- people on the move
Downtown restaurant and bar schedules opening
A new restaurant and bar being built at a major downtown development is planning to open this spring.
Grand Rapids-based Meritage Hospitality Group said this week that its fourth casual-dining concept, Wheelhouse Kitchen & Cocktails, is tentatively set to open on May 11 in Grand Rapids at the south end of Arena Place, at 67 Ottawa Ave. SW.
The 270-seat restaurant will be a “new American bistro” with a menu by Chef Andrew Alcid. Items such as pan-fried goat cheese, smoked sea scallops and bucatini will be on the menu.
“My goal is to bring an eclectic menu and truly unique dining experience to residents and visitors of Grand Rapids,” Alcid said.
Alcid added that the menu will be built “using the freshest local ingredients Michigan has to offer.”
Food suppliers include Field and Fire, Jacob’s Acres and Ingraburg Farms.
Prices will range from $6-$16 for appetizers and $16-$36 for entrees.
Meritage Mixologist T.J. Shibbish created a unique menu of cocktails for the restaurant, including Satin Descent, “a lounge teaser and taste bud pleaser,” featuring raspberry, pomegranate, lemon and moscato.
Cocktails will range from $8-$12.
A wine list and rotating list of Michigan beers will also be on the drink menu.
Space and jobs
The new restaurant will feature a large bar and 85-seat porch.
Two 72-inch TVs will sit behind the bar, with a 12-foot video wall in the dining room.
Three gas-burning fireplaces will be on site.
Wheelhouse is currently hiring for 120 positions, including part- and full-time roles and front- and back-house positions.
“Everything about this concept is unique,” said Joe Floyd, director of casual dining operations, Meritage Hospitality Group. “This restaurant is as lively as its setting in the heart of Grand Rapids’ Arena Place District. It’s versatility is what sets it apart.”
Meritage Hospitality Group will move into Arena Place once construction is finished this spring.
The company, which is publicly traded in the OTCQX marketplace, operates more than 160 Wendy’s restaurants in seven states.
Wheelhouse is the company’s fourth casual-dining concept, joining three Twisted Rooster locations — in Grand Rapids, Chesterfield and Belleville — Crooked Goose in Walker and Freighters in Port Huron.
Arena Place is a $45 million, 11 story mixed-use development by developer and contractor Orion Construction.
The development will include a 280-space parking garage, office space and 100 apartments.
The project's office tenants include Miller Johnson, Hanon McKendry, Meritage and Insight Global.