After closing last summer following a fire, the Birch Lodge is finally back!

According to GR Mag the bar and restaurant at 723 Michigan Street is back open this afternoon (May 15) starting around 3p.m., barring any issues with their final inspection. The kitchen will open at 5p.m.

Owner John Jermstad told GR Mag that over the past ten months, crews have worked to restore the bar to what it looked like before the fire. So while the TVs, tables, kitchen and more are new, customers will recognize the same place they've been coming to for 18 years. Jermstad says you'll recognize the staff too, with about 90 percent of employees returning.

The fire happened early in the morning, July 8, 2017. Due to a quick response from the GRFD and GRPD, the building was not a total loss... but, the kitchen and storage areas were heavily damaged. Luckily, no one was injured.

The Birch Lodge is actually the place where I went on my first date with my husband, so it's got a special place in our hearts! We'll have to hit it up soon!

Welcome back, Birch!