If Grand Rapids Bars Were Grand Rapids Girls
There are plenty of places to go to enjoy the nightlife of Grand Rapids on a daily basis, and those of us who have lived here for a while know that we often have to explain the different bars to new people.
So, we’ve come up with a comprehensive way to explain the bars in GR to your new-to-town friends by comparing them to girls we all know. You know… THOSE girls…
Her name is Kaylee, and she’s been to five bachelorette parties this month alone. She interns at a law firm all week and when the weekend comes, she just wants to dance the stress away. She carries foldable flats in her purse for when her stilettos get pinchy, keeps a bulk-bag of novelty penis straws in the trunk of her car, and drinks vodka/soda with a splash of cranberry juice. Her favorite song is “Cupid Shuffle” and she WILL “woo!”, unabashedly and unironically when it comes on.
She changed her name to Skyy when she was 13, and hasn’t looked back. She has an over-the-top obsession with the 90s and puts her art degree from Kendall to use by making prints of re-worked movie posters like Clueless and The Big Lebowski. Her favorite tattoo is a watercolor-inspired sparrow and she totally plans to apprentice soon. She’s really pretty. Like, really pretty. Her turquoise hair has faded to pea green, but she’s pulling it off.
She recently separated from her husband and is reinstating “girls’ night” with a vengeance. She wears denim skirts and strappy sandals with her halter top, but brings a jacket just in case. Her name is Jennifer, but you can call her Jenn. Orders three “Woodstinis” in a row and eats every single vodka-soaked raspberry before clapping her way to the dance floor to inappropriately grind on anyone in her immediate vicinity. She’s on the prowl and will correct anyone who calls her a cougar instead of a panther. She once followed Pop Evil on tour.
At first glance, it looks like she hates you. And she might. She bartends at a trendy place downtown and escapes the brodeo life by spending her Tuesdays on the Northeast side. She’ll give you $5 to put in the jukebox and really opens up about how Grand Rapids used to be, after her fourth shot of Jameson. She buys rounds for anyone she becomes best friends with in the bathroom, but you’ll seldom see her out before midnight.
Shay doesn’t walk, she struts. She came out to her parents in 4th grade and now that she’s 18, she really knows who she is. She wears snapback hats and boxer briefs, and asks if she can buy you a drink even though you have to technically buy it because she’s a minor. She’s been in a month-long fight with Starr from her freshman dorm. Starr has a gay best friend and goes to gay bars with her squad to “avoid getting hit on”. She gets mad when women hit on her, and doesn’t understand why you’re annoyed.
She only has an hour and a half between work and her committee meeting for the Grand Rapids Young Professionals, and dammit, she’s going to get a Cosmo and some crispy Brussels sprouts. Amy meets coworkers for happy hour at least once a week and never misses a Sunday brunch. She works so much that her business casual wardrobe has bled into her weekend wardrobe, and the only jeans she owns are actually denim trousers. Always leaves a business card alongside her credit card receipt and still has ombre hair.
She was in show choir in high school and has been chasing that feeling ever since. She volunteers at Civic Theater on the weekends and stages one-act plays at Dog Story once a month. Her name is Rachel, but you have to call her Chel because there are already two other Rachels in every cast. Chel wears meme t-shirts and pushes tables together for her and her twenty-five closest friends to drink Moscow Mules and quote movies loudly all night. She sings, dances, acts and will do nudity if it’s tasteful.