Drinking in the streets: Allegan social district opens Wednesday

Allegan County

A map provided by the city of Allegan shows the boundaries of the Downtown Allegan Social District, which opens Dec. 9, 2020.

ALLEGAN, Mich. (WOOD) — Allegan is joining a growing list of cities transforming their downtown streets into outdoor dining oases for businesses hurt by the pandemic.

Schaendorf Brewing Company on Water Street will be the first business to take advantage of the Downtown Allegan Social District, which opens Wednesday.

Customers can enjoy clearly marked drinks purchased at the brewery in the designated area, which is bordered by Cutler, Chestnut, State and Water streets. Stores within the social district may also allow drinking patrons to peruse inside their shops.

Schaendorf Brewing Company co-owner Kyle Heslip says the benefits of the social district are two-fold: helping bars and restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic while attracting more potential visitors and customers to downtown Allegan.

The city has also cleared Tantrick Brewing Company to use the social district once it moves into downtown Allegan in spring 2021. Allegan officials expect to add more participating businesses soon.


Allegan city council members approved creating the Downtown Allegan Social District on Oct. 26. The designated space will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily year-round.

Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo have also taken advantage of state legislation allowing social zones. In September, Grand Rapids officials voted to keep its social zones open through May 2021. Kalamazoo voted to expand its Central Commons Refreshment Area last month.

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