Small town bars offer a local option for New Years celebrations

But it was warm and welcoming inside the doors of several bars and restaurants in small towns in the area, where community residents were to gather to celebrate the start of 2021 and the arrival of 2022 with music. , spirits, food and some good old fashioned conversation.

This was the scene at RJ’s Sports Bar and Grill in Alexandria, where Kami Filter worked behind the bar, taking care of the first customers who had entered in the late afternoon. There was plenty of pressure besides beer at the local waterhole for New Years Eve. The property planned to have a steak menu, free bingo, and a free jukebox after 9pm.

Filter expected it to be a fun night but loaded with fun activities. But it is most likely the atmosphere and the customers of the company who are in the bar that attracts them to celebrate the holidays.

“I think it’s just the feel of a small town, where it’s not overcrowded but where there are still a lot of people to talk to,” Filter said.

It would be the first New Years Eve filter to work at the bar, having been with the establishment for about three months, but she said she understands the appeal of a local bar for events like New Years Eve. An. The bar is likely to be full but there will be few strangers in the crowd, she said.

This makes it familiar and friendly to everyone involved, including the staff, she said.

“I love bars in small towns. I’ve never had a problem with anyone, ”Filter said.

Down the street in Ethan, Sam Beeson, co-owner of Ammo Box Bar & Grill was shoveling snow on the sidewalk outside his establishment on Main Street. The temperature had already dropped to -2 degrees, but like South Dakota, she was not wearing a winter coat.

But it was only a stone’s throw from the heat of the Ammo Box, which will mark its second year of operation in April. The main New Years Eve crowd had yet to roam, but Beeson was expecting a decent group based on the reservations they were making for the steak dinners and karaoke that was scheduled for later.

The ammo box serves as Ethan’s only food and drink outpost. And while necessity often draws customers to communities of this size, Beeson said it’s the small town environment that makes places like its bar and grill appealing to people looking to hang out for. celebrate an evening.

“I think they like the atmosphere of a small town. That’s a lot, ”Beeson said. “Being in a small town is a lot of attraction.”

Places like the Ammo Box often have a loyal following due to their direct relationship with the community and proximity to the neighborhood itself. For New Years Eve, Beeson said the steak dinner specials and additional events attract people who don’t necessarily want to drive far to enjoy a party night.

Small town bars and restaurants, like Boog's & Co. in Parkston, pride themselves on their personal connection to their local communities.  Erik Kaufman / Mitchell Republic

Small town bars and restaurants, like Boog’s & Co. in Parkston, pride themselves on their personal connection to their local communities. Erik Kaufman / Mitchell Republic

“I really expect quite a few reservations for tonight. For dinner, we are rather a full house and we take care of the random entries. I think it will be a very good night, ”Beeson said.

This special dinner attracts couples and families, Beeson said. She noted that the Ammo Box is happy to welcome all customers, from singles stopping for drinks to families coming out for dinner. It is a community establishment, and all members of this community are welcome.

Many of the staff working behind the scenes at the bar are also family members.

“We like to have a family atmosphere and we like to have the family involved,” Beeson said.

At Parkston, Boog’s & Co. was bracing for the influx of people due to stop by for New Years Eve.

Lindsey McKeown was behind the bar, greeting customers as they arrived and departed. The main holiday crowd was still a few hours away, but McKeown said she expected a wave for dinner after Friday night church services before the New Years celebrations began.

Like Beeson and Filter, McKeown said the appeal of a place like Boog’s & Co. is that it’s a local establishment in a small town.

“I think everyone knows everyone. It’s a small town, and with COVID-19 it hasn’t been crowded, ”she said. “Now a lot of people are vaccinated and they feel like they can get out some more.”

Friday nights are busy dinners at Boog’s, she said. Coupled with a vacation that leads directly to the weekend, the evening should be lively, she said.

“Absolutely, most people don’t have to work tomorrow,” McKeown said.

Temperatures in Parkston were well below freezing and winds were gusting among teens late Friday afternoon, bringing the wind chill down to negative double digits. It wasn’t expected to be a good night to travel, she said, so it’s good that places like Boog’s are right in the city center for those who might not want to risk a longer trip in dangerous weather.

That’s fine from McKeown, who said Boog staff would be ready to welcome when the time comes to celebrate the New Year. As a small town bar, almost everyone knows your name, she said, and on an extremely cold New Years Eve in South Dakota, the local waterhole should be the first. stop that occurs to you.

“When it’s so cold, people just don’t like going out. They would like to stay home and stay local. They say to themselves “let’s just go to the bar for a couple instead of going somewhere else”.

Comments are closed.