Jammy Buggars: Odd Name, Good Beer, New Lakewood Pub

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Jim Sprenger grew up in a family restaurant, but he left the business to pursue other endeavors. Of course, he ended up opening a restaurant of his own.

"It's in the blood," admits the longtime Lakewood resident.

On May 31, Sprenger opened Jammy Buggars (15625 Detroit Ave., 216-767-5922), an odd name for what is essentially an upscale pub. Housed in the former Niko's and Route 6 spot, "JB's," as folks are starting to call it, is aiming for the niche between bars and gastropubs.

"I didn’t want to go as highbrow as a gastropub," Sprenger explains. "I wanted really good bar food, chef prepared with great ingredients, served in a comfortable, approachable environment."

Sprenger says the space was as close to "turnkey" as one could get, with an attractive interior and good layout. The only thing missing, he notes, was a draft beer system. Now, diners can select from about 20 craft drafts. For those who like to "keep it real," JB's serves 40-ounce Mickey's "Big Mouth" beers in a paper sack.

Chef Rob Geul (Fahrenheit, Market in Rocky River) administers a menu that includes starters like ricotta-stuffed bell peppers, mushroom bruschetta, and six varieties of hand-cut fries, topped with everything from pepperoni, cheese and marinara to bacon, cheddar and sour cream. Burgers are made from Ohio grass-fed beef and pulled pork is served on a pretzel bun. Entrees include comfort classics like pierogies, chicken paprikash with homemade spaetzle, and pretzel-crusted cod fish and chips.

Prices range from $6 to $8 for starters and salads, $10 to $12 for sandwiches and burgers, and $12 to $14 for entrees.

As for the name: "It is derived from British slang," says Sprenger. "My mother would say, 'I'm going to get you little jammy buggar.'"

About The Author

Douglas Trattner

For 20 years, Douglas Trattner has worked as a full-time freelance writer, editor and author. His work on Michael Symon's "Carnivore," "5 in 5" and “Fix it With Food” have earned him three New York Times Best-Selling Author honors, while his longstanding role as Scene dining editor garnered the award of “Best...
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