Owner closing tiki bar and re-imagining business


Citizen tiki bar is located in Grand Rapids' Cheshire Village neighborhood. Courtesy Citizen

The owner of a neighborhood tiki bar is closing the building for a roof repair and plans to re-open it under a new name and concept.

Owner Rachel Lee said she will close her restaurant, Citizen, this week and re-open it at a to-be-determined date.

Citizen opened last December in the Cheshire Village business district at 2115 Plainfield Ave. NE, in the former Grand Rapids Karate Academy building.

The restaurant serves Hawaiian and Polynesian fusion-style food with Indonesian influences, including poke bowls.

Lee said repairs to the leaking roof became necessary following this fall’s heavy rains and the approaching winter.

She will use the downtime as an opportunity to re-imagine the concept as more “broad-based,” neighborhood-oriented and “family friendly.”

“We want to capture the hearts and minds of the people in the Creston/Cheshire neighborhood, and with a specialty menu, we weren’t able to do that,” Lee said.

She said she is in the research phase, gathering input on what types of food and beverages the neighborhood would like to see on the menu.

Lee also plans to revamp the décor to reflect a Riverside Park theme, as well as make minor changes to the kitchen.

All employees who are able to and interested will be invited back to work in the new restaurant, Lee said.

“We’re really thankful for all the support we had from patrons, our teammates and vendors, and we’re really excited to re-concept, open up and be a place the neighborhood will love,” Lee said.

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