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Milwaukee restaurant Jackson Grill steakhouse on south side to reopen

Jackson Grill steakhouse on Mitchell Street is likely reopening under new ownership later this year or in early 2023.

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

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

Jackson Grill, 3736 W. Mitchell St., announced its closure in March after 20 years of business with owner Heidi Schmidt, citing higher food costs and staffing struggles.

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

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

More:Jackson Grill, a long-time south side Milwaukee steakhouse, closes permanently

Soon after it closed, Radjenovich connected to Schmidt through friends and began talking about reopening the restaurant.

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

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 4th Base Restaurant, which serves tenderloin, everyday fish fry, crab stuffed portabella mushroom and more.

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

Chalkboards bearing autographs of famous sports figures hang in a corner of 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 an old-school, classic neighborhood-restaurant atmosphere — bar in the front, dining room in the back — which led some to think of it as a supper club.

“When there is a successful business out there, you don’t have to change it really,” Radjenovich said.

Steaks, like this filet with portobello mushroom, were the calling card of Jackson Grill, which was one of the top five new restaurants named by the Journal Sentinel in 2003.

Schmidt shared things like their bananas foster recipe with Radjenovich, but other than that, “Jimmy didn’t really write too much down … you just have to cook with your heart with a lot of that stuff, and if you do that you ‘ll be good.”

Radjenovich is in the process of closing the purchase on the building and gaining restaurant licenses with the city. He hopes to open sometime between November and January.

Carol Deptolla of the 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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