Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Scandinavian Inspired Beer Garden and Restaurant Seeks to Make West Side Home

Written by  Paul Starr
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The recently formed DIG Hospitality, LLC is a small, family owned Michigan based business focused on high quality, sustainably run food and beverage concepts that support local agriculture and producers.
Their first concept, The Sovengard, is a Scandinavian inspired beer garden and kitchen looking to make its home along the historic Bridge Street corridor on Grand Rapids’ blossoming West Side. Co-owner Lynne Parlberg says they will feature a “wide variety of craft beverages, honest and locally sourced cuisine, progressive company culture, and goals to give back to the local community .” The location, proposed at 443 Bridge Street NW, will include a 99 seat interior space with kitchen, and an additional 127 seat exterior beer garden that will highlight upcycled materials through a shipping container bar and pavilion, reclaimed wood for tables, bocce courts, and a living wall. This will be the first permanent reuse of shipping containers in Grand Rapids.

The ownership team will consist of Rick Muschiana, of Grand Rapids, and Bill and Lynne Parlberg of Frankenmuth, MI. Together, the team brings more than 50 years of hospitality experience to the project. Bill Parlberg has been a part of Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth, the nation’s largest independent restaurant, for forty years; working his way up from washing dishes to President and COO. Muschiana brings a diverse background to the table; having worked at establishments in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Grand Rapids. Most recently, his experience working with Brewery Vivant and Virtue Cider drew him into the craft beverage industry. “Brewery Vivant had a huge impact on the way I saw food and drink. Once you have that kind of passion and knowledge instilled in you, it’s hard to do anything else.”, Muschiana says of his time at the local brewery.

The Sovengard has a fairly quick timeline in mind, shooting to open prior to Artprize later this year. Currently, they are focusing on raising a portion of capital through an IndiGoGo crowd funding campaign. This provides a platform for residents to actively participate in bringing the project to life. “We’re hoping to make this a beautiful space for everyone in the neighborhood to enjoy. Being a resident of the West Side with a young family, we know there’s a lot of people that are searching for something other than just a bar. We’re hoping to create that.”

For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.sovengard.com. Crowd funding campaign info can be found at IndieGoGo


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.