HOLLAND, Mich. — “I'm barely hanging on here,” says Terry McMurry, owner of the Windmill Restaurant in downtown Holland. “I'm not even really hanging on ... we're losing money being open.”
That’s what the pandemic has done to an eatery that has been in business since the 1940s. McMurry has owned the place since 1983, serving decades of hash brown omelets and fresh-baked cinnamon rolls.
But he knows how much the Windmill Restaurant means to people: “This is a college town, so we get people that come back every year, saying, ‘Oh, you know, I have to visit the Windmill when I'm in town, because they were here in college.’ A lot of college students come in here for their breakfast because we've got dormitory style housing right close, and now we've got a lot of apartment dwellers here, too.”
For all the popularity of the Windmill’s menu, McMurry admits the pandemic has been hard on the place. “The biggest change was, was not having any customers here,” he recalls. On normal weekend mornings, people lined up out the door. Now the business is going through its savings.
That’s where community support is so important. “But what happens when we go away? You're not going to have your hometown places that have character.”
The Windmill Restaurant is relying on two ways to accept orders: in person, as customers stop by as they walk through downtown Holland, and by phone (616-392-2726; order off the online menu).
Windmill Restaurant, 28 W 8th St., Downtown Holland, MI 616-392-2726