S.D. distillery to open downtown Sioux Falls taproom

Jan. 4, 2021

Glacial Lakes Distillery of Watertown plans to head south and open a taproom in downtown Sioux Falls.

The distillery began producing vodka in 2014 and now is up to five spirits: gin, light and dark rums and brandy, with bourbon and whiskey on the way.

It sells in Sioux Falls at JJ’s Wine, Spirits & Cigars, several Hy-Vee stores and is in retailers throughout South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota.

The Sioux Falls taproom will be at 200 S. Main Ave., a  building that most recently was audio recording business Earsay.

“It’s going to be great,” said Quentin Robertson, who co-owns the business with founder Phil Klein.

“It’s going to be more of a relaxed, almost like a craft beer, scene but a little more upscale.”

Glacial Lakes also is moving its distillery operation to a new building that will be constructed in Hartford across from Buffalo Ridge Brewing.

“The plan is we will … do a really big space there and expand in Hartford but keeping our tasting room in Sioux Falls,” Robertson said.

The taproom will have a modern, industrial look, and the plan is to serve beer and wine along with the distillery’s cocktails and eventually beer made by Glacial Lakes in Hartford.

The move requires some city and state approvals, but Robertson said he doesn’t anticipate problems and plans to start construction of the Sioux Falls space soon.

A conceptual plan released a year ago showed how the 100-year-old space could be repurposed. The main floor, which is 1,100 square feet, will be used for the taproom. There will be multiple outdoor spaces.

“We’re going to pretty much stick with that (concept plan) and use space on the other side of the sidewalk for more patio seating and keep the plan for the garage doors as well.”

Building co-owner Kent Metzger became drawn to downtown while working at Raven Industries. The building had been in his wife’s family for more than 40 years as a print shop.

“We’re just really excited about being part of the success of that part of downtown,” Metzger said. “I call it the arts and entertainment district going down on Main Avenue with Parker’s and MacKenzie River and Wine Time, and it’s exciting to be part of those blocks.”

It was on the market for more than a year and drew several interested tenants, said Ron Nelson, owner of Nelson Commercial Real Estate, who represented the property.

“We had three or four concepts where we’ve had deals put together on paper and somewhat advanced down the road, and be it for COVID or other reasons, nothing has been able to be completed on both sides, so we’ve continued to … kind of hold out for what we think is the right long-term play but in terms of the right user and the right use,” Nelson said.

“It’s a very unique property, really unlike practically anything in Sioux Falls. It has a patio twice as big as the footprint of the building, so we wanted something unique and special and were very picky, and we think this is it.”

The hope is to open downtown in June and in Hartford in the fall.

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S.D. distillery to open downtown Sioux Falls taproom

Glacial Lakes Distillery plans to head south and open a taproom in downtown Sioux Falls.

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