The Dog Pit hopes to stay afloat amid restaurant damage

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The owners of The Dog Pit in downtown Grand Rapids watched their business be broken into Saturday night as the damage unfolded on live TV.

Dan and Erin Oderkirk said they’re grateful compared to the destruction done to neighboring businesses on Monroe Center, but were still upset to see their front entrance shattered and money stolen from the register.

“We were just opened back up after the COVID event, so we just started to get momentum,” Dan Oderkirk said, his co-owner and wife adding they had been doing takeout for just two weeks prior Saturday’s riot.

“I walked around the front and my gut just dropped,” Erin Oderkirk recounted. “I just sat there and looked at it like what is going on, is this really happening?”

Like so many business owners and community members have pointed out, the two were grateful for help from complete strangers.

In response, they grilled up about 300 hot dogs and placed them outside for people who responded to clean up.

“I think by the time I got there, 90% of the cleanup from our glass had been cleaned up by people whose name I didn’t even know, so it was really cool to see the community support,” Dan Oderkirk added.

Unfortunately, despite their optimism, the couple is also realistic about trying to bounce back in the COVID-19 era.

“Without concerts and conventions and students and tourists and festivals, there may not be enough foot traffic down there, Dan Oderkirk said.

“And we’re already struggling,” Erin Oderkirk added.

They’re going to focus on more delivery service and other creative ways to keep the business going.

You can follow The Dog Pit’s updates on its Facebook page.