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Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill Gives GR's West Side a Retro Vibe | Arts & Culture

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Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill Gives GR's West Side a Retro Vibe
Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill Gives GR's West Side a Retro Vibe

Written by Brian Edwards

An old bar on Grand Rapids' West Side has been updated to look ... retro.

The new Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill is a throwback to the ‘40s and ‘50s with live rockabilly music, Southern cooking and a retro look. Opened last weekend, the Tip Top is the brainchild of Ted Smith, general manager of the Orbit Room, and Frank Lehnen, who owns Rocky's Bar & Grill in the North Monroe corridor, as well as Monarch's Club and Mercury Bar on GR's west side.

The club's live shows will cover the gamut of Americana music, Smith says, including folk, blues, rock, country, rockabilly, bluegrass and some music that approaches punk. Smith and local promoter Ryan "Devlin" Carver will book the majority of the music at the club. Smith has been booking national and international rockabilly music since 1993, including an Orbit Room show last year by legendary singer-guitarist Wanda Jackson, the Queen of Rockabilly.

Carver, who has only been promoting shows for a couple years, will book bands that play punkgrass, psychobilly, speedgrass and other "weird mixed genres that fit somewhere between punk and country," she says.

But don't look for metal, pop, rap or electronic music.

"We won't ever stray too far from the core Americana music," Smith says. "It's not like you're going to hear country one night and the...

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