A new L.C. Walker Arena restaurant is taking shape, as Muskegon, MI officials have approved plans for a full-service sports bar and grill at the venue.
Over the last few years, Muskegon officials have committed to an effort to boost the event attendee experience at L.C. Walker Arena. Renovations within the arena have been credited with enhancing the fan experience for hockey’s Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL), and a new addition in the works could make the venue a draw on a year-round basis.
Last week, the Muskegon City Commission signed off plans for a new sports bar and grill that will be operated by local restuarant owners Andrew and Jennifer Harris. The full-service space will offer indoor and outdoor seating, access from both inside and outside the arena, and be decorated with a sports theme. It could open later this summer. More from MLive.com:
Andrew Harris told MLive/Muskegon Chronicle that the restaurant likely will open at the end of the summer season. The restaurateur also said it’s been a longstanding goal of his to open a themed restaurant in downtown Muskegon.
According to the proposal, Harris plans to build a single-story, 2,181 square-foot restaurant in a 3,500 square-foot space near the entrance of the arena. His group also plans to incorporate patio seating for up to 70 people and has an option to build a second-story mezzanine dining space later.
The restaurant is to incorporate local sports themes with memorabilia from area teams. Harris wrote in his proposal that the city can expect up to $17,488 in annual rent. The proposal also implies that the city would likely have to invest some of its own money to provide utilities to the restaurant, which could take up to three years to recoup.
About 1,000 square feet of the space will go unused by the restaurant, which [City Manager Frank] Peterson said likely would be occupied by a craft beer lounge and retail shop that also submitted a proposal.
The restaurant should complement improvements made ahead of the 2018-19 USHL season, which included the addition of a new beer garden, kid zone, and suites and premium seating. L.C. Walker Arena originally opened in 1960.