Restaurant opens doors to charity


The Bigger Meaning restaurant in Comstock Park tries to “pay it forward” by supporting charitable organizations. Photo via

A new restaurant in town is trying to serve a higher purpose.

“Paying it forward”

The Bigger Meaning in Comstock Park is focused on both food and charity and hosting its grand opening tonight, at 4022 Alpine Ave. NW.

The restaurant will host an event once a month where all proceeds will go toward a charitable organization, said Taylor Vannatter, who co-owns The Bigger Meaning with her husband, Brad.

They also have plans to add more ways to use their restaurant as an engine to fund local nonprofits.

“The bigger meaning for me is essentially paying it forward for people who truly deserve it,” Vannatter said. “I just want our entire community to come together. It’s not just about great food. It’s about supporting charity.”

The Vannatters, who also own the pizzeria Crusted Creations 616 in Comstock Park, recently dreamed up The Bigger Meaning while discussing charity ideas on a road trip together.

“Every time someone comes in, they have the option to donate an amount to whatever charity and organization we’re donating to that month,” Vannatter said. “We’re coming up with more ways to add donations, like we’re looking to have one table reserved for the entire month, with all profits from that table going to that charity.”

The restaurant

About three months ago, the couple moved The Bigger Meaning into the former home of the Le Kabob Mediterranean Grille.

The Vannatters, along with a few close friends, renovated it on their own, with Vannatter doing much of the design, a look she described as “clean” and “modern,” but not “contemporary.”

The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the menu features omelets, soups, salads, burgers, sandwiches and fresh seafood. It also hopes to get a liquor license in the near future.

The space can seat about 60 customers inside and another 80 customers on the patio, said Sherri Dever, general manager, The Bigger Meaning.

The restaurant has about 24 employees and is looking to add more in the near future.

It will be open daily from 6 a.m.-11 p.m.

David Warsen Memorial Foundation

The giving begins tonight from 6-11 p.m. All profits are going toward the David Warsen Memorial Foundation, a fund set up in honor of an American soldier who was killed in Afghanistan.

Petty Officer Second Class David John Warsen was killed in a helicopter crash northeast of Kandarhar, Afghanistan on August 16, 2012, according to the restaurant’s Facebook page.

“David died fighting for what he believed in, among his brothers in arms,” the page says. “Donations will be used by his family for random acts of kindness throughout the Grand Rapids area.”

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