Clovis News

A gem in the heart of Clovis

By Doug Hoagland

A Betsy Ross burger is served with roasted potatoes, one of several side choices available on the menu.
A Betsy Ross burger is served with roasted potatoes, one of several side choices available on the menu. Doug Hoagland

House of JuJu — a popular restaurant specializing in gourmet burgers in Old Town Clovis — was born from opportunity and inspiration almost two years ago.

Owners Scott and Julie Glenn learned that space in the Dewitt building at 453 Pollasky Ave. had opened up. They loved downtown Clovis and had previously owned a candle shop there. So they wondered whether the Dewitt space could represent an opportunity to return with another business.

But the Glenns weren’t thinking of opening a restaurant. Enter Justin, one of their sons. He provided the inspiration, the idea and ultimately the innovative menu for the House of JuJu. (JuJu is what Julie Glenn’s grandchildren call her.)

“We like to take a risk on an opportunity,” Julie Glenn said. And it’s paid off. “The restaurant has been a huge success,” Glenn added.

The couple credit positive buzz on social media as well as good word of mouth with helping House of JuJu to flourish since opening in December 2013.

“We want people to feel better when they leave than when they walk in,” Julie Glenn said.

Six signature burgers with interesting names anchor the menu.

The JuJu Bleu and the Betsy Ross are classic American comfort foods. Other burgers offer a nod toward other cuisines.

The Athena — served with JuJu’s own kalamata olive aioli — provides a taste of the Mediterranean, while the Leticia pays homage to Mexico with JuJu’s own spicy chipotle cilantro sauce.

The Dragon Lady conjures up Asian cuisine with JuJu’s spicy garlic aioli. And what would a restaurant in Clovis be without something western? The Calamity Jane — saddled up with sweet and smoky barbecue sauce, bacon and more — fits the bill.

Julie and Scott Glenn praise their son for his creative cuisine.

“Justin was looking for flavor combinations that aren’t commonplace and mainstream but not completely out of the box,” Scott Glenn said.

All the burgers are $11.95 except the Betsy Ross, which is $10.95.

Guests have four meat choices: Angus beef, ground turkey patty, Mary’s all-natural grilled chicken breast or free-range bison. A portabella mushroom with all the fixings also is an option.

Each burger comes with a side dish, and roasted potatoes are one of the choices. The restaurant has no fryer.

Guests watching carbohydrates, and those with gluten sensitivity, can enjoy a burger in a bowl of spring mix lettuce with no bun.

The menu also features four salads with the non-meat ingredients of the Dragon Lady, Leticia, Athena and JuJu Bleu burgers. The first three are served with spring mix lettuce, and the JuJu Bleu comes with a wedge of iceberg lettuce.

The salads (which also can be wrapped in a wheat tortilla) are $7.95, and guests can add chicken, steak or shrimp for an additional charge.

Furthermore, flatbreads with a variety of topping choices are $5.95. Sauce options are kalamata, chipotle, spicy garlic, barbecue, creamy bleu cheese, olive oil or garlic butter.

The House of JuJu also serves wine from Toschi Vineyards in Madera and a rotating selection of craft beers.

Desserts come from one of the Glenns’ servers, who is also a baker. Julie Glenn said two favorites are an apple crumble cheesecake and chocolate chip cookie dough chocolate cake.

Given the Glenn family’s roots in Clovis, it seems only appropriate that the House of JuJu is in the heart of the city. Scott and Julie Glenn both attended Clovis schools and graduated from Clovis High — he in 1977 and she in 1982. They live in Clovis.

In addition to Justin — who is the general manager of the House of JuJu — the Glenns other children also work at the restaurant. Joshua is a full-time chef and does kitchen prep, while Willie is a server and Rachael is a hostess and buses tables.

Others work at the House of JuJu — By the Bay, which the Glenns opened in Morro Bay in April. Those children are daughter, Jaynae, her husband, Spencer, and sons Nathan and Joey. The Glenns have biological and adopted children.

The House of JuJu is a hit with many people.

“They have the best burgers, food and staff in Clovis,” said Clovis resident Scott Davidson. “Everyone is so nice. The House of JuJu is truly a gift to Clovis. We need more family-owned and delicious restaurants like this one.”

Dining with Doug appears every other week in the Independent. We welcome suggestions from restaurant owners and customers about eateries to feature in the future. Send your ideas to doughoagland@att.net    

 

House of JuJu is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays and Mondays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Happy Hour is 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays with additional hours — 9 to 11 p.m. — on Fridays and Saturdays. The phone number is (559) 298-3090.

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