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American, Bar, Pub
Lunch, Dinner, Drinks
Seating, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Takeout, Television, Table Service
Reviews (56)
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Reviewed March 13, 2020

Gardella's used to be a favorite spot for my husband and I to go to when we went to downtown Grand Rapids. I guess too many years have gone by since we ate there because it has definetly gone way down hill. We stopped there...on a Thursday night to grab dinner before a concert. We stood by the only "empty" table for several minutes waiting for someone to clean the table. We ordered a couple of seltzers and when they arrived my can had something sticky on the can. I should have asked for another can but decided to just deal with it. On another note the drinks were not very cold. In my opinion the drinks should have been much colder. We both ordered burgers and while not expensive they were not very flavorful at all. The cheese was just a slice of cheese, not melted, the burger was sliding off the bun. I don't know if they always used this same"recipe" for burgers or if my tastes have just changed but I am still regretting spending time and money at this establishment when we could have had a much better burger at other places. The pretzel bites were the only good thing about this dining experience. To top it off the music was BLARING LOUD making difficult to have a conversation.More

Date of visit: March 2020
Reviewed September 18, 2019

Two years ago I wrote a negative review based on an ill-advised change to their menu. I just deleted it because they’ve gone back to using real plates, brought back their Tuesday burger with chips and a beer special for under $10 and changed their...menu for the better. Food is tasty (although I’ve only tried the cheese burger so far), service is very fast and staff is still friendly and helpful.More

Date of visit: September 2019
Reviewed January 28, 2019

We went to J Gardella's this past Saturday at about 4:30pm. The place was near empty. We waited about an hour to order. A few tables that came after us ordered and received their food. We politely let the wait staff know 3 times we...were ready to order. The 2 on staff noted that the other was taking our order. The waitress even came over and asked to have our menus for another table, but never offered to assist the new waiter out by taking our order or checking on us. She said 'he's new". This is unacceptable. They need to work as a team. The new person should ask for help and the experienced staff should offer help. We finally ordered and were told the kitchen kicks out food fast. Well it took over 30 minutes. We did not get our entire order and what we did get was wrong. (all but 2). we then waited 10 minutes to finally be able to ask for silverware. Some food was never received and what was was awful. I will say, the manager on duty was very understanding and polite. He comped our order and gave us 2 $15 gift cards. He noted it was unacceptable. We don't live in the area so won't be back, but pretty sure we wouldn't be anyway.More

Date of visit: January 2019
Reviewed November 18, 2018

This is a great place to grab some tasty bar food before a concert or just if you're in the mood for some tater tots. The tots are amazing, and they have some great happy hour specials.

Date of visit: September 2018
Reviewed October 15, 2018

Super disgusted with lack luster service and the crappy drinks. Will never return. Place is a dump. If your 20 something and looking to go drink lousy cocktails get drunk and pick someone up this is the place. Not a classy establishment at all. It...showed.More

Date of visit: October 2018
Reviewed October 1, 2018

went to a private room party for my 25th high school reunion on the second floor, unfortunately left my winter columbia jacket because my wife was not feeling well. called the next morning and asked about the jacket and was told that they had it...after bar closed and to come in at noon when they opened to get it. Made the trek into the city to retrieve the jacket and was told that it was now missing. was told they were checking with the cleaning staff to see if they had taken it. I have called three different times and went back a week later and they said they still have to call the cleaning crew. horribly dissapointed the way this is being handled, and that they do not have a lost and found or staff that is trustworthy, I left it for less than 12 hours!More

Date of visit: September 2018
Reviewed July 24, 2018

They have 3 areas in this tavern. Upstairs, main floor and basement. We ate in the basement. There was a bar tender and 2 waitresses. It was a seat-yourself situation, and there was only one other group of tables besides us. No one acknowledge that...we were there, and our table was right in front of the bar. The place is dirty. Floors, table tops, seats. Changing tables didn't change the cleanliness. Crumbs and crud are visible. This made me afraid of what the kitchen would be like. If we weren't in a hurry we would have moved on to another place. My hand felt ick on the table and seat so I used a wet-wipe from my purse, and then went to wash my hands. The bathrooms were so clean and nice, that they looked like they belong to another restaurant. Eventually the waitress greeted us and took our orders. She made sure that our drinks were filled, and knew the menu well. It's mostly sliders so the simple menu allowed for the food to be ready quickly. Catch of the day had no flavor. The Tavern Travesty had good flavors. Chicken strips have an ity bity bit of kick (but I'm a spice wimp.) You can skip the crispy chicken slider. Artichoke dip had good flavor and the chips are seasoned. The place filled up very soon after we arrived and the wait staff really hustled to make sure everyone was taken care of.More

Date of visit: July 2018
Reviewed July 5, 2018 via mobile

Four of us stopped in to J Gardellas prior to a concert. There was only 2 other tables occupied in the place, compared to very busy competitors. Our drinks were odd tasting. I’m not sure if my gin and tonic was really g&t, or if...they messed up the mixer. For $7 it was a lousy g&t. The server did not know anything about the beers on tap or the ciders. The lady’s in our group both ordered chicken strips which they said were ok, even good. Me and my friend ordered two sliders each which were horrible. My pork bbq with pineapple arrived without any pineapple. My pot roast slider was only a dry shredded beef concoction with bland horseradish sauce. Now these are only 3 bucks each but still lousy. Our server was unapologetic. We have not been to Gardellas in a few years. It used to be a decent place to go with many, very good, menu options. Now, chicken tenders, sliders, and a few apps are all that is on the menu. Drinks, service and food were mainly poor. We should have known by the absence of any other customers upon walking in. RIP Gardellas.More

Date of visit: June 2018
Reviewed June 3, 2018 via mobile

A beer and sliders type of place. Pro’s: * Trendy downtown location * Cool old wood bar atmosphere * On a Sat night this was one of the few restaurants in that area that did NOT have a wait * The sliders are pretty good,...especially the portobello one & tavern travesty Con’s: * The tater tots were strange (look like large meatballs) and a bit too greasy * The beer sadly wasn’t cold * The cheddar pretzels were too greasy * Be prepared to be accosted by multiple homeless people wanting $$ - right outside the doorMore

Date of visit: June 2018
Reviewed March 20, 2018

We ended up here because all other restaurants in the area were packed due to the P!nk concert at Van Andel. We told the host we wanted to eat so he took us downstairs to the basement. Stair narrow and steep so if you're mobility...challenged, make sure you stay on the ground floor. Basement area smelled of Pine Sol -- not sure this is a great smell for a restaurant/bar. We were seated and it became quickly obvious that the wait staff was totally overwhelmed. Took quite some time before the waitress came over to take our drink orders. We asked for a menu and fortunately, the table behind us handed us their menu. Menu is basically sliders, a few salads, and appetizers. The salads we ordered (one spinach [Popeye Power] and one Caesar [The Emperor]) were good and fresh with nice ingredients. We ordered a total of five different sliders. All were good, although the Tavern Travesty was our least favorite. It is your basic hamburger with cheese. Unfortunately, they used the liquid cheese that goes on nachos. Messy and basically tasteless. The ChicaParm sliders were very good as was the portabello slider. Waitress never refilled our iced tea but as they didn't have any brewed in the basement but did finally bring us water. Restaurant doesn't seem to handle crowds very well and/or staff needs additional training. One pet peeve of mine, our waitress kept fiddling with her long hair. In reality, her hair should have been tied back or up so she didn't have to keep flipping it out her face. She definitely wasn't washing her hands after she touched it. Might go back on a non-busy time or might not. Sort of ambivalent.More

Date of visit: March 2018
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Frequently Asked Questions about J Gardella's Tavern

Yes, J Gardella's Tavern offers takeout services.

J Gardella's Tavern is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 3.5
  • Service: 3.5
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4