The Blue Dog Tavern is a newer restaurant in a historic corner of the Westside of Grand Rapids, located on Stocking and 4th Street. The building itself has an interesting history; it was originally a grocery store and later home to the City Trust and Savings Bank during the Great Depression. The building was later transformed into Frank’s Tavern and Beer Garden, which then became the more well-known bar/restaurant Kopper Top. The Kopper Top was a Westside staple for 40 years. The Blue Dog Tavern has done an excellent job of retaining much of the history that comes with such a storied building (bank vault door, copper from the Kopper Top bar, and beer delivery receipts from the 1930’s).
It is easy to get lost in the history of the building and forget the reason we visited the Blue Dog Tavern, THE BURGERS!! The Tavern had a great burger menu and made it very difficult to choose just one to try. I decided to order “The West Side Rodeo” burger which came with cheddar cheese, smoked bacon, and the Blue Dog BBQ sauce. The burger was cooked to perfection and definitely did not disappoint. Since we went to the Tavern with a fairly large group I was able to hear how some of the other burgers were and the one I heard rave reviews about was “The Olive Burger”. So, if you find yourself on the Westside of Grand Rapids and are in the mood for a good meal, in an interesting place, don’t hesitate to visit The Blue Dog Tavern!