Skip to main content

Todd Wawee, owner of the Holiday Bar, in partnership with Orion Construction, hosted a community happy hour reception from on Tuesday, Oct. 26, to commemorate the newly renovated 115-year-old icon on the city’s West Side.

General contractor Orion Construction completed the three-month renovation at the end of September, which included updating the building façade. It was one of several restoration projects managed throughout recent years in order to maintain the historic West Side building.

“We’re very fortunate to be here and serving our community in excess of 100 years on Grand Rapids’ West Side,” said Wawee. “From prohibition to a pandemic, we’ve seen our share of ups and downs, and we always find a way to rise above the adversity by staying true to the values we established over multiple generations as a local family business.”

In 1905, Wawee’s great-grandfather and Polish immigrant, John Arsulowicz, first opened the establishment – then known as The Ideal Tavern – on Stocking Avenue NW, where Arsulowicz Brothers Mortuaries is located. In 1959, the business relocated to its current location on 5th Street, and has been serving the community there ever since.

In the last few years, Wawee has completed multiple renovation projects in an effort to increase vibrancy within the neighborhood and keep pace with a proud West Side community.

Orion Construction President Brad Walsh was proud to facilitate this particular project.

“We’ve long been fans of The Holiday Bar – they’re a staple in the West Side,” he said. “When we learned of Todd’s recent push to update the building’s façade, we jumped at the opportunity. We’ve had success in other historic renovations, like the famous Corner Bar in Rockford, so we wanted to continue that tradition with The Holiday Bar.”

In addition to the updated façade, Wawee commissioned a local artist to paint murals throughout The Holiday Bar’s outdoor Bier Garden.

“From front-to-back, we’re breathing new life into The Holiday Bar,” said Wawee. “It’s a classic look that’s unique to the West Side. We look forward to continuing to serve our customers and the community for another 100 years to come.”

Featured Project

The Holiday Bar

Read more:
Grand Rapids Magazine: Happy hour to mark completed renovation of Holiday Bar
Grand Rapids Business Journal: Contractor completes renovation of Holiday Bar
WOOD TV 8: The Holiday Bar in GR undergoing renovations
WZZM 13: A favorite Grand Rapids bar is finished with its makeover
WGVU: The Holiday Bar

Related: WGVU’s Shelley Irwin talks with Orion Construction President Brad Walsh on preserving the historic Holiday Bar on the city’s West Side