The Dakota and jazz have history. Between opening in Bandana Square in 1985 and reopening on Nicollet Mall in 2003, the club saw a world of music pass through its doors. George Benson made the Dakota his informal jamming spot. Mourners gathered there to remember "Captain" Jack McDuff. The new Dakota kept a grand piano at its center, but doubled the seating and improved the sound. Now this spot has history, too. New Orleans legend Dr. John rode out Hurricane Katrina here, and in the grinding months that followed, other musicians from the cradle of American music came to play—Bill Summers, Delfeayo Marsalis, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Kid Merv, and more. The balcony tables, a dark bar, and a menu of American comfort food make the perfect live venue a romantic date destination as well. Other venues fill out the picture for local jazz, but no club in town is treasured quite like the Dakota.