“We wanted to create a space where people can come and have a conversation and not necessarily have to speak over the music. We’re not a sports bar. We’re not a karaoke bar. We’re just that kind of feel good bar,” said Kathy Klund, owner of Black Orchid Drinkstillery.
The Black Orchid is celebrating its second anniversary since opening in Yankton’s Riverfront building in May of 2020.
“It’s so nice to be able to come to a place that’s different from the rest,” said Klund. “People are able to have conversations. It’s quaint.”
The bar has an eclectic aesthetic with an assortment of vintage decorations and signs throughout the space.
Some of the biggest things the bar is known for are the selection of dessert martinis.
“People will come in specifically for those. We do a Caramel by the Sea, a Chocolatini, White Peppermint,” explained Klund. “We switch them up for the seasons, but they’re big and have whip cream, chocolate, peanut butter cups, or candy canes hanging off of them.”
The Black Orchid also has plenty of drinks named after customers, like a grapefruit martini called the Paulatini and a gin drink named Dusty Trail.
There’s also a fair few options to satisfy hunger.
“The Sky Bar opens up Thursday nights with rooftop seating overlooking the river with live music. That’s extremely rare. It’s a hidden gem.” -Kathy Klund
“When we started out, everybody had pizza downtown,” said Klund. “It was hard for me to make another pizza. Our Fatbreads are just that—they are on half loaves of French bread, so they are fat.”
There’s a Traditional Fatbread and an Italian Tomato Fatbread.
A unique favorite for Klund is the Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna.
Tracy’s Irish Hot Chocolate came to be on the menu when a regular Friday night customer wanted something warm to keep her going every week.
“The Ahi Tuna is seared with sesame oil and sesame seeds,” said Klund. “Then it’s chilled, sliced, and served with poki sauce, soy sauce, and sweet and sour sauce with fresh ginger.”
And the menu sees new changes pretty frequently.
“We will do different foods on a whim,” said Klund. “For the last couple months we’ve done different soups to give people variety.”
Now as the seasons change and warmer weather rolls in, soups will make way for different dips.
“If something really takes off and people love it, that’s how it winds up on the menu like our Bagel Dip,” said Klund.
No matter the food, Klund insists that anyone is welcome into the Black Orchid.
“People can come here on a Friday night date night and be dressed up and feel comfortable, and you can come here in your blue jeans and feel just as comfortable,” said Klund. “So I think it kind of works for everybody.”
Klund says a popular drink option is lemonade.
She also works hard to remember faces and the orders that come with them.
“I try really hard to remember who people are when they come in or what they like to drink. And that’s a good feeling,” she said.
Starting in June, the outdoor patio will open up.
“The other thing is we actually have a license for sidewalk café, so we are going to put a fence up and a couple tables”
“We have every age from 21, fresh from Mount Marty, to 86.” -Kathy Klund
Inside and outside, the Black Orchid stands to facilitate conversation amongst guests.
“People are engaged in conversation. It’s like a beautiful thing to see. That’s what we set out to do, and we succeeded.”