Home to mostly chains, it’s difficult to pick a casual hangout in Eden Prairie. Lions Tap reigns supreme. Pepitos closed its terrific bare-bones strip-mall branch. Baker’s Ribs has decent barbecue, but it’s not for everybody.
Jenny Jundt saw an opening, and her three-month-old J.J.’s Coffee Company & Wine Bar has given this consummate suburb a fallback chill spot for morning, noon, or night. Jundt said she worked for years at coffee shops developing a sense of customers’ likes and dislikes, added beer, wine, and a brief food menu, and out popped J.J.’s.
Don’t go to J.J.’s expecting Pittsburgh Blue proportions. The menu is light: build-your-own breakfast sandwiches, seven flatbread pizzas, appetizers like an olive plate, shrimp cocktail, and spinach dip, and six desserts. “It’s all of my husband and my favorite things,” said Jundt, adding that she hopes to eventually expand the bakery case, which offers a few cookies and cakes. Ranging from $1.60 for a cookie to the $9 nachos, nothing will break your bank. The pizzas, on crisp, ultra-thin flatbread, are $8.50 and will not set your soul afire. The well-proportioned cheese tastes fresh yet uninspired, the crust is tacky, and the sauce needs a kick. Jundt said she’s not above tweaks, and the pizzas should be first on the list. Slightly thicker crust and higher-quality ingredients are needed.
There’s no tap beer, but 41 bottle choices include six ultra-premium specialty bottles, four Belgian, and two French. Jundt said wines were chosen to be novice-friendly and affordable by the glass, and she added two specialty drinks, a sake Bloody Mary and a michelada, a drink inspired by a traditional Mexican cocktail.
Or just have a Clamato and Grain Belt. Jundt deserves credit for keeping it real.
A thoughtful, warm interior is neither pretentious nor plain and boasts semi-private booths with dimmable lights and electrical outlets, bar seating, and a patio. The booths would be perfect for high schoolers’ (or adults’) hand-holding, googly-eye-making, and long talks over lattes (or micheladas). A huge stone fireplace graces the entrance; oddly, due to city building requirements, Jundt hasn’t yet been able to light it. Hopefully that changes, because sitting by that blazing beast in February, sipping a Grain Belt with Clamato as you watch college hoops on the flatscreen, would be pretty sweet.
She hopes to add more local beers and added J.J.’s to the two-year Surly waiting list, and she is planning live music and wine tastings. The impression is that J.J.’s will keep evolving until Jundt really nails it. So far, so good. Folks in Eden Prairie should take notice, because for morning coffee and wi-fi, a light lunch, or an evening date, J.J.’s is a breath of fresh suburban air.
J.J.’s Coffee Company & Wine Bar
Coffee and wine bar in Eden Prairie
7942 Mitchell Road
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
OWNERS: Jenny and Mark Jundt
VEGETARIAN / VEGAN: Yes / No
BAR: Wine and beer