R are Steakhouse is a one-of-a-kind dining concept created by Jack and Julie Sosnowki, native Madisonians, who believe that uncommon service combined with fresh, local ingredients and the best steaks in America does not have to be a cold, arm’s length affair. Jack and Julie have been delighting their guests with warm, friendly service since they opened the doors to the Ivory Room Piano Bar in 2006. Under the banner of Noble Chef Hospitality, they brought the Capital Tap Haus to the 100 block of State Street in 2010, followed by the uniquely original Buck and Badger Northwoods Lodge in 2012.
After an exhaustive tour of the finest steakhouses in the United States, Jack decided that Madison deserved its own world-class venue serving for USDA Prime steaks from Allen Brothers in Chicago, as well as amazing wines, and truly remarkable service.
The space at 14 West Mifflin, formerly Baron Brother’s Department Store, has been transformed into a classic setting with a rich mahogany interior, deep red leather booths, stamped tin ceilings with chandeliers, and three private dining rooms – the chef’s table, a library, and the boardroom – all reminiscent of an earlier time. Rare is a unique dining experience that is not to be missed.
You can find the Sosnowski’s newest restaurant, Freiburg Gastropub, on Monroe Street not far from Camp Randall Stadium. The Sosnowskis have announced the opening of the next member Noble Chef Hospitality group, Rare Steakhouse – Milwaukee at 800 East Michigan Ave. in March, 2016.
Introducing our People
- Owner -
Both Jack and Julie Sosnowski’s hospitality roots run deep. Julie’s family has run Monte’s Pub and Grill in Verona for over 30 years where she and her sisters learned the business. Jack’s grandmother was waitress in the Executive dining room at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, MI where his father was born. Len Sosnowski, Jack’s dad, a longtime Madison attorney, was a cook in the officer’s club during Vietnam before returning to Wisconsin to practice law.
Jack graduated from Edgewood High School and studied business at Arizona State University and UW-Madison, but found his passion while working at Desert Mountain Country Club in Scottsdale, AZ. While running the busy City Bar on State Street during college, two things caught his eye: a beautiful girl named Julie Stoleson, and a vacant property on West Mifflin Street. Julie became his wife, and the property, a former deli, became the Ivory Room Piano Bar.
Jack and Julie worked every shift together for the first few years of the Ivory Room, saving until they had the resources to open the Capital Tap Haus in 2010. Two years later, they doubled the size of the Piano Bar, and opened Buck and Badger Northwoods Lodge on State Street.
Jack’s love of the old nostalgic romance of the Great American Steakhouses in Chicago, New York, Indianapolis, Washington, and Florida inspired the idea for Rare Steakhouse. Every detail of Rare’s interior, and indeed all of their restaurants, was designed by Julie’s natural talent for evoking feeling through design, and the menu and service are still executed under Jack’s personal direction.
Jack and Julie continue to grow their family as well as their business. Noble Chef Hospitality is proud to be Madison’s family owned restaurant group, with the new addition of Freiburg Gastropub on Monroe Street in 2015 and Rare Steakhouse in downtown Milwaukee in 2016.