BORN TO TAKE FLIGHT...
Now owned by the Immer family of Watervliet, The Blackbird Waterhouse is housed in a historical Coloma resort-era building. Originally known as the Wil-o-Paw Inn until the 1980's, the location on Paw Paw Lake Road has been host to a number of restaurants and event centers. The historical building was established in 1931 by George Klotter, who was also known for beginning development on the Paw Paw Lake Islands, which is now home to a number of locals to the Coloma community.
It is the last resort building left in the area, and every day we have locals pass through our doors and share with us the rich history of the building and the guests who have visited here for the last several decades. It is perhaps one of our favorite things about the rich history of the building and property. Countless stories of early morning breakfasts, past family owners, bands, and games in the pub!
The front pub was added on in 1941, but with a much lower ceiling. Eventually, the back portion of the building was added in the 1960's, which houses our upstairs event space, main dining room with stage, and the main kitchens. The upstairs in the 60's was an apartment for the owners at that time, part of which is now our offices. Our historic bar was added in the early 80's and is a bowling lane from the bowling alley that used to be housed next door.
In 2014, the building was condemned because of the roof. Nick Bertuca and Bertuca builders acquired the building and got to work preserving this historical Coloma landmark by raising and rebuilding the roof around the entire original building. The front pub now showcases the entire front of the original Wil-o-Paw Inn and is one of our favorite features of the restaurant. From the stone details, to the historical story that the aged window frames tell.
In 2018, the Immer's purchased the property and completed renovations on the main dining room, kitchens and patio. The Blackbird Waterhouse is a long time dream for their family. They aspire to continue to preserve and tell the story of the historical property for years to come.
The Blackbird Waterhouse is a restaurant, culinary and event center for the local Southwest Michigan region with a vision of delivering exceptional guest experiences and amazing high quality farm fresh food.
The name of the restaurant is inspired by their love of the Beatles. Their young son, Mason, enjoys listening to Beatles vinyl albums and from a young age would sing the song Blackbird. The song's lyrics, with the message of freedom, and the dream of taking a chance on something to find that freedom - is profoundly meaningful to the family. Located only a few short blocks away from Paw Paw Lake, The Blackbird Waterhouse only made sense for the new establishment.
"We were only waiting for this moment to Arise"