An exterior shot of Crawford's Bar and Grill in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

photo by: Filip Mazurczak

February 18, 2016

Crawford's Bar & Grill in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

At first thought, a butcher shop might sound like the polar opposite of an elegant restaurant, but Crawford's Bar & Grill is that rare harmonious marriage between the two. What is now one of Sioux Falls' best eateries and watering holes actually sits in a former butcher shop and boasts a chic interior that nonetheless retains many of the site's historical elements.

The original butcher shop—the eponymous Bauch's Meats—opened at 214 S. Phillips Ave. in 1896. By the 1930s, however, it was out of business. Three decades later, a shoe and clothing store called Crawford's Men's Wear took over the space.

Beginning In 2010, the building underwent a year-long renovation to prepare for what is now Crawford's Bar & Grill. Great care was taken to preserve historical details throughout the process.

An interior shot of Crawford's Bar and Grill.

photo by: Filip Mazurczak

Crawford's interior includes many historical goodies, such as Moroccan chandeliers, Indian columns, and South Dakota quartzite walls.

In the men’s room, there are soot stains on the brick wall from the time when meat was smoked there (and it was not yet a bathroom). Behind the bar, you can find former proprietor Louis Bauch’s signature and the date “May 1936” as well as cork from the original cork-lined cooler. Bauch's original cleaver is also on display. Other artifacts include a blood trough along the north cellar wall.

When you’re at the bar itself, pay attention to your footrest; It’s actually an old railroad track. Diverse decorative elements from around the world have also been added, including Moroccan chandeliers and antique columns from India.

Many famous names have stopped at Crawford's in its short history. They have included well-known South Dakotans such as the late Senator George McGovern (the Democratic Party's presidential candidate in 1972) and Mike Miller of the NBA's Denver Nuggets.

Today, Crawford’s is an increasingly popular site for entertainment, dining, and drinks in Sioux Falls’ hip downtown. The menu features both elegant steak dinners and traditional booze. Brunch and live music are both hosted here on Sundays.

An interior shot of the brick wall in the men's room at Crawford's showing soot from the meat-smoking days.

photo by: Filip Mazurczak

Look closely in the men's room, and you will see century-old soot stains from back when Crawford's was a butcher shop.

Location: 214 S. Phillips Ave., Sioux Falls, S.D. 57104

Hours: Monday-Wednesday.11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

You’re having: The Cowboy Cut Ribeye: a 32-ounce cut bone-in ribeye steak with demi-glace. Down it with a Crawford’s Old Fashioned. Still hungry? Finish it off with “stirrat,” or smores. You’re given a tabletop fire to roast your marshmallows.

Best Yelp Review: "Table of seven. Exceptional customer service by Tia. She's a darling girl. Apps were amazing. Best Artichoke crab ever. Meals were hot and we'll displayed and delicious. Great deserts also. Very enjoyable experience. And the decor is enchanting."–Loki R.

Filip Mazurczak

Filip Mazurczak was an editorial intern at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He previously worked as a freelance journalist, translator, and editor. He is from Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

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