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Six Things to Know About Oak and Reel, Milwaukee Junction’s New Italian Seafood Spot

On Thursday, September 10, Detroit’s Milwaukee Junction neighborhood will welcome yet another dining option to its growing ranks with the opening of Oak and Reel. Headed by chef Jared Gadbaw alongside local alums from Leila, Magnet, and the Apparatus Room, it’s one of the most highly anticipated openings of the year.

Under normal circumstances, a chef who led the kitchen at a Michelin-starred restaurant Marea in New York moving to Detroit to open a high-end Italian seafood restaurant might be the biggest story of the week. But the buzzy Detroit food scene has been eclipsed this year by a pandemic, that’s dangerous wake has resulted in a spiral of crises within the American restaurant industry. Restaurants opening now, especially those devoted to a certain style of indoor dining service, are facing greater risks than they might have just seven months ago. Gadbaw is aware of the stakes. “We’re just trying to trying to get a chance at this point in time,” he says. “It’s been a challenge and I know that that we still have got a massive uphill battle.”


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