After renovations, classic dive bar reopens in Sioux Falls

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – ask any Crowbar regularly and they would say they were nervous about the reforms. No one wanted to miss the classic old school bar.

On a recent Thursday night, the doors were opened again, the house was packed and the consensus was clear. There may be new multi-tone wood panels around a more open floor plan, a shiny bar top and updated wall decor, Crowbar still feel at home.


"We didn't want it to be fancy," said Cathy Kayl, a bar-goer for the past 28 years. “We like our crowd. We like our bar.

Kayl told Leader Argus that she was coming to the Crowbar once a week since she turned 21. A friend joked that she never left while the bar was closed for renovations, but camped in the parking lot until she could return. She and some friends came to lunch because they wanted to eat. see the new design and returned for a drink in the evening.

"It looks great with renovations, but it has the same feeling," she said.


Crowbar full of good memories for many

Kayl's group of friends has fond memories of her time in the Crowbar. Several wedding parties ended in the back corner, drinking all night over the years. Even with the new layout open and the appearance updated, she could easily point to the set of tables that the group had passed on those occasions.


Some of those tables had been brought together that Thursday night to make room for the Crow Bar softball team. It is no surprise that the team sponsored by the bar makes it the regular meeting place.

"It feels like I'm home again," said Spencer Taylor, one of the players. "They did an incredible job."

The Crowbar it was Taylor's college bar when he went to Augustana and he is friends with some employees. He said he wants to continue supporting the bar in reciprocity by supporting the owners of the softball team. Barry and Terri Hermanson's care for their customers keeps him coming back.


Colleague Allen Goodroad echoed that sentiment. His friend knows the Hermanson personally, so he was able to participate in the smooth opening of the bar for friends and family.


"When they were making a little speech, they said, 'By the way, prices aren't changing'," said Goodroad. "They invested a lot of money in it, but it's great that they care about their customers."

He added that he was impressed with the new flourishes. His favorite update is the wall of signed guitars near the pool tables.

One of those guitars was just above Logan Landon's head, as he lined up his pool cue at halftime. After making the shot, he declared the Crowbar to be the "best bar in Sioux Falls".

"They have the same feeling as the place," he said, smiling. "You look a little younger now."

A waitress came by the pool table with a tray of photos, carrying them around the bar and resting on a table next to a pitcher of beer. Angel Kasper and her friends toasted the new bar.

Kasper worked as a waitress at Crowbar since September last year, although he was off that Thursday night. While many people do not willingly spend time at work, she enjoys her nights off as a sponsor very much.

"The first time I got here, I was looking for a second job, and it felt right," said Kasper. "Since then, this has been my favorite place to go out and be around people."

Large crowd in Crowbar reopening night

Many bar staff helped with the renovation process, so the final product came as no surprise to Kasper. Still, seeing the space full of happy people was the link the team was waiting for, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that interrupted things for a while.

"It's an incredible achievement and makes us very happy to see people at the bar," she said.

Seeing "people at the bar" may be underestimating the success of Crow Bar's first day after reopening. Terri Hermanson said she received a lot of praise for the building's appearance of the "constant stream of people" that was emerging all day. At night, the crowds were shoulder to shoulder.

"These are some mixed emotions, because there is all the hard work you do and hope that everyone will enjoy," said Hermanson.

Having a completely full bar on a Thursday night is unusual, and she is taking it as a good sign that the renovation was a success.

"It's great to have people back, because it makes it feel more like a home and not a place to work," she said.

That was all the conversation that Hermanson had time before going back to work at the bar, which was busy all night.

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