Chamber Blog

The Chamber’s Favorite Patios

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School’s out, warm weather is upon us, and the first official day of summer is just around the corner. That can only mean one thing in Beer City… patio season! With Grand Rapids’ ever-growing food and beverage scene, there’s no shortage of outdoor seating to enjoy Michigan’s summer weather.

While there are many great options to choose from, we’ve outlined some of the Chamber’s favorite patios to celebrate summer.

Best-Kept Secret: One Bourbon

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One Bourbon is located on the West Side at 608 Bridge (across from Bridge Street Market) and features over 120+ different whiskeys and bourbons, quality spirits, beer and wine. With a hip interior that features loads of unfinished brick, tin ceilings and Edison lights, the outdoor patio might be easy to miss – but trust us, you won’t want to! The patio is located behind the restaurant. With plenty of sunshine and brightly colored chairs, this is the perfect location to sip on a Whiskey Sour and enjoy the delicious hot cheese dip.

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New Kids on the Block: Big E’s Sports Grille and the Whitewater Lounge

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With the opening of Embassy Suites Grand Rapids Downtown in April came the addition of two great patios: Big E’s Sports Grille and the Whitewater Lounge.

Located on the main floor of Embassy Suites, Big E’s is a family-friendly restaurant that’s perfect for foodies, beer snobs and sports fans. With garage-door style windows and patio seating for 50, Big E’s is a great new place to enjoy the warm weather and a cold one.

The Whitewater Lounge is located on the second floor of Embassy Suites. With an outdoor patio overlooking the Grand River and featuring views of downtown, the Whitewater Lounge is a great location for hotel guests and locals alike.

Big E’s and the Whitewater Lounge are both located at 710 Monroe Ave NW – walking distance to Movies on Monroe, the premier outdoor film series in Grand Rapids!

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Best Views: Haute at New Hotel Mertens

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With 180-degree views of the Grand Rapids skyline from nine stories above the city, Haute at New Hotel Mertens is the clear front-runner for best views. The rooftop lounge offers a unique French menu of charcuterie, fresh seafood, substantial hors d’oeuvres and a full bar serving cocktails, wine and beer.

Boujee on a Budget: Reserve Wine & Food

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With over 100 wines available by the glass, an extensive bottle collection and seasonal handcrafted cocktails, the drink options at Reserve are virtually endless. The wine program has been recognized by USA Today as one of the top ten places in the country offering wine flights and by Food & Wine as one of the best new wine bars in the world. Don’t let that fool you, though – with excellent happy hour specials, Reserve has our vote for boujee on a budget.

Great for Gatherings: The Knickerbocker

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Located on the West Side on Bridge Street, the large outdoor space at The Knickerbocker is a beautiful space to enjoy a craft beer in a tucked away setting. Complete with an outdoor bar, fire pits and cornhole, this is our go-to patio for larger groups.

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Grand Rapids Staple: Founders

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Photo Credit: GR Now

We can’t talk patios without highlighting one of Beer City’s staples: the beer garden at Founders Brewing Company. Expanding the entire length of the taphouse, the large outdoor space will give any brewery a run for its money. With firepits and heaters, the patio at Founders can be enjoyed almost year-round.

Best Happy Hour: Rockwell Republic

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Located within the historic heartside district, Rockwell Republic is a gastropub with made-from-scratch, seasonal cuisine as eclectic as the environment itself. With specials until 7pm every Monday-Thursday and from 10am-3pm every Saturday & Sunday, the happy hour at Rockwell Republic simply can’t be beat. The elevated outdoor beer garden is a great place to unwind in the sunshine after a long day at work.

Don’t be fooled, though – Rockwell Republic is great at all hours. With string lights and a lively ambiance, the deck makes for a great place to meet up with friends or enjoy a romantic date night.

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