Remembering Grand Rapids’ Duck’s Restaurant
More great Grand Rapids restaurant memories as we remember Duck's! A great watering hole/restaurant that everyone went to, lunch or dinner, located on Michigan toward Fuller.
A few weeks ago I wrote about one of my favorite Chinese restaurants, Sun Sai Gai. What a great place and what wonderful food. Today, I stumbled upon this matchbook cover from Duck's, and the memories flooded back.
Duck's was the very first restaurant for me in Grand Rapids. It was 1969, and I was interviewing at WOOD TV8. After I had talked with the managers at the TV station, they said we want to take you out to lunch, and I figured, hey, this this thing must be going pretty well. I just might make it. We went to Duck's!
Gerald 'Jerry' Jelens was the restauranteur who owned Duck's for many years. It had been at 740 Michigan, since 1926. Sadly, closing in 1996, a sign of the times I guess, and reopening for several years as Kurly's Korner, a sports bar, and then briefly as The Avenue, a dance club, until it finally closed in 2005. As we know now, that whole area has been redeveloped into The Lofts with retail on the first floor and apartments on the upper floors.
Duck's was the classic restaurant of its time. You went there for special occasions as a couple, with friends or family. First course was always the relish tray. Mmmm, who didn't love the meat balls on that tray. Of course lunch was all business, business men lunches, that is. Many a deal went down over lunch at Duck's, with, of course, a few "Mad Men" Martini's!
Darn it! All I had was a Coke.....and a fabulous new job!
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