Restaurants serve Grand Cocktail Competition


Area bartenders compete in the Grand Cocktail Competition to win the People’s Choice award and judged awards. Photo via

Bartenders from across the city are creating their most-imaginative drinks.

The Grand Cocktail Competition kicked off this past weekend at 29 area restaurants, as bartenders and mixologists are competing to win the People’s Choice award. The competition by Experience Grand Rapids runs through Aug. 4.

There are two categories this year: most-creative julep and most-creative summer cocktail.

The cocktails are to use Restaurant Week sponsors Woodford Reserve and Herradura Tequila.

Votes can be cast at , where all competing restaurants and their cocktail recipes can be found.

Winners of the competition will receive a $100 gift certificate to the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education’s restaurant, The Heritage.

The winners will be announced at an invitation-only judged competition at Gravity on Aug. 5.

Judged competition

Judges will select first, second and third-place winners in both categories.

The julep winner will receive a two day expenses-paid trip for two to Woodford Reserve, and the Herradura winner will receive $500.


Jenna Arcidiacono and Mike Post, Amore Trattoria Italiana

Chris Lee Raab, Black Heron Kitchen and Bar

Emily Tuttle, CitySen at CityFlatsHotel

Steve Hulsebus, Cork Wine & Grille

Josh Hamelt, Cygnus 27

Chris Maxim, Divini

Sean Spencer, Fajita Republic Cantina

Melissa Dembny, FireRock Grille

Tatiana Lamarr, Ganders

Josh Hallwachs, Grand Rapids Brewing Co.

Michael Weinrich, Grand Woods Lounge

Dave Zick, HopCat

Aaron Vince, Kitchen 67

Tara VanderMolen, Licari’s Sicilian Pizza Kitchen

Kim VanAlstine, Olive’s

Julie Bonter, One Trick Pony

Richard Green, Pearl Street Grill

Laura Ringler, Pietros’s

Nicole Hunter, Reds on the River

Katelyn Schanz, Rockwell Republic

Chris Cathey, Rush Creek Bistro

Zac Williams,

Calin Skidmore, SpeakEZ

Kevin Stanley and Brandon Wilcox, Stella’s Lounge

Ryan Christian, Tavern on the Square

Kevin Nunn, Terra GR

Brian Lichterman, The Melting Pot

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