The 'Park-Restaurant Stadtgarten' was first opened in 1898 and is located within Cologne's oldest inner-city park 'Stadtgarten'.
After a colourful history, in 1985 the city of Cologne agreed to a long term lease contract with the INITIATIVE KÖLNER JAZZ HAUS E.V., both for the park grounds and its building. Initiative Kölner Jazz Haus is an association of Cologne musicians, founded in 1978.
Also in 1985 STADTGARTEN RESTAURANT BETRIEBS GMBH was founded, and reopened the restaurant after its renovation. This company rents the premises from the Initiative Kölner Jazz Haus e.V and pays a turnover-based lease. This income enable the association to organize its concert programme.
On September 4th 1986, the concert hall was opened and in 1997 STUDIO 672 (former Schmuck-Kästchen) was reopened in its basement. Today the entire venue hosts up to 400 concerts per year.
In 2016, 'Stadtgarten' received the Venue of the Year award by the German government as part of their the venue programming award APPLAUS. In 2018, the venue will transform into the EUROPEAN CENTER FOR JAZZ AND CONTEMPORARY MUSIC with support from the state of North-Rhine Westphalia and the City of Cologne.