I struggled, as I did when I visited Ashley’s in Westland back in November, with whether I should include Detroit’s Jolly Pumpkin as a new place on my blog, because I have already been multiple times to the Ann Arbor location. But as with Ashley’s, I ultimately decided to see the recently opened Detroit location of JP as its own entity. Yes, it’s got the same name and brand and is owned by the same people, but it has its own distinct look and setup, and the food menu also looks to be more extensive (I NEED to go back and eat there – the pizzas look amazing!). That’s the wonderful thing about most local chains – I wouldn’t even call most of them chains, just brands with several locations – they are not cookie-cutter. They adapt the aura of their surroundings, and the Detroit Jolly Pumpkin is decidedly Midtown. It’s a gorgeous facility, with this great rustic-slash-urban-industrial, renewed-Detroit feel to it (locals, you know the vibe I’m talking about – it’s lovely and refreshing!). Spending time in the city extensively Saturday, enjoying it and watching other people enjoy it, felt so uplifting. A rebirth is totally happening down there, for real! I feel grateful to live in the proximity of this unique, diverse place and to get to witness its transformation. I can’t wait to do down to there again for the Tigers game this Sunday and to enjoy it some more.
So, total confession: I was sacrilegious and didn’t get one of Jolly Pumpkin’s renowned sour beers. But that’s ok, because they’ve got some signature cocktails, too, and I discovered they are pretty amazing! Admittedly, I am one of those people who likes to get a cocktail just because it is unusual-sounding: the weirder, the better. I’ll run the risk of a drink tasting horrible just to drink something different. At JP, I ordered the Rita Hayworth, which contains chipotle cherry agave tequila. It had quite a smoky flavor that took some getting used to, but the more I drank it, the more it grew on me (it didn’t hurt that it was pretty strong!). Sitting there at the picnic tables, people-watching and enjoying the company of my friend as I sipped a craft cocktail on a Saturday afternoon, it was like, this is it. This is summer in Michigan. This is what being alive is all about!
441 W. Canfield
Detroit, MI 48201