About Us | Casablanca
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ABOUT US

Chef Jesse Musa, a native of Jerusalem, grew up around exotic spices and a passion for exquisite yet simple food. It was his desire to bring warm hospitality and delicious Middle Eastern food to Milwaukee.

OUR HISTORY

Our journey started in Jerusalem in 1961, when Jesse
Musa was just ten years old, he worked in his father and
grandfather’s restaurant and pastry shop where he learned to cook.
He says “cooking is something I can make a living on and I love
it!” At the age of 20, in 1971, with no certainty of what was in
store, Casablanca Patriarch, Jesse Musa, made the decision to
immigrate to the United States with his father. With a suitcase and
a couple dollars, Chicago would be his new home. Jesse Musa never
could’ve imagined, as a chef in a Syrian Bakery, Zyad Brothers,
which is now an International Food Distribution Company, would
eventually lead to a long and deeply rooted history in Milwaukee as
an Executive Chef, Restaurateur, Entrepreneur and a Culinary
Staple.

After several years in Chicago, Jesse would move to
Milwaukee, where several of his older brothers have settled and
operate several neighborhood groceries stores. It wasn’t until
1987, that Jesse Musa opened and co-owned the Sahara Inn on
Mitchell Street. A few years later he would rename his beloved
restaurant after his favorite movie and one of America’s all-time
classic films, “Casablanca”. Jesse built Casablanca’s menu on the
rich, authentic Middle Eastern recipe’s perfected by his father and
grandfather. A recipe that has won decade’s worth of awards and
special mentions. In 1993, Jesse moved his beloved and popular
restaurant from Historic Mitchell Street, to Oakland Ave in
Shorewood, only to find his way back to his humble beginnings on
Mitchell Street in 1996. He would operate his restaurant until his
well-deserved retirement in 2003, when he closed the restaurant
doors for good, at least he thought it was.

A couple years later, in 2005, Jesse’s son’s, Alaa,
Nasser & Ramsey Musa would reopen Casablanca Restaurant on
Brady Street. What was believed to be the end to a successful and
historic run for the Musa Family, was anything but. It turned out
to be one of many new chapters in a long and rich history that is
still leaving its mark, not only in Milwaukee, but across
Wisconsin. Alaa and Nasser’s footprints can be traced not only in
the service industry, but in real estate holding’s, development,
construction, transportation, community organizations, philanthropy
and holding chairmanships on the business improvement district,
(B.I.D.) and neighborhood associations, with many more projects yet
to be announced. It’s safe to say, their grandpa and
great-grandpa’s hard work, motivation and dedication to everything
they love still courses through the veins of every generation after
them.

Everything Casablanca has turned into, from adding a
second-floor addition to the Brady Street location, enclosing the
west-side, second floor terrace with retractable roofs and sliding
glass panels to opening a second Casablanca Restaurant in
Brookfield to opening MooSa’s Custard Stand at North Point Beach on
Milwaukee’s Lake Front, the future is looking bright. We are
excited to showcase everything we have to offer. Thank you, not
only from the Musa Family, but the Casablanca and MooSa’s Family as
well. With other ventures opening up in the agriculture industry,
we see no slowing down for us in the near future and we are glad
you are along for the ride.

~ The Musa Family

OUR FOUNDER

Jesse Musa

Jesse Musa

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Casablanca has a rich tradition of serving fresh, authentic Middle Eastern cuisine.
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