Seasonal Grille’s owner, Justin Straube, always dreamed of opening his own eatery that embraced a simple concept: fresh, local food that changed along with the seasons. “I envisioned a restaurant where new menus would come out as the seasons would change, and it would feature seasonally fresh items and I’d get locally what I could,” he told Elizabeth Clark of the Grand Rapids Press in a 2010 interview. The menu—which features sausage, sauces, and other ingredients that are made in-house—is anchored by a collection of Italian classics, including lasagna, ravioli, chicken marsala, and oven-borne pizzas topped with pepperoni, sun-dried tomatoes, pepperoncini, and pesto. Seasonal dishes complement these staples, as does a full fleet of wines from Italy, Spain, Argentina, Australia, and the United States that features robust flavor profiles and the ability to say “corkscrew” in three different languages.
Mirroring the local inspiration he used for the menu, Justin also incorporated Hastings’s landscape in designing Seasonal Grille's location. He chose to renovate the more-than-100-year-old Hastings Press building, but kept its most interesting architectural elements: arched windows, exposed-brick walls, and an industrial-grade ceiling vent that whispers local trivia facts as cold air passes through. A new mahogany bar acts as the space’s centerpiece, with high bar stools providing the perfect perch for watching the live bands that occasionally play inside.