Best of Butler County winners: For 20-plus years, Jag’s has used consistency and care for success in West Chester

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

WEST CHESTER TWP. — At a time when “now hiring” signs are commonplace in restaurants that are struggling to retain quality employees, a popular Butler County establishment depends on its experienced staff.

Jag’s Steak & Seafood, which greeted its first customers at 5980 West Chester Road in January 2003, has more than a dozen team members who have been at the restaurant since it opened, and the management team has 135 years of combined tenured service, said Michelle Brown, chef proprietor and majority owner.

“We treat our staff like family,” she said.

There are countless dining options in Butler County, and every year, Jag’s remains one of the most popular choices for high-end diners every year. That included recognition in this year’s Best of Butler County contest as the winner in Best Steakhouse and Best Seafood.

“I think it’s the combination of our dedication to our community, our consistency, our creativity and our commitment to carrying high quality products,” Brown said when asked about its continued success. “We love what we do and I think that our guests can feel that.”

She was asked if there is a secret to her success in the ultra-competitive restaurant business.

“If you take really good care of your staff, they in turn want to take care of you and the business,” she said. “We fail and succeed as a team at Jag’s. My staff is always the most important ingredient to our business.”

While the escalating cost of groceries can be felt in every household, the impact is even greater in the restaurant business. Brown said she’s “very cautious” in regards to price increases at Jag’s.

For instance, she said beef prices increased 40% a couple of years ago, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While we did take a small increase in pricing, I took the approach to weather the storm for this price increase,” Brown said. “That’s the thing about beef, so many variables can spike pricing, primarily weather.”

Since the conception of Jag’s, Brown said she has always tried to bring value to the guests, including all sides and salad to the price of the meal.

“With that being said, we buy the best products available, so it’s a juggling act,” she said.

Brown and her husband, Bill, purchased Jag’s in June of 2015, and she became the majority owner of the restaurant. John Allgaier was the majority owner when Jag’s was founded, and George Lang was a minority owner.

Throughout the last two decades, Jag’s has continued giving back to the community. The restaurant has donated food to first responders, raised funds for local foodbanks including Freestore Foodbank and Shared Harvest, and supported Boys and Girls Club of West Chester/Liberty programs and resources through fundraising events.

She and her team have led educational sessions, teaching local youth about careers in culinary arts.

After graduating from college, Brown moved to San Francisco, and after returning home, she took on the role as executive chef at Beckett Ridge Country Club.


WHAT: Jag’s Steak and Seafood

WHERE: 5980 West Chester Road, West Chester Twp.

WHEN: 5-8:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 5-9 p.m. Friday; 4-9 p.m. Saturday

CONTACT: 513-860-3535

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