Look inside Roam Kitchen + Bar, hiring and opening soon

March 14, 2019

Roam Kitchen + Bar, the new restaurant inside The District, is getting closer to finishing construction, with the hope of opening by the end of April.

It’s a new concept from the Twin Cities operators behind Doolittles Woodfire Grill and Porter Creek Hardwood Grill.

The Sioux Falls space on the campus of The Empire Mall will be their largest restaurant.

“It’s looking fantastic,” co-owner John Sheehan said. “You spend a year or more focusing on what exactly is Roam and how does that present itself, and then with deconstruction and demolition, you don’t really get the reward until you start putting up some of the finishes. It’s coming along really, really well.”

Roam will include a half-dozen distinct dining spaces, including the bar area and multiple private dining rooms that can be opened up to the public as needed.

The space has been renovated from top to bottom and features tons of reclaimed barn wood. The walls have been soundproofed, and the restaurant will have dedicated parking separate from the event venue.

The patio will receive new furniture and outdoor games once it’s ready to open for the year.

The restaurant has hired its management team but ultimately needs about 150 employees.

“Hiring is going well,” Sheehan said. “We’re only about a week into it, and we’re quite pleased. We need all positions – servers, bartenders, wait assistants, all kitchen staff, and we’re still looking for some good trainers and people to move into supervisory positions.”

Apply in person from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. Interviews often can be done on the spot, he said.

“Once the building is turned over, we’ll clean it and get ready for what we call compass training, where we teach people about this concept, the menu, the culture and then start training a week later.”

The menu development is almost done, he said. Roam will be open for lunch and dinner, and also will have happy hour and kids menus.

“The heart of Roam is centered on wood-fired cooking,” he said. “We’ve got the wood-fire rotisserie and the smoker … and it’s our take on open-range cooking and really bringing in that campfire aspect.”

House-made sausage is used throughout the menu in six or seven varieties, including chicken, lamb and chorizo. There’s also classic rotisserie chicken, beef brisket and pulled pork, in addition to appetizers, salads and entrees featuring beef tenderloin, top sirloin, flank steak, salmon, scallops, walleye and seafood gumbo.

“We’re known for our wings, so we amped those up, giving them some love in the smoker,” Sheehan said.

There also will be an emphasis on beer, with 36 choices on tap, along with wine and bourbon.

Assuming hiring continues at a solid pace, he’s hopeful to be open before the end of April.

“We’re optimistic we can achieve that,” he said. “With the right staffing, I think we have a real chance of doing that.”

Look inside Roam Kitchen + Bar, hiring and opening soon

Roam Kitchen + Bar, the new restaurant inside The District, is getting closer to finishing construction, with the hope of opening by the end of April.

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