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Oak Cafe

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Taps: 34 / Bottles: 100
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

20 Ratings
Ratings: 20
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 15.19%
$$ - reasonable


[ Bar, Eatery ]

1167 Oak St
Wyandotte, Michigan, 48192-4923
United States
phone: (734) 283-8380

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
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(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
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Ratings: 20 | Reviews: 17 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of apendecto
apendecto

Michigan

3.1/5  rDev -27.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 1 | $$$

I've been going here for years and used to love it. Decent tap selection, huge bottle selection. Huge fried food selection. Crappy wings and burgers. Great atmosphere, cool staff. Prices have been creeping up over the years. I had a 10 oz Oskar Blues Gubna that was $7.75. That's insane. Most pints are over $5. I will be searching for a better beer bar. Cash only.

01-11-2014 18:23:13 | More by apendecto
Photo of NelsonG
NelsonG

Michigan

4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$

On the corner of 12th and Oak St. in Wyandotte, stands a small red-brick building sporting a glowing green sign reading, "The Oak Cafe"

Timing your arrival can prove to be a bit challenging, as space is limited inside this cozy establishment. From dinner until close you'll find yourself squeezing past tables & chairs full of patrons, hoping for an open seat. But when the dinner crowd finishes up or the big game comes to an end your group will discover a spot to nestle in.

Smoking used to be a problem for me due to the cramped quarters & was often my excuse for not visiting as often as I would've liked. However, May 1st, 2010 Michigan went smoke free and The Oak celebrating by holding a "Smoke Out" beer event, featuring all sorts of smoked meats, cheeses, & beer!

In fact, The Oak frequently hosts a number of beer events, like their Stout & Hop fests. All events that I've attended were reasonable priced at $20-$30, featured an excellent line up of beer & were accompanied by some sort of snack or hors d'oeuvre. I was even fortunate enough to participate in a Founders tasting over which Founders V.P. Dave Engbers presided. It was a spectacular event where we sampled their finest, including a three year vertical of KBS!

Food at The Oak is great! It's the perfect place to grab lunch & a pint with a co-worker or friend. Prices are as expected for any beer bar; a half-pound burger w/ fries will cost you around $10. Their burgers, however, are amazing, and I have yet to try a sandwich I did not enjoy. The menu also contains a nice array of appetizers well suited for any late night snacker.

Now on to the important stuff, the Beer! With about 40 taps (1-5 reserved for BMC), 2 casks, & 100+ bottles, there is never a dull choice to be made. New releases and seasonals are almost always available, and rare ones often found, especially of the Michigan variety.

Pint prices are on par for the area (Wayne, Oakland, & Washtenaw counties), and for about $.50 extra (more depending on style) you can upgrade your pint to a 22oz. That being said, you'll find that glass etiquette is present but often ignored. Meaning if I want my Bigfoot Barleywine served to me in a snifter, they're available, but no one bats an eye when I order a 22oz.

The wait staff is friendly and does their best to keep your glass full & bring the correct tab. You'll often find the owner, Mike, sampling & talking beer with fellow enthusiasts.

Whether you’re discussing beer with a stranger or having a few with old friends, the Oak Cafe is a fine place to be. It is my meter stick for a great craft beer bar. I have yet to order a pint elsewhere that measures up to The Oak's selection, quality, & atmosphere. Definitely worthy of a visit if your anywhere near southeastern Michigan.

Cheers!

01-12-2012 00:46:29 | More by NelsonG
Photo of divineaudio
divineaudio

Michigan

3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$

atmosphere is nice, really feels like a place to drink beer in. tons of breweriana all over and dimly lit. 9 tvs - one of which was dedicated to a beer slideshow. unfortunately, the rest were sports which is a big turn off for me.

selection is amazing. they have something like 120 bottles and 40 taps to choose from, not to mention a full bar. i ordered a bells oracle (bottle) and avery kaiser (on tap). food menu isn't as expansive, but more than adequate for a bar. their 1/2 lb burger and potato skins were both excellent. my gf was pretty satisfies with her pretzel turkey sandwich.

service was friendly enough i guess and the price was reasonable given the quality. cheap food, average beer prices.

this place should be on every beer lover's radar.

10-21-2011 21:31:00 | More by divineaudio
Photo of tjohn2401
tjohn2401

Michigan

4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$

I really like this place. Very open atmosphere with a good mix of people. Awesome selection with many taps and a good Michigan bucket special. Lately they've been getting some casks in from local breweries. I had Kuhnhenn's DRIPA and it was served at the perfect temperature and tasted great!
Knowledgeable staff, good food, and a great place to talk and meet people. Definitely not a stuffy, snobby bar. Nobody really cares whether you're drinking a Bud Light or a DFH 90 min.
If you're in the area, I encourage you to check it out.

Highly recommended!

05-12-2011 16:43:27 | More by tjohn2401
Photo of scamplin1966
scamplin1966

Michigan

4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$

I have been going to the Oak for 20 years now, I've gotten to know some of the staff including Mike. This is one of the best beer bars anywhere let alone Metro Detroit ? The 22 oz. beers are the best value there is. The only problem I've ever had there is leaving (i never want too!) He also puts on some of the best beer tasting there are! I drink mostly craft beers but I can respect that not everyone enjoys them. Therefore I think his beer selection overall is incredible to anyone else in the area.

01-25-2011 21:33:37 | More by scamplin1966
Photo of fblance
fblance

Michigan

5/5  rDev +16.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$

i did not start drinking beer until this past summer and let me say the oak is the place to go for first timers! there is such a wide selection of beers at the oak that you can try virtually every type of beer!! My fave is Hoegarden with a little bit of lambic framboise! The service is great! The staff is very knowledgeable and engaging. The day I was in there about it was mid day and it was happy hour and hoegarden just happen to be on special, 22oz for $2.50 is a great price!

I cannot stress how much me and my friends love this bar! The Oak has has the atmoshpere that most downriver bars are lacking. The Oak is not a place for meat heads that are just looking to get laid! It is a bar you can go to and just hang out and actually hold a conversation! And most of the time the staff is included and you have a great time! I highly recommend The Oak Cafe to anyone!

12-17-2010 00:58:03 | More by fblance
Photo of MQ4188
MQ4188

Virginia

4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$

I can't imagine why anyone could "bad-mouth" the Oak Cafe. I travel to the Downriver area from Virginia 4 -5 times per year and I have yet to find a place that carries the varieties of craft beers for the value they provide.

I like the fact that you can get craft beers from a knowledgeable staff in a traditional "old time bar" atmosphere.

I have never had a beer that has not been fresh and have personally watched the owner cleaning the draught lines.

If your palate says that Bud or Miller is your thing then plenty of that can be found, but if your palate is for craft beer and ale variety then Oak Cafe is the place.

12-13-2010 18:33:26 | More by MQ4188
Photo of mikemac
mikemac

Michigan

5/5  rDev +16.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $

As the owner of The Oak Cafe I would like to respond to throwthechaff and claminat420 reviews. Since they are both related posts that visited my establishment together . I would like to state after viewing claminat420 post last February after it was posted I immediately beer mailed him to help correct his displeasure from his visit. He returned my request and called me back. I spoke with him and offered my apology for the unsatisfactory service. Other complaints were the pricing and lack of quality of my draft beer. When speaking upon the dissatisfaction of the beer he received he had indicated that his Founders Centennial IPA Was off color and tasted off . As for the color he had described his Founders IPA being an "darker in color". And flavor it was not like the centennials he had in the past. So my response to him was "we had Founders Reds Rye on tap at the same time " "was there a chance that there was a mix up?" His response was relative to maybe there was a mix up. Any regular that frequents
my establishment Knows that I personally and properly clean my draft lines regularly. And I know for a fact that those two draft lines were clean and far as beer sitting around too long each of those kegs were dispensed in less than a week. I have the invoices and line cleaning logs to prove ! Other issue with the review was the poor service. I don't know for sure who's right or wrong in this situation but I did address the issue with the staff that was scheduled on the date of their visit. As for most of my staff they are accommodating to their customers, please read the other reviews. As for pricing Founders IPA Bells Two Hearted Is $5 per 22 oz which is average around town . Their other complaint was regarding that I don't have any Micros on Happy Hour I responded to claminat420 with a list of a most of the micro specials including ones that were listed on happy hour special. As of this week m-f 3-6 we have $2.50 22's of Newcastle, Jolly Pumpkin Luciernaga and Carlsberg and the other "Macro Crap" . The last few months we have rotated Founders Pale and Arcadia Products on happy hour . "Hey we have what you craft drinkers like but there's no where else so we're gonna charge whatever and overprice". Sorry we don't offer the same specials as Sidetracks, most of our customers and past reviews do think our prices are reasonable. If you don't think that I clean my draft lines you can visit the Oak on any Monday Or Tuesday and watch me clean lines. We clean our lines on every beer switch unlike many bars around .

12-13-2010 18:04:15 | More by mikemac
Photo of throwthechaff
throwthechaff

Michigan

2.15/5  rDev -49.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 1.5 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 1.5 | $$$

Growing up downriver and being into the microbrews in MI and from all around, I was really looking forward to going to the Oak when I finally turned 21. My first experience being there pretty horrific. Me and my cousin went there for "happy hour", if you can call it that. Unless you wanna drink terrible beer you can get anywhere (Budweiser, Coors Light, Labatt) for DECENT price, this is your place to be. They offer no microbrews for happy hour, so I had to pay 5 bucks for a Founders Centennial IPA. The beer did not even taste like a Centennial and immediately wondered if they even took care of their lines. Granted they can probably get away with this mess because there is not really the audience for this kind of beer in the area, but it just was not right to me. The service was terrible as well. Me and my cousin was there in the afternoon and we were 2 of 6 people in the whole entire place and had to deal with a waitress who was really short with us and very unaccommodating. I almost wanted to ask if she had a problem with us being there, it was that bad. While they offer a wide range of beers on bottle and on tap, the beers I had on tap there did not even taste that great. I could seriously go on and on about how bad this place was but I am gonna cut this rant short because I knew when I started this I would not stop. I highly would not recommend this place to anybody who loves a good beer. If you like Bud light and mediocre food along with terrible service, this is your place.

07-30-2010 22:21:19 | More by throwthechaff
Photo of claminat420
claminat420

Michigan

4/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$

so i feel i must re-review this place since my last dumping on this establishment. atmosphere is very warm and welcoming. kinda place where people seem to get to know ya. quality is good. might just wanna know your beers and watch out for old bottles if you're getting them. service seems to be good. haven't had anyone serving us be short tempered or plain out a d$ck. my only beef with the tap offerings i feel it has alot of chode beers (macro crap or fake micro shit that's owned by macro corp.) to explain it seems like they always have like 3 to 4 belgian whites on tap. or the whole array of woodchuck offerings. as an ipa drinker it's a hit or miss. i went and they had smells like weed and double crooked tree but if they weren't up all i would have is two hearted and that beer went downhill years ago. if they had short's huma on tap stock like how they cater to the woodchuck or young's stout it would be my first go-to place. food is good. the cajun burger and fries you can't go wrong with. i put a bit pricey cuz they don't offer like a bump up if you order a burger and fries. like you pay for burger and must pay for fries separate which is close to $10 and i don't wanna sound like a cheap @ss but $10 for a burger and fries in this sh@thole economy seems a bit pricey. overall to me it's either this place or the rockery if i go out for beer in my neck of the woods. also the owner is a really good dude.

02-07-2010 20:54:02 | More by claminat420
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Oak Cafe in Wyandotte, MI
94 out of 100 based on 20 ratings.