The Cottage is a Grand Rapids area staple that was established in 1972 by Earl and Marie Coon. The Cottage was originally a sandwich shop that catered to the surrounding factories, sometimes taking in orders of 300 burgers at a time. The Coon’s kept the business running and growing all the way up to 1952 when the restaurant was sold to Peter Varano. Under Mr.Varano, The Cottage continued to prosper and maintained its standard of great food and drinks throughout the 1960’s. The current owner, John Verhil, took charge of The Cottage in 1967, and the family has maintained much of the original design and are proud to be the owners of the oldest operating bar and restaurant in downtown Grand Rapids.
Over the last 60 years, The Cottage has also perfected the burger. Both the burgers and the chili are what brings people back to The Cottage because they are both truly one of a kind. The burger I tried was actually a limited edition burger created for the Grandwich competition (see link below). This behemoth was called the “Smokehouse Burger” and consisted of burger, pulled pork, jalapenos, Gouda cheese, lettuce, and barbeque sauce all served on a pretzel bun. This burger was one of the largest burgers I have sampled to date and certainly did not leave me hungry. I give this burger two thumbs up because it was cooked just right and all of the flavors from the pork and the toppings really gave it a unique taste. I would suggest going to The Cottage if you plan on going downtown for Art Prize in a few weeks because it is a fantastic Grand Rapids destination.