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Michelle and Chris Gerard

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Inside O.W.L., a New 24-Hour Eatery in Royal Oak

Take a look around the restaurant

Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

After several months of intrigue, O.W.L. a 24-hour diner serving gourmet chicken wings, breakfast sandwiches, and tacos quietly debuted along Woodward Avenue in Royal Oak. The restaurant occupies the former Onion Roll Deli, a spot that boasted an highly recognizable retro sign. After the Onion Roll shuttered, the new owners Joe, Kristin, and Larry Bongiovanni took over the building and managed to save the iconic signage, repainting it but keeping the basic shape intact.

The building itself was gutted and the concept entirely revamped. Kitchen equipment was replaced and old counters exchanged for shiny metal and wood paneling, for a modern diner look. An artist was hired to develop a unique painting for the wall — an eye catching ode to Woodward Avenue. Outside a section of the parking lot has been cordoned off and reserved for future patio seating. In the planter giant lettered globe lights collected from a closed bowling alley are arranged to display O.W.L's name. Photographers Chris and Michelle Gerard took a tour of the restaurant one week into business. Take a look around the eatery in the gallery below.


27302 Woodward Avenue, Royal Oak, MI 48067
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