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Oak Cafe

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

22 Ratings
Ratings: 22
Reviews: 17
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 14.78%
Taps: 34
Bottles: 100
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

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

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
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Ratings: 22 | Reviews: 17 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Abinlp
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of TheSamKuehn
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of waston
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of apendecto
3.1/5  rDev -28.4%
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.

Photo of stooge
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of I_BYE_MI_BEER
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of NelsonG
4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
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!

Photo of divineaudio
3.95/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

Photo of tjohn2401
4.33/5  rDev 0%
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!

Photo of scamplin1966
4.95/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

Photo of fblance
5/5  rDev +15.5%
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!

Photo of MQ4188
4.65/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of mikemac
5/5  rDev +15.5%
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 .

Photo of throwthechaff
2.15/5  rDev -50.3%
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.

Photo of claminat420
4/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Stopped in here to meet up with a friend who lives local and now works there. It's your great neighborhood pub and a lot more.
Very nice bar and dining area, with plenty of room. It has to be one of the better tap lists I have seen in a long while. They have a wall sized board with all the taps listed on it. Plenty of TV's to view the games. On my way through they had just gotten finished hosting a Bells event and still had taps flowing with BA Third Coast Old Ale, BA Java and some others. Not only do they have some very sought after and kick ass beers on tap, but they are by far the cheapest draft beers I have bought in a long while.
If your coming through the area, anywhere close to the area, this place is a must stop! Leaving Cincy, you get there right around lunch and can grab a couple pints and lunch before you head on your way.
Great place, and I wish I had a place like this near me!

Photo of sarcastro
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I went to the Oak Cafe for the first time for the Bell's Stoutfest. This place was a very pleasant surprise. The fact that they were hosting it impresses me, but that was just the beginning.

The atmosphere was great. It was similar to a nice local pub. They had nice TVs for sports, and a pretty good jukebox. It's only downfall was the smoke. It is a small bar and the smoke bothered me.

Their tap selection was awesome. Of course, they had an amazing selection for the Bell's event. But beyond that their selection was probably only second to Ashley's Ann Arbor. They had something for everyone, beer snobs to beginners. The beer prices were very reasonable. Probably the cheapest for that good of a selection, as Ive seen in Metro Detroit.

They had a good food selection, but mostly bar food. The quality of food was very good and reasonably priced.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

I don't often find myself down river when I'm in Detroit, so it's taken me a long time to get around to stopping here. Now that I have, though, I guarantee I'll be back. The selection and price is too good to pass up.

First off, I recommend getting the beer sampler. They serve you (6) 6oz samples of any beers for about $8. Nice, this included anything on tap, regardless of ABV. The taps list was long, 40 names including:
Bells Hopslam
Bells Two Hearted
St. Bernardus ABT 12
Michigan Brewing Company RIS
Michigan Brewing Company IIPA
Stone Smoked Porter
Arcadia Hop Rocket
Trois Pistoles
and so on...

There was a long bottles list as well, but why go for that when the taps rock as they do.

Photo of northernbrews
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I stopped up at the Oak Cafe last night with my dad for dinner and a few beers. I noticed a few weeks ago on The Oak Cafe website (oakcafe.com) that they were adding some taps and were going to have so new and rare beers on tap.

To say the least, I was not disappointed. There was so much I wanted to try, but I couldn't get past the Founders Breakfast Stout (a steal for $6.50 for a 22oz) and Michigan Brewing Russian Imperial Stout (a little steeper $9.00 for a 22oz but supposedly its 14% and I liked it quite a bit better than the Founders (which is one of my favorite stouts)). Other highlights on tap were:

Short's Chocolate Wheat
Delierium Noel
Bell's Hopslam & Two-hearted
Michigan Brewing Double IPA
Darkhorse Double Crooked Tree IPA
3 or 4 taps of Lagunitas (new to the area).

If your in the area, I definitely recommend checking this place out. If you're coming from out of town to go to Kuhnhenn's Solstice, I recommend making a side trip in here. You won't be disappointed.

And the burger and jerk chicken quesadillas were damn good too!

The service was better than it has been in the past, but it could still use some fine tuning.

Here's my review from a while ago...

Visited the Oak a few Fridays ago. Haven't been there in a while and wanted to see what new specialties they had on tap. I wasn't disappointed.

Atmosphere: Definitely not the biggest place in the world. Probably about 15 or so bar stools and about 20 tables. Lots of cool posters and beer signs on the walls. Above the bar are lots of tap handles (likely over 50). One of the downfalls of it's small size is that it gets smokey as hell....but overall a nice atmosphere to enjoy some great beers.

Quality: Excellent selection of beer. Over 250 in bottles from around the world. Pretty much anything you can get in Michigan in bottles is available here. They also have some very rare and unique beers on tap. Definitely top notch...

Service: This is hit or miss...sometimes you have great service by one of the employees that knows a little bit about beer, and other times, you get someone that would be better off pushing buds and millers at some fancy bar.

Selection: 250 in bottles and another 25 or so on tap. One of the downfalls is the fact that 5 of the taps are for BMC or some other waste of space beers...Wish they would put more locals on tap....Some of the beers I've had there lately on tap (Darkhorse Double Crooked Tree, JP Oro de Calabaza, Bell's Hell Hath no Fury before it came out in bottles, New Holland Dragon's Milk and Oak aged Hatter, etc...) definitely make up for this. On this occasion, some of the tap highlights were Bell's Hopslam and Two Hearted, Michigan Double IPA, Stone Double Bastard and Arrogant Bastard, Val Dieu Triple, etc....selection would be a 5 if they replaced 4 or 5 of the junk beers with some locals.

Food: On this trip, opted for the Cheeseburger and Fries. My fiance had the Chicken Club....both were very good and reasonable....also have had the club, gyro, and appetizer platters....all good

Value: Most of their beers are priced very well. Some are a little more expensive (rightfully so)...on this trip...22oz of Hopslam and Michigan DIPA, Cheeseburger, Chicken Sandwich, Basket of Fries for about $22...you definitely get what you pay for....

Definitely worth driving out of the way for...also close to Discount Drinks and Sports Brew Pub...you won't be disappointed.

Photo of BUD
4.65/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

When I first visited Oak Cafe, I was utterly amazed. The selection of different beers from Michigan micros to foreign brews is what set me off on my beer adventure. I did not realize the vastness of beer until I visited this little place. How do you fit so many beers in such a small joint? 250 plus in bottles and 30 plus on tap. Makes my mouth water. I really enjoy the "smallness" of the Oak. You dont have to shout if you want to talk to someone across the room. The food has been good too. I havent had a whole lot, but I do suggest the Cajun Burger. As far as service, the people have been very nice every time I'm their. They are overwhelmed at times, for being a smaller bar, but sometimes there is alot of people there. If your a local or just visiting, this is the only bar of its kind for quite a few miles, drop in and have brew. Or two, or three....or two hundred and forty three....

Photo of HellsBELLS24
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

An awsome place to get any craft brew. Has around 230 bottles and about 30 beers on tap. Has a lot of the Michigan craft brews on tap and they do have a stash of some limied brews such as Bell's batch 7000. Very small with an excellent atmosphere for sports and good beer. Not much promoting of the "big guy" in Saint Louis here. serves mostly bar food.

The staff is pretty good and the ownership is very generous. They will offer samples of the beers on tap to try and they do not charge for them. It can be a little smoky at times for all of the non smokers out there.

Photo of Gaisgeil
4.33/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

A beautiful blue collar joint with a beer connoisseur edge in the heart of Wyandotte Michigan. Decorated with you standard beer paraphernalia, mirrors, clocks, taps abound. Service is good, helpful and friendly but a tad overhwlemed, but within reason, you just had to make yourself known. The selection was VERY good, 225 beers, 25 of which are on tap, a few swill American domestics but mostly interesting high quality international brews and American microbrews and every beer is served in it's appropriate glassware, how... appropriate! The food was very good, just regular hit the spot bar food, but that's exactly what we were looking for, try the burgers!

If you are in the area check them out!

Oak Cafe in Wyandotte, MI
95 out of 100 based on 22 ratings.