May 20, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Jackson Street Tavern offers contemporary American cuisine in a casual atmosphere. Chef and co-owner Deke Reichardt is hesitant to label it “fine dining.” He explained, “People have a lot of options in this neighborhood and city, so we pride ourselves in not being pretentious.”

Reichardt also explained that the inclusion of the word “tavern” in the name was never meant to imply a bar-like atmosphere. “The name of the place was meant to imply that it’s a relaxed tavern-esque atmosphere that serves good quality food.” He is proud of the menu options and the quality of the cuisine. “We source as much as we can when the season is right. It’s good stuff. We don’t even have much in the way of freezer space, which is by design because of physical limitations.”

Jackson-St.-2Of note is the extensive gluten-free menu options available. “My wife eats gluten-free and my mother-in-law has Celiac,” he explained. “We wanted to not just offer a couple items but have something a little more extensive for people with special dietary needs.” Though the specific menu items frequently change and evolve, gluten-free options range from appetizers, to entrée salads, to bunless burgers, desserts, and more.

One of the most popular items—the duck tacos—landed on the menu as a result of Reichardt’s ingenuity. He explains, “The irony is that when I put the original menu together I definitely wanted to have duck on the menu. Roast duck was my first preference, so the only issue was what am I going to do with the leftover duck?…So we started to break it down and pull the meat and make little tacos with fresh tomatillo salsa. Honestly, we roast more ducks for duck tacos than we do for roast duck.”

Jackson Street Tavern is also known for its Sunday brunch. “It was just going to be Easter, Mother’s Day, and those popular brunch days, but it was so well received we decided to keep doing it,” said Reichardt. “We do brunch every Sunday from 10 to 2. It’s not a brunch buffet; it’s a la carte table service. It’s one of the most consistent meal periods that we have.” Reichardt added that reservations are encouraged; however, “generally speaking, there’s going to be space for walk-ins.The exception would usually be on those special occasions.”

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Beyond the menu, the casual atmosphere of Jackson Street Tavern is one of the most appealing aspects for regulars. FITGirl founder Cheri Dickmeyer says, “I love the ambiance. The dark wood and low key lighting make the entire space comfortable and relaxing. The menu is unique and fresh, and I was pleasantly surprised at how affordable the items were on the menu. Very upscale restaurant with Midwest pricing—I love it!”

Jackson Street Tavern recently added a private dining room to accommodate large groups and opened a patio space that Reichardt calls “a nice addition.” He’s proud of the solid reputation Jackson Street Tavern has built and foresees a bright future. “We recognize that we’re only as good as the last meal we serve or glass of wine we pour, and we don’t take that for granted.”  Encounter

Visit jacksonstreettavern.com for more info.

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