Jack's officially closing tomorrow

Jacks_Emily_Utne.jpg
Emily Utne
Jack's closing
After a tumultuous few months, it looks like Jack's Cafe will close its doors for good.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Matt Perry, the Nicollet East Harriet Business Association (NEHBA) president, broke the news via Twitter writing, "Jack's (46/Bryant) formerly Java Jacks is closing this Friday (4/27). As far as I know, a non-food business will be replacing it."

We visited Jack's Cafe in February, after chef Kevin Kathman, who got his start under famed chef Thomas Keller at French Laundry before coming to work at Barbette and other local restaurants, was hired to take control of the kitchen and bring his refined touch to all areas of Jack's menu. The ambiance, experience, and light-handed plates of gorgeously sculptural food all showed great promise, and confidence in the revamp of the former coffee shop was running high.


But just a few weeks later, Kathman abruptly left Jack's after staff and vendors complained that Jack's owner, Jerry Nelson, was late making payments and that checks they did receive bounced. On further investigation, Kathman says he found receipts and documentation indicating Nelson was using restaurant money to pay for personal expenses. 

The same day Kathman and his kitchen staff decided to walk out, the restaurant sent an email to its list subscribers stating "neighborhood favorites" were back. Since then, Jack's has struggled with its identity, pushing private room rental, interior suite office space, offering grab-and-go lunch, and going back to highlighting the coffee bar. 

As recently as April 12 the restaurant announced "new faces in the kitchen," but unfortunately its efforts to reinvent weren't enough to keep the neighborhood eatery afloat. 

Jack's last service will be Friday, April 27.

Location Info

Venue

Map

Jack's

818 W. 46th St., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

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7 comments
Relieved
Relieved

This was a long long time coming, even well before Rustica moved out or the coffeeshop turned restaurant.  I am relieved.  Phew.  

Former Patron
Former Patron

I can only guess why it ever needed to be more than a coffee shop, or why it was compelled to spurn those of us who liked it that way. The space was perfect for that use, and the combo with Rustica was primo for the time it lasted. I can only hope that whatever comes next has the same value as a neighborhood amenity, but I am wary.

Nolukwluv
Nolukwluv

the chef before Kevin Kathman when Jacks first went restautant was fantatstic. I had two great meals under her reign. Sadly cant remember her name.Kevins menu was a highbrow joke.

Pissed
Pissed

Chef Stephanie.  Yes, this is a victim of mis-management.  When Rustica moved out, a new, smaller bakery should have moved in and Java Jacks would have rolled on.  Instead we had all these half-baked experiments, poorly executed, and now Jerry gets the sale of the building and the neighborhood looses a valued space. 

Present
Present

This was a huge scam from day one.  City Pages told us how wonderful it was but it really never was open from more than a week as advertised.  Even worse, Minneapolist st paul magazine ran their big spin jo  spread a good MONTH after the "chef" was gone, hell it was in my mail like two weeks ago....   Unbelievable they didn't pull it and unbelievable City Pages never splashed a "closed" somewhere on there archived endorsement.   Just leaves a bad taste in a bait and switch/why are the papers pushing it so hard when we all know the guy they are writing about has been gone (i think i read even out of the country) for months?  

Stuff like this makes it hard to have much faith in the Restaurant Reviews.  The Howler kid said something about the "taste maker local music media".  Time to say something about the bullshit "taste maker, get the facts wrong, pure propaganda" local restaurant media cabal.  (heavy table and the blogs by the couple with the kid and the biker hair guy are the only sources of information that are even remotely trustworthy or relevant... pioneer press only reviews restaurants in Stillwater...)

Free Drunk
Free Drunk

The irony is that one of the Howler kids worked at Jacks and the band rehearsed in the basement

heyitsthatguy
heyitsthatguy

i pretty much agree. the nytimes reviews one restaurant a week and sometimes gives no stars.  when is the last time you saw less than 3 out of 4 in the strib or the equivalent rating for the reviews in the local magazines? 

what are the names of those blogs?  i'd like to read those.  already read heavy table.

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