Growing Grand Rapids: Inside 20 Monroe Live & The Knickerbocker

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The owners of The B.O.B. say their new downtown music venue will start announcing concerts this fall.

Gilmore Collection and Live Nation’s House of Blues Entertainment took 24 Hour News 8 inside the site Tuesday.

Developers are tentatively calling the development 20 Monroe Live. The 70,000 square foot entertainment complex will be located across from the Van Andel Arena and adjacent to The B.O.B.

“The new venue will feature the best sound system of any club its size, unparalleled sightlines, and superb food and beverage, making it one of the most artist and fan-friendly venues in the U.S. It will be a great experience that rivals the best concert halls anywhere in the country,” stated Ron Bension of Live Nation’s House of Blues Entertainment Division in a Tuesday news release.

Bension says the venue will feature an art deco retro interior, a movable stage and space for up to 2,580 people.

Gilmore Collection Chief Executive Greg Gilmore stated that the development enhances the company’s “one stop experience to bring the community together.”

The B.O.B. is already home to a comedy club, piano bar, brewery, several restaurants, nightclub and private party rooms. Its owners are also working on adding a four-season Bavarian-style outdoor beer garden.


The B.O.B. isn’t the only beer-savvy business expanding in Grand Rapids.

Tuesday, 24 Hour News 8

” target=”_blank”>got a sneak peak inside New Holland Brewing Co.’s new facility at 417 Bridge St. NW, as the venue celebrated its official “first pour” during a private ceremony. The site, dubbed The Knickerbocker, had its ribbon cutting Tuesday but will hold its grand opening for the public at 11 a.m. Thursday.

The Knickerbocker may look like it’s two stories, but it’s actually four. With both indoor and outdoor space, it offers beer and liquor made on site. There are as many as 20 beers on tap, some of which are exclusive to the location.

“This obviously the main bar here. …. It’s a tree theme where it’s kind of growing out of the floor,” Joel Petersen, New Holland’s vice president of marketing, pointed out.

Next to the bar is the beer hall, an outdoor indoor space where more of the tree theme is visible.

“This is a really awesome space,” Petersen said. “I can’t think of many other places that can offer a space like this.”

The hall flows out to a courtyard that has another bar and a stage for performances.

“This is huge,” Petersen said. “This is going to be a really fun space when the weather permits.”

There is also production space that holds about 10 brewing tanks.

“The really cool thing we have is that we have the ability off a few of these tanks to run them directly to the taps, so you can’t get beer much more fresh than that,” Petersen said.

Upstairs is more dining room seating and a hidden cocktail lounge.

“Kind of speakeasy component,” Petersen explained. “This will probably not be open all hours that the restaurant is open.”

Rockford Construction built the space.

“We wanted to be very respectful of the building architecture on Bridge Street,” Mike VanGessel, the CEO of Rockford Construction, said. “We kind of intentionally pulled the two stories about the restaurant back and if you look at the architecture, there is lots of nods to other architecture on the West Side.”

The two top stories of the building are office space. Next to the brewery are apartments and shopping, also built by Rockford Construction and another new West Side development.

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