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September 22, 2003 // UPDATED 11:04 am - April 30, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

Dakota on track for October opening

The Dakota Bar & Grill, the popular St. Paul jazz club, is on pace to open Downtown at the end of October.

The club will be on the ground floor of the Target headquarters building at 1010 Nicollet Mall, said club co-owner Lowell Pickett. It will occupy the space formerly held by the restaurant Zinc.

The jazz hotspot, currently located in Bandana Square, has attracted local and national talent for 18 years.

Pickett said the club has considered a move for some time, since Bandana Square has added more office tenants instead of retail.

"We think Target will be a great landlord," he said. "We are enthusiastic about moving, about the location. The neighborhood feels fresh and alive."

There has been some buzz that Target lured the Dakota to Downtown with money. A Target spokesperson, however, would not confirm that, saying the corporation would not discuss the lease arrangement.

He also said the new space's proximity to Orchestra Hall, a renowned performing arts center, was another draw.

The new location will have a restaurant with seating for 140, two private dining rooms and a jazz club that can accommodate 120.

There will also be seating outdoors.

Pickett said the club has lined up a number of high-profile artists for November, including Elvin Jones, a legendary rhythmic drummer, and Lizz Wright, a young jazz vocalist attracting national attention, among others.

Dunn Bros, unplugged

The Dunn Bros Coffee on Nicollet Mall is applying for an entertainment license to allow acoustic musical performances.

Tom Witheridge, the franchisee at the 925 Nicollet Mall shop, said he hopes to attract workers who might stay for a performance at the end of the day instead of boarding the bus for home.

He received backing for his license application from the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association Sept. 9.

Other Dunn Bros feature musical performances, including the Twin Cities' first Dunn Bros on Grand Avenue in St. Paul. It has attracted large crowds for its performances.

Currently, the spot on Nicollet Mall is dead in the evenings, Witheridge said.

He said he's looking to attract local musicians who would play for tips or a small cover charge.

He'd like to attract some more customers with the buzz created from the Downtown opening of jazz hotspot Dakota Bar & Grill, a St. Paul transplant scheduled to open at 1010 Nicollet Mall the end of October.