On the day we visited Windmill Island Gardens, Tom and I ate at Waverly Stone Gatropub and visited Garen Huis Yarns. Although Tom and I enjoyed Windmill Island Gardens very much, we were done there by noon. So we decided to ride the tandem to downtown Holland, Michigan, and check it out. We wanted to continue the windmill theme and eat at The Windmill restaurant.
Holland has a compact and lively downtown area, which is easy to navigate and very bike friendly. Once we got to the sidewalks of downtown, we walked the bike. We started on the east end of downtown. It turned out that The Windmill Restaurant was on the west end of downtown. So we got to check out all the stores and restaurants that we passed. Several restaurants looked good and had wonderful outdoor seating. Unfortunately, the Windmill Restaurant was not one of the them. It looked like a good place to eat, but everything was indoors and crowded. We turned instead to Waverly Stone Gatropub.
As far as I know, Tom and I have never eaten at a gastropub before. The term was coined in the 1990’s and represents, according to Wikipedia, “gourmet comfort food.” In other words, they served burgers. Red meat was fine with us after two days of riding the tandem. Waverly Stone Gastropub had a table available outside so we parked the bike, locked it to the fence, and took our seats.
We both ordered burgers and an order of fries to share. The burgers had some unusual ingredients so I ordered my burger without. Tom ordered his rosemary mayo on the side, so he could decide if he liked it. Our waitress did a good job serving us and the food arrived fresh and hot in a timely fashion. The burgers were a little dry, and Tom didn’t get his rosemary mayo, but we added a little ketchup and enjoyed them anyway.
After paying for our lunch, we continued walking around the block to Garen Huis Yarn Studio. I like to visit local yarn shops wherever I am and I was intrigued by the Dutch name. Garen Huis means Yarn House. Garen Huis did not disappoint. I was hooked on the shop from the minute I walked in the door and saw the sweater open and closed sign. The store had a wonderful mix of expensive, gorgeous, luxury yarn and inexpensive but still beautiful washable yarn.
I wanted to get a white and a pink for a breast cancer hat and I had lots of choices of the pink. I finally settled on a soft and washable yarn that is a medium pink. Not too bright, not too pale. I also found two wonderful green yarns to continue some hats I have been working on. They were two different shades of a forest green that looked perfect. I talked to the owner a bit and asked her if she would be willing to move to Columbus, which is desperately in need of a good yarn shop. She laughed and said she thought she would stay in Holland. I hope the knitters of Holland appreciate what they have and support the shop.
Tom and I both enjoyed our trip to downtown Holland. The city has about 25,000 people and the downtown is one of the most vibrant we have seen. I think it helps that Holland doesn’t have any malls and that downtown is so pedestrian and bike friendly. If you want to revitalize a downtown area, put in some bike paths that lead to the stores.