Jolly Pumpkin adds fourth outlet, brings house-made brews to Royal Oak

The Jolly Pumpkin, maker of its own beer, wine, liquor and non-alcoholic drinks and known for exceptionally fresh and creative foods, is expanding to Royal Oak.

After getting approval from the city commission last week, Jolly Pumpkin’s operators, collectively known as the Northern United Brewing Co., plans to take over a vacant bank and surrounding lot on Main Street between 2nd and 3rd. The bank has been vacant for six years.

Jolly Pumpkin started in Dexter, a location that is now primarily a distillery and manufacturing site, and expanded to Ann Arbor and Traverse City, where it has carved out a well-known brand and following.

Its Royal Oak site will have two indoor and two outdoor seating areas with room for 349 when all seating areas are opened, and 249 when outdoor areas are closed. There will tables and bars, including one around a pizza oven and grill. One outdoor area will be open-air along Main while the other will be behind the restaurant and surrounded by walls for an outdoor urban garden.

The restaurant and distillery will expand beyond the bank’s 3,888-square-foot footprint by 4,300 square feet, bringing its size to 8,188 square feet. The cost for the property is $950,000, with renovations adding another $1 million, according to the city.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served using, whenever possible, locally grown and organic foods in menu items such as corn pizza, praline-pecan bread pudding and creamy buckwheat pasta with wild mushrooms.

Part of the restaurant will house the distillery that makes drinks on site.

“It’s a substantial facility, and it’s a unique concept,” says Timothy Thwing, director of planning for the city of Royal Oak.

Thwing says the project still must undergo reviews and approvals by the city, all part of the process that comes after obtaining the licenses for small winemaker, beermaker, and distiller last week.

Opening day could come by fall.

Source: Timothy Thwing, director of planning, city of Royal Oak and Royal Oak City Commission
Writer: Kim North Shine