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A local restaurateur has opened a 1970s-style “comfort food” restaurant and lounge in Grand Rapids’ Heritage Hill neighborhood.
Owner Beth Rich is hosting a grand opening today for her new venture, The Commons, at 547 Cherry St. SE.
The 3,500-square-foot restaurant is in the garden-level suite on the west side of Oakwood Manor Apartments.
Rich, born and raised in Grand Rapids, previously owned The Commons Ale House in Santa Monica, California.
She said the restaurant’s retro design was inspired by her childhood memories — especially of her grandparents’ basement and utility room. Over the past two years, she has built a collection of mementos, including “buying back glassware and dishes that my mom gave to Goodwill in the ’70s,” she said.
“We wanted to have a theme and spectacular décor to match the food,” Rich said. “It’s a whole experience. The goal is that people will want to take their time and feel at home. It’s not always about turning over a seat.”
The Commons’ menu consists of “retro comfort food,” craft beer and “modernized” ’70s-themed drinks.
Menu items include street corn mac and cheese and cauliflower fried rice, along with to-go packaged beer, wine and a limited supply of deli and grocery items.
The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and from 11 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday.
Firms on the project
Ada-based Erhardt Construction was the project’s general contractor and assisted in general trades and millwork to outfit the space and build and retrofit “exclusive décor” for the basement lounge.
The project team included the Grand Rapids-based firms Tyler Devereaux Interior Design, Lott3Metz Architecture, Merchandise Equipment and Supply, Handorn Custom Cabinetry and Countertops, Odyssey Woodworking and Allied Electric, along with Wyoming-based H. L. Bolkema Decorating, South Bend, Indiana-based Bradley Company/X Ventures and Belmont-based Hurst Mechanical.