From malt extract to fermenters and cappers, the art of home brewing involves lots of ingredients and tools to wrap one's head around. That's why Ben, Nick, and Andrew, the three resident experts at O'Connor's Home Brew Supply, offer their expertise to customers crafting their first batches. The trio happily walks beginners through every step of the process and even hosts a seminar that reviews the fundamentals of home brewing. O'Connor's stock of starter beer- and winemaking kits likewise caters to first-timers. Once they're ready to graduate to more advanced equipment, brewers can browse O'Connor's extensive selection of products, which ranges from yeast and hops to bottling equipment and corks.
Fitness enthusiasts Jenny Quinn and Trista Parisian founded FLEXcity Fitness after realizing they shared a passion for helping others get into shape. Their innovative FLEX classes combine strength and cardio work by using TRX, treadmills, indoor cycling, barre, BOSU and more. The studio boasts that a FLEX56 class burns a minimum of 500 calories per session. See their FAQ page for more information.
Studio owner Ryan Cunningham, a guitarist for more than 20 years, shares lessons and skills acquired while he procured a degree in classical guitar and audio production with a minor in modern air mandolin. With six years' experience as the owner and sole instructor at Mercury Guitar Studio, Cunningham devises curriculums that guide pupils of all ages in whatever direction their musical interests may lead. In addition to teaching guitar and bass-guitar lessons for beginning and intermediate musicians, Cunningham records music at his studio and has practiced crowd surfing during performances with local bands.
Bellydance Grand Rapids teaches hips to shimmy and shake for the first time or for performance. Weekly classes and workshops focus on skill sets for individual levels ranging from absolute beginner to advanced. In classes, students learn arm positions, isolations, traveling with layers, and choreography with props, all in an environment that focuses on community, fitness, and empowerment.
The Elbow Room's cozy neighborhood confines welcome grub-guzzlers and fryer fanatics for spirited rounds of conversation and culinary consumption. Plop into a cushy green booth and sidle up to the menu, bedecked with a bounty of bar favorites that are served till 2 a.m. nightly. Turophiles can take leave from composing their Piave-themed opera and enjoy the dairy deposits of cheese-slathered items such as the chicken quesadilla ($7.25), deluxe chips and cheese ($7.25), chili-cheese-loaded fries ($6.25), or cheese pretzels ($7.25). The Elbow Room's savory wings ($7.25 for nine, $10 for 15) send poultry patrons aflutter, while the bacon cheeseburger ($8.25) impresses meat historians with its monumental merging of previously warring proteins. Vegetarians can opt for a large green salad ($5) or a garden burger ($6.75).
Allure Limo Service aims to make everyday clients feel like celebrities, ferrying them to and from events in plush limo buses capable of holding up to 14 people. Inside the roomy ride, passengers can sip BYOB drinks, make use of a wall-mounted TV, or simply laugh maniacally out the windows. Allure's air-conditioned buses suit a variety of special-event needs, such as transportation to proms, bachelorette parties, and birthdays, and the company offers discounts on excursions to its area business partners.