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This is not a good look. Between Ambiance closing due to safety issues, Cinco de Mayo complaining about homeless having sex on the tables, and even floating the idea of closing Blue Bridge between midnight-6am (which to me, doesn’t sound like a solution to crime), seems like the city has a lot to grapple with. 

https://www-woodtv-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.woodtv.com/news/grand-rapids/less-than-a-year-later-ambiance-gr-closes-over-safety-concerns/amp/?amp_js_v=0.1#webview=1&cap=swipe
 

I’m sure this will turn into a hot topic issue, but there has to be a somewhat east solution here. I would hate for downtown to go back to the Nineties where people in the suburbs said it was unsafe (and not enough parking).

Joe 

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1 hour ago, joeDowntown said:

This is not a good look. Between Ambiance closing due to safety issues, Cinco de Mayo complaining about homeless having sex on the tables, and even floating the idea of closing Blue Bridge between midnight-6am (which to me, doesn’t sound like a solution to crime), seems like the city has a lot to grapple with. 

https://www-woodtv-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.woodtv.com/news/grand-rapids/less-than-a-year-later-ambiance-gr-closes-over-safety-concerns/amp/?amp_js_v=0.1#webview=1&cap=swipe
 

I’m sure this will turn into a hot topic issue, but there has to be a somewhat east solution here. I would hate for downtown to go back to the Nineties where people in the suburbs said it was unsafe (and not enough parking).

Joe 

I think that in this instance, it reflects more poorly on the operators of this business than the state of downtown. They cite the lack of covid relief and the riots as major reasons for their closing, but the business didn't even open until December 31, 2021....sounds like they are just making up a bunch of excuses for a poorly run business. 

I've never felt unsafe in downtown Grand Rapids, but I have also lived in bigger cities, so that may affect my expectations for a downtown area.

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Ambiance was attracting too much negative attention and clientele, and smartly pulled the plug on a late night club that was just on borrowed time before some hothead decided to make a real hash of things. This is an open secret. I'm really pretty astonished that they wrote something so laughable that it was riots and Covid loans? I also see that they said that the GRPD didnt devote officers to basically augment their security team.

That is when you know that your establishment isnt attracting a good crowd. Doing this likely saved them from a lawsuit, and massive insurance costs. Sad to see anyone's dream end like that, but I'm no fan of these "clubs" as they seem to be ticking time bombs. Same for the Blue Bridge. Gladly gate it off if it is attracting troublemakers, although good-natured peaceful gatherings there would otherwise be seen as a nice thing to pop up otherwise.

 

As for the homeless? I have to admit last weekend I started to wonder if that population was starting to see an infusion of some more unstable people. My wife and I have worked in DT since the last century. We both had lots of contact with the "regulars" we knew by name, and the wider homeless community in GR has always been a bit more chill than what I've been seeing lately. On Saturday there was a guy going medieval on a rental bike by the Civil War monument in the middle of the day, screaming all manner of obscenities that was very unnerving. A week before a guy over by Pearl and Ottawa was also having a screaming fit. And with people engaging in lewd acts on restaurant tables? I'm hoping all of this is just coincidental proximity and isolated anecdotes especially with winter and all of the families that will trek DT for activities and events.

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This is an absolute cop-out by Ambiance owners. To blame COVID-19 funds and the riots, more than a year after they happened, as reason for closure is not someone I would ever want to do business with or patronize it as a citizen.

I was recently downtown the last few days over the weekend, both at night and during the day, on Monroe Center. Yes, some people are homeless in that area, but as for feeling unsafe, that's a big N-O.

These owners are a joke and I hope they don't open anything else if they want to give excuses for their own failures.

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4 hours ago, Zads said:

This is an absolute cop-out by Ambiance owners. To blame COVID-19 funds and the riots, more than a year after they happened, as reason for closure is not someone I would ever want to do business with or patronize it as a citizen.

I was recently downtown the last few days over the weekend, both at night and during the day, on Monroe Center. Yes, some people are homeless in that area, but as for feeling unsafe, that's a big N-O.

These owners are a joke and I hope they don't open anything else if they want to give excuses for their own failures.

Yeah, I had read that elsewhere after I posted this. I remember they had fits and starts (and COVID put a wrench in plans). 

I have noticed the homeless population getting bigger / more aggressive than in years past. Rented a condo on Monroe Center for a week this summer (while we were moving), and I have to say, it did feel a bit chaotic/unsafe at times, especially at night (I hate to admit that openly), but sounds like the Ambiance situation is being misrepresented.

Joe

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I was listening to an interview with the author of this book, Sam Quinones. He talks about how the introduction of Fentanyl and Synthetic Meth has both increased the homeless population and changed the demeanor of the average un-housed person.

He spoke to a former meth user who said traditional meth made him want to party, while the new stuff made him aggressive and paranoid. On the other side, social workers have found it nearly impossible to get users of synthetic meth into shelters. They are paranoid that their tents will be robbed, or just don't trust the shelters.

All that to say, all around the country un-housed populations are growing in number and becoming more aggressive/ harder for cities to deal with. 

https://www.npr.org/2021/10/27/1049546365/quinones-book-the-least-of-us-sheds-light-on-the-dangers-of-fentanyl

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On 11/14/2022 at 8:20 AM, joeDowntown said:

This is not a good look. Between Ambiance closing due to safety issues, Cinco de Mayo complaining about homeless having sex on the tables, and even floating the idea of closing Blue Bridge between midnight-6am (which to me, doesn’t sound like a solution to crime), seems like the city has a lot to grapple with. 

https://www-woodtv-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/www.woodtv.com/news/grand-rapids/less-than-a-year-later-ambiance-gr-closes-over-safety-concerns/amp/?amp_js_v=0.1#webview=1&cap=swipe
 

I’m sure this will turn into a hot topic issue, but there has to be a somewhat east solution here. I would hate for downtown to go back to the Nineties where people in the suburbs said it was unsafe (and not enough parking).

Joe 

MLive article:

They received help from the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority, which in 2019 provided the business with $45,000 to help cover Ambiance’s lease.

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1 hour ago, HavingAhoot said:

MLive article:

They received help from the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority, which in 2019 provided the business with $45,000 to help cover Ambiance’s lease.

I'd be interested to read the agreement they signed in order to receive these funds. I don't know anything about this kind of agreement, but I wonder if there are any conditions where they would have to pay the money back (e.g., mismanagement of the funds). That could explain why they are so hellbent on blaming their failures on the "safety" of downtown. 

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just look at the yelp or google reviews that shed some light on the Ambiance situation....super high priced drinks, long waits and lines, selective and inconsistent "dress code" yadayadayada....sounds like a poorly ran business to start...throw in the free money from the city and poor excuses for lack of free dedicated police and covid even though they were apparently busy....good riddance 

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53 minutes ago, GR8scott said:

just look at the yelp or google reviews that shed some light on the Ambiance situation....super high priced drinks, long waits and lines, selective and inconsistent "dress code" yadayadayada....sounds like a poorly ran business to start...throw in the free money from the city and poor excuses for lack of free dedicated police and covid even though they were apparently busy....good riddance 

I too glanced at the google reviews and found it curious that the public statement of unsupported safety concerns to be not the whole story. Coincidentally I walked by there Monday night around 6 PM and the lights were on downstairs and it was a mess, empty small plastic drink cups everywhere on the floor, a curious amount of large air moving fans and a couple of cracked/bullet holes in the windows.  Mad sus to be sure. 

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Yes, the real reason was poor management for Ambiance closing, which seems to be normal for the six (?!) owners.  It looks like their sparkling wine and vodka business is just them putting their label on something.  Interesting that they are (were?) planning on opening a Muskegon Ambiance.  I can't imagine that will go over too well either.  I'm not sure why GRBJ and other local media report about how they are some kind of super successful "serial entrepenuers"

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Interesting that GR  Business Journal just did a puff piece on Jonathan Jelks and didn't mention that he was an owner of Ambiance....

Inside Track: He won’t stop … maybe ever - Grand Rapids Business Journal (grbj.com)

Quote

Through all his efforts, Jelks said he won’t feel truly successful until his efforts translate into uplifting the entire community. Grand Rapids, too, likely has held Jelks and his cohorts back.

“I’m dedicated to try and build sustainable businesses that positively impact the community in my hometown,” he said. “Truthfully, if me and some of my business partners were in Detroit or Houston, cities where African American upward mobility is embraced, we would be much further along, flouring at another level.

“The struggle in Grand Rapids is there haven’t been any pipelines created for more vulnerable communities to access the jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities of the future.”

didn't we already establish that the city gave Ambiance $45,000 to cover rent?

Edited by RiversideGR
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On 11/21/2022 at 12:31 PM, Winston1206 said:

Looks like a new bagel place openin at the Downtown Market?

https://instagram.com/radbagelsgr?igshid=Zjc2ZTc4Nzk=

They shared the location in a story that expired already, but looked like the old Pho 616 space. Didn't realize they closed?

It's Rad Bagels, an offshoot of Field and Fire. Looks like they'll make waffle sandwiches too.

 

https://grbj.com/news/restaurants-1/rad-bagels-coming-to-downtown-market/

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not to be mean,  but you probably couldn’t pick a worse spot for a fancy chocolate and coffee shop. I’m sure they did a lot of site prep, but bar alley and fancy don’t mix in my mind. But Mosbys popcorn and Craft Revival Jewelry have hung around for a while. Best of luck to them. You never  want to see someone fail at their dream.

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6 hours ago, droonus2000 said:

Not to be mean,  but you probably couldn’t pick a worse spot for a fancy chocolate and coffee shop. I’m sure they did a lot of site prep, but bar alley and fancy don’t mix in my mind. But Mosbys popcorn and Craft Revival Jewelry have hung around for a while. Best of luck to them. You never  want to see someone fail at their dream.

The phot is a bit low res. What is the actual name of the place going in to Menna’s joint? 

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I feel like Mosbys is losing out on business. I've been downtown several times on the weekend when snacking on popcorn seemed tasty and they've always been closed.

 

 

 

Perhaps they do a good during the day only.

On 12/11/2022 at 5:51 AM, droonus2000 said:

Not to be mean,  but you probably couldn’t pick a worse spot for a fancy chocolate and coffee shop. I’m sure they did a lot of site prep, but bar alley and fancy don’t mix in my mind. But Mosbys popcorn and Craft Revival Jewelry have hung around for a while. Best of luck to them. You never  want to see someone fail at their dream.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
59 minutes ago, RiversideGR said:


Essence restaurant group (Bistro Bella Vita, Grove, Green Well) has acquired Lucy’s Cafe in Creston

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2023/01/lucys-cafe-acquired-by-grand-rapids-based-restaurant-group.html?outputType=amp

Lucy’s is great. Glad to see it continue in the creston location!

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