New restaurant opening in downtown GH

Marie Havenga • May 1, 2018 at 10:00 AM

A Grand Haven restaurant location that has experienced much turnover in recent years will soon have a new name and identity.

The Capstone Hospitality team is converting the former Grand Haven Brewhouse, Joe's Wooden Nickel and Rosebud at 100 Washington Ave. into a new dining venture called the Copper Post. The team plans to have it open in about a month.

“It's a modern American kitchen,” said Mike Thorp, one of the owners. “The idea is it will be a restaurant first. That location has had a history of 2 a.m. bars. We want to be a restaurant.”

The Copper Post will serve alcohol — Michigan craft beer, wine and liquor — but the focus will be on the food.

Thorp said he is renovating the room where the stage used to be. He had planned to hang the new sign outdoors on Saturday, but windy conditions canned the plan.

“Ironically enough, I have been looking at this building since before it was Joe's Wooden Nickel,” Thorp said. “I really love Grand Haven. It's a wonderful city with a lot of vibrancy about it, vibrancy all year long. I looked at it before it was Joe's, I looked at it after it was the Brewhouse. This was just the right time for me to come in with a really great restaurant.”

Between the growing number of events in and around the city, and Noto's coming to Grand Haven in the former Bil-Mar Restaurant site, the timing was right, Thorp said.

“I wasn't anticipating this for another year, so it is really exciting to be happening now,” he said.

Thorp is part of Capstone Hospitality, an extension of the Capstone Real Estate company. Its main office is at 300 Washington Ave. in downtown Grand Haven

“Eventually, the idea was we wanted to be in the restaurant business, and this one made a lot of sense being right on Washington Avenue, right down from the Capstone offices,” Thorp said.

The Copper Post menu is still under development.

“There's a lot of great cuisine already here in West Michigan, but there are a lot of things we can do to tie in seasonal vegetables,” Thorp said. “We'll have a handful of dishes that are going to rotate throughout the year. We want to use what's available here and now. Food will range from really great cuts of meat to really great sandwiches.”

The Copper Post menu will also include pasta, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.

“When you say modern American, you can make it whatever you want,” Thorp said. “We'll do some new things and exciting things that aren't just pizza. We want to make sure we're covering really great sandwiches and lunch options for people coming off the beach or for people working in Grand Haven.”

Upscale dinners will include steak and other choice cuts.

“We're a farm-to-table restaurant,” Thorp said. “We'll be using what's available locally. We're still working on our vendors.”

The Copper Post will be open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.

“It's absolutely intended to be a restaurant for Grand Haven, which means family,” Thorp said. “We won't be open any later than midnight. We don't want to be a 2 a.m. bar. That's not the vision for the restaurant. We want to be a place where everyone feels comfortable and where everyone can come in and feel comfortable with their family.”

Offerings will include a kids' menu.

“The biggest thing for us is, we want to be a place where people from Grand Haven feel comfortable coming 12 months of the year,” Thorp said.

Capstone Hospitality was founded in 2017 as a restaurant management and consulting company. The Copper Post will be its first managed restaurant, Thorp said.

“It makes perfect sense to have the first be in Grand Haven, as each of the owners has a long-standing history with Grand Haven,” he said.

The owners include Thorp, John Groothuis, David Ten Cate and Doug Vanse. Thorp will serve as director of operations at the Copper Post and Lee Bigby will be the general manager.

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