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ironyisadeadscene

Charley's Crab closed for good

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That restaurant used to be exceptional. But the last couple of times I was there (for the brunch buffet) it was really run-of-the-mill—downright bad for the price. That parcel plus the one on Fulton would make quite the property.

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1 hour ago, organsnyder said:

That restaurant used to be exceptional. But the last couple of times I was there (for the brunch buffet) it was really run-of-the-mill—downright bad for the price. That parcel plus the one on Fulton would make quite the property.

I know the DeVos family wants to put something massive on the lot portion. I've got some details, but nothing concrete. I'd love to see that parcel become a residential tower to help create walkability in that stretch. 

 

I also want the Ellis lot across the street to be developed. 

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1 minute ago, ironyisadeadscene said:

I know the DeVos family wants to put something massive on the lot portion. I've got some details, but nothing concrete. I'd love to see that parcel become a residential tower to help create walkability in that stretch. 

 

I also want the Ellis lot across the street to be developed. 

After years of dreaming about this the timing seems less than stellar for getting too excited/hopeful for anything for quite a while!

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1 hour ago, GVSUChris said:

After years of dreaming about this the timing seems less than stellar for getting too excited/hopeful for anything for quite a while!

Agreed. Right now, I'm worried about the tower(s) at Studio Park as well as the one across from the arena.

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I made it there for my first, and apparently only, time last year.  I'd call it Russ's for the rich.  Very elderly crowd and nice food.

I was seriously concerned with one of the exposed wood beams in the center of the space that was obviously over stressed.

Well.  Let the land speculation begin...

Soccer stadium, mystery project, yet another DeVos billboard?

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I'm sorry to say I've never been there despite it being there since I was like 3 , but I really hated the horridly outdated suburban footprint of the place from the S-curve for a long time. It took up a ton of space on an important plot of land right in the heart of DT along the river! Fine for the time when that was literally the far southern part of the mostly dead DT area, but today it just stuck out badly.

But I think when you see the bulldozers pushing dirt, then you will know stuff is picking up again.

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3 hours ago, elcelc said:

I made it there for my first, and apparently only, time last year.  I'd call it Russ's for the rich.  Very elderly crowd and nice food.

I was seriously concerned with one of the exposed wood beams in the center of the space that was obviously over stressed.

Well.  Let the land speculation begin...

Soccer stadium, mystery project, yet another DeVos billboard?

I cant say much, but what I do know it pretty public. I know the DeVos family owns the lot, and they also own the CC land. I wonder if they will add this to that plan. The plan for the lot is HUGE but there's no time table for it to begin.

 

I hope they keep the plots separate and the Charlies Crab plot is developed into something sooner. And something substantial.

 

I think a mixed use building there, 20 stories, with apartments.. maybe I'm dreaming, but that would add a lot to a pretty desolate area and hopefully springboard more development.

Edited by ironyisadeadscene

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This doesn't surprise me at all.  I'll bet dollars to doughnuts they were planning on closing later this year anyway and the virus situation just accelerated the process.  That location is far more valuable to build something in conjunction with the giant Devos lot next to it.  Vs. keeping a restaurant that stopped being relevant 10 years ago open.  It was a great restaurant for late 80's/early 90's downtown, but a suburban style high end seafood place no longer fits with the current downtown market.   If a visitor asked me where a good seafood place was downtown, I'd have told them Louie's.  Charlies Crab wouldn't have even crossed my mind.  Typically a good sign you should change your concept.

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When Chuck Muer bought the property where Charley's Crab is now around 1980, it had been the home of the City Ice Company.  This was an outfit that originally manufactured blocks of ice that were delivered  to homes to be used in ice boxes.  The original plan was to have the restaurant in that building but it burnt down before they got around to it.  City Ice had still been a going concern at least through the late seventies.  They didn't deliver to houses anymore but provided ice for ice vending machines and commercial uses.  I've wasted a lot of time this morning looking on the internet for a photo of that building or at least a photo of one of their delivery trucks but without success.  It was an anachronism even back in the fifties but on my grandparent's street back then there were still a few old people who still had ice boxes rather than refrigerators and they'd get a block of ice delivered by City Ice several times a week.

My grandmother had a refrigerator but even more anachronistic, she had her Sealtest milk delivered to her house by a horse drawn milk wagon.  The horse drawn wagon was a strange story since milk trucks had been around for decades before that.  What happened was during WW2 when there was gas rationing the dairy partially went back to horse delivery and then after the war they just continued until the horses were retirement age.  The horse knew all the stops.  Can't imagine a company making that kind of decision today.      

Here's a link to the Mlive Charley's Crab  story about the closing - they briefly mention the ice house fire:

MLIVE: charleys-crab-in-grand-rapids-permanently-closed

EDIT: Nothing to do with Charley's Crab but just verifies my off-topic story - found this photo in the book, Vintage Grand Rapids Vol 2.  It shows the horse drawn wagon parked on Dallas Street which is only four or five blocks from my grandparent's house so what I remember is likely this very milkman and milk horse.  But it says the horse retired in 1949 so I must be remembering from when I was two or three years old.

1079490928_Sealtesthorsewagon.thumb.jpg.a8b6bc03a9c32f289a51e3436f5ff6bd.jpg

 

 

Edited by walker
added photo of milk wagon
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I won't shed tears over Charlie's Crab closing. They were overly snobby. They turned away my brother and his wife because they did not like what they were wearing (average street clothes) and waaaaay over priced.  

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On 5/22/2020 at 6:08 PM, ironyisadeadscene said:

I cant say much, but what I do know it pretty public. I know the DeVos family owns the lot, and they also own the CC land. I wonder if they will add this to that plan. The plan for the lot is HUGE but there's no time table for it to begin.

 

I hope they keep the plots separate and the Charlies Crab plot is developed into something sooner. And something substantial.

 

I think a mixed use building there, 20 stories, with apartments.. maybe I'm dreaming, but that would add a lot to a pretty desolate area and hopefully springboard more development.

I hope we get a 12 story tower!  Oh heck, let's dream big, TWO 12 story towers!!!!!

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3 hours ago, Floyd_Z said:

I hope we get a 12 story tower!  Oh heck, let's dream big, TWO 12 story towers!!!!!

Think big, man. 14 stories!

No, the will apparently states 40+

 

Which will look weird in the corner of downtown, but still.

Edited by ironyisadeadscene

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10 minutes ago, ironyisadeadscene said:

Think big, man. 14 stories!

No, the will apparently states 40+

 

Which will look weird in the corner of downtown, but still.

40+ would be great.  I'll believe it when it's topped out though :tw_mrgreen:

It might look weird at first, but that area south of downtown will start getting developed even more.  There's a lot of junky buildings on very valuable real estate over there.

I would assume it would be hotel, residential and some office.  Not sure we'd see it in the next 5-10 years, but they are more than welcome to prove me wrong.

 

....or maybe......    A CASINO?????   :tw_love:

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This person on Reddit heard a Symphony Hall...  Maybe just a made up rumor or very old info??

jvh33
 
6 points·4 days ago
 

It's owned by the DeVos family through RDV Corp and at one point there were talks of building a symphony hall there that would free up all of the dates that the symphony has at DeVos Performance Hall for other shows

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Personally, I still enjoyed Charley’s Crab, although I didn’t visit that often.  It really seemed like an anachronism in today’s downtown - and that was part of its charm.

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