The popular East Grand Rapids restaurant Ramona's Table
has begun renovations on a century-old building next to the White Pine Trail
in Rockford with plans to convert it into the eatery's second location.
The former nail salon at 17 Squires St. will soon feature a second-story loft that wraps around three walls with views to the outdoors and the main dining area below. After opening the drop ceiling, equipment from the building's days as a grain mill was discovered hanging from the ceiling, where it will stay as a conversation piece and a link to the building's beginnings.
"We like that juxtaposition of new and old," says Jackie Ziehm, a partner in the business with her husband Charlie Palm. "There's a lot of antique beams and the space will have a very warm feeling with contemporary twists. We've been working with the Rockford Area Historical Society
to add photos of the building and the town from that period."
While Ramona's Table flagship location doesn't offer beer and wine, the Rockford location will, Ziehm says. A patio area will provide respite for customers who want to visit after a walk or bike ride on the White Pine trail just outside the back door. But Ziehm says the restaurant's signature food offerings, like its kitchen-roasted meats and scratch-made soups and desserts, will be the main attractions.
Flavorful sandwiches like The Loafer -- smoked meatloaf topped with chipotle tomato chutney on a pretzel bun -- and four daily soups that always feature White Bean Chicken Chili and French Onion, are high on the list of customer favorites.
Ziehm hopes to open sometime in May.
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Ramona's Table