Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Whitewater Grill plans opening Monday, Sept. 30

Whitewater Grill chef Joel Henry
The new, totally redone Whitewater Grill is set to open Monday, a little later than originally forecast but Chef Joel Henry says it will be worth the wait.

"I wanted it to be the way I wanted," he said. Excluding the kitchen, the restaurant has been remodeled from front to back. "We wanted to modernize it without making it cold," he said. Paintings, photos and sculpture by local artists such as Elise Wilding are on the walls.

At the front, there is a dessert and espresso bar, in the middle a tap bar and lounge, in the back an 1,800-square-foot banquet and meeting room. Next spring he plans to build a deck on the roof that will increase maximum occupancy from 140 to about 170.

Henry, 32, grew up in Traverse City, Mich., and it was there he became executive chef of Poppycock's, a local restaurant, at age 21. He attended the Johnson and Wales College of Culinary Arts in Providence, R.I., but thinks there is no substitute for working in an actual restaurant kitchen.

"I believe in old-school no-frills cooking," he said. No-frills doesn't mean no imagination, however. "If you're not creative enough, there's no reason to be doing what you're doing," he said. The new Whitewater menu will feature what Henry calls casual contemporary American food.

Hours will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, with brunch from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To contact him, e-mail whitewatergrill208@gmail.com. To find Whitewater Grill on Facebook, follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/whitewatergrill208.