On Valentines Day 2009, Jackie's Place?which had been a Holland staple for more than 24 years?burned down in a fire. MLive.com reported that co-owners Ken Kragt and son Ken Jr. were devastated, but that as an "institution of the community," there was no doubt the building would be rebuilt. But on November 23, the Holland Sentinel had a more uplifting story to report: Kathy Kragt would spend that evening passing out free cider, coffee, and doughnuts to the attendees at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Jackie?s Place. With the new building construction completed, the local favorite was ready to return to serving the community its three popular homemade meals a day. Newly painted rose-red walls, framed photos of sunsets, and robot servers have modernized the restaurant's dining room. Though the decor is new, the homemade quality of the food hasn't changed. Veggie-packed breakfast omelets and strawberry pancakes segue into lunch offerings of deli-style sandwiches and juicy burgers. Dinner plates struggle to contain 8-ounce steaks and fresh fish filets beside made-from-scratch comfort sides of coleslaw and potato salad. Customers are also often seen walking out of Jackie?s with their loaves of fresh-baked bread, a complement to any picnic on the nearby Lake Macatawa boardwalk.
Named for the British prime minister’s official country residence, Chequers of Saugatuck pays homage to British culinary traditions with a focused menu of popular Scottish, Welsh, and English pub dishes, along with a few Irish staples for good measure. Shepherd's pie, Guinness stew, and fish ‘n’ chips all make appearances, as do some of Chef Adam Smith's American favorites, including crab-cake sandwiches topped with roasted red-pepper sauce. The bar harbors similarly Anglophile predilections. Taps release pours of Bass ale and Guinness, backed by a generous number of bottled brews from Yorkshire's Samuel Smith and Michigan's Saugatuck Brewing as well as Strongbow cider. Beer and bites pair off in Chequers’ two dining rooms, one modeled after classic pub decor, the other an elegant English tearoom but without the traditional potato guns stuffed with crumpets.
Beneath the baked bread and vegetable du jour of Restaurant Toulouse's signature cassoulet, pork sausage and duck confit stew with great northern beans, bacon, carrots, onions, and tomatoes into one simmering pot of flavor. The cuisine includes onion soup and a medley of pan-seared scallops and mushrooms smothered in gruy?re cream sauce. Bartenders also mix up an extensive assortment of cocktails, including Kahlua- and tequila-spiked coffee or the French Connection, a slowly stirred blend of cognac and amaretto over ice. Wait staff serve these feasts in a refurbished turn-of-the-century building replete with art deco?style posters and a wood- and screenplay-burning hearth, as well as a heated, enclosed patio.
Art never takes a vacation. That's the view of the creative minds at Hope Summer Repertory Theatre, who have staged high-caliber shows for the past 40 years. Each summer, the company assembles a corps of more than 100 thespians and staff, deftly mixing veteran actors with fresh-faced young performers to create an electric blend of experience and enthusiasm. That mix of tradition and innovation informs the season, too—productions run the gamut from contemporary musicals to updated favorites that shine new footlights on venerable texts.
The roar of cheering fans bursts out of Spectators Sports Bar & Grill?s 26 televisions and is joined in voice by the crowd parked at tables and around the bar. Helmets and basketballs adorn shelves overlooking diners feasting on burgers and charbroiled ribs dunked in barbecue sauce.