The B.O.B.'s Concert Venue Opening
The Gilmore Collection today announced plans for the next generation of its landmark downtown dining and entertainment destination, The BOB.
The multi-million dollar project will result in a new outdoor festival marketplace and biergarten facing Van Andel Arena, new dining venues and a concert and event space capable of holding up to 2,000 people.
"The BOB helped re-establish downtown Grand Rapids as a destination for dining and entertainment, but a lot has changed in the 16 years since we opened our doors," said Greg Gilmore, managing partner for The Gilmore Collection. "Our vision for the next phase of The BOB includes year-round outdoor activities, a high-quality venue where national and regional acts can perform, a biergarten and new restaurant offering our house-made craft beers and dining options that reflect more modern tastes."
The BOB (Big Old Building) opened in a historic grocery warehouse in 1997, quickly becoming a destination for those who live in and around West Michigan and for tourists looking for a dynamic and unique environment. Each year The BOB welcomes more than 700,000 guests.
The first phase of the renovation and expansion project includes a renovation of the space that had been Gilly's – located on the ground floor facing Van Andel Arena. A
new, as-yet unnamed concept will prominently feature a selection of craft beers, fresh oysters and other cuisine designed to be shared and enjoyed in a casual atmosphere; it will debut July 1. The BOB's other dining and entertainment destinations, including Bobarino's, Judson's, Dr. Grin's Comedy Club, Eve and Crush will remain open throughout the project.
A second phase of work will begin on the event venue, biergarten and piazza after ArtPrize 2013, with completion slated for June 1, 2014. The new event and concert venue will be adaptable to changing seasonal and weather conditions. The open design will continue to allow for The BOB to be one of the most-trafficked venues during ArtPrize, while hosting an even wider variety of private events, public concerts and parties throughout the year.
The biergarten and piazza will have kiosks for rent, allowing local vendors a low cost way to incubate their businesses and create unique food items and other goods.
"A lot has changed since we first designed The BOB in the 1990s, but the desire to share good food, drinks and entertainment with our friends has not," Gilmore said. "This evolution of The BOB will allow us to continue to be a destination from which anyone can begin and end their exploration of our city."