New Beer Garden Offers Unique Experience Downtown

BOB's Beer Garden is dog friendly
BOB's Beer Garden is dog friendly

Picture this: It’s a Saturday night. The air is breezy and warm, and the sun is slowly setting. You’re in your favorite city, surrounded by friends and immersed in a sea of laughter, dancing, music and a type of communal happiness you can’t find just anywhere in Grand Rapids. You are hanging out in BOB’s Beer Garden, Grand Rapids’ newest outdoor space.

You may have been wondering what the giant bright orange shipping container is doing outside of The B.O.B. Fear not, we have answers! Everything you need to know about GR’s newest beer garden is here.

Felicia Flores, The B.O.B.’s general manager, and her team are so excited about the newest addition to the Big Old Building.

“We’re most excited about the community experience as well as having the coolest pop-up bar in town, open just in time for our ArtPrize guests. Because seating is communal, people are getting to know one another during a night on the town—it doesn’t get much better than that,” said Flores.

Strike up a conversation. BOB's Beer Garden offers several communal seating options.
Strike up a conversation. BOB’s Beer Garden offers several communal seating options.

The Space

BOB’s Beer Garden is located on the east side of The B.O.B., nestled between Fulton Street and 20 Monroe Live. Originally an ArtPrize 2011 entry by Greg Gilmore, Dan Carlson and Keith Carey, the bright orange container is a repurposed shipping container that now serves as the bar and performance area of the space. Under strings of Edison bulb lights sit four 10-top communal picnic tables, two eight-top tables, six bar stools and seating for about eight guests in the bar area. The capacity of the garden graciously allows over 100 people to enjoy the space at once.

What Makes Bob’s Beer Garden Unique

BOB’s Beer Garden offers a variety of yard games for guests to play while they’re enjoying their food and beverages. We all know the only way to play cornhole is with a drink in hand.

The entertainment is not something you’ll want to miss either. Live musicians perform on top (yes, on top!) of the bar, which has provided quite the “wow factor” for guests, according to Flores. To view the full lineup of performances, visit BOB’s Beer Garden on Facebook.

There’s really nothing quite like BOB’s Beer Garden in Grand Rapids.

Enjoy food from Gilly's Smokehouse and beer from BOB's Brewery.
Enjoy food from Gilly’s Smokehouse and beer from BOB’s Brewery.

Food & Drink

BOB’s Beer Garden serves both food and beverages. Guests can enjoy smokehouse meats and other fare from Gilly’s Smokehouse, as well as a full bar menu featuring beer from BOB’s Brewery (now serving BOB’s beer in cans).

We asked Flores what else she could tell us about what’s to come and all we can say is two words: cocktail pitchers. While plans aren’t set in stone quite yet, it doesn’t hurt to dream in the meantime… Enjoy a mix of wines, craft beers, classic cocktails and a few featured cocktails for now to quench your thirst.

What’s To Come

To clarify, BOB’s Beer Garden is currently an “interim” outdoor dining space before The B.O.B. begins constructing the full beer garden. With outdoor seating in such high demand in the summer and fall months, and recognizing the empty space was going unused, The B.O.B. knew it couldn’t let such a fun and versatile space go to waste.

Flores also wants to encourage anyone to reach out if they are interested in hosting events in the garden in the future. What a way to celebrate a special occasion.

BOB’s Beer Garden is open Tuesday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to midnight. However, during ArtPrize, it will be open seven days a week and you can check out ArtPrize entries both in the beer garden and inside The B.O.B.

All we can say is “Wish you were beer!”

*Photos by Andrea Straw

**Editors Note: On Friday, Sept. 14 The BOB posted the following notice on its Facebook page: “Until further notice, The B.O.B. will no longer be able to allow dogs in our Beer Garden area. We are sorry for the inconvenience.” The article has been updated to reflect this information. References to the dog-friendly space have been removed.

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