After a decade in business, a restaurant in downtown Zeeland is shutting its doors for good.

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Public restaurant, which serves hand-crafted comfort food, announced the closure this week. They'll be moving out of 131 E Main Ave. Dec 18, 2021 and the dental office next door, Moxy Dental, will be expanding into the space.

Owner Luke Grill calls the decision to close bittersweet,

Over the last 10 years, we have grown strong in a community we love, and that has inspired us in so many ways. We could not feel more blessed to have served you for so long. But, this isn't the end. It's the start of a new chapter. We plan to continue building upon the solid foundation Public has laid out.

Grill's company, 1983 Restaurants, also operates three additional restaurants: Seventy-Six, Obstacle No. 1, and Poquito on 8th St. in Holland.

According to the Holland Sentinel, Public is one of two restaurants in downtown Zeeland participating in the social district, which allows patrons to drink alcohol outside in designated areas. The state-run program requires at least two participants to stay active, so Zeeland's social zone will likely temporarily halt.

Zeeland City Marketing Director Abby deRoo tells the Holland Sentinel,

You need two licenses within the district in order to be eligible to utilize that program. We do have a couple of other businesses that are exploring licenses. We are optimistic that by next spring or summer we'll be able to have it open again. The winter season lends itself for that, so it's not a total showstopper.

In the meantime, deRoo says the City is working to amend its alcohol ordinance to allow Zeeland to pursue different license programs that are created specific to downtown areas. It should be ready for public hearing next month.

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