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Morning Buzz: 5 things to know for February 1

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1. Grand Rapid’s newest concert venue, 20 Monroe Live, has their Grand Opening today!

The focus is mostly on general admission shows, but they’ll also host beer and wine shows and small conventions.

The venue can seat as many as 2,400 people.

Trombone Shorty will be the opening act tonight, and then Umphrey’s Magee, Lynyrd Skynrd, and Shinedown will perform later this week.

However, even though 20 Monroe Live is opening, construction is still underway. They’re working on a four-season beer garden that’ll open in the spring.


2. A restaurant in the mid-town neighborhood of Grand Rapids is closing its doors for good.

El Barrio Mexican Grill opened back in 2010, and the owners announced the closure on Tuesday.

The plan is to replace the restaurant with another one, but the details haven’t been released yet.

Employees at El Barrio can apply for jobs at some of the partner restaurants including The Beltline Bar and The Omelette Shoppe.

If you have an unused gift card for El Barrio, you can use it at one of those locations as well.


3. College-bound athletes will be signing letters of intent for National Signing Day.

The University of Michigan football program is holding another Signing of the Stars event, with former players expected to be on hand. Last year, Tom Brady was a special guest.

Michigan State will also be doing live updates online, with a stream of head coach Mark Dantonio’s news conference at 3 p.m.


4. The upcoming Super Bowl will be the first game ever to feature virtual reality.

Fox, which will broadcast Sunday’s game, is teaming up with Live-Like to feature 20 game highlights in virtual reality.

You can watch them on the Fox Sports VR app and use either a headset or phone. Fox Sports and Live-Like previously worked together on VR coverage of college football and pro soccer.

Super Bowl 51 airs on Sunday.


5. Super Bowl is a great example of how shopping leaves us carrying tons of grocery bags into the house, and Vespa wants to help with the hassle.

The Italian scooter company is launching a Boston-based division, and its first creation is a robot designed to carry groceries and other items.

It has a lid that opens and can also follow you when you’re riding your bike or jogging.

The company’s website says it’s “coming February 2,” but it’s not clear if that’s for purchase because the company also said it’s planning to test the robot with businesses later this year.

There’s no word on how much it will cost either.

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