May 28 marked the first event of Blue Rock Bar & Grill’s Free Live Music Fridays.
“Coming out of this COVID situation that we’re all in, people being able to be outside, the weather being nice, live music makes everybody happy,” said Juan Nino, Blue Rock’s operation manager.
Blue Rock has two patios, one on a higher level, that can seat over 100 guests combined. And those who take a seat inside don’t have to miss out either, as the bar has garage doors that can open and welcome in the tunes with the breeze.
Heading to Blue Rock on Friday nights, guests may see artists like Elisabeth Hunstad, Micah Wetzel, and Too Drunk to Fish.
“People are starting to come out just to listen to live music and to eat and have some cocktails.” -Juan Nino
“All of the artists we’re bringing in are Sioux Falls local people, so we’re supporting the community,” said Nino.
And so far, the guests are eating up the performances.
“Our first artist was Dayna Jones. The crowd that was here really enjoyed her.”
Nino says he wouldn’t be surprised if Blue Rock saw repeat guests come to see Jones again.
“We’re started to get a little bit of a following depending on who the artist is,” he said, noting that he’s seeing some fans. “We’re starting to pick up a bit.”
Upcoming Live Music Fridays
Live music at Blue Rock is on Fridays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. throughout the summer.
July 9 // Elisabeth Hunstad
July 16 // Whiskey Rich
July 23 // Geoff Gunderson
July 30 // Six Feet Over
August 6 // Whiskey Rich
August 13 // Elisabeth Hunstad
August 20 // Too Drunk To Fish
August 27 // Micah Wetzel
Throughout the summer, there will be a handful of genres offered as well.
“We have a variety from country to younger crowd,” Nino said.
Whiskey Rich is one that will be playing some country music, and Six Feet Over, like a few others, covers multiple genres in each performance.
And Blue Rock won’t miss out on any blues or rock music as those are two of the many genres that Geoff Gundreson plays on his guitar while on stage.
“Some of them are also willing to take some suggestions of what we want to listen to and they’ll play them for us,” Nino noted.
“We’re doing nice, fun food with local ingredients.” -Juan Nino
Nino adds that people shouldn’t have to worry about being turned away at the host stand.
“In the whole building, we can fit about 450 people,” he said. “The atmosphere is super relaxed, down to earth, and it’s easy to get a table for the most part.”
The Blue Rock experience will likely be different than most standard bars.
On The Menu
Shareables & Light Bites
Cubed lamb skewered, grilled and seasoned with a house blend, served with bam bam mustard.
Broccolinni and Caullilini
Aleppo pepper, citrus, garlic, olive oil char grilled, fried garlic garnish.
Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich
Crispy chicken thigh, sour pickle, Nashville hot sauce.
Hand Crafted Flatbread
White sauce, shaved potato, shaved Brussels sprouts, artichoke hearts, Asiago, fresh sage.
White sauce, kale blend, roasted garlic, artichoke hearts, herbs.
Molten Lava Cake
Served with vanilla ice cream.
Grown Up Rootbeer
1919 Rootbeer, vanilla vodka, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a frosted mug.
“Being over here by the sports complex, we’re not just a dive bar,” said Nino.
With a menu including things like a variety of Smash Burgers, Street Tacos, and more, many of the ingredients are locally sourced—just like the live artists.
“We’re trying to do not just strictly bar food, but a little bit upscale,” said Nino.
So far, their food and their Live Music Fridays are a hit.
While right now, they plan to host local artists live for only the warmer, summer months, that may change.
“It’s going well, so I think we may even continue it in the colder months inside the building,” said Nino.
He added, “We’re most excited about seeing all of the seats filled, seeing new faces, and encouraging people to come out and try Blue Rock.”