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'We are so blessed': Caledonia Family Tavern celebrates 50 years of good times

The Tavern is holding several 'throwback' price specials this week to celebrate their golden anniversary
Family Tavern WEB 1
Posted at 5:41 PM, Jan 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-03 18:03:08-05

CALEDONIA, Mich. — The Family Tavern is celebrating 50 years of business this week, and inviting West Michigan to take part in the festivities. The restaurant and bar, which first opened it's doors back in 1972, is hosting several nights of live entertainment, giveaways, and several days where they will be doing throwback prices.

You can find the latest info on their week of celebrations at their Facebook page here.


"They say… what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. And, it's true, It does,” said Linda Vander Velde Monday, who owned the bar with her husband for 40 years.

It's been 50 years since Caledonia's Family Tavern opened their doors, and these days they are running stronger than ever.

Opening in 1972, the family would slowly purchase the buildings adjacent to theirs. One of the buildings was once a shoe maker's shop, another was a bank. In February of 1975, they suffered a devastating loss.

“There was an electrical fire, and it burnt this building down... It burnt the adjacent building, It burnt half of this block down,” Linda said.

“So, now we had to start from ground zero, and build up.”

And so, Linda and her husband, along with their three kids did just that.

“There were many, many days and nights that I wanted to just put my hands up and say, Alright, that's enough, you know, I'm done. But you don’t,” Linda explained.

She and her husband would own the bar for 40 years, until 10 years ago, when they sold it to their daughter, Jodi Vander Velde.

“I grew up here, so I think it was just meant to be,” Jodi told FOX 17.

She has since had the chance to make the business her own— hosting live music, live comedy, and all manner of live entertainment.

The tavern has become something like a second home for loads of people in Caledonia, and beyond.

“We are so blessed, because the Caledonia community has blessed us,” Linda said.

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