Oak Park was a suburb known for years as a “dry” city, not allowing restaurants or bars to serve alcohol. Measure after measure to change that since the 1950s met defeat at the polls.

That ban was recently lifted in two stages — and now the city is starting to see more investment.

City officials announced that Oak Park Social, LLC received its Class C liquor license approval at the May 20 City Council meeting.

The gastropub concept, led by proprietor Alexander Bishai, will be located on Eleven Mile between Tulare and Tyler streets. It does not have an announced name yet.

The restaurant will have an artisan-inspired New American menu focused on shareables, chef-driven entrées, vegetarian dishes and what they’re calling a “humongous charcuterie board.” Oh, and you’ll be able to get Sunday brunch.

It’ll be an indoor and outdoor space. The outdoor portion could have outdoor games and activities.

“We sincerely believe in Oak Park and that of the City’s vision for Eleven Mile Road. We will continue to invest in the City of Oak Park and assist in forging the path for Oak Park to be labeled as a destination for food, spirits, and hospitality in Metro Detroit,” Bishai said in a statement.

Recently, a section of Eleven Mile was rezoned from light industrial to mixed-used. That opened the door to the project.

“It’s a game changer as we can see by the plans for this exciting new restaurant, in addition to the brewery and other retail interests quickly noticing that Oak Park is on the move,” said Oak Park Mayor Marian McClellan.

Additionally, the MoGo bike sharing system is expanding to the city, adding to the walkable, bikeable fabric of the city.

It’s expected there will be more updates on the project over the summer. Bishai believes there will be a grand opening in the early fall of this year.

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