Time honored since 1868, host to statesmen, business men and women, actors and big-league ball players, stands Jacob Wirth’s and its ancient mahogany bar Inspired by German beer halls, Jake’s festive atmosphere cuisine is a true gem within Boston’s Theatre District.
From authentic German specialties to modern American fare, diners can indulge in Jake’s exceptional cuisine and treat themselves to an extensive array of fine wines and beers on tap while carrying on Jake’s tradition of “Suum Cuique" (to each his own). Jacob Wirth’s prides itself on welcoming visitors from all walks of life and treating them as family.
Jacob Wirth arrived in Boston from Germany in 1868 and set up business on Eliot Street. In 1878 he moved the across the street to where the restaurant stands today.
Jake grew up in the same village in South West Germany as the Anheuser family, and was the first distributor of Anheuser Busch products. He came from a family of wine growers, and he imported Rhine wine for wholesale and retail sale. According to legend he had over 20 ventures. He bottled and brewed his own beer and was one of the founders of Narragansett Beer. Other ventures included loaning money to help start Luchow’s, home of the Reuben sandwich in NYC (closed in the 1980’s) as well as the famed Locke-Ober in Boston (closed in 2012).
Jacob Wirth died in 1892 and was succeeded eventually by his son Jacob Jr, who dropped out of Harvard to run the restaurant. It flourished through the years, despite prohibition and anti-German sentiments of the two World Wars. Its clientele spanned society — truck drivers, athletes, scholars and celebrities shared the great mahogany bar and thrived on the menu that changed little over the years.
In 1975, the ownership of the restaurant passed to the Fitzgerald family. They honored the establishment’s tradition by restoring the building’s exterior to its original 19th century look and continue to run it successfully today.
The staff at Jacob Wirth delights in greeting patrons with smiles and exceptional service. No one embodied this more than Frederick T. “Fritz” Heuser who served with pride at Jake’s for 56 years (1898-1948). When he retired at age 78, he was believed to be the oldest waiter in America. Throughout his career, he estimated serving 20,000,000 glasses of beer, tons of food and walking countless miles between the kitchen and dining room. A tiny man with a big heart, Fritz had a cheery word for all of his customers, none of whom could ever forget him.
Jake’s continues the “Fritz” tradition by warmly welcoming guests and creating an extraordinary experience for all. Fritz’s specials are offered weekly to complement the menu and honor his distinct legend.