Our network

News

Kava House closes its doors


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A staple in Grand Rapids' Eastown neighborhood closed its doors Friday night.

The mother and daughter behind Kava House are getting out of the coffee business. Their shop opened on Lake Drive 23 years ago.

Customers took to social media to say their goodbyes and share pictures of the Eastown business's final day. They also stopped in to say goodbye.

Earlier this month, the owners announced the sale of the business, first telling employees and then the public.

"I expected today to be like this: loud, and boisterous, and laughing, and busy, because that's what the Kava House has been over the last two decades," said co-owner Leigh Vandermolen. "It's kind of like a greasy spoon, a bar. That's the feeling you get. You get to know your customers really really well."

Fire contained to one apartment in GR high-rise


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Emergency crews had to scramble Thursday afternoon in downtown Grand Rapids after fire broke out on the fifth floor of the Weston Apartments.

At first, smoke could be seen pouring out a window, quickly followed by water from the fire hoses. Everyone in the building was evacuated, and investigators say the fire was contained to just one apartment.

"Our primary concern, right now, is to get 89 families that call this building home into their homes," said Grand Rapids Fire Department deputy chief Kevin Sehlmeyer. "Many of them, in the process of leaving, left all their belongings behind -- including cell phones. We have a mother that needs diapers."

Fire officials say no one was injured, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Grand Rapids-based tech start up expansion


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Tech startup Modustri is expanding their office space in Grand Rapids.

The company celebrated the expansion with a ribbon cutting Thursday morning.

Their new office space is located at Sissy's Sweet Shoppe's former location on Commerce Avenue. It's following a major strategic alliance with Caterpillar, Inc., which was announced this summer.

"Our strategic alliance with Caterpillar created the need to expand quickly, and we're hoping to double our numbers by the end of 2016," said Brian Steketee, founder and CEO of Modustri. "Creating a space that enables the most productive and collaborative work environment for our employees has always been a top priority."

Philanthropists, young girl honored at GR event


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Downtown Grand Rapids was considered a fitting site to host the annual celebration of National Philanthropy Day.

The West Michigan chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals honored seven people and organizations on Wednesday for their philanthropic work.

Hundreds of the region's leading philanthropists attended the event. Also in attendance was a sixth-grade girl honored for her generosity for the past three years.

Instead of getting presents for her birthday, she gives back to others.

"The first year, I wanted to do it for my friends whose dad passed away, so we raised money for their college accounts," said Aubrey Cohoon. "For the second year, we gave money to a center in Spring Lake, and the third year we did Make-a-Wish."

Downtown GR TGI Friday's closing this weekend


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Some surprising news late Wednesday afternoon about a popular downtown Grand Rapids restaurant.

The TGI Friday's at 50 Monroe will close on Saturday.

The franchise owner, Great Lakes Dining, said their lease with CWD Real Estate Investment will expire shortly and the timing was right to close this weekend.

All employees and managers were offered jobs at the franchise's three other TGI Friday's locations in the Grand Rapids area.

 


McFadden's to close, replaced with new concept


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- McFadden's has been a staple on Ionia Avenue for the past 10 years, but soon, a new concept will pay homage to its historic building.

BarFly Ventures LLC, which owns HopCat, Stella's Lounge and this Irish pub, announced plans to open a new restaurant called The Waldron Public House, according to a news release. It is slated to open at McFadden's current site, 58 Ionia Ave. SE, in February 2016.

The Waldron is named after the historic building will house it, which was once a hotel and jazz club. Its logo encompasses the gargoyles on top of the building, overlooking the street.

"I'm proud of the McFadden's team and all they have accomplished over the past 10 years," Mark Sellers, founder of BarFly Ventures, said in the release. "But a lot has changed in Grand Rapids since I purchased it in 2010.

3 arrested after woman carjacked


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Two adults and one juvenile were arrested after allegedly carjacking a woman Sunday night.

Police responded just after 8 p.m. at Union Avenue south of Fulton Street on a report of a woman approached by three men at gunpoint, according to a Grand Rapids Police Department news release. 

Authorities say they took her Toyota Corolla and other personal property. About 30 minutes later, the suspects were located on Crescent Street near College Avenue NE. Police then apprehended the men.

A gun and the woman's property were located.

No injuries were reported.