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If Grand Rapids Bars Were Grand Rapids Guys

Cheerful businessman toasting
mladensky/ThinkStock

There are plenty of places to go to enjoy the nightlife of Grand Rapids on a daily basis, and those of us who have lived here for a while know that we often have to explain the different bars to new people.

So, we’ve come up with a comprehensive way to explain the bars in GR to your new-to-town friends by comparing them to guys we all know. You know… THOSE guys…


Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

Gardella’s

 
 

He’s been out of college for about four years, now, and is working in real estate. Things are going pretty well, but not well enough to ignore the lure of half off drinks on Wednesdays. He’s usually seen in business casual attire, but sometimes throws on a flat-bill hat or some jeans with embroidered pockets to jazz things up. He’s pretty easy-going, and rolls with whatever is going on around him. He drinks vodka and Red Bull to get the party started at a decent hour, because he has to be up for a conference call at 9am.

 
Waldrom

Waldron Public House

 
 

He used to be a douche in high school, but he went away to college, did a semester abroad in England and came back with a strange hybrid accent. He claims he’s a completely different person while offering to cook food from “back in England”, then started having these weekly parties for college kids, and honestly, I think he started his own Fraternity like those guys in that movie Old School, because now you have to pay like $300 and invite a bunch of your own friends if you even want to hang out with him.

 
Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

Pyramid Scheme

 
 

He knows everyone in town, and always has the details on what’s going on for the weekend. He doesn’t care much about being cool, which just makes him seem cooler. He’s happy posting up in front of a pinball machine with a craft beer, or getting sweaty in the crowd of an up-and-coming band. He always remembers your face, and doesn’t make it weird when you can’t remember his name. Has tattoos, and isn’t a jerk when you ask him to talk about them.

 
Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

B-Dubs

 
 

He’s from a small town outside the city and doesn’t really understand why someone would pay $6 for a craft beer when they can get a perfectly decent Budweiser for $3. He likes his chicken wings mild, and uses ranch instead of bleu cheese. Wears cargo shorts no matter the season, but alternates between shell-top sneakers and functional sandals. He always knows when the game is on, but talks all the way through it. He prides himself on being the “everyman” and his favorite local restaurant is Peppino’s.

 
Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

Stella’s

 
 

She’s a she, thank you very much. She drinks Jameson and ginger, or on the rocks if she’s feeling hard. She doesn’t shave her armpits and dares you to say something about it. She plays guitar, but just for fun, and she has two hours of slam-poetry material ready at any given moment. She walks a fine line between hipster and yuppie, but probably wouldn’t admit to either one. She’s dating a guy this week, but really isn’t into labels.

 
Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

Tin Can

 
 

He hasn’t really grown up since college, even though it’s been a full decade since graduation, but he’s so easy to hang out with you forgive him for being a little childish. He always has the best yard games and won’t make fun of you for ordering the drink equivalent of rock candy. He’s super chill during the week and always willing to buy a round, but catch him on the weekend and you’ll regret you’ve ever met. He turns up, and turns up hard. Like the human version of a beer bong.

 
Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

Founders

 
 

He has a beard. He definitely has a beard. And a book about how to best care for his beard. And probably a t-shirt or two with the word “beard” or just a stencil outline of a beard. He can drink five Dirty Bastards and still ride his bicycle home without falling off, and he’s the manliest vegetarian you’ll ever meet. He knows everything there is to know about IBUs and really is the best person to ask for a beer recommendation. He prefers the Wheatland music festival to Electric Forest and doesn’t care who knows it, but has also been seen subtly dancing to funk and/or soul on a lit Saturday night. Has a cat AND a dog and won’t play favorites.

 
Mulligan's

Mulligan’s

 
 

He’s the reason hand sanitizer exists, but that doesn’t stop you from hugging him for way too long. He only drinks PBR or Mulligan’s Stew and can tell you the difference between Industrial, Black and Death Metal. But only if you ask. He’ll buy you a round, but definitely skip your song on the jukebox if you have bad taste in music. Bad taste being anything he doesn’t personally like, that is. He’s unpretentious and wears a lot of black, but he’s chill. And he doesn’t mind if you’re wearing khakis. But he might point and laugh a bit while you’re not looking.

 

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