Building owner Zelda Schippers stands next to the original Adam's Opera House sign in the newly renovated upstairs.The fully functional kitchenA view from the side of the kitchen looking into the living roomA view of the kitchen from the entry wayThe open meeting/ banquet/ dancing spaceThe open meeting/ banquet/ dancing spaceOne of the two bedroomsThe second bedroom

Historical Plainwell venue in photos

Kayla Deneau, Staff Writer

After a couple months and approximately $4,000, the space above The Calico Rabbit in Plainwell is complete.

Owner Zelda Schippers said she plans to use the space, formerly an opera house, for community events and activities as well as it being available for rent for private events.

“This is not just about my business,” said Schippers, who owns the store below as well.

“I want it to be for everybody in the community.”

The building was originally completed in 1909 and operated as Adam’s Opera House, featuring entertainment acts including comedy, plays, wrestling, drama shows and more.

When Schippers purchased the building, the upstairs was being used as an apartment. Since the tenants moved out she has invested thousands into the 3,600 square foot space.

Schippers herself helps coordinate community events called Rabbit Gatherings and Retreats.

Each month Pamper Me Saturdays and Ladies Day Downtown takes place in the venue.

The gatherings feature coupons, gifts and advertisements for several local businesses. Schippers said she wants Plainwell as a whole to benefit from the space.

Classes formerly hosted in The Calico Rabbit are now available in the renovated upstairs space and include American Girl Doll gatherings, Koffee N’ Kanvas, Kids Krafts, Sit N’ Stitch and more.

She said she is open to renting the space for many different things including baby and bridal showers, business meetings, study groups, home-based business parties, Girl and Boy Scout meetings and more.

“The area is handicap accessible and features the use of a full kitchen,” Schippers said. “It is available for anything.”

Current pricing for the space is $50 for four hours or less and $100 for 10 hours. Overnight rates are $75 for groups of six or less and $150 for groups of seven to 12.

“I want to provide another place for the community to gather,” she said. “This piece of history is something that makes Plainwell unique.”

For more information, visit The Calico Rabbit at 130 N. Main St., Plainwell, call (269) 685-9899 or visit

For full story, pick up a copy of the Sept. 8 issue of The Union Enterprise or subscribe to the e-edition.

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