Luxury Restaurant Opening Downtown

April 16, 2004
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GRAND RAPIDS — A new, lavish restaurant will make its debut in a classic downtown building with a private fundraising event for DeVos Children’s Hospital next week.

Mainstreet Ventures of Ann Arbor will open the doors to The Chop House Restaurant in the Goodspeed Building at 190 Monroe Ave. NW on Tuesday, April 27. The Grand Rapids Chop House will be the third in the company’s line of steakhouses, joining those already open in Ann Arbor and Charleston, W.Va.

“The Chop House is our luxury restaurant. It is absolutely the top-of-the-line in every way. We use USDA prime beef. Two percent of the beef in the country is graded ‘prime’ so we use the absolute best beef that we can find,” said Michael Gibbons, Mainstreet Ventures president.

In addition to the steaks, The Chop House will also feature a roasted rack of venison, Australian rib lamb chops, Beluga caviar, fresh lobster and a long list of premium wines.

“We’ve got an extensive wine list with about 350 bottles of wine on it that are the best wines that we can find in the United States — or in the world, for that matter,” said Gibbons.

The Chop House will also feature a daily special and desserts that are made fresh daily.

“We have the downstairs set up for desserts and cigars,” said Gibbons of the La Dolce Vita room, a staple in all three restaurants.

The restaurant will also offer private meeting rooms for special occasions and business get-togethers. Gibbons told the Business Journal last week that the rooms in the Ann Arbor Chop House sell out every day of the week.

“So we put more in the Grand Rapids location because we feel like there is a real need for that there,” he said.

“Probably the thing that sets us apart is our service. It will be second to none. We’ll spend a week in classroom training before we’ll even open the doors there.”

Gibbons said The Chop House offers a “French style” of service, which means that the plates are placed in front of everyone at the same time. A party of 10 will have 10 people serving that table.

“It’s exceptional; it really is different service in this day and age,” he added.

The Chop House is leasing about 4,500 square feet on the ground floor of the renovated Goodspeed Building at the corner of Monroe and Lyon, within walking distance of the new convention center, DeVos Performance Hall and the upcoming art museum, and it’s across the street from the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

Mainstreet Ventures was founded in 1981. Gibbons and Dennis Serras are two of the company’s three original owners. The firm has a dozen restaurants in Michigan, Florida, Ohio and West Virginia. Not all of Mainstreet’s eateries are steakhouses, as it also operates restaurants that specialize in Italian, Asian and seafood cuisines.

“We believe that this location was just appropriate for this concept, and we anticipate opening other restaurants in the Grand Rapids area,” said Gibbons.

“Gourmet on the Grand” is the fundraising event The Chop House is hosting for the DeVos Children’s Hospital next Tuesday. Mainstreet will donate every dollar earned from the event, above its base cost for the food, to the hospital.

Mainstreet Corporate Administrator Dorothy McLeod said dinners will be held at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and that a total of 250 are expected to participate in the invitation-only event.

The Chop House will be open seven days a week. The restaurant will open at 5 p.m. for dinner and close at 10 p.m. during the week, 11 p.m. on weekends. The bar will remain open an hour after the kitchen closes. 

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