Barrio Tacos May Open Soon, But Jolly Pumpkin Not Until Fall

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Raymond Holt for ELi

Interior mural and ladders at Barrio Tacos just before the restaurant briefly opened.

ELi readers have been asking if there’s hope of Barrio Tacos reopening or Jolly Pumpkin opening in the new Center City retail space on Albert Avenue anytime soon.

With a dramatic interior design, Barrio Tacos opened in March just days before Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s first shut-down order.

Asked today if Barrio might reopen if the City follows through on plans to close off Albert Ave. to make it a public take-out dining space with picnic tables, Barrio’s Jake Hawley responded, “We will consider opening if Albert is closed down and there will be places for people to dine. Otherwise, we will be opening as soon as the state allows us to reopen for dine in” service.

Jolly Pumpkin will definitely take longer. That restaurant/brewpub was originally expected to open by Fall 2019. In January 2020, the opening date was reset to summer of this year.

Today, responding to a question from ELi, Megan Worden of Mission Restaurant Group (the corporate owner of the Jolly Pumpkin chain) said, “Unfortunately, our Jolly Pumpkin East Lansing project was temporarily halted obviously with everything going on but we are working hard to get things restarted and hoping to be able to open by Labor Day.”

Several months ago, ELi received an anonymous tip by mail suggesting that Barrio Tacos, Jolly Pumpkin, and Foster Coffee might not be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act because the mezzanine spaces are accessible only by stairs.

Asked for a response, East Lansing’s Building & Code Administrator Scott Weaver said that was incorrect. You can see the top and the City’s response here.

ELi reported earlier today that Foster Coffee has now reopened on Albert Ave.

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