New Hotel Mertens, a locally-owned and operated French restaurant located at 35 Oakes St SW, today announced the forthcoming addition of a bakery and quick- service café together with a restaurant and event-space expansion, scheduled for completion in Spring of this year. New Hotel Mertens also seasonally operates Haute at New Hotel Mertens, a rooftop lounge, on the top floor of the same building. Other than suspending weekday-breakfast services during construction, current operations will be unaffected, with construction taking place in an adjoining space.
Heritage Hill resident Anthony Tangorra, founder and majority-owner of New Hotel Mertens, noted the project will include an increase in the restaurant’s food preparation and baking capabilities with the creation of a new prep kitchen, also located at 35 Oakes St SW.
Tangorra added, “once the project is complete we will occupy the entire original first-floor of New Hotel Mertens. Unifying that space with its beautiful and historic tiled floor has been an ambition since our founding.” The tiled floor dates to the 1914 opening of the historic hotel, also named New Hotel Mertens, that once occupied the building in which today’s New Hotel Mertens is located.
New Hotel Mertens Bakery will offer all manner of breads and pastries baked fresh daily on site, including baguette and other French breads, croissant, cakes and breakfast confections along with breakfast dishes designed for the Bakery. For lunch and through the late afternoon, the Bakery will offer a wide array of sandwiches with house-made breads and a wide variety of house-made lunch meats, salads, galletes (a buckwheat crepe with various fillings most associated with Brittany in France) and other options. For dessert in the evening, the Bakery will offer house-made gelato and French confections and desserts. The Bakery will at all times offer coffee, espresso, tea and other beverages, including Mertens Blend coffee, developed exclusively for New Hotel Mertens in cooperation with Sparrows Coffee and Tea of Grand Rapids.
All of the breakfast and lunch options will be available for weekday delivery from the early morning until the late afternoon. And in addition to being an integral part of the restaurant, the Bakery will have a separate entrance on the corner of Oakes St and Commerce Ave SW. Bakery seating has been designed for lingering over coffee or meeting friends or colleagues, including readily accessible electrical outlets and high-speed wifi. In addition, the Bakery will provide an outlet for food and beverage retail, with New Hotel Mertens curating specialty French food items for this purpose.
The restaurant and event space expansion will add to the existing capacity of the New Hotel Mertens Brasserie. The new space provides accommodations for private parties, meetings, events, and weddings. In total, New Hotel Mertens will offer event and private party space for 20 to 200+ guests with myriad indoor and/or rooftop options.
Once the project is completed, total frontage will encompass one corner of the Oakes St/ Commerce Ave intersection, with the Bakery’s separate entrance at the corner itself. New Hotel Mertens will use this large frontage to add seasonal outdoor seating for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For more information, visit the bakery’s website at nhmbakery.com.
Ghafari // Concept Design of Grand Rapids is providing architectural and design services. Varnum LLP’s Novi, Michigan offices are providing legal advisory services.