New Cheshire Grill in Grand Rapids brings family dining, jobs back to Cheshire business district

Up until the last few years, a large storefront at 2162 Plainfield Ave. NE was best known as The Cheshire Restaurant. Now, after changing hands and menus a few times, then sitting vacant awhile, another traditional family restaurant is back in the space -- The Cheshire Grill.

Owner Eric Vorpi opened The Cheshire Grill in January, featuring real, old-fashioned sodas made by hand at the soda counter, and made-from-scratch foods like sausage gravy, French rolled omelets and homemade jams.

Vorpi says he filled 18 cook and server positions when the restaurant opened, and hopes to add another four or five when he adds a dinner shift. Right now, he's working to build up a regular clientele for breakfast and lunch hours, and hopes to open for the dinner hour as soon as the business is ready.

"All the loyal customer following was let go during several rebuilds, and we have to build it back up," Vorpi says. "We wanted everything dialed in before we went crazy with what we wanted to offer."

Inside, the restaurant still has its checkerboard floors, the soda/ice cream counter and three main dining rooms. The front door still connects to Sweetland's Candy Shop next door, like it has for decades. Vorpi says the place is beginning to attract business and church groups as a regular gathering spot for breakfast and lunch meetings.

Hours: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., daily.

Source: Eric Vorpi, The Cheshire Restaurant
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
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