O.W.L. opens at the site of the former Onion Roll Deli.
By Ryan Fishman

In early July 2012, Royal Oak’s Onion Roll Deli closed its doors after 42 years in business. Now, almost four years to the day, the restaurant space at 27302 Woodward Ave. has been rehabbed and reopened as O.W.L., a Mexican-American-style 24-hour diner.

O.W.L. opens at the site of the former Onion Roll Deli.

The retro-signage is sticking around with a fresh coat of black paint. The new owners — Joe, Kristin and Larry Bongiovanni — have made a number of updates to the interior. The Bongiovannis certainly know what they’re doing, with no shortage of success at their Birmingham restaurants Market North End, Luxe and Salvatore Scallopini.

The menu now available in the 1,000-square-foot space features some traditional diner fare, like egg sandwiches and coffee, but also in the mix are habanero bacon, chicken wings and traditional chilaquiles.


Experience Detroit

Admit it, you’ve probably complained before there’s “nothing” to do and nowhere to eat in Detroit. I know I have. In reality, however, there are 622 bars, restaurants and cafes in the city, and they’re all on the Detroit Experience Factory’s Third Annual Bar & Restaurant Challenge.

The DXF Challenge is pretty straightforward — whoever visits the most places before Sept. 30 wins an “Ultimate Detroit Experience Package” valued at more than $1,000. There will also be random winners selected all summer long, so just one night out can make you a winner. When you go to a place on the list, just post a photo of yourself at the bar or restaurant on Instagram with the hashtag #DXFchallenge.

Last year’s winner visited 200 places across the city. If you need a little inspiration or help learning more about what’s going on in Detroit, DXF has an amazing number of summer tours planned that include both strolling suppers and bar tours.

The Detroit Experience Factory is an affiliate of the Downtown Detroit Partnership, a nonprofit that uses experiences and innovative resources to help both newcomers and longtime locals get more connected to the city. Since 2006, more than 75,000 people have taken a DXF tour. For more details and registration, visit www.detroitexperiencefactory.org.


Downtown Living Tour

Meanwhile, if you want an exclusive first look at some of Detroit’s most exciting new developments, then don’t miss Hour Detroit and Detroit Home’s Downtown Living Tour. There are seven projects included on the tour: the Scott at Brush Park, City Modern, DuCharme Place, Fort Shelby Residences, the Griswold, Capitol Park Lofts and the Bedrock Residential Pop-up in Capitol Park.

There’s a VIP Preview on Friday, Aug. 5. Tickets are $25 and include cocktails and appetizers in Eastern Market’s Shed 3 before a bus-guided tour. Public tours will run all day on Saturday, Aug. 6. Tickets are $10 and provide access to all locations on the tour, but no transportation is provided. Tickets are available now at


Cool Jacks is Expanding

Last week I mentioned the new freestanding Cool Jack’s location in Sylvan Lake. The company’s founder and president Josh Charlip has since announced plans to grow its retail sales operation by two to four stores every month over the next two years —that’s a whopping 100 locations planned by 2018. Initially available only at Busch’s, their freezer packs can now be found at Nino Salvaggio, Fresh Thyme, Westborn and Johnny Pomodoros.


Mazel Tov …

To Tedi and Billy Gershenson on their wedding.

To Danielle and Josh Kroll on their wedding.

To Lacey Jacobson and Elliot Foon on their engagement.

Happy birthday to Brad Schram, Adam Cole, Jacob Singer, Ryan Barish, Kyle Sloan, Melanie Shaw, PJ Cherrin, Marcie Orley and, to my dad — Marc Fishman — hope you get more than a few miles in on your special day.