A Tropical Spot in a Blustery Winter

Citizen Ramen with grilled chicken.
Citizen Ramen with grilled chicken.

In the heart of a Michigan winter, it’s difficult to imagine a warm, island paradise. Unless of course, you’re stepping into Citizen, an inviting new tiki bar and restaurant.

Owner and operator Rachel Lee likes to say it’s “a blend of tropical, Hawaiian and Asian influences, with a vintage, modern tiki feel.”

The restaurant, located at 2115 Plainfield Ave. NE, hopes to be a bright spot in the up-and-coming area of Cheshire Village.

Step out of the cold and into the warmth.
Step out of the cold and into the warmth.

“We want to encourage other local businesses to open here. The neighborhood wants places they can walk to, and our hope is that, by having our doors open, by having our patio open, people will see that Plainfield is not a street you drive down, it’s a destination you go to,” said Lee.

The menu features tiki cocktails, Poke bowls, a variety of seafood and other entrees that enhance its tropical feel.

Lee said, “Our food is very fresh. We have quite a few gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. We designed our menu so everyone could enjoy.”

From the food to the ambiance to the name, Lee has worked to create a space that is inviting to everyone.

“We are called Citizen because we want to be a welcoming space to all. We showcase the ‘C’ in our logo for Cheshire, for the Creston Neighborhood, and because we’re a community space.”

Citizen is Grand Rapids first tiki bar.
Citizen is Grand Rapids first tiki bar.

The restaurant held its soft opening last week and is now open to the public.

So, what are you waiting for? Escape the cold front, grab a drink, and feel what Lee calls, the “citizen vibes.”

Citizen is open Monday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday from 10:00 a.m. to midnight, Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to midnight, and Sunday from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

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