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Jack's Closing Friday After Chef's Departure

A roller-coaster year ends in a crash.

Not two months after , East Harriet restaurant-now-coffee-shop is closing for good. The return of "neighborhood favorites" apparently didn't satisfy enough locals to keep business flowing.

"Yep. Tomorrow will be our last day," owner Jerry Nelson told Patch. "Saturday morning, I'm planning to have coffee and cookies out on the patio."

When Kathman took his kitchen staff and their talent elsewhere back in March, he accused Nelson of shoddy money management. Nelson fired back, saying Kathman wasn't keeping costs under control.

It's not certain what will replace Jack's, but scuttlebutt around the neighborhood suggests it will be office space or some other non-restaurant space.

"Big loss for the neighborhood," East Harriet resident Mike Hess told Patch in an email. "Quite a journey from one of the most popular coffee shops in town, to a tour of fine dining, to failed and shuttered. The neighborhood is pretty upset that another restaurant place will not be moving in. Office space doesn't do much for the locals."

Kristin Jones April 26, 2012 at 09:15 PM
I will miss the Jack's that was the old coffee shop and I'm super disappointed that it's not going to be a restaurant space. This neighborhood is begging for a good, friendly spot to take their kids and gather with friends and neighbors. Sadness.
John from Minneapolis April 26, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Yes, I wondered why they couldn't just leave well enough alone.
Jen April 26, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Why oh why won't Jerry lease the space to a coffee shop or restaurant operator? If he got out of the day to day...... And just collected rent, it might have a chance!
James Sanna (Editor) April 26, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Could you (and John) explain that a little more? I'll be talking to Jerry again tomorrow.
John Bradley Seals April 26, 2012 at 10:34 PM
RIght on. I liked Jack's the way it the way it was before all this.
John Bradley Seals April 26, 2012 at 10:39 PM
East across Lyndale on 46th is Patisserie 46. It fits the bill although it's a tad more upscale that Jack's.
Lauren Weinblatt Gryniewski April 26, 2012 at 10:43 PM
While definitely yummy, Patisserie 46 is closed on Mondays, closes at 2pm on Sunday and 6pm the rest of the week. Why can't this neighborhood get a nice, chill coffee shop with regular coffee shop hours?
James Sanna (Editor) April 26, 2012 at 11:02 PM
I've always wondered about the economics of coffee shops—with SW rotten with 'em, save East Harriet, you wonder if there's something about the area that keeps them away. Crowded out by 50th/Penn, 46th/Grand, 46th/Nicollet, and 43rd/Nicollet?
Mike Weber April 26, 2012 at 11:06 PM
My wife has food allergies, so after the recent change there just weren't enough viable options on the menu to make it worth stopping by anymore. We used to love being able to walk our dog there and eat dinner outside when the weather was nice.
Anne Damon April 26, 2012 at 11:54 PM
So sad to read this. I love Jacks and will miss it. We do need a great coffee shop in our neighborhood...
C Uldrich April 27, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Jerry is such a good guy I hope it all works out and he is able to rent the space out. I too would like to see a coffee shop continue there or a fun family place to eat.
Mike O'Brien April 27, 2012 at 03:30 AM
Sad to see Jacks drop from a popular, relaxed neighborhood gathering place to bland office space in just a few years. Love P46 but I don't always want to wait in a long line for a cup of coffee and jockey for a table with people from all over the metro. Other posters are correct - we have great restaurants all around the neighborhood now, just need a decent coffee shop.
Wendy Williams April 27, 2012 at 03:53 AM
RIP, Java Jack's. I am so sad that our once beloved coffee shop where we knew and loved the barista's is gone. It used to be that you could get a great cup of coffee, a great pastry and see all of your neighbors at Java Jack's. We practically raised our kids there. I hope that in time a successful neighborhood hang will be reborn from the ashes.
Mary Tramel April 27, 2012 at 08:29 PM
While I never loved the coffee at Jack's, I loved the space and the location, perfect place to stop after a walk around the lake.We always took our dogs there and liked it, the weirdest thing was when they had Rustica in the corner and still sold bad donuts on the Jack's side. Urban Bean used to have better coffee til they went Dogwood, the uber snobby coffee where you cannot get a machiato or a cappucino to go because" it ruins the foam". I went to Jack's today, one last time, very sorry to see it go.
Donna Coleman April 27, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Good coffee, reasonably priced sweets, tasty soup and ice cream should be a winning menu...
Karen Gustafson April 28, 2012 at 01:07 PM
I am hugely sad that Jack's is closed. When Jerry took over Jack's, the improved the space and addition of food created so many more opportunities to connect with neighbors, now friends. Jerry and Pam have been such strong supporters of local youth and music programs including She Rock She Rock and the Girls Rock n Roll Retreat. My hat is off to the Nelsons for helping us become a real community.
Ellis Peterson April 29, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Seems a shame to let all the work that Jerry did go to waste. The process of getting a beer and wine license alone must have been exhausting, not to mention the renovations. I also can't imagine removing a fully functioning kitchen to replace it with office space. Maybe rent would be more lucrative to him though as a building owner, I am sure he will do what works best for his family.
LKR April 29, 2012 at 01:22 PM
We will miss it terribly. I'm hoping the rumor isn't true about Jack's becoming office space. Hopefully, there will be commication from Jerry to the neighborhood before anything happens to the space. Perhaps someone in the neighborhood would have it in them to start something up. Thanks to Pam and Jerry for all those great years.
Susan Wilder April 29, 2012 at 07:26 PM
It seemed to work etremely well as Java Jack's--a place that I still miss! I guess bigger isn't always better. Sad to see it go. Good memories over the years!

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