GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A new bar for the LGBTQ community and its allies is coming to Grand Rapids’ Bridge Street.
Alberto Garza owns the business with his partner, Jeff Steinport. The longtime Grand Rapids residents were one of the first couples to buy a condominium at Union Square and they’ve watched the bustling Bridge Street corridor transform since then.
“This has been a dream that I’ve wanted to make a reality for probably a good decade, so we’re very, very excited about it. And I think adding just another LGBTQ+ business to the community will be great… there’s definitely a need for it. And us being a part of the community, we’re just very excited to show a new side, a new business, a new concept,” Garza said.
Garza said they had been looking for an opportunity to open their own place in Grand Rapids for quite some time. Garza and Steinport signed a lease for the space a few months ago and are now in the design phase of the project.
“We’re building from the ground up,” he said.
Garza said the business’ name pays homage to the building’s history. He plans to fold in historical elements of the business and street within the bar’s contemporary design.
“We would like to have a little bit of an ode as to what was there,” Garza said.
The plans call for a new bar and seating. Garza says they’re also looking into potentially adding a patio behind the building.
Garza said The General Wood Shop will be “a very much inclusive gay bar” that’ll serve a variety of cocktails, spirits, beer and wine. The business will also feature a small plate food menu the owners are still developing.
Garza, who is also the “community cultivator” for The Factory co-working space in Grand Rapids, says he and Steinport “have experience in this environment” from their involvement with The Beverly in Scottsdale, Arizona. The longtime cocktail lounge was acquired by a holding company they work for.
If all goes well, The General Wood Shop will open in January.