JJ’s new construction progresses amid ‘boozy baking’ controversy

Feb. 26, 2018

This piece is presented by JJ’s Wine, Spirits & Cigars.

The expanded JJ’s Wine, Spirits & Cigars is definitely taking shape.

Located in a new 10,000-square-foot building at 3000 W. 57th St., just west of the Interstate 229 tunnel, it’s on track to open by the end of June.

As he walks the space, owner Tom Slattery likes what he sees.

“The first thing you’ll see when you walk in is a familiar adult-beverage retail area — we didn’t want our retail environment to stray too far away from what we have found to be successful for the last 20 years,” he said.

“But when you start to walk around, you’ll start seeing the new additions,” he explains, pointing to a back wall that will hold a large walk-in cooler with entries on both ends and 11 product doors for easy access.

Off to the right is an 1,100-square-foot open event space that will be used for in-house events such as winemaker dinners and classes. It also will be available for private functions.

“The event space is going to get a lot of use,” Slattery said. “We will be excited to see our customers using this space to enjoy an event we have arranged or to celebrate a milestone with their friends and families.”

JJ’s also is planning on hosting movie screenings with Cinema Falls and trunk shows with area clothing vendors.

Farther into the space is a large wine cellar.

“Actually, it’s the same square footage as our current wine cellar at JJ’s 2.0,” Slattery explains. “It just looks bigger because it’s laid out a little differently. The center space is more open, and the ceiling is higher.”

The layout makes room for free wine-tasting events and additional display space.

“We are also adding an AC booster in here, so that we can keep the temperature lower, much like an actual wine cellar,” Slattery said, adding that the wine cellar will be kept at a constant 62 degrees year-round. And yes, jackets will be provided for thin-skinned shoppers.

On the opposite side of the retail space is the hub of JJ’s 3.0. It features a combined retail checkout, tap wall for growler fills, and Boozy Bakery merchandise.

“The checkout area will look very familiar, just a little more open and streamlined than what we had at the old location. We wanted to create an efficient workspace for our employees,” Slattery said.

The warehouse area also was designed with Slattery’s employees in mind.

“We built a garage,” he said. “I have been doing this for a very long time, and the hardest part of doing the job is battling the elements.”

Inside, a large overhead door will allow staff to unload liquor deliveries and on- and off-load event supplies.

The retail area flows through a grand arched entrance into the Cocktail Bar at JJ’s 3.0. The bar area shares a wall with the retail checkout area.

“I am a big fan of efficient as well as eye-catching use of space. One person should be able to run the whole operation on a cold and snowy night in January,” Slattery explains.

“For instance, the tap wall will service growler fills for the retail area but will also service glass pours for the bar area.”

The bar will accommodate seating for about 70 people. Two large garage doors will open to a pergola patio for additional seating and a cigar-smoker patio.

“We are going to make drinks. We are going to sell glasses of beer. We are going to sell bottles of wine as well as featured wines by the glass. We wanted to create a neighborhood gathering space for this side of town that is comfortable and inviting.”

A commercial kitchen butts up next to the bar. While a restaurant is not part of the plan, JJ’s will offer small plates of prepared snacks from The Boozy Bakery, operated by Slattery’s wife, Jean.

“Jean’s chicken salad was a hot commodity when she had her catering business. So we will have things like chicken salad and crackers, chips and guacamole, and cheese and meat platters. We are also interested in connecting with the food truck culture in Sioux Falls to provide even more food options when the weather permits.”

The Boozy Bakery has been a central part of JJ’s new business plan, offering sweets and treats — boozy and non-boozy — and savory goods to take home or eat on-site.

But first, a 1939 law making it illegal to add “vinous, spiritous or malt compounds” to confectionery needs to be adjusted.

“Yeah, it’s been quite an ordeal in the last two weeks. We’ve been watching the case involving another business but didn’t think it would apply to us since we will have a full-service liquor license,” Slattery said. “But apparently that is not the case.”

The Slatterys are working with other liquor licensees, city officials and state legislators to fix the archaic law.

“We want businesses that wish to cook with trace amounts of adult beverage to be able to do it legally, but we also want protections for businesses with liquor licenses to be able to use adult beverage in any manner, whether it be in a cocktail or a cupcake.”

The entire new space is being designed with the customer’s experience in mind, Slattery added.

“While you can always just pop in and grab a six-pack, every visit can also be an event if you choose,” he said.

“Everything is really coming together nicely. It’s exciting to see a lifelong vision come to life right before our eyes.”

JJ’s new construction progresses amid ‘boozy baking’ controversy

The expanded JJ’s Wine, Spirits & Cigars is definitely taking shape. Take a look inside.

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