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.


Ballads and Blues

Pioneer Press: April 29, 1990 Joe Williams is back and going strong with the blues at the Dakota. Click here to view article.

Williams Review

Pioneer Press: May 5, 1990 Joe Williams “can still wail on the blues” after giving a legendary performance and the Dakota. Click here to view article.

St. Paul’s Scene

Star Tribune: June 8, 1990 The Dakota shines in St. Paul, reminding the world how wonderful St. Paul is. Click here to view article.

Grooves in Orbit

Twin Cities Reader: June 19, 1990 Betty Carter rocks the Dakota. The sensation gives a wowing performance. Click here to view article.

America’s Finest Restaurants

Money: July 1, 1990 Money magazine praises the Dakota. The Dakota is listed as one of the best resaurants in the Minneapolis area. Click here to view article.

Jazzy New Digs

The Dakota moves to downtown Minneapolis at the Nicollet Mall. Click here to view article.

Dining Out

Star Tribune:  April 9, 1998 “Bar menus offer great food, good value”…Click here to view article.

The Big Countdown

Star Tribune: December 30, 1999 Debbie Duncan leads the Dakota to the new century. Click here to view article.

Pop Stand

Star Tribune:  July 20, 2002 Youthful interest in jazz is sparked…Click here to view article.