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Where everybody knows your name: Squibb Coffee Bar hopes to be space for coffee & wine lovers alike






On the heels of Squibb Coffee Bar’s Nov. 30 grand opening, owner and operator Mallory Squibb is looking forward to next month. It’s then that the approval for a liquor license will kick the pour-over coffee concept up a notch with the addition of a hand-picked wine menu to be served alongside its existing selection of pastries, cheeses and other shareable small plates.

Located in the 1,200-square-foot storefront at 955 Wealthy St. SE, Squibb says the idea behind her new coffee bar/wine and cheese hybrid was to bring together something familiar and something different with the two concepts, and she found their common thread in the kind of community gathering space they both inspire. 

"The concept “came from my love for coffee, wine and cheese and how those three things are the things that people meet up for and gather around or want to enjoy with other people,” says Squibb, who cultivated her love of coffee, wine and cheese while working at Babo Market in Ann Arbor and Aperitivo in the Grand Rapids Downtown Market. 

“There's a reason a lot of people go to coffee shops, and it's to feel like they're not alone and not just in an office or their room by themselves,” she says. “I think bringing those two worlds together is perfect — if someone wants a glass of wine or if someone wants a cup of coffee, you can meet up in the afternoon and you can both have what you want. I also go to a lot of coffee shops where all they have are pastries, and I wanted to offer more small plate options to share.”

After considering a few other spaces in downtown Grand Rapids, including a spot near Marie Catrib’s and another on Monroe Avenue, Squibb signed the lease for 955 Wealthy St. SE last January.

The space is bright and clean, the white subway tiling creating contrast against dark wood tables in a well-lit space with an aesthetic focal point found in the sprawling wall mural painted by local artist Kelly Allen — a giant squid that stretches across the back wall of the coffee shop facing the front bar. 

“I've just always kind of been obsessed with underwater creatures,” Squibb says. “…[The mural] was going to be an octopus, but then we thought, ‘You know what? A squid is funny. My last name is Squibb and people have always called me squid,’ so I showed Kelly — who is a local artist and an amazing woman — some things that I liked, and she proceeded to watch many, many videos of squids and came back with a lot of different sketches for us.” 

Bazzanni Building Co. handled the eight-week renovation and build-out at 955 Wealthy St. and, other than a few consultants from the food service industry brought in to help design the space behind the bar, Squibb handled the majority of the interior design, looking to strike the same balance between something old and something new that her concept wants to encourage and accommodate. 

“I think it's a good mixture of new college students who want a place to hang out, but also people who have lived in the neighborhood for a while and want a new place to go,” Squibb says. “I feel like this town is very food forward, especially with all of the restaurants coming in, so I feel like people are going to appreciate this concept. 

“We love Wealthy Street…I think it's a good mixture of new college students who want a place to hang out, but also people who have lived in the neighborhood for a while and want a new place to go,” she continues. “We like the walkability of this area and how things are really developing over here, both residential and commercially, so we thought it was the perfect time to get in and get settled before it really blows up.” 

To learn more about Squibb Coffee Bar, visit www.squibbgr.com or find Squibb Coffee Bar here on Facebook. 

Visit Squibb Coffee Bar online for more information, or find them here on Facebook

Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Squibb Coffee Bar/Rachel Liu Photography 
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