Grand Rapids Public Museum Could Become the Next Social District
Social zones/districts have proven to be successful in Grand Rapids. It was started during the pandemic to allow outdoor dining when restaurants were forced to shut. Eventually it allowed patrons to purchase alcohol from a business and then take it outdoors and walk within the set up boundaries.
Currently in Downtown G.R. there are four social districts: Monroe North, Bridge Street, Center City, Heartside/Ionia. Soon, a fifth one could be added and it will encompass the area surrounding the Grand Rapids Public Museum. The museum's vice president spoke with FOX 17 and said
...we host a lot of events, both our own and rental events here at the museum, and we have beautiful grounds. So, as we began to think about this, we thought having a social zone here at the museum would be a really good thing for us to do. We are all about the community and being a place where we can bring the community together.
They've already filed for approval from the city, and if they get it, they're hoping to team with Holiday Inn which is next to the museum.
In case you didn't know, GRPM does sell alcohol in their cafe and they operate as more than just a museum. They also hold weddings, special events, and different cocktail parties.
The Public Museum is one of my favorite places in Grand Rapids so I would love to see this as a new social district, which I've also loved. Patrons aren't the only ones who've liked the zones, the businesses have too according to a city official
...because I think pedestrian traffic really brings out people.
He also told FOX 17 that the social districts are scheduled to end this November but could be extended due to their success and popularity.
Here's a list of all the social districts in Grand Rapids and other neighborhoods.