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Grand Rapids Restaurant Rumor Mill

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My mistake, Google maps for some reason was only showing me the one location in Plainfield.  (Which I have been by so I know it is there.)

 

There is more Quiznos then I thought in GR. 

http://www.quiznos.com/storeLocator.html?location=grand%20rapids%20MI

 

But I do remember something about the owner of the downtown Quiznos closing multiple locations in GR.

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Are they staying out in that area? Or just closing up shop? I always wondered if there was enough business at that location. Been there a few times and it always seemed way to big a building compared to the amount of customers that where there.

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There was a public notice in the GR Press (some of us still get the print version) today for a place called Fajita Republic One, LLC requesting a liquor license for the old Johnny Carino's building on an outlot NE of Celebration Knapp's Corner.  It's been empty for quite awhile.  Google only turned up this place in Green Bay, but they appear to only have one location?  Maybe this is their first franchisee???

 

http://www.fajitarepublicrestaurant.com/

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A Canadian-based restaurant chain is moving into McKay tower soon: http://www.wzzm13.com/news/article/272392/14/Canadian-restaurant-chain-to-open-in-downtown-GR

 

Here's the GRBJ article on Freshii: http://www.grbj.com/articles/78195-health-casual-restaurant-chain-picks-downtown

Edited by Timize

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Are they staying out in that area? Or just closing up shop? I always wondered if there was enough business at that location. Been there a few times and it always seemed way to big a building compared to the amount of customers that where there.

 

 

Not sure if they would say that their new Knapp's Corner Arnie's is replacing this location?  They used to have two S.E. side locations, the other at Breton Village.  It would be interesting if they completly pulled out of this side of town considering the traffic in the area.  It's kind of an odd building with that huge berm out front.

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I would say that Grand Rapids is the smallest market they have entered in the U.S. Most are concentrated in high volume lunch locations in major cities. I see they do have one planned for Detroit, in the Wayne State area.  There are a hand full of these here in the (Chicago) Loop, one right across the street from my building.  I have eaten there a few times, I'm not in love with it, but it's pretty good. 

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Are they staying out in that area? Or just closing up shop? I always wondered if there was enough business at that location. Been there a few times and it always seemed way to big a building compared to the amount of customers that where there.

 

Agreed, that Arnie's was built in another era when restaurants went huge and had 100 tables. Now they seem to be more like 30 - 40 tables, tops. I also think the fact that they didn't serve alcohol hurt them. It seemed like they were trying to be a high end Denny's, or a Big Boy.

There was a public notice in the GR Press (some of us still get the print version) today for a place called Fajita Republic One, LLC requesting a liquor license for the old Johnny Carino's building on an outlot NE of Celebration Knapp's Corner.  It's been empty for quite awhile.  Google only turned up this place in Green Bay, but they appear to only have one location?  Maybe this is their first franchisee???

 

http://www.fajitarepublicrestaurant.com/

 

Carino's closed last Summer I think. I remember wondering if the owner was going to mow the lawn because the grass was getting pretty high (yet it seemed like the sprinklers were still feeding it).

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Arnie's needed a renovation at that spot. The Clyde Park location was smaller and generally always busy. I am hopeful it's a rebuild.

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McKay's closed this week. What a whirlwind opening / closing?!

 

Joe

 

That location has a curse.  What is the longest anything has lasted there?  Maybe someone should bring back Arena Brewing Co., now that craft brewing has taken off in town. :P 

Edited by mpchicago

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That location has a curse.  What is the longest anything has lasted there?  Maybe someone should bring back Arena Brewing Co., now that craft brewing has taken off in town. :P 

 

Someone already posted that it's being torn down and replaced with a Five Guys and a Red Olive.

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Someone already posted that it's being torn down and replaced with a Five Guys and a Red Olive.

 

I was referencing McKay's downtown Jeff.  Were you around when it was Arena Brewing?  It opened right around the same time the arena opened next door.  I think it was a Schelde's Enerprises concept.  There have been at least 4 or 5 different restaurants in there since 1996?!

Edited by mpchicago

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Has there only been 4 restaurants there?

 

Arena Station

Margarita Grill : Closed in 2008

25 Kitchen + Bar  : Opened 2009; Closed 2012

McKay's Downtown : Opened 2013; Closed 2013

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Someone already posted that it's being torn down and replaced with a Five Guys and a Red Olive.

That's Arnie's, that's being torn down. I sent note to see if they were rebuilding and have yet to hear back.

Too bad on mckay, I thought they had some liquor license issues? Still, you'd think you would have thought that they would have been open longer...

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Fajita Republic opening a flagship restaurant on East Beltline (where Johnny Carino's used to be):

 

http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2014/02/cwd_real_estate_investment_unv.html

This is exciting, owned by the JK&T Wings guys that have brought us Buffalo Wild Wings, Bagger Dave's, Smashburger and others. I have seen the prints and elevation drawings for this as I've bid some of the interior elements, it will have an upscale feel to it...nice.

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I've eaten at Fat Johnny's.  I have only had their cheese steak jersey style since I'm not a fan of Cheese whiz (Jersey has white american or provolone, I can't remember).  I thought their sandwich was excellent.  I have gone twice so far and both times were great.  I got the full size sandwich the first time which was too much.  I got the half the second time and it was perfect size for lunch.  I hope they keep Division open but I would understand if they just moved to Monroe Center for the lunch crowds.

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They are not keeping the Division location open; they are moving.  They've been announcing it on their facebook page since maybe December.  Update the other day says they hope to move in about two months.

 

Fat Johnny's CheeseSteak is planning to open a location on Monroe Center between Vault of Midnight, and Parsley Mediterranean Grille. They have asked for grant assistance from the DDA.  Has any one eaten at the Divsion location?  I wonder if they will keep that open?

 

http://fatjohnnyscheesesteakco.com/

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Smart move on their part. I've thought about checking the place out many times but forget about it when I'm deciding on lunch. They'll probably do pretty well on Monroe Center (especially if the product is good). 

 

GRJohn, How can you not like Cheeze Whiz?! :) It's my favorite "cheese product". ;)

 

Joe

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