Java Jack’s in Tangletown

Katie Cannon / Heavy Table
Katie Cannon / Heavy Table

Fourteen years ago Jack Thompson opened Java Jacks east of Lake Harriet in Tangletown. Now owned by Jerry Nelson, this corner café has undergone a transformation in the last few years with the remodeling of the cafe and the addition of Rustica Bakery, tangling artisan pastries and specialty coffee. The pistachio chocolate croissant is a particularly worthwhile attraction that peels apart in layers revealing chunks of chocolate and freshly crushed pistachios. The only problem is you have to order your pastry at a different counter than your coffee. This makes enjoying coffee with a pastry a difficult task as you wait in line salivating over one and then the other. With more customers coming through the door Julie Rathmann has had the opportunity to perfect her skills as a barista. Using coffee from Roastery 7, she has put Java Jack’s on the map as one of the few places you can see latte art; a design that an accomplished barista makes by steaming milk and pouring it into the coffee. Among the few other places in the Twin Cities that you can find these beautiful designs are at Kopplin’s Coffee in St. Paul and Black Sheep Coffee Cafe in South St. Paul.

Java Jacks

Coffee in Tangletown, Minneapolis
818 W 46th St
Minneapolis, MN 55419
OWNER: Jerry Nelson
Mon-Thu 6:30am-9pm
Fri 6:30am – 8pm
Sat 7am – 8pm
Sun 7:30am – 7pm



  1. AgentDiscount

    I love Kopplin’s coffee, as the brew they have there is complex like a wine or a really good single origin chocolate. I love the respect these places have for the barista as a craft.

  2. katie

    just an fyi: the original owner’s name is John (not Jack)…but his nickname in college was Jackpine because he was so very, very tall. The place was so much cooler when Jackpine was around.

    1. Tim Simmons

      Hi Katie,
      I went to college with John (Jackpine) at Bemidji. The mythical Jack Thompson was one of this state’s pioneers in coffee shop culture. Especially as we know it today. Without going back to the sixties on the west bank, it would be hard to think of a coffee shop that arrived on the scene before Java Jack’s.

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