Local brews, fresh and local food and live entertainment will soon be available in downtown Grand Rapids at Rapids Brewing Co, in the former Rialto Theater.
General Manager and Grand Rapids Native, Bill Martinetto stated an opening date is still "up in the air", but a grand opening will be planned later this fall.
The 1920s brick building that was formerly a theater and has sat empty since the ---80s, has been totally transformed and remodeled into a downtown, local brewery and eatery featuring several brews and a wood-fired oven.
"We are shooting to have 10 to 12 of our own beers," Martinetto said. "We'll open with a pilsner, brown ale, pale ale, mosaic IPA, house IPA, sout and cream ale," adding they will change over often with the season.
Not trying to tell too many details, Martinetto explained there would be no signature dishes "per se. Everything will be served with a sense of time and place. We want people to eat regional foods done right."
He continued, "Keeping it [food] in season, fresh and as local as possible."
Other beverages served would be Minnesota wine, hard seltzer, cider, soda, kombucha and coffee.
"We have some work to do here yet," Martinetto said.
During a recent tour, Martinetto was very passionate about some of the historic details preserved from the original theater which inspired some of their design.
One piece being a Marilyn Monroe picture.
"The Marilyn pic was original to the theater and originally in the lobby of the theater," Martinetto said. "We spent a fairly significant amount of time, effort and money to preserve her. The pillars added a great architectural feature we really liked in the old theater that we thought would work well with our theme."
Added features include white pine from Riajala Lumber to create dimension and- add to the bar’s character, as well as a garage door to be opened when weather permits, allowing for outdoor seating on the patio featuring a natural gas fire pit and a parking lot to the east.
Music will be featured every day over a premium sound system where significant dollars were spent.
Rapids Brewing will employ seven to nine bartenders, with an additional seven to nine cooks. There will be no servers or bussers as it will have limited service.
With an upper balcony overlooking the main floor and entertainment area, it is up in the air whether or not they will rent the space for larger groups or parties.
It all comes together with exterior marble from the original movie theater being cut and used for pulls on the brews. The brewery will hold maximum capacity 180 people inside and an additional 50 on the patio.
October marks three years of planning, preparation and construction of Rapids Brewing.
"I was approached by the owners [whom wish to not be named], and have since taken a bigger role in the overall organization. I did some brewing and plan to brew on this project, but will ultimately be the manager overseeing the whole operation," Martinetto said.
Events for later fall are yet to be determined, but he stated would be advertised ahead of time, and could be found on their Facebook page.
Clothing, which features their logo developed both internally and by a marketing group, is available for sale at Lake and Co.
As stated on their Facebook page, "the gear is here...the beer is near!"