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About GRain

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    Grand Rapids, MI

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  1. I dont have a picture, but the interior of the hotel's rooms are being finished off. Window treatments are now in place and visible from the street.
  2. Marcona on Lyon closes permanently https://grbj.com/news/food-service-agriculture/marcona-on-lyon-closes-permanently/
  3. It's very expensive for these places to start back up. For those that rely on traditional, mostly indoor business models-- if they can even survive with spacing and capacity cuts--- they will want to see people out and willing to fill the seats before opening. And that's a best-case scenario for many. ..unless we get a round 2 of PPP in mid-summer. The odds of a round 2 or even round 3 of PPP that takes them through to at least the end of 2020 on an industry-specific-basis seems high if the government wants these businesses to survive.
  4. Grove goes out, a chicken place comes in. Grove had been rumored to be on the chopping block for a while now. Conceptually this seems to have the most overlap with Hancock, Juju, and a bit of Forty Acres. I can't say I like their choice of name and logo. https://www.woodtv.com/news/grand-rapids/grs-grove-closing-to-reopen-as-jimmy-bergers-chicken-shack/
  5. Yup. To be allowed to be open is one thing, but if your business relies on a dense crowd on a Friday and Saturday like movie theaters or traditional indoor sit-down restaurants, then that's a whole other thing. They're completely dependent on significant medical developments. August seems optimistic.
  6. Revue did a sit down with the owners and the article explains it. 9th St was in development as its own brand under the Mertens Hospitality umbrella. The article is worth a read. Pretty interesting. New Hotel Mertens itself is open for takeout/delivery. I had it over the weekend. Good as always. https://revuewm.com/food-drink/dining/item/4781-9th-street-steaks-has-the-delicious-comforting-cheesesteaks-we-need
  7. Yes, Rockford wants to activate it for public use. Hopefully a restaurant. All the old nightclub bones are still in-tact. Meijier was using a lot of it. That area could use just a few more spots. If you had a quality operator there to sandwich in-between Max's and New Hotel Mertens and Luna (plus the few others that are there) then that could really be a juicy part of town. ...of course in many respects it already is.
  8. Based on what one can see by looking in at night, it appears the apartment appliances are in place. Have residents started moving in? Or will it be soon?
  9. Went to New Hotel Mertens and then the movies after dinner. Uber'd both ways. As we all could have predicted, the energy on that side of town has changed substantially in a couple years time. The restaurant was buzzing & crowded along with a full bar, there were crowded streets for a concert at Van Andel, Studio Park may not have been mobbed-- but there was plenty of walkers to/fro creating great energy. Then it hit me that we have the tiki place coming right into the heart of this too in a few weeks plus all of the other Studio Park tenants. The movie theater is nicely done! We will be frequent customers! Great bar and super-nice people working there. For an opening, they seemed to be in full control. The criticisms are easily fixed: get some dimmers for the flurescent lights! It was oppressive-to-the-eyes, super-market lighting in the main lobby. And they needed more people with brooms picking up popcorn and things-- an easy fix. From the outside looking in, the restaurant looked ok. Sort of like Wheelhouse, but on a lower budget. I'm sure they'll do fine, but in terms of ambiance both Mertens & Max's are much more impressive. Overall, this is a huge win for GR.
  10. Are there are still unannounced/uncommitted Studio Park tenants/prospects?
  11. Looking at the sidewalk framing it looks like it all might be heated-- does any one know?
  12. Good news! Though it's had its ups and downs, South of Fulton continues its upward trajectory.
  13. Absolutely true. There are very few people in all of the region that follow where the Whitecaps are in the standings, etc. As a relative newcomer to the area here's a few thoughts on the Whitecaps/Griffins dynamic: 1.) There's two Grand Rapids. One that prefers the suburbs and is more or less terrified of going downtown (omg the parking! omg the homeless people! omg! omg!) and then there's the other set that has no problem going downtown and figuring it out. The Whitecaps make the suburanists happy. The Griffins make the downtown set happy. So in that light, the current arrangement makes sense. 2.) Apparently the suburbanists are not as big as some of us think they are as the Griffins attendance continues to be strong-- 5th place in the league this year. Of course it's not an apples to apples comparison. Would the Caps attendance be better if the quality of play was higher? Probably, sure. But clearly people are willing to come downtown to see a minor league sports team, let alone consistently selling it out for big-name comedians/musicians/etc. 3.) As many have stated, the town is too big for Single A-- but indeed the stadium is lacking in location not in capacity (it's capacity is higher than most Eastern League AA teams). As a downtown-supporter I'd love to see a stadium built maybe where Charlie's Crab is or any other surface-lot desert in downtown GR so that the region's residents could make an evening of going to the ballpark in the summer like so many other cities have done successfully. Instead it's in an out of the way location (much like the mistake that Syracuse made when re-building their's out of the way all for the sake of parking), and that will always hold the franchise back. The first trick is to find property & funding for the stadium (a tall task), the second trick is to not scare the existing core suburbanists from coming and finding a way to placate them (parking packages, etc.). The restaurants and nightlife will take care of itself and fill in. 4.) There's less and less of a difference between AA and AAA these days. Most franchises use them nearly interchangeably for their prospects and getting the Tigers AA team would be a much bigger draw for local Tiger fans than low-A. In my view it would be the near-equivalent of landing the AAA team. Targeting Erie makes plenty of sense, but the devil is in the details and I know nothing of the details of their affiliation with the Tigers.
  14. My understanding is that there have been plans to place a hotel in the south parking lot across from Studio Park. I havent heard anything about it in about a year when it was considered a 50/50 proposition by someone who would know-- so who knows.
  15. It would have been nice to have just one national name in the mix. Maybe that will come in the next round of announcements. It's good to see a flagship restaurant going in, though they are pretty short on details about it. Funny that they decided to use the word "Tavern" despite what is widely know as "Tavern" being right across the street. Of course I realize that the concepts appear to be wildly different, but still, of all words to use... It would be great to get one more strong restaurant down there and begin to build a solid village of places south of the arena.
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