2 new West Michigan bars open opportunities for diversity

Muskegon County

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A new development in Muskegon is paving the way for more diversity and representation in the hospitality industry.

It’s called the Motu Lakeshore Wine Bar. The name comes from Motu Viget Spirits, a Michigan-made wine and spirits company.

The four men behind the business say they own the only African American licensed liquor establishments in both downtown Grand Rapids and Muskegon.

The wine bar will be located at 1208 8th Street in downtown Muskegon.

The Grand Rapids-based owners also plan to open a downtown Grand Rapids bar called Ambiance Kitchen and Lounge at the end of July.

The men behind this say after a difficult year for the hospitality industry, they’re excited for new opportunities and these businesses are a big step toward diversity.

“There’s so much consumerism that goes on, but the fact that we’re able to kind of create opportunities and lead the way and make sure that young people can aspire to own have that ability coming from the Black community, the Latinx community and other underrepresented communities, that’s always at the top of our priority list,” said Jonathan Jelks, co-founder of Motu Viget Spirits. 

The Motu Lakeshore Wine Bar is expected to create at least two dozen new jobs and is slated to open this fall.

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