Partners opening Ambiance GR Kitchen & Lounge on New Year’s Eve

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Ambiance GR Kitchen & Lounge is located in the Ledyard Building, at 106 Pearl St. NW in downtown Grand Rapids. Courtesy CWD Real Estate Investment

A long-awaited, Black-owned “swanky” cocktail lounge will open on the final night of the year.

Partners Lacy Jones, Jonathan Jelks, Jamiel Robinson, Alvin J. Hills IV and recording artist Willie “Willie The Kid” Jackson will open Ambiance GR Kitchen & Lounge, at 106 Pearl St. NW inside the Ledyard Building in downtown Grand Rapids, on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31.

The group will host a black-tie grand opening celebration from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. that will include a champagne toast courtesy of Motu Viget Spirits; networking; and dancing to pop, rock, R&B and hip-hop hits. Online tickets to the events are sold out, but general admission tickets will be sold at the door.

Ambiance GR first was announced as coming to the former, long-vacant Raggs to Riches restaurant space in 2018 and projected to open in March 2019, but the project experienced construction and financing delays, followed by the challenges of the pandemic.

Jonathan Jelks, left, and Willie “Willie the Kid” Jackson. Courtesy Jonathan Jelks

Jelks, the group’s spokesperson, told the Business Journal in 2018 that Ambiance GR will be “a place where diversity is celebrated and where all patrons feel warm and welcomed.”

The venue will offer live entertainment in addition to cocktails and limited kitchen service to start. The team anticipates adding full kitchen service in March 2022, according to Facebook posts this fall.

More information and updates will be posted on the establishment’s Facebook page.

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