Monday, September 22, 2014

BarFly Ventures announces plans for The Shrunken Head, a BBQ and tiki joint in downtown Grand Rapids

Written by  Paul Starr
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BarFly Ventures today announced plans to open The Shrunken Head, a BBQ and tiki joint, offering authentic slow-smoked barbecue, homemade sides, craft beer, wine, and tiki-inspired cocktails at 59 Commerce Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids.
The 5000 square foot restaurant and bar is expected to open in summer 2015 with an outdoor beer garden (pending city approval), a full bar, and in-house smoked beef brisket, pork ribs, chicken and other meats in a retro, funky “tiki lounge” setting. The tiki theme will carry over to the drink menu, which will include cocktails inspired by the great American tiki bars of the 1930s, 40s and 50s along with craft beer and wine.

“We’re going to have a lot of fun with this place. I’m a barbeque fanatic and have also visited many tiki bars all over the United States and elsewhere. I think it will be fun to marry the two concepts into one crazy place. ” said Mark Sellers, the founder of BarFly Ventures, parent company of HopCat, Stella’s Lounge, Grand Rapids Brewing Company and McFadden’s. “The interior will be designed by Bamboo Ben, a well-known tiki bar designer in Huntington Beach, Calif., who has designed tiki bars all over the United States, including Todd Rundgren’s tiki bar in Hawaii. There will be a lot of original artwork, a retro look, and some other fun surprises for people. And of course, authentic slow-cooked BBQ.”

BarFly is expected to invest about $1.5 million into renovating 59 Commerce, creating 75 new jobs at The Shrunken Head. The bar will be next door to Stella’s Lounge, home of award-winning giant-stuffed burgers, 250+ whiskeys, and a retro arcade. As with all BarFly Ventures restaurants, The Shrunken Head will implement a sustainability program to minimize waste. At BarFly’s other establishments recycling and composting has eliminated 90 percent of landfill and incinerator-bound waste.

Follow the progress of The Shrunken Head on Facebook and, soon, at

About BarFly Ventures
Founded in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 2008, BarFly Ventures is the parent company of HopCat, a craft beer bar named “No. 3 Beer Bar on Planet Earth” by Beer Advocate Magazine, One of America’s Best 5 Beer Bars by and “No. 1 Brewpub in the United States” by HopCat has locations in Grand Rapids, East Lansing and Indianapolis with new locations under construction in Detroit and Ann Arbor. BarFly also owns and operates Stella’s Lounge, a whiskey and retro-arcade bar in Grand Rapids with Giant Stuffed Burgers named “Best in America” by GQ Magazine. BarFly also owns the award-winning Grand Rapids Brewing Company, Michigan’s only certified organic brewery, and McFadden’s Restaurant & Saloon, host of Irish on Ionia, Michigan’s largest St. Patrick’s Day Street Party.
Paul Starr

Paul Starr

Paul Starr is the creator of the I'm a Beer Hound and one of the organizer and the driving force behind Art & Craft Beerfest, Lansing Beer Fest, Beerfest at the Ballpark Spring & Fall. When he's not working on Beer Hound he's probably watching the Lions, Tigers or Red Wings. Being a recent new Dad of twins, he doesn't have much extra time these days for mischief.