Kirby House

    Business Stats

  • Greg Gilmore opened the restaurant in downtown Grand Haven in 1989
  • Dating back to 1873, it’s the oldest building in the Gilmore Collection
  • First began as a hotel in 1873 and has changed 11 times since then
  • Tim Riley, General Manager, has been with the Gilmore Collection for 10 years
  • Tim and wife Sheila moved here from the East side of the state, and have two children, Erin and Liam
  • The Riley family of 4, is really a family of 5 with a 20-lb. cat named Chang
  • The Kirby is haunted by Emily. According to Tim, “Whenever things go a little haywire, we know Emily is up to something!”

Kirby House

The Kirby House has been a part of Grand Haven for over a century and is well known in West Michigan for its rich history and beautiful setting near the channel in downtown Grand Haven

In 1873, for $50,000, Ed Killean and T.W. Kirby began construction for the Kirby House Hotel. Later, the hotel was known by other names including the Gildner

House, and in 1922, as the William M. Ferry Hotel. In 1945, it was purchased by Winston and A.J. Schuler, who established the chain of Schuler’s Restaurants. In 1961, the Schulers closed the hotel, removed the third floor and remodeled the exterior to resemble an old English Alehouse. In 1972, the restaurant was sold and renamed, The Grate Steak. Two years later, it became the Grand River Inn. In 1979, the restaurant changed hands and became Lord Peppermill until 1983. Following that, it was King’s Manor and Captain Charlie’s which closed in 1988.

After ten years of successful operation of his first restaurant, The Thornapple in Ada, Michigan, Gregory Gilmore and John F. Gilmore purchased the restaurant known as Captain Charlie’s. Having great intuition on what can make a restaurant successful, Greg removed the old English exterior, bringing in more light and creating an exterior that resembles the old Kirby House Hotel. To restore a part of history to the community, Greg named his new restaurant The Kirby Grill.

The Kirby House has added an upscale steak house called The Grill Room and a fun-loving pizzeria (complete with pool tables) called K2. Most recently, the lower level has been renovated to include a top-notch wine cellar (perfect for intimate gatherings). and a premier nightclub, Dark, which caters to fun-loving club goers all weekend.

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