Smoke’s Poutinerie has arrived in Ann Arbor just in time for summer, bringing with it a wide selection of customizable poutine entrees. Poutine is a popular Canadian dish made up of fries, gravy and cheese curds. Also joining the Poutinerie will be The Beaver Trap, an on-site bar featuring a wide range of beers on tap that will cater to late-night customers.
Smoke’s will be located at 1300 S. University Ave., and will have both patio seating and a walk-up window. The menu includes a wide range of poutine options and even has combinations that vegetarian and vegan customers can enjoy. The franchise also incorporates an eco-friendly policy that includes compostable cutlery and recyclable napkins.
Both U of M poutine fanatics and first-timers are looking forward to the arrival of Smoke’s Poutinerie. Some students feel that it will be a nice addition to the city, especially after the sudden closure of Burger Fi –– kitty-corner to the new restaurant.
LSA sophomore Matisen Douglas has never had poutine before, but is ready to embrace the franchise.
“My friends and I have been really sad about the lack of late-night foods since Burger Fi closed, so we’re pretty excited to try it out,” she wrote in a message to the Daily.
LSA freshman Armind Chahal has enjoyed poutine many times, though, and explained her enthusiasm for the restaurant’s opening.
“I have family in Canada so I have been to Smoke’s," she said. "I’m so happy that they’re opening in Ann Arbor. I’m sure I’ll be spending lots of time there.”
Chahal also talked about why she prefers poutine to regular French fries when it comes to picking a snack.
“Poutine is just so much more exciting than fries alone," she said. "I mean who wouldn’t want to have cheese and gravy on top of their fries? To me it’s always an easy decision –– poutine always.”
As fans of the dish, the co-owners, Toine Murphy and Joel Northam, decided to set up shop in Ann Arbor because they are both from nearby areas. Murphy said the choice to open a franchise on a college campus was intentional.
“Our concept is a perfect partnership and marriage for large college towns and the entertainment district," he said. "We knew we wanted to have a location in Michigan, and Ann Arbor was the perfect fit with the University and the community –– it was almost a no-brainer.”
In a Facebook post, the owners played heavily on the fact that Smoke's would be the first poutine restaurant in Ann Arbor.
Chahal also attested to the experience that she had at a Smoke’s Poutinerie in Canada.
“I remember really enjoying myself when I went there, and the poutine was good so that made everything much better," she said. "I think my friends and I are definitely going to spend time at Smoke’s now that it’ll be in Ann Arbor.”
Murphy promised to do more than just the bare minimum, saying for him it was more than just a money-making venture.
“We know we want to really embrace the college town, basically we aren’t the establishment that builds four walls makes a product and says bring us your money," he said. "We are that business that is going to be a fabric of the Ann Arbor community, and we are going to be constantly out in the community.”
Smoke’s Poutinerie will open its doors to the public on June 4th with hours from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m, and promises exciting events from June 9th-June 11th to further celebrate its arrival in Ann Arbor.