After the crash: Minervas remodels dining area thanks to fast teamwork

Aug. 6, 2019

This paid piece is sponsored by Minervas.

This wasn’t the lunch hour anyone was anticipating.

But just as Minervas in downtown Sioux Falls was starting to serve its first crowd of the day, a car crashed into the north side of the building.

Fortunately no one – from the dining room guests to the driver – was hurt. The building, however, would need some work.

“We moved fast,” said Ken Bashore, CEO of Vanguard Hospitality, which owns and operates the restaurant.

“After Tim Meagher and I got there and saw the damage, we called Dan Van Laar. He and his family, including his dad, have done construction on that building for so long. And he was literally there in seven minutes.”

Van Laar helped fire crews understand how the building was structured, Bashore said. Some bricks-and-mortar repair began that same day.

“Some of the brick was pulverized, and we couldn’t reuse it, but most of it we could save and reuse,” he said. “And it pushed the wall in about a foot, so we had to replace a lot of paneling and have it restained.”

There was damage to the floor, so that was redone. And when wallpaper was replaced in part of the dining room, it also was replaced over the salad bar to keep the design continuity.

“And Dan was able to save all the rose-colored glass we have that goes along the border, which is really hard to get, so it was wonderful he was able to save the glass because it goes around the entire building,” Bashore said.

With help from a dedicated team, the work was done less than two weeks after the accident.

“Chuck Geurtz, our general manager, was there every morning well before he needed to be to polish and dust and clean,” Bashore said. “Megan Peterson at the Design House had wallpaper samples as soon as we asked her, and we were able to get it three days after she ordered. Lois Johnson did all our wallpaper and staining. It was a well-oiled machine, and we were really happy with it.”

Guests were understanding as Minervas moved them to different parts of the restaurant while work was done in part of the dining room, Bashore said. The construction itself was done when the restaurant was closed or between meals.

“We were able to go with the flow and not miss a beat,” he said. “We really appreciate the team and our guests for working through it with us. If someone hadn’t heard the news and walked in now, they wouldn’t know anything was different.”

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After the crash: Minervas remodels dining area thanks to fast teamwork

Just as lunch was starting at Minervas, a car crashed into the side of the building. Two weeks later, diners couldn’t even tell the difference. Here’s how a lot of team work got the restaurant back to its standout self!

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