Food, fun and community
Jolly Rogers is known for their brunch, atmosphere and commitment to the Lake area
The great food, service, atmosphere and entertainment are just a few elements that makes Jolly Rogers Grub N Grog a choice destination for diners at the Lake. But it’s the unique collaboration between the owners Joe and Christie Jung and their staff that creates the caring culture that makes it refreshingly unique.
Joe was born and raised in Parkville, Mo. It was there he met his wife Christie, and realized they had the common interests that led them to their current success.
“My love is boating,” Joe said. “I met my wife of 25 years while parasailing and boating. When we were dating, we would come to the Lake on the weekends, and eventually decided to buy a place. We were both in the restaurant industry when we were younger and we decided to combine the two things we love – the lake and serving the community.”
Joe and Christie built the Jolly Rogers complex from the ground up, and are entering their 15th season. The couple are dedicated to making improvements to the business each year to assure patrons have the best experience possible. This year the restrooms were remodeled.
“My wife and I are at the restaurant every day during the season,” Joe said. “It’s not because we have to, but because we are very passionate about it.”
Jolly Rogers prides itself on its American, Cajun and Creole cuisine. Vegetarian and gluten free options are also available. They are dog friendly, providing they remain leashed and on the floor, and even have a menu item specifically for the pups.
A breakfast buffet is available Monday through Saturday, and an impressive brunch is offered on Sundays and holidays. Bottomless mimosas can be enjoyed seven days a week, and the bloody Mary bar is offered on Saturdays and Sundays.
“Our breakfast buffet and brunch has become extremely popular,” Joe explained. “We added a gluten free waffle and eggs benedict to the options. A new menu item this year is the Bison Burger. The bison are raised in Missouri and we buy directly from the rancher so the meat is completely organic. Just about everything on our menu is made from scratch. Our meats are always cooked fresh and never frozen, and our steaks are USDA prime aged meat.”
Joe and Christie strive to make Jolly Rogers a family destination, and six years ago purchased the 65-foot pirate ship named Calypso.
“It was a chance meeting with someone that led to the purchase,” Joe explained. “It was being used as a pirate ship on the Mississippi river. The owner was looking for a buyer and he found me.”
The Calypso was originally commissioned to the John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier from 1995 to 2007. It was already converted to a pirate ship when Joe and Christie purchased it. They made a few modifications, and today the ship is used to entertain those of all ages.
The treasure hunt excursion is a main attraction. The 90- minute adventure features a full crew and takes passengers from the stage, to the ship, to skull island and back again with much adventure in between. Captain Scalawag, the official pirate of the Lake of the Ozarks, has been commanding the Calypso since its first voyage. A television and film major, he creates, develops and writes an all-new pirate interactive treasure hunt show every year. He also designs and builds many of the unique props used on the adventure. In addition to the treasure hunt, the Calypso is used for private charters, including corporate events and family reunions. There is also a two-hour sunset and fireworks cruise. An ordained minister, Captain Scalawag has also performed six wedding ceremonies on the vessel.
Entertainment at Jolly Rogers goes above and beyond with the addition of Corona, the 15 year-old parrot that loves attention and having her picture taken. Friendly and a people lover, she has posed with thousands of visitors over the years. The fun doesn’t stop there. Throughout the season, live bands perform at the restaurant Wednesday through Sunday.
Making people happy doesn’t stop at their customers for Joe and Christie. Their employees and the community rank up there amongst those who are the recipients of their kindness and generosity.
“One of the things I’m real proud of is our returning staff year after year,” Joe said. “We engage our employees and do things outside of work together. We do canoe trips and we take them on a trip to Florida each year. The cliché we are a family really rings true with us. We have over 20 employees who have been with us 10 plus years. We have an amazing Jolly Rogers crew and they all give back to the community.”
Joe, Christie, their office manager, Renegade Renee and front house manager, Heather are all committee volunteers for the annual Polar Plunge for Special Olympics at the Lake. In the 15 years they’ve been involved, they’ve raised over $130,000.
At the end of every season, Jolly Rogers hosts the Drink Jolly Dry event. Held the third Saturday in October, big discounts are given on alcohol in an effort to empty the liquor cabinets.
“This is a fundraiser for the Lake of the Ozarks Idiots Club,” Joe explained. “It’s a very grass roots organization that fundraises through bar and restaurant events.” The organization is strictly volunteer ran and is dedicated to helping youth in-need in the Lake area.
“It’s a unique community we have here at the Lake,” Joe said. “I’m an advocate in making sure we give back. It’s a real passion of mine. The restaurant is important to us. At the end of the day, we’ve made people happy. That’s what service is all about. We’ve given people an experience beyond food. We’ve found a great way to do it.”
Jolly Rogers Grub N Grog is located at 28443 Polk Dr in Rocky Mount. By boat, it is located at the 4 ½ mile marker of the Gravois Arm.