About Us

The Maple Tree Inn opened its doors in 1975 by self-taught chef, Charlie Orr, aka "The Walrus." After experimenting with different types of cuisine, from American to French, the Maple Tree Inn made the switch to Cajun/Creole following a chance encounter on New Year's Day 1980. While in search of a hangover cure, Charlie came across a New Orleans chef on television talking about red-eye gravy. Intrigued, he ventured to the library and asked the librarian where he could find information on the subject. The librarian, who happened to be from Louisiana, asked, "What's a big white guy like you want with red-eye gravy?" The librarian turned Charlie on to a Creole cookbook and the rest is history. Years later, Charlie would go on to say, "It was love at first sight. It was like I'd done it before. If you believe in another life, I must have been a Creole."

Now, as second-generation restaurateurs born and raised in the business, we are committed to the art of Cajun/Creole cooking and maintaining our status as the first and longest-running Cajun/Creole restaurant in Chicagoland. All of our food is prepared in-house, from our Smoked Andouille Sausage, Jambalaya, and Étouffée, to our famous Hickory Buttered BBQ Shrimp & Grits. Our drink selection features signature New Orleans cocktails, such as the Hurricane and Creole Voodoo Zombie, 8 boutique wines on draft, and a carefully curated list of 24 craft beers on draught, including a few rare vintage bottles.

Our goal is simple: to provide you with the best dining experience possible. We want you to feel welcome, to relax and engage in the friendly art of conversation, have a couple of drinks with friends, laugh, and take a little piece of New Orleans home with you.


Katie Orr & Erich Wennberg

 Maple Tree Inn 2018