Grand Rapids, Mich. — Early this spring, Harmony Hall will switch out their menu full of handmade sausages with one full of wood-fired pizzas.
The change responds to a demand Harmony Brewing Company Co-Founders and siblings Barry VanDyke, Jackson Arthur VanDyke and Heather VanDyke-Titus have received since they opened their brew pub’s second location in 2015.
Jackson Arthur VanDyke, Heather VanDyke-Titus, Barry VanDyke
“Since we’ve opened our doors at Harmony Hall, people have been saying, ‘Where’s your pizza?’,” said Barry VanDyke.
The Grand Rapids brew pub’s thin crust, wood-fired pizza is widely popular. It was named Fourth Best Pizza in Michigan by MLive twice and Best Pizza by Revue’s “Best of the West” Reader’s Poll twice.
Now customers will be able to get it on the west side of town, but with a twist that pays homage to Harmony Hall’s unique personality.
Harmony Hall’s new menu will share a selection of flagship pizzas with the Eastown location, along with a few of its own specialties. Where Harmony Brewing Company has its Eastown Folk Funk pizza, Harmony Hall will have a Stockbridge pizza “that has actually got mustard and kapusta on it, which sounds weird, but it’s delicious,” Barry VanDyke said.
Bringing pizzas to Harmony Hall means some big changes have to happen in the kitchen—and on the menu.
“Our pizza is famously wood-fired pizza, and according to code you can only have one fuel source underneath a single hood,” Barry VanDyke said. “Because we want to move to pizza, we have to unfortunately get rid of all our grills and our fryers and everything else.”
That means Harmony Hall won’t be serving its sausage dishes. But those flavors won’t disappear entirely.
“Chef Liza Marvin is riffing on some of the sausages that we had, so she’s got a bulgogi pizza and others,” Heather VanDyke-Titus said.
In addition to pizzas, the new menu will keep some of Harmony Hall’s favorite appetizers, salads and sandwiches.
Harmony Hall’s kitchen will have to undergo some construction to accommodate the new wood-fired equipment, which is expected to take two weeks. Demo started on Mar. 19. The new menu is slated to launch Apr. 11, if all goes according to plan.
In the interim, Harmony Hall is serving a limited version of their sausage menu out of the prep kitchen, but the co-founders expect the inconvenience to be minimal.
“Liza is such a crazy hard worker that her limited version of the menu looks a lot like the full version of the menu,” Heather VanDyke-Titus said.
Once the kitchen is finished and the new menu is in place, customers can look forward to some previously impossible opportunities. People will be able to host events catered with Harmony pizza in Harmony Hall’s banquet room. And the staff will have more room to experiment.
“Having the two locations both provide the same product allows us to do a lot of new things, like handmade mozzarella and making our own sausage for the Italian sausage,” Barry VanDyke said.
Ultimately, the change means a more consistent brand for Harmony Brewing Company.
“We’re looking at this as an opportunity to unify what Harmony is all about and get down to the roots of we do, which is good, handmade from scratch food,” Barry VanDyke said. “This is what Harmony is: We’re pizza, we’re beer, and I think the customers are going to really respond well to it.”