Last winter, news that a Jolly Pumpkin may be coming to Royal Oak as early in the fall was overwhelming. Reaction ranged from excitement to skepticism over one more downtown bar.
Northern United Brewing Co. told commissioners in January it planned to move forward and purchase the Citizen’s Bank building at 218 S. Main Street, which has been vacant for more than six years, for $950,000 and spend another $1 million in fixtures, equipment and improvements.
Jolly Pumpkin said it would create 95 new jobs in Royal Oak serving hearth-baked pizzas and gourmet salads with "homemade” alcoholic beverages.
Well, the fall is now here, but where is the Jolly Pumpkin?
“The original owner reportedly lost the property to foreclosure, and then the bank, which took it over, went belly up and was taken over by the government. So there’s a lot of negotiations and paperwork that has to happen,” said Royal Oak City Commissioner Jim Rasor.
“So it’s just going to take longer.”
Rasor said it is his understanding Jolly Pumpkin is still committed to the project.
“I’m delighted to welcome them come to Royal Oak,” he said. “I can’t wait to see that property developed.”