Michigan may be a five-hour flight from the Pacific Ocean, but diners will soon be able to crush some frozen drinks and poke bowls in Dearborn starting next week. The team behind Jolly Pumpkin is preparing to open a new West Coast surfing-themed restaurant called the Longboard in Dearborn on Monday, November 25 with lots of beer, tiki drinks, and beachy decor.
Located in Ford development Wagner Place, the Longboard’s 8,000-square-foot space was initially destined to become another outpost of Jolly Pumpkin; however, the owners of Northern United Brewing Company decided to pivot slightly in a new direction.
The Longboard’s design and menu is undeniably riding a wave of resurgent enthusiasm for tiki bars and is also inspired by Jolly Pumpkin owners Ron and Laurie Jeffries surfing vacations. The 226-seat interior is divided into a dining room known as the Outrigger and a 25-seat bar called the Surf Bar. The restaurant features surfboards hanging from the ceiling, bamboo, and brightly colored, beach-themed upholstery.
General manager and Michigan native John Elwell is well-acquainted with beach-themed restaurants having come off a 15-year stint working at and managing Margaritaville in South Carolina. Elwell says the restaurant’s private dining space will seat up to 50 people with two outdoor patios adding 40 to 50 more seats come spring. The patio is expected to feature another bar with an old Ford truck decorated with a surfboard.
The Longboard’s kitchen, led by chef Dan Gawura, will meld Pacific Island and West Coast dishes with the typical food customers are familiar with from Jolly Pumpkin. Diners can expect items like Hawaiian poke, fish tacos, Kona Coffee pot de crème, and pineapple upside down cake. Elwell says popular Jolly Pumpkin items like the fried chicken sandwich and pizza will incorporate aspects of the theme (think: Hawaiian pizza).
On the bar side, look out for tiki cocktails, frozen drinks, and lots of beers from Northern United Brewing Company and its affiliated beer and liquor brands. “We’re trying to bring a little bit more fun to Dearborn,” Elwell says.
The Longboard is located at 21931 Michigan Ave. Ste. 100; open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday; call 313-914-4510.