Epic Bistro owner to open venue with WMU theme
Dec. 14, 2001
KALAMAZOO -- The Union--UniverCity Cabaret and Grille, a new offering from Ken Miller's Millennium Restaurant Group, will bring Western Michigan University student and faculty entertainers downtown when it opens at the Kalamazoo City Centre complex next May.
The Union will occupy 6,600 square feet of space on the ground floor of the soon-to-be-completed City Centre complex. As its name implies, the Union will offer cabaret entertainment in a restaurant atmosphere. What will make the Union unique is an agreement with Western Michigan University to make its stage available 26 weeks of the year to students and faculty, mostly from the WMU College of Fine Arts. During the remaining weeks, the Union will make the stage available to local and touring performers.
"We want the Union to be like having a small part of the University downtown. That will be reflected in both its design and the students who entertain and work there. It should fit nicely into the vision of making downtown an exciting entertainment district," says Miller.
In addition to providing WMU students with a performance venue in the downtown area, Miller says his agreement with WMU includes opportunities for student employment and internships. "We greatly appreciate being able to work with Ken Miller on this very exciting idea. It's a win-win situation, with benefits for both our students and the community," notes WMU President Elson S. Floyd.
The Union, which is being designed by SKP Design of Kalamazoo, will be replete with WMU memorabilia and imagery. In addition to the WMU motif, it will also offer University merchandise for sale.
The City Centre, a development of the Meyer C. Weiner Co., is the name given to the reconstructed and renovated buildings that formerly housed the Gilmore Brothers Department Store on the Kalamazoo Mall. The new structure, which is nearing completion, has recently opened to office tenants, according to Joshua Weiner, president and chief executive officer of MCW.
Other Millennium Group properties in Kalamazoo include the Black Swan in Parkview Hills and the Epic Bistro on the Kalamazoo Mall.