Side-by-side craft beer bars Bastone Brewery and Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales are readying for an August 7 debut in Royal Oak, representatives for the brewery confirmed today.
Bastone’s ownership in March revealed plans to partner with Dexter-based Jolly Pumpkin on the repurposing and renovation of three existing Royal Oak restaurant spaces — Bastone, Vinotecca Wine Bar, and Monk Beer Abbey. A weekends-only nightclub and events space called Craft will continue to operate in the basement.
When it reopens next month, Bastone Brewery will be located in the former Monk Beer Abbey space on the complex’s W. 5th Street side. It will feature 60 seats indoors and an additional 36 patio seats. The interior will blend aspects of both the former Monk Beer Abbey space and Bastone including stained glass windows and artwork. Bastone’s head brewer Rockne Van Mete will also continue brewing beers using a 10-barrel system located beneath the restaurant.
Jolly Pumpkin’s Royal Oak outpost is filling the area previously occupied by Vinotecca and Bastone at 419 S. Main Street. That brewpub will be slightly larger than Bastone at 210-seats inside with a 40-seat outdoor dining area. Representatives for the brewery say that the design will mirror that of the Jolly Pumpkin location in Detroit with lots of blonde wood and a U-shaped copper bar.
Both bars will share an entrance and host area but will have separate kitchens and menus. Bastone’s restaurant will be helmed by general manager John Sleamon and chef Cory Beattie. The menu is expected to feature Belgian-style beer and food including mussels, pomme frites, and burgers.
Jolly Pumpkin’s menu will offer similar food to its other locations in Ann Arbor and Detroit such as pizzas, burgers, and truffle fries. At the bar, patrons can expect to see the parent company North Peak Brewing Co.’s family of brews and spirits including Jolly Pumpkin’s barrel-aged sour ales, North Peak and Bastone beers, Nomad ciders, wine, and more.
Bastone’s co-owner and Mission Restaurant Group director of operations David Ritchie tells Eater that the collaboration was a natural move for the two breweries, which opened around the same time and shared a mutual interest in Belgian-style beers. Ron Jeffries, who co-founded Jolly Pumpkin in 2004 with his wife Laurie Jeffries, consulted on the designs for Bastone’s brewing setup and Ritchie worked with Jolly Pumpkin on its accounting systems.
Ritchie says that he and his partners are exploring options for opening a warehouse and expanding into distribution, but needed a stronger partner on the restaurant and bar side. Likewise, Jolly Pumpkin had been exploring opportunities to open a brewpub in Royal Oak for several years but had struggled to find the right space. “It's like two friends helping each other. It's family,” Ritchie says.
On opening day both craft beer bars will offer a collaborative non-sour Belgian-style beer called Co-Operation Ale — described as a “fusion” of La Roja and Nectar des Deux. the breweries are also collaborating on a second sour-style beer, which does not currently have a release date.
Jolly Pumpkin isn’t stopping with Royal Oak. The company is currently in the process of building out another beer hall in Chicago, set to open this year, and is planning expansions to Bay City and Grand Rapids. A space in the North Peak brewing facility and Null Taphouse in Dexter may also eventually become a new restaurant.
Craft beer fans are sometimes wary when a favorite brewery such as Jolly Pumpkin gets larger, and it’s a consideration that hasn’t escaped Ron and Laurie Jeffries as they’ve grown their business. Still, Ron Jeffries has stayed consistent in his goal of bringing more sour ale to fans of the style. “I've always said I'll make as much sour beer as people want to drink,” he says.