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just that since the diner’s opening on June 22. All but one of the menu items at the diner are vegan. The doors open at 7 a.m. and later in the morning, produce for the day’s menu is dropped off each morning before the cooks start prepping for the lunch service from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The diner is closed from 3 to 5 p.m. to get ready for dinner, dur- ing which time the cooks set up a whole new menu and prepare new produce from local farmers or the Fulton Street Farmers Market. You’ll find everything from raw to seared

Bartertown A

and spicy on the Bartertown Diner menu. Since opening, the most popular dishes have been the Raw Trash Plate, a greener, nuttier, tangier take on the Garbage Plate that origi- nated in Rochester, NY; the Thai-eque hoagie, a mix of broccoli, sugar snap peas and greens, sautéed in coconut peanut sauce and topped with crunchy noodles on a toasted baguette; and the Chickpea Melt, a mix of carrots, celery, onion, seasoned tempeh, mashed chickpeas, fresh dill and sweet relish on sourdough. Stop in on Wednesdays and you’ll see that the oven, grill and fryers are shut off and only raw dishes are being served. On some Wednesdays, nutri-

tion and fitness classes are held for donations. By Matt Russell

bout the only thing Bartertown Diner (6 Jefferson, Grand Rapids) has in common with the typical Grand Rapids restaurant is the fact that food is served to those who can get a seat. That hasn’t deterred many from doing

Devilyn Carver at Tip Top Deluxe

HOT BOOKER: Devilyn Carver


t’s not unusual for Devilyn Carver to start tearing up when talking about her favorite bands. “I just love bands like they’re my fam-

ily,” she says. That passion is why — in only two

years — Carver has become an in-demand booker for bands and venues. Currently, she is working with Tip Top Deluxe to book bands like The Ten Foot Pole Cats and Hellbound Glory. And if those names don’t sound familiar, they will. Carver’s knack for genre-crossing

bands came when she started listening to Celtic/punk band Flogging Molly. As she discovered more bands — such as Gogol


Bordello and Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band — Carver became involved in what she calls the “roots movement.” “We’re modern day hippies,” she said.

“We have a whole underground railroad that takes care of do-it-yourself bands.” And Carver plays a big part in that un-

derground railroad. On any given week, she can be found housing two to three bands. This involvement led her to form The Gold Light Project, a non-profit that stocks up on toiletries and snacks for touring bands. “I’m an überfan first. I love these bands,

I know what they need. I want them to think of my house as a safe haven for them.” That love is what keeps the bands com-

ing back to Carver — and West Michigan. “I can’t sing, I can’t play an instrument,

but I know what good music sounds like and I know what keeps people engaged.” By Lindsay Patton-Carson

HOT COUNTRY: Shelagh Brown N

ot only is country singer Shelagh Brown a talented performer with a rockin’ voice, she’s also an amazing songwriter. As soon as the Kalamazoo native knew country music was the road to pursue, she recognized the importance in writing her own music.

“I realized a lot of artists have been involved in the songwriting process; I wanted to make sure I understood

that as well. I want to make sure I am prepared to the extreme,” Brown said of the newfound passion. And with original songs like “Something to Cry About” and “Vu Ja De,” it’s clear she’s a natural. Not only is she recording her own music, earlier this year, she finished recording with country music artist

Josh Gracin. After winning a nationwide contest, Brown got the opportunity to record a duet with Gracin, which will be released this September on his new album. “I really feel like it could be a game changer,” Brown said. “This is an opportunity for my voice and name to

be on a CD nationwide; who knows how this could change my career. I’m just so excited and hope for the best.” And as for future endeavors with Gracin, she’ll take that too. “I’m up for anything. If he wants me to go on the road with him, I’ll say yes.” By Jamie Linari



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