Reinventing the Rosebud

A longtime downtown Grand Haven restaurant will close tonight, but will reopen in May under new ownership and a new name.
Marie Havenga
Mar 28, 2014


Grand Rapids native Joe Fairbairn purchased the Rosebud Bar & Grill, 100 Washington Ave., earlier this month from Jim and Martha Adamczyk. Fairbairn plans to spend the next 4-6 weeks remodeling the restaurant into Joe’s Wooden Nickel.

Construction is expected to begin Saturday.

But with the opening of Joe’s will come the closing of another downtown eatery — Anthony’s Kicked Up Catering on Seventh Street. Its owner, Anthony Gonnella, will become the head chef at Joe’s Wooden Nickel.

Gonnella will also operate his catering business from the Washington Avenue restaurant, which was built in 1872 and housed the original Grand Haven post office.

“He’s folding Anthony’s into Joe’s Wooden Nickel,” Fairbairn said. “… This is a chance for Anthony to spread his wings in a much bigger kitchen.”

Ironically, Gonnella tried to buy the Rosebud a couple of years ago, but he said he and the Adamczyks could not agree on a sales price.

Fairbairn grew up in Grand Rapids and spent a lot of time at the Rosebud when he boated in Grand Haven with his parents. He most recently lived in Chicago and worked in Internet sales for a telephone book company, then launched two Internet advertising businesses.

Fairbairn moved to Spring Lake in 2010 and got to know Gonnella when the chef catered his holiday parties.

To read the whole story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



This sounds interesting. Good Luck Joe and Anthony! I look forward to the opening of your new bar & grill. (Hey Barry - this is a must read....)

Barry Soetoro

Perhaps they'll have an opening for a Beer Concierge since it's becoming obvious another avenue I was pursuing isn't going to pan out.

BTW, was hoping to see Beer Summit listed on Things to Do This Weekend.....crickets.


I know - the t-shirt business is pretty saturated. BTW, didn't I read that you were going to organize the Semi-Annual GHT Beer Summit when the weather warmed up? (yeah - like THAT'S ever going to happen (warm up)).
Or was that just a figment of my imagination? Or did the Trib overlook your info submission on their Things To Do This Weekend list?

Barry Soetoro

I respectfully requested an impromptu Summit for this weekend due to the hate and discontent contained on these pages - and for which I shamefully contributed to and apologize for. I passed the Summit ball to you and then proceeded to tee you up with another hateful comment that apparently was the tipping point and you canceled this weekend's impromptu summit. I furthered my shame by failing to respond to the article last night about human trafficking - for which I apologize. If we wait for the weather to warm up I should have ample time to get halfway back into your good graces but I can't promise you anything.

Hopefully after typing all that my carpal tunnel syndrome doesn't act up as I was promised by someone in authority at the Trib that the Dining Divas may be making an appearance this weekend. I need to have my A-game ready. Your pal, Barry S.


Hey, dude, it is so like cool that you wrote all this! I take just one exception - were you referencing the 'Summit' or 'tar' ball comment? I just want to keep the sequence of the penumbra in proper order. Maybe it's just as well the Summit has been postponed, seeing how certain increase in activity might exacerbate your carpal tunnel, with the timing less than ideal in terms of the upcoming Dining Divas blog report, and the need for preparatory procedures. Very decent of you Barry.

I'm quite certain that, barring any unforeseen circumstances, you will attain your previous stature within my good graces prior to, or during, warmer weather. But, like you, I can't make any guarantees.

Barry Soetoro

I, too, was thrown out of sequence by the multiple pages of comments and such. I quoted a reference to "fog" and the rest is history I guess.

Edited to add - I keep getting pop-up ads from Glock when I'm on this site. What are they trying to tell me?


Me, too! Mine popped up while reading the Trib article, "Last gasp for Old Man Winter".


good luck, remember when it was just a bar and always busy


Do the Diva's know about this?......


bahahaha....good one!


Great food and hand crafted beers…it’s almost too much to handle, so many choices to make where do you start! Good fortune on your new endeavors, us foodies look forward to sampling your offerings!


I'm really hoping they leave the historical features of the building alone (inside and out) during the renovation. (Nothing worse than covering up the wood, painting the woodwork, or installing a dropped ceiling or something goofy like that). The interior has a lot of character and I feel those details should be left alone.

That being said, I wish them the best of luck, and I am looking forward to trying out the food.

I went to Rosebud a few years back and was not impressed at all. Ordered a plain old burger, and found that the entire beef patty was stuffed with veggies. There were more veggies than meat in it... A burger should simply be a burger in my opinion (with your choice of toppings of course). It was like they were trying to be fancy and upscale, but failing miserably. Sure, offer 'fancy' burgers, but when the menu describes it as a plain old burger, give the customer a plain old burger. Many times simpler=better.


GH is clearly in need of some finer dining establishments...there is really nothing currently that appeals to my palate


Does anyone know if the new owners will continue the practice of letting people in with terrible fake ID's? This was really my go to spot when underage, got some solid drinking experience here as a youth. I hate to see tradtion go away.

Real estate maven

RIP Rosebud. My family and I won't miss you. Service and food really went downhill the last 5 years or so and the place was not at all kid friendly even during the day. Good luck and Best Wishes Joe. We look forward to checking the new place out.


Joe's Wooden Nickel? Seriously?




Congratulations Joe! Can't wait to come in and see the new place. I know with your ownership and drive, Joe's will thrive! Looking forward to watching your success and a seeing a nice new place to visit.


Hopefully a decent restaurant in GH,enough bar food.


Hopefully a decent restaurant in GH,enough bar food.


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