DeRosa Corporation
Press Release

Wauwatosa Chancery will be Jose’s Blue Sombrero, adding jobs to area

The location will undergo extensive renovations and will change from a Chancery to the companies’ Jose’s Blue Sombrero restaurant.

By - Nov 16th, 2016 12:16 pm
Jose's Blue Sombrero.

Jose’s Blue Sombrero.

MILWAUKEE (November 16, 2016) – The DeRosa Corporation, Wauwatosa-based owners and operators of popular restaurants in southeastern Wisconsin since 1972, has announced it is renovating and reinvigorating its location in Wauwatosa and will open it as a Jose’s Blue Sombrero restaurant after more than 38 years of success as a Chancery. The location will undergo extensive renovations and will change from a Chancery to the companies’ Jose’s Blue Sombrero restaurant, making it the fourth of these restaurants. It will be built to accommodate the newly renovated pedestrian Wauwatosa Village and the local customers. In addition to existing staff that will return to this location, the new footprint of this location will allow for new jobs to be created in the village.

The DeRosa Corporation has continued to innovate and evolve the restaurants it opens over time. A unique trait of the company is that it has never opened cookie-cutter restaurants. While individual brands carry the same menus, each location has a unique look and feel. This Jose’s will be no different. It will have more of a pedestrian-friendly feel to compliment the Village of Wauwatosa’s current renovations, with the ‘unexpected Mexican’ food experience that guests have come to expect from its Jose’s Blue Sombrero restaurants.

The new restaurant will have two floors of customer seating, including multi-level outdoor seating with an upstairs patio and a street-side patio. Final designs for the restaurant are not yet approved by the Village of Wauwatosa. Jose’s Blue Sombrero’s menu boasts local ingredients and includes authentic flavors from several regions of Mexico. The menu is also infused with other world flavors and a Wisconsin twist of its own. Signature specials include table-side guacamole made fresh at your table, it’s signature El Tornado cocktail (layers of frozen margarita and frozen sangria), Monday Taco Boom, Fajita Fingers, Juan Won Beef Kalbi Tacos, Jalawhoppers, Austin TX Street Gaucho Tacos, Molcajete’s, Fajitas, Blue Lobster Tacos and Pollo Ala Parrilla. Customers will also enjoy live Mariachi music from time to time at the new restaurant.

In 1978, DeRosa Corporation completely renovated and converted the Wauwatosa Village bank property to a Chancery Pub and Restaurant, which was one of the first casual dining restaurants in Wisconsin to feature free popcorn on the table.

“This restaurant has been a blessing to our company,” said Joe DeRosa, owner, chairman and CEO of the DeRosa Corporation. “We are thankful to our many loyal customers who have visited our restaurants over the years and continue to support us. The current concept at this location has served the community for 38 years and the time has come for something new. A Jose’s Blue Sombrero is just what is needed to compliment the Village of Wauwatosa’s current renovation project. We are looking forward to bringing ‘unexpected Mexican’ to Wauwatosa.”

The company will continue to make investments into existing operations during the 2017 fiscal year. It announced last year that it was making some changes in order to put assets back into the business for ongoing and future development opportunities.

This renovation project is projected to take place from January 14 through early June, when the new Jose’s Blue Sombrero will open. In order to accommodate these significant renovations, the Chancery is projected to close the evening of Saturday, January 14. The company has offered all current employees at the location the opportunity to transfer to any one of its other nearby restaurants during the transition.

“We invite our customers to visit us at the Wauwatosa location through January 14,” said DeRosa. “While we are closed for renovations, we encourage our guests to visit us at any of our other locations, including three Chanceries. If they want a sneak-peek of the food coming to the Wauwatosa location, we welcome them to visit us at one of our three Jose’s restaurants. We are looking forward to continuing to develop our current restaurant concepts and menus as well as explore future development opportunities. DeRosa Restaurants have been among the first to feature successful innovations since 1972, and that’s just what we’re going to continue doing,” said DeRosa.

Jose’s Blue Sombrero started in Racine in 2001 with its “Hip Cheap and No Sleep” atmosphere. The company continued to bring innovative ideas to the restaurant, such as table-side guacamole made fresh at your table. It quickly became the place for Mexican food in the area. Jose’s Blue Sombrero was voted the “Best Mexican Restaurant” by The Journal Times (Racine) readers four years in a row in “The Best Of 2013” “The Best Of 2014,” “The Best Of 2015” and The Best Of 2016” contests.

DeRosa Corporation owns and operates eight popular restaurants in southeastern Wisconsin. There are currently four Chancery restaurant locations throughout southeastern Wisconsin, three Jose’s Blue Sombrero locations and a restaurant in Brookfield called Parkside 23, which grows and produces specialty produce from its 10,000 square-foot farm.

  • Chancery, Wauwatosa at 7615 W State St.
  • Chancery, Mequon at 11046 Port Washington Rd.
  • Chancery, Pleasant Prairie at 11900 108th St.
  • Chancery, Waukesha at 2100 E Moreland Blvd.
  • Jose’s Blue Sombrero, Racine at 6430 Washington Ave.
  • Jose’s Blue Sombrero, Brookfield at 20371 West Bluemound Rd.
  • Jose’s Blue Sombrero Fox Point at 8617 N Port Washington Rd.
  • Parkside 23; Kitchen, Patio, Bar, Farm at 2300 Pilgrim Square Dr.

Since 1972, when the first Chancery opened, the DeRosa Corporation has been among the first restaurants to feature such brand innovations in Wisconsin as free peanuts in the 1970s, popcorn on the table in the 1980s, in the 1990s it added its own craft brewery inside its Smith Brothers Restaurant in Port Washington, and incorporated a wood-fired brick oven displayed prominently in the dining room in its Mequon location.

The company helped pave the way for local American fine dining when it opened Eddie Martini’s in 1995, which has been highly ranked and won the prestigious Zagat ratings recognition, “Distinguished Restaurants of North America recognition (DIRONA award),” “Wine Spectator” awards and reached national heights in service and reputation.

Later DeRosa innovated concepts including Mexican fusion through its Jose’s Blue Sombrero locations, where it introduced the concept of tableside guacamole in Wisconsin and a beautiful outdoor salsa garden in Fox Point, and will continue to innovate with the new location.

In addition, in 2010 it instituted the first true local farm-to-table dining in the state when it opened Parkside 23 in Brookfield, a kitchen, patio, bar and farm in Brookfield which became the only restaurant in southeastern Wisconsin to feature its own farm on the premises. Parkside 23 received an award from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s “Top Choice Awards of Greater Milwaukee,” which is a readers’ choice contest, for first place in the category of Farm-to-Table Restaurant. (For more information on these developments over the years, please see the timeline of innovations and historical highlights.)

The DeRosa Corporation has a rich history in southeastern Wisconsin that goes beyond serving customers in its restaurants. The company has hosted more than 200 Community Events so far this year, which contribute 25 percent of all food sales to local charitable organizations. In addition, over the years, hundreds of local organizations have benefited from the company’s Make-A-Difference program. This program allows groups to make 20 percent from of all the promotional gift certificates they sell. In addition the company is involved in numerous other charitable events.

DeRosa has received the “Wisconsin Restaurateur of the Year award.” DeRosa was elected to the National Restaurant Association Board, representing the State of Wisconsin in 1994 and holds Emeritus status.

About DeRosa Corporation

Wauwatosa-based owners and operators of popular restaurants in southeastern Wisconsin, the DeRosa Corporation, was founded by Joseph DeRosa who established the company that is well-known today for feeding more than four generations of Wisconsin families and entertaining countless others. The company’s unique philosophy highlights the importance of people, place and product, and the company is known for embodying a playful Refuse To Grow Up approach and a genuinely friendly place to dine in its brands, menus, and amenities. The company’s most popular T-shirt of all time was “You don’t scare me, I have kids.”

Established in 1972 when the Chancery opened on Highway 20 in Mount Pleasant, the company owns and operates eight southeastern Wisconsin restaurants, including four Chancery locations (Mequon, Kenosha, Waukesha and Wauwatosa), three Jose’s Blue Sombrero locations (Brookfield, Fox Point and Mount Pleasant) and Parkside 23 located in Brookfield. For more information, please visit

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