Reservations being accepted for new Tiki-themed restaurant in GR

Posted at 6:53 AM, Oct 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-15 10:51:23-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The door to a tropical paradise opens in downtown Grand Rapids on Saturday, Oct. 19.

Max’s South Seas Hideaway, a monumental new tiki-themed restaurant, 58 Ionia Ave. SW in Grand Rapids, will welcome its first guests.

A team of skilled tradespeople and artists  has spent months transforming the historic three-story building into a Polynesian Pop fantasy world. Max’s will also feature Mark Sellers’s collection of mid-century and modern tiki artifacts— one of the largest collections of its kind in the world.

“When you step inside Max’s, you’ll enter a fantasy world unlike anything previously seen in Grand Rapids,” said Mark Sellers, the creative visionary behind TikiCat in Kansas City, Missouri — named Best Tiki Bar in the World in 2017 by

“Everything from the music, to the service, tropical cocktails, artwork, and gourmet food is being created to transport guests to a place far from their day-to-day life. Our goal is for people to forget the outside world exists, if only for an hour or two.”

Guests will have a variety of fully immersive dining and drinking options: at one of three custom bars, inside one of several semi-private tiki huts, in an intimate dining room, or in one of two private dining areas.

“Max’s will be the largest-scale tiki restaurant to open anywhere in the world in decades, and will put Grand Rapids on the map for ‘tiki tourists’ and fans around the world,” said Martin Cate, who owns several other award-winning tiki bars including Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco, Hale Pele in Portland, Oregon, Lost Lake in Chicago, and False Idol in San Diego. “More importantly, we want Max’s to serve as a ‘hidden paradise' for our local guests to enjoy with friends and family.”

Later this year, Max’s will also open its own ceramic studio where custom-designed tiki mugs and other ceramic items will be manufactured for sale inside the restaurant and through Max’s online store.

The opportunity to hideaway at Max’s will be extended further in 2020, when a boutique tiki-themed hotel opens on its third floor.

Max’s will be open 4 p.m.-midnight Sunday through Thursday, and 4 p.m.-2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Dining reservations will be accepted online via MaxsTiki.combeginning at 5 a.m. Sept. 17. Reservations are highly recommended, but not required.