Partners opening urban gastropub


Courtesy Friesian

An “eclectic comfort food” restaurant with a rooftop deck is opening in town.

Co-owners Craig Jones, Zan Lamkin and Phil Rienstra will open The Friesian Gastro Pub in the Midtown neighborhood, at 720 Michigan St. NE, on April 17 at 1 p.m.

It is located in the long-vacant former Lord’s Chapel building just east of Duke’s Bar. The partners initiated a several-month exterior and interior renovation project to convert it to a food establishment.

The restaurant will have seating for 88 people inside, including a bar that will be in the center of the dining space, and a 20-person patio behind the building.

Construction is winding down on a 50-person rooftop deck, which is expected to be open by Memorial Day weekend.

Throughout the year, the business will feature live entertainment.

The gastropub is named after Friesians, which are a Dutch horse breed, in a nod to Lamkin and Rienstra’s Dutch heritage. The restaurant itself will not be Dutch-themed.


The co-owners said the gastropub “aims to fill a void in the Michigan Street corridor” by providing “well-prepared comfort food, paired with a large selection of craft beers, liquor, wine, coffee and tea.”

“We intend to change the menu regularly with some globally inspired selections, but not stray too far from what you’d expect in a neighborhood gastropub,” Jones said.

Jones said the restaurant will “deliver really great food in a non-pretentious manner” and keep its prices fair.

Firms on the project

The project’s contractor was Grand Rapids-based Construction Simplified.

Other firms involved with the project include Kentwood-based Integrated Architecture, Grand Rapids-based Via Design and Grand Rapids-baed Studiowise.

Studiowise constructed a handmade wood and steel bar that will be the centerpiece of the first-floor dining area.


The Friesian will be open daily, including for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

Its hours will be from 3-10 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, 11 a.m. to midnight Wednesday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.

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