Geek Speak – Geek Eats: So Long Wild Beaver, Hello Eden Rock
The food situation downtown (or ‘sitch’ as the Kim Possible likes to say) seems to always be in flux. Every time I turn around, there is a different restaurant in a familiar spot, like some sort of culinary hermit crab. I wish some of those old restaurants turned into shops instead, but that is the subject for another article.
The latest roster change is an interesting shift: the Wild Beaver Saloon is now Eden Rock.
Apparently, those behind the Wild Beaver decided to re-brand the place for the business and yuppie crowd. A good move, given its location in Washington Square and proximity to the Capitol.
I always felt the Wild Beaver was out of place in downtown Lansing. Had it been in downtown East Lansing on the main drag, doing battle with the likes of Rick’s or the Land Shark when it came to separating college boys from their cash, well, it probably would have been a license to print money. For those unfamiliar, the Wild Beaver’s modus operandi was ladies in skimpy outfits serving food and tending bar. According to anecdotal evidence, the ladies would dance as well, or put on some kind of show like in the film Coyote Ugly.
I have already been to Eden Rock as many times as I went to the Wild Beaver: once. However, unlike the Wild Beaver, I will go back to Eden Rock. (I had nothing against the Wild Beaver mind you, they actually had pretty good nachos. It just wasn’t my scene.)
Eden Rock is a complete reboot on the bar, from the decorations to the menu. Gone are the skimpy outfits and risque themes. Instead, Eden Rock goes for a relaxing, beach bar kind of feel (something unique to downtown).
While the menu is not extensive, it is impressive, and features specialty pizzas (including BBQ Chicken, which I plan to go back and sample), and a rare item downtown: chili dogs. Yes, now that Dmitri’s and the Doghouse are no more, finding a chili dog downtown can be a challenge.
What also impressed me was Eden Rock’s selection of Michigan craft beer on tap. Several Michigan breweries were featured (and more was available in bottles).
Sports fans should take note, Eden Rock features TVs and a big projection screen, making Eden Rock a good place to catch a game, a drink, or a bite to eat.
Daniel J. Hogan is the Geek half of Ginger and the Geek. He judges places on the quality of their nachos and/or chili dogs. Read his comic and humor blog, Clattertron. Follow Daniel on Twitter, @danieljhogan.