South Side Milwaukee Jackson Grill steakhouse restaurant to reopen

The Jackson Grill steakhouse on Mitchell Street will likely reopen under new ownership later this year or early 2023.

Milwaukee restaurateur Andrew Radjenovich, who opened Saloon on Calhoun and helps run the 4th Base Restaurant on 51st Street and West National Avenue, said he was in the process of buying the building and securing licenses to reopen Jackson Grill.

“The Jackson Grill, this place was amazing,” Radjenovich said. “I was shocked when it closed.”

Jackson Grill, 3736 W. Mitchell St., announced it was closing in March after 20 years in business with owner Heidi Schmidt, citing higher food costs and staffing issues.

She opened it in 2003 with her late husband, Jimmy Jackson, who died on February 11, 2021.

Jimmy Jackson, late co-owner and chef of The Jackson Grill at 3736 W. Mitchell St., featured in 2007.

After:Jackson Grill, a longtime steakhouse on the south side of Milwaukee, is closing for good

Shortly after it closed, Radjenovich connected with Schmidt through friends and began discussions about reopening the restaurant.

“My friend’s parents said, ‘You should call Heidi.’ We connected and she thought I would be perfect to pass the baton,” Radjenovich said. “It’s an honor, the city and the people who have been going there for a long time will be happy to reopen it.”

Radjenovich opened Saloon on Calhoun in 2008 and sold it to the most recent owner in 2011, who closed the restaurant earlier this month. He then went to work with his in-laws at the 4th Base Restaurant, which serves tenderloin, everyday fish fries, crab-stuffed portabella mushrooms and more.

Radjenovich said he wants most things to stay the same about Jackson Grill, formerly popular with politicians, CEOs, athletes and Milwaukee brewing legends like Bud Selig and Bob Uecker.

Chalkboards bearing the autographs of famous sports personalities hang in a corner of the Jackson Grill, 3736 W. Mitchell St. The late co-founder, Jimmy Jackson, was the son of restaurateur Ray Jackson, who owned a popular steakhouse near the old county stadium.

Jackson Grill had a classic, old-fashioned neighborhood restaurant feel – bar out the front, dining out the back – which led some to consider it a supper club.

“When there’s a successful business, you don’t really need to change it,” Radjenovich said.

Steaks, like this tenderloin with Portobello mushrooms, were the hallmark of Jackson Grill, which was one of the top five new restaurants named by the Journal Sentinel in 2003.

Schmidt shared things like their banana welcome recipe with Radjenovich, but other than that, “Jimmy hasn’t really written too much stuff…you just have to cook with your heart out with a lot of this stuff, and if you do that will suit you.”

Radjenovich is in the process of finalizing the purchase of the building and securing restaurant licenses with the city. It hopes to open between November and January.

Carol Deptolla of Journal Sentinel contributed to this report.

Jordyn Noennig covers Wisconsin culture and lifestyle. Follow her on Instagram @JordynTaylor_n. Find her on Twitter @JordynTNoennig. Call her at 262-446-6601 or email [email protected]

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