• Find a Tiki Paradise in Downtown Grand Rapids

     
    POSTED February 20, 2020
     
  • Find a Tiki Paradise in Downtown Grand Rapids

     
    POSTED February 20, 2020
     
  • Find a Tiki Paradise in Downtown Grand Rapids

     
    POSTED February 20, 2020
     
  • Find a Tiki Paradise in Downtown Grand Rapids

     
    POSTED February 20, 2020
     

Max’s South Seas Hideaway—a passion project for owners Mark Sellers, founder of HopCat, Martin Cate and Gecko, a renowned Hawaii-based Tiki and Polynesian artist—opened in October 2019. “Max’s [is] the largest-scale Tiki restaurant to open anywhere in the world in decades, and will put Grand Rapids on the map for ‘Tiki tourists’ and fans around the world,” says Cate.

The restaurant will feature Sellers’ collection of midcentury and modern Tiki artifacts and boasts three custom bars, several semiprivate Tiki huts, an intimate dining room and two private dining areas.

“When you step inside Max’s, you’ll enter a fantasy world unlike anything previously seen in Grand Rapids,” says Sellers. “Everything from the music, to the service, tropical cocktails, artwork, and gourmet food is being created to transport guests to a place far from their day-to-day life. Our goal is for people to forget the outside world exists, if only for an hour or two.”

Cate, who is the restaurant’s bar owner and expert mixologist, created the cocktail menu. Cate is well-known for co-authoring “Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki” with his wife Rebecca; the book won the 2017 James Beard award in the beverage category. Max’s will serve classics like the Mai Tai and Zombie along with specialty cocktails, all of which use fresh tropical fruits and juices, house- made ingredients, top-shelf rums and premium spirits.

The gourmet food menu from chef Joseph Peebles will include a classic Pu Pu Platter of shareable Polynesian-inspired appetizers, fresh seafood selections and dry-aged steaks, as well as vegan and vegetarian items.

Later this year, Max’s will also open its own ceramic studio where custom-designed Tiki mugs and other ceramic items will be manufactured for sale inside the restaurant and through Max’s online store. A boutique Tiki-themed hotel is also slated to open on the building’s third floor later in 2020.

Event planners often prepare for the worst, but one thing they likely didn’t anticipate was a global pandemic when selecting event cancellation insurance policies for their 2020 gatherings. Panicked planners began contacting Marcia McKinney, owner of Northeast Insurance Advisors, in late February and early March, but as meetings and events ground to a halt, they were already out of luck.

“It’s kind of like trying to buy homeowner’s insurance as your house is starting to catch fire... it’s too late,” says McKinney.

 

Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth is one of six recipients of the James Beard Foundation’s 2020 America’s Classics Award, which is given to locally owned restaurants that have timeless appeal and are beloved regionally for quality food that reflects the character of their community. Per the foundation, “Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth, a chicken dinner behemoth positioned between Detroit and Michigan’s summer lake destination, is decidedly on the beaten path. William Zehnder Sr. and his wife, Emilie, bought a former hotel in 1928.

 

Located in Oregon’s wine country, The Allison Inn and Spa is offering some new team-building options for meeting planners. Experiences include:

» Smith Teas Tasting: Claire Boyer, Smith Teamaker’s head of education, offers a hands-on class uncovering the exotic world of tea.

» Lotion Blending: Awaken the senses and heighten creativity with a hands-on lotion and essential oil-blending workshop.