Breaking News
More () »

Grove reopens after two years with redesigned interior and new menu

Grove's owners didn't feel like opening with pandemic restrictions was sustainable.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A popular Grand Rapids restaurant closed for nearly two years since the start of  the pandemic is open once again.

"If I was to write down on March 16, 2020, how long Grove would be closed, that would not have been in my vocabulary at that time," says James Berg, managing partner for Essence Restaurant Group.

But as the pandemic wore on, and restrictions remained, Grove's owners didn't feel like opening was sustainable.

"We didn't do to-go or carry out at all anyways, so it just didn't make sense," says Berg.

RELATED: Social House hires former B.O.B. employees, expands hours

And Essence Restaurant Group took a hit financially because of it.

"When you're in business, the idea is to be you're open for business," says Berg. "So having it closed was not my idea of being a good thing."

But it may have turned out to be one.

While the long hiatus would have permanently closed many businesses, the East Hills establishment looked at the silver lining.

"It's not getting knocked down, its how you get back up," says Berg.

So if you're a returning guest, you're in for a whole new experience.

"The goal was when they walk into the restaurant, to not recognize anything," explains Berg.

In the time off, Grove completely redesigned its interior, with a new table layout and artwork. The menu is also fully reworked.

And the changes wouldn't have been possible without the closure.

"To have the ability to be that reflective on one concept because it was closed, we just wouldn't have had that time," says Berg.

And how are the changes being received?

For the first two nights since reopening, Berg says the restaurant has been packed. And the staff couldn't be happier to be back in business.

"There's nobody doing what we're doing here in Michigan," says Berg. "That I can tell you, that's a guarantee."

Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.

Have a news tip? Email news@13onyourside.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter. Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Before You Leave, Check This Out