Come Visit: Lead
Home of King’s Pastie (pass-tee) and the Homestake Mining Company, the small town is full of outdoor activities and charm. Whether you’re visiting the Black Hills Mining Museum or are skiing with friends, you’ll see Lead is a great mountain community that is growing rapidly with innovational entrepreneurs and the development of the Sanford Underground Laboratory.
The Historic Homestake Opera House
Constructed by the Homestake Gold Mine in 1914, The Historic Homestake Opera House & Recreation Building was the vision of Homestake superintendent Thomas J. Grier, and was funded by arts and education philanthropist Phoebe Hearst (owner of the Homestake Mining company after the death of husband George Hearst). The performing arts venue and recreation center was nicknamed “the Jewel of the Black Hills” for its stunning craftsmanship. While it once boasted a library, bowling alley, billiards hall, social hall, heated indoor swimming pool, and a theater, it suffered a fire in 1984. After almost sitting empty for 11 years, it has seen an incredible transformation back to its original beauty with an ongoing restoration. The theater, which currently holds around 500 people, features concerts, performing arts, and educational presentations. Executive director Sarah Carlson laughed as she described the hauntingly beautiful theater, “We call it vintage grunge.” Take a 30 minute tour for $5 per person (free for kids) and check out their newest exhibit that opened in 2016 to walk through history. Their next event will be the Lead and Deadwood Chamber Dual Members Mixer November 30 from 5-7 p.m. with live music, drinks, treats, and Santa Claus.
Open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Check website for event dates and times.
homestakeoperahouse.org // (605) 584-2067
South Dakota’s Outdoor Recreation Capital
Lewie’s Saloon & Eatery
You know you’ve made the right choice when the restaurant made Midwest Living’s “Top 25 Burgers in the Midwest.” Lewie’s Saloon & Eatery has been a must-stop locale in Lead as it’s close to it all: Cheyenne Crossing, the Terry Peak ski area, Deadwood, Spearfish, and Deer Mountain. Try their Southwestern Dakota Burger with grilled onions, bacon, jalapenos, pickles, swiss cheese, and chili garlic sauce. Not in the mood for a burger somehow? Nibble on their popular Reuben or Gourmet Grilled Cheese. Sit on their intimate bar side or in The Fun Room with tables large enough for any party. “It doesn’t matter who you are – motorcyclists, construction workers, young people – we want everyone to feel comfortable and have a good time,” said owner Lewie Sternhagen. Enjoy the eclectic décor surrouding you that Sternhagen has collected at auctions and rummage sales, like a vintage King’s Grocery sign, animal mounts, and logging, skiing, and morotcyle collections. (Tips: Drinking with friends? Try the shotski and take shots off an actual ski with up to four people. And don’t miss their infamous Big Jar beers. Collect six Big Jar Cards to get a Big Jar beer free.)
Open Monday through Sunday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
lewiesburgers.com // (605) 584-1324
40 million ounces of gold were extracted from the mine between 1877 until 2002
Stampmill Restaurant & Saloon
Dine or grab a drink in the historic building built in 1897. After decades of hosting different businesses, the Hollaran Building is now home to the Stampmill Restaurant & Saloon, which has refreshing spins on menu items, like the Pork Chop & Rosemary (boneless pork chop with rosemary, fennel seeds, garlic, black pepper, and a grenadine glaze) and the Stampmill Special (hamburger with bleu cheese and green olives). “I’m kind of biased, but we try to keep everything fresh,” said Hollaran owner Kevin Wehner. Wehner, whose wife Amy Boysen owns Stampmill, created a fun atmosphere of community board games, trivia, and Shake-a-Day (rolling dice for a chance to win the pot with 10 percent going towards a local charity). Staying the night? Rent one of their two Victorian Rooms upstairs. (Tip: Don’t forget to throw your bottle cap into the community jar. If you make it, you get your drink for free. Yell “shooter” when you throw.)
Open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Home to Terry Peak Ski Resort & Deer Mountain Ski Resort
Dakota Shivers brewing
Pull up your bike and end your day with the intimate and cozy brewery Dakota Shivers Brewing. Hang out with owner and head brewer Linda Shivers, and chat it up with other locals. Try their flagship beer, the 5280 Pale Ale, or sip on one of their seasonal beers, like their Shivering Pumpkin (which includes a delicious cinnamon-sugar glaze). Try all eight beers on tap with a flight or take some home. “We have beer to go in any kind of growler and have a crowler machine,” said Shivers. A crowler is 32-ounce canner where you can watch your beer get canned right in front of you. “We say [the can] will last two months, but it will easily last longer than that,” she said.
Open Tuesday through Saturday 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
dakotashiversbrewing.com // (605) 415-5352