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Community Restaurant reopens in Zeeland

The Community Restaurant has been a staple in Zeeland since the 1960's.
Community Restaurant
The Community Restaurant has been a staple in Zeeland since the 1960's.

Almost two years after it was destroyed by a fire, a popular restaurant in Zeeland has reopened

Even back in April of 2022 as he watched it burn, owner Barry Elzinga knew he’d bring back Zeeland’s Community Restaurant.

“The night it was burning I was standing out on Main Street in front of the building and I had it in my head already, ‘How am I going to bring this back and I’m going to bring this place back.’”

The restaurant was a total loss, but that never deterred Elzinga. It had been a staple in the community since the 1960’s, back when there were only two or three restaurants in the entire town. Elzinga says it was always important to bring it back to the community.

“It’s such a staple to this town, an icon that’s been here so long that I felt I would be letting people down if I didn’t do everything I could to try and get it back.”

Elzinga says the new space won’t look much different from the old and the menu will be a familiar one, but he, his family and staff look forward to welcoming guests both old and new to the rebuilt Community Restaurant.

“It’s been a landmark in this town for a long time and people know it. They come here to meet people and that’s what I’m looking to have them do in the future.”

The Community Restaurant in Zeeland opens today.

Dave joined WGVU Public Media in November of 2023 after eighteen years as a Michigan Association of Broadcasters Emmy-nominated photojournalist and editor at Grand Rapids' WOOD TV8 and three years at WEYI TV25 in Flint, Michigan. As a General Assignment Reporter, Dave covers daily news and community events all over West Michigan.
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