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Beer O'Clock GR

It's 11.51am On Saturday January 23 And It's Happy Hour Right Now at 4 Bars In GR

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Grand Rapids Guides: Best Grand Bar Patios

Grand Rapids Guides: Best Bar Patios in GR

Oh my god! Did you feel that? It was…. warmth. The nearly forgotten feeling of warm air caressing the skin of Grand Rapidians is causing us to hope, in the deepest, quietest way, that the hellish winter may finally be at an end. And when it gets warm in GR (and by that I mean above 45°), it’s patio time. The city has some fine patios, and here we’re going to share our favorites in our fair city. So put on your favorite tee, it’s time to get summery and run down the Best Patios in Grand Rapids.

As always, click the bar name to get a run down of their latest Happy Hours and Daily Specials, directions and more.

And don’t forget to let us know in the comments, on Facebook or on Twitter (@beeroclockgr) if you agree, disagree, or want to punch us in the tender bits for missing your favorite outdoor drinking space. (Please don’t punch us in the tender bits.)

1. CitiSen Lounge

Image courtesy of City Flats Hotel / CitySen Lounge

Image courtesy of City Flats Hotel / CitySen Lounge

We feel like this is an overlooked GR gem. It’s a tiny patio — only about 15 seats — but it’s right on Monroe Center, and when the sun is out and Monroe Center is bustling, there is no place we’d rather be. People watching paradise. Just a note, for best results, go about 3:30 in the afternoon — once the offices clear out, all the action downtown moves to Ionia.

Get CitySen Lounge Happy Hours and Daily Specials »

 

2. Hopcat

The best patio at which to sun yourself in the city, bar none. In the late afternoon and early evening, when the sun hits this one just right — damn! It’s as fine a summer experience as you can get. Grab one of the couches on the far end, put your feet up and get a light refreshing beer. You’re not going anywhere for a long while. Bonus: great people watching when there’s a summer event going on at the Van Andel Arena.

Get Hopcat Grand Rapids Happy Hours and Daily Specials »

 

3. Winchester

Years after making the GR bar scene a bit cooler just by being associated with it, The Winchester continues to be the place to see and be seen by the yuppie/professional/economically ascendent cohort. A big patio with lots of seating, pretty people all over and close proximity to Johnny B’z in case you want something to chase the copious amounts that you’re drinking. Or you could try any of the Winchester’s damn fine food (if you’re listening, Winchester — please bring back the yucca fries). Now with Donkey Taqueria across the street (also boasting a very fine patio), the options for a warm weather bar crawl on Wealthy continue to improve.

Get The Winchester Happy Hours and Daily Specials »

 

4. Founders

Founders Brewing Co. Happy Hour and Daily Specials

Rendering via FoundersBrewing.com

What’s that you say? Grand Rapids was missing a hedonistic, multi-level, outdoor-bar-having, fireplace-boasting shit-fit-of-joy-inducing patio? No worries my friend. After their $25 million expansion, Founders Brewing Co., the gold standard for upping the ante in GR and among craft brewers nationwide, has filled that niche. If you haven’t been to the updated Founders and hung out on their new patio, do yourself a favor and go now. And while there, be sure to get one of their delicious sandwiches to have with your beer — they’re every bit as good as the brew. One of the Best Patios in Grand Rapids, without question.

Get Founders Brewing Co. Happy Hours and Daily Specials »

 

5. Brewery Vivant

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Photo: Steven DePolo via Flickr

 

Play some bags with your excellent Flemish saison or French farmhouse-style beer? Don’t mind if I do. With big, shady communal tables, a full-length bags and some of the areas best food for enjoying outdoors (medium-rare burger with house-made mayo, bacon marmalade a side of pomme frites FTW), Brewery Vivant is ridiculously good when the temps climb. C’est trés bonne.

Get Brewery Vivant Happy Hours and Daily Specials »

 

6. Derby Station

Derby Station East Grand Rapids

Look, the patio itself at the Derby Station isn’t itself all that inspiring. But the view is. If you’ve not sat on a beautiful summer evening and watched the activity in charming Gaslight Village, you are missing out. It’s Americana, reduced to a condensed vapor and huffed like gas behind a shed. And let’s be honest — East GR may be the fittest bit of Grand Rapids, which leaves no shortage of equal opportunity (hot) people watching.

Get Derby Station Happy Hours and Daily Specials »

 

7. Rose’s

This one’s a classic. A beautiful patio right on the docks at Reed’s Lake. Take a quiet stroll through Collins Park while waiting for your table, get a drink or two, and watch the ducks swim in the lake. It’s a really peaceful, beautiful way to spend a summer evening. Rose’s (as if you didn’t know) is a great date spot — hit it a twilight and the scenery sings. It could only be made better if it faced west for the sunset.

Get Rose’s Happy Hours and Daily Specials »

 

8. Mangiamo!

Another Gilmore Collection restaurant, we know. Cry us a river. This patio was stellar when it was Gibson’s, and the Gilmores have not done anything to screw that up. A beautiful century-old terrace overlooking manicured grounds. It’s begging for you to have a Negroni and play some bocce in the lawn. Dress up, enjoy the good life. And when you’re done there, it’s an easy mosey to the wonderful Pickwick Tavern to tie one on properly, since one good turn deserves another.

Get Mangiamo! Happy Hours and Daily Specials »

 

9. Cottage Bar

The patio with the most character in the city. A super-cool, kinda-European-y alley on the side of the restaurant. The kind of place that most places would put the trash bins, The Cottage turned it into a great little patio. If you can get a seat here, it’s the place to be. Weirdly, it also has little wood logos of local companies on the wall… sponsors?

 

Bonus Patio! Bar Louie

We know. We know. ‘A bar at the mall?’ We hear you, you downtown-living, smug, fashionable readers. Look, for us, the perfect patio has three things — place, price and people watching. We’re not going to argue that Bar Louie has the nicest location — it’s in the Woodland Mall plaza. But we will shout you down to say that it has some of the best people watching around. The mall brings together all kinds of people from all over the metro area, and they all converge walking by this patio. Couple that with good drink specials and $1 burgers on Tuesdays, and you had me at “let’s get drunk and eat multiple $1 burgers while making fun of passersby.”