New in Town

Come as you are

Stay all day at Joe’s on Jolly

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I think anyone who has lived in the area for a while is familiar with the notion that was once “Downtown Okemos.” At one time, it was a vague concept involving mixed residential and retail. It was meant to be somewhat walkable and teeming with charming eateries. 

But with the institutional Traveler’s Club International Restaurant and Tuba Museum long-bulldozed and few surrounding businesses surviving, this once promising suburban dream seems dead or, at the least, stagnant. However, a not-so-different dream has dawned, albeit a few miles down the road at 2360 Jolly Road, Okemos. 

With the recently opened Joe’s on Jolly, owners Joe and Kerry Goodsir wanted to bring something missing from Okemos.
“We felt the need for a place where the local neighborhood could meet with friends and family,” Joe Goodsir said. “Though there are a number of restaurants nearby, we wanted to create a comfortable, casual atmosphere where people would feel at ease whether dropping in while on a bike ride or meeting clients after work. We want everyone to feel welcome to ‘come as you are.’”

Chances are you’ve enjoyed the Goodsir brand of hospitality before. Joe and Kerry Goodsir are 20-plus-year residents of Okemos and bring a wealth of experience to Joe’s. They also own Capital Prime Steak & Seafood and are partners in the ownership of Beggar’s Banquet, The Harrison Roadhouse and Roadhouse Pub, Rick’s Cafe, The Riv and The Nuthouse. 

Though Kerry Goodsir worked hard to set a nostalgic, welcoming tone for the place through her work on the striking vintage industrial design, the food — including a host of healthy options — remains a significant focus.
“We wanted to create a menu that offered delicious, casual fare that is moderately priced so that people would feel free to come anytime and even multiple times a week,” Joe Goodsir said.

The menu serves an “elevated spin on the classic bar menu with local ingredients and new age techniques.” These offerings include sandwiches, pizza, Wagyu burgers, street tacos, soups, salads and grain bowls (from mac and cheese to poke). There are thoughtful vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options, including pizza crust and bun options! The kid’s menu is stacked with a wealth of appetizers, such as nachos, wings, crispy brussels sprouts and hummus.
Being located near the heart of Spartan Country, the watching-the-game-over-drinks experience was, of course, taken into heavy consideration while mapping out Joe’s. Highlighted by a focus on comfortable, communal seating and a full lineup of cocktails, wine and local beer, they seem to have thought of everything to keep even a non-sports-lover happy and comfortable for as long as overtime can drag on.
There are 20 large-screen TVs, a game room with pinball, a pool table and more. There’s also a covered front patio and multiple fireplaces. Did I forget anything? Oh yeah. The enormous back patio, dubbed “Joe’s Backyard,” is for live entertainment and yard games. Cornhole, anyone?

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