GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — When customers stopped by the Paddock Place in Grand Rapids over the years, they often lamented how much they missed Mangiamo.
The Italian restaurant at 1033 Lake Dr. near Cherry Street in Grand Rapids’ East Hills closed in 2017 and was soon replaced by the Paddock Place.
Now, it’s set to return on Jan. 10, largely due to customer demand, director of events Laine Gilmore said.
“We are so excited to bring it back,” she said. “We saw an opening for an Italian dining concept in Grand Rapids, and we felt this addition would really round out our collection.”
The Gilmore Collection will be reopening Mangiamo with some changes. Gilmore said there will be some cosmetic renovations, though crews will work to preserve the historic integrity of the building, which was built in 1873 by a lumber baron.
“We’re going for the swanky, elevated dining experience with candlelight ambiance,” she said. “We’re bringing a little more moody vibe.”
They’ll be “draping the place in velvet” and upgrading the furniture, she said.
The restaurant’s new culinary team, with Mangiamo Executive Chef Jorge Mendez, is creating a new menu. It will include some guests’ favorites from the old menu, like the colossal ‘Baseball’ Meatball, along with new dishes like a Truffled Cappuccino Soup and a succulent Shrimp Alla Vodka Penne Pasta.
The team has been doing tastings over the past month, and Gilmore said she’s been “blown away.”
“We’ve been working on some flavorful pastas, some favorite soups, fresh seafood, and then we’re also working on our high-end steaks,” she said.
Mangiamo will also offer takeout in its new back-door pizza kitchen. Gilmore said people could grab a pizza or sandwich and eat it on the dog-friendly lawn.
It is also adding Mo’s Cocktail Lounge in the restaurant’s wine cellar. The lounge will offer a classic, speakeasy-style bar with seating for around 35 guests, Gilmore said.
“We’re going to have a small sharing menu for guests to grab a drink and a snack before or after they dine at Mangiamo,” she said.
It will also be a good spot for people to come and grab a nice drink after work, she said.
While it’s set to open in January, people can already book the venue for holiday events. Gilmore said once it opens, it won’t be as focused on events as the Paddock Place was.
She said people have been excited for the restaurant’s reopening.
“The building itself is just gorgeous so that in itself puts it apart from most restaurants that we see popping up these days,” she said.
Gilmore grew up in the restaurant industry, first working for the family business when she was 12, and said she loves the hospitality she can offer guests.
“Our main focus for Mangiamo is to treat everybody who walks in the door like they’re the most important person,” she said. “It just really gives me joy to provide those guests with great experiences that hopefully they’ll never forget.”