ALLEGAN, Mich. — You can now drink alcohol in downtown Allegan inside its new social district. The district allows businesses to serve alcohol and allow patrons to walk around within the permitted area.
Schaendorf Brewing Company is serving to-go cocktails, wine, and beer. The brewery is also offering food from its menu.
"It’s hopefully a good comeback, and we all need that right now," said Ben Schaendorf, owner of Schaendorf Brewing Company. "I think people are kind of bumming at home, and if they are looking for something to do, this would be a good opportunity to get out of the house.”
The Allegan City Council first approved the social district at the end of October. Schaendorf was the first to meet the necessary requirements, which included an add-on to their liquor license through LARA. "The city council here in Allegan is always willing to work with local businesses, and they said in a heartbeat let’s make this happen for the local businesses," said Joel Dye, city manager of Allegan. “We’re looking at many more establishments offering this and giving residents another reason to come to Allegan. Shop and enjoy everything we have to offer.”
Other businesses are also supporting the effort, allowing customers to shop with a drink in hand.
"I want whatever progress we see for Allegan," said Landria Christman, owner of the Sassy Olive. "When I heard that this was an opportunity, I was like yes, let’s do it. It was really nice to know that I was leaving work and walking over to get a drink and then walking out with it, and it’s legal. So I really looked forward to it. It was fun and different and something new, and I really think that it is going to draw a lot of people in."
The social district has been approved for 365 days of the year, happening between dawn and dusk. The city is encouraging those who participate to drink responsibly.