Inside Mid City’s new sweet shop Milkshake Mack, with 30+ syrups and lactose-free options

Mid City’s newest business Milkshake Mack is shaking up the local sweet shop scene with lactose-free options, iced coffee and milk tea, unique flavor combinations and a long list of syrups. 

Milkshake Mack officially opened its doors near Elsie’s Plate & Pie and next door to Boomerang Comedy Theater this past weekend to an eager crowd looking to get a taste of the sugary shakes. But, owner Robin McKnight started the process of launching her current venture almost a year ago, back in May 2023. The idea was to bring Baton Rouge a new dessert option inspired by her favorite sweet treats growing up. The name Milkshake Mack is a nod to her own last name. 

“Milkshakes and ice cream in general have always been our sweet time,” she says. “Growing up, my dad always bought the Neapolitan ice cream and waffle cones. On Sunday after service, that’s what we ate as our sweet. He recently passed away, but I love making milkshakes. I always come around (Mid City), and I was like, ‘It’s missing a place that sells just specialty, all different types and flavors, milkshakes. I would like to give it a try.’”

McKnight says she was blown away at how the community showed out for her new business during her grand opening, April 6-7. Along with new customers, McKnight had her family, friends and employees by her side, including her partner Porsche Reese, who was also behind the counter mixing up shakes. Their son Hendrix also looked happy about his mom’s new business as he walked around with a waffle cone in hand.  

“I’m happy that it’s open now because the anxiety for the first day was driving me nuts,” McKnight says. “Now that it’s open and rolling, we have our system and routine. So, I slept great last night.”

Inside the 800-square-foot shop, customers can browse a lengthy menu complete with 10 signature flavors thought up by McKnight and taste-tested by her family, friends and employees. 

Most of the space is occupied by the kitchen, which houses soft-serve dispensers, milkshake machines and a large rack filled with Torani syrups. Toward the front door, there is a small seating area with two tables and a colorful milkshake mural for photo ops. Guests can also find tables outside to enjoy their icy treats.

All of the milkshakes start with a soft-serve ice cream, which is made using a lactose-free mix. The ice cream base comes in three flavors: vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. From there, customers can choose to add in milk for a creamier shake. And, yes, lactose-free milks are available, too. 

“A lot of people can’t tolerate whole milk, and we definitely give you that option on which milk you want to add to it, if any,” McKnight says. 

The signature shake menu has fruit-filled options, like the Fruit Basket, which combines vanilla ice cream with blackberry, blue raspberry and passion fruit syrups; and chocolate-forward flavors like the Chocoholic Dream, which consists of chocolate ice cream with mocha and Almond Roca syrups mixed with Oreo crumbles and a chocolate drizzle. But, McKnight’s favorite is Cajun Berry, a strawberry shake with an unexpected kick. 

“They all thought I was nuts because it has sweet heat sauce in it with strawberry sauce,” she says. “So it has a little ting to it. But it’s really good.”

Customers can also create their own creamy concoctions by mixing any soft-serve options with some of the over 30 flavors. Build-your-own milkshakes can also include real fruit, mix-ins, drizzles and toppings. McKnight says she may even take note of what customers are making when deciding on new shake flavors. 


Though the signature 10 shakes are here to stay, McKnight says Milkshake Mack will also introduce seasonal recipes. She’s already testing out options for Thanksgiving and Christmas, she says. Some seasonal syrups are also available year-round for those looking to indulge in a pumpkin-spiced or gingerbread-flavored milkshake in any month. 

“Every holiday that will come, I will have a signature shake dedicated to the holiday,” she promises. 

Of course, Milkshake Mack will mostly sling milkshakes and ice cream creations, but it also offers cold brew coffee and milk tea. Guests can order either drink with their choice of milk and can even opt to add in flavors, too. 

“Cold brew coffee, I know that’s the thing,” McKnight says. “I’m honestly not a cold brew coffee fan myself, but a lot of people love it. … I like the Earl Grey tea. One day I put some creamer in it and some oat milk, and it was delicious. I wanted to offer that for the people.”

Milkshake Mack is open Wednesday-Sunday, 2-8 p.m., though McKnight hopes the buzz about her business gets bigger so she can adjust hours and be open both earlier and later in the future. Milkshake Mack is at 437 Hearthstone Drive. Follow it on Instagram for updates.