Grosse Pointe Park restaurateur Jai-Lee Dearing is redoubling his efforts to open Rockefellers Oyster Bar & Grill in downtown Detroit after a fire on Sunday destroyed two of his restaurants in Grosse Pointe Park. Dearing had initially planned to open the second Rockefellers location on Broadway in 2015, but faced significant delays due to licensing. Then in October 2015, the owner appeared to have abandoned the plan when a club called 1315 Broadway opened in the space.
Now, with both Rockefellers and Bootleggers closed with significant damage, Dearing tells The Detroit News that he’s focusing his energy on launching the downtown Detroit location this winter. “We weren’t pressured to open [the new location],” he says. “But now we’ve got plenty of employees a month and a half before Christmas out of a job.” As for the Grosse Pointe Park eateries, Dearing says he’s waiting for an assessment from his insurance company and is unsure whether he’ll rebuild.
Rockefellers’ Facebook page has since been updated with the address of the downtown location. The restaurant will host a fundraiser at its new as-of-yet-unfinished location this Friday.
Proceeds will go to support the staff who are out of work as a result of the blaze.
• Restaurateur Hopes to Rebuild After Grosse Pointe Fire [Detroit News]
• All Rockefeller’s Coverage [ED]