Divani in GR for sale, looking for dedicated new owner – WOODTV.com

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids restaurant and event center Divani has been listed for sale.

Owner and manager Molli Kopen said after 10 years at the downtown spot on Ionia Avenue near Fulton Street, it’s simply time for her to move on.

“It’s been a great 10 years,” she said. “I love my team, but it’s just time for me personally to take on a new adventure, build something new for a minute, hopefully somewhere warm for a while. It’s just time.”

Divani was opened in 2002 as a wine bar. Kopen bought it from the group of investors that started it in 2014, growing it into a restaurant.

She said she has many great memories from over the years, like the annual team trip and New Year’s Eve celebrations.

“We’ve had a lot of amazing people work here,” she said. “It’s just the people to me. That’s why I do it.”

As she gets ready to sell it, she doesn’t want it to go to just anyone. Kopen said she’s looking for a buyer who has experience and will treat the team well.

Divani in downtown Grand Rapids. (April 4, 2024)
Divani in downtown Grand Rapids. (April 4, 2024)

“I just really want someone that sees the vision that we’ve created and not only can maintain that, (but) wants to elevate that. Someone that wants to do different things, have wine dinners more often, do the retail wine that we’re licensed to do, sell retail wine, Sunday brunches, things of that nature. And I just don’t do any of that because I’m old,” she said with a laugh.

She said she has had a few interested buyers. Whether she finds a good buyer or makes the decision to close, her last day at Divani will be Dec. 31, she said, adding, “It’s going to be an amazing New Year’s Eve. Going out a little crazy.”

Her staff has known she’s leaving for more than a year and has been very supportive, as has the community.

“I just greatly appreciate the opportunity that I’ve had to do this with some amazing people and create some amazing memories. That’s been great,” she said. “I’ll be sad about it. But you know, 10 years, it’s a long time committed to one thing. … Hopefully everyone will come visit me at my next venture once I figure it out.”

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