The owners of a longtime Monroe North restaurant and bar are planning to add a location in Ada this fall.
Garage Bar & Grill co-owner and operator Kevin Farhat and Third Coast Development partners Brad Rosely, Max Benedict and David Levitt — who co-own the Garage Bar with Farhat — said Tuesday that they are planning to open a new location at 518 Ada Drive SE this fall.
“We are excited to bring the popular Garage Bar & Grill concept to Ada,” Farhat said. “We have great friends from the Ada area who frequent our downtown Grand Rapids location, and we know there is great energy in expanding the dining and nightlife in the Ada Village area, so we can’t wait to open our garage doors and get involved.”
The new location — a renovated home at the corner of Ada Drive and Headley Street that most recently served as an Exit Realty branch — was acquired by Third Coast with the assistance of NAI Wisinski West Michigan agents Mary Anne Wisinski-Rosely (Brad Rosely’s wife) and Jason Makowski.
Third Coast recently received all necessary permits and approvals for the renovation and has engaged Pioneer Construction as the contractor.
The new property will undergo extensive renovations and additions, including a new wraparound seating area with six garage doors and an open-air patio. When completed, the location is expected to seat 126 people inside, 32 patrons outside and include a private dining room accommodating six people. The exterior also will be overhauled, including parking and landscaping that is consistent with the rest of the Ada Village corridor.
Farhat hired a new executive chef, Joe Peebles, who will serve as the general manager of the Ada location while overseeing menu enhancements at both Garage Bar locations.
“Don’t let the ‘bar’ name fool you — Garage Bar & Grill has won several awards for its menu, so we are excited to bring new, fresh items at a fair price to Ada,” Peebles said. “No frozen food here, just fresh ingredients that arrive daily from our local suppliers.”
Garage Bar strives to be a community-minded establishment, regularly hosting fundraisers for individuals as part of Farhat’s “Garage Bar Cares” program. During the early months of COVID-19, Garage Bar and Farhat’s other property, Graydon’s Crossing, gave away thousands of free meals to those in need. Farhat said the partners hope to bring the same spirit of generosity to Ada. All of the food and drink specials and commitment to supporting veterans that were present at the downtown Grand Rapids location also will be a part of the new location, he said.
“The Third Coast Development guys and I are looking forward to becoming a great neighbor in Ada,” Farhat said.
Rosely and Benedict, both Ada-area residents, said they have been considering establishing a presence in Ada for quite some time. When the opportunity came up to acquire the property, Rosely said he saw it as his chance to fulfill a dream and honor the legacy of his late father-in-law, Ada resident and local commercial real estate icon Stan Wisinski, who died in November at age 80.
“Stan and I always talked of owning real estate in Ada, so I knew the Headley property would be my chance to make it happen,” Rosely said. “The Garage Bar & Grill concept in Ada is going to be a great, fun place. Stan would have loved it.”
Benedict said the partners want to “blend (their) brand into the characteristic of this neighborhood.”
“We believe the Garage Bar concept, with its exceptional menu and community-mindedness, will accomplish that goal,” he said.
Rosely said he is excited about the possibilities for the Garage Bar & Grill brand in Ada.
“We firmly believe that the success we’ve had at the original Garage Bar will be replicated at our Ada location,” he said. “Kevin always says that he knows how to ‘run a good party,’ so we’re excited to bring that Garage Bar energy to this location. But he also knows how to run a great establishment, so we’re eager to enhance the bar and grill offerings in Ada.”