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Tuna at the Grill Room (Kirby House)

The Kirby House

old-fashioned stores. It reminds grandparents of how things used to be, parents can get the candy of their youth and it’s new and exciting for the children.” Take your kids to Fortino’s and start a new family tradition.

When I asked what to do in Grand Haven, everyone said TIP-A-FEW TAVERN (10 Franklin Ave.). Part dive bar and part Mexican restaurant, the Tip has been a neighborhood favorite for more than 30 years. The water- front spot opened as a hotel in 1874 and was later called the Chicken-Inn before the Tip-A-Few moniker stuck in 1945. Lifelong Grand Havenite Steve Vink bought it in 1979. And despite having a sign featuring a beer stein, he began serving award-winning Mexican food. The tavern has classed itself up lately, but you can still get a stiff drink and a sloppy wet burrito for a good price, my pets. You’ll know why Tip-A-Few is a Grand Haven legend. After your meal, take a stroll along the Grand River on Grand Haven’s famous Boardwalk.

While on the Boardwalk, stop and get some dessert at CAPTAIN CUSTARD (211 South Harbor Dr.). Located in Bicentennial Park under the Riverview Deck, Captain Custard offers the creami- est soft serve and premium Hudsonville Ice Cream in town. Renee Page, her husband Bob and son Matt opened the shop in 2002, expanding in 2003 to offer sirloin burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken and fries. The chili cheese fries are a decadent treat, my peach. Captain Custard expanded in 2006 to three

storefronts and began offering Hawaiian shaved ice, along with real fruit smoothies and stuffed pretzels. Wait, it gets better. In 2010, it added deep-fried dill pickle spears. And in 2011, the Pages completed the domination of their section of the Boardwalk. In celebration of their tenth anniversary, they took over the final two storefronts to create the Boardwalk Food Court, home of Captain Custard. They now offer fresh sub sandwiches with plans to add a small retail shop. Despite an out of the way location, Captain Custard offers tasty

food with plenty of seating and views of the Grand Haven Pier and the Musical Fountain.

Seating is also available for PRONTO PUPS (313 S Harbor Dr.). For 64 years, this small shack on a no-longer-desolate stretch of beach has sold just one thing: Pronto Pups. This delicacy is not to be confused with a corn dog – the gooey, chewy bastard of the carni- val midway. First, Chuck Nelson and then his son Carl and family dip their Michigan-made all-beef dogs in a wheat batter and then fry them in 100 percent vegetable oil. The wheat dogs are crisp and light without overpowering the flavor of that warm wiener in your mouth. Get them with mustard, ketchup or naked. Some say that if your Pronto Pup comes with the ketchup on the right and mustard on the left, you will meet the love of your life. If the ketchup is on the left, you will die alone. But don’t despair, just order another Pronto Pup!

Pronto Pups

With your veins clogged with sugar and grease and salt, let’s fill your head with culture. Grand Haven’s PIGEON CREEK SHAKESPEARE COMPANY is Michigan’s only touring professional Shakespeare company. Founded in the summer of 1998, the troupe attempts to recreate the audience experience in Shakespeare’s time. That includes non- traditional theatrical spaces, universal lighting, minimal sets, cross-gendered casting (oh my!) and actors performing multiple roles in a production. Pigeon Creek’s gender-bending productions continue with its staging of Henry IV

Part I with an all-female cast. This epic history play follows the exploits of Prince Hal, who rebels against his father Henry IV. When famed soldier Henry “Hotspur” Percy leads a revolt against the king, Hal must choose between Sir John Falstaff and his ne’er-do-well friends and his duty to his father. The talented cast will feature Kathleen Bode, Heather Folkvord, Lindsey Hansen, Kat Hermes, Claire Mahave, Amy McFadden, Katherine Mayberry, Janna Rosenkrantz and Sarah Stark. Henry IV Part 1 will be performed at the C3 Exchange, 225 East Exchange St. in Spring Lake, Sept. 8-11; tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for students.

The CENTRAL PARK PLAYERS have been offering family friendly community theater since 1959. Built on a proud tradition laid in 1862 when local thespians entertained Civil War soldiers at the Ottawa County Courthouse, the Central Park Players cur- rently perform in the handsome auditorium in Grand Haven’s Lakeshore Middle School (900 S. Cutler). Upcoming performances include Seussical the Musical, scheduled for late November through early December, and The Effect of Gamma Rays On Man in the Moon Marigolds, Paul Zindel’ s Pulitzer Prize- winning drama about a dysfunctional family and how they cope with their difficult status in life that is slated for late February 2012. n

Grand Haven mavens should send comments and suggestions to sdfsdfasdf

Photos: Boardwalk: Brittany Jacques; all others courtesy photos




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