Food Service & Agriculture and Retail

Downtown Market liquor license on table for beer and wine tasting room

April 9, 2013
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Grand Rapids city commissioners approved a request Tuesday from Grand Rapids Downtown Market Inc. for a new downtown district liquor license for a banquet hall — and commissioners may very well be getting a second request soon from a tenant of the indoor Market Hall.

Banquet hall liquor license

The license commissioners granted the market, at 435 Ionia Ave. SW, is for the facility’s banquet hall, and it allows for dance, entertainment, Sunday sales and outdoor service.

The license costs $20,000, and the request now goes to Lansing for approval.

The special downtown license is only available within the Downtown Development Authority’s district when a similar license can’t be found on the open market.

But city Licensing Coordinator Dawn Kulak told commissioners that market officials still have to look for a Class C license, and they will have to buy one if one is available.

“The Class C license is market value and could be more expensive,” Kulak said. “The district license has to stay in the downtown district and with the owner.”

Art of the Table eyes Downtown Market

DDA planner Eric Pratt said a second district liquor license request has been filed with the city by Aperitivo LLC, which is owned by Amy and Steve Ruis, who also own Art of the Table, at 606 Wealthy St. SE.

The Ruises have told market officials that they plan to operate a food, beer and wine retail outlet and tasting room in the market’s indoor Market Hall.

Their products will be similar to what they have offered at Art of the Table since 2002.

Downtown Market officials have not yet announced the Ruises as tenants for the 24 vendor indoor Market Hall.

“Patrons will be able to purchase domestic bulk cheese produced outside of the state of Michigan, imported bulk cheese, packaged wine and off site prepared charcuterie,” wrote Pratt in a memo to the DDA board, which meets on Wednesday to consider the liquor-license request.

“Additionally, the applicant is proposing to operate a tasting room where patrons will be able to pair wine and beer with cheeses, meat and other types of finger foods. Total project cost for the build out of the space is estimated to be $230,000,” added Pratt.

The Downtown Market is being developed by the DDA and the Grand Action Committee.

The market’s indoor Market Hall is expected to open July 1, with the outdoor produce and fruit stalls opening on May 4.

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