GRAND RAPIDS — The owners of Butcher’s Union and O’Toole’s Public House are planning another restaurant just off of Bridge Street on Grand Rapids’ west side.
Restaurateurs and brothers, David and Paul Reinert, plan to open a full-service, tapas-style restaurant called Gin Gin’s at the currently vacant 345 Summer Ave. NW.
The Grand Rapids Planning Commission approved the site plan at its meeting Thursday. The approval included granting a special land use request, which will allow the restaurant to stay open for indoor seating past midnight, as well as outdoor seating to remain open past 10 p.m. during the week and past 11 p.m. on weekends.
Plans call for a depressed loading dock on the site to be filled in and repurposed as an outdoor beer garden with seating to accommodate 75 to 80 people. The establishment will be about 4,000 square feet and will have room for about 80 patrons inside.
Doing business as Summer Avenue Ventures LLC, David Reinert purchased the property on Sept. 6, 2018 for $880,000, according to city property records. The site contains two single-story buildings.
David Reinert told the commissioners today that the initial plan called for a larger restaurant, but plans changed when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, he said.
“It’s kind of a pivot that we made throughout COVID,” David Reinert said. “We had some plans with the other building, which would have been more of a substantial investment and a much larger team or staff. Through that year and a half, we decided to do something a little more boutique, niche and (that) required a little less staffing.”
About $1.5 million will be invested in refurbishing the site, and the restaurant is expected to create 40 to 50 jobs, according to documents filed with the city planning department.
Commissioners questioned a lack of windows on one of the building’s facades, to which Reinert said the goal was to create a cozy atmosphere. The intent is to beautify the storefront with greenery and flowers as well as string lights, Paul Reinert told commissioners.
“I walked by this building a lot in the past, and I think it’s a great new use and continues to drive activation to what looks like a transitional part of the Bridge Street corridor,” said Commissioner Stacie Behler.
One person speaking during a public comment period raised concerns about parking availability. The property is zoned city center and is not required to include parking. David Reinert also said employees will notify customers about parking availability at nearby DASH lots.
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