Flat Landers Bar
855 Michigan Street NE
Opens at the end of January of early February
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The newly re-purposed building that once housed the mill operation for Miller Zeilstra Lumber Company is now home to Flat Landers, a new bar with a new twist. Dubbed a "barstillery," Flat Landers plans to open its doors by the end of January or early February.
Gregg Palazzolo, one of four partners in the business, says Flat Landers is a place were "custom distilled liquors are served."
"Eighty percent of our product will be our own concoctions distilled to our taste," says Palazzolo.
Flat Landers will serve its own whiskey, vodka and gin. They will also have local beers on tap and Michigan wines and ciders to choose from. Craft cocktails and 15 flavors of sausage will be on the menu along with side dishes like apple pie egg rolls, sullivan slaw and hobo pies. All food will be locally sourced, with Grand Butchers making the sausage.
The space has an upper level on the west side and a lower level on the east side. The bar is built around the existing partition wall. Almost all of the original interior has been preserved, which juxtaposes the finished exterior facade. Even the charred ceiling from a mill fire years ago was left as is to retain the aesthetic.
"There's concrete, chipped brick block, holes in the wall like it had been there 80 years or better and the neighborhood grew up around it," says Palazzolo.
Re-purposed materials such as corrugated aluminum salvaged from Wisconsin and century-old janitor doors from Michigan State University make up the interior cosmetics. The bar top will be white glass, illuminating a translucent glow. For seating, steel galvanized industrial chairs match the vintage salt flat racer hanging on the west brick wall. The women's bathroom is tiled in white marble with an overhead chandelier.
"The concept is new, fun. Service, quality and atmosphere: if you can do those things right you should have a home run," says Palazzolo.
Eric Tank lives with his lovely wife and daughter in the East Hills area. He is a photography enthusiast and supports local art, food, and entertainment.