GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A new pop-up restaurant in downtown Grand Rapids is bringing guests a taste of the tropics without making the trip to Miami.
La Ventanita opened inside the AC Hotel’s lounge Tuesday, complete with a new outdoor dining area.
The menu includes Spanish- and Latin American-inspired dishes like crispy ham croquetas and a Cuban hamburger with Colombian-style fried potatoes, called frita cubana with papas criollas
Visitors can also sip on Pina Colada Milk Punch, a Smoked Manhattan or a variety of wines.
A company spokesperson says the new dining concept is part of a complete transformation of the hotel’s food and wine program to “enhance its guest experience.”
AC Hotel General Manager Ryan Schmied came up with the idea. A hotel official says Schmied was inspired by ventanitas in Miami, which are walk-up restaurant windows where visitors can order Cuban-style coffee and pastries. The hotel says it is drawing on the same vibe but with better drinks and nicer accommodations, including new sidewalk seating.
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted Michigan’s firsts AC Hotel to suspend services on March 25, less than a year after celebrating its grand opening at 50 Monroe Ave. NW. The hotel reopened Aug. 1 with new health and safety protocols, including hand sanitizing stations, enhanced cleaning procedures and air purification systems, and a contactless check-in option.
The hotel’s fitness center also recently reopened as allowed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Visitors to the gym area are asked to wear a mask when they’re not actively working out.