Restaurant plans banquet hall expansion
A lakeshore restaurant is planning to increase its capacity for large events that overlook the water — in response to growing customer demand in the area.
Boatwerks, located at the edge of Lake Macatawa in Holland, plans to expand its banquet hall space to accommodate large conferences and special events with up to 210 guests at the site, located at 216 Van Raalte Ave.
The plan features an 8,400-square-foot addition to the existing restaurant on the northeast corner of the property, which is where a tent is set up for large weddings, reunions and other events.
The expansion will also include a bride room, restrooms and storage for staff.
Mary VanDyke, controller at Boatwerks, said the expansion is the result of the restaurant recognizing customer demand for a larger indoor facility, with limited options in the downtown Holland area.
“We have seen a need. We have received a lot of phone calls and inquiries over the past few years for a business meeting area and for weddings,” VanDyke said. “There is no place here in Holland that can really service that. Even our Macatawa Room is limited to 75 to 80. You do have the Haworth Center that has the capacity, but they do not offer the alcohol.”
Located between the restaurant and the edge of the waterfront, VanDyke said the addition is expected to include a portable divider wall to accommodate two events at the same time and multiple windows for guests to view Lake Macatawa.
Tom Abrams, banquet and catering director at Boatwerks, said the hall would provide an opportunity for people to host an enclosed event that still feels open.
“We are basically going to be offering a large venue for weddings and corporate events, holiday parties and things that right now there is not a lot of options for, especially along the lakeshore,” Abrams said. “We wanted to have an option where people didn’t have to worry about whether it is raining on their tent.”
With the design of the plan conducted by Dennis Reckley, owner of the Holland-based architecture firm Sluiter Vanden Bosch Associates, Abrams said the restaurant will act the project’s contractor, with the assistance from Doug Overweg from the Distinctive Group in Zeeland.
The proposal for the banquet hall addition has been submitted to the city of Holland Planning Commission for the team to conduct study sessions, according to VanDyke.
A public hearing will take place on Oct. 14 at city hall for the planning commission to vote on the plan.
Boatwerks current space provides several event-planning options: a 2,500-square-foot patio area, which can seat up to 200 guests; the Macatawa Room, which holds about 80-100 guests based on setup; Runabout Lounge, the bar area overlooking Lake Macatawa, seating up to 70 people; and the waterfront lawn and patio, which is typically used for large events up to 250 individuals with an outdoor tent.