I moved to Grand Rapids when I was 21 and after meeting friends through different sports leagues I ended up spending many Friday and Saturday nights downtown at bars on Ionia Ave.

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Fast forward to the present day, I'm now married to my wife Lindsey for the past seven years and a lot of those popular bars on Ionia Ave are no longer open.

Do You Remember These Popular Bars That Were On Ionia Ave?


McFadden's Restaurant And Saloon

Mcfadden's closed in November of 2016, 10 years after it originally opened. I remember many drunken nights after having a few shots and beers stumbling out onto the dance floor and awkwardly dancing trying to impress the ladies.


West Michigan DJ Jason Veeder was one of the last people to DJ at Mcfadden's.

Now in 2022, it's a place called Max's South Seas Hideaway

Ritz Koney Bar And Grill

Ritz Koney Bar and Grill closed just shy of its 10-year anniversary on February 23rd, 2015.

Kevin Ritz co-owner of Ritz Koney Bar shared the news on Facebook

Now in its place is a Mexican restaurant called Luna 

J. Gardella Tavern

According to Wood TV The Rabideau brothers owned and operated J. Gardella’s for approximately 24 years before the business closed. J. Gardella's tavern was named after the late John Gardella, a former loan manager at Aquinas College Credit Union who gave the owners their first business loan.

I miss all of these bars that were a huge part of my 20s. But If I could snap my fingers and magically have one of them back it would be Ritz Koney in a heartbeat.

Group of happy friends drinking and toasting beer at brewery bar restaurant - Friendship concept with young people having fun together at cool vintage pub - Focus on middle pint glass - High iso image
Getty Images/iStockphoto

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These are bars, restaurants, and places people in West Michigan miss

Gallery Credit: Big Joe Pesh

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