Hot ‘hood’ — Holland’s Washington Square

Washington Square
Photo: Urban St. magazine/Kelsey Smith

Centrally located between 18th and 19th streets in Holland, Washington Square is nestled among one of the city’s original neighborhoods. The Square’s historic charm is evident in its brick streets and buildings dating to the early 1920s. But, the square offers much more than just history.

A collection of shops, restaurants, art galleries, a yoga studio, a corner grocery store and a gourmet market are just a few of The Square’s must-visits.

“I think most people do not realize how vibrant and active Washington Square really is,” said Chris Alderink, owner of Brew Merchant, a business in Washington Square. “There is more variety than you would expect in the businesses. I would encourage anyone to take a morning or afternoon and just stroll through all of the shops. It’s not ‘touristy,’ but more of a place for locals.”

EAT

The Biscuit
Photo: Urban St. magazine/Mark Dryer

The Biscuit

Whether grabbing breakfast with friends or taking a lunch break with colleagues, The Biscuit doesn’t disappoint. Diners can try a variety of favorites, as well as original creations inspired by old family recipes and global cuisines. Don’t forget to order a locally roasted coffee or espresso.

“We feel the thing that makes The Biscuit unique is that we cook everything from scratch using real food, locally sourced when possible and always free from artificial ingredients, and it’s done in a friendly, neighborhood setting.”

—Rob Gerow, owner

DRINK

Brew Merchant
Photo: Brew Merchant

Brew Merchant

Brew Merchant is unlike your typical bar. It has a comfortable atmosphere; 32 rotating taps; and an attached event venue, Merchant Hall, that can be rented for gatherings like birthday parties, showers and wedding rehearsal dinners. Nonprofits can use that space at no charge.

“The building itself was built around 1910 so it has a lot of architectural charm. Once there, it’s a great place to talk about current topics or hang out with friends, like an old-style public house in Europe.”

—Chris Alderink, owner

SHOP

Minit Mart
Photo: Urban St. magazine/Kelsey Smith

Minit Mart

Stepping through the front door of Minit Mart is like taking step back in time to simpler days. The retro market instantly reminds you of the local corner store you visited growing up, but with modern upgrades. Minit Mart carries all of the basic essentials including groceries, snacks other convenience items.

“We’re trying to be the old corner store again; we have a nice selection of groceries for last-minute meals and a great selection of different beers, wines and liquor.”

—Jill Berkompas, co-owner


Washington Square businesses:

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