The historic Grand Rapids Brewing Company
(GRBC) that once operated in the heart of downtown will be back this summer in a new, expansive location next door to the Van Andel Arena, the heart of the city's busy entertainment district. The brewery, which was in business for over 100 years, first on Michigan and Ottawa and later on 28th St. SE, will be the groundfloor tenant at 1 and 7 Ionia SW with nearly 10,000 square feet and seating for 450.
Barfly Ventures, owned by Mark and Michelle Sellers, announced today that the new venue will be family-friendly, with children's menu items as well as 8 to 10 specialty beers, including a new version of GRBC's original Silver Foam beer. Barfly owns some of Grand Rapids' most popular gathering places in the entertainment district, including HopCat
's, Stella's Lounge
and the The Viceroy
and is a partner in The Pyramid Scheme
, all within two blocks of the new GRBC location.
Derek Coppess of 616 Development and 616 Lofts
recently purchased 1 and 7 Ionia SW and will combine the two buildings to create 26 loft apartments and commercial spaces on the upper floors. The buildings front along Ionia on the east and a brick paved alley on the west; 1 Ionia NW also runs along W. Fulton St., kitty corner from The B.O.B. and its proposed market/concert venue.
New indoor/outdoor seating, created by replacing three loading dock doors on the alley side with glass garage doors, will open the bar to the Van Andel Arena and provide outdoor seating for 15.
"This is arguably the prime spot for a bar in Grand Rapids. If I could pick any location, it would be this place or where The B.O.B is -- but that's taken," says Mark Sellers with a laugh. "To have three sides facing different streets is incredible."
Preliminary plans to host GRBC in the Brass Works Building fell through, Sellers says.
The new GRBC could create some 60 jobs. Sellers hopes to have the bar open sometime in August.
Architectural design: Greg Metz, Lott3Metz
Source: Mark Sellers, Barfly Ventures; Chris Knap, SeyferthPR
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
Renderings: Dixon Architecture