In March 2015, the SandBar and Grill was the second business to open at Lake Lorraine. Since then, the restaurant has had a front row seat to the growth of the development, along with its patio view of the lake.
“When we first started looking for a location for a new establishment, I didn’t know much about Lake Lorraine,” said Dallas Boelman with The SandBar and Grill. “The west side of Sioux Falls is an untapped area as far as bars and restaurants.”
As the management group continued to meet with Friessen Development, Inc.’s marketing partners, Van Buskirk Companies, they were sold on the vision of the mixed-use development.
“We knew we were a destination in the beginning,” Boelman said. “We wanted to be the neighborhood gathering spot. We wanted to offer a little bit for everybody, which can be tough to pull off. We wanted everyone to feel welcome.”
The SandBar is much more than just a neighborhood restaurant, however. It’s an easy stop for people attending events at the Denny Sanford Premier Center or Sanford Pentagon.
The SandBar has a great dining area, which accommodates families as well as people who want to watch sports on the numerous televisions. The restaurant subscribes to a number of sports television packages, which makes it a great location for sports fans looking to watch the big game or UFC fight. On nice days, the patio is an amazing place to enjoy an evening.
The SandBar’s menu reflects the “little bit for everyone,” with standardized American favorites from burgers to salads to flatbreads. Different specials on food and drinks are offered every day:
Mondays: half-price burgers
Tuesdays: street tacos
Wednesdays: discounted flatbreads
Thursdays: discounted fishbowls and featured seafood items
Fridays: $10 fajitas, special pricing on Corona buckets and margaritas
Saturday: happy hour 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sundays: 2/$22, two entrees for $22
Chad Mercurio was hired early on to develop the menu. Mercurio said the SandBar’s menu is robust enough to accommodate just about any food request.
“We’re that place — you want a burger, he wants pasta, someone else wants pizza, we can do it all,” he said.
It’s been hard to remove items when it’s time to update the menus, Mercurio said. Menus are updated two to four times per year, with the opportunity to add seasonal items. Special menus are often incorporated for short times around Valentine’s Day or New Year’s Eve, for example, which allows the kitchen staff to flex their creativity and test out new menu items — some of which may make their way onto the menu eventually. And those favorites that might have been taken off? Odds are that you can still get them.
“People love certain things and hard to take away,” he said. “We leave items still in the computer and can still make it if people request it.”
Some of the most popular items include the walleye nuggets. Parmesan ranch melt sandwich, tacos, fajitas, merlot sirloin, tortellini, and the steakhouse salad. One of the summer feature is a citrus salmon salad.
Summer means live music on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, which takes place on the outdoor patio with the lake as a backdrop. The SandBar works with Pepper Entertainment to secure all the acts, which kicked off Wednesday, May 29 and runs through Labor Day. There will be giveaways from Pacifico throughout the summer, too.
“Our goal is to continue to grow as Lake Lorraine grows,” Boelman said.