GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Standing tall since 1892, The Harris Building in Grand Rapids may soon return to the bustling hot spot it was known for in the past.
Almost 40,000 people visited during ArtPrize 2013, bringing new eyes to the structure.
The Local Epicurean, an organic pasta store, set up shop in the spring in the historic building.
The first floor will soon house The Local, an Italian-themed restaurant, and Epicurean's Chocolate Lounge, as well as a wine bar in the basement.
All of these new businesses are owned by The Local Epicurean, breathing new life into Division Avenue.
"The building is an entire venue, and we want to have food in places that you can feel there's a loungeish-type atmosphere, almost no matter where you are in the building,” Ryan Raredon, co-owner of The Local Epicurean, told 24 Hour News 8.
From pasta to dining, wine and chocolate, they are planning to hire dozens of workers. In the next few weeks, they will double their staff from 15 to 30, with 30 to 40 more in the coming months.
This will bring back business to the very building that was one of the first to join in commercial business on Division Avenue.
The Harris Building housed the first furniture gallery in Grand Rapids. On the second floor, it hosted the Knights of Pythias, a secret fraternal order.
"Some of the biggest parties in the ‘20s were held here,” said Bob Dykstra, Harris Building manager.
The second floor’s domed ballroom will once again play host to big events.
Dykstra said making this a multi-use space has been in the works for five years now.
"It's really changed in the last year, you know, the Dwelling Place has brought some new people in, 101 next door with their apartments has really helped. I mean, during ArtPrize it was fun to see all the people on Division again,” said Dykstra.
Epicurean's Chocolate Lounge will open within the next two weeks or so.
The other restaurant and wine bar should be completed around spring 2014.
11 fire departments from several counties were called out to a fire at an adult entertainment club Wednesday afternoon.
Holland police were searching for 28-year-old Mark Steven Randall Harris, who was considered armed and dangerous, but arrested him late Wednesday night.
Those receiving the 2013 White House holiday card will see a design made by a Grand Rapids artist.