Posts by mike

Top Eats of Grand Rapids’ West-Side

Grand Rapidians have experienced an explosion of culinary gems over recent years. By mixing culinary cultures and creative tastes have breathed new life to the creation of many mouth-watering plates across our city. A recent Thrillist article named Grand Rapids the “Finest Place to Dine” in all of Michigan, and here are a few of our personal top picks! (in no particular order) 1. Butcher’s Union Opened in late 2016 and standing as an instant staple to the Grand Rapids’ West Side, Butcher’s Union offers a unique blend of food and cocktails with a focus on quality meat pairings. With available curbside, in-house, and courtyard seating, Butcher’s Union will leave you with an appreciation for Grand Rapids all within a comfortable up-scaled atmosphere. Stop by on Whiskey Vault Wednesday to enjoy a pairing of top-notch whiskey paired with an amazing meal. Must Try: The Smoked Salmon Banh Mi: cold pecan smoked Faroe Island salmon, pickled red onion, crunchy slaw, cilantro, jalapeno, aioli, sweet & spicy sauce, grilled Field & Fire sourdough   2. Jolly Pumpkin Right down the street from Butchers Union you will find the Jolly Pumpkin. This new-age pizzeria has gained popularity across the State of Michigan only…

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Exploring the Meyer May House

One of the best times of year to get out of your house and explore Grand Rapids is in the Spring. As leaves begin to sprout and flowers bloom, we are reminded of the historic and significant architecture that our wonderful city has to offer. Touring the Meyer May House in the historic Heritage Hill Neighborhood is just one of the activities that should be on your to-do list this Spring. Originally designed by Frank Loyd Wright in 1908 and commissioned by Meyer S. May, this home stands in stark contrast to the Victorian design popularized during the same time period. Making use of prairie style aesthetics and broad design lines, the home played an integral role in revolutionizing modern home design standards for today. House Restoration In 1985, the Meyer May House was purchased by Steelcase furniture company with the aim of restoring the house to its original glory. Opening to the public in 1987, the home underwent a significant amount of detailed upgrades including the repairing of over 100 windows, the reconstruction of the original style roof, and the reopening of the previously closed off veranda. Walking the grounds, be sure to note Wright’s use of the broad…

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10 Spring Updates Under $100

As the snow starts to melt and we see the sidewalks again, we are reminded that Spring is fast upon us. Whether you are fixing up your home to sell, or just looking to refresh your home for this upcoming Spring, now is the best time to tackle some easy and inexpensive DIY projects on your to-do list. Here are our top ten easy home improvements that can both “up” your curb appeal and refresh your interior design for under $100! 1.) Build a Fire Pit : Do you have some extra bricks from a previous home update? Maybe you’re looking to make your back yard the perfect place for friends and family to hang out? Then consider creating an easy brick fire pit. No mortar or concrete needed, but with a simple arrangement of bricks, your fire pit will be up and running in no time at all. 2.) Update or Replace your Mailbox: You pass by your mailbox every day, but probably don’t pay much attention to its appearance or age. A lot of homes have similar looking “cookie-cutter” mailboxes, but by spending a little money and TLC you can purchase a brand new mailbox to set your…

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First-Time Homebuyers Choose Grand Rapids!

Grand Rapids was recently named the second hottest market for Millennials in 2019; according to a meta-analysis conducted by realtor.com. Market conditions and various other regional factors have developed Grand Rapids into one of the most desirable areas in the United States for first-time homebuyers, and young adults are taking note. To local West Michiganders, the spoils of Grand Rapids often go overlooked when faced with the unpredictable weather of winter and the fast pace of everyday life. However, when realtor.com reviewed the top US metro cities for 2019 a number of positive factors about Grand Rapids shone on a national scale including, school districts, median home sale, and home sales growth. Projections for 2019 place the median price of Grand Rapids home at $187,319, which is significantly lower than the national median home price of $260,290. Keeping Millenials in mind, the opportunity to save over $72,000 on a given house’s sale combined with a projected 4% increase in home sales through 2019, has made ideal conditions for buyers looking to invest in their first home. Choosing a school district to live within seems to be a consideration that often takes a bit of time and deliberation. Luckily, Grand Rapids…

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Ferris Coffee Moves to the West Side

Grand Rapids’ West Side has witnessed a significant spike in both development and population. One of the newest habitants of this growing neighborhood is Ferris Coffee & Nut Co., who recently relocated their headquarters to the American Seating Park. Since 1924, Ferris Coffee & Nut Co. has been a treat for Grand Rapids natives and coffee enthusiasts around the world; With bold brews, sustainable sourcing methods, and a mere endless variety of exotic blends, Ferris has gained notoriety as a true West Michigan staple. Their newly renovated location is nestled comfortably at 839 Seward Ave. NW, and is less than one mile north of their previous headquarters of 227 Winter Ave NW. Currently employing about 125 people, and sitting at 150,000 square feet, their Seward Ave. facility is fully operational and double the size of their Winter Ave. location. In an interview with The Grand Rapids Business Journal, David Van Tongeren, Vice President of Talent and Resources Strategy for Ferris Coffee & Nut Co. explained the positive impact the move has had on the company and employees, “We wanted to bring our entire team under one roof and find a spot that was more conducive to manufacturing.” The move marks…

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Expanding and Improving the Belknap Neighborhood

The Belknap neighborhood sits high atop the northeast side of the city and provides one of the more picturesque views of Grand Rapids. This area is home to a vibrant community filled with history and the growth of modern architectural appeal. With plenty of green space including Belknap Park, Lookout Park, and Coit Park, this part of town offers space to both relax and play. Recent years have witnessed a spike in Belknap condo and home developments, offering high-end and spacious living arrangements for couples and families alike. Despite having immediate access to Grand Rapids’ downtown, your experience in the Belknap neighborhood will give you the unique calmness that other parts of town could be missing. New Development Announced for Belknap In the Summer of 2018 plans for the further improvement of the Belknap neighborhood was announced in the form of a new affordable housing development headed by Third Coast Development and PK Housing & Management. This endeavor is a part of a continuing effort to advocate reasonably priced housing for a growing downtown population. South of Trowbridge Road, and between Prospect and Lafayette, this project will include a total of 50 units and sit just a stone’s throw away…

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Bridge Street Market – Now Open!

With the August grand opening of the Bridge Street Market, Grand Rapids has added an upscaled, top-notch grocery store to the West-Side of town. This facility is one of the newest developments to hit the area, and it is fully focused on building the culture and community surrounding neighborhoods. A large draw of the Bridge Street Market is its ability to provide fresh and affordable foods to a growing population of downtown Grand Rapids. With a large number of different brands and health-conscious options, this store is ideal for the local foodie.  At first glance, you might mistake the market for a Whole Foods, but to many shoppers’ surprise, the Bridge Street Market is, in fact, a Meijer brand store. As soon as you enter the sliding doors of the front entrance, you are hit with an inspiring wave of modernism and eco-friendly ambiance. With an expansive selection of food and friendly staff, the process of shopping into an enjoyable experience; and the large selection of craft beers and liquors make ideal weekend take-homes.     If you are interested in living in one of the more remarkable areas of downtown Grand Rapids; the West-Side of town offers every amenity…

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North Monroe Celebrates a Summer of Films

North Monroe has witnessed a rapid expansion of condos and developments over the better part of the past 30 years. Previous warehouses and industrial buildings have been developed into a bounty of elegant condominiums. These properties have distinct character, making use of exposed brick, beams, and pre-existing structures dating all the way to the 19th century. As you walk the North Monroe Neighborhood, enjoy stunning views along the Grand River. This area has plenty of green space and parks that make for a beautiful sunset over Grand Rapids and its’ most westerly buildings and rolling hills. One of the popular events of North Monroe is the “Movies on Monroe” summer film series. During the hot summer nights, enjoy your share of films broadcast over the silver screen; located in a decorated North Monroe Parking Lot. With films for all ages, this event allows you to view a multitude of acclaimed films. Enjoy family favorites like Shrek and The Princess Bride, all the way to more advanced movies including Saving Private Ryan and The Big Lebowski. According to Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., Movies on Monroe is, “the premier outdoor film series in Grand Rapids.” Their website elaborates that all films are…

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Northeast Grand Rapids Adds a New Gordon Foods Store

On the northeast side of downtown Grand Rapids sits the neighborhoods of Belknap and The Medical Mile. Home to medical professionals, students, and families alike, this area sits atop one of the more magnificent views of the city. A recent addition to this part of town is the September 2018 grand opening of a brand new Gordon Foods grocery store. Located on the corner of Michigan and Diamond Street, this store is designed to accommodate the growing population of the northeast side. In an interview with MLive, Brandon Ryan, Senior Manager of Sales, Marketing, Merchandising & Digital Experience at Gordon Food Service revealed that the format of this new store was heavily influenced by the design and options of grocery stores in New York City. “We took some trips to Manhattan, looked at some of those urban retailers and said, ‘well how are they doing it? What are some of the things they bring, and what are their stores designed like?” — Brandon Ryan With plenty of fresh produce, a diverse selection of deli meats, and plenty of health-conscious foods, this full-service grocery store is perfect for the busy urbanite on the go. If you are interested in living on…

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City Center Neighborhood – Events in the Heart of the City

The past decade has witnessed the rise of “Art Prize,” a two week celebration that attracts artists from around the world. The annual festival is one of Grand Rapids’ proud creations, and allows for the unique experience of discovering awe-inspiring exhibits across each corner of the city. Each Fall, Art Prize attracts thousands of artist and onlookers with the certitude of incredible art displays, and City Center is the premier location for this event. As Winter breaks and Spring is in full bloom, set your sights on LaughFest; by far Grand Rapids’ most hilarious event. Hosted by Gilda’s Club, this ten day event attracts national comedians, with the sole mission of spreading laughter and raising money for a great cause. With all proceeds helping the Gildas Club of Grand Rapids, the festival attracts an average of 50 thousand attendees every year! In an interview with John Gonzalez of MLive, Shawn Ruetz of Gildas Club explained that the donations raised during LaughFest amount to about, “ten to fifteen percent” of Gildas Club’s general operating budget. “Laughfest allows us to bring a lot of visibility to Gildas Club, and allows us to be able to provide free cancer and grief support to…

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