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New Grand Haven restaurant bringing Belgian-style food and family fun to the lakeshore

One of the restaurant's biggest influences is the owners' daughter, Mackenzie, who died when she was seven-years-old. Her parents call her their unicorn.

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — A new restaurant opens in Grand Haven on Saturday, bringing with it a European flair and a strong emphasis on family.

Garry and Kristal Boyd have had the idea for The Unicorn Tavern for a long time.

"It came up on our first date," remembers Garry.

And 27 years later, the dream is about to become reality.

"I was, like, asking people if they could actually see it, or if I was still imagining this place," says Garry. "Just to see it come alive has been amazing."

The couple aims to bring something new to Grand Haven, specifically a taste of one of their favorite places to visit, Belgium.

"I think Belgian beer and food is something that people need to experience," says Garry.

And when the doors officially open, it'll be a family affair.

"It's very important to us that our children are a huge part of this," says Kristal.

Their oldest daughter, Charlie, is a fan of mermaids. Their younger son, CJ, is into dragons. 

"That barbecue will be called the dragon and our tiki bar outside will be called the mermaid," says Kristal.

But arguably the biggest influence, is their daughter Mackenzie. A painting of her is on the wall right as you walk inside.

Mackenzie passed away when she was seven-years-old. Her parents called her their unicorn.

"She was truly just a gift to everybody who met her," says Kristal.

And while the Boyds want you to meet their family, they want to meet yours too. A wall is filled with photos of community members, and want to keep it growing.

"We're still getting them every day," says Kristal, after asking on social media for people to bring photos for their wall. "And we would love anybody who comes in can bring a family photo."

Because for Garry and Kristal, its important to keep your family close.

"That's also part of the magic of her being our unicorn," says Garry. "She's here with me. And that's pretty cool."

The Unicorn Tavern opens Saturday, Feb. 4, at 11 a.m. and will be open six days a week, closing on Tuesdays. The Boyds say if you come by tomorrow just don't expect a beer, their liquor license won't be ready for a few more days.

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