GRAND RAPIDS — A historic downtown building that formerly housed J. Gardella’s Tavern has sold for $1.1 million, and the new owner plans renovations and a new restaurant concept.
The sale of the building at 9 and 11 Ionia Ave. SW closed on Dec. 6, according to property records.
Constructed in 1890, the three-story building was acquired by MJW Real Property Holdings LLC, which is registered to Michael Winks, president of lending and retail banking at Northpointe Bank. Winks purchased the building from longtime owner RJR Development Company LLC, which is registered to William Rabideau.
“The three-level pub entertained many over its 24-year history, and we are excited to honor its history with a completely new dining experience for Grand Rapids,” Winks told MiBiz via email. “We will be renovating all three levels for a new restaurant concept coming in 2022.”
The building is one of the oldest storefronts in Grand Rapids, and housed many businesses over the years starting with a produce warehouse and most recently J. Gardella’s Tavern, a three-level restaurant and bar. The first floor of the restaurant sits vacant aside from a collection of tables and chairs. “We miss you” was handwritten in dust on the front door this week.
Winks said he is not yet ready to announce further details of the project.
WOOD-TV8 reported in January 2020 that Maya Mexican Grill and Bar owners Elizabeth and Andy Rosario planned to transform the building into a three-floor restaurant called The Meat Up Gastropub. The couple reportedly had plans to serve Argentinian cuts of meat, ceviche, fusion dishes and vegan “meat,” as well as alcoholic drinks.
The Rosario’s could not be reached for comment.