GRAND RAPIDS, MI — It’s been eight months since patrons set foot in one of downtown Grand Rapids’ most iconic bars.
The “Big Old Building” or better known as The. BOB held its grand reopening on Thursday September 8th.
MLive/The Grand Rapids Press was there to take a look at the popular nightspot and give readers a peek inside.
The BOB, located at 20 Monroe Ave. NW, is a collection of restaurants and clubs spread over five floors in a spacious historic building from 1903. The building has been closed for the past eight months after The Gilmore Collection put the property up for sale at the end of the year. last year. The company announced in December that the sale of the property was underway and the building closed early in the new year.
The interior and ambiance of the BOB has not changed much. However, don’t expect to pay in cash as the venue has switched to cashless payments only.
“Anyone who’s ever been to The BOB will immediately know it,” Matt Dowdy, marketing and creative director of the Gilmore collection, told MLive/The Grand Rapids Press. “It’s not much different from what people have experienced here before, it’s more about cosmetic changes and what we think are useful additions.”
One of the most notable changes is the new self-serve beer wall on the first floor. The system run by “Pour My Beer” includes 26 taps, of which about 15 are a variety of beers, including those from BOB’s Brewery. There’s also sangria, cocktails, margaritas, and wine available at the self-pour station. This is the second “Pour My Beer” station in West Michigan. The other is located at Gun Lake Casino in Wayland.
It is a pay-per-view system. Drinks are priced by the ounce, allowing customers to see as they fill how many ounces they are pouring and the price.
“The novelty of being able to pour your own beer coupled with not having to commit to a drink makes it fun for the customer,” said Nick Baizer, project manager for Pour My Beer.
Once a customer reaches a certain ounce limit, they must re-authorize their card.
The BOB also knocked down some walls on the first floor, which will create a more open layout on the first floor between the concert hall and the dining areas.
The building’s brewery, BOB’s Brewery, will expand its operations from the basement to the ground floor and the Beer Garden across Ottawa and Fulton.
“I think it’s great to have it reopened. This location has been a major attribute of the progressive vision for downtown Grand Rapids,” said downtown resident Madeline Palmer.
Visitors will still find the Bobarino Pizzeria on the second floor of the venue and the Dr. Grins Comedy Club on the third floor. Comedian Pete Lee will be performing at the comedy club all weekend.
Nightclub Eve, which was previously located on the fourth floor of the building, will no longer be open to the public for bar service and entertainment. This space will now be used for catering and special events, Dowdy said.
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