Posted in FOOD, GRAND RAPIDS by urbanmi on October 22, 2012

I just found out. I had not heard the bad news.

I was back in Grand Rapids for a friend’s wedding. During any return I must go to a few places Robinette’s, Yesterdog, Monarch’s Club, and the Kopper Top.

The Kopper Top made the best sandwiches in the city and most affordable sites for sandwiches in Grand Rapids. This was the only place to find a Muffaleta, and the only place worth going to for a Cuban.

It was an experience, a strange venue of kitsch and comfort. For my first visit, I knew nothing about it, I stumbled upon The Kopper Top with friends and we walked in knowing nothing. Then we ate, and came back regularly until life drew us away from Grand Rapids.

It’s failings were weird hours. I never knew when they were open, and several times I would drive to the Kopper Top only to find it closed.

Considered a well-kept secret. I will forever consider it a failing of mine to not assist in spreading the name of the Kopper Top. This is a massive lost to the west side.In the spirit of making sure a beloved Grand Rapids business does not go under (not to suggest it is in any danger) Go to the Monarch’s Club across the street. It’s the best bar in Grand Rapids. A well-kept secret is worthless if it means it shares the same fate as the Kopper Top.

The loss of the Kopper Top is a strike against the West Side. As Grand Rapid’s downtown and surrounding communities continues to grow and develop the West Side is being neglected (aside from GVSU territory).

Below is a sampling of photographs and Instagrams I collected to hopefully give a sense of Kopper Top’s atmosphere.



Posted in GRAND RAPIDS by urbanmi on April 1, 2012

Doing research on coffee houses for a current design project and happily discovered Madcap coffee was recognized as one of the nations best coffee companies by food and wine magazine.

i miss home.

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The Michigan

Posted in Uncategorized by urbanmi on February 17, 2010

At a bar in San Diego called Tivoli’s.

In this bar, is a grill by the name of Montreal’s

On their menu.  The Michigan.

It’s very simply a hot dog with sloppy joe sauce and chopped onions. This is not Michigan. I have brought this hot dog contraption up several times in conversations with friends and colleagues everyone is equally aghast.  The cook at the time had no responsibility for the menu and no answers.

Regardless of the offensiveness of referring to this dog as representative of Michigan, to define Michigan as any single dog is folly.  There are two distinct trends between the east and west side of the state.  The coney dog on the east side of the state with two major varieties in the Detroit Style Coney and the Flint Style Coney.  Their most significant differences are in wet vs dry chili sauce and the spice level.  Whereas the west side of the state is increasingly influenced by Yesterdog.

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