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Jax Cafe

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American Restaurants, Banquet Halls & Reception Facilities, Bars

1928 University Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418


Today: Closed

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37 Reviews
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Provided by Citysearch
Terrible service and terrible food!!!

don't waste your money here. Not sure why anyone would go here. It's old, dirty and the food is bland and very bad. Our steak was way overcooked and when we mentioned it the server just said, ""oh, too bad."". Unbelievable!! Maybe she had been working there for too many years to know what customer service is. Our drinks were never refilled. Then we found a hair in our potatos and told the owner, who did Nothing! What a joke! I would never spend a penny in this place again...plus it's way overpriced!!!

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Provided by Citysearch
Not What it Used to be

We went to Jax to celebrate my partner receiving his Master of Divinity degree in May. It is now July and I'm still angry. We put on the dog as his parents were visiting from Chicago. Drinks, oysters, appetizers, bottle of wine, and the anniversary chateau brion special. The bill was over $430.00. When serving the chateau, our waitress employed the assistance of a busser who hacked up the meat into two aggregiously uneven portions. The waitress was mortified and went to get the manager. He tried to manage ME instead of the situation. He asked what he could do to make the situation better. I told him it was no big deal..just throw on a small fillet and serve it to the smaller portioned guest. He then went into some litany about how we had plenty of food...why not eat what we have and if we were still hungry he would buy us dessert (dessert came with the anniversary special anyway.) He then went to call the owner who told him to cook me a steak. By that time the others at my table shared their portion with me off of their plates. How classy is that. He proceeded to give attitude and tried to humiliate us within earshot of other diners. I told him to leave us alone and not talk to us anymore. He couldn't resist getting a smart aleck comment in as we were leaving the establishment.

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Provided by Citysearch
Never a bad time

I have been to Jax to celebrate some special life events and anniversaries and they have never let me down. Service is always wonderful, it is always perfectly clean and elegant. When I walk in I love seeing some ""old timers"" having a drink at the bar. From my first time to my last they have always been patient and understanding no matter how picky I was. A wonderful place to sit and really ENJOY a meal. The food is wonderful and I want to know how to have my food come out that good in my kitchen. I love that I have been treated with the same respect if I walked in looking my best or when I had only 5 min to get ready for my date.

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Provided by Citysearch
I feel bad, but just a terrible experience

I feel bad as the reviews on here were quite good, but my experience was horrible. I usually will try a place twice just in case the first time was a fluke, but I just can't bring myself to go again!

I took my wife to Jax's Dec. 08. I called for reservations and specifically told them I was coming for anniversary. When we arrived, it took 30 minutes past reserved time to get a table. When we were seated, it was next to 2 tables, each with 10+ guys drinking to the point of falling over and extremely loud. The food was great, but completely overshadowed by the ambiance. My wife and I ate in complete silence because we could not hear each other talk. I did not complain as the entire restaurant was so loud, there was nowhere we could have moved. I do think the waiting staff should realize that a couple on their anniversary should not be seated by 20 drunk, loud men, however.

That night, I wrote an e-mail to Jax owner explaining my experience. I left my number, e-mail address, and home address and heard nothing back. If they don't have the time for me, then I don't have the patience for a 2nd visit.

Will not be going back.

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Provided by Citysearch
worth it

I've been going here since I was a kid. The food is consistently delicious and although it's a bit pricey, you get what you pay for.

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Provided by Citysearch
Great experience all around

Went there last night with my wife and we both left really impressed.I'm surprised by a few of the negative reviews I've read here.Our service was fantastic.We had 4 different people wait on us and all were friendly and attentive.The steak melted in our mouths and the lobster was delicious and fresh.Our drinks were well made.The dining room had a very nice ambience, an old style feel with a pianist. The only negative thing I could say was that the asparagus stocks were so large we only got about 5 and it would have been nice to have more tips.
Great place! Will happily go back.

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Provided by Citysearch

By far my the best steakhouse in town!! The attention to detail with the steaks is so refreshing the seasoning on the steaks are amazing!! Jax is a great place to sit outside or inside the service is alwasys awesome! I went here for a suprise birthday party and we had a fairly large group our food came out quick and we were treated great!

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Provided by Citysearch
Heaven on Earth

I have been going to Jax Cafe in Beautiful Nordeast Minneapolis since 1965. Over the years I have had club and business meetings, and business and personal lunches/dinners/brunches at Jax. I had my retirement party in the Cosmopolitan Room in 2002 with 150 guests. My church celebrated our 90th Anniversary with a dinner for 255 happy guests. I continue to see past business associates, who I previously introduced to Jax, coming in to entertain their current business contacts and to enjoy their own personal and family celebrations. The pianist plays my favorite song, ""My Way"" by Frank Sinatra. That's what I always receive at Jax is, ""My Way"". The food is of the highest quality, the service is excellent and friendly, and the managerial staff is always congenial and professional.

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Provided by Citysearch
sophomorics & weak apologies, and at the same price you'd pay at a REAL premium steak house

Went to Jax for a biz dinner with clients. 7pm reservation on a Thursday night. Table wasn't ready. Had us stand in the middle of the dining room while they shuffled tables and chairs. After we sat, we noticed that our waitress was nice but overwhelmed, while the menu and wine list was, well, let's just say it was underwhelming. I was expecting a better wine list than one I'd see at a Holiday Inn Room Service menu!

Our frazzled waitress poured wine (finally) and then took our order. She told us they were out of prime rib -- which at 7:30 is totally inexcusable! When it was time for us to get soup, they only had enough for 2 of our 3 orders. My guests had to rock paper scissors for their soup!! Our second bottle of wine took 15 minutes to arrive after ordering, so we had no wine with our soups and salads.

When the steaks arrived they were not properly cooked -- 3 were perfect as expected, 3 were overdone. A rare steak was cooked medium well and was returned. Then the baby-faced manager named Mike who had been apologizing to us all night tried to tell my guest he did not know what a rare steak looked like, that the lighting was bad, and that we should go back into the kitchen to see what it really looked like. After he was done insulting my guest, I told him to get out of my face and leave us alone to eat our mediocre meal. (I was furious!!)

By this time, the waitress was really apologetic, but as well intentioned as people may be, this restaurant was an amateur attempt at a fine steak house. Yes, they comped us a couple of the dinners, but I was on an expense account. I wasn't looking to save money -- I wanted a great meal.

If I want apologies and excuses for dinner, I'll eat somewhere cheaper. If I want a good $35 steak in MSP, I'll avoid Jax and will go to Manny's or Murray's, where they hire adults that know what they are doing. After all, if I am paying that much for a meal, I expect professionalism, not sophomorics and apologies.

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Provided by Citysearch
Excellent brunch, cozy atmosphere

I have been to Jax several times for brunch and for corporate parties. I have not been for dinner. The staff has always been kind and attentive, but not pushy or too chatty. The brunch has an excellent variety of dishes.

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Provided by Citysearch
Let's face it, picking your own fish to cook up is still cool

Been there a few times and given the popularity, I'm always surprised more restaurants don't have their own fish ponds. That unique feature plus the ambience and the service is what keeps me coming back when I'm in town. It's true that the menu could be updated and that the owners might be making a mistake by sticking to the basic things the ""old regulars"" like.

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Provided by Citysearch
Jax Cafe

My daugher and son inlaw had a great reception there. A night to remember. The staff was very nice. However as I have talked to many family and friends they told me there steaks were to raw to eat. At $50.00 a plate this was very sad to hear. We had almost 200 people so you can imagine the cost. We did request medium.

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Provided by Citysearch
Cornerstone to Minneapolis Dining

My wife and I have been coming to Jax for 6 years. I rate my dining experiences based on food, service and ambience. The food here is traditional. Jax has stuck with what works best and it has stood the test of time. If you have a chance to go to brunch it is the best in town (and I have been to every well known brunch establishment). Service is excellent. I have yet to not be seated by a member of the Kozlak family. The ambience brings me back to when I was a kid in the 70's and 80's. The chairs and tables are comfortable unlike some of the more trendy places that feel as though you are sitting at a fast food restaurant. Jax is truly a cornerstone to Minneapolis dining.

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Provided by Citysearch
Mixed Emotions

Jax Gives me mixed emotions. Nothing at all excitting about the food or menu............. classic/traditional steak and basic ingredients with simple flavor/menu combinations with baked potatoes and overcooked vegetables. If you want simple food and simple plate presentation you may love Jax. Old school servers and attire and classic victorian decor. Yet there is a wonderful charm about the place and you can just tell that the ownership and management really care about their customers and staff. The outside deck is fabulous and the pond outside has fresh trout and is really a neat touch. Their is a lot of pride put into this 100 some year old establishment and they are offering high quality protein but in a boring fashion. I will come back and hope to see some possitive changes.

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Provided by Citysearch
Very good food. Great service! Pick your own trout from the pond in back!!!

Very good restaurant. Business casual to dressy attire. Older building in an area that is showing it's age. Not a huge concern though. Once you get inside it's a unique experience where you feel like a part of history. The trout pond in back is cool where you can personally pick out your fish to become your meal. The pond is surrounded by lush gardens and a patio that is heated if needed. The meals were all tasty. The prices are a bit high but not out of category.

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Provided by Citysearch
Minneapolis Institution!!!

Jax is fantastic. Whether we go for an exquisite brunch, a romatic dinner, or drinks beforehand this place is wonderful. The food is always spectacular & prepared to your specifications. The wait staff & attendants are always spot on, available and friendly. My wife & I have had dinner or brunch there at least 6 times per year for the past 5 years & have never been disappointed.

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Provided by Citysearch
From someone who has eaten in most major cities

This is a great place! Ambiance, class, friendliness, and great food usually. Maybe a bit pricy for what you get but always worth it because of everything else. Try the petite fillet! The Martini menu could use some updating but this just adds to the old world charm. The wine list is nice. The service is great. The outside dinning experience during the spring and summer is special and has a charm all its own.

One of my favorite resturants anywhere!! I spend 90% of my time on the road so that is saying something.

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Provided by Citysearch
Good for Sunday brunch!

Good brunch with great service. Personalized match books for special occasions a nice touch! Reasonable price for Sunday brunch.

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Provided by Citysearch
old school

What an amazing patio, by far the best in the twin cities. the bbq ribs and the prime Rib are a must, and don't forget the ar gratins

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Provided by Citysearch
Lovely place, but so overrated!!

I love Jax for the ambience if nothing else. Great place, a bit dark, but the food is absolutely average and much too overpriced. If you'd like better food, there are plenty of choices in downtown Minneapolis and the suburbs that won't leave you feeling as if you were robbed of a fabulous dining experience.

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Extra Phones

Phone: 612-789-0138

Fax: 612-789-0138

Regular Hours
Tue - Thu:
Fri - Sat:
American Restaurants, Banquet Halls & Reception Facilities, Bars, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch Restaurants, Caterers, Continental Restaurants, Family Style Restaurants, Fine Dining Restaurants, French Restaurants, Night Clubs, Restaurants, Seafood Restaurants, Steak Houses
Payment Options
Price Range
Bottineau, Northeast Minneapolis
Other Information

Cuisines: Fine Dining, Caterers, Family Style, American, French, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch, Steakhouse, European, Seafood, Continental

Wi-Fi: Free

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Alcohol: Full Bar

Parking: Street, Lot, Private

Bike Parking: Yes

Attire: Dressy

Good For Family: Yes

Good For Groups: Yes

Takes Reservations: Yes

Outdoor Seating: Yes

Good for Kids: Yes

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