Upscale Detroit restaurant offers 50% discount for vaccinated diners

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Oak & Reel — a new, seafood-forward Italian restaurant that opened last year in Detroit's Milwaukee Junction neighborhood — is offering a big discount to any diner who can show proof of vaccination. 

Oak & Reel opened in September, brining back to life a 1928 building on E. Grand Blvd. in Detroit's Milwaukee Junction neighborhood.

"We are so grateful for the work our frontline workers have put in over the last year, and would like to thank them for their efforts," the restaurant said in a statement Tuesday. "This also celebrates those who have been unable to leave their homes, who are now able to dine in with us."

The promotion was announced the same afternoon Mayor Mike Duggan opened vaccinations to restaurant workers who live or work in the Detroit, as well as grocery store workers and others. 

Michigan restaurants were able to reopen for indoor service at 25% capacity on Monday. The low capacity has caused some restaurants to offer streamlined menus.

At Oak & Reel, guests can order from the five-course chef's tasting menu, which is $85 per person. Wine pairings can be added for an additional $40. The menu is fixed but can be modified for those on vegetarian, pescatarian or pork-free diets. The multi-course menu is the only one offered at the restaurant until capacity can be expanded. 

Oak & Reel opened in a renovated building on E. Grand Blvd. in Milwaukee Junction in September.

Guests who show proof of vaccination can get the tasting menu for half price. 

The chef behind the tasting menu is owner Jared Gabaw, a Michigan State University alum who has spent the past few years cooking in the kitchens of James Beard Award-winning and Michelin-starred restaurants in New York City. He returned to Michigan in 2019 to launch this hometown venture. 

Named one of the best new restaurants of 2020 by The Detroit News' restaurant critic, Oak & Reel is taking reservations for 5 and 7:30 p.m. seatings Thursday-Sunday. 

Oak & Reel, 2921 E. Grand Blvd. in Detroit, can be reached at (313) 270-9600. Visit to book and view the February tasting menu.

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Twitter: @melodybaetens