Happy Hollandaise!

    A Century of Flavor and Community at Cherie Inn
    Cherie Inn dining room. Photo by Kris Kinsey.

    In the heart of Grand Rapids, Michigan, lies a culinary treasure that has been delighting taste buds and fostering community connections for a century. The Cherie Inn, under the stewardship of owner Michael Kulczyk for 27 years, is not just a restaurant but a cherished gathering place where people from a variety of age groups and backgrounds come together over exceptional food and heartfelt hospitality.

    Eggs Benedict from Cherie Inn. Photo by Lisa Enos.

    The Cherie Inn’s roots run deep with Kulczyk. He was a longstanding patron himself before taking the reins. And he’s the perfect driver of the historic establishment. When he’s not busy answering the phone, creating a meal, or cashing someone out, he will gladly take the time to muse about the historic significance of the place: “Did you know Jay Van Andel was born in the apartment upstairs? And that President Ford met his father here for the first and only time?” The anecdotes are a testament to the enduring presence and impact the Cherie Inn has had on the city. What sets it apart as an eatery is a tasty array of Eggs Benedicts on the menu, served with signature made-from-scratch real Hollandaise sauce.

    “It’s what we’re known for. At Christmas time ‘Happy Hollandaise’ is how we greet people,” Kulczyk said.

    While the Hollandaise is fantastic, the biggest draw to the Cherie Inn is the connection it provides to a bygone era, and the sense of belonging that resonates with the patrons who keep coming back.

    “It’s the vibe,” Kulczyk says (and the members of the East Hills Neighborhood Council who gather at the restaurant agree).

    As the Cherie Inn turns 100 this year, celebrations are in full swing, with themed monthly dinners and special events filling the eatery’s calendar. But it’s the everyday moments that make the Cherie Inn a beloved institution— the generations of customers who keep coming back with the new additions to the family. From intimate dinners for two to larger gatherings, like rehearsal dinners, Kulczyk enjoys making every guest feel valued and cared for, embodying the spirit of hospitality that defines the Cherie Inn.

    Innovation is also at the core of the Cherie Inn’s success. From Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Peanut Butter Mousse to vegan and gluten-free options, the Cherie Inn’s offerings are vast and ever changing. As Kulczyk likes to say, “You keep coming, and we’ll keep cooking.”

    Here’s to many more Happy Hollandaise!

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