Coastal Society puts a lively spin on handcrafted cocktails
By Kelsey Smith
A free spirit, a passion for adventure and a trip to the West Coast all came together and brought one big dream to life: Coastal Society.
The Douglas-based craft cocktail bar, eatery and boutique has an emphasis on the West Coast lifestyle, encouraging visitors to escape, and kick back and relax.
“I grew up in Chicago and always dreamed of living on the West Coast,” said Kim Neppel, owner of Coastal Society. “I lived there years ago and just loved the sunshine and the freeing feeling that the coast gives you.”
And that’s exactly what she offers every guest that stops by Coastal Society. Neppel and her husband, Tom Kettlewell, opened Coastal Society in 2018 to give visitors and Douglas residents an experience they couldn’t find anywhere else.
“We call it a full sensorial experience,” Neppel said. “You walk in and you’re entering this beautiful, coastal-inspired, carefully curated boutique and as you walk through it, your senses are being heightened.
“You turn a corner and all of a sudden, this beautiful bar and lounge pops up. And as you continue to walk out the doors, you’ve got this gorgeous garden with lush greens and resort-style patio seating. And we even have an herb garden, which is where we pick all of our herbs to incorporate into our mixology-driven, handcrafted cocktails.”
The Herb Garden cocktail is one of Coastal Society’s most popular. It’s made with cucumbers, fresh herbs, gin, a splash of agave and a couple of other top-secret ingredients.
“It really invokes everything that we encompass,” Neppel said.
Good things take time, and that couldn’t be more true for Smoke on the Coast, a mezcal cocktail that took nine months to create.
“Our cocktails are layered with so much flavor,” Neppel said. “It’s almost like you’re drinking a fine wine.”
When it comes to cuisine, Neppel is intentional with her menu, carefully crafting each item start to finish. The dining menu is tapas-heavy, offering Mediterranean-marinated olives, a smoked salmon board, a Mezze board, artisanal craft pizzas and more.
Each pizza is a served as an individual size and you can pick from three choices: tomato, burrata, mozzarella, arugula and basil; lemon ricotta herb; and prosciutto, fig, goat cheese, arugula, mozzarella and lemon zest with a honey drizzle.
Endless Bubbles & Brunch is offered on Sundays, where guests can order trendy items like charcuterie, waffle and quiche boards, avocado toast and mimosa flights. During the winter months, guests can even relax and dine in the outdoor igloos and warm up with fireside tables.
“It’s all about bringing a new and unique experience to our guests and I feel like we nailed it,” Neppel said. “This place has also become a destination for special occasions like weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, bridal parties and bachelorette parties. Complimentary decorations are also provided for these occasions.”
Between sipping on cocktails, you can browse through the boutique and shop for women’s and men’s clothing and accessories, beauty care, gifts and artisan goods.
“We want to keep guests and visitors coming to the downtown community,” Neppel said. “For us, community is everything. It’s one of the reasons we decided to invest in Douglas — it’s just such a special place, we love everything about it.”
Urban St. magazine is distributed to residents and visitors of the lakeshore communities of Holland, Zeeland, Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Saugatuck, Douglas, Fennville, Muskegon, Nunica, Port Sheldon and West Olive at numerous pick-up locations including attractions, retailers, restaurants, hotels and salons/spas.