About Us

Dakota HistoryNoteworthy Food & Music

Established in 1985, the Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant opened in St. Paul and has since moved to downtown Minneapolis. We are proud of our history as a part of the Twin Cities community. Read a little about it below!

Over the last nearly three decades the Dakota has taken new approaches to evolve our music styles, outreach, audience and approach to fine dining.

Opened in October of 1985 by Lowell Pickett, the Dakota was originally located in St. Paul’s Bandana Square.  Some years later with the intention to expand, Lowell partnered with current co-owner Richard Erickson and traveled across the river to Minneapolis’ Nicollet Mall. Currently located at Target world headquarters, the Dakota has blossomed in its new home as a premier music venue in the Midwest.

Over the years we have housed acclaimed chefs, shelved exotic spirits and hosted the best and most talented musicians of the century: from Prince, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Ramsey Lewis and Betty LaVette to Larry Graham and Dave Brubeck.  Among the best musicians from both a local, national and international perspective, artists often request to play at the Dakota and it has become a bench mark location for many artists in terms of their musical success.

As we’ve grown, our resources have allowed us to expand our philanthropic efforts. The Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education provides resources for Minnesota’s youth to learn jazz from a traditional perspective. We believe strongly in the preservation of jazz as an immense piece of American tradition. By giving our youth the inspiration of great musicians, we allow them a foundation from which to form their own music and maybe, just maybe create a completely new genre and style of music. Appreciation and mastery of musical arts is what the Dakota has promoted in every way possible for nearly 30 years.


Moore By Four

Star Tribune: April 1, 1989 Moore By Four raises money for local food shelf programs at the Dakota, showing the true side of Minnesota nice. Click here to view article.

Laurel Masse Returns to the Dakota

Star Tribune: April 28, 1989 “Superb singer with a skyrocketing four-octave range” Laurel Masse wows the crowd with her incredible and unique voice.  Click here to view article.

Vocal Jazz with Voice Trek

Star Tribune: May 25, 1989 Voice Trek performs at the Dakota. This vocal jazz ensemble that trained under Phil Mattson, gives soothing harmonies and sounds. Click here to view article.

Commanding Debbie Duncan

Star Tribune: June 15, 1989 Debbie Duncan shines after commanding the stage and spotlight. Click here to view article.

Rich and Famous

Pioneer Press: September 13, 1989 Chef Ken Goff shares a famous dessert recipe. A wonderful way to treat yourself. Click here to view article.

Best of the Twin Cities

Twin Cities Reader: October 11, 1989 Best Place to Hear Singing, Non-operatic, Best Wine List, and Best Use of Goat Cheese… Click here to view article.

Recommended By USA Today

USA Today: October 23, 1989 The Dakota receives recognition by USA Today. The Dakota Jazz Club starts to grow beyond Minnesota. Click here to view article.

Celebrity Sightings

Pioneer Press: November 19, 1989 Celebrities love the Dakota. Cleo Lane and Janis Siegel were some of many different celebrities to come to the Dakota. Click here to view article.

More Celebrity Sightings…

Star Tribune: December 3, 1989 Harry Connick, Jr., Cloris Leachman, just to name a few. More and more celebs are loving the Dakota! Click here to view article.

The Inspirational Ed Blackwell

Star Tribune: January 9, 1990 Ed Blackwell, one of the great drummers of modern jazz, entertains at the Dakota…Click here to view article.