UPDATE: A while back, I drove by Arcadia Ales, and noticed a LOT of activity on the property. Lots of vehicles in the parking lot, the landscaping was getting a touchup, and the lights inside had been on more often.

But Arcadia Ales had been closed for quite some time, so it was curious that SO MUCH had been happening. (Because it was made clear by Arcadia Ales, they were not returning.)

Despite my investigations early on, no answers could be given, because no one was talking to me. I was only left with images of fresh-cut greenery, and the visual of recently cleaned floors through the building's front windows.

But things changed a few weeks ago, when I noticed a "Now Hiring" sign hung up over the window above the front door. Something WAS happening at Arcadia Ales. I wasn't crazy.

I stopped by to see if anyone was there to update me, but when I happened to drive by, the door was locked, and no one was inside. HOWEVER, new signage appeared on the door.

"We are not in right now, but please visit tbirdkzoo.com to fill out an application.
"ThunderBird"
"We are hiring for all positions."

This is awesome news... I think.

And I say "I think," because aside from "we're hiring," and a name for the restaurant that's apparently coming in there... we have NO other information. There isn't a ThunderBird chain of restaurants, so this seems like a one-off.

We know paperwork has been filed to the city for the restaurant to open, but that's about where the trail runs cold.

So for now, the update is small, but still exciting... and also confusing, as literally NONE of the signage has been changed. But at least something is happening I guess.


 

ORIGINAL STORY - I drive by Arcadia Ales in Kalamazoo nearly every day, and when I first moved to town, thought it looked like a pretty cool spot to hang out one night.

Turns out, it's not, because it's closed, and has been for a while. BUT, over the past few months, I've noticed a few things happening around the property. That of course, begs the question... what's happening at Arcadia Ales in Kalamazoo?

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My first hint at something happening was probably in late September. As I was headed home from work, I noticed a large dumpster had been placed in the parking lot, and there were a couple of cars in the parking lot. The next day, a half-dozen cars were there, with people working diligently inside and out of the building.

All the lights were on inside, and at least three or four people were outside cleaning up the landscaping.

A week later, I got curious and stopped by to see what had been done. If I didn't already know it was closed permanently, you couldn't have convinced me it wasn't just a day they weren't open.

The property was immaculate, the inside looked like they'd just cleaned up from the night before. Over the next couple of months, I'd see the occasional few vehicles parked outside, and people roaming around inside. But still, no indication as to WHAT was happening.

No new signs, no additions to the property, and no one was moving anything in or out. Just the same old "no trespassing" signs on the front door and window.

Meatball/TSM
Meatball/TSM
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So... WHAT THE HELL is happening at the old Arcadia Ales building?

Unfortunately, I don't have a solid answer. I do know, at one time, another restaurant chain, or restaurant group was considering buying it. But my understanding is, that was either just before, or during the Pandemic, which means the sale likely fell through or at least got put on pause.

It's also worth pointing out, that Shorts Brewing, out of Bellaire, MI, bought out all of Arcadia's recipes. A curious thing for a brewery in the northern part of the lower peninsula to do, without intentions to expand to the south.

One thing's for sure, whatever DOES go in there, I hope it's at least another brewery or cool restaurant. It's in a unique spot in town, right on the river, with beautiful views of downtown and the Kalamazoo River right outside its back door on the patio. And from what I could tell through the windows, it looks like a pretty cool spot on the inside.

Who knows, maybe I'll win the lottery and buy the place myself, turn it into my personal hangout, and you're ALL invited! (No, seriously... if that ever happened, we're partying until the end of the world... on me.)

But until some major sign presents itself, all we can do is speculate as to what it will be. Another brewery? Restaurant? Dispensary? Dollar General? My New Personal Man-Cave?

Only time will tell.

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