Restaurateur Plans Neighborhood Pizzeria

wood-fired pizza and stone oven

A local restaurateur is giving new life to a former eatery in town.

Gil Bryson, a restaurant industry veteran of 17 years who most recently was market partner for Logan’s Roadhouse, said this week he’s planning to open a wood-fired pizza restaurant called MadGrub in the former Red Jet Cafe in the Creston neighborhood of Grand Rapids, at 1431 Plainfield Ave. NE.

Bryson said he expects to open the restaurant at the end of December. He is currently awaiting a construction permit from the city of Grand Rapids.

“The Creston neighborhood is a really up-and-coming place,” Bryson said. “It’s really cool to be near downtown and see all the happenings. I’m from Grand Rapids and really enjoy living here.”

The menu will emphasize “scratch-made, wood-fired pizzas that are as local, fresh and affordable as possible,” Bryson said in a Facebook post yesterday.

He added that most menu items will also be available vegan or gluten-free.

MadGrub will serve beer, wine and cocktails and be open for weekend brunch.

Lee Bigby will serve as general manager.

Bryson plans to hire between 30 and 40 employees.

The 1,765-square-foot building — of which 900 square feet is useable dining space — formerly housed a bank, then the Grand Rapids Public Library’s Creston branch, before The Gilmore Collection purchased the building in 2003 and opened Red Jet Cafe in 2007.

The café closed in 2015 after a fire and never reopened.

MadGrub is leasing the building from Green Ridge Investments.

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