MUSKEGON, Mich. — Nipote's is the newest restaurant to open in downtown Muskegon.

And according to owner Jeff Church, it's the first full-service restaurant in the U.S. made from repurposed shipping containers.

The two shipping containers arrived in Muskegon from a distributor in the Detroit area.

Together the shipping containers provide 1,500 square feet of space.

"Then we have traditional construction in between to link the two together," Church said.

Nipote's Italian Kitchen opened this week at 98 West Clay Ave.

The restaurant offers customers 10 different types of pasta, steak, chicken and seafood. Nipote's also has a bar.

"We have some specialty cocktails, four beers on draft and a really good wine list with all Italian wines," Church said.

Church has worked in the restaurant business in the Muskegon area for more than 20 years. It's the first time he has taken on the title of owner.

"Figured if I don't do it now then I'll never do it," he said.

"Nipote" means nephew in Italian. The bright yellow exterior of the shipping container will stand out in Muskegon's growing downtown.

Coffee and deli shops have opened in shipping containers around the U.S. Church wanted to take that movement one step further.

"We seat 50 inside and about 20 on the patio," he said.

Church has faith in Muskegon's downtown. He hopes his restaurant adds to on-going efforts in the city to make downtown a place locals and visitors are attracted to. 

"My wife and I both grew up here, we're raising our family here, and we see all of the good stuff that's coming around and we want to be a part of it," he said.

Nipote's hours

  • Tuesday through Thursday, 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. 
  • Fridays and Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

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