Business Stats

  • Established in East Hills in 2011 by James Berg and Patrick Wise of Essence Restaurant Group.
  • James and Patrick have worked together for over 17 years in the restaurant business.
  • Essence Group’s core leadership team have worked collectively (and passionately) for 12 years.
  • Jill Norris is General Manager, Patrick Wise is Executive Chef.
  • Bob Waterbury and Mike Sullivan are Chefs de Cuisine.
  • Winner of Open Table Diner’s Choice Award in 2012 and 2013.
  • Named “Restaurant of the Year” by Grand Rapids Magazine in 2012.
  • Awarded Grub Street’s 101 of America's Most Crazy-Awesome Desserts.
  • Famous for “Taste of Grove,” an exquisite three-course dinner for just $35.
  • Promote food transparency by providing customers with background info on where the food they’re enjoying is grown or raised.


Essence Restaurant Group is making earth to table a reality in the Grand Rapids community by responsibly sourcing as many ingredients as possible from local, sustainable and family farms for use in their restaurants. Grove is their tribute to the bounty of the earth’s harvest and how they bring artfully crafted cuisine to the table with impeccable service.

Essence Managing Partner James Berg says naming Grove was “more challenging than coming up with The Green Well. With the gastro pub, we knew what we wanted to call it years before we opened the doors. With Grove, we didn’t know until three months before opening. Thanks to our marketing firm, The Image Shoppe, and The Green Well Cartel, we found a name that appeals to customers and fits a progressive food restaurant.”

Executive Chef Patrick Wise believes the best recipes begin with the highest quality ingredients. That’s one of the reasons the culinary team at Essence, including Grove, source fresh, natural ingredients from local farmers. They not only use ingredients from Michigan suppliers, they develop ongoing relationships with them. They also take great care in food preparation to demonstrate their respect for how the farmers raise or grow the food. Visser Farms of Jenison, Ingraberg Farms of Rockford, Mud Lake Farm in Hudsonville, and Otto’s Chicken in Middleville are just a few of Grove’s providers.

Dining at Grove is truly the ultimate dining experience. Exactly what the Essence Group and Grove team strive to achieve for each and every guest. The creative menu changes daily and consistently features locally grown food that’s nutritious and tasty because it doesn’t have to travel far. Even the desserts and beverages are luscious. Ask your server for recommendations. Everyone at Grove is knowledgeable and friendly.

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