Chislic restaurant latest to capitalize on 85th Street momentum

Feb. 19, 2018

The owners of Urban Chislic envisioned a full-service restaurant when they started their catering and event business a few years ago.

The timing came together recently, both for their concept and their location: the increasingly developed corner of 85th Street and Minnesota Avenue.

“It’s a really amazing, popular corner for traffic flow from Harrisburg and with all the residential out there,” co-owner Erik Christensen explained. “That was our first thought. And that corner exploded once Walmart started to get developed.”

He’s right about the effect the world’s largest retailer has had on the intersection. Since opening almost two years ago, the area around Walmart is maturing with health care services, a convenience store, auto services, a bank, apartments and – of course – more retail.

Aldi is scheduled to start construction soon next to Schulte Subaru and typically opens about six months later.

“We’re very pleased with the progress,” said Raquel Blount, vice president of commercial real estate for Lloyd Cos., who has handled land sales on the Walmart corner and the northeast corner.

She just put the last remaining land on the southwest corner under contract.

“There’s future development land there, but it’s not serviceable today. Of everything developable today, that would be the last piece.”

Urban Chislic bringing unique flavor

Christensen and co-founder Jon Steckler know their signature item at Urban Chislic is common in South Dakota. But this is chislic taken to a new level, they said.

“We pay more attention to what we’re doing with the actual meats,” Christensen said. “The original is lamb, but we also will use other meats and take a lot of care in how we prepare and cook them. We mix it with sauces and rubs we created. And you can order with multiple sauces. So we’ve taken chislic and put a different twist on it.”

The consistency of preparation will stand out, Steckler added.

“In South Dakota, everyone’s got it, but it’s really an afterthought on most menus,” he said. “You can go to a place one day and, depending on who’s working, you might get fried cubed meat to a crisp, and you come back on a different day and it might be cold in the middle. Urban Chislic takes it to the next level and is devoted to doing the product the same way every time.”

A full menu also will include hamburgers, Philly sandwiches and wings. There will be a chislic twist to many of them, such as ground chislic lamb in the burgers and nachos topped with chislic.

The restaurant will be family-friendly but offer beer and wine and lots of televised sports.

The plan is to open this summer in a new retail center that’s under construction in front of Walmart along 85th Street.

Urban Chislic is taking about 2,500 square feet of the strip mall called Liberty Square. The plan is to build a second strip mall next to it as well as a standalone location similar in size to the Burger King there.

“Retail activity at 85th and Minnesota continues to be strong. We are in the midst of negotiating two additional leases at Liberty Square, with discussions already in the works to begin the next retail building for lease to the west of Urban Chislic,” said Ryan Tysdal of Van Buskirk Cos., who has the property listed.

“It’s a great indicator to see the retailers at 85th and Minnesota doing so well. More growth is fueled by seeing merchants in the area being successful.”

Roads paved for more growth

When Gas Stop Holiday Stationstores opened its 19th location last week on Minnesota Avenue north of 85th, it represented the chain’s latest prototype store.

There are more food options, including Godfather’s Pizza, an enhanced “beer cave” and a touchless tunnel car wash.

Owner I-90 Fuel Services bought the land in 2012, president Tom Howes said.

“We were the first on the block other than Soo Sports and look at it now,” he said. “There are no other convenience stores on Minnesota between 85th and 41st streets.”

He was prompted to open this year after seeing the progress of nearby commercial and residential development, he said.

A newly built road will help, too.

The city has finished paving 85th from Minnesota to Cliff avenues.

And in April, the South Dakota Department of Transportation is scheduled to bid expansion of 3.3 miles of Minnesota Avenue south of 85th Street to a little south of the Harrisburg corner at 273rd Street.

“That further opens up land for development,” said Blount, who has 14.2 acres still on the market east of 85th and Minnesota.

Nearby, Edgewater Villas, a multifamily project by Black Diamond Development, is getting ready to open for tenants.

It’s along 85th Street east of Minnesota near the Grand Prairie neighborhood.

“This up-and-coming area has really arrived, with convenience options for groceries, medical care and other services. It’s time to provide additional housing so more people can take advantage of It,” Black Diamond co-founder Kevin Tupy said.

The $14 million project will be built as nine 16-unit buildings with classic finishes including wood-look floors, dark cabinetry, black appliances, white trim and modern gray carpet. Amenities will include an outdoor pool.

“Edgewater Villas is similar to other popular apartment communities we have developed and managed in recent years, and we expect the market will respond very positively,” said Erica Beck, vice president of development at Lloyd Cos., which is managing the property. “The area around 85th and Minnesota offers convenient shopping and dining, close proximity to outstanding schools and easy access to the interstate, with even more transportation options to come.”

The first residents are scheduled to move in this spring.

To the south, additional development is planned.

Jim Dunham & Associates is marketing 4.4 acres on the southeast side of the intersection near the eventual South Dakota Highway 100.

Once the highway comes through, “it’s just the perfect property,” Dunham said. “It’s just a little ahead of its time.”

If the property attracts an anchor tenant, a retail center could be built.

“We’ve had good prospects lately, so it’s whatever happens first – an anchor tenant or the land sells,” he said. “I’m happy almost everything out there is spoken for, sold or gone. Pretty soon we’ll be the only game left.”

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Chislic restaurant latest to capitalize on 85th Street momentum

A chislic restaurant, town houses and expanded roads are some of the latest changes coming to the area of 85th Street and Minnesota Avenue.

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