By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Aug 23, 2022 at 12:11 PM

When Jackson Grill made the decision to close its doors at 3736 W. Mitchell St. last March, the city’s response was palpable. For 20 years, the supper club was a beloved staple, well-known for its steaks, classic old fashioneds, housemade desserts and convivial 1950s atmosphere.

But there’s great news on the horizon. Industry veteran Andrew Radjenovich and his partner Melanie Vasquez have plans to reopen the iconic restaurant.

“Jackson Grill has been one of my go to places for at least a decade,” says Radjenovich, “I always loved the vibe, and seeing it close really struck a chord. Places like this shouldn’t disappear.”

Radjenovich says he connected with Heidi Schmidt, who co-owned the supper club with her late husband Jimmy Jackson, a few months ago and was able to negotiate with her to purchase both the business itself and the building. Currently, plans are to close on the building by late October, with the hope of reopening the restaurant in late 2022 or early 2023.

“Our goal is to maintain the integrity of the place,” says Radjenovich. “We want to maintain the vibe that Jackson Grill has always been famous for.”

That includes preserving the classic Supper Club vibe, as well as the ever changing menu of steaks, pastas and desserts like creme brulee and bananas foster.

“We’ll definitely be looking for feedback on what should be on the menu,” he says, “But we’d also like to add a few things like classic ice cream drinks.”

Radjenovich is no stranger to the bar and restaurant scene. He founded Saloon on Calhoun in Brookfield, a business he sold to Dave Dayler in 2011. And, for the past decade, he’s worked behind the bar at 4th Base, the enigmatic sports bar at 5117 W. National Ave. He’s also collaborated with his cousin, Chef Adam Pawlak, to create specials (including the Milwaukee chili which debuted in November of 2019) at Egg & Flour Pasta Bar.

Ultimately, Radjenovich says, he's excited to put his experience to good use, preserving the legacy of a restaurant that has meant so much to so many.

“I’m very much looking forward to the opportunity to make new relationships,” says Radjenovich, “And I can’t wait to welcome friends – both old and new – back to the restaurant.”

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.