On April 4, 2022, Sioux Falls residents who have long awaited the arrival and opening of a local Dave & Buster’s will finally be able to “eat, drink, play and watch” in the new channel.
That’s when D&B will open its doors to the community, where guests can eat everything from the chain’s voodoo pasta to its famous nachos, drink drinks like the Strawberry Watermelon Margarita, gamble 100 different games and watch sporting events on 18 TV screens.
For years, excitement has been building for Dave & Buster’s to open in Sioux Falls. Argus Leader readers chose Dave & Buster’s as one of the 15 most searched businesses by residents in 2018, ranking eighth. And soon after, in 2019, the chain announced that it would expand here.
But the start of the business was delayed by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,
When operations manager Daine Pearson – who grew up in Watertown and started working with the national chain seven years ago, opening several new locations across the US – first heard in 2019 that Dave & Buster was coming to Sioux Falls, his phone blew up.
“I made it my focus,” Pearson said of helping open the new location in Sioux Falls. “I knew how much I enjoyed the company and wanted to go home because it would be a great experience for me to not only be home, but to have that pride when it came to Sioux Falls. I never would have thought this would happen.
What to eat and drink at the new Dave & Buster’s in Sioux Falls
As customers enter, left, they can sit in a restaurant-style area or a full-service bar surrounded by TV screens, including the “Wow Wall,” which Pearson says is the largest South Dakota television screen.
A wall on the east side of the building is adorned with the names of local sports teams, a touch that D&B makes sure to include in each of its locations. Jackrabbits, Coyotes, Vikings, Cougars, Storm and more are depicted on the wall.
While a full menu isn’t yet set for Sioux Falls on daveandbusters.com, Pearson said the most popular items at D&B are nachos, pretzel dogs, and some pasta, like voodoo pasta, which is a dish Cajun-inspired spice.
Continued:Dave & Buster Grand Opening in Sioux Falls: Hours, Specials and Hiring Update
To accompany a meal, Pearson said the most popular drinks include the Strawberry Watermelon Margarita, Dangerous Waters Island Punch, Caribbean Long Island and the new Espresso Martini.
The menu changes with the seasons, Pearson said, and with the sports played at any given time of year.
There will be pint promotions on game day. Happy hours will offer half-price cocktails, $2.50 off pints, $1 off tall drafts and wine glasses, and $3 off bottles of wine.
What games can I play at the new Dave & Buster’s?
And to the right is a large gaming area where customers can play about 100 games at different stations, Pearson said. Games include everything from SpongeBob, Minecraft, Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Star Trek and Willy Wonka themes to popular culture.
Pearson said there’s a mix of family-friendly games, ranging from old-school carnival games to larger games inspired by board games. D&B of Sioux Falls has Plinko from “The Price Is Right,” a Monopoly game, Mario Kart, and even Hungry Hippos.
There’s even a four-player virtual reality simulation game and an ax throwing game called “Hatchet Hero.”
Continued:Sioux Falls Area Arcade Bars Anticipate Dave & Buster’s Coming
To play any game, guests can power up their D&B “power card” on their phone through the Dave & Buster’s app, or get a physical power card at the charging station kiosk, reception or with his server. Some of the games offer opportunities to win tickets, which can be redeemed for prizes during what Pearson called the “winner’s circle”.
General manager Jared Hilliard said every Wednesday there are half-price matches.
Dave & Buster’s still needs 10 employees, prices and a menu
As D&B staff prepare for the opening, Pearson said some things are still being decided or shipped at the local chain. Prizes for the “Winner’s Circle” are expected to ship Thursday; the menu is still being decided and is not yet posted on daveandbusters.com for guests to preview; training for all staff begins on Monday.
Pearson said the local D&B has hired 110 staff so far and the location is expected to cap at 120 staff, with some positions still open for hire on the D&B website.
What are the opening hours for Dave & Buster?
D&B will be open from April 4 at 11 a.m. and is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday to Tuesday, then from 11 a.m. to midnight Wednesday to Saturday. Food service stops 30 minutes before closing and alcohol service stops 15 minutes before closing.
Happy hours are 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and there are late-night happy hours Sunday through Thursday.
Dave & Buster’s address is 2690 S. Lorraine Place.
Can I bring my children?
People under the age of 18 cannot come to Dave & Buster alone unless they are accompanied by someone 25 or older.
Why did Dave & Buster take so many years to open in Sioux Falls?
Getting a major tenant like Dave & Buster was no small feat for South Dakota’s largest city.
For Sioux Falls residents, a big chain like D&B coming to town takes the psychological itch out of defending the town as a great place, while craving things the big cities have.
Building it “cements why Sioux Falls is so great, while capturing the franchise magic we’ve experienced elsewhere,” wrote Jeremy Fugleberg, former editor of the Sioux Falls Business Journal, in a 2019 Argus Leader column.
Van Buskirk said they had been working with D&B on a possible location for six years when it was announced. D&B had eyed the mall, but it was already out of two flagship stores at the time.
Dave & Buster’s originally required that any city it moved to have a daytime population of 700,000 to 1 million people. In larger markets, square footage was between 30,000 and 45,000.
However, after the company announced aggressive growth plans for 2018 and 2019, officials finally considered opening a smaller-format location in Sioux Falls after residents had craved it for years. Dave & Buster’s in Sioux Falls is approximately 19,000 square feet.
Continued:How long does it take for famous fast food chains to get to Sioux Falls?
After Dave & Buster’s announced on July 1, 2019 that it would open a location in Sioux Falls, work began. A liquor license has moved from the old pool hall “The Pocket” to D&B. Construction proceeded and the entire project was expected to be completed by mid-2020.
But construction stalled when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit the state, right after the initial hull structure was built. Pearson said before the pandemic, he was supposed to be part of the team that was ready to open D&B by July 2020.
“I was ready to go and started training for this process,” Pearson said. “And then, you know, unfortunate things happen. It was just delayed and now luckily I was able to rejoin the team afterwards.
The site was then due to open in February this year, but soon experienced another delay: building permits. There have been significant delays in processing paperwork needed for new construction in the city at City Hall, with building permits reaching $1 billion this fall.
Pearson said he was excited to see not only support from customers in Sioux Falls, but also people who could drive to his hometown of Watertown and even further to support the new D&B.
“Everybody in all of these little communities, not just Sioux Falls, but the little communities are thrilled about it,” Pearson said. “I saw and participated in six store openings with different communities, and it was always a wave of excitement.”