GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Saturday will be busy for Grand Rapids bars and restaurants, with Michigan playing in the Fiesta Bowl in the afternoon and then crowds of New Year’s Eve revelers.
“This year… it’s kind of a perfect storm,” Grand Rapids Garage Bar & Grill owner Kevin Farhat said. “The outdoor space works great. It’s supposed to be in the 50s, so we’ll turn the heaters on out there. We’re loaded for bear, so we got plenty of servers, plenty of cooks, plenty of product, so we’re just ready to go.”
Farhat said that Wolverine gamedays this season led to at least a 40% jump in revenue compared to last year. With many people expected to celebrate both occasions Saturday, he said the bar will make sure everyone does so responsibly.
“I guess you can technically serve until 4 in the morning, but we don’t do that,” Farhat said. “I mean, nothing really good happens after 2 a.m. anyway.”
Though some police officers will be busy directing traffic near Van Andel Arena for the Grand Rapids Griffins game Saturday night, Grand Rapids Police Department Chief Eric Winstrom said his department will be properly staffed to respond to calls all over the city.
“It is New Year’s Eve, so there’s going to be a lot of people out on the road, a lot of people drinking, attending parties,” Winstrom said. “We’re going to be extra vigilant.”
So will Farhat’s staff, who are trained to help anyone who needs to get home do so in one piece.
“If we’ll get somebody to help you, take you home, or grab an Uber, it always works for us, but we’re pretty conscious about that kind of stuff,” Farhat said.
The kitchen and wait crew will be fully staffed Saturday, but Farhat asked patrons to be prepared and patient.
“We always say, ‘Be here on time or wait in line’ because we’re full for every Michigan game,” Farhat said. “We’re ready for it. You just got to get early and get here ready to go.”