Our Story

Truly a family legacy, the roots of Jax Cafe run deep, beginning in 1910 when great-grandfather Stanley Kozlak built the business on the corner of 20th and University Avenue. The building housed his furniture, hardware, and funeral services as well as the local dance hall. When prohibition ended in 1933, a liquor license was obtained and Jax Bar and Cafe was born- in the very part of the building the main bar lives today.

In 1943 grandparents Joseph and Gertrude purchased the cafe with a 56 seating capacity and a staff of four. What they lacked in size they made up for in standards, working hard to establish warm hospitality with a focus on great food. Grandma even lent her hand in the kitchen, developing a salad dressing still found on the menu today. The work proved fruitful, and in just ten short years Jax Cafe expanded to occupy the entire main floor of the present building.

The business passed through family hands once again in 1965 when father Bill and uncles Joe and Jack took over the restaurant. Eventually the uncles moved on to other enterprises and Bill assumed leadership. Soon thereafter mother Kathy came on board, bringing with her the birth of the now famous Sunday Buffet Brunch, which at the time proved a controversial move. But commitment to community paid off and in 2005 Bill Kozlak Sr. was inducted into The Minnesota Restaurant Association's Hospitality Hall of Fame.

Today the rich history of Jax Cafe has served the families of Northeast Minneapolis faithfully for 90 years. Bill Kozlak, Jr. follows in his father and grandfather's footsteps by preserving the rich tradition of Jax cafe while continuing the promise of uncompromised service. Known for a warm welcome and traditional atmosphere, Jax Cafe serves only the finest menu of premium cuts and fresh seafood flown in from all over the world. Recognizing that fine food doesn't require flash and trend- Jax Cafe impresses with the best ingredients, immaculate preparation and the heart of a dining experience crafted through three generations.

Bill Kozlak

It was over 90 years ago that an old family friend obtained a liquor license and opened Jax Cafe in Bill Kozlak, Jr's great grandfather's building. And as they say, the rest is history.

Bill grew up in the restaurant trenches, bussing dishes and waiting tables at the family business. After purchasing the business from his father in 2000, he bravely took on the challenge of running the third-generation family restaurant.

Continuing in the dining ideal that his grandparents, parents, and uncles built, he believes in giving guests the utmost in personal treatment and establishing relationships with his diners. This commitment to detail and pride in service aptly explains why Jax Cafe is not only one of the finest dining experiences in Minneapolis, but esteemed by the community as a trusted friend.

Community Involvement

Jax Cafe proudly donates to a variety of local and nearby community
organizations. Wether it be Jax gift baskets with shirts/sweaters,
playing cards, shot glasses, hats, or gift cards for Jax Brunch, the
items always bid for more than retail. Our community has been there for
us and we want to be there for them.

NE Lions, Goldbrick Club, Eastside Neighborhood Services Wine Tasting, Eastside Exchange Club Youth Benefit Dinner, Fridley Schools Foundation, Columbia Heights Schools Foundation, Taste of STA, Pope John Paul II Gala, MN100, and many, many more.

Jax is Hiring