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A Slice of Downtown Life

In the past year, three pizza places have opened their doors in downtown Muskegon. Here is staff writer Kaitlin Hermanson’s info and review of each place.

Kaitlin Hermanson, Staff Writer

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Rebel Pies
360 W. Western Ave.
Mon.-Thurs. Noon-10 p.m.
Fri & Sat. Noon-Midnight
Sun. Noon-7 p.m.

Since October 2014, Rebel Pies has been dishing out “Rock’n Roll Fuel’d Pizza” in the Russell Block Building alongside Unruly Brewing Co. and Drip Drop Drink.

“The revitalization of downtown is something that is really important to all of us, and we wanted to be able to be a part of it,” executive chef Jeremy Bonjernoor said.

Bonjernoor, who created the menu, explains the concept behind their nontraditional pies.

“I took 20 of the best meals I’ve ever cooked or eaten and designed those dishes to be on the platform of a pizza pie,” he said.

The most popular of these avant-garde pies is the Polynesian Farmer (Red Sauce, Goat Cheese, Prosciutto, Bacon, Pineapple, Sriracha Aioli & Basil).

Whether you’re looking for a classic American pie or something with a Sicilian flare, Rebel Pies is a great place to sit down and enjoy a slice (or three) with friends.

No. 1 – Rebel Pies remains my favorite place because of the menu and atmosphere and because pizza can be ordered by the slice from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and after 5 p.m. Also, slices are buy one get one free on Mondays and $1 off on Tuesdays, so it’s a great place to go for good pizza if one doesn’t want to order a whole pie.

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Whistle Punk
1133 3rd St.
Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sat. 5 p.m.-10 p.m.
Sun. Noon-8 p.m.

The name Whistle Punk comes from an old lumberjack term for the newest member of the logging team.
Being the first and only Neapolitan wood fired pizza joint in Muskegon, it serves not only as a nod to the city’s history but also as a message of the owners excitement to bring a new brand of pizza to town.

Whistle Punk’s menu parallels that of its neighboring restaurant Mia and Grace, with unique options created from local produce and fired over Muskegon lumber.

“The Bull Cook, the all-meat pizza, is popular, as well as our cheese pizza, the Axle Grease,” said Logan Jancek, a Shores alum and Whistle Punk team member.

In addition to their location on 3rd street, Whistle Punk is at the Muskegon Farmer’s Market every Saturday from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. through October.

No. 2 – One of my favorite things about Whistle Punk is its breakfast pizzas at the Farmer’s Market every Saturday. It’s different from anything else down there and a frequent stop for me on Saturday mornings. In all honesty, I’m fully capable of eating a whole pizza on my own, but the size of one is small enough where I only feel moderately guilty.

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Topshelf
500 W. Western Ave.
Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Sun. 2 p.m.-11 p.m.

Topshelf Pizza & Pub, which has another location at 2155 Apple Ave., opened doors in the Noble Building downtown in June of 2014.

With a similar menu to its parent location, downtown’s Topshelf, adjacent to Pigeon Hill Brewing Co., serves subs, salads, pizza, and more.

Being in the Noble Building, which was constructed in the 1920s, the interior has a more vintage feel than its Apple Avenue counterpart, even containing the original flooring.

Many menu items are American classics, and a large Grand Slam pizza weighs in at more than four pounds.

“The deluxe is our most popular pizza while the Italian is probably the most popular sub,” Topshelf employee Andrea Morgan said.

Topshelf offers both takeout and delivery in addition to their downtown restaurant, where one can sit both indoors and outdoors for whatever suits your fancy.

No. 3 – As great as Topshelf is for a classic American pizza, I personally prefer the more unique menus of Whistle Punk and Rebel Pies. However, it’s the only one of the three that serves subs and appetizers in addition to pizza. Another bonus is that Topshelf has an additional location on Apple.

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