More than a year and a half after beloved fried chicken sandwich cart Jojo announced that it would expand to a full-blown restaurant, that dream is finally coming true. On September 15 owner Justin Hintze will finally open Jojo in the Pearl (11 a.m. to 9 p.m.), complete with an expanded menu that includes not only its famous fried chicken, superb jojos, and burgers, but plenty of gluten-free and vegan options and a beverage menu ranging from cocktails to milkshakes to over-the-top soda creations.
On the new menu, customers can now get their chicken either fried (choose from thighs, popcorn chicken, or tenders), grilled, or in a sandwich. The menu of smash burgers includes a new option, Mr. Onion, already hailed by PoMo Burger Cabal member and fast food aficionado Bill Oakley as a favorite, with caramelized onion, white onion, and fried shallots. Jojos come plain or loaded with toppings, along with the numerous sauce options you’ve come to expect from the cart, Alabama white mustard to Jojo sauce. There’s a full-on vegan menu, complete with popcorn tofu (local Ota tofu, of course), fried tofu versions of all the chicken sandwiches, Beyond Burger versions of each burger, and vegan options for loaded jojos and sauces.
The drink menu comes from beverage director Ashelee Wells. Look for cocktails like a margarita with house spicy pepper relish, a libation entitled the “Club Hopper” that blends Hypnotiq with carrot juice, and a nonalcoholic rhubarb sipper. Shakes, blending ice cream and oat milk, come straight-up or loaded with alcohol—anything from marshmallow vodka to rum with green chartreuse. Wild soda concoctions, listed on the menu as “soadies,” are also on offer, inspired by the soda shops popular in Utah, where Hintze was born—think pineapple cream root beer and peach citrus Sprite. Meanwhile, pastry chef Christina Hoover helms the dessert menu, which includes a brown butter chocolate chip cookie, a pavlova with cola-macerated cherries, and lavender chèvre cheesecake.
The restaurant, located at 902 NW 13th Ave, offers a much different vibe than the gravel-filled John’s Marketplace pod on SE Powell where the cart sits. (The cart will be temporarily closed for the next few weeks while the restaurant gets up and running.) Large windows bring in lots of light to the plant-filled space, furnished with a full bar with stools and orange banquette seating that wraps around the edges of the room. Hours after today are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, with late-night hours expected to come soon.