Food Service & Agriculture and Retail

Company plans to re-launch downtown restaurant and bar

November 16, 2015
| By Pat Evans |
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Irish on Ionia parties toward zero waste
The annual Irish on Ionia street party in downtown Grand Rapids draws about 20,000 people. Photo via

A popular downtown restaurant and bar is closing — and then re-opening with a new identity.

BarFly Ventures, owner of the HopCat beer bar chain, will give one of its other bars, McFadden’s, a major makeover early next year. BarFly also owns Stella’s Lounge and Grand Rapids Brewing Co.

McFadden's will re-open as The Waldron Public House in February 2016, at 58 Ionia Ave. SW.

McFadden’s will remain the same until January 30, 2016, when it will close for renovations.

Irish on Ionia will go ahead as planned on March 19, 2016.

“I’m proud of the McFadden’s team and all they accomplished over the past 10 years,” said Mark Sellers, founder, BarFly Ventures. “But a lot has changed in Grand Rapids since I purchased it in 2010.

“The Waldron represents a chance for us to truly make this our own concept.”

The new concept will include a menu “inspired by the cultures of the British Commonwealth," a cocktail menu, European and American craft beers, late-night dance floor and private event space on the second and third floors.


McFadden’s employees will be retained and trained for the new bar.

Long-time HopCat manager Dave Zick has been named general manager of The Waldron.

Leading the The Waldron’s events will be Erin Lindsey, the events manager at McFadden’s the past 10 years.


The name Waldron harkens to the builder of the downtown building, Lewis Waldron.

Waldron built the building in 1894 and is identified by its gargoyles and dragons on the exterior of the building.

In the past, the building has been a hotel and jazz club.

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