GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A new cocktail bar coming to Grand Rapids’ Bridge Street will also bridge generations.
Drip Drop Cocktail Room is 25-year-old Nick Adams’ first business, but not the first in his family. His grandfather Jim Adams operated restaurants in the Battle Creek area. His father, 53-year-old Jeff Adams owned the Stagecoach Inn in Marshall, the Griffin Grill in Battle Creek and later the Cricket Club in Battle Creek before selling all his businesses and retiring — until now.
“I’m dragging him back out of retirement to help me,” Nick Adams said with a chuckle, adding that his grandfather did the same thing for his father. “He’s got an apartment up here and he’s moved up here just for the Drip Drop, so (he’s) very excited and very involved in this process.”
TRANSFORMING SOVENGARD’S OLD SPACE
With the help of contractors, the father-son team is working to transform The Sovengard’s former home at 443 Bridge St. NW near Broadway Avenue into a craft cocktail lounge.
Nick Adams says the top cocktail bars he and his father would visit during their travels to Portland, Oregon, Las Vegas, New York, Chicago, Florida and Texas influenced Drip Drop’s menu and design.
“It’s going to be like a nice date night ambiance. We’ll have candles on the tables, lots of vibrant colors…. It’ll be a unique ambiance to Bridge Street,” Nick Adams said.
He said the updated space will have a new back bar, kitchen and bar equipment. Fresh paint and wallpaper will cover the walls along with new colorful abstract artwork. Plush seating, U-shaped booths and antique mirrors will build on Drip Drop’s mid-century modern design with an art deco flair.
ON THE MENU
Drip Drop will feature 20 to 25 cocktails that will change quarterly or semiannually “to keep things fresh and lively.”
Using fresh ingredients, juices and syrups made in house, Drip Drop will serve up classic cocktails with a modern twist, as well as a diverse set of drinks divided into four categories:
- Garden Harvest: Cocktails that emphasize fresh ingredients you may find in a garden, including herbs and fruit.
- Spice Rack: Cocktails that “will be a bit more on the boozier side” and include spices you may typically use in cooking and baking, like cinnamon, cardamom, clove, allspice.
- Island Escape: Fresh, Tiki-style cocktails. This group of drinks includes Calypso Cove, which is a gin-based cocktail with fresh fennel syrup, cream of coconut infused with matcha, cream, aquavit and lime juice.
- All About Agave: Mezcal and tequila-based cocktails.
Nick Adams said the cocktail room will “push the boundaries” with how it serves cocktails, from the glass it comes in to the way it’s made.
“We’ll be playing with some smoke and some fire here and there and some dry ice here and there as well so it’ll be kind of a one-of-a-kind cocktail experience. But… if you want to come in and get a nice glass of whiskey, we’ll we will have that to offer as well,” he said.
Drip Drop will also include a short menu of small plates like a charcuterie board, burrata dish, pickled vegetables and truffle popcorn.
Nick Adams said the concept builds on a passion that started when he worked in his father’s restaurant at 16, which he rediscovered as a craft cocktail bar manager in Austin, Texas. He said he moved to Austin to capitalize on his finance degree from Grand Valley State University but “realized it wasn’t my thing” after a couple of months on the job.
During his time at GVSU, he also fell in love with downtown Grand Rapids, which he says brought him back to Bridge Street.
“I always knew I’d find my way back up here,” he said.
Nick Adams signed the lease for the street-level space in February. Renovations started in June and are mostly done, but the wait continues for furniture and equipment snagged in the supply chain.
He hopes to start hiring the eight to 10 employees he will need in the coming weeks. He said he and his father will remain very involved in the daily operations.
“He’s loving it… It’s given him a new purpose in life, so he’s very excited for all this,” Nick Adams said. “We make a great team and it’s been nothing but a pleasure so far.”
If all goes well, Nick Adams expects to open Drip Drop Cocktail Room in September. Starting business hours will be 4 p.m. to midnight Tuesday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and noon to 2 a.m. Saturday with brunch-style cocktails.
Drip Drop Cocktail Room will also be available for private events.