Part restaurant, bar, event space and outdoor shindig, Sam Hill is planning to open in Scio Township


Sam Hill is located on Jackson Road. photo by Lonnie Huhman

The official unveiling of Sam Hill is upon us. This regional American restaurant and bar with an event space and outdoor beer garden, venue, and lawn for relaxing and enjoying yard games is set to open.

The team at Sam Hill said opening will be happening either at the end of this month (September) or early next month in October.

Renovations have been going on at Sam Hill this past summer to get it ready; from the outdoor features to the indoor look and feel, and everything in between. Sam Hill is located in Scio Township at 5827 Jackson Road, in the spot formerly known as the Creekside and then The Standard.

The BarStar Group, which owns other Ann Arbor area businesses, is the brains behind Sam Hill. The Sun Times News (STN) connected with BarStar Group’s Director of Operations Zack Zavisa to talk about this new venture.

In explaining what type of place Sam Hill is, Zavisa said “Expect great food and drinks without the fuss. Expect a perpetual backyard party in the summer. Expect somewhere to hear live music, bring your dog, bring your office, bring your kids, and let them straight out of the car and into the yard. Expect us to remember you, and expect us to be the best place to host your upcoming event.”

Its unique name comes from Sam Hill, who was an American surveyor, geologist and mining developer in Michigan's Copper Country during the 1800s, and who was also known for his legendary propensity for using colorful language.

The restaurant’s website said they take their inspiration from the “iconic Sam Hill himself, a Michigander with a heart of gold and an even more colorful vocabulary. We picked up a few tricks from the intrepid adventurer and turned a wild mess of contradictions into a *?!# good time. Food & fun. Indoors & outdoors. Good friends & pour choices—it all starts here. Sam Hill is where people gather when they’re looking for a good time.”

STN asked Zavisa what they want the community to know about this new destination in the Ann Arbor area.

“Inside we have a full slate of fantastic, unfussy, original cocktails, along with an approachable wine and beer list that's full of surprises,” he said. “Outside we have a bar built into a shipping container that's saddled up next to the stage. It's equipped with 16 draft lines, four frozen cocktails, liquor, and even a soft serve machine.”

They are excited to have Zan de Parry (Sugar House, Roast, Takoi) on the team. He is the beverage director for a reason, Zavisa said.

“I'm so excited to unleash this program, because we've spent a lot more time working on it than talking about it,” Zavisa said.

In the kitchen, he said, “We're lucky enough to have Chef Armando Lopez on board (fresh off his stint as head chef of Frita Batidos in downtown Ann Arbor) and he brought some family recipes with him. He's able to create dishes that are both fresh and familiar at the same time, and I think people are just going to love it.”

The about section on the Sam Hill webpage sums it up a lot of it best, “Sam Hill is a spacious indoor-outdoor gathering place for local friends and families to spend the day enjoying food, drinks, games, and entertainment of all sorts.”

Another description on the page says: “Snacks on the lawn, party for 12, first-date drinks, family dinners, and everything in between. Our kitchen and bar are open to feed your needs. Enjoy shareable food in the backyard, a nourishing menu of regional American fare with-a-twist in our main room, or sessionable beers and cocktails from the bar.”

In the end, Sam Hill aims to be a place for everyone because it’s the people “that make Sam Hill so special, bringing vibrancy and celebration.”

It sounds like a place that many people will enjoy. It’s located at 5827 Jackson Road and to learn more go to
or check out its Facebook or Instagram pages.

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