Former Rafferty's to re-open on Muskegon Lake by summer

March 2, 2010
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Grand Rapids developer Jon Rooks has added a restaurant to his menu of business ventures.

Rooks' development company, Parkland Properties, owns condo developments in several West Michigan locations and marinas in Grand Haven and Muskegon.

He acquired the former Rafferty's restaurant when he took title to the 10-story Shoreline Inn and 25 acres around it on Muskegon Lake last May. In addition to the restaurant that seats almost 270 (inside and out), the property includes the adjacent Terrace Point Marina.

"We're going to handle (the restaurant) in-house, and we'll have it open by summer," Rooks told Business Journal reporter Pete Daly.

Rooks has hired Dave Biesiada, who previously owned and operated the Sardine Room in Muskegon, to manage the restaurant. Chef Tom Webb, who most recently was with Boatwerks restaurant in Holland, is also part of the team.

Rooks is expected to announce a new name for the restaurant any day now.

Rooks said Lauren James Studio is doing the interior design and Serve Studio Architects is doing the architectural plans. Both are Grand Rapids companies. Lorene Roskamp, principal of Lauren James Studio, said the restaurant will have a design theme reflecting its lakeside location.

Rooks' restaurant is in an 8,900-square-foot building that also houses a 368-seat conference center, which Rooks plans to have open for business in May. It will play a key role in making the Shoreline Inn successful, Rooks said. "We want to make it not only a recreational hotel, but we really want it to be a business hotel."

The hotel, which is only eight years old, has 140 hotel rooms overlooking Muskegon Lake, with the 114-slip Terrace Point Marina just a few yards away.

Rooks said the hotel did four times the amount of business in January as in January 2009, which was before he owned the business.

Politics & Pints

The Friends of West Michigan Business, a PAC organized by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, would like to introduce some fresh blood into the regional political scene, especially savvy young professionals who would be friendly to business — and maybe even run for office themselves.

One sure-fire stimulant for political aspirations is beer, which leads us to Politics & Pints Night at The BOB’s Monkey Bar. That’s tonight, from 5:30 to 7:30, an informal forum the Friends have put together for local business professionals who want to mix and mingle with local and state elected officials. Admission at the door is $20, which includes appetizers and drinks.

“The relaxed atmosphere helps foster an environment to help young professionals looking to engage in the important discussions facing our city, region and state,” according to a handout from the Friends.

Special guests scheduled to attend include Attorney General Mike Cox, Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell, representatives David Hildenbrand, Larry DeShazor, Robert Dean, Brian Calley, Tom Pearce, Bob Genetski, Justin Amash and Dave Agema, and senators Patty Birkholz, Wayne Kuipers and Mark Jansen.

Individuals from many of the area’s young professional groups are expected to attend, including the Grand Rapids Young Professionals, the Grand Rapids Jaycees, the Young Lawyers Section of the Grand Rapids Bar Association, the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors and the Multiracial Association of Professionals.

One of those youngsters who plans on being there is Bryan Posthumus, a regional sales rep and national account manager at Compatico, an office furniture manufacturer in Kentwood.

Posthumus, 25, was at the first Politics & Pints Night held last fall. He said it was a lot of fun, a relaxed setting where he got to talk to a lot of politicians with high ambitions, including Sen. Mike Bishop and Cox.

“It was good to see all the elected officials who were there and meet some of the people who were concerned about where the state of Michigan is going,” he said.

In case you were wondering: Yes, Bryan is the son of Dick Posthumus.

Does this mean Bryan has political ambitions, like his dad?

“Maybe in the future. There’s a lot of things I want to do, that I would like to accomplish first,” he said — but then added, “When politics is in your blood, it never runs out.”

Addys salute the best

Gold and Silver ADDY Award winners celebrated with more than 500 members of the West Michigan creative community at the 2010 ADDY Awards Feb. 25, sponsored by the American Advertising Federation of West Michigan. The event was held at The Intersection.

West Michigan professional entrants earned 23 Gold and 58 Silver ADDY Awards. Entrants in the student category took home five Gold and 19 Silver ADDY Awards.

2010 Best of Show ADDY winners were:

Professional — Sales Promotion, Audio/Visual Sales Presentation: Fairly Painless Advertising for Herman Miller Inc.

Student — Interactive Media, Online Advertising (Pop-Up/Banner/E-mail/Other): Elizabeth Zimmerman, Kendall College of Art & Design.

Student — Print Collateral Material, Poster: Gina Caratelli, Grand Valley State University.

2010 Judges’ Choice ADDY winners were:

Professional — Collateral Material, Four-color Brochure: Wolverine World Wide for Wolverine.

Professional — Elements of Advertising, Photography, Campaign: Highland Group for the Grand Rapids Marathon.

Professional — Public Service, Broadcast/Electronic, TV: Greenlight Marketing for Goodwill Inn.

Student — Sales Promotion, Packaging: Sarah Vanderson, Kendall College of Art &Design.

Entrants earning the largest number of ADDY Awards this year were:

kantorwassink — 11 awards: three Gold and eight Silver.

Highland Group — 10 awards: five Gold and five Silver.

Auxiliary Advertising & Design — nine awards: three Gold and six Silver.

Fairly Painless Advertising — eight awards: three Gold and five Silver.

Judges for West Michigan professional entrants were: Bob Merlotti, freelance writer/creative director, Chicago; Matt Horton, executive creative director, The Buntin Group, Nashville, Tenn.; John Siddle, design director, Jager Di Paola Kemp Design and Iskra Print Collective, Burlington, Vt.; Mike McKenna, managing director, James Farm Creative, New York City; Kris Hanson, vice president and creative director, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, Sacramento, Calif.

Judges for student  awards were: Yang Kim, People Design; Greg Reese, Reese Creative; Zac Boswell, Auxiliary; Cliff Wegner, Mighty; and Tracy Fahselt, Hush Puppies.

A complete list of awards can be found at

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