GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It was one of the hottest seats in town. Dining al fresco on the rooftop at Haute at New Hotel Mertens, with the sun setting over the Grand Rapids skyline.
Now the rooftop is void of any tables or chairs, and the restaurant is closed. But Mertens Hospitality has a new option for you. It's called 9th Street Steaks.
This concept was in the works before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the area, but the timeline to launch it was significantly sped up.
"It's been an incredible amount of work to move from concept to reality in a matter of three weeks for a completely separate brand, but here we are," said Anthony Tangorra, managing member of Mertens Hospitality.
Tangorra spent over two decades in the Philadelphia food culture and feels his team has done the highly debated sandwich justice. For years, purists have discussed and argued over who serves up the best cheesesteak in Philly — Pat's or Geno's.
"Consider us on the Pat's side of things," Tangorra said. "We like our rib eye chopped. ... and have an amoroso-style roll. Those things may sound like things that don't matter, but they do to a lot of people, including us."
Everything from the roll to the "cheese whiz" is made from scratch in-house, and the menu offers up some tasty fries, onion rings and incredible milkshakes. I'd recommend the chocolate shake, which uses real dark chocolate, authentic whipped cream and a fancy cocktail cherry.
You can order from 9th Street Steaks via GrubHub or online for curb-side pickup outside New Hotel Mertens, at 35 Oakes St. SW. The restaurant is typically open from 4-8 p.m.
Don't forget, you can support local restaurants by getting takeout or delivery every Tuesday until West Michigan businesses are back up to full speed. Share photos of your food on social media using the hashtag: #TakeoutTuesday.
Do you run or work for a local business that is staying open and is in need of customers? Tell us about it. You can fill out a simple online form, so your business can be considered for a future “We’re Open West Michigan” story.