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Tip-A-Few owner buys Wessel's Automotive

Marie Havenga • Jun 22, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Local businessman Steve Vink, owner of Tip-A-Few, Ray's Burgers and a parts washing company in Grand Haven, has purchased Wessel's Automobile & Tire, 102 S. Harbor Drive.

The Wessel's property is contiguous to the Tip-A-Few at 10 Franklin Ave.

Dan Wisniewski, controller of Vink's businesses, said there are no immediate plans for the newly acquired property.

“Any time Steve buys anything, he wants to wait and think on it,” Wisniewski said. “There aren't any immediate plans to do anything right now. He's always wanted to own that.”

Vink has owned the Tip since 1978, Wisniewski noted.

“He's always wanted to own that (Wessel's) and he's always been very friendly with them,” Wisniewski said. “If and when he develops it, whatever he does he would do to keep the integrity of the downtown area. Steve has always been about legacy, not only his own legacy but the legacy of Grand Haven. He'll be keeping it nice so there's not some big monstrosity built up.”

The additional property will also give Vink the option of expanding Tip-A-Few in the future, although no plans are imminent.

“The Tip is just a small building,” Wisniewski said. “This way, if he ever wants to expand, he has room to expand. If he wants to keep it the way it is, he can keep it the way it is. But we wouldn't pay that much money to keep it a car place. It never made sense to have a car place down there.”

Options may include residential or commercial, Wisniewski said. All options are open at this time, but nothing will happen in the near future.

Vendors who use the parking lot in front of Wessel's during the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival will still be able to do that for likely the next year or longer.

“It was the same thing with Ray's,” Wisniewski said of the Beacon Boulevard hamburger shop Vink purchased in 2002. “When he bought Ray's, he didn't make any changes the first year. We have to get a feel of what's going on around it before we make any kind of decisions. He bought it to be able to control it. Its like taking two puzzle pieces and putting them together. It makes more sense and it's more valuable to own it all instead of just one.”

One thing is certain, according to Wisniewski. The Tip-A-Few is here to stay.

“That is Steve's home away from home,” Wisniewski said. “All those employees are like family. Some of those people have worked for him for 30 years.”

Last summer, Vink upgraded the building with new siding and made other improvements.

“At some point he wanted to put a deck on, but who knows,” Wisniewski said. “We'll just wait and see how things are at the time. Tip-A-Few is around for the long-term. An expansion could be possible, but that wouldn't be in the near future. Maybe five years out.”

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