May 31, 2010

Three More Reasons to Love Downtown Grand Rapids

Beautifully framed downtown skyline from 38

The news of the economic downturn must have bypassed downtown Grand Rapids as another mix-use building project and two eclectic restaurant/bar open up. And the city's residents are not complaining one bit. The city's aspiration of becoming a mini Chicago is well underway.

38 hosted it's opening party last week; giving the city dwellers a taste of cool city living within a block of the arena. The owners of one of the best beers pubs in the US, Hopcat,  (okay, I am still waiting for the pub to offer San Miguel beer and more Asian beers - hint, hint) launched the retro 80's bar, Stella's Lounge and the 30's inspired, Viceroy, in the past month. And there are more great openings in the next few months.

The Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts (UICA) is finally taking shape and I could hardly wait. A very swanky wine bar is going to be opening between the Amway Grand Plaza and DeVos Performance Hall, I believe by late summer.  And I've heard of rumors of another Asian restaurant downtown. Add to that the news of the year-round farmer's market complex - GR is no longer the sleepy downtown it once was. 

38 living area
Condo deck
Apartment dining and kitchen at 38
Dining vignette
Downtown views
The city skyline from 38
Local artists performed their works at 38 launch party
DJ Todd Ernst, along with DJ Shannon and DJ Jenny Disko, 
provided the soundscape at the 38 opening
Ice bar
Beer Macchiato compliments of Founders Brewery and Madcap
Exterior of 38
Line outside of Stella's Lounge
A lone scooter in the alleyway of Stella's Lounge
Stella's Lounge retro bar offering "cheap beer and stiff drinks"
Stella's Lounge bar offerings
Inside the Viceroy
It's been several months, but the patio at Tavern on the Square
 is another welcome addition to the downtown scene

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