Malarky’s

20 09 2008
  • 3210 Deposit Dr NE
  • Grand Rapids, MI 49546
  • (616) 808-2956
  • Website
  • Menu
Malarkys at I-96 and Beltline in Grand Rapids

Malarky's at I-96 and Beltline in Grand Rapids

After an amazing day in Traverse City, we headed back to Grand Rapids for the night.  We couldn’t find a hotel under $100 up north,so we came back as far as Grand Rapids and found a Red Roof Inn for not even half that much.  After getting settled, we both got a little hungry, so we hoped in the car and started heading towards downtown.  First, we wanted to check out Fresh Market, but it was too late and they were closed.  That would have to wait until the next morning.  For some reason, our GPS took us the long way back to the Interstate and we ended up on Beltline Road.  Just before we got to I-96, we hit this bar that looked like a chain, but wasn’t a chain we had ever heard of.  I-96 West was closed at that interchange, so we had to drive around and come back.  On the way back, we just decided to give Malarkey’s a try.  Really, all we wanted was a drink and an appetizer, so why keep driving when there was a place right here.

Once we got inside, Malarky’s again looked like a chain.  The hostess station was right inside the door in it’s own little room.  Through a doorway to the right was the bar.  To the left was the dining room.  We made our way into the bar and found a pub table along the wall, so we sat down.  A waitress noticed us and came over for a drink order.  I got a 14 oz. Bud Light and J got a frozen daquiri.  the waitress came back with a 24 oz. Bud Light instead.  It was only $.50 more so I just took it and didn’t say anything.  She tried to walk away, but we stopped her to put in an order of nachos.

While we were waiting for the nachos, we started looking around and noticed there was a lot of Chicago memorabilia.  There was a City of Chicago flag hanging in the dining room.  There were Sports Illustrated covers that featured Cubs, White Sox, and Bulls players hanging up and there were paintings of Navy Pier.  Really wierd in West Michigan.  If Malarky’s was a Chicago chain, it’s one that has flown under the radar in Chicagoland.  Come to find out, Malarky’s used to be an Uno Chicago Grill.  They dropped the franchise after the restaurant was established and started doing their own thing with hopes of keeping prices down. 

We never did see a menu for the restaurant so I have no idea what kind of food they serve.  There were appetizer menus on the table in the bar area and that’s what we were interested in.  After about ten minutes, the waitress came out with our nachos.  We were both surprised at the size.  The menu had the price at three bucks and this looked like a ten dollar nacho plate.  It was huge.  The pile of tortilla chips was covered in two types of cheese, chili, tomatoes, black beans, and jalapenos.  This plate of nachos did more than satisfy our cravings.  When we got done, there were still quite a few tomatoes left on the plate.  We could have done without those, but that’s our preference.

The waitress came and cleared the table then brought out bill.  The total was $11 which neither of us thought was bad for what we got.  My beer was $2.50, the huge plate of nachos was $2.99 and J’s drink was $4.99. 

We didn’t get into the menu and I’m curious after finding out they used to be an Uno.  I’ve eaten at the original Uno in downtown Chicago and was never a fan of the restaurants outside of the city.  An article I was reading said the owner wanted to drop the franchise because of the expense and he thought he could offer better prices to their customers.  I’ve never been anywhere where I could get appetizers that cheap.  The bar was hoping the night we were there.  There was live music in one corner and the bar, which sits in the middle of the room and has seating all the way around, was packed.  Malarky’s is the local answer to a sports bar.  It’s not a chain that used to be a chain that has the feeling of the chain but is not a chain and it’s exactly what we needed.  Had we stopped at Chile’s like we planned, we would have paid double what we ended up paying at Malarky’s.

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11 responses

11 05 2009
Nicole V.

I just ate at Malarky’s today for lunch! We sat in the dining section, and were very pleased with our service. I drink a LOT of water with meals, and this was one of the few restaurants I’ve been to that brought out another glass of water even before I had finished the first, which I loved. They had pretty good lunch specials. I got the chicken tenders, which came with french fries and a soup or salad. I got the potato bacon soup with it. All around, it was a delicious meal, and the price of my lunch item was about $7. Their menu is a pretty standard “American Food” menu, and they also had pizzas and taco platters. They also had this “lunch club” card, where if you buy 5 lunch specials, the 6th is free. I will definitely visit Malarky’s again!

27 05 2010
Breaking the Chain – O’Charley’s becoming Twister Rooster « West Michigan Business Blog

[…] See what West Michigan’s restaurant reviewer had to say about Malarky’s. […]

21 06 2010
STEVE MOSKETTI

BAR NONE,THE WORST DINING EXPERIENCE IN MY LIFE.
FIRST OFF IT WAS APPROX 7:30 PM AND MY WIFE AND I REMEMBERED WE HAD A COUPON FOR FOR THIS PLACE (BEWARE OF THE WAY THEY WORD THEIR COUPONS )SO WE DECIDED TO CHECK IT OUT.
WHEN WE ARRIVED ,WE HAD TO GO FIND SOMEONE TO SEAT US,THEN AFTER BEING SEATED,WE WAITED A MINIMUM OF FIVE MINUTES TO BE WAITED ON.WE ORDERED A COUPLE OF BEERS AND WAITED ANOTHER FIVE MINUTES TO RECEIVE THEM.(MIND YOU THIS WAS APPROX.7:45 PM AND THERE WAS HARDLY ANYONE IN THE PLACE (GEE I WONDER WHY).WE BOTH ORDERED STEAKS AND WAITED AT LEAST 20 -25 MINUTES TO GET THEM.MINE WAS FINE,MY WIFE’S WAS DRY AND TASTELESS.WHEN FINISHED WE WERE GIVEN OUR BILL ,FOR 2 BEERS AND DINNER,WITH A BUY ONE GET ONE FREE,,$49.00.I QUESTIONED THE BILL AND THIS WAITER WHO WAS A TOTAL IDIOT TOLD US VERY RUDELY THAT WE NEEDED TO READ THE THE COUPONS BETTER.THEN ON TOP OF THAT THEY ADDED A 20% TIP.GOOD THING FOR HIM,THEY DID,I WOULD NOT HAVE LEFT HIM A PENNY.WE HAD ALSO ORDERED A HOT FUDGE DESSERT TO GO AND WHEN WE GOT HOME,AGAIN THIS IDIOT DID NOT GIVE US ANY HOT FUDGE.
I WORK FOR A LARGE COMPANY IN ZEELAND MICHIGAN AND A MASS E-MAIL WENT OUT TO EVERY EMPLOYEE.BE FOREWARNED IF YOU WORK HARD FOR YOUR MONEY ,AND NEED A GOOD VALUE AT A GOOD PRICE, STAY AWAY FROM THIS PLACE

10 09 2010
Eric Kincaid

So what did the coupon actually say? 49.00 seems crazy. Was the coupon no good at all?

We ordered takeout pizza when it was still Uno’s. It was merely OK Chicago style pizza, and quite expensive. It wasn’t good enough to check out again. Since then, the terrible name Malarky’s has kept me away. It’s so bad it reminds me of the fake chain restaurant in the movie Office Space, Chotchkie’s.

9 08 2010
runningoutofsteam

We ate here this past weekend while in Grand Rapids for a wedding. We liked it so much that we ate there 2 days in a row. Food may have come out a bit slow, but I think the food was worth it. I had the tomato bisque soup (which is vegetarian) and salad for lunch. The bisque was WONDERFUL! My dad ate it the next day and agreed that it was great. We had great service both days. Prices did seem very good compared to what I’m used to paying.

8 10 2010
James Herst

there is nothing special about this place at all and in no way would recommend it, the food is mediocre and the serves is horrible.

17 01 2011
Jill

My husband and I decided to meet for lunch today. We went to Malarky’s on the Beltline because it is close to my work and we had a coupon from our entertainment book. We presented the coupon to our server before we ordered. The coupon was a buy one get one and clearly stated “Lunch or Dinner Entree”. We read the fine print and realized we each had to buy a soft drink as well, so we did. He ordere a grinder with fries, I ordered a 2 topping personal size pizza with a side salad. Both “entrees” over $7. When it was time to pay our bill our server returned with our coupon and stated, “my manager said you can’t use this cause your entree (looking at me) was off the lunch menu. I showed her the coupon where it clearly read “Lunch or Dinner Entree” and she said again, “my manager won’t accept it”. No where did it say BOTH parties HAD to order from either the lunch or dinner menu. And if that was the case, we should have been informed when we placed our order! Right????? Great customer service “MANAGER”. If you arn’t going to honor the coupons from the Entertainment Book STOP BEING PUTTING THEM IN THE BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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