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Published on March 31, 2024
Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids Unveils $1M Renovations and Expanded Menu Before Grand ReopeningSource: Google Street View

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Founders Brewing Co. is set to flaunt its new $1 million renovations with a grand reopening on April 1. After a month of being closed to the public, the hometown favorite is ready to serve up not just its renowned beers but also an array of new dishes. "We have entrees now instead of just sandwiches. If you want to come for dinner and enjoy a nice beer, you'll be able to do that as well," Executive Chef Peter Engelhardt was excited to tell WOOD TV.

Among the kitchen upgrades, patrons can now look forward to a brand-new kitchen with features such as fryers, burners, and a 30-gallon steam kettle. The menu overhaul comes hand-in-hand with an increase in both space and variety, aiming to easily serve 20 burgers or eight sandwiches at a time, a much-improved capacity from the old set-up. "We'll cook 20 burgers at a time or eight sandwiches at a time," Engelhardt noted in a statement obtained by FOX 17. It seems the team is not just ready to serve, but eager to get "rolling, and get our life back so we know what we're doing every day," Engelhardt added.

The renovation extends beyond the kitchen, with enhancements including new lighting fixtures, a refreshed bar area, and revamped seating to foster a more restaurant-like feel. "We created more of a restaurant feel," Engelhardt explained, detailing the addition of booths and banquettes for a more dine-in experience. Moreover, guests can anticipate a mural painted by employee Arien Middlebrooks that showcases a graffiti-inspired interpretation of the Founders logo as they walk through the front door, enhancing the taproom's unique character. Steve Wheeler, Chief Sales Officer at Founders, emphasized the importance of the taproom's role as the company's "best brand ambassador," acknowledging its absence had been "a little challenging and a little odd" in a conversation with WZZM 13.

With the updated menu and renovations aiming to elevate the dining experience to match the quality of their beers, Founders is positioned to compete in the "hyper competitive dining scene," as Wheeler noted. Popular items like pretzel with beer cheese, alongside new dishes such as a bacon bourbon jam burger, salmon, and Cajun shrimp, are expected to draw in both old fans and new clientele. "Whatever we want to cook in there, we'll be able to do a ton of cheese sauce, barbeque sauce, soups if you want to do that," said Engelhardt, hinting at the versatility the new equipment brings. The reinvented space will officially welcome patrons back during a special launch party on April 13, complete with live music, as noted by WOOD TV.