With Jazz, Blues and Big Band provided by WMU students and other local artists, the Union is Kalamazoo's most exciting and unique venue for live ... More
The Union Cabaret and Grille
With Jazz, Blues and Big Band provided by WMU students and other local artists, the Union is Kalamazoo's most exciting and unique venue for live entertainment. The Union is a perfect spot for a casual lunch or dinner, and mixed with regular live evening entertainment, the Union serves up something really special.
It's identified as a restaurant, but I'd really view it as a club. This is not a place that I frequent, particularly on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, to hold intimate conversations over quiet dinners. (And, actually, I'd probably not eat there even if it was quiet.) This is place to hear good, strong, loud jazz over drinks. And since good jazz can be a rarity in Kalamazoo, this is a club to seek out (particularly after Martini's short lived jazz on its second floor met its demise after a ADA lawsuit was threatened in 2009). Many of the musicians come by way of WMU, a local university with a strong music department. The bulk of the artists are from around Southwestern Michigan, and aren't necessarily nationally or internationally known. I look forward to any groups led by WMU professors, Tom Knific and Trent Kynaston. As you can tell by my earlier comment, I'm rather indifferent to the food. I think the club wants to have an innovative menu, but I have never found anything served at either lunch or dinner to be particularly memorable. Service is good and efficient. Parking can be a challenge unless you are familiar with the downtown. 4 stars for jazz/drinks; 4 stars for service; one sad little star for food.
My husband and another couple went to The Union for dinner Saturday night (WMU Graduation night) to celebrate a birthday. We called a fews days ahead and were not allowed to reserve a table for four, but the hostess was quite gracious in accomodating our group. The wait was around 30 minutes. The service and food was excellent!!! I am a vegetarian, and I highly recommend the Vegetable Wellington - amazing. The other members of our party said their food was excellent as well. However, the music was very loud. We were seated around 7:45 and the Jazz band had already been playing for a while. The restraunt was packed, the band was extremely loud for the dinner hour, and it was virtually impossible to have a conversation. When we phoned ahead, and were told the band started at 9:00. We were disappointed the we couldn't chat during our meal, but rather had to shout across our table to be heard. I am amazed that on one of the busiest nights in Kalamazoo, the management wouldn't have planned for more subdued music during the dinner hour, so that those celebrating graduation, local proms, and those who were just out for the evening, could enjoy their companions company without having to try to outshout the band. I will definitely eat here again, as the food was wonderful and service great, but I will certainly arrive earlier so I can enjoy the company of my friends.
I will forever miss this place. I just moved and I am not going to find my favorite martini, I'm Not Here to Paint, anywhere else. This will be my Kalamazoo induglence when i come back and visit. It is the best yummy sweet drink ever - I crave it!
The Union is great, great food, excellent drinks, and awesome music (NO COVER CHARGE)
My friends and I come here, order drinks, appetizers and listen to music. Very inexpensive night out. We also dress up big time.
You can just come here for drinks, soup (unlimited bread)or salad and listen to music. Great, cheap, Date night!
My Husband and I had our reception here. They opened for us on a Sunday at no cost and they really accomodated us with our budget. We didn't have to rent the place. We just paid for the food (linens and custom menus included).
The Chef (Eric) let us choose
4 dishes to serve
1 salad & bread,
2 bottles of wine at each table
3 appetizers (in which the servers carried around while we had cocktails and mingled)
3 desserts, and a wonderful fruit & marshmallow chocolate fountain which the kids loved!
This was priced as $30 PER PERSON, How wonderful is that.
Also the food were all GLUTEN-FREE! My grandma didn't have to pick and choose or be afraid of going to the hospital.
They also let us use the stereo system which we plugged our Ipod song list into (No deejay required)
We had a video montage on the stage with a white screen provided.
Later we had game shows on the stage, musical chairs
and a dance off contest!
Bill the partnering manager and Chef Eric were great. I truely love this place. The atmosphere is warm and inviting!
We made reservations at the Union Grill to attend their special Mother's Day brunch. Our reservations were for 11am and we arrived about ten minutes early to find the doors locked and others huddling in the wind and rain out front. Although we were clearly visible to those inside, no one opened the outer doors which would have allowed us to at least hide in the vestibule from the elements.
At last, one of us located a phone number and called on a cell, requesting that we be allowed in. We cooled our heels for some time, accumulating more companions, getting soaked in our Mother's Day finery. At one minute to 11, we were admitted by a surly individual who neither apologized nor even welcomed us. When the doors finally opened, I counted 12 people on the sidewalk, with another carful idling at the curb.
The meal was acceptable, or would have been had we not had to eat it chilled and soaked.
We'll not be back.
The food is excellent. Menu changes often so a variety is offered. Desserts are to die for. Great dining experience, highly recommend. Go on weekend when entertainment is there. Makes your dining experience complete.
The menu of Union consists of variety of choices for everyone to enjoy. The atmosphere is one of the best in town for all age group to enjoy. The live music is always great, and who can resist those martinis and delicate desserts? One thing I don't like is that they don't take reservation, on a busy night, you could wait for an hour before you get seated.
This is such a fun place to hang out. They have a great martini list (I recommend the Kurrant Affair) and they also have wonderful food that is artfully prepared. The service is always top notch and the live music is pretty reliable (usually Western people doing Jazz standards). This place is definitely not quiet, so if that's what you're looking for try the Black Swan or the Epic Bistro. This is a restaurant that can be as expensive or cheap as you make it but plan on spending at least $15-$20 per person.
The Union has wonderful food, a small, but tasty martini list (artfully prepared, I should add) and a beer list indicative of Kalamazoo, a city that loves its beer.
Friday and Saturday nights are the best. Visit after 8pm to take in the live music (jazz, cabaret, or somethign more diverse, but never anything too loud to enjoy with your meal) and get the full experience.
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