Promoters like to say that no two events are alike at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, just south of the city’s central business district. With several friendly indoor and outdoor spaces, including a greenhouse and a hands-on teaching kitchen, the lively center strives to offer a new twist for every event.
This modern, multiuse complex, built in 2013, generated new energy for the redeveloping area parallel to U.S. 131 several blocks south of the Van Andel Arena. The market seeks to nurture a healthier community and economy with its fresh, local food Market Hall, featuring more than 20 vendors, two full-service restaurants and a Market Shed space for artisan vendor markets.
Above the bustling hall, the second level’s large banquet space, greenhouse, garden room, teaching kitchen, two terraces and two smaller meeting rooms add to the flexibility and lure of the fun destination.
The iconic rooftop greenhouse can accommodate 150 people cocktail-style. “Our greenhouse is a unique, stunning scene for a ceremony, reception or private party, with the option of adding on the Garden Room next door for extra space or a cocktail hour. Inside the greenhouse, lush plants surround guests, along with natural light during the day and city views at night,” says Katie Clark, the market’s beverage and events manager.
For larger events, the banquet space spotlights the Grand Rapids cityscape through its floor-to-ceiling windows and terraces available as an add-on.
Having planned several events at the Downtown Market, Kaitlynn Lamie, co-owner of A Lovely Day, says “the Banquet room provides the perfect modern blank slate with neutral coloring and beautiful natural light, it's a space that can both stand on its own and be totally transformed.” The space accommodates 180 people at round tables and 250 cocktail-style.
For a more interactive twist, the Downtown Market allows groups to rent its multistation teaching kitchen for some tasty fun. These cooking and cocktail classes are delightful for celebrations or team-building events.
“Our chefs will take your guests through a full menu, a dessert medley or some specially themed cocktails, and then let the group enjoy the results of their hard work,” says Clark.
By offering catering from one of the market’s many vendors, providing lot parking for guests and allowing for customization of the spaces, the Downtown Market events team aims to take the guesswork out of planning, she says.
All of the market’s spaces and offerings are supported by its environmentally sustainable facilities. The state-of-the-art complex maintains a LEED Gold Certification with features green roofs and walls, LED lighting, geothermal wells, a rainwater harvesting tank, and energy-efficient walls, roofs and windows.
Downtown Market Grand Rapids
downtownmarketgr.com | 616.805.5308