UPDATE: A Jolly Pumpkin rep emailed back and said they’re shooting for an early-October opening. Full story follows.
While the announcement of a new brewpub hasn’t been an unusual occurrence in recent years in Chicago, Hyde Park has been eagerly-anticipated Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ale’s project since it was announced late last year. The brewery, located in Dexter, Michigan, won’t open in the summer as originally planned. Instead they could open the Chicago brewpub by Oct. 1, according to the Hyde Park Herald. There’s still much work to be done, as crews on Friday morning were busy inside the site at 1504 E. Harper Court.
Jolly Pumpkin is known for its sour ales, as they climbed aboard that bandwagon before sours recently became trendy. Officials from brewery didn’t return emails for more information about what they have planned, so there’s still few details available about the upcoming 5,800-square-foot restaurant.
The University of Chicago still has much say over the tenants inside Harper Court, a mixed-used development that includes a Hyatt Hotel. Aloha Poke Co. and Vanille are future tenants, and Ja’ Grill and Porkchop are already there. Michael Roper, the owner of the acclaimed Hopleaf Bar — an oasis for craft beer lovers in Andersonville — was originally offered the space, according to a nugget inside this Bisnow story. Roper and other many restaurateurs worry about Chicago’s population (which isn’t growing) and if the city can support the influx new restaurants. However, Hyde Park doesn’t have another brewpub in the area, so it’s not like there’s nearby competition. If Jolly Pumpkin can run a successful operation, there’s a chance Hyde Park becomes a craft beer destination. Stay tuned.