City Built adding Creole-inspired pop-up restaurant

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The first item available will be a housemade and house-smoked spicy andouille sausage served with red beans and rice. Sides include housemade cornbread with serrano-garlic honey butter and fried okra. Courtesy City Built Brewing Co.

City Built Brewing Company is debuting a new takeout and delivery pop-up restaurant called Li Grand Zombi.

Edwin Collazo, CEO and founder of the brewery at 820 Monroe Ave. NW, Suite 155, in the city’s Monroe North neighborhood, said he is rolling out a new concept Thursday that will feature a Louisiana style of cooking that blends West African, French, Spanish and Haitian influences.

The pop-up is named after the sacred serpent spirit worshipped among voodooists, Li Grand Zombi, and will feature a rotating selection of Creole-inspired dishes.

“One of our taglines is ‘Where Cultures Collide,’” Collazo said. “This is another opportunity to highlight a different culture whose cuisine we enjoy.”

After spending time eating his way across New Orleans and absorbing various cooking techniques, City Built head chef Kyle Murray returned to Grand Rapids “eager to reinterpret what he’d tasted,” City Built said.

“Those ever ‘wowed’ by a City Built taco can anticipate the same standard of perfection,” the brewery said.

Li Grand Zombi’s menu will focus on “quality before quantity” by featuring one item at a time that rotates weekly.

First up will be a housemade and house-smoked spicy andouille sausage served with red beans and rice. Sides include housemade cornbread with serrano-garlic honey butter and fried okra.

Customers can expect other Creole classics in the coming days, including jambalaya, gumbo, po’boys and more.

While the concept is a change from City Built’s usual Puerto Rican fare, Collazo said he sees a throughline between the two cuisines.

“The story’s the same: You have a marginalized group of people that have made the most of what’s available to them. White rice and beans are pretty cheap, but they spice it up to make something really simple really grand,” he said.

“We’re excited to take advantage of this opportunity to do something different and fun.”

Li Grand Zombi will be available for takeout and through Uber Eats, GrubHub and DoorDash from 3-8 p.m. Thursday and noon to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

In addition to its takeout, delivery and social distancing dine-in seating, City Built will be offering an outdoor “social zone” with beer, a food cart, yard games and barrels to hang around — designed to be a “pandemic-proof party” space.

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