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Kelly’s Place

20 Coldbrook N.W. Grand Rapids  Had no bar stools, standing room only at the bar. Jerry Mieras owned it, before Jerry Don Pell owned it, the before Don a longtime waitress Eva Pospiech’s brother John Franzak owned it. 

Kelly’s Place 20 Coldbrook N.W. Courtsey Matt Weber Photo


Kelly’s Place was at the southeast corner of Coldbrook St. NW and Ionia Ave NW.  Ionia was eliminated when this building came down and Autodie expanded.

At least at one time, they would open at 7:00 in the morning to get the 3rd and the 1st shift people either on their way to work or coming from work. and closed in the late afternoon after the 1st and 2nd shifts stopped in.

Second & Third shift workers went there after playing softball ball where the Griffin”s ice practice is on Cold Brook Street. Several Rapistan people went after playing ball for a cold one.

Joe Rozegnal was a bartender and at Konkles and a bar on Michigan St. too. 

Terry Eno was a bartender.

My husband used to go to Kelly’s to cash his check on break time from Davidson Plyform . Peggy Van Leeuwen

A lot of bar’s that were close to the factories would go to the bank on Friday’s and draw out large portions of cash, so they could cash the checks of the factory workers, hoping they would stay and spend some money. Beason’s on Ottawa did it, Sand and Surf and the Wooden Nickel across from the Surf did it too.

My dad was apart of a group that hung out there called Kelly’s commandos. Jessica Parsh

Looks like it was Franzak’s in ’36. Not as catchy as Kelly’s. There really isn’t a name of the bar mentioned so maybe it was Kelly’s. Charles and Gertrude had it. It was John Kelly’s restaurant in ’24, maybe that is where the name came from. If John was anything like my Irish relatives the beer did not stop flowing in 1919. It was John Kelly’s saloon in 1916 so maybe the name did not change for decades. What a shame we lost that place. Pete Walsh

Jerome Mieras had it in 1973. It appears to me that John Kelly had it from the 1890s into the 1920s. Pete Walsh

Owners in Chronological order:

  • It was John Kelly’s saloon from 1890s – 1920s

  • It was John Kelly’s restaurant in ’24

  • It was John Franzak’s in ’36

  • Charles and Gertrude had it – Guessing the circa time line?

  • Don Pell

  • Jerome (Jerry) Mieras had it in 1973.


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