the new bar at pie guy in the grove photo courtesy of matte yellow media

Pie Guy Pizza adds bar, takes over former Gezellig Tap House & Bottle Shop space in the Grove

Last month, Pie Guy Pizza located at 4189 Manchester Ave. in the Grove, took over the space located next to the eatery, at 4191 Manchester Ave., which was previously home to Gezellig Tap House & Bottle Shop. Although the eatery shared the space with Gezellig, when it permanently closed in late March, Pie Guy Pizza owner Mitch Frost decided to take it over and add to the space in subtle ways.

“During the six months it took to obtain a liquor license, we had time to reimagine the space. It’s kind of a vibe for everybody - families, after-work gatherings and the evening night bar crowd,” Frost said.

The seating capacity has remained the same with room for about 80 guests, but guests can now order pizza from the bar, and while there aren’t servers, the hope is that there’s a cohesiveness to the space that makes it feel more like a restaurant. Frost has plans to make some changes to the menu, although there isn’t a firm timeline for rolling out the new items just yet, but he said guests can expect an increase in the Detroit pizza selections, new appetizers and salads. 

Frost said opening a bar is “an interesting situation” since he recently completed rehab. The 30-day program was something Frost said he decided to do on his own. After working in the industry for nearly 20 years, he saw it as a necessary move to learn a new way to deal with the high stress of the industry and, hopefully, as a way to lead by example.

“I feel like I should lend a leadership role to anyone in the restaurant industry, because I know it’s not just me that’s going through this,” he said. “I wanted to be an open book and hopefully for us to be able to grow together.” Overall, Frost is glad he took the time out for the program and said he’s happy with the experience and said it’s “definitely a lifestyle change for me.”

And even though there’s now a bar that’s a part of Pie Guy Pizza, bar manager Andy Printy designed a menu that includes several non-alcoholic options, including frosty banana milk, which is whole milk blended with banana and served in a frosted glass, as well as a ginger and candied rosemary lemonade. 

The cocktail menu features takes on classics like an Old-Fashioned made with ginger syrup and basil bitters, and an Aperol spritz that features candied rosemary syrup and cannabis extracts. Printy says a couple of their unique cocktails include the Sharkleberry Freeze, a take on a popular Kool Aid flavor, made with orange vodka, lemon juice and a strawberry-banana shrub. And for the brave, there’s a bloody mary that’s so spicy, thanks to a Carolina Reaper tincture, that it requires a signed waiver before drinking, with a heat level that comes in at just over one million Scoville units. 

There’s also beer selections from 4 Hands Brewing Co. and 2nd Shift Brewing, along with wine and Champagne available by the bottle and the glass, as well as a Champagne bong, which works similar to a beer bong.