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/// LIBATIONS TOP 5Caffeinated Cocktails

SAN CHEZ BISTRO The Café de San Chez starts with flaming high-proof rum to caramelize a sugared rim. A holy trinity of Spanish brandy, Kahlua and Crème de Cacao follow and are topped with rich coffee and whipped cream. 38 W Fulton St., Grand Rapids;, (616) 774-8272

CITYSEN Sweetly bridging the gap between the holiday sea- son and the March observance of St. Patty’s Day is CitySen’s Nutty Leprechaun, a concoction of Bailey’s Irish Cream, hazelnut liqueur, Goldschlager and cof- fee. As the gold settles in the glass, the spicy alcohol penetrates the brain to delicious effect. 61 East 7th St., Holland;, (616) 796-2112

THE STRUTT With roasts from Kalamazoo Coffee Company and serious, Italian-style cappuccinos and macchiatos, The Strutt combines coffee shop and bar to make brunch better with a bit of fortifying spirit. A dollop of dark rum goes a long way, warming a girl up inside

and out. 773 W Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo; thestrutt. com, (269) 492-7200

ROCKWELL’S/REPUBLIC If an icy boost is more appealing, try stopping by twin restaurants Rockwell’s or Republic for a smooth and sweet Double Espresso martini. Van Gogh double espresso vodka is fortified with an electrifying dose of caffeine and the martini is balanced with Stoli Vanil, espresso liqueur and a rich splash of cream. Espresso beans finish off this decadent drink. 45 S. Division Ave. SE, Grand Rapids;, (616) 551-3563

MEANWHILE BAR For the impatient man-child in all of us, there is the one, the eternal Jagerbomb. Though available almost anywhere, we suggest the one at the Meanwhile Bar. Five dollars and a quick sling of the wrist is all it takes to start the invigorating elixir on its way to the bloodstream — just where we want it. 1005 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids;, (616) 233-1679

by Lydia Clowney |

BARTENDER MIKE LOPEZ heats things up while making the signature ‘Cafe de San Chez.’ PHOTO: LYDIA CLOWNEY


Wine School: Meritage Grapes, Separate and Together Reds on the River, Rockford Jan. 10, 7 p.m. / $30 / (616) 863-8181

Class includes interactive presentations and appropriately paired appetizer. Reservations required.

Bloody Mary Mix Off Old Boys’ Brewhouse, Spring Lake Jan. 21, 12-5 p.m. / Five tickets to vote, $2 each or five for $5 Proceeds go to the Spring Lake Heritage Festival

Old Boys’ is going bigger and better with its Bloody Mary Mix-Off. Not only will there be a heated tent and more room, but prizes will be awarded for the favorite Bloody Mary, Best Decorated Booth, Best Pajamas and Slippers. There’s also a 50/50 raffle, a live auction, live music and $2 drinks.

Sampling Saturdays with Sense of Wine Sense of Wine, Kentwood Jan. 7, 2-5 p.m. /, (616) 965-7308

Kentwood’s Sense of Wine opens its doors to tasters every Saturday from 2-5 p.m. Different wines will be tasted every week.

20 | REVUEWM.COM | JANUARY 2012 Tavern on the Square T

HE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE when entering Tavern on the Square is the sunlit bar. Huge windows face west and north, and the sun shines in to glance off the array of liquor bottles. But what sets this

happy hour apart from all the others? Server and de facto bartender Matt Rzepka says it’s because, “we have a great variety.” True, Tavern’s specials are much more wide ranging than the norm. Here, one can choose from many wines at $3 a glass and half-off the huge number of draught beers. Specialty martinis normally run at $7.95, but are $3 during happy hour. A hand- ful of delightfully small plates are also $3, a boon not to be missed when the options include soft pretzels with two mustards and intriguingly cinnamon-spiced, house-made sweet potato chips with honey-yogurt dip- ping sauce. Or try the boneless Buffalo wings, which go with a frosty pint of Hoegaarden White Ale about as well as anything could. At less than $7 for the both, one can even afford to disagree. With an almost conspiratorially helpful and friendly staff, spending time at Tavern can feel like

you’ve been instantly welcomed into a secret club, especially given the camaraderie between customers at the bustling bar. “[The crowd] varies from day to day because [happy hour] runs seven days a week,” Rzepka said. n

Happy hour at Tavern on the Square runs every day, 2-6 p.m.; 100 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids;, (616) 456-7673


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