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Published in Small Business
The interior of Drip Drop Cocktail Room. The interior of Drip Drop Cocktail Room. COURTESY OF NICK ADAMS

Cocktail bar and brewery to soon open in former Sovengard space on GR’s west side

BY Monday, September 26, 2022 05:13pm

GRAND RAPIDS — A new cocktail bar as well as a second location of Broad Leaf Brewery & Spirits are set to open in the coming months in a former restaurant on Bridge Street NW where The Sovengard formerly operated. 

Broad Leaf co-owners Kris and Jason Spaulding, who also own Brewery Vivant, in late June announced their plans to open a second location at 443 Bridge St. NW. The Sovengard, a Scandinavian-style restaurant, stopped operating at the location on Aug. 1 as it plans to move down the road to 1232 Bridge Street NW. 

Broad Leaf will retain its Kentwood location, which opened for business in the summer of 2019 on the corner of Lake Eastbrook Boulevard and 29th St. The brewery focuses on emerging beer styles and spirits and is ready to open its west side location as soon as it receives final licensing approval from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission, Kris Spaulding told MiBiz

“We’re mostly staffed, which is exciting but also nerve wracking because we do not know for sure when we will get the final (MLCC) approval,” Spaulding said. “We don’t expect anything to get in the way, our inspector approved us so we’re waiting for all of the rubber stamps. Our hope is (to open) as soon as possible but it will likely be the middle of October.”

Broad Leaf is adding 15 to 20 people to its staff to open the new location. The location will feature the same beer as Broad Leaf’s Kentwood location, but the cocktail menu and food offerings will differ, Spaulding said. The recipe concepts are led by Broad Leaf Head Brewer Terry Lancaster and Chef Ryan McClure, who is planning a from-scratch food menu that focuses on Asian and Mexican-inspired street food. 

Broad Leaf is moving into the lower level at 443 Bridge St. NW, as well as occupying the outdoor beer garden. 

Drip Drop Cocktail Room

Meanwhile, a new late-night cocktail bar, Drip Drip Cocktail Room, is opening on the street-level of the space. 

The 49-person occupancy cocktail bar and event space is about four to six weeks away from opening, said owner Nick Adams. He plans to serve craft cocktails, small plates and charcuterie boards at Drip Drop Cocktail. His father, Jim Adams, will serve as the general manager of the cocktail bar.

“We’re just taking this time to train our staff right now, and putting a couple finishing touches on the walls and some small, cosmetic work inside,” Adams said. 

Adams worked with Ghafari Associates LLC to turn the area into a “moody and intimate” space, as well as a venue for corporate event mixers and private parties, he said.

This will be Adams’ first business, but he did formerly work as a cocktail bar manager in Austin, Texas, while his father used to own several restaurants in Calhoun County.

Adams is “all staffed up, and ready to open,” he said. The cocktail bar is just waiting for approval from the Grand Rapids City Planning Commission, which will consider the site plan for Drip Drop Cocktail Room at its Oct. 13 meeting. 

“I went to school here at Grand Valley State University, and kind of fell in love with the Grand Rapids area,” Adams said. “I thought this would be a great place to start a cocktail bar.”

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misidentifed the chef at Broad Leaf Brewery’s Bridge Street location. It is Ryan McClure.

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Read 2923 times Last modified on Tuesday, 27 September 2022 12:39
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