Jolly Pumpkin

It’s truly impossible to describe the massive change going on in Detroit. The city isn’t what people would expect in many ways. To some it might look like an ‘up and coming’ city and to others it probably looks like it has a long way to go. Both views have merit and it’s exciting to be in the center of it all.

One of the many new restaurants that recently opened is the Jolly Pumpkin. It’s a Michigan brewery with multiple locations across the state. The Detroit pub is situated on one of the most popular streets in Midtown: West Canfield. A few years ago it was known for Traffic Jam & Snug and Motor City Brewing Works. Now there are multiple storefronts, lofts and the nationally known Shinola.

Not surprisingly, the place was hopping on Thursday night – fortunately, we were able to find seating. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that it’s not a traditional restaurant with waiters and scheduled seating. Instead it’s similar to Noodles & Company, you order your meal at a counter and are given a number to place at your table for a staff person to bring it to you. It’s a nice arrangement. The other arrangement I appreciate is the communal tables. I’m not overly social and perhaps that’s part of the reason I like the increasing number of community seating options at restaurants. It forces us out of our comfort zone and to interact with others. There are individual tables available too for those who prefer it.

I feel like I mention this often but Detroiters are really friendly, we were greeted by Austin when we arrived and he was so friendly, I decided to ask for an interview right off the bat.
Do you live in Detroit?
Yes, I live over on Cass.
What do you like about Detroit?
I like how much is happening. There is always something going on, it’s never quiet or boring.
What would you like to change about the city?
I’d like to see more people move. I’m not from Detroit originally and all my friends, whenever I say I’m in Detroit they, all look really scared and think it’s a horrible ghetto. I really want more people to come and realize it’s not.
What are you looking forward to happening in Detroit this year?
This, right here. Jolly Pumpkin was founded in Dexter [Michigan], where I’m from so I’ve been a fan of them from the beginning and I’m really excited to them here, doing really well.
What would you recommend from the menu?
My favorite would have to be the Perfect Fried Chicken Sandwich because it is in fact perfect. All of our bread is made at Avalon next door and we’re the only people who have the bun. It’s a sriracha infused brioche, so the bun has sriracha sauce in it and it’s incredible.
We initially planned to get the pizza but with the recommendation, we couldn’t resist the chicken sandwich. It lived up to it’s name. The truffle fries were the best I’ve ever had and the aioli made them even more delicious. Long story short, we are going to be for pizza soon.
Edit: Ha, forgot to mention this a brewery and they have plenty of beer on tap. Danny enjoyed his but I don’t remember what he ordered since I don’t drink beer.

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