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Tavern on the Square - Grand Rapids, MI | Restaurant Review

Better Bar and Pub than Restaurant


Restaurant Category : American (New), Bar

Tavern on the Square: Located in downtown Grand Rapids, in the home of the former Black Rose Pub, is the restaurant and bar Tavern on the Square. When we visited Tavern on the Square it was so new it didn’t even have it’s official sign on the building yet and as you could guess, it hadn’t even made it to any Grand Rapids city guides or Grand Rapids restaurant guides.

We stopped here for a quick lunch during a visit to Grand Rapids and we were surprised to find yet another new restaurant in downtown Grand Rapids. Tavern on the Square’s concept was pretty straightforward, “good food, good drinks in a casual atmosphere”.

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The décor was pretty typical of a restaurant/bar/pub; laminate covered tables, standard bar chairs with contrasting colored wooden seats, built in booth seating, bar stools and multiple TV’s, each programmed to a different channel (news and sports), suspended over the bar. There was also seating outside, which is always a plus in my book.

The menu was just as simple, with an array of sandwiches, soup and salads. The sandwiches ranged from a classic Reuben to French ham and cheese, to egg salad with bacon, to a Thanksgiving sandwich with turkey, cranberry, gravy and cornbread stuffing.

Tavern on the Square’s salad selection was about the same size, not that impressive. A couple that did catch my eye were the Polynesian shrimp and spinach salad, and the carnivore salad with grilled beef tips and bacon bits. The soup was limited to just two varieties, homemade beef and barely, and the soup of the day, a spicy chicken gumbo.

Our server was unhurried and came across as a tad confused and overwhelmed. Oddly enough, there were only us and one other table in the restaurant and we wondered why he appeared overwhelmed. His attitude was in the right place as he attempted to make our visit extraordinary, but missing silverware, an incomplete order and just painfully slow service, made it hard to thoroughly enjoy our lunch.

We both had the beef and barley soup and both agreed it tasted out of the can commercial. My Thanksgiving sandwich was filling and reminded me of the day after Thanksgiving, although, not as homemade delicious. My friend had the blackened chicken salad sandwich with almonds, apple, celery and onions; his rating: just average. When I am paying $9.00 for a sandwich, I expect a sandwich that wows me either in taste or at least in size. The sandwiches at Tavern on the Square did neither.

Overall, Tavern on the Square in downtown Grand Rapids is a place I’d probably go to again just for drinks or maybe some appetizers, but for a full meal I’d head to one of the other downtown Grand Rapids restaurants.

My rating for Tavern on the Square is an average, between bombastic and not.

What I liked: The server's heart and attempt to provide good service.

What I didn’t like: The servers actual performance, the average food for above average prices.

Rating: Between bombastic and not.

Tavern on the Square – Grand Rapids telephone number, address and hours.

100 Ionia Ave SW,
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 456-7673
Monday - Sunday,
11:00 am - 2:00 am

Read restaurant reviews for other great (and not so great) restaurants in Grand Rapids, MI:
Chop House Restaurant – Downtown Grand Rapids, MI
Green Well Gastro Pub Restaurant – Cherry Hill Area, Grand Rapids, MI
Republic Restaurant – Downtown Grand Rapids, MI
Six One Six Restaurant at The JW Marriot Hotel - Downtown Grand Rapids, MI

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