Short-staffed Grand Rapids restaurants brace for return of ArtPrize

ArtPrize

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — With the return of ArtPrize just around the corner, downtown Grand Rapids restaurants are scrambling to prepare.

“The newer restaurants have asked us what to expect and the older restaurants … are asking if it’s going to be the same,” Richard App of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce said. “The answer is we don’t know on either, but we do know there’s going to be an increase in people.”

After shutting down at the onset of the pandemic and staying that way for months, many restaurants have reopened with limited hours or days.

“Now with like staffing shortages and stuff like that, we can only afford to be open five days,” Roam and San Chez Bistro general manager Nolyn Schneider said. “We want to be able to offer our food and drink seven days a week, just right now, unfortunately, we can’t.”

Jim Lynch, who owns House of Wine, has managed to bring on new workers.

“I think we added five (people) from where we were a month ago,” he said.

But that leaves him with the problem of a new group not yet prepared to handle the constant onslaught of customers that ArtPrize generally brings. In that situation and when short-staffed, some places are trimming the fat on menus. Roam and San Chez, Uccello’s Ristorante and Sundance Grill & Bar are among those offering limited menu during ArtPrize.

The pandemic has offered one boon to restaurants: they can sell drinks to go and visitors can take their beverages with them to peruse art within social districts.

“We’ll have draft beer, wine, we’re going to do cocktails, we’re going to do pizza by the slice, all with the intention of having all the service done outside,” Lynch said.

ArtPrize organizers are urging visitors to plan ahead and make reservations when possible, but most downtown restaurants will still be first come, first served, saying they don’t have the staff to manage reservations.

Below, find a list of some downtown Grand Rapids restaurants, their hours, whether they are requiring reservations and whether they have restricted menus:

Forty Pearl 
Tuesday through Thursday: Noon to 9:00 p.m. 
Friday: Noon to 10 p.m. 
Sunday: Noon to 6 p.m.
Monday: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Limited menu during ArtPrize 

One Twenty Three Tavern 
Sunday through Thursday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. 
Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. 
Reservations: No 

Rockwell Republic  
Monday through Thursday: 11 a.m. to 11p.m. 
Friday: 11 a.m. to midnight  
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (brunch only) 

Slows Bar BQ Grand Rapids 
Monday and Tuesday: Closed 
Wednesday through Saturday: Noon to 8 p.m.  
Sunday: Noon to 5 p.m. 
Reservations: No 

Sundance Grill & Bar  
Every day: 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. 
Reservations: No 
Limited menu during ArtPrize

Tupelo Honey 
Monday through Thursday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 
Friday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. 
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. 
Sunday: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.  
Reservations: Yes, strongly recommended 

Uccello’s Ristorante
Monday through Thursday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. 
Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. to midnight  
Sunday: Noon to 10 p.m.  
Reservations: No 

Restaurants within the ArtPrize area can be added to this list by emailing ReportIt@woodtv.com.

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