GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids business on the city’s southeast side will soon become the first laundromat to serve alcohol in Michigan. Duds N Suds received its liquor license on Oct. 31.
“I wanted to have something different,” said Edward Lewis Bates, owner of Duds N Suds. “Why not have beer and wine in a laundromat?”
Bates has owned the business, located at 1533 Langley St. SE in Southeast Grand Rapids, for the past five years. Pretty soon, his business won’t just be an errand on someone’s chore list, but a spot people can go to have a drink or two while they wait for their clean clothes.
“I want them to feel a sense of safety, comfort, and relaxation,” said Bates. “Just an atmosphere where they can take their mind off their work, even their laundry, and just have a peaceful time.”
Bates said the liquor license allows him to serve beer and wine. However, he explained it hasn’t always been an easy process getting his business-model approved by liquor control.
“There were challenges because, one, the concept hadn’t been done before,” he said. “And with the board, the liquor control, you have to get three votes. The first round, I got none.”
The kicker? Bates said he doesn’t drink and never has. He explained what his brother said when he told him his idea.
“He was saying, you don’t drink, why are you doing this? I said, it’s not for me, it’s for the public,” said Bates, with a laugh.
To start, he said they will be serving bottles and cans that people can order, and if his idea is successful, he plans on eventually putting in a full bar. Lastly, Bates wants people to know that his customers safety is his top priority, and that he’s learning as he goes.
“I got a call saying, you had an announcement, saying that it’s going to be a party place at the laundromat … But no, not a party place. Just a place to relax,” he said.
Bates said his plan is to start serving alcohol in roughly 60 days, after the holidays.