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.”

As many of you know, the Maple Tree Inn was awarded the very prestigious honor of being named in the Top 50 Best Southern Restaurants in America by OpenTable in 2018. Shortly thereafter, the Maple Tree Inn suffered a devastating fire.

 But, like the great city of New Orleans, WE WILL REBUILD!

In the interim, we have opened Maple Tree Inn Bistro, a temporary location 
while we build a new, permanent Maple Tree Inn. 

We are still committed to the art of Cajun/Creole cooking and maintaining our status as the first and longest-running Cajun/Creole restaurant in Chicagoland. We are featuring a menu of our signature dishes including
Hickory Buttered BBQ Shrimp, Country Gumbo, Jambalaya, Crawfish Étouffée, and many more!

We have 4 boutique wines on draft, signature cocktails on draft, and an impressive canned beer selection.
Our hand crafted, premium cocktail menu highlights the very best of our repertoire. We look forward to
hosting you and providing you with all the comforts of New Orleans, just a little closer to home. 


Katie & Erich Wennberg

©  Maple Tree Inn 1975 - 2019