When Oak and Reel reopens its dining room on Thursday, COVID-19 vaccinated customers are in for a special deal at the Italian restaurant, located in Detroit’s Milwaukee-Junction neighborhood on the city’s west side.

To celebrate the rollout of the vaccine and reopening, chef and owner Jared Gadbaw announced the eatery will offer a 50% discount on food for those who can show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination. The discount is also to honor frontline workers and their work over the last year, according to an Oak and Reel news release.

“We want to encourage people to get the vaccine and celebrate those who have,” Gadbaw said. “We also want to celebrate being able to serve those who have been stuck at home and haven’t been out.”

The dining room will be open Thursday-Sunday, excluding Super Bowl Sunday. During February, Oak and Reel will offer a five-course chef’s tasting menu.  The cost is $85 per person. An optional $40 wine pairing is available. Seatings are  5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. Highlights of the February tasting menu include octopus with cannellini beans, mussels, saffron and preserved orange; potato gnocchi with leeks, black truffle and taleggio fonduta; and ossobuco of monkfish, lentils, bacon and olives.

In addition to the chef’s tasting menu, Oak and Reel will continue to offer its Provisions, which includes everything you need to provide a chef meal at home. Several Provisions boxes are available as are the restaurant’s carry-out options.

Oak and Reel is an Italian restaurant with a heavy focus on seafood.  On Monday, indoor dining resumed at 25% capacity.

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The goal, Gadbaw said, is for the restaurants to full every day.  Oak and Reel’s discount offer came the same day as Mayor Mike Duggan’s announcement expanding COVID-19 vaccines to food service workers as well as security guards and janitors.

Gadbaw said he will “strongly encourage” his staff to get the vaccine.

“I am pretty certain that being in Detroit and being in hospitality … the vast majority of my staff is chomping at the bit to get a vaccine,” Gadbaw said.

Gadbaw, originally from Garden City, left Michigan after attending Michigan State to attend culinary school in New York. He returned to Michigan and opened Oak and Reel last September. The restaurant is located at 2921 East Grand Blvd. For reservations, call 313-270-9600 or go to

Contact Detroit Free Press food writer Susan Selasky: 313-222-6872 or 

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