• MDRD Opens at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

     
    POSTED April 29, 2021
     
  • MDRD Opens at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

     
    POSTED April 29, 2021
     
  • MDRD Opens at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

     
    POSTED April 29, 2021
     
  • MDRD Opens at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

     
    POSTED April 29, 2021
     

The fare and flare of Spain has arrived in downtown Grand Rapids with the opening of the new MDRD, pronounced Madrid, on the 27th floor of the tower at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel (previously Cygnus27 restaurant). While the feel and flavors have changed, the unparalleled views of downtown and the Grand River means that this space still provides the best skyline dining in the city. Here, every seat is the “best seat in the house.”

Throughout the restaurant, lush colors and textures accompany whimsical accent pieces, gold-laden shelving, and pops of greenery that celebrate the culture of Madrid. The décor evokes an energetic “carnival” feel, with vibrant multi-dimensional custom installations by Muskegon artist Maddie Jackson. “Poses of the Matador” backdrops a four-tiered coliseum-esque seating area, while “Flourishing Flamenco” uses dozens of colorful fans to form the dancer’s skirt on the wall of one of the many private dining spaces. The entirety of MDRD can be rented out as well for a plated dinner of up to 80 guests or a reception-style event for 200.

Lavish cocktails and exquisite Spanish wines complement traditional menu items like paella, vieiras (scallops), cochinillo asado (pork belly) and pulpo a la gallega (grilled octopus) among many other seasonal items created by executive chef Stephan VanHeulen in what he calls his “love letter” to Spain.

“MDRD was a natural progression from the Spanish menu Cygnus offered,” says George Aquino, vice president and managing director of AHC Hospitality, the management company behind Amway Grand Plaza and MDRD. “We wanted to capture the essence of Madrid with this new design, so we hired the best in the business, Gensler Chicago, to interpret the ‘Rhythm of Madrid’ into the concept. What we accomplished is the restaurant’s ability to transport our guests into a refined interior space that reflects a modern Madrid restaurant.”

Dorothy Hecht was just 16 years old in 1937 when she waited on her first table at what was then Fischer’s Restaurant in downtown Frankenmuth, and ecstatically earned her first 25-cent tip. When she met and eventually married William “Tiny” Zehnder, whose family owned Zehnder’s Restaurant across the street, her happiness continued, and a legacy began.

 

With restrictions across the country in a state of constant flux, not everyone is ready to jump back into meeting in person. While some planners are eager to get back to “normal,” the long-term adjustment to new protocols and potential risks make some hesitant to gather.

While wearing masks and social distancing can help keep attendees safe, intentional design choices—such as including natureinspired elements and materials and plenty of plants—can also help calm attendees.

 

After 7 years of planning, the VanDyk Mortgage Convention Center is now open in downtown Muskegon. The official ribbon cutting took place on April 12, 2021.