Frey Beer Hot Wings

If treated as a single entity, Monte and David Reinhart‘s

Bridge Street

bars would give The BOB a run for its money as KentCounty‘s top-selling area tavern. The latest Michigan Liquor Control Commission data shows Monte’s and O’Toole’s Public House as having a combined $137,717 in liquor purchases this year, besting The BOB by $24,400.

That said, The BOB remains the leader among KentCounty‘s Class C liquor licenses, with year-to-date purchases of $108,311, slightly less than its 2006 pace, when the Gilmore Collection’s flagship venue topped the county with $517,296.

Monte’s is on pace to regain its No. 2 spot, with its $77,077 edging Ionia Avenue hotspot McFadden’s Restaurant & Saloon by $5,000. McFadden’s was the No. 2 bar ($298,797) in 2006; Monte’s ($232,125) was third.

The Level at AmericanSeatingPark finished 2006 in the No. 4 spot ($191,020), but is currently trending at lucky No. 13 ($33,378). O’Toole’s is holding steady at No. 5 ($55,640 to date; $189,417 last year). The Taps Sports Bar/48 West complex on Ionia Avenue, the county’s third-best selling bar in 2005, slid to No. 6 in 2006 ($178,760) and is on pace for eighth ($43,786).

Of the establishments owned by the Rabideau family, Billy’s Lounge ($51,235; $156,870, No. 9) and Mulligan’s Pub ($42,118; $165,860, No. 7) in Eastown are currently sixth and ninth. Another

Ionia Avenue

pub, J. Gardella’s Tavern ($49,786; $178,760, No. 8) is seventh. Duke’s Bar, the

Michigan Street

juke joint, is currently No. 10 ($35,719; $138,682, No. 11).

The biggest story this year has been Woody’s Press Box in Wyoming. Mojo’s Dueling Piano Bar & Restaurant ($34,378; $144,463, No. 10) bumped Woody’s last year, making it an entirely downtown/Eastown top 10. This year, Woody’s is 30 percent ahead of its 2006 pace and on track for fourth place with $58,859.

The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel remains the area’s highest-selling hotel-licensed establishment with $76,394 to date. It finished last year at $252,390, placing it third overall among the county’s on-premises liquor sellers.

It should be noted that the LCC reports the relative value of liquor sold, as purchased from its distributors. Actual sales could be much higher.

  • Kathy and David Zuber‘s PostalAnnex+ franchise hosted a promotion last week, offering a sheet of 20 2-cent stamps to the first 100 customers to walk through their doors at 2751 Alpine Ave. NW.

The U.S. Postal Service increased its First-Class, one-ounce letter rate from 39 cents to 41 cents last week, spawning the 40-cent-per-person PR stunt.

“It’s always a bit of a hassle whenever the post office raises the price of stamps,” said Kathy Zuber. “We want our customers to know we will have the 2-cent stamps in stock, and that they can get them for free on that day only.”

With a total value of $40, it likely cost more to have the press release written than to give away the stamps.

  • Billed as “We’re Fishing To Roast Frey,” David Horning and James Barton, fishing and hunting buddies, respectively, to the former banker and longtime Grand Rapids luminary, have teamed up with the Coffee Dunkers of America to fry David Frey for Silent Observer’s 15th Annual Roast and silent auction this Wednesday at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

Plug in snide remark about “roasting” and “silence” here. The $100 tickets can be purchased by calling Silent Observer at 454-9110.

  • In other slightly ironic news, the Grand Rapids Griffins have been selected as recipient of the Brain Injury Association of Michigan’s 2007 Prevention Award for the team’s “Put A Lid On It” helmet safety program. The award was presented to the Griffins during the association’s annual meeting May 5.

Now in its fourth year, the helmet program, presented through the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, aims to reduce the occurrence and severity of head injuries sustained by children during wheeled sports and other outdoor activities. The program partners with schools, libraries, health care providers, police and other organizations to distribute educational posters and helmets to under-privileged children. The Griffins also sponsor ticket giveaways to promote helmet use.

  • According to officials at The Rapid, local watchdog Bill Tingley was way off on his estimate that close to half of the bus system’s riders are Grand Rapids Public Schools high school students who ride The Rapid in lieu of Dean Transportation school buses, as cited on this page earlier in the month.

Although The Rapid has no concrete count of GRPS students, only 11.5 percent of its total ridership uses the K-college student fare card. Assuming that GRPS students all use the student card, they then account for no more than 857,886 riders in a given year, if they are the only users of the card. Interestingly, in a 180-day school year, that would mean only 2,383 students are riding the bus to and from campus each day — less than half of the enrollment of the four main GRPS high schools.

According to The Rapid’s data, GrandValleyStateUniversity students, whose fares are paid by the school and who do not use the fare card, are much more frequent riders, accounting for 10.7 percent of riders.

  • Stock car racing is coming to The DeltaPlex. Delta Properties’ Joel Langlois has acquired a franchise in the fledgling Arena Racing USA, which features half-scale stock cars competing indoors on a banked track. The average speed is 65 mph, but can top 100 mph. As can be imagined, every spectator is close to the action in what could be called a “bull-ring” environment.

The 15-event Walker schedule represents the first Arena Racing USA events outside of Virginia and North Carolina, where the league started. The schedule will run from September to March with a local top prize of $10,000. The league is run by a consortium ofJoe Gibbs Racing, Interstate Batteries, PACE Motor Sports and Ricky Dennis, former NASCAR chassis-builder.     

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