With Retirement Looming, What’s the Fate of Hunter’s Bike Shop in Allegan?
The hits just keep coming! Though downtown Allegan has seen numerous changes throughout the years, one business that has always been a constant has been the bike shop Hunter's Western Auto. Unfortunately, that's about to change.
I'm not sure whether owner Tom Hunter was ready to announce his news or not, but the disappointing news broke via a social media post on the "Friends of Allegan's Oakwood Cemetery" Facebook group. The post itself read,
...We want to say thank you to Tom Hunter for his year's of support. We will miss your business and we'll always wave when ever we see you around town. Enjoy your retirement!
Though Tom and the bike shop don't have much of an online presence, preferring to do things the old school way, it seems as though Tom's retirement means the closure of the iconic Allegan staple. However, it is important to note the original poster made an edit to their comment and added,
Note : Tom is not retired yet. You have at least 6 months to go shop and wish him well
Naturally, Allegan residents were quick to react to the news, sharing such sentiments as:
- "Happy retirement! Thank you for keeping this business going for so many years. You and your family will be missed in downtown Allegan." - Janis Banks DeHaan
- "Congratulations on your retirement Tom. As a kid I loved to look at all the toys in the store. My first bike came from Hunter’s. You will be missed." - Janet Zajac
- "Truly the end of an Era. Congrats to Tom. I always visited Ted when I was a kid and my kids had Tom. The store is an Allegan institution." - Sara Pullen Gura
Having grown up there myself, I can attest to the void that Hunter's will leave in the hearts of all Allegan locals. Hunter's has been there since before I even existed! Before Tom took over the business his father Ted helped many kids find their first bike.
If I recall correctly, my younger sister even won a bike from Hunter's through some school competition! My family has sat in front of Hunter's through nearly ever Allegan parade and celebration. Downtown just won't look the same without Tom and his iconic Western Auto sign. Hunter's will surely be missed!