a brief history
Boatwerks Waterfront Restaurant opened Memorial Day Weekend of 2006. The property has a rich history on the lake. Past businesses occupying the property include an aggregate dock and storage area, a coal dock and a marine construction and dredging company. The building was designed to harken back to historic boat building factories that lined the shores of Lake Macatawa with exposed beams and brick. The bar top was created to mimic the decks of hand-crafted wooden boats made by the likes of Chris Craft with light wood inlays between darker mahogany boards. The walls are lined with historic photos of the Lake Macatawa, Lake Michigan and Holland areas.
The restaurant continues to evolve and add features that enhance the guest experience. In 2008, the outdoor patio bar was added to create a comfortable outdoor lounge area. The next year saw the addition of glass walls along the boardwalk to create true waterfront tables right on the edge of the seawall. The next major change came in 2013 with the complete remodel of the dining room and indoor lounge. The areas were swapped to create a better dining experience for our guests with additional windows added to the North wall and an elevated seating area to ensure great lake views for every guest in the dining room. We know that with growth, change must also come. We are constantly looking for avenues and ideas to make Boatwerks Waterfront Restaurant the most sought after dining experience on the lakeshore.
The Boatwerks Banquet & Catering building, which was opened in January of 2013, was originally built as the ice house for Superior Ice Company. The ice was harvested from the frozen lake and stored in the building to be sold to the surrounding residents and businesses. This is evidenced by the nearly three feet thick walls. The building later became the offices for the different businesses occupying the property. Historic pictures of the building in its past lives are displayed as a mural above the elevated seating area in the main dining room.
Summer of 2015 brought the addition of our new 5,600-square-foot Event Center featuring a more than 3,300-square-foot banquet and conference room, as well as new restroom facilities and a bride’s room. The addition allows us to host large weddings and business events for up to 300 people, about three times the amount the Macatawa Room can accommodate. The expansion came as the demand for large events has been on the rise.