The longstanding lakefront restaurant Ottawa Beach Inn will remodel, rebrand, and reopen as Playa Tacos & Tequilas. Not everyone is excited about this change.

We locals always called it "OBI." Ottawa Beach Inn, on Lake Macatawa, just a half-mile from Holland State Park was a hometown favorite for 50 years. I wouldn't call it fine dining, but it was no dive. In high school, I wouldn't take a date there before a formal school dance, but it was fancy enough to be impressive for a "regular" date. OBI was known for its perch, the beachcomber sandwich, and fried mushrooms.

I haven't been in decades, but I can clearly remember the atmosphere and decor at Ottawa Beach Inn. Half was the restaurant, and the other half was a bar. A nautical theme prevailed throughout, with at least one full-size captain's wheel, signs, and banners adorning the walls and then there were the boats. Above the bar and on the walls, there were cutouts of boat shapes. Painted on each power or sailboat was the name of a real vessel. I'm not sure exactly how you got them to put your boat name on the wall, my sailboat was too small to have a name.

Now, all of that is gone.

Ottawa Beach Inn closed for the season in November of 2021 and has just announced an entirely new direction.

Ottawa Beach Inn has been a Holland mainstay for 50 years and our team is grateful to have played a role in that rich history. Playa Tacos & Tequilas is an entirely new concept, one we’re exceptionally proud to have built from the ground up and one we know will serve our neighbors in Holland well.

-Eric Chaitin, owner ofEric Chaitin, owner of River & Odi Hospitality Group

The eatery will reopen in May of 2022 as Playa Tacos and Tequilas. "Playa" is Spanish for "beach," which is appropriate given the location of the restaurant. The concept, a modern restaurant serving Mexican street food and more than 150 tequilas and mezcals, has not gone over well with everyone. Many of the comments on the Ottawa Beach Inn Facebook page announcing the change don't think Holland needs another Mexican restaurant and will miss the old OBI favorites.

At least it looks like some got to keep the plaque of their boat.

h/t WOOD-TV8

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