GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A “fine-dive bar” is set to go into the former Wahlburgers spot in downtown Grand Rapids.

The Foolery will offer Detroit-style pizza, cocktails and beer at 10 Ionia Ave. near Fulton Street, it said in a Monday press release. The restaurant will be a “sibling” to next-door Social Misfits, both owned by Spencer Raymond.

The Foolery logo. (Courtesy The Foolery)
The Foolery logo. (Courtesy The Foolery)

Raymond told News 8 the “fine-dive bar” will hold some “beautiful tension” between a space that is elegant and elevated and a space that is a laid-back neighborhood spot.

In a news release, Raymond said The Foolery will offer “coziness” and the design “oozes nostalgia and screams randomness and oddities that resemble a treasure trove of things from the past that evoke emotion. This degeneracy-filled play-place will undoubtedly put a smile on your face.”

It will bring “elements of the Motor City to the West Side” with retro décor, beer posters and photos of historic Detroit.

On the menu will be Detroit-style pan pizza with a twist, like “The Big McCorkel” with cheddar, relish, hamburger, bacon, mac sauce, shredduce and sesame. The menu will also offer pasties that “will certainly satisfy a craving for any native Yooper.”

The cocktail menu, worked on by “Drink Masters” winner Lauren Paylor O’Brien, will also offer twists on classic drinks. Raymond said there will be some upscale craft cocktails on draft.

Raymond, who said Detroit-style pizza is dear to his heart, said he saw a gap in the market in downtown Grand Rapids.

“I just haven’t found that product that I’ve loved in the downtown Grand Rapids area,” he explained.

A Dec. 17, 2021 photo shows Social Misfits, located in the ground floor of The Residence Inn by Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids.

The name is meant to be “playful,” he said, adding you can’t take things too seriously. Throughout his experience as a restaurant owner, Raymond has enjoyed keeping things light and fun.

The Foolery, set to open in the coming weeks, will be the third concept in the Misfits family, joining Social Misfits and Misfit Society Coffee Club in Ann Arbor. It will share a common goal as the other two restaurants, Raymond said, “to create an environment where everyone feels warm and welcome and have fun doing it.”

Hiring for the restaurant is underway. There will be a job fair with open interviews Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 10 Ionia Ave. Both full-time and part-time positions are open for front of house and back of house.

Wahlburgers announced on Aug. 1 that it was closing, less than two years after it opened.