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.


Jazz’s Top 10

USA Today:  February 16, 2007 The Dakota makes the Top 10 List!…Click here to view article.

Live USA 2007

MPLS/St. Paul: September, 16, 2007 John McLaughlin, demigod of machine-gun jazz, plays at the Dakota. Click here to view article.

The Hot Five

Star Tribune: December 27, 2007 Five great restaurants to check out in the Twin Cities. Star Tribune ranks the Dakota as one of the top restaurants. Click here to view article.

Shades of Brown

Star Tribune: April 8, 2008 Honoring jazz bassist Ray Brown.Click here to view article.

Dakota Restaurant Review

MPLS/St. Paul Magazine: March 9, 2009 “A shining light of the Twin Cities cultural scene”. Click here to view article.

A Special Night of Blues

Star Tribune: June 9, 2009 Pinetop Perkins is the main dish at the Dakota. Click here to view article.

LaVette Reigns in Dakota

Star Tribune: June 13, 2009 With an emotional performance, Bettye LaVette gives more meaning to music. Click here to view article.