Entrepreneur opening street food restaurant in Holland

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Courtesy Nadine's Fish Tips 'n Wings

A Holland man will open a restaurant that fulfills a longtime dream he shared with his late father.

Larry Brothers will open Nadine’s Fish Tips ’n Wings at 1111 Washington Ave., Suite F, in Holland later this month.

The takeout joint will offer Chicago-style street food, including Maxwell Street Polish, Chicago hot dogs, deep-fried catfish steaks, rib tips, and pressure fried wings that can be dipped in the restaurant’s signature barbecue sauce or Chicago’s famous mild sauce, Brothers said.

He previously operated the business as a catering company and will continue to offer those services. Brothers also is the manager for the Bistro at the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Holland, a role he has held for six years and plans to continue while building his business.

Brothers said he and his father had planned to open the restaurant together when his father retired from Perrigo, but his dad died in 2018 before the dream came to fruition.

“I put the thought on hold as COVID (began) to change (our) lives forever,” he said. “We had to cut staff … and (there) was really nothing for me to do at the hotel, so I decided to revisit the idea of opening a restaurant that was focused on takeout, quick service, Chicago street food and the community.”

To get started, Brothers wrote a business plan.

Larry Brothers. Courtesy Nadine’s Fish Tips ‘n Wings

“The plan worked on paper, but the first location I was set on didn’t work out, but the location we are in now is perfect, and the manager of the property, Chris Egger, has been so kind, helpful and understanding of my journey into turning the space into what it needs to be,” he said.

Grand Rapids-based racial equity lender Rende Progress Capital (RPC) made a $10,000 loan to Brothers in January to help him pay for the marketing services needed to open his restaurant, after Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW) provided a $50,000 loan for startup capital but was concerned it wouldn’t be enough.

Elisa Starnes, associate partner for lending opportunity and administration at RPC, said the firm is proud to assist its first customer in the Holland area and second lakeshore borrower with this loan.

“RPC strives to support family businesses such as this one to create generational wealth and economic security for people of color,” she said.

The RPC loan — which Brothers applied for after he sought and was rejected for a traditional loan from two banks due to his debt-to-income ratio — was made with collateral backing from the Fair Food Fund, according to RPC.

Brothers named the restaurant after his mother, who said she is proud to see her name on the front of the building when she drives by.

He said he is thankful for the assistance of Kyama Kitavi and Xana Williams, of the Fair Food Fund; Karen Benson, business development officer at GROW; and everyone at RPC, including Starnes; John Hendershot, business development director; Janiece Norfleet, associate partner for portfolio and finance; and Eric Foster, co-founder, chair and managing partner.

“They didn’t say ‘no’ because of my debt-to-income but chose to say ‘yes’ because of my dedication and commitment to be a positive force in my community,” he said. “Eric Foster, who started Rende, made me realize that it is men who look like me (who) can and will make a difference in our community. I want to thank everyone I have met along the way and look forward to working with everyone in the future.”

More information on the restaurant is at nadinesfishtipsnwings.com.

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