The restaurant features cozy seating areas ideal for business luncheons, shower brunches and romantic dinners. Or rent the entire place for your wedding, rehearsal dinner, business event or family gathering. Jacques also invites school groups that would like to learn about France and regional French dishes. You can also dine al fresco in the shade of a stately chestnut tree or a sunny table in the outdoor patio.
Use the entire restaurant which can hold 164 guests for you event. You can host smaller events in the different areas of the restaurant. The Garden Room seats about 30. The front bar and main dining areas seat between 40-50 people. The outdoor patio can easily seat 69.
While he could have chosen any location for his restaurant, Jacques chose the historic Walker’s Point neighborhood. Walker’s Point is Milwaukee’s first historic district to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and coined “Milwaukee’s oldest neighborhood.”Jacques saw the potential of a warehouse for the former Forelle Fish Netting company, a fish wholesale business and net manufacturer. In just six months, the wall-to-wall concrete and windowless space was transformed into a quaint and cozy restaurant filled with old-world charm and provincial décor. It is truly a feast for your eyes, ears and mouths.
The location is a reflection of Jacques’ dedication to the city of Milwaukee and the people who live and visit here. He is proud to support local businesses… buying his meat from a family butcher in Cudahy (who makes sausage according to Jacques’ special recipe). He also gets dairy products from Wisconsin farmers and shops the local farmer’s market for seasonal produce. So when you enjoy a meal at Chez Jacques, you help support the shop local/buy local effort and get the satisfaction of eating local!
Whenever you dine at Chez Jacques, take a walk down the hall and step through the door marked Wine Garden. Outside, you will find the outside wall of the patio painted by local artist Amanda Aquino. This mural tells the story of how Jacques traveled from Le Puy-en-Velay, France to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.Beginning on the right side, you’ll get a glimpse of his hometown where Jacques is playing in the fields with his two sisters. Intertwined with the grape vines and scenic countryside, you can follow the path of the Tour de France. As your eye moves left, you’ll see the Eiffel Tower in Paris as well as Big Ben in London, England—both towns where Jacques attended the university.Years later, life brought Jacques to the United States where he saw the Statue of Liberty in New York City. And eventually, he arrived in Milwaukee where the mural shows us the Allen Bradley Clock Tower (or the Eiffel Tower of Milwaukee) as well as Harley-Davidson and the Lake Express.Some of the less obvious details of the mural are the flowing of water throughout the different scenes and the rolling grapevine fields of France to the cow fields of Wisconsin. Another important thing that ties the pieces together is the year 1903: the beginning of Harley-Davidson, the building of the Eiffel Tower and the first riding of the Tour de France. The mural is bordered on either side by the French and American flags.Next time you come to Chez Jacques, enjoy your glass of wine at a table in the outdoor patio. Take time to see all the many finer details of the mural and see what other stories you can find!
A grand mahogany bar greets you when you enter Chez Jacques. How that bar came to Chez Jacques is an interesting story. A chance meeting when Jacques was behind the restaurant put him in touch with the bar’s owner. It was from another restaurant that had closed its doors.
That 1930s bar set the tone for the restaurant, featuring dark woods, pressed tin ceiling and warm wall colors. Another theme of the décor is the rooster. From the rug that welcomes you in the door to the top of the bar to the window ledges, you’ll find this common symbol of France. The rooster represents the farm, which fill the French countryside and remind Jacques of his own roots on a farm in southern France.
Each dining area has its own personality. After walking through the bar and front seating area, you enter the main dining room. Also called the Starry Night room, not just after the famous painting also because of stars adorning on the ceiling. The smaller area in the rear, or Garden Room, works well as a private dining spot and leads you down the hallway to the Wine Garden and outdoor patio.