'Grwostlaven' – Grand Rapids, Michigan - Atlas Obscura

AO Edited


Hopcats Brewery

At HopCat, a marker honors fictional creatures with the ability to travel the missing dimensions of Kcymaerxthaere. 


Grwosts are thin organisms, thin almost to the point of seeming like a film of oil. However, they are not liquid but a solid not much thicker than a shadow. If you’ve never heard of them, it’s probably because they’re not from our universe.

Along with a number of other creatures, characters, and places, grwosts are part of Kcymaerxthaere, an art project created by Eames Demetrios. A series of plaques and other markers around the world honor events that have taken place in a parallel universe that, according to Demetrios, “co-exists to some degree with ours.” Most of these installations are bronze or stone plaques inscribed with stories but some are larger, even entire buildings. As of 2021, there are more than 140 sites spread across six continents and 30 countries.

In the lore of Kcymaerxthaere, grwosts have the rare ability to solve a common problem: that many gwomes (kind of a synonym for country or culture) have strikingly different dimensions–and even basic qualities of existence–from their neighbors. As a result, crossing a time frontier (ywreng) can entail great risk. While individuals are much lower risk than multitudes (which has thankfully deterred most massive invasions across time frontiers), the fate of Forrest Bess not far from this spot remains a cautionary tale. So most people crossed the Time Frontier with a grwost as guide.  

In fact, the whole area from the current path of the river to beyond present-day Ionia Street but to Commerce Street is where grwosts and their clients would drink liquid courage as they got ready for their crossing.  It was called Grwostlaven and it was the best place to get ready. As an aside, the notorious Pel Kwint (and the Kwin Tel served across the river) were the beer courage of choice–and Hopcats still has them on their selection menu. (Ask for it by name if you go there!).

Know Before You Go

This plaque is just inside the front door. It is accessible during their normal business hours (which we are pretty sure means that even minors can visit it so long as they are in the restaurant part)

Community Contributors
Added by

June 23, 2013

Make an Edit Add Photos
In partnership with KAYAK

Plan Your Trip

From Around the Web