Sparking Joy with Pasta & Pizza — A Delicious Way to Build a Community

A chef with a passion for pasta and pizza has set out to create a joyful community centered around these classic Italian dishes.

By Brandi Koloski

Photography by Dean Van Dis

Row of Brook Chairs with Spartan Tables at restaurant.

A chef with a passion for pasta and pizza has set out to create a joyful community centered around these classic Italian dishes. First-time restaurant owner and James Beard Award winner, Paul Berglund has been cooking for over 20 years. Starting his career in an Italian restaurant where he learned the craft, Berglund has come full circle with the creation of Myrth, one of the newest from-scratch restaurants in West Michigan, which focuses on pasta and pizza made daily from locally sourced ingredients. 

The spirit imbued in good food

The restaurant places a strong emphasis on celebrating locally grown food sourced from nearby farmers and showcasing locally sourced  pieces throughout the space. The restaurant's lively color scheme, featuring shades of green and peach, combined with whimsical embellishments, creates an atmosphere that is both sophisticated and playful.

In the physical dining experience, the Michigan-made Grand Rapids Chair furniture takes center stage. Despite being from different seating families, the Brooke and Sherman create synergy — featuring gentle curves and edges, the pairing echoes the architectural details in the space. Val Schmieder, Founder, and Principal Designer at Via, noted her appreciation for the purity of the chair designs, which made them the perfect fit for the space. With personalized finishes, the chairs seamlessly integrate with the overall material choices of the space, featuring natural maple wood and metal finishes with an underlying green tone that subtly ties in with the emerald green accent walls and plant-filled surroundings.

One of the most tangible aspects of the physical space of the restaurant are the tables and chairs - that's the most intimate contact that our guests will have with the restaurant physically. Based on the quality that I observed in the craftsmanship when I toured the factory, it made a lot of sense to work with Grand Rapids Chair. The furniture is beautifully designed and thoughtfully created right here in the Grand Rapids area — which means a lot to me.

— Paul Berglund, Owner of Myrth

Driven by Values

Beyond the captivating design, Myrth is driven by a set of values rooted in community. In addition to the emotional experience the space evokes, the restaurant fosters a sense of kinship and connection among its guests by highlighting locally sourced ingredients and a focus on sustainable practices.  Myrth's commitment to zero waste influenced almost every aspect of the restaurant, from waste management strategies to the selection of eco-friendly materials.

"As a first-time restaurant owner, the most meaningful aspect to me is witnessing the organic growth of a community," — Paul Berglund, Owner of Myrth

The Myrth community began taking shape over a year ago when the plans for the restaurant's opening were set in motion. The community includes everyone from the architects and designers to the employees and customers who will walk through Myrth's doors in Ada, Michigan. Similar to Berglund's sentiments, we are eagerly anticipating the emergence of the community that will blossom around Myrth!

If you find yourself captivated by the charm of the Sherman chair at Myrth, you might also want to check out the Sherman Barstool at Boss Rambler in Bend, Oregon!