Good food (re:spectacular food), good drink, good conversation - what's not to like? Working with 616 Development and local chefs, Eat Middle West was an experiment in the kind of experience that can be created with a healthy dose of collaboration and design.
For one week the lovely folks at 616 gave us free reign in one of their 616 Loft units. Using local furniture and art (and a fair bit of string), we turned a one bedroom apartment into Grand Rapids' stealthiest private eatery featuring a couple of the state's best chefs, Andrew Schudlich of Epicure Catering in Leelanau and Tory O'Hare of The Starving Artist in Grand Rapids.
And while the food was out of this world and the Michigan Made craft cocktails more than held their own, the greatest success of the run was the environment that could be created when people stepped out of their routine and next to someone equally as adventurous. The conversations snap/crackled and friendships were born. We learned a lot of lessons about the powers of shared experience and connection and how a design/food/talk mix can warm up even the coldest of January nights.