Reserve announces pause, evolution

Timing coincides with revitalization efforts on Lyon Street
Reserve's outdoor space may get little use this year. The downtown wine bar announced a temporary closure beginning May 2, 2024. Reserve Wine and Food courtesy photo.

After an impressive 14-year run of elevating Grand Rapids’ culinary landscape, downtown hotspot Reserve Wine & Food is gearing up for an exciting transition. In a recent announcement, the beloved establishment revealed its intention to pivot towards a fresh concept and menu, marking the end of an era for its current incarnation.

Reserve Wine & Food, along with 800 wines on the menu, also features an extensive cocktail menu. Courtesy photo.

“This pause is bitter-sweet, but as Grand Rapids transforms right in our backyard with the new Lyon Square space, we also have the opportunity to evolve,” said Reserve General Manager Luke VerHulst. The timing of the closure coincides with revitalization efforts on Lyon Street, promising an invigorating new chapter for the alley and adjacent spaces.

To help ease the sting of the temporary closure announcement, Reserve’s customers will be treated to special menus over the following weeks, wrapping up on May 2.

Reserve’s legacy extends far beyond its sumptuous offerings; it’s a testament to the power of passion, innovation, and community. Since its inception in 2010, Reserve has been a beacon of sophistication, bringing elevated food and wine experiences to downtown Grand Rapids.

What began as a humble wine bar swiftly blossomed into a culinary gem, boasting the distinction of housing the second largest custom-built Cruvinet system in the entire United States. Powered by nitrogen pressurized preservation, this remarkable system extends the shelf life of a single bottle of wine to an impressive five weeks, enabling Reserve to showcase an impressive array of 102 wines “on tap.” With a cellar boasting over 800 wines sourced from every corner of the globe, with particular emphasis on the terroirs of California, France, and Italy, Reserve has established itself as a mecca for oenophiles.

In 2011, Food & Wine Magazine bestowed upon Reserve the prestigious title of one of the “World-Class Wine Bars,” cementing its status as a destination for discerning palates. Then, in 2017, this publication honored Reserve with the coveted designation of “Restaurant of the Year.”

“Since opening, Reserve set a new standard for dining in Grand Rapids,” said VerHulst. “The talented team consistently led farm-to-table dining in Grand Rapids and our relationships with our producers are still the gold standard in the region. We’re proud of how Reserve pushed culinary boundaries, and it is time to innovate again.”

Yet, Reserve’s impact transcends the boundaries of gastronomy. It stands as a trailblazer in nurturing talent, being among the first independent restaurants in Grand Rapids to offer comprehensive employee benefits. Countless chefs and staff members have honed their craft within its walls, with many alumni going on to launch successful ventures of their own. Others have ventured to Michelin-starred establishments across the nation, their time at Reserve serving as a springboard to culinary greatness.

As anticipation builds for what lies ahead, Grand Rapids Magazine eagerly awaits the next culinary adventure from the visionary team behind Reserve Wine & Food. The exciting new concept is expected to reopen before 2024 bids adieu.

Visit Reserve’s website for more information.


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