This little piggy went to market at Muskegon's Boar's Belly

One day, Mike Hennessy went into the kitchen of his restaurant, Hennessy's Irish Pub, in downtown Muskegon to find his cooks chattering about a show they'd seen on television. It was a show all about bacon.

"They were all excited, saying, 'We have got to have a bacon restaurant,'" Hennessy says. "So, I said, 'OK. So if you're going to have a restaurant, guys, what's a good name for it?'"

That was where the idea for Boar's Belly was born. Located in downtown Muskegon at 333 W. Western Ave, it had its official grand opening on August 7 and is now open every day of the week but Monday. While there's definitely an emphasis on bacon on the menu, serving only bacon wasn't feasible for Hennessy. The restaurant serves diverse, farm-to-table food, meaning all of it is bought, grown and made locally. 

"We try to deal with as many as of our local farmers as possible so we know where all of our food is coming from," Hennessy says. "We even bake our own hamburger buns. We have more control over the quality and where the ingredients come from. This way we are sure of what we are serving."

Boar's Belly aims to support Muskegon area businesses and keep the money in the local economy in all of its enterprises. Muskegon's downtown farmer's market provides important local food that Boar's Belly regularly buys for use in the restaurant, especially fresh vegetables.

"We're all excited about the continuing development of the downtown area," Hennessy says. "The farmer's market is a tremendous addition to downtown and there are a lot of other projects going on. We're looking forward to the next few years."

The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to midnight on Tuesdays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. To find out more, visit its Facebook page.

Originally published September 11, 2014 for Rapid Growth Media.