Raise the Bar: Why you should check out Oakwood Bar & Grill

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Oakwood Bar & Grill

17621 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn; 313-451-8970; oakwoodbar.com

From the outside Oakwood Bar & Grill looks inconspicuous enough. And when the weather is wintry, it only makes this place harder to distinguish from other, similarly inconspicuous, buildings that line Oakwood Boulevard in Dearborn. Of course, locals know that inside Oakwood they won't find just another drab bar. Instead, they'll be met with friendly service, good food, and, most importantly, plenty of drinks.

Tables line the walls; a few come coupled with low leather couches, which make eating lunch either cozy or uncomfortable, depending on your attitude. Come nighttime, of course, low leather couches turn from cozy to sexy as well as a place to rest those aching feet that are crammed into 6-inch heels. The main dining floor is littered with high tops, providing ample seating day and night.

The backlit bar shows off a huge selection of liquor, mostly familiar national brands that are plenty approachable and make ordering your go-to drink easy enough. Décor is sparse, but some decorative wooden rafters do hang from the ceiling. They're draped with string lights and coupled with some stone accents that give the interior a patio feel.

There are a few games for folks who find eating and drinking too boring to suffice for a night out. There's a pool table, a darts board, and a fancy digital jukebox.

Stop in during lunch and you'll meet a bustling restaurant with a diverse crowd getting in their mid-day meal while also sipping beers and cocktails from the full service bar.

The food menu reads like a typical bar menu, with lots of burgers, sandwiches, and appetizers. However, the quality is certainly better than your run-of-the-mill bar burger and fries. Portions are heaping, and served quickly. We tried the Oakwood burger (though the Not On a Diet Burger did catch our eye) that comes with the requisite lettuce, tomato, and pickles with the choice to add cheese. It's got a nice squish, traditional burger flavor, and is big. Other, more exotic burgers fill out the menu, including the Mac Attack, which comes topped with macaroni and cheese (we got this one too) and tastes exactly like you would imagine a burger topped with macaroni and cheese tastes like. It's probably worth it to note their enormous house-made onion rings are worthy substitute to french fries.

If you've been an Oakwood regular in the past, some recent management changes have upped the ante in food, drinks, atmosphere, and service, so we suggest giving this place a new shot if you've been burned in the past. Chances are you'll like what you see and eat, and drink.

About The Author

Alysa Zavala-Offman

Alysa Zavala-Offman is the managing editor of Detroit Metro Times. She lives in the downriver city of Wyandotte with her husband, toddler, mutt, and two orange cats.
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