Five Reasons to Visit the Wealthy/Eastown Area, Grand Rapids


While the Eastown area of Grand Rapids has always seemed to thrive in one way or another, a drive farther west on Wealthy Street took you to an area of many, many empty storefronts just over a decade ago. However, over the last few years work has been done to bring life back to this area, and now there are, what seems like, a million things to do and see.

You aren't going to learn about all of the businesses along Wealthy Street and in Eastown, because that would take a lot of space in the internet world, but you will find some highlights here that will be enough to make you want to visit, and keep coming back.

The Shopping

One of the most interesting, and eclectic places, in Eastown, is just off Wealthy Street, on Lake Drive. Spirit Dreams offers a wide variety of things to soothe your mind and soul, from incense to crystals, and everything in between. You can also get Tarot reading, psychic readings, and more done at their location.

If you enjoy a good thrift store experience, you'll find it right in Eastown on Wealthy at Flashlight Alley. The owner of this eclectic establishment, Alicia Menninga, is a familiar face to many in this area, and she always has something new in the store, including local art, vintage clothing, books, and records.

The Art

Not only will you find art in Flashlight Alley, but you can also find art galleries along the Wealthy Street strip. These include the Brush Studio and Company of Art. The Meanwhile Bar on Wealthy Street is also an excellent place to see some local artwork, and have a drink.

The Bars

The Meanwhile is only one of many bars located along the Wealthy Street strip stretching from Eastown. Both Mulligan's Pub and Billy's Lounge are very popular drinking destinations, for local and visitors alike. And, now you can also enjoy sports at the Eastown Sports Bar, next to Mulligan's.

The Music

Mulligan's, Billy's, and The Meanwhile are also also music venues, where you can catch both local and national acts. Mulligan's hosts their musical acts on their "Other Side" in Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Music usually starts around 10 pm.

Billy's not only hosts live music, but they also have dance nights with DJs, that are often themed, like 80s night.

The Food

One more reason to visit this district of Grand Rapids is the food. There is a very eclectic and cultural variety of foods in Eastown and along Wealthy Street. You'll find a few different places to partake in Pita's, as well as the famous hot dog place, Yesterdog, where Hilary Clinton just ate a week ago.

If you want to try something a little more healthy, check out The Electric Cheetah. It's a great choice for meat lovers, vegetarians, and even people that need a specialty diet, like gluten free. Get there early, they're always busy, because it's great food.

This is just a taste, no pun intended, of the things you can find to do along Wealthy Street. Come visit and discover your own secret treasures.

Yvonne Stegall is a Michigan-based freelance writer, currently located in Grand Rapids. She loves music, nightlife, healthy food, and the hustle of city life. Learn more about Yvonne at her website and follow her on Facebook.