ROAM Kitchen + Bar to open next week

April 25, 2019

ROAM Kitchen + Bar, the new restaurant at The District, opens Tuesday in a building that has been totally redone.

“I think it’s absolutely fabulous,” co-owner John Sheen said.

“Spending two years creating something that started out as an idea people in Sioux Falls and South Dakota would connect with feels like it’s turned into something that’s created a lot of passion.”

ROAM is the newest concept from the Twin Cities operators of Doolittles Woodfire Grill and Porter Creek Hardwood Grill.

It’s also their largest restaurant, seating up to 500 people — not including the patio.

“It’s our modern take on open-range cooking and smoking,” Sheehan said. “But we’re not smoke-heavy on everything. Just as the building has a different experience in many spaces, the menu caters to different tastes, and those tastes change day to day or week to week.”

The restaurant, which is on the south side of The Empire Mall campus, offers at least a half-dozen unique dining areas, including multiple rooms that can be used for private dining.

This one, dubbed The Rickhouse, is a tribute to “America’s signature spirit, bourbon,” Sheehan said.

“It helps to re-create a place where bourbon rests to perfection and creates a cozy, warm feeling where you feel like you’ve traveled to bourbon country.”

This section, with barrel-style tables, accommodates small groups with room for watching multiple televisions.

This room is envisioned for corporate or small groups events.

They won’t all open at once, Sheehan said.

“Because this is such a large venue, there’s a trap to open it up and not give good service, so we want to walk before we run,” he said. “We’re absolutely committed that every guest who comes in has a good experience to the best of our ability.”

The restaurant has hired about 130 people and is still hiring.

“We have been touched by the outpouring of appreciation for being here, for the level and the commitment we had toward training and how we’re keeping it fun, and just the enthusiasm about helping to create a brand-new concept, a new baby, a brand and being part of that,” Sheehan said.

Patio furniture is on order, and the patio will open once the staff can accommodate it.

This week has been spent in intense training, including learning a menu of about 60 items between lunch and dinner.

The heart of the menu is wood-fired cooking, Sheehan said.

“It starts with the chicken, the brisket, the pulled pork, the ribs, the sausages, and we expand it from there,” he said. “The pricing as a whole I think is very approachable. Our goal is to be quality casual. This is a dining experience for any occasion.”

Here’s a look at the dinner menu. There’s also a lunch menu and happy hour specials.

The beverage options include 35 tap beers plus a root beer, 45 wines by the glass and an additional 10 bottles, and 17 cocktails, including a Maker’s Cask proprietary-blend bourbon that “is extremely rare. Only four barrels were made in the world,” Sheehan said.

Hours will be 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.

During shows at The District, there will be designated parking for each venue and staff to guide guests, Sheehan said. The restaurant also will provide food for events at The District.

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ROAM Kitchen + Bar to open next week

ROAM Kitchen + Bar, the new restaurant at The District, opens Tuesday in a building that has been totally redone.

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