What’s Happening at The Shack in Allegan?
If you’ve ever driven through Allegan on your way to Lake Michigan, chances are you’ve seen this structure. I know it as the former Shiver Shack, perhaps you know it as the now-closed Sweet Temptations, but this little hut located just off M-89 in Allegan originally started as the Brown Derby.
The Brown Derby was a local drive-in burger joint, one of only two in Allegan at the time. The other being Corky’s Drive-In which is still operational to this day and has been voted the Best Burger in West Michigan.
The Brown Derby used to be a hoppin’ joint back in the day. My mom even recalls local bands playing on the rooftop on Saturday nights. After closing sometime in the early 80s The Brown Derby morphed into Millie’s Aloha. Millie’s was another burger joint, but this time new owners the Belden family ran it with a Hawaiian flair!
Once Millie’s closed in 1993 the building changed hands several times, with each subsequent new owner convinced they could make mini-golf happen there. Eventually the Fortney family turned the hut into an ice cream shop known as JJ’s Shiver Shack. Many celebrations took place at the Shiver Shack, including several of my own birthday parties. Both my sisters even started their first jobs at the Shiver Shack!
After selling the Shiver Shack the new owners continued the ice cream tradition, this time branding as Sweet Temptations. In 2020 Sweet Temptations opened in a bigger location just down the road from the original location, leaving the hut once again empty and the mini-golf course out back inoperable.
What’s next for this unique space?
An application dated November 2020 shows the space is set to be converted into a retail marijuana establishment- one of four set to open in Allegan within the coming year. Coincidentally, the lot is located next to a McDonald’s for easy munchies access! Where’s your favorite spot to grab a tasty treat in Allegan these days?