About a year ago we told you we finally knew what would be moving into the Gardellas building downtown Grand Rapids - and now we know it's opening soon!

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What Happened to Gardella's Downtown Grand Rapids?

A popular bar on Ionia Ave., J. Gardella's Tavern featured three floors for imbibing, with a 125-year-old, hand-crafted bar on the second floor and a dance club on the top floor.

J. Gardella's Tavern, Facebook
J. Gardella's Tavern, Facebook
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The Rabideau brothers owned and operated J. Gardella’s for more than two decades before the bar permanently closed in 2020.

In December 2021, MJW Real Estate Holdings LLC purchased J. Gardella’s Tavern at 11 Ionia Ave. SW for $1.1 million

One of the partners, Michael Winks, hired Alivia Boeschenstein as the general manager and Taylor Boeschenstein as the executive chef.

Scholar Set to Open Downtown Grand Rapids

The new restaurant and bar, Scholar, is described as "Classic Americana, embracing timeless, old world elegance and charm with exemplary hospitality."

Taylor Boeschenstein tells Wood TV 8,

We really wanted to bring something to this area that was new, something that hasn’t been here before. And something that also respected the past. We wanted to give a nod to the history of the city, to the history of this building.

The concept for the three level restaurant is a "cozy library feeling"  Alivia tells Wood TV 8.

Scholar, Facebook
Scholar, Facebook
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Inside you'll find oversized chairs, books, paintings, and a fireplace.

According to Wood TV, the menu will feature items originating in the Americas like deviled eggs, Delmonico steak, Salisbury steak and cedar plank sockeye salmon.

Scholar, Facebook
Scholar, Facebook
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The menu also includes cocktails and an extensive wine list.

When is Scholar Opening Downtown Grand Rapids?

Wood TV 8 reports that Scholar is set to open in October.

While a grand opening has yet to be announced, follow Scholar on Facebook for updates.

New West Michigan Restaurants 2023

Nearly 30 new restaurants, including authentic Mexican eateries, breakfast joints, pizza places, and Boba shops have opened so far in West Michigan in 2023.

How many have you been to?

Gallery Credit: Janna