The Rockford Chamber of Commerce could change the name of the bi-monthly After Hours events to Talk and Eat, which would be an apt description. Maybe talk and eat and enjoy an adult beverage. Anyway, the events are held every-other month at a Chamber member location, varied throughout the year to let members show off their facilities and products. Reds on the River has been a popular venue with the beautiful Rogue River as the setting for outdoor seating and plenty of beverage choices to enjoy. The food was, of course, fantastic. After Hours are casual events, so people pretty much hang out and talk, sample some great appetizers or hors douvres and catch up on what is going on in each other’s lives. Each event ends with a drawing and announcements. Membership to the Rockford Chamber of Commerce includes countless opportunities to network, such as the After Hours events, luncheons, Network Circle meetings, many committee options and annual events such as the Community EXPO.
Reds on the River
Wine Spectator announced recently that Reds on the River in Rockford has been awarded the prestigious 2012 Award of Excellence. As such, Reds will be featured in Wine Spectator’s August 31, 2012 issue, which hit newsstands on July 24. Award winners also are listed online at www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/47026. Reds’ summer wine list features over 400 wines and its knowledgeable staff also receive continuous training in order to be able to recommend wines for Reds guests. Reds also hosts a monthly Wine School (October–May) on the first Tuesday evening of the month. For additional information and a calendar of featured wines, check out reds-live.com or follow Reds on Facebook. Reds’ manager, Lance Climie, noted, “Our team works hard to find wines that are not typical or common and wines that are also affordable. The best wines are not always the most expensive. We are proud to be recognized by Wine Spectator magazine.”
Reds on the River partners with area nonprofits with gifts ‘that keep on giving’ When the hustle and bustle of the holidays has passed and families turn their attention to the New Year, one local company will deliver gifts “that keep on giving” through six local charities. Reds on the River in Rockford has partnered with the following organizations and will donate 10 percent of a person’s gift card sale to the benefiting organization requested by the purchaser. • North Kent Community Services (www.nkcsc.com) • Rockford Education Foundation (www.rockfordschools.org/?i=REF) • Rockford Relay for Life/American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org) • Wolverine World Wide Family YMCA Strong Kids Scholarships (www.grymca.org) • Friends of the White Pine Trail (www.whitepinetrail.com) • Rockford Area Arts Commission (on Facebook) Lance Climie, manager at Reds on the River, noted, “We love being a part of this community. We also recognize that many families are struggling in this tough economy—not just at the holidays but year-round. Consequently, we are lending our support by donating 10 percent of a gift card sale to the nonprofit designated by the purchaser. In doing so, we can help underwrite vital services such as food and clothing, utilities support, education, health and wellness, the arts and the environment.” The program kicked off November 15 and runs through December 31. Those wishing to purchase Reds holiday gift cards for family, friends and colleagues may stop into Reds during normal business hours and designate the organization they wish to receive 10 percent of the total gift card sale. Reds will track sales by each organization and send each organization a check after the New Year. Sandy Waite, executive director of North Kent Community Services (NKCS), is thrilled to partner with Reds. “On behalf of the nearly 19,000 visitors to NKCS in 2010 and almost 5,000 volunteers, we are grateful for Reds’ generosity with the holiday gift card program. We distributed approximately 620,000 pounds of food and more than 115,243 articles of clothing and household items last year to families in north Kent County, and the need for food, clothing, and utilities and shelter support continues to grow. Reds’ gift will help us meet this need—it is a gift that can change lives.”
Those of us lucky enough to call Rockford and northern Kent County home may have grown accustomed to the many positive changes in our local landscape over the past five years. But talk to a newcomer or someone who hasn’t visited in years and you may just view our quaint, Norman Rockwell-like town through a different lens. Rewind the tape and you’ll see much has changed: the picturesque Peppler Park in full floral splendor, a boardwalk meandering north along the west bank of the Rogue, a packed Garden Club Park and bandstand for year-round festivals, new family-owned shops, and the catalyst to much of the development, the Promenade building and river walk. Perched along the bank of the Rogue River, the Tuscan-designed Promenade was built in 2005-2006, replacing the inoperable Water Treatment Plant and creating an award-winning gateway to our city. On August 11, 2011, Reds on the River, located in the north end of the Promenade, will celebrate its fifth anniversary with special thanks to the City of Rockford, Rockford Public Schools, Rockford Chamber of Commerce, the Heart of Rockford Business Association, and the many guests it has had the privilege to serve since opening its doors. Glenn Forgie, Reds’ executive chef who has been on board since before the restaurant opened, noted, “We are extremely blessed to be a part of such wonderful community. There are very few places like Rockford with tremendous community support, a vibrant downtown, picturesque landscape, great schools, an excellent work ethic, and local farms offering organic fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy. The past five years have been tremendous, despite a challenging economic downturn, and we are really looking forward to the next five years—and beyond—in Rockford.” Since Reds opened, it has been a tremendous community partner and spokesperson for Rockford. Milestones include: • Voted Best New Restaurant by Grand Rapids Magazine, January 2007 • Winner of fine dining awards, Grand Rapids Magazine, 2008-2011 • Chef of the Year, Grand Rapids Magazine, 2011 • Voted #1 Outdoor Dining and Notable Wine List—Open Table • Founder of Heirloom Tomato Festival and Rockford Ice Festival • Co-founder of the Rockford Community Gardens • Partner with Rockford Public Schools for student internships • Active member of the Heart of Rockford Business Association […]
Family roots planted in Kent County fruit farming 150 years ago In the restaurant industry, timing is everything. Just ask Reds on the River Executive Chef Glenn Forgie. Forgie recently announced that Lance Climie, CCM, will be joining Reds on August 9 as Reds’ front-of-the-house manager. Climie’s arrival could not be better timed. On August 11, Reds will celebrate its fifth anniversary. Climie’s more than 25 years of experience and management expertise “will take Reds to the next level ,” according to Forgie. “He knows food, wine, and how to deliver exceptional service. We are so excited to have him on board.” Climie will oversee front-of-the-house operations, ensuring the service and facilities exceed guests’ expectations. “To become a part of this exceptional restaurant with its sophisticated and casual welcoming style, wonderful ‘from scratch’ cuisine and one of the finest wine lists in Michigan—well, I can’t wait!” commented Climie. “To be able to partner with a Chef of Glenn Forgie’s caliber and work in the spectacular setting that is Reds on the River in downtown Rockford seems like a dream come true. West Michigan has always been home to me and I am so excited to be back.” Climie’s family traces its roots to the Rockford area back to the mid 1800s. The original Braman farm is now known as Robinette’s Apple House, built by Climie’s great great-grandfather Harvey Braman. Climie’s grandfather, Russell Braman, operated his fruit farm on the corner of Hoag and 4 Mile Road. His grandfather also helped found Northview Public Schools as an alternative to either Rockford—where his mother, Mary Braman, is an alumni—or Creston in the 1950s. Climie’s family is all in the Plainfield Township, Greenville, Belding and Metro Grand Rapids area and is proud to return to the area that his family has been part of for 150 years. He and his wife enjoy spending time with their two grown sons and volunteering with various organizations. He loves to ski, golf and fly fish on the Rogue River.