Just 10 miles west of Sioux Falls is the charming town of Hartford. With a growing community, golfing, bike trails, and parks, grab a friend and make a day of it!
700 N. Vandemark Ave., Ste. 110
One of Hartford’s hidden gems is Stomping Grounds, located off the Central Valley Golf Club. Run by owner Justin Elch, the coffee house and restaurant has a vast menu that include local items, like SDSU Ice Cream, wine from Schade Vineyard & Winery, and popcorn from Gaylen’s Popcorn. The coffee beans are also local, from Coffea Roasterie.
“There was a need in town for something that wasn’t burgers and bar food. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it really compliments the area,” said Elch.
Some offerings include the Espresso Milkshake with SDSU Ice Cream, the Red Velvet Latte, and Cookies & Cream cookies.
Inspired by the location, sandwiches are named after golf terms, like the Birdie, Best Ball, Nine Iron, and more. One of the most popular is the Sandbagger, which is made with turkey, ham, shoulder bacon, pepper jack cheese, and spicy mustard. Elch recommends eating it with the Jalapeno Cornbread.
Also available are breakfast items like bagels, smoothies, and the Barnyard, which is a waffle sandwich with fried egg, ham, bacon, sausage, and syrup.
Chef Jacqueline is on the team, and is there for baked orders like custom cakes, cupcakes, pastries, and pies. She has been baking since she was 8 years old, according to the eatery’s brochure.
There is also retail, which includes homemade dog treats.
Elch said, “Two things people say when they come in: They didn’t think the store would be as big, and they didn’t expect the wide selection.”
Open Monday through Thursday 6 a.m. – 7:30 p.m., Friday 6 a.m. – 6:45 p.m., Saturday at 7 a.m. – 6:45 p.m., and Sunday 8 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.
One of the fastest growing communities in South Dakota
KNOTTY GNOME VARIETY & SALVAGE
208 East Hwy. 35
Husband and wife Kyle and Stacy Wengler love getting creative and salvage items from auctions, flea markets, farms, and estates to transform them into something new. Hence the birth of Knotty Gnome.
“We have a lot of stuff of ours from our woodshop here, and we have a lot of things from our metal shop next door,” said Kyle.
They also have 12-15 local vendors that they handpick to sell their crafts, including planters, gnome homes, macrame, signs, and more.
Got the craft bug? Sign up to take a class for adults or children at their DIY studio by signing up online or in person. Classes have included a Succulent Terrarium Orb, a Terra Cotta Garden Mushroom, and the upcoming Crafters’ Circle May 3. Classes have an eight-person limit, so booking online is encouraged.
The couple also partnered with SiouxFalls.Business to host the bi-annual 605 Made Market that takes place in downtown Sioux Falls (see below for more info).
Knotty Gnome does custom orders, and encourages those who have salvagable items to contact them.
Kyle said, “There’s no resale in here, everything is handmade from people around the area.”
Open Tuesday through Thursday 12-6 p.m., Friday 12-5 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
605 MADE SPRING MARKET
First National Bank
More info: firstname.lastname@example.org.
22 minute drive to Sioux Falls
HARTFORD STEAK CO. & TAVERN
709 N. Mundt Ave. Hwy. 38
“If you’re familiar with taverns, it’s come in, have a quick bite, a couple cocktails, and good company.”
When a restaurant does one thing and does it well, you know you’re in good hands. That’s what you get at the Hartford Steak Co. & Tavern – a family business that originated in Huron 35 years ago.
“We have a really simple concept with great value,” said manager Kristin Friese-Blaine. “We do one thing and we do it well.”
Sunday through Thursday you can order Filet Mignon for $8.95, and weekends is an 8 oz. Prime Rib for only $13.95. You can also upgrade to a 16, 20, 24, or 32 oz. Meals come with salad, a potato, and bread.
“We’re known for our wedge salad as well,” she said. “People always come in and ask for it.”
For vegetarians, there is the delicious Tavern Salad, and if you’re not in the mood for a filet, there are other options on weekdays, like Chopped Steak or a burger.
“We ground our own beef for the Chopped Steak and our wonderful burgers,” said Friese-Blaine.
Don’t forget dessert with their choice of cheesecake, or their Warm Turtle Brownie served with vanilla ice cream.
Thirsty? Check out their $3.75 Margaritas.
The owners recently opened a location in Vermillion and are excited to see how the town will embrace their business model.
Friese-Blaine said, “You walk in the door and you know what you’re having.”
Open Monday through Tuesday 5-8 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday 5-9 p.m., and Sunday 5-8 p.m.
Named after Hartford, Connecticut
107 S. Main Ave.
If you’re craving a cocktail, check out South Bar, which is dive bar-meets-modern in regards to options and specials.
“It’s definitely the iconic pub feel. We have modern day technology mixed with classic decorations,” said owner Justin Kjellsen. “The service is next to none. We have it where you’re here and you’re more than just a face behind the bar – you’re a guest and you’re family.”
For those who love to sing, South Bar hosts karaoke every Friday. They also show UFC fights, which Kjellsen says is unique to the area.
“We like to do things you wouldn’t normally do outside of Sioux Falls, and sometimes business owners are afraid to take that jump,” he said. “If you look at our beer cooler, we rival any craft bar in Sioux Falls. That’s a niche market for us.”
Bean bag league will begin in May and will take place on Wednesday nights. Homemade flatbreads are available for order for a snack.
Happy hour is five days a week with $2 domestic bottles from 2-7 p.m. You can also participate in the South Bar/Big J’s Mug (Kjellsen also runs Big J’s Roadhouse in Humboldt). The 30 oz. tumbler, made by local business Big Frig, can be purchased for $40.
“When you buy it, you get your choice to fill it up with liquor or tap beer, and when you come back you get a refill of any tap beer for $4 or a double for the price of a single,” he said. “It’s our own custom loyalty program.”
Along with Big Frig, Kjellsen loves pushing local beers and products through his business whenever he can.
He said, “We’re big on promoting other businesses in the community.”
Open Monday through Friday 1 p.m. – 2 a.m., and Saturday and Sunday 12 p.m. – 2 a.m.