When you’re in the mood for a juicy burger or a hefty salad full of fresh leafy greens and vegetables, House of JuJu in Old Town Clovis is the place to go.
The tiny restaurant nestled in the corner of the DeWitt Building has long been a local favorite, attracting crowds so large from time to time that customers have had to be turned away due to the lack of space. Those that frequent the popular joint are eagerly awaiting this December, when the house is bound to double in size when it relocates to its brand spanking new location at the bottom floor of the beautiful new Realty Concepts building just down the street.
Owner Julie Glenn said while the new House of JuJu will be more spacious—there will even be a banquet area that can accommodate large parties and outdoor dining on a covered patio—the homey, welcoming atmosphere the Glenns have strived for will remain intact. Along with an increased number of tables and a few more emblems of timeless décor will be an expanded menu, still including the classic burgers, salads and wraps, with additions incorporated from the House of JuJu’s second Morro Bay location—in other words, there will be seafood offerings like their famous clam chowder available every day.
The bigger space and bigger menu may be enough to make House of JuJu’s fans’ mouths water, but just wait, there’s more!
Aside from expanding the House of JuJu, the Glenn’s have opted to keep their current space and create an entirely new restaurant—a third business in Clovis for the couple which also owns and operates the On The Edge Coffee Shop. As of now, the third establishment is to be named Papa’s Place. JuJu, Julie Glenn said, is named after her and what her grandkids nicknamed her, while Papa’s place will be representative of the grandkids’ affectionate name for Scott.
“Papa’s Place will be kind of a speakeasy style restaurant with a full bar and the bar will specialize in old-fashioned style drinks that you see in the New Orleans area, like the Ramos Fizz and Manhattan cocktails,” Julie said.
The Glenns were inspired to start a New Orleans-style restaurant after a recent visit to the lively southern region. There, the couple went on a cocktail tour and were introduced to the art behind cocktail creation. Knowing that one of their bartenders at House of JuJu has a special talent for concocting his own mixed drinks, they knew a New Orleans-style bar would be a good fit for the small Clovis space.
Wanting the restaurant to maintain its family appeal, it of course won’t be all about the alcoholic beverages. While a menu is still being figured out, Glenn said one things for sure—the Glenns want to offer the best fish and chips in town at Papa’s Place, along with other delicious pub-style foods.
As for the atmosphere, Glenn said she wants it to be a relaxed environment overflowing with the sounds of smooth jazz and blues.
“We’re excited to have something different, it won’t be a bar but a restaurant focused on the whole ambience being a very comfortable bluesy jazzy atmosphere and people who really know their cocktails will appreciate that,” she said. “We’ve heard a lot of people say they look forward to it, they like when a bartender puts some thought and energy into it. To some degree, the décor will change, but we’re putting so much into the new building it’s unbelievable. I would like to have more pub style tables in here so we will probably invest in that and then just do some painting, not much else at first. The décor will change as far as trying to fix the floor and paint and make it feel more eclectic, fun and jazzy. Right now it feels like a house and that’s how we want Juju’s to feel, very warm and welcoming, and we want this one to be welcoming too but with a different style. It will definitely have a different vibe.”
Whether it’s House of JuJu, Papa’s Place, or On The Edge, one thing that won’t differ from one to the next is the customer service and the Glenn’s dedication to the community of Clovis.
“We love the community and we love people,” Julie said. “We’re very people motivated, not money motivated, so I think that changes how we do things. We just like to make a living so the more we can do to provide something cool and different for the community, the better. We had an executive chef friend tell us the reason he thinks we are so successful is because we come from a consumer standpoint and not an industry standpoint. People trained in the industry sometimes forget what it is like to be a consumer and we want people to have a good time and enjoy their moment.
“Scott and I were talking about what kind of legacy we want to leave and we realized we really only have this moment because 100 years from now our legacy will probably be gone anyway so we want to enjoy the moment and hopefully help other people enjoy the moment with us.”