The bars beneath the beer you love, inside Beer City’s top bar woodworking extraordinaire

Posted at 10:47 PM, May 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-17 22:47:46-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- If you love craft beer and great food in Michigan, you're probably familiar with his work. But we're not talking about the latest IPA, farm-to-table cuisine, or even local art on the walls. Some of the best features in your favorite establishments are the work of one highly sought-after craftsman and his team. Tucked away in a southeast Grand Rapids building, you'll find Greenwood Studio.

While you enjoy a pint or two of Michigan's best micro brews, Marc Wiegers, owner of Greenwood Studio, makes some of the most high end bars that reside in some of your favorite pubs that put "Beer City USA" on the map.

"It seems like there are bars opening every week," said Wiegers.

1995 Calvin College grad and woodworker extraordinaire, Wieger's vision and design are behind some of the most beautiful bars and restaurant features in Grand Rapids and around the Midwest.

"The first project we worked on was Grand Rapids Brewing Company," said Wiegers. "It's work I love to do. The fun with a bar is you can conceptualize what the design of a bar is going to be."

"But you can't protect it from a bunch of drunk guys and a pocket knife," said Wiegers.

Wiegers and his crew have been in business since 2008, hand-crafting hardwood bars for Hopcat locations in several cities and states.

His team is currently hard at work shaping and sanding the future bar for the next Hopcat location in Madison, Wisconsin.

Specialties include engineering chairs and tables, bars, and complete interiors for restaurants such as Terra, located in Eastown, Grand Rapids. Greenwood's work is now in such demand, they're is often working multiple projects at once.

Other specialties include handmade kitchen cabinetry, to unique works of art like the giant mobiles he showcased in ArtPrize.

"It's always exciting to see a client's expression when you deliver something really unique or something they didn't expect," said Wiegers.

Greenwood Studios has even been called on to take their work -- wood, tools, and everything -- on the ferry to Mackinac Island where business is done quite differently.

"So it's a little more strategic," said Wiegers. "The bar we did last summer was right around the 4th of July when we got it installed, and they don't let any construction things out on the road."

To redesign restaurants inside the Island House Hotel and the bar at the Draft House on Main Street, they were required to use horse dreys instead of trucks to haul materials to the job site.

Whatever the job may be, Wiegers and Greenwood Studio are building the best of the best, and it's all made right here in Michigan.