Partners plan restaurant and bar downtown


The Ledyard Building stands in downtown Grand Rapids on Ottawa Avenue NW. Courtesy CWD

A group of partners are planning to open a new restaurant and bar in downtown Grand Rapids.

Jonathan Jelks, a spokesperson for a new entity called Ambiance, is part of a team of entrepreneurs who plan to open Ambiance GR Kitchen & Lounge in March 2019.

Jelks did not disclose the names of the others on the ownership team.

The establishment would be located in the former Raggs to Riches restaurant space inside the Ledyard Building, at 125 Ottawa Ave. NW.

The design process is underway, with construction set to start next month.

Documents filed with the city estimated the project cost at $300,000.

“Team Ambiance views this business and others in a similar vein as a necessary to help anchor the continued growth of the city of Grand Rapids,” Jelks said.

“If our community wants to grow and compete at a global level with attracting and retaining younger generational talent as priority, then we need more diverse options where people can go to enjoy good food and entertainment.”

Jelks said the restaurant — which would be open for lunch and dinner — would serve “Southern contemporary and Cajun cuisine” and would offer a space where “diversity is celebrated, and all patrons feel warm and welcomed.”

Pending approval of a class C liquor license from the Grand Rapids City Commission, Ambiance GR would offer a full-service bar and lounge with VIP bottle service, Jelks said.

The restaurant would have a dance floor and a dining room seating capacity of 100.

Lacy Jones is lined up to serve as general manager.

The partners plan to hire 20 to 40 employees.

Development assistance

Jelks cited Start Garden as one of the entities that helped the team get the project rolling.

He also said Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. helped point the owners to available tools and resources for new businesses starting up downtown.

Firms on the project

The architect is Grand Rapids-based Lott3Metz Architecture.

Grand Rapids-based Honor Construction is the contractor.

Grand Rapids-based CWD Real Estate Investment is the landlord.

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