- Real Estate
- Food & Drink
May 13, 2020
Squealer’s Smoke Shack in Tea will move soon into its new building, which features a rooftop patio.
An opening date hasn’t been set, but Squealer’s held a training session for new employees Tuesday night, said Andrea Kuipers, who owns the business with her husband, Dustin, and his parents, Lowell and Shelley Kuipers.
“We’ll start with soft openings with invites,” she said. “About three of those are coming real soon.”
Seating inside the new barbecue restaurant on the northeast edge of Tea will double compared with the original location, which is a mile south. In addition to room for 200 customers inside, Squealer’s lower patio will seat about 100 and the rooftop patio can hold about 90, Kuipers said.
“We really wanted to change the atmosphere of the restaurant to be more of an upscale hangout but yet keeping the feel comfortable and local,” she said. “We used some very unique techniques and created some eye-catching feature walls with the help of a local company, Lone Star Enterprises.”
The dining room features low tables and booths “for more of a family setting,” Kuipers said.
The indoor bar area has 18 seats at the bar and more room at high- and low-top tables.Two large, glass garage doors open from the bar area to the patio, which is partially covered and features its own bar.
“There will also be some casual seating for people to come hang out for the afternoon and enjoy our Sangria Sundays while playing volleyball or bean bags.”
The star of the project, though, just might be the rooftop patio.
“Our rooftop patio is all the hype; people are so excited about it and ask about it all the time,” she said. “It is going to have a partially covered bar that seats 12 and table seating as well as some unique, casual seating for about 75 additional people. The views are amazing, and we are sure it will be the most popular part of the restaurant this summer.”
The family, which started Squealer’s as a food truck and catering business in 2014 and moved into its restaurant space in 2016, hoped to open in the new building at the beginning of the year.
“As usual, construction through the winter isn’t ideal, and we did a ton of work ourselves,” Kuipers said. “The job was led by Dustin, and Lowell did all of the building (with the help of several local subcontractors.) Along the way, we made some changes, tackled projects, adjusted this or that, and now we are happy with how it turned out.”
The move also was delayed as residents in the Sioux Falls area began taking measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in March. Now that restrictions on gatherings are beginning to ease, the family feels comfortable making the move.
All four of the family members are involved in the restaurant, and longtime employee Roxie Stanga has joined the fold.
“Anyone that has stopped in has encountered our general manager, Roxie. She recently was gifted shares in the business as she has been a huge part in our operation,” Kuipers said. “She is the friendly face that is sure to greet you with a goofy nickname.”
While the building might be new, the outdoor smoker isn’t changing.
“We would like to invest in a new smoker, but we are very comfortable and happy with the favor and final product from our current smoker, so we have kept it,” she said. “We are kind of picky and won’t change over until we have played and experimented and are 100 percent sure we like what we see and taste from a new smoker.”
The signature item on the menu is The Squealer, a pulled pork sandwich, but Saturday night’s special, a prime rib dinner, “is all the rage,” Kuipers said. “We are now taking pre-orders for our prime so we ensure everyone gets one that would like it.”
New additions to the menu are coming.
“Our menu is changing a ton because we have expanded our kitchen so much. We will now offer burgers, flatbread pizzas, steaks and some healthier options as well.”
To operate the bigger venture, Squealer’s is growing from a staff of 15 to 20 people to about 80, Kuipers said. About 20 positions remain to be filled.
To start, hours will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
Here’s a sneak peek inside Squealer’s Smoke Shack, which will be moving into its new building soon.