A Sweet Surprise for 25 Ottawa

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Michael McKay Santo, or Chef Michael, as he prefers to be called, is bringing bold new concepts to Grand Rapids with the opening of his restaurant McKay’s Downtown. Represented by David Wiener and Ray Kisor of Colliers International, McKay’s now occupies a heavily trafficked area of the Arena District at 25 Ottawa. 

You’ve read about the ingredients being all Michigan-made and the upscale casual atmosphere. You may have heard about the in-house butchered meats, the “Steak a la sundae,” or the 1920s-era speakeasy-style cocktail bar. But there’s something especially sweet about McKay’s, and it’s a little-known detail to many. The restaurant will also have an on-staff pastry chef for another of Santo’s bold endeavors—a cupcake bar. 

Drawing inspiration from larger metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles and Chicago, Santo plans to take the traditional cupcake bar from cute to edgy. He says the concept is ideal for date nights, parties, lunches, apologies, late-night bargoers who would rather have a sweet than a hotdog, or simply anyone who enjoys extremely well-crafted sweets. But from the man offering blue cheese ice cream as a menu item, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that his idea is more daring than the norm. Hoping to create a sultry late-night experience, Santo wants to pair cupcakes with Leelanau Peninsula-produced wines like L. Mawby’s provocative brut rose, “Sex.” It’s a bold move for any restaurateur, though Santo seems undaunted by the idea, “Grand Rapids is ready to get edgy.

"It’s time.”

Source: Colliers International

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