The Owner's Story
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About Cory: I grew up around food. The restaurant & hospitality business has lived in my bones since I can remember, and I really just enjoy making others happy. I’m a family man – my children are my pride and joy, and you can generally find us having some kind of wild and whacky adventure in the great outdoors. I have a passion for finding and refurbishing or rebuilding things that once may have been useless to someone, and turning them into something beautiful that works. You’ll see that a lot in any of my four restaurants. People light up when they walk in the door. That’s what it’s all about.
About the Business: Unlike many small businesses and restaurants, we’ve been blessed to make it out on the other side of this pandemic still standing, and with hope for a brighter future. We were given the time and space to make a new vision as to what we saw for the life of this restaurant, and what that might look like in our new normal. For us, growing to a place of health again meant redesigning our menu, welcoming new team members, and giving our space a clean and bright facelift. Change is necessary for growth, and we are doing that literally and figuratively. By introducing a new and improved look to the outside of our building, the hope is that it catches the attention of our community, and reminds them that we’re still here for them. “We made it. Here is our gift to you for helping us get here. Let’s share this new, beautiful space together.” A cornerstone to Alger Heights, The Old Goat was born in 2015. This community was in need of a really good restaurant, so it seemed to be the perfect time and space to make our vision come to life. We’ve created a very family friendly atmosphere for our guests, surrounded by a very warm, clean, eclectic aesthetic. We frequently host live entertainment, hold private events in our upper dining space or out on our patio when the weather is fitting, and have a food and beverage menu unique to anything else you can find in the Grand Rapids area.
Owner's Connection To GR, Thoughts on Liberation, Reclamation
About the Artist
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Tony Whlgn is a visual artist from the eastside of Detroit, MI.
His Creative Journey began in 1997 when Tony learned that creativity was a family trait. Raised by a single mother who supported and nurtured the gifts given to her children, the lesson of doing what you’re passionate about planted a fruitful seed. Moving forward to becoming an ‘Art School Dropout,’ Tony relocated to Brooklyn, NY, and became a Junior Designer at Marc Ecko. Art Direction & Design for internationally recognized album artwork for music artists such as Joey Badass & Big K.R.I.T., held creative design positions at global fashion brands such as Kith N.Y.C. Moving to California and then back to Detroit, he began to create an array of commission artwork and community revitalization murals.
In 2009, with the help of close friends, the Whlgn® was created, an Unorthodox Art + Design Firm out of Detroit. Operating as a “Holistic Think Tank of Collective Creative Entrepreneur Studios.” The Whlgn® encourages the mantra “do what you love and love what you do” to
inspire and expose Creative Entrepreneurial careers; We, Humans, Love to Give & Nurture. The non-profit sector, Leaders Amongst Leaders (in partnership with The Skillman Foundation), kicked off its first program in 2018. Leaders Amongst Leaders Bridges the Youth of Detroit with Resources and the Opportunities necessary to pursue their passions and build their Net Worths. Broadening their understanding and Development around Financial Literacy & Sustainable Creative Entrepreneurship. The art collective houses professionals in photography, culinary arts, Carpentry, and SFX make-up application. The first graduates of the program (Leaders), both under the age of 20, are currently working in their Creative’ fields of choice as Business Owners.
“My Art is an Imitation of my Life And a reflection of those I’ve encountered; people & experience teach us who we are. Through natural self-expression, I want my Art to inspire engagement with self-knowledge and knowledge of the whole world, which, in a sense, is Self.
— Whlgn®. TONEy.
ARTIST'S CONNECTION TO GR, THOUGHTS ON LIBERATION, RECLAMATION
My Connection to Grand Rapids resides in the friends and creative work relationships that we’ve developed over the years. From our Homies at Carbon Stories creating sharable content to our friends at Motu Viget, Grand rapids may not be Detroit, but the friends we’ve made help us to familiarize it as home.
Liberation & Reclamation for me means that the natives that once inhabited the land now have the knowledge and resources that will reassert them in a position that provides secure generational access to that land for that community of people and their Offspring.