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About New Hotel Mertens
Mertens Hospitality, LCC owns and operates the historic New Hotel Mertens on its ground-floor on Oakes St SW in downtown Grand Rapids. Our second location will open as early as 2018 on the rooftop of the same building.
Mertens Hospitality is led by Anthony Tangorra. Anthony has previously founded, launched or led two other national hospitality concepts. One was nominated for best new national concept in 2012 by Airport Revenue News and the other won the award in 2016 and went on to win the Airport Revenue News Best Customer Service Concept Award in 2017. The developments at the New Hotel Mertens’ site is now Anthony’s sole focus and he hopes to expand Mertens Hospitality beyond Oakes St in the future, with a preference for revitalizing historic structures.
Anthony lives in Heritage Hill in downtown Grand Rapids with his wife and two young children.
Our building’s history
New Hotel Mertens was founded by Charles Mehrtens and opened to the public in early 1914. After immigrating as a boy from Germany, Mr. Mehrtens enjoyed success in the hospitality business throughout West Michigan. Immediately preceding the New Hotel Mertens project he was the proprietor and manager of the prominent Crathmore Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids. Mr. Mehrtens died in 1917 in-residence at his recently opened hotel after suffering a long illness. Immediately thereafter, his son-in-law Tom Luce moved from the role of full time manager to proprietor of the property. Mr. Luce managed the property for approximately three decades, during which the hotel enjoyed tremendous success. He oversaw a major renovation of the dining room and hotel in the early 1940’s that upgraded all facilities and was the basis for the business’ success immediately following the war. After his death in 1953, Luce’s son Charles took over the property just as the downtown core of Grand Rapids began to decline. With the closure of the adjacent Union Station in 1960, the neighborhood fell onto hard times and New Hotel Mertens was eventually sold. The following decades ushered in multiple owners of the hotel and it soon became a home for the aged and down-trodden; eventually being re-named Heartside Manor. Near the turn of the century the building became vacant and sat empty until Rockford Construction purchased and revitalized it. After nearly 100 years we are pleased that many of the original hotel features have survived and the new New Hotel Mertens team is proud to be able to rekindle the history of our city and our building through the medium of our brasserie.
New Hotel Mertens in the Community
Despite the challenges of running a new business, New Hotel Mertens is active in the community and supports two organizations; the Grand Rapids Historical Commission of Grand Rapids, MI and Killer Blues of Whitehall, MI.
New Hotel Mertens is limiting all charitable support to these organizations for the time being. If you’d like to contact either organization, please see the links above.