UNION PIER — The Grove is now offering “American Fare with a Latin Flair” in the same historic building as the Gordon Beach Inn at 16220 Lakeshore Road, Union Pier.

General Manager Gypsy Martinez said The Grove has been open about a month in the space once occupied by Timonthy’s, and “People are loving the food.”

That cuisine, created by Chef Eduardo Penzates, includes three different variations of “a wonderful paella.” The “Signature” version features mussels, clams, shrimp, chorizo sausage and fresh veggies while the “House” recipe includes chicken, chorizo, pork shoulder and jicanna.

Other menu items include: Snapper Zarandeado; a Cowboy 20-ounce bone-in angus ribeye with fire-roasted jalapenos; Vegetable Paella (squash, zucchini, jicama, mushrooms, onions and peppers); Seared Diver Scallops; Chicken Mole; Moroccan Lamb Lollipops; Lake Perch; a Soft Shell Crab Sandwich (Panko-encrusted soft shell crab with remoulade, avocado, and fire-roasted jalapeno on a brioche bun); Mushroom Truffle Ravioli; a Grilled Caesar Salad; appetizers such as Fried Havarti and Pulpa al Olivo (grilled octopus); a House Clam Chowder and soup of the day; and sides like Seasoned Rice and Beans, Fried Plaintains and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes.

The family-friendly restaurant also offers a menu for children.

Originally from Cuenca, Ecuador, Chef Penzates received his culinary training at the Culinary Institute of America in New York and gained a wealth of experience working in New York City as well as with Cravings Catering (which offers a Cravings Breakfast at the nearby Lakeside Inn on weekends from 8 a.m. to noon).  

Penzates said his recipes are “Latin-infused,” but not duplicates of the food he grew up with.

The Harbor Country Chamber of Commerce performed a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new restaurant during a Grand Opening event on Thursday, July 18.

Member Services Director Kim Wendt said the Chamber is pleased to welcome The Grove “to the tapestry of culinary delights that we have in Harbor Country — especially in this historic location not only known for its lodging, but also for the finest in dining.”

“The community came to us with open arms — very supportive and happy that there’s a restaurant back in the building,” Bar Manager Mason Moore said during the Grand Opening.

He thanked everyone for attending and gave credit to the owners, servers, kitchen staff and others for making it all possible through their hard work.

“We’re very excited to have Eduardo and The Grove here, It’s been a long time and a lot of work getting this going,” said Zach Zitske, owner of the Gordon Beach Inn and Lakeside Inn. “He’s bringing something kind of new and different to the area.”

The Grove is owned by Maira Pinargote.

Dan Carrick (District Director for State Senator Kim LaSata) presented a framed proclamation signed by LaSata, State Rep. Brad Paquette and Congressman Fred Upton welcoming The Grove to Union Per and the surrounding Southwest Michigan communities.

Following the Ribbon Cutting samples of House Paella, Chicken A la Mole, Sweet Plantains, and Black Beans Mestre were among The Grove specialties offered to those attending Grand Opening ceremonies.

Martinez said colorful stenciling, decor and woodwork, along with new flooring, tables, and two spacious, screened in dining patio areas make The Grove a warm, inviting place to dine.

The Grove can seat up to 160, and Martinez said they already have bookings for private events such as weddings.  

Moore said different drinks are featured weekly, and Moore said a variety of wines, high-end Scotches and much more are part of the bar scene.

“Our signature drink is called The Grove — which is based on Crown Royal whiskey mixed with apple beer along with some other ingredients.

“We can make any type of martini you want, Moscow Mules are one of our specialties, We have something for everybody behind the bar.”

The Grove offers “Tapas & Sangria Wednesdays” from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. with a tapas flight featuring traditional South American fare (Ceviche and Fried Plaintains were among of the samples offered on July 18) and sangria bar for patrons to customize their own dining experience at a special price.

Summer hours (The Grove will be open year-round) are Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. Reservations are suggested. For more information, call (269) 934-9700 or visit their Facebook page.

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