Downtown Minneapolis Dakota reopens in September, with new chef
The Dakota (1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., Dakotacooks.com), the iconic jazz club and restaurant, reopens in September after a long slumber induced by the pandemic.
Owners Lowell Pickett and Richard Erickson closed their nationally renowned venue in March 2020. To reopen, they consulted with award-winning chef James Beard Tim McKee (formerly of La Belle Vie, Octo Fish Bar and others) to create a new program. Ops Group founder Nathan Rostance – a familiar face to fans of the former Bachelor Farmer – has been hired to oversee the club’s operations.
âGreat music, food and drink have been at the heart and soul of Dakota for 35 years,â Pickett said. âWe failed to share these things with the community, and we can’t wait to bring them back. We’ve teamed up with Tim and Nathan to make sure we do it with all the flair and style that this place – and our guests – deserve. “
McKee recruited Remy Pettus, chef / owner of former Bardo, to run the kitchen. Pettus closed Bardo in September 2020, after a three-year run.
In Dakota, their menu goes south.
âIt fits,â McKee said. “The South is the birthplace of much of the music Dakota is known for.”
The cuisine will also reflect the deep roots of the Pettus family in the Carolinas, with dishes like hickory-smoked chicken wings, andouille shrimp and grits, roasted duck breast with Georgia peaches and fried quail in chicken and cabbage greens.
Occasional Minnesota accents will also creep in, including sweet corn chowder and okra made with wild rice and Vermilion Lake crayfish.
From the start, the Dakota has been a platform for culinary talent, led by luminaries such as Ken Goff and Jack Riebel. The talented Derik Moran has led the kitchen for the past decade; he is now the head of Augustine (1668 Selby Av., St. Paul, augustinesmn.com).
At first glance, the Dakota scene will be as busy as the kitchen. Its musical calendar has reserved more than 60 performances; tickets will go on sale soon. The reopening date is set for September 10.