The Beltline Bar was opened in 1953 by George Wilkinson. Beltline Bar was a fitting name considering 28th Street was commonly referred to by Grand Rapidians as "The Beltline." When Tony Rutkowski acquired the restaurant in 1964, the establishment only seated 42 people in a single 60' x 30' room. At this time, a total of 3 employees served beer, wine, popcorn & chili dogs, which were the house specialty. In 1966, a liquor license was acquired and Tony's son Jerry developed recipes for a number of Mexican specialties, including the WORLD FAMOUS WET BURRITO. In October of 2001, Jerry decided it was time to retire, and entrusted Jeff Lobdell to operate the Famous Mexican Restaurant, just like Jerry's father had entrusted him.
Today, the Beltline Bar has expanded, now seating 250 people and has undergone numerous improvements to better serve their customer, like offsite catering and curbside to go. Some things have changed over the years, like the number of employees serving you has increased to 101. A far cry from the three we originally started with. But many things have remained the same, like the original Mexican recipes that were created back in 1966 and are still kept secret today. The Beltline Bar's WORLD FAMOUS WET BURRITO is still number one in the hearts and stomachs of our loyal customers. Over the years, Beltline Bar has been recognized with numerous awards for our burritos, Margaritas, and overall great Mexican cuisine. Most recently, Grand Rapids Magazine awarded Beltline Bar with "Best Margarita" and "Best Burrito" awards of excellence for 2008. The Beltline Bar family would like to thank you for your continued patronage!