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New owners at Sky Lounge

The Sky Lounge, at 200 S. Main Avenue, Tea, opened with new owners Jan. 25.

Beth Mielke and Jim and Tanya Baker bought the Sky Lounge after years of talking about buying a bar.

“We had explored another option in a nearby city and it just didn’t work out,” Beth said.

“Then we looked at one in Sioux Falls and it also wasn’t what we wanted,” Tanya Baker said.

Beth and Tanya worked together for years a few years ago and have remained friends. Today Beth works at Docutap and Tanya works for Avera Health. Jim works for United Airlines.

Jim and Beth are long-time dart players and Beth was looking for a bar that was dart friendly.

“We definitely wanted a dart bar where we could accommodate several teams,” Beth said.

Besides hosting dart league at the Sky Lounge, they also are hoping to host Pink Ladies darts on Sundays. The Pink Ladies is a non-competitive dart league that raises money for people battling cancer.

In addition to darts, they also wanted a bar that was manageable.

“Some of the other places we had talked about were a lot larger scale than this so in hindsight I’m actually glad we started smaller and can maybe work our way into some of those things,” Beth said.

“There are days I think we’d like to have more space. Right now, starting off, this being our first one, it’s a lot more manageable. As we continue to work full-time, we don’t have to worry about food and kitchen waste and all of that,” Tanya said.

Before making many changes, the new owners felt the need to spend some time in the lounge and meet the locals. So far, they have done some painting and replaced a couple of toilets.

They have also changed 50 percent of the beers on tap and added to their liquor lineup. They have also added some seating and changed the pizza they offer.

“One of the things we did change that is cool is our pizzas. All we have room for is a pizza oven,” Tanya said. “We’ve got a new brand of pizzas that have been very well received and we’ve only been here a couple weeks.”

Hours at the bar are 4 p.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday and 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. They are closed on Sundays but that might be changing.

This week the new owners have been inviting members of the community down to check out the bar. They have gotten to meet a lot of people and other bar owners.

“The people that we’ve met are extremely nice and then there’s this Bermuda triangle of bar hopping. They’ll start here and then go over to O’Toole’s and the American Legion. It’s great,” Beth said.

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