Welcome to Forty Acres Soul Kitchen

Forty Acres is an Authentically American restaurant and bar with a resilient, unapologetic style. Our modern, urban space invites community members from every culture to come together at the table to celebrate black culture, community and success.

Our Purpose

As a passionate Grand Rapidian, Forty Acres owner Darel Ross recognized a story that needed to be told—the story (and celebration) of Black America. Our promise at Forty Acres Soul Kitchen is to not only share this story with the community but to celebrate this rich culture—and invite people of all cultures to celebrate with us.

With the establishment of Forty Acres, we aim to:

  • Share the real story and the rich history of African Americans in our city, state and the U.S. as well
  • Offer authentic, upscale soul food in a comfortable, local establishment including bar service
  • Support local workforce efforts by hiring local residents
  • Engage in socially-responsible activities by supporting LINC UP, a local non-profit in which owner Darel strongly invest his time and energy

Our Story

One of America’s original cuisines—harvested and prepared by slaves on plantations—nurtured America’s soul and shaped her emerging identity. During the Industrial Revolution, African Americans preserved their traditions and their cuisine, giving us a taste of the original Americana.

Forty Acres celebrates this authentically American heritage and the history, resilience and success of the African American community at its location in the heart of the Wealthy Street Business District. We honor this community with classic soul food, a superior dining experience, quality sourcing and leadership, and an unapologetic story to tell so that everyone can taste what has made this country.

Our Brand

The Forty Acres brand is a blend of celebrating soul food’s authentically American heritage while sharing our unapologetic story and what it represents in our communities. So... what does it represent?

Our story represents not just overcoming adversity but succeeding as well. It represents a group of like-minded folks with a genuine, progressive, driven, community-building, and most importantly, unapologetic attitude. Here at Forty Acres, we have a serious love for our purpose, our history and our cuisine—and you'll feel the passion throughout your entire dining experience.

Join us in our celebration of the rich history and the African American community—we'd love to have you.

Learn More

“At the end of the day, we’re a great restaurant that serves soul food and the owners are black—in that order. And we’re unapologetic about all three of those things.”

Darel Ross

Darel Ross

Darel Ross - Owner

Darel has had a lifelong passion for serving the Grand Rapids community. For more than a decade, he has worked in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors to elicit real change and make Grand Rapids a more inclusive and opportunistic city for living, working and educating people of all backgrounds.

In addition to his work at Start Garden, Darel sees Forty Acres as another extension of creating more job, learning and cultural opportunities for the residents of Grand Rapids.