Jai-Lee Dearing spoke with the Detroit Free Press this week regarding his newest Rockefellers Oyster Bar headed for downtown Detroit. Dearing says the restaurant should open in February of 2015, and that he has plans for a third Midtown location in 2016. Additionally, he plans to open another restaurant in Grosse Pointe Park, Bootleggers Pig & Whiskey Bar, in the spring.
Dearing, who comes from a family of restaurant owners, got his start at Bert's in Eastern Market.
"Bert's has taught me how to operate a business as an intricate part of the community," he says. "The lesson I have learned is to plan, plan, plan, then execute that plan."
The restaurateur's Grosse Pointe location on Mack Avenue opened in August and Dearing says that the "business has exceeded expectation."
While new restaurant developments are always exciting, not everyone is delighted by Dearing's new ventures. One reader, Lorna Erleich, points out that back in 2009 his business practices and character came under public scrutiny as he ran for Detroit City Council.