Pumpernickels brings a new flare to Saugatuck

Phil and Carrie Caldwell
Phil and Carrie Caldwell, owners of Pumpernickels
Photo: Urban St./Kelsey Smith

By Kelsey Smith

Photo: Pumpernickels

It has the same name, but now with an edgy twist. Pumpernickels in Saugatuck reopened under new ownership by Carrie and Phil Caldwell in February.

“It was Pumpernickels Eatery before this for 31 years, and before that it was Pumpernickels Deli,” Phil Caldwell said. “We wanted to keep Pumpernickels the icon that it is and just give it a little face-lift.”

The renovated space has a lounging area and patio on the first floor, and a dining area and deck on the second floor.

“We created this space to make you feel like you’re at home,” Carrie Caldwell said. “We want you to feel comfortable, it’s a place where friends meet friends. That’s what anybody wants when they go out and spend money — they want to make a memory.”

Pumpernickels’ menu is traditional American, serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner, but with a focus on fresh seafood.

“I came up here from South Florida and every single menu in town had walleye and perch,” Phil Caldwell said. “So, I wanted to serve something different, I wanted to have salmon and I wanted to have some awesome ahi tuna on our menu. Like, how can you ride a boat all day long and come into town and not sit down and have an ice-cold Corona and a mahi taco? That’s summertime.”

Photo: Pumpernickels

Some of Pumpernickels’ best-sellers include the crab cakes, blackened mahi tacos, lobster ravioli and cedar salmon. The restaurant also specializes in pouring creative cocktails, including a smoked old fashioned.

“I wanted to make drinks that were a little different and edgier than what everyone else in town is doing,” Phil Caldwell said. “We have a drink with activated charcoal — we like to take super fresh ingredients and make amazing cocktails out of them.”

Aside from serving unique dishes and cocktails, the Caldwells ultimately want to connect with the community.

“We’re just trying to be ourselves, we may not appeal to everyone, and that’s okay,” Carrie Caldwell said. “I think what stands us apart is that we’re here. Phil and I are here every single day — and people enjoy that.” n

202 Butler St.

Sautéed swordfish
Sautéed swordfish with a lemon caper butter sauce over a bed of spinach and tomato salad
Photo: Pumpernickels