Over the course of its 176-year history, The Commercial Building has purportedly been a stop on the Underground Railroad, a route for bootleggers during Prohibition, and a watering hole for Abraham Lincoln, who prosecuted cases at the nearby courthouse. Situated on the first floor of the building, which is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Dégagé Jazz Café draws contemporary crowds with its combination of live music and French-inspired cuisine.
Chef Jacob Jacobsen, a Toledo native and French Culinary Institute grad, crafts seasonal menus inspired by French and New American cooking. Dishes range from salads with locally grown apples and pears to slow-braised baby-back ribs and wet-aged rib-eye steaks. Other entrees incorporate sustainable seafood, including wild, line-caught Atlantic king salmon and local walleye from Port Clinton Fisheries. Servers carry dishes to weathered wooden booths inside the club-like dining room or float them onto its outdoor patio via attached mini-parachutes.