GRAND RAPIDS — A pair of small business owners are moving forward with plans for a coffee shop and cocktail lounge in the city’s Alger Heights neighborhood.
The Grand Rapids Planning Commission unanimously approved the site plan from Sip Partners LLC on Jan. 27 for Sip Coffee & Cocktails, a cafe with alcohol service and outdoor seating at an existing building located at 806 Alger St. SE. The two-story, 1,800-square-foot building is owned by Jon Frantz and Jonathan Farman, who also co-own Urban Johnny’s Salon located in the same building.
Farmen and Frantz opened Urban Johnny’s Salon four years ago. Frantz, doing business as Alger Heights Holdings LLC, purchased the building on July 30 for $440,000, according to property records. They plan to expand the salon in addition to opening Sip Coffee & Cocktails, which will have a capacity for 48 people.
“I’ve always wanted a coffee shop and a way for everyone to feel welcome,” Farmen told commissioners during the Jan. 27 meeting. “This is a beverage location that serves cocktails, mocktails and coffee drinks as well. As long as you’re thirsty, you’ll have a place to go.”
The idea of a neighborhood cafe/cocktail lounge has received support from residents and surrounding businesses, Farmen said. The plan is to serve bagels in the morning and have charcuterie boards at night, as well as outdoor seating and occasional entertainment inside of the cafe.
“We’ve had a lot of support and we’re really excited about this project,” Frantz told commissioners. “We want to provide people something for the community that is a relaxing, collaborative experience instead of a bar or nightclub.”
Commissioners spoke positively about the site plan and the potential for more foot traffic and activating the sidewalk.
“The outdoor seating on Alger (Street), particularly for a coffee shop, is a nice addition for a neighborhood that creates street activity,” said Planning Commissioner Susan Shannon.