Developers purchase area bars after IRS investigation

Developers buy local bars

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Developers have officially purchased two Grand Rapids restaurants and bars: Kuzzin's Lounge on the city's West Side and Drake's Pub in Wyoming.

This comes after the previous owner Michael Farah and his son Brian were sentenced to federal prison for skimming $400,000 from their profits and destroying sales records to hide the crime from the IRS. 

Operations manager Tony Knight said he wants to give these two bars a fresh start.

"We don't want to re-brand them as much as we want to polish them," Knight said.

Knight is looking at Drake's Pub and Kuzzin's Lounge as a restoration project.

"Return them to glory, return them to what they used to be, they have a lot history, they have a lot of good history, they have more history than they have bad history," Knight said.

Third Coast Development purchased the two bars in August.

"They're the financial partner, I'm the managing partner," Knight said.

Drake's Pub on Division Avenue has been around for 30 years -- Kuzzin's is a staple on Leonard, it's been there for more than four decades.

"We're trying not to come in like a bull in a china shop and change everything right off the bat," Knight said. "That history of classic Grand Rapid's bars is where we're headed."

Knight's goal is to revamp the local hotspots, without changing the history.

"The feel of these businesses has already changed, so if people give us a try and stop by and say 'hi,' maybe even let us know they're past experiences and give us a chance to change that," Knight said.

Knight will be at both locations day to day, and in a couple of months will look into rebranding the two bars.

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