New restaurant, Rehfeld’s Art & Framing to fill former Luciano’s

July 27, 2020

A new restaurant from a Sioux Falls chef will combine with a relocated Rehfeld’s Art & Framing to fill the first floor of Falls Center, which used to be Luciano’s North restaurant.

Rehfeld’s will take the east end of the space at 421 N. Phillips Ave., which faces the street.

It will house the store’s gallery and some of its framing work.

“We’re trying to keep as much open as gallery as we can,” said Jerry Cook, who bought the art and framing business last fall.

There will be workspace updates “because of the craftsmanship and artisanship that goes into those framing projects is still critical for the public to see.”

The move brings Rehfeld’s away from its decades-long home at 210 S. Phillips Ave. and is months in the making. When Cook saw Luciano’s was leaving this spring, he reached out to ask about the building.

“I always had this space on my mind, but it was sort of like a diamond, and I thought there’s no way we’ll be able to work something out,” he said. “It snowballed from there, so in my opinion it’s really been a collaborative effort.”

He plans to open before the end of the summer.

The balance of the first-floor space will be an expanded venture for chef Lance White, who has operated Chef Lance’s Cafe & Catering out of the kitchen at Signature Flight Support at Joe Foss Field for the past two years.

The chef and his wife, Jenny, will move their business, which has outgrown its space, to the west side of the first floor and rename it Chef Lance’s on Phillips.

They’ll continue their prepared-meal and catering services and add a restaurant that will be open for lunch and dinner, said White, who has been in the industry for 25 years.

“We’re planning on serving very family-friendly food, nothing high-end,” he said, noting that his son Corbin will be taking on a larger role in the business. “It will be comfort meals, nice steaks, pasta, a little seafood. We’re not going to be super high-end with five different sauces on the plate. We’re going to do good food, prepared well.”

The lunch menu will be “lots of soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps, burgers,” he said. “We’ll have our French fries, cheese curds, homemade tater tots, asparagus fries.”

Chef Lance’s on Phillips will be open Monday through Saturday, and kitchen hours likely will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch and 5 to 9 p.m. for dinner and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

White is pursuing a beer and wine license and envisions using a private dining room in the space for special events, “something like a dinner with five courses and five different wines.” Customers also will be able to reserve the room for meals.

The Whites are in the process of moving in and doing some remodeling. They hope to be open by early September.

The cafe at Joe Foss Field has been offering curbside-only service because of COVID-19, and White hasn’t set a closing date yet. He’s helping recruit a chef to take over the space.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic this spring, the prepared-meal part of the business grew from delivery one day a week to five days with online ordering. He added options for keto-friendly meals and also is seeing growing demand for those.

“Basically, we have a large family, and we love serving families. We really want this to be everyone’s favorite family restaurant, a place where folks feel comfortable taking their kids on a Friday night or having a date night,” White said. “There aren’t a lot of family-friendly places downtown, so we really want to focus on that. It will be really warm and inviting.”

Chef Lance’s on Phillips will be very mindful of precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19, he said.

“The servers will all wear masks, and we’re going to encourage reservations, so we can make sure there’s plenty of space between tables.”

He hasn’t started adding staff yet, but eventually will hire cooks, servers and dishwashers.

“We think it’s a great location, with Levitt right here and Rehfeld’s. I hope to be part of the downtown for a long time and pass it on to my kids.”

The two businesses easily could work together, Cook said.

“We want to make this a collaborative space. It will be walled off and sectioned off so they’re independent, but the hall connects, and with the parking lot, we can do stuff. I’m in charity stuff a lot, so how do we take this beautiful space and do more cool business and community support. And Shelia has always been in the art community, so how do we work together to keep that legacy alive.”

For building owner Sheila Hazard, the tenants were a natural fit.

“I hadn’t even really gotten into listing this,” she said. “We had talked to Chef Lance a year ago about the Jones (building nearby), and he wasn’t ready, and this time he is ready. But I knew the amount of space we had was a little too much. But when he (Jerry) came about an art gallery, I said this is perfect.”

The building has been owned or co-owned in the Hazard family since the early 1990s. The late Jeff Hazard’s architecture firm, Koch Hazard, has offices upstairs. Before he died last year, he “left us with a list” of needed improvements, Sheila Hazard said.

“We did all the tuck pointing in the basement, so it’s a good space, some on the outside. We’re doing electrical. The big project is the loading dock, which we’re rebuilding. It’s all patched and patched, so the time is right to do that now before someone is there.”

That will allow for a restaurant patio to open next spring.

Rehfeld’s also is leasing space in the lower level for work and storage, which leaves about 4,000 square feet remaining to fill. It includes a bar and space that used to be a dance floor.

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New restaurant, Rehfeld’s Art & Framing to fill former Luciano’s

A new restaurant from a Sioux Falls chef will combine with a relocated Rehfeld’s Art & Framing to fill the first floor of Falls Center, which used to be Luciano’s restaurant.

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