Sioux Falls’ restaurant expansion plans for 2022


Kate McCartney

Nautical Bowls will join Crumbl, Buff City Soap, The Good Feet and Glamour Nails in the Empire Place strip mall in summer 2022.

Taylor Schmitz, Entertainment Editor

After a record-setting year for new construction and developments, the city of Sioux Falls has no plan to slow down progress in 2022. In fact, there is a strong possibility that the city will actually break the already unprecedented building records from last year as it welcomes numerous new restaurants and eateries.

One of the new restaurants coming to Sioux Falls is Kansas-based Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers. The location is expected to open this month at Dawley Farms, an area that has seen tremendous growth over the past few years. The menu features Midwest favorites such as steak burgers, chicken sandwiches and frozen custard.

The Empire place is also a hotspot that will continue to see new additions this year with the arrival of Nautical Bowls, a smoothie and juice bar opening in early summer. The Twin-Cities-based restaurant specializes in everyone’s favorite, acai bowls, along with other “superfood” bowls made with ingredients that are gluten-free, dairy-free, organic and have no refined sugars.

“I know Sioux Falls is into health and fitness, and I just thought it would be a great fit. [The bowls are] fruit-based, plant-based, so you can build your own. I think people in Sioux Falls are really going to like it,” said owner Lexus Paulson.

Downtown Sioux Falls will also see some new additions with the arrival of Louisiana-style restaurant Swamp Daddy’s located on Phillips Ave. First scheduled to open in September, the store now plans to open its doors in Jan. 2022 after construction delays. The following month, Phillips Ave. will receive another resident with the reopening of Papa Woody’s Wood Fired Pizza after they upgraded to a larger downtown space. The business plans to grow to a full-service restaurant with an expanded menu.

Another exciting project soon to be in the works for the city is the development of three new eateries in the Steel District in downtown Sioux Falls. Josh Thoma and Kevin Fitzgerald, who currently own several restaurants in the Twin Cities, will be opening another three restaurants all located in a nine-story riverfront tower in the Steel District. The restaurants will offer indoor dining, patio dining, lounge spaces and are expected to seat more than 500 customers. With these details being released, the public is excited for their arrivals and construction crews are ready to get started.

“This truly demonstrates the level of quality and investment we’re bringing to the Steel District. We know these restaurants are going to become fast favorites for locals and visitors alike,” said Chris Thorkelson, President and CEO of Lloyd.

However, along with these construction developments come growing pains as well. It has been challenging for construction companies to keep up with the demand for new development projects, particularly the new restaurants. Staffing shortages and wage pressures are the main factors that put these businesses’ opening dates at risk.

“A lot of them are saying, ‘I could do more if I could find more people. I’m at a max of what I can do because I can’t find people.’ But all in all, I think people are very upbeat about what happened this year and upbeat about next year,” said Bob Mundt, President and CEO of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation, in 2021.

Sioux Falls has been considered an up-and-coming city for many years as it continues to add retail stores, housing and office spaces. The new additions of a wide variety of restaurants will only maintain the promising reputation of the city in 2022.