Bagger Dave’s cooks niche in downtown Grand Rapids


Bagger Dave's says there are no freezers or microwaves in its kitchens. Photo by Mike Nichols

Any restaurant coming into Grand Rapids will need to find a niche.

That’s the opinion of Jim Kozlowski, managing partner at downtown Grand Rapids' new Bagger Dave's Legendary Burger Tavern.

The new restaurant — located on the riverfront at 241 W. Fulton St. — held its soft opening recently, amid ongoing construction outside.

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The soft opening didn’t attract as many guests as Kozlowski would have liked, but he expects the crowds to pick up more once the public realizes Bagger Dave’s is now officially open.

“We’re one of the few corporate (restaurant) companies down here,” he said. “Our brand recognition’s there. I just don’t think a lot of people know we’re open yet.”

Once the market does arrive, however, Kozlowski feels the “quick and casual” environment of Bagger Dave’s will be popular.

Bagger Dave's is a restaurant that has a niche, he said — and any restaurant that’s looking to open in downtown Grand Rapids will need to find a niche that makes it unique or different.

Bagger Dave’s, which boasts of being a cross between a relaxed dinner setting and a craft beer option, will serve a Grand Rapids clientele known for its love of good beer, he said.

“I think Bagger Dave’s goes well (with Grand Rapids). We’ve noticed a lot of people like the beer — they know a lot about beer out here,” he said, chuckling.

In the video below, Kozlowski briefly discusses the space.

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