HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Monday night, the Ottawa Beach General Store in Holland will close its doors for the season and when the summertime staple re-opens it’s doors next year, it will have new life.
Built in the 1930s, the Ottawa Beach General Store has been the home of decades of summer memories for visitors and residents along the lakeshore in Holland.
“We had a little cottage up here and this is where we spent our summers. So if you needed hotdog buns or hamburger buns or anything like that, we’d come running down here and they had all kinds of groceries and different things,” said Rick Vantil, long-time customer at Ottawa Beach General Store.
Rick Vantil said he’s frequented the iconic store, which currently sells everything from t-shirts to ice cream, since he was five. Now his grandchildren are carrying on the tradition.
“Everyday they come down, I’ve got a bucket of quarters and dimes and nickels, and they all go in here and get them and say, ‘Can we go to the General Store to spend your money?’ I say yes,” Vantil said.
On Labor Day, the General Store opened one last time in 2023. After years and years of wear and tear, the building will be torn down and rebuilt in time for next Memorial Day.
“The foundation is really tired and so when renovation was a possibility, engineers looked at it and they said no. So it has to be rebuilt,” said Linda Dykert, operator of Ottawa Beach General Store.
Dykert, who has operated the store for the past 10 years, said seeing the building come down will be bittersweet but when it re-opens it will have the familiar look that many have come to love over the years.
“There will be beams inside like we have, we’re going to try and create the same type of floor, we’re going to create the same type of layout. So we’re going to make it as historical as a new building can be,” Dykert said.
Vantil said he will miss some of the character of the old building but is pleased with where it’s headed in the future.
“I’m just happy it’s in the hands of good people and they’re not going to tear it down and make some high rise out of it and condos out of it and everything else. It’s going to remain this way for probably another 100 years,” Vantil said.
Dykert said it’s unclear exactly when the store will be torn down.