New Drake’s Place restaurant pays tribute to Greenville community, history

By Lonnie Allen • Last Updated 11:32 am on Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Drake’s Place fireplace and wall clock with Greenville above it is part of the theme, which is centered on Greenville. Owner Bob Drake wanted to bring the feel of the city inside his restaurant by centering on the city when decorating the inside.


GREENVILLE — After more than a year of planning, construction and remodeling, Bob Drake now offers another option for a classic breakfast and a unique lunch in the area.

Drake, owner of the new restaurant in Greenville called Drake’s Place, provides well-liked food with an upscale feel at a reasonable price.

“The concept here is do it right and do it well,” Drake said. “My restaurant is not a diner or a café. It is a place where you get quality food, along side excellent service.”

Located in the heart of Greenville’s business district, at 104 S. Lafayette St., the restaurant opened quietly this past week.

Drake moved to Greenville two years ago after his last job as a plant manager was cut during the economic downturn.

“It devastated me a little bit,” Drake said. “So, I decided, after that happened, I was going to pull up stakes and make a change. Six weeks later, I moved up here to the cottage I own on Perch Lake.”

Drake’s Place owner Bob Drake and manager Kim Taylor.

During what Drake calls his “little retirement,” he enjoyed getting to know the area, and he developed a fondness for downtown Greenville.

“I fell in love with this town,” Drake said. “So, about 14 months ago, I started scouting this area because I decided I was going to do something fun.”

While Drake was getting ready for the opening of his new business, he kept it closed off from the public’s view.
“I wanted it to be a mystery,” Drake said. “This place was trashed. We had to completely remodel, and before the public could see, I wanted it to be right.”

The interior design of Drake’s place is his way of paying tribute to the town that has offered him so much is such a short period time.

“You can see Greenville, Mich., as you enter my place,” Drake said. “From every picture that hangs on the walls to the clock above the fireplace — this is who we are, Greenville, and this is awesome because Greenville is awesome.”

Front-of-the-house manager and Greenville resident Kim Taylor recalled the work that took place during that year.

“My husband and Bob did most of the work since they were builders,” Taylor said. “I helped with the grunt work though, like pulling up the carpet and taking out what was trash in this place.”

The weeks leading up to the opening had Taylor excited and she was ready to serve.

“I felt like a little girl getting ready to go to Disney World,” Taylor said. “I waited tables before, but this time it is different. This place has part of my heart into it and I am glad Bob has given me this opportunity to assist him when and where he needs me.”
Drake and Taylor developed the menu with quality, quantity and affordability in mind.     Drake’s offers freshly made soups daily, along with sandwiches served up in a wrap, pretzel roll or a panini. Breakfast is also served all day. The menu is limited and unique and he has four items on the menu that bears his name.

“We put my name on those items because it was what I like to cook and eat at home,” Drake said. “Every little thing we do is worth it because we want to stand out from everybody else.”

It has been an important journey for Drake, and he has encountered many people in the area that have treated him well while he was preparing to open his own business.

“The people of this town have been good to me everywhere I go,” Drake said. “I feel that people are important to me and customer service must come first.”

Drakes’ Place is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Drake’s also offers take-out, but does not deliver at this time.

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