Brunch in a beverage? You can get that at Rockwell Republic on the weekend.
Or guests can roll in for mid-day and end-of-the-night happy hours, an expansive food menu available late into the night and an around-the-clock imaginative lineup of local beer and craft cocktails.
It’s that sort of creativity and desire to cater to customers that has built a dedicated following for the side-by-side bar and restaurant in the Heartside neighborhood of Grand Rapids. The appreciation for the dining and drinking spots, which expanded and then became a centerpiece of the city’s downtown growth for a decade, is obvious.
“The food is Asian American deliciousness,” online reviewer Montana Krukowski wrote.
“If you have friends who can’t agree on what type of cuisine to eat, this is the place to go. Their menu has so much to choose from,” Namchi Do said.
Katie Barcelona wrote: “Great happy hour deals, food and drinks are great and so is the atmosphere. This is one of my go-to places.”
Those responses to guests’ experience are what Jesse Tackett, Rockwell Republic’s general manager for three years, and his staff want to hear.
“We want to be the place that you’re interested in going to every time you go out because you can always do or try something new,” Tackett said. “Our variety is unmatched, from sushi to tacos to a perfectly cooked filet, you’ll find it here.”
Rockwell Republic’s setting is often discussed because of the distinct atmospheres each offers at 45 S. Division Ave. Rockwell’s feel is a lively Chicago-like gastropub, a spot to grab an after-work beer from the 30 tap handles, a handcrafted cocktail or a taste of one of the more than 200 bourbons that are available.
On the building’s other side, Republic’s scene is a wine bar/dinner house vibe where people can relax with a significant other, family and friends or business partners looking to unwind. The extensive wine list adds a something-for-everyone option.
The restaurants share exposed-brick walls, high ceilings, dark mahogany wood and eclectic lighting that fit either a casual night out or a hit-the-town outing. Rockwell Republic also benefit from the shared second story bar, and a roof-top deck to soak in the urban setting during the warmer months.
Tackett describes Rockwell Republic menu as Pacific Rim inspired with sushi, seafood and share plate choices, but the restaurants achieve a balance with a mouthwatering array of appetizers, sandwiches and entrees. Daily features turnover weekly, and the fare changes seasonally as the chef creates new dishes.
“The idea is to keep the mainstays, but at the same time evolve with something new,” Tackett said. “We keep it fresh.”
Now, back to that brunch in a beverage. Rockwell Republic’s “Massive Mary” has reached its legendary status as the best in Grand Rapids by stacking a quartered bacon cheeseburger beside a beer cheese dip filled pretzel bun and a stack of beer-battered onion petals. Positioned in a 32-ounce mason jar with a perfectly prepared Bloody Mary, the drink is the definition of a Saturday or Sunday started right.
“If you haven’t tried it, you need to,” Tackett said. “And once you have had it, you’re going to come back for it.”
Weekends also feature a Bloody Mary bar that guests can create the drink they desire, and the offering is one of the daily specials that draws people to Rockwell Republic.
Other specials include:
- Daily drink happy hour from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Daily sushi roll and share plates happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Monday: Wine 40% off from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. and live jazz.
- Tuesday: $6 Rockwell and Republic Original craft cocktails from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m.
- Wednesday: $13 pitchers of sangria 3pm-close and 25% off classic cocktails 9 p.m. to 12 a.m.
- Thursday: $1 off all whiskeys and all draft beers 5 p.m. to close and 50% off martinis 9 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Visit Rockwell Republic online to plan your first or next visit to the best of Grand Rapids has to offer.