Built in 1891, It was originally operated as a boarding house and grocery store catering to railroad passengers coming into the city. It operated this way until after World War II, when it became the Lamar Hotel. It is also widely rumored to have served as a brothel during this era.
The horseshoe bar era
Frank Lamar opened the Horseshoe Bar in our location on the first level of the building shortly after opening the hotel. The Horseshoe quickly became the premier venue for Jazz music in the Grand Rapids area during it's heyday in the 40's and 50's. It played host to many national artists as well as countless local musicians throughout the era.
Frank Lamar Jr. (left) and John Stribbling sitting with owner Frank Lamar at the Horseshoe Bar
Tom Mosley, Fred Johnson, and Little Wolf performing at the Horseshoe Bar as "Littlewolf and The Gullyjumpers"