. During harvest is when you’re working seven days a week, up to fourteen hours per day, for eight weeks straight. So it’s a brutal time of year but it’s also the best time. It’s when the majority of the hard work happens, but when we’re sure it’s all safe, everyone gets to take a sigh of relief.


If you’re a beginner but you want to progress in the wine world, and in tasting and drinking wine, you need to find a good wine shop that has someone who works there who knows what they’re talking about and has sampled a lot.

They can tell you from experience what a wine is going to taste like. When you look at the back of a label, it doesn’t always tell you the information you need—and you’re kind of going in blind. So start with good wine shop where you can trust what they’re telling you. And, as tempting as it is to go for the bottle with an attractive label, most of the time it’s not the best option. Same goes for wines with a high points rating. If it’s not your personal taste, then the points really mean nothing.


When I started out, I dabbled in home winemaking and I just loved seeing the entire process, from planting vines to waiting three to four years to get fruit, and then taking that fruit and making a finished product. Wine is interesting. For most people, the farther you get into it, the more interesting it becomes, and the more you know about the process of winemaking. ■

24 MAY 2023 / ISSUE WINE
and Spirits
| by Allison Kay Bannister Charlie Schmidt. COURTESY PHOTOS
MAY 2023 25

and Spirits


of the Cocktail

Crafting a cocktail is an art, a science and a journey, all in one.

As West Michigan’s food and beverage scene continues to grow, more bartenders are diving deep into the creation of exciting and innovative cocktails—learning how to take these mixed drinks to new heights by researching the classics, exploring flavor pairings and working with local ingredients.

The cultural collective has yet to produce a better name for these experts than “mixologists,” and while cocktails do involve a bit of science implied by that term, there’s also a human element that brings the craft closer to art, or even cooking. And that should be encouraging, because it means you don’t need a PhD to make a delicious beverage of your own—just top-notch ingredients and a palate.

So, let’s take a look at how those incredible cocktails come together at the bar, and how you can get started crafting your own libations at home.

My personal cocktail repertoire tops out at the three-ingredient negroni, so we talked with a local pro for his expertise. While working in the music industry and doing photography, bartender Josiah Gentry fell in love with creating cocktails at The Winchester. “It was a perfect combination of everything I love. Human interaction, building an experience for people, and the creative side. There’s such a visual element to it.”

Now a top bartender at Eastern Kille Distillery, Gentry has years of experience, and he’s gained a special appreciation for local distilleries. Aside from the amazing work culture that Eastern Kille has created—leading to long careers for their employees—Gentry also loves how involved he gets to be in the process from start to finish. Rather than ordering a hodgepodge of ingredients from out of state, the bartenders are at the source of the spirits and liqueurs and know “all of the bones of the cocktail,” since they also get to create their own flavored syrups and infusions. “It gives you a cutting edge.”

Eastern Kille even runs a Bartender Takeover Series, which allows employees to come up with truly personal and creative themed cocktail menus. Not to mention the fact employees are helping craft new liqueurs, such as the manager of hospitality’s take on a génépy (the most famous of which is Chartreuse), made with hand-foraged ingredients. Or Gentry’s take on Fernet, a recipe he’s been working on for years.

When it comes time to actually create a cocktail, Gentry suggests always starting with the classics. Whatever drink you concoct, it’s bound to be a variation on an existing drink, so you might as well do it intentionally. Would you rather step into the kitchen, throw a bunch of ingredients in a pot, and accidentally “invent” chili? Or would you rather know you’re making chili from the start and use that foundational template to innovate upon?

“A term that bartenders here use all the time is Mr. Potato Head,” Gentry said. “If you really dissect a recipe that’s specific to a bar, you can almost always find its roots, whether it’s a sour riff, daquiri riff, old fashioned riff, etc. So that’s usually a great jumping off point.”

From there, Gentry typically aims for a certain style or effect. Will the drink be refreshing, bracing, herbaceous, bright, boozy, smoky, sour, sweet? Once you’ve made that decision, think to the ingredients you know and how they could get you there. “I usually start with a single flavor that I really want to highlight, whether that’s in a simple syrup, liqueur, bitters.”

Obviously, becoming familiar with ingredients takes time and, uh, let’s call it “research,” but if you’re reading this, you likely know at least a few drinks you like. Try making one of your favorite cocktails at home first as practice, and that can help give the confidence and familiarity to branch out.

There’s help out there too. Gentry strongly suggests the Flavor Bible , which gives a comprehensive matrix of flavors that will pair well with the main one you’ve chosen to highlight.





What makes a great cocktail?

The answer will differ whoever you ask, but it often involves the word “balance.” Too much of any one ingredient can turn your drink into a monolith of flavor. Some experts have suggested “tension” is important as well—a push and pull of aromas, flavors, and even texture.

“For me, what really sets a cocktail apart is innovation,” Gentry said. “Like, finding a cocktail that’s a riff on a food dish, or uniquely implements an ingredient is what catches my eye and gets me excited about a cocktail. So, it’s a unique role for us to be able to tie in that relatability but also pushing the scene, especially in West Michigan where it’s on the cusp of really growing into something.”

Just like plating food, the visual aspect of a cocktail is crucial too. For bars, thought goes into picking the glassware, choosing the garnish and putting it altogether into something that draws the eye and gives you an idea of what you’re about to drink.

However, you don’t have to overcomplicate it. “A lot of times, the ingredients will dictate how you present a cocktail. If there’s lemon juice in something, we’ll use lemon peel as a garnish.”

Adding a garnish at home is an easy way to impress your guests, and all it takes is a citrus peel or an herb sprig to dress your drink up.

“But the best garnishes also impact the drink,” Gentry said. “A twist is so much more than a pop of color, it’s also the aromatics. Or smacked mint, you get the fresh bouquet with every sip, which really contributes to the experience.”

Then there’s glassware, which can make a huge difference, but again isn’t overly difficult to get right. If your cocktail is like a martini, already diluted to perfection, you serve it neat in stemware. If it’s served over lots of ice (with a straw, is my preference), you want a collins glass. For a boozy drink over a big ice cube or sphere, the classic rocks glass is ideal. Get each of these for your home bar and you’re set for any cocktail. ■

Now that you know the very basics of crafting a cocktail, it’s time to start stocking up on the necessary tools and ingredients. Here’s our suggestions for the basics, and keep in mind that local distilleries have top-notch offerings of most of the spirits and liqueurs listed here:


Cocktail shaker

Measurer (a.k.a. jigger)


Fruit peeler

Stir stick


Stemware (Martini, coupe, or Nick & Nora)

Rocks glass

Collins glass


Whiskey Gin

Vodka Rum




Tonic water

Soda water

Simple syrup




Elderflower (a.k.a. The Bartender’s Ketchup)

Vermouth (technically a wine)


Fresh citrus




PHOTOS COURTESY OF JOSIAH GENTRY (pictured sitting in the top right photo)
28 MAY 2023 /
MAY 2023 29 114 E Main St. Fennville | 269.561.7258 | WE HAVE OF THE DRINKS! ALL DISTILLERY • COCKTAIL • WINE • BEER TASTING TOURS Learn to enjoy layers of aromas, enhancing your tasting experience with Michigan’s ONLY guided spirits tour. Expand your palate with

WINE and Spirits


Wine & Cocktails

When you’re at the beach or on the river, a can is the way to go, and West Michigan is making that much easier with canned wine and cocktails. While still not nearly widespread as beer and cider (or even mead), that’s largely due to the difficulties in retaining wine’s delicate flavor and capturing a cocktail’s complexity in a can. Luckily for us, multiple local wineries and distilleries have managed to figure it out, giving plenty of local options. Here are a few quality canned cocktails and wines available for outdoor adventures right now:


Available in bars, restaurants and retailers around Michigan, Long Road’s ready-to-drink cocktails were just reformulated to be more sessionable, at 7% ABV. The three current offerings include Polish Falcon, a Moscow mule with lemongrass; Lavender Lemonade, with vodka, lavender, lemon and rosewater; and Rosemary Gin Fizz, with a hint of grapefruit and salt. If you want more than a seltzer and aren’t a beer fan, these cocktails are the perfect easy-drinking option.


Coppercraft has a wide variety of canned cocktails, from the dark and boozy Black Cherry Whiskey to the tropical Rum Punch. At 10% ABV each, these should be treated like cocktails, sipped on and enjoyed. Other options include Gin & Tonic, Pink Bubbles (sort of a vodka-based rosé), Iced Tea & Lemonade (made with grain neutral spirits) and more. Find them in stores and Coppercraft tasting rooms.

NEW HOLLAND SPIRITS - Canned Cocktails

New Holland’s spirits are beloved by locals, but their ready-to-drink cocktails might be even more popular. If you’re looking for options, check out the new variety pack, featuring the Holland Mule, Blackberry Bramble (with vodka and blackberry), Blueberry Gin Lemonade, and Rum Punch. ABV on these ranges from 7% to 9%, but what doesn’t vary is the quality of fresh and fruity cocktails made with local spirits. Also look for their brand-new cocktail just launched in April, the Prickly Pear Margarita.

EASTERN KILLE - Craft Cocktails to Go

Okay, so these aren’t cans, but they’re just as easy! Eastern Kille has put 10+ of their top cocktails into little bottles, ready to drink with just the addition of ice (and a garnish, if you’re fancy). Try a tropical drink like the Toucan Sam, with aged rum, barrel-finished gin, pineapple liqueur, bitter peel liqueur, pineapple, lime and turbinado, all in one bottle. Or keep it classic with a Gin and Tonic, which also has a splash of grapefruit cordial.

ROUND BARN - Flavor Trip Sangria

Round Barn Winery is standing out by keeping their cans focused on sangria. With options ranging from 5% to 6.9% ABV, these “sparkling wine beverages” are the perfect way to go fun and fruity while on the go and outdoors. Choose from a classic red sangria, cranberry, raspberry lemon, peach, cherry, and the newest juicy and tropical white sangria. Or try them all with the variety pack!

ST. JULIAN - Canned Wines

St. Julian’s kept its canned offerings short and sweet, quite literally. You can get their traditional red sangria (10% ABV) or Sweet Revenge (red wine, 11% ABV) in cans of 375ml, which is half a bottle of wine.


From Leelanau Peninsula comes BRIO, a whimsical and adventurous line of wines from Shady Lane Cellars, meant to capture the essence of cool climate wines, “enthusiastic, bright, vibrant and vivacious.” The lineup includes a red, a white, a rose, and Vibes, a bubbly option. Available online or at their tasting room.


One of the most popular wineries in Michigan (thanks to products like Witches Brew), Leelanau’s canned wines are bubbly and refreshing. Get the red for sweet, vibrant and juicy concord grape flavor; the Winter White for a crisp, semi-sweet refresher; and the Sunset Rosé for a fizzy, summery people pleaser. Also check out their Farm Fresh Muscato line, made of all-natural fruit and with a sessionable ABV. ■

30 MAY 2023 / ISSUE
Long Road Distillers, Coppercraft Distillery, Round Barn, Shady Lane Cellars, Leelanau Cellars. COURTESY PHOTOS
MAY 2023 31

and Spirits


15900 Rue Devin, Traverse City

Chateau Chantal boasts a huge, gorgeous estate perched on a tall hill with spectacular views of the Grand Traverse Bay. The tasting room inside is robust, but the patio and its sights are hard to resist. Of course, Chantal’s wine selection is fittingly huge, perfect for flights. Keep it simple with options like the Naughty Red and Nice Red, or get fancy with a Proprietor’s Reserve wine, featuring the best of the best. Also, this season, Chateau Chantal will be featuring delicious multi-course Wine Dinners throughout the summer and fall. And the Jazz at Sunset concert series will be taking place on the beautiful west lawn again this year!

Just like our magazine’s coverage, Revue’s wine trail ranges from the Indiana border to the Leelanau peninsula. There are more than 140 wineries in Michigan, and a majority of them are on our side of the state, which gives a truly overwhelming amount of options for your next winery tour. Rather than attempt to tell you about every one of those, we’ve gathered a few of our favorite wineries in West Michigan, so you have quality recommendations to plan your trip around. Whether you’re out on a day trip around Southwest Michigan or taking a weekend journey up to Traverse City, here are some great places to start.


7143 107th Ave., South Haven

When I’ve spent a day in Fennville, I always like to cap it off with Cogdal Vineyards, home of Little Man Winery. Visiting this little outpost in the middle of a vineyard is a beautiful break from the real world, with all kinds of wine, ranging from a dry cabernet franc to a special maple wine. The thoughtful experience carries through to the winemaking and even labels, each of which has a story. Cogdal is really all about stories, and you feel like you’re in one when you’re here (especially after a day of wine tasting). Plus, they’re launching a Wednesday night music series from June 14 through August 30, with food trucks and music starting outside at 6 p.m.


1201 N. Benton Center Rd., Benton Harbor

This beautiful vineyard is producing classic, quality wines. Winemaker Glen Greiffendorf puts his passion and extensive knowledge together to create unique wines from varying textures and slopes across the 115-acre estate. That said, 12 Corners also has great fruit wines, such as the Tropical Blanc is a “fun and flirty” grape wine exploding with mango and passionfruit. If you want something extra special, try the Vidal Icewine, made from frozen grapes. It’s a rare treat—bursting with fruity flavor despite no added fruit—that requires cold climates like Michigan.


4519 Elm Valley Rd., Suttons Bay

There’s lots of sparkling wine in Michigan, but MAWBY go all in. They take traditional techniques and mix them with a fun experimental style for high-quality bubbly wine that aims to please. Their best-selling offering is Sex, a fruit-forward rosé with light red berry aromas and a balanced finish. Or reach deep into the cellar with a vintage like Ca. 2013, a traditional method Brut made entirely with Leelanau grapes.
Chateau Chantel PHOTOS COURTESY OF KYLE BROWNLEY Cogdal Vineyards, Hudsonville Winery, Stoney Ridge Vineyards, Cody Kresta Vineyard & Winery. COURTESY PHOTOS


3768 Chicago Dr., Hudsonville

Frequently voted Best Winery in Best of the West, this combination winery/ brewery is clearly a local favorite. Stop in for a flight (and some Pike 51 Beer Cheese) and you’ll instantly feel at home. The friendly bar staff is eager to educate guests about the numerous wines they offer, from shiraz to pinot gris pear to an acai fruit wine. And it’s practically mandatory you try out the signature frozen wine slushies (which can be taken to-go).


4110 Red Arrow Hwy, Benton Harbor

Wine slushees, cider, beer, vodka, a full food menu and more than 20 wines available — Vineyard 2121 has it all! The slushees are a fan-favorite, perfect for summer and made with wine and real fruit. But the wine menu is equally impressive — start with a crisp white like the Polite Disillusionment and work your way to the Fruit Belt Raspberry, a red wine infused with raspberry flavors.


2255 Indian Lakes Rd., Kent City

You can check out “Grand Rapids Wine Country” at Stoney Ridge, a vineyard not too far north of the city, borne out of a desire to bring more than just tasting rooms to the local wine scene. Launched by owners Mary and Dale in 2012, this is a dream come true, and the passion comes through in the wine, which leans toward dry reds and semi-dry whites. The tasting room has a brand new patio with vineyard views, along with a full kitchen offering handhelds, pizza and entrees.


45727 27th St., Mattawan

When you want an intimate environment at a small winery in a vintage homestead, you head to Cody Kresta. This is a family operation, run by a third generation of grape growers in Mattawan. The Tuscan-inspired tasting room is cozy and memorable on its own, but then you step outside and are greeted by a small waterfall babbling away. That’s not to mention the large wine menu, with styles ranging the gamut and vintages going back to 2017. There’s no place like home, but Cody Kresta comes close. ■

MAY 2023 33
MAY 2023 35 REVUEWM.COM/BEST-OF-THE-WEST VOTING IS OPEN! Vote your favorites for Best of the West!



Though the snow doesn’t stop Michiganders from drinking iced coffee in the winter, there’s something special about having a cold, caffeinated drink on a hot summer’s day. One of my favorite warm-weather activities is trying all the summer seasonal beverages from local coffee shops in West Michigan. From Madcap’s barista-made creations, to Lemonjello’s tried-and truerotations, I love supporting local while enjoying my daily cup of coffee.


stand on site, and you can even order food online and have it brought to your car. Pre-purchasing movie tickets online, in advance, is encouraged to ensure you get to see the shows you want and also to avoid long waits in the busy season.


Leave your flipflops at the door and sink your toes in the sand at Burning Foot Beer Festival, Michigan’s only barefoot beer festival on the beach. Featuring pours from more than 90 breweries from all around the Great Lakes, plus food from favorite area eateries and live music, this one-day event takes place August 26, 2023, at Pere Marquette Park in Muskegon. Tent and RV camping is allowed, and tickets for the event and can be purchased in advance online.


Spend an afternoon cruising in style along the Kalamazoo River in a vintage motorboat. Retro Boat Rentals offers a number of swanky, 1950s-era watercrafts that seat up to four people, as well as donut boats, pontoon boats, and Duffy boats for larger groups. Pack your swimsuit, gather your friends, and even bring your doggo for an adventure to remember. Boats rent by the hour and depart from one of two locations, depending on the craft. Grab some food and bevvies and relax on the patio at The Old Boat House after your trip.




Yep, there are still a few of these around Michigan, and the Getty in Muskegon is one of them. Gates open at 8:00 pm and movies start at dusk; if you’re not a night owl, then plan your movie night in late spring or early fall. There’s a concession

Summer would not be complete without a trip to Frosty Boy, located on Plainfield Ave in Grand Rapids. A staple since the Pacmanand-Marty McFly 1980s, Frosty Boy closed its doors (well, shut its windows) for nearly a decade in the early 2000s, only reopening in 2015. Since then, the ice cream shop has been steadily busy, slinging peanut butter malts to their human customers and doggy ice cream treats to the canines.

A little piece of Middle Earth transported to the city, Aman Park is a great way to lose yourself in nature. You won’t actually get lost; the longest of its trails is only 1.5 miles (which is a good reason to take in more than one while you’re there). The streams, gentle

Summer is upon us, and it’s time to start making plans before the season passes you by.

We asked Revue’s staff as well as our readers what’s on their annual summer bucket list, and here’s what they had to say.

“ Watch the sunset at Oval Beach.

hills, and verdant trees make this a peaceful and charming way to spend an afternoon.

- Tweet Michigan

At least one overnight backpacking trip and at least one Lake Michigan beach visit.

- Adam Beasley

Tubing down the river.

- Ian McLellan

I went to the Coast Guard Festival with my sister and it was so fun! We did a whole bunch of shopping from the local vendors that were there and my sister and I got the cutest earrings made from Michigan trees—they even still smelled like them! We also got to see the parade and, although it was hot, it was fun to watch. (Plus the fire trucks spray you with a hose, which cools you off.) We round it out with another one of my favorites, frozen yogurt at the Pump House. They have the cutest chair swings that hang from the ceilings!

“ Meijer Gardens.

- Carmen Sluiter “

Visit Grand Haven for Butch’s Beach Burritos, then go sit on the beach! Bring on the warm weather!

- Darlene Lancaster


We are taking the family and camper to show our kids the beauty of the upper peninsula. The hiking, biking, kayaking and views will be spectacular!



Every summer I look forward to paddle boarding and kayaking on many of the amazing lakes and rivers we are fortunate to have so near to us as West Michiganders. Some of my favorite smaller lakes to SUP on include Reeds Lake, Green Lake and Duncan Lake. And it wouldn’t be summer without at least one trip down the Rogue River in my kayak!

Find a brewery with outside seating and take advantage of it.

- Aaron McCall “

Tubing down the Thornapple River in Hastings.

- Kenny J. Hatch

Go to the beach.

- Anna Khols “

Swat mosquitoes.

- Scott Duemler

36 MAY 2023 /
Burning Foot Beer Festival, Retro Boat Rentals, Frosty Boy, Jasa West at the Coast Guard Festival, West Michigan Whitecaps. COURTESY PHOTOS



West Michigan has the best beaches, the best sand and the best sunsets. Favorite spot by myself is Grand Haven City Beach, if it’s not too busy to find a parking spot. Favorite spot with friends is Noto’s at the Bil-Mar for a lovely resort vibe and cocktail, feet in the sand, relaxing and recharging.



Every year, I have to go to the Whitecaps at least once, and very rarely do I even watch the game closely. It’s more about the experience of eating hot dogs alongside whatever delicious concoction LMCU Ballpark has come up with this season, and washing it down with cold beer—not to mention all the silly games and songs in between innings. There’s just nothing else like it, and a home run or two doesn’t hurt either.


While there are tons of incredible tours to choose from around West Michigan, one of the best experiences I can recommend is a brewery or distillery tour to get up close and personal with the people who make Grand Rapids’ delicious beverages. Tours Around Michigan’s Distillery Tour is a four-hour long experience taking you to three different distilleries, each with planned tastings. Cheers! ■

MAY 2023 37

CREAM OF THE CROP:Farmers Markets in West Michigan

Crops are blooming, farmers are selling and we’re buying.

Farmers markets are one of the quintessential summer and fall activities (and some of them even run all year long), providing fresh produce, meat and dairy from farms all around West Michigan.

When you want the best of the best ingredients without paying premium prices, farmers markets are the place to be—not to mention flowers, jewelry, art, beverages, and peoplewatching. They all offer something a little different though, so here’s our round-up of some of the great farmers markets West Michigan has to offer.


4900 Breton Rd. SE, Kentwood

Over the past nine years, Kentwood Farmers Market has become a favorite in the area, growing in attendance, offerings and live concerts every season. Running every Thursday, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., from June 15 to September 7, this market also has weekly events and rotating food trucks, so you can experience something different with every visit. Expect a variety of goods, including produce, breads, cheeses, meats, coffee, soaps and much more. To top it all off, Kentwood’s market is extremely welcoming in regards to food assistance programs.


Eighth Street Market Place

150 W. 8th St., Holland

p.m. every Saturday through November 18, along with Tuesdays and Thursdays from June to October. PLUS, a monthly Night Market on third Thursdays through September, featuring live music, handmade goods, food trucks and more.


Lake Bluff Park

Jams, honey and hearth-baked bread, oh my! This Saturday market in the scenic Lake Bluff Park offers all you could imagine, from fine pastries, perennials, cut flowers, organic vegetables and so much more! Take in all the sounds and scents of Lake Michigan while you buy some fresh groceries and delicious food—plus, extended market hours once a month to coincide with the Lake Bluff Artisan Fair.



N. Main St., Rockford

Located in a brand-new city lot behind the Rockford post office, this market offers a long list of diverse businesses and vendors while also taking part in the SNAP program. If you have a Bridge or P-EBT Card, you can earn significant discounts through their “Double Up Food” program, purchasing up to $20 worth of groceries for half price! Head here every Saturday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., from May 6 through October 28.



1145 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids

This year-round market has a Saturdayonly “second season” through winter, but we’re entering the main season, which runs Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m.-2 p.m., now through October. More than 100 booths of rotating vendors and family farms offer fruits, veggies, baked goods, jams, cocktail kits, snacks, candles, desserts, handmade art, and so much more. Not to mention frequent food trucks and entertainment. If you live downtown Grand Rapids, Fulton Street Market is the place to be on Saturday morning.

More than 75 vendors offer a huge range of staples and treats at Holland Farmers Market each year. Starting May 17 and running through October 28, this market runs every Wednesday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (not to mention holiday and indoor markets in the off-season). A food court provides ready-to-eat breakfast and lunch foods while the market itself has fresh-picked produce, flowers and plants, alongside natural honey, maple syrup, baked goods, sweets, meats and so much more. And it’s all guaranteed to be grown or made right here in Michigan.


1204 Banks Street, Kalamazoo

The Kalamazoo Farmers Market is big and bountiful, hosting more than 120 local farmers, food businesses and artisans every season. Last year, they returned with a newly renovated market, but still featuring the same huge and inclusive selection of food, flowers and handmade goods. Visit opening day on May 6, running 7 a.m.-2


15793 James St., Holland

Open Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., this market offers a diverse menu of items, from pre-picked blueberries, strawberries, cherries and peaches, to ice cream, pies, doughnuts, jams, salsas, sauces, beeswax, maple syrup and more.


7239 Thornapple River Drive

Held each Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Community Church in Ada, this vibrant marketplace of more than 30 vendors is perfect for your next trip out with the family. Running June 6 through Oct. 31, the Ada Farmers Market hosts its “Kids in the Market” program every week, offering enhanced children’s activities that’ll keep your little ones entertained while you get some shopping done. Plus, Musicians in the Market most days, including folk, bluegrass, jazz, blues and everything in between!

The Grand Haven Chamber of Commerce proudly manages this expansive farmers market, providing small business owners an opportunity to sell their fresh produce directly to customers—on Saturdays from May 6 to October 28, plus Wednesdays beginning in June. The convenient and beautiful location of Chinook Pier makes this market a community gathering place and hub. Plus, check out Spring Lake Farm & Garden Market at Tanglefoot Park on Thursdays! ■

38 MAY 2023 / /// SPOTLIGHT
| by Revue Staff
Fulton Street Farmers Market, Holland Farmers Market, Ada Farmers Market. COURTESY PHOTOS
MAY 2023 39

The Gilmore May 27, 8 p.m.


On Saturday, May 27, Kalamazoo’s Chenery Auditorium will welcome to its stage two world-renowned musicians: soprano Renée Fleming and pianist Evgeny Kissin. Audience members will experience some of the best music ever written, including pieces by Liszt, Rachmaninoff, and Duparc, performed by musicians who have demonstrated mastery of the art form for decades.

To say that Fleming has earned many honors is the equivalent of saying that the sun is hot: it’s not that it’s untrue, but it doesn’t go far enough. She’s performed at the Super Bowl and for the late Queen of England. She has earned France’s Chevalier de la Légion d›Honneur, and Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit, Sweden’s Polar Prize. She’s recorded music for films, including for the Lord of the Rings franchise, and has won five Grammy Awards. Rumor has it that the seraphim have extended her an offer.

Evgeny Kissin managed to make it to six years old before he was recognized as a prodigy. At 10, he performed with an orchestra; at 11, he performed a solo recital in Moscow. Before long, he was performing outside his native Russia. At sixteen, he earned the Crystal Prize of the Osaka Symphony Hall for the year’s best performance. He’s earned many awards since, including multiple honorary doctorates. In 1992, he performed for the Grammys; some one billion people are estimated to have seen his performance, nearly a fifth of the world’s population at the time.

The Gilmore’s executive and artistic director, Pierre van der Westhuizen, joined the organization in 2018. Ever since then, he’s been trying to secure a performance by Kissin. “This is a bucket list it,” he said. “Kissin has never performed here.” In fact, he points out, both Fleming and Kissin are making their Gilmore debuts.

Since the show’s announcement, feedback has poured in. “It’s ranged from incredible excitement to disbelief. They can’t believe it’s happening here. This is genuinely a once-in-the-lifetime opportunity. I’m hearing from colleagues at other institutions, too. They’re stunned— ‘How did you pull this off?’ Honestly, it’s quite a coup.”

Despite the caliber of the performers, ticket prices start at $40 (by contrast, tickets to a Taylor Swift show the same evening are currently listed at $1,025 apiece—and that’s for seats with a “limited or obstructed view). “These tickets would be two or three times the cost in a larger city,” van der Westhuizen said. “We have very generous sponsors of the arts.” Those sponsors have helped make the show accessible to a broader audience than might otherwise have the opportunity to see it. Some tickets will be given away.

Van der Westhuizen sees it as part

of his mission to make shows like this accessible. Some people, he acknowledges, are intimated by the thought of classical music. Community partners help eliminate that factor, helping people move past the small but sometimes scary questions (what do I wear? How do I behave?) as well as helping them see why the music that will be performed matters: why, despite its age, it’s retained its beauty.

Among the pieces to be performed are works by Rachmaninoff, one of the great romantic composers. They’re virtuosic, meaning there’s a high wire aspect to them, but they’re also very beautiful. “He wrote these incredibly beautiful songs, dramatic, epic, and sweeping.” For all the prestige that Fleming and Kissin will bring to the stage, the finest moments of the evening may be those in which the performers themselves will seem to become transparent, allowing the audience to see through them to the heart of the music itself. ■

Renée Fleming & Evgeny Kissin. COURTESY PHOTO
MAY 2023 41


When it comes to being an artist, creating art is only the first step. A finished work leaves behind questions, like where it can be shared, and how it can be sold. That’s where AllArtWorks comes in.

AllArtWorks is a Grand Rapids-based organization that curates hundreds of original art pieces to be shown and sold across the country. Grand Haven-native Tyler Loftis founded the initiative with hopes to share the fine art experience with both artists and patrons beyond major cities.

“Instead of just connecting with LA, or New York, or any other traditional art making place, I really have a passion to get out there and connect Americans to art in general,” said Loftis.

“You don’t need any sort of prerequisites to love and appreciate art. You just need your heart.”

The idea for AllArtWorks was sparked by Loftis’ ArtPrize project, where he exhibited local paintings alongside famous masterpieces. From this, many Michigan

artists sold their paintings, and they leaned on Loftis for more opportunities.

“It sort of occurred to me that if we took this idea online, and then further developed into having a physical space year-round there in Grand Rapids, we would be able to help facilitate things further and deeper,” Loftis said.

Artists can submit their art to AllArtWorks online, for free. If selected, AllArtWorks lists the pieces for sale on their website. They also insure, store, frame, ship, professionally photograph, and provide in-person showings for the work.

AllArtWorks also evaluates a piece’s financial worth, which can be a major deterrent artists face when beginning to sell their art.

“Try to answer, even with your closest family and friends, what’s this picture worth? Is it any good? It’s just a very, very uncomfortable question,” said Loftis.

“We take that question off the table. When you give us a piece of work, it’s validated by the quality and the price. Even

if an artist sells just one piece on our site, there’s a record of what their pricing and quality is, like somebody’s in their court helping them out and backing them up.”

Putting a price tag on an artist’s work is only one part of the exchange, however. AllArtWorks greatly focuses on the buyer’s experience too, and they want to make fine art accessible for everyone.

“We almost think of ourselves like an adoption agency, you know, getting these paintings out to the right home,” said Loftis.

One way AllArtWorks does this is through their showroom, where their 1,000 curated pieces of art are physically stored. People are welcome to drop by their ArtTender event during visiting hours for a free cup of coffee, or to attend their art openings that feature rotating exhibitions.

“We want to create a new environment that is safe and comfortable, where instead of people being intimidated or feeling like they don’t know what’s going on or don’t belong here, we could take down some of those barriers,” said Loftis.

“It’s not about buying, it’s about experiencing.”

Patrons can also filter through the organization’s art on an iPad and select specific pieces to view in-person while onsite.

“We’re not there trying to tell people what to like. That’s like trying to tell people what music to like,” said Lofis.

“Our goal is to get a piece of art in every household, whether it’s one we sell or not, just to create that joy and have that art in our lives. We feel like it’s a super important part of being human.”

While art prints and replications are readily available at any home decor store, AllArtWorks specializes in providing patrons with one-of-a-kind pieces.

“When somebody buys a piece off our site, what’s exciting is there’s nobody on the planet that has that same piece. If you look around your house, almost anybody else can buy about anything else you have, but they cannot buy this,” said Loftis.

“You’ve entered the fine art experience. You have something that is special, that

44 MAY 2023 / AllArtWorks. COURTESY PHOTOS

was handmade by a very, very high end crafts person. And that’s a really magical, cool experience.”

As a fine artist himself, Loftis understands how personal buying and selling art can be. His experience in the industry is part of what sparked the idea for AllArtWorks.

“I found that a really effective and kind of exciting way to connect people with art was through my own success and some of the bridges that I have crossed, and with the sort of things I figured out, I’m now able to sort of help others with. That was sort of a seed of AllArtWorks,” said Loftis.

Though Loftis is now based in New York, his Michigan roots are what continue to inspire AllArtWorks’ expansion across America.

“I think as this sort of evolves and grows, people are going to realize that [Michigan], and a lot of interesting areas across the United States, have a lot of incredible art. I mean, people are going to be really excited to learn how incredible it really is.”

In fact, for Loftis, it’s the human experience surrounding fine arts that makes the transaction come together.

“The painting itself doesn’t care if it’s bought or sold,” Loftis said. “It just wants to be experienced and seen.” ■

MAY 2023 45
ALLARTWORKS VIEWING STUDIO 333 Cesar E. Chavez Ave SW, Grand Rapids

MAYARTS Calendar

In 2023, arts organizations are largely back on their feet and offering full seasons of art, conversations, fun and community involvement. The season ahead has an incredible lineups of concerts, symphonies, dance performances, art exhibitions, musicals, plays and more. This month, you can visit the theater for a classic tale of love and loss, the symphony for incredible season finales, and museums for a variety of incredible art. Check it out.


122 Lyon St. NW, Grand Rapids

HADESTOWN,  May 9-14


221 Farmers Alley, Kalamazoo

CHICKEN & BISCUITS, April 21-May 7



101 Monroe Center, Grand Rapids




30 N. Division Ave., Grand Rapids

SOMETHING ROTTEN!, April 28-May 21


300 Ottawa Ave. NW Ste. 100, Grand Rapids



329 S. Park St., Kalamazoo



314 South Park St., Kalamazoo

ART, MUSIC & FEMINISM IN THE 1950S, Through May 7


LINES THAT…, Through June 11


359 Kalamazoo Mall Ste. 100, Kalamazoo




223 W. Main St., Lowell

CONNECTED, Through June 24


2200 Auditorium Dr, Kalamazoo



425 W. Western Ave., Muskegon



296 W. Webster Ave., Muskegon






1320 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids

AIDA,  May 5-7


400 Culver St., Saugatuck


HOME BODY, Through May 12




24 Ransom Ave. NE, Grand Rapids



WEST MICHIGAN SYMPHONY  360 W. Western Ave. Ste. 200, Muskegon


46 MAY 2023 /
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