Boss’ Pizzeria and Sports Bar to remodel Steak HouseNew owner hopes to open restaurant and bar by ne
An icon in Tea is undergoing a change — Tea Steakhouse located at 215 S. Main Street will soon become Boss’ Pizza and Chicken.
Tea Steak House owners Jim and Lisa Ihnen were ready to retire and put the business up for sale earlier this year. Jim’s parents Lloyd and Rickie Ihnen had originally purchased the Steakhouse in 1965.
Now the Steak House will become a Boss’ Pizzeria and Sports Bar, part of the Boss’ Pizza and Chicken family.
Owner Jeremy Seefeldt started Boss’ Pizza and Chicken back in 2005.
“At the time, all I really knew was that I didn’t really enjoy the job I had at the time, and I knew that Sioux Falls needed a place open late for delivery after the bars closed. At that time, there was literally nowhere else to go to get food in Sioux Falls after midnight other than the grocery store or Frying Pan,” Seefeldt said.
He found that niche of being open from midnight to 3 a.m. to be the sweetspot and said that is what kept them going the first few years.
“Eventually, people realized we had really good food and our business spread to the other hours of the day, but without that niche of being open late night, there’s no way we’d have made it past the first couple of years,” Seefeldt said.
A second location opened in 2009 on the west side of Sioux Falls and in 2014 they tried a location in Minneapolis, however that’s no longer there. It did start the expansion outside of Sioux Falls, though.
“We currently have a Boss’ Pizza and Chicken in Grand Forks, Keystone, Rapid City, two in Sioux Falls, and one that will open around the beginning of 2022 in Fargo,” Seefeldt said, “We have a Boss’ Pizzeria and Sports Bar in Rapid City, Sioux Falls, and soon to be in Tea, and we have a new concept, Boss’ Burgers and Cheesesteaks in Keystone, right next to our pizza place.”
Seefeldt said they also just recently have offered the opportunity for others to franchise their concept.
So what will the Tea location be like? For Seefeldt the vision is clear — local sports. The other Sports Bars he owns are located in hotels; he is excited that the Tea location will provide a real community setting.
“It’s truly the kind of bar that everyone who lives in a smaller town is going to love going into because everything is dedicated to the local teams, and smaller communities, and specifically Tea, is extremely enthusiastic about their local sports and activities, said Seefeldt.
Some of the unique features will be tickers all throughout that will feature almost exclusively local sports tidbits, from the youngest youth sports that keep scores all the way up through all the varsity teams. Notable athletes from Tea that play in college will be featured as well.
“We plan to resurface the bars and tables with articles from the past 20-30 years or more about notable Tea people and sports, so as to have conversation starters built right into where you’re sitting,” he added, “We’ll stream games, current and past, on the TVs. We want to be the place that folks will want to gather pre and post-game for all the local sports and events. I felt like Tea was absolutely perfect for this concept, and the Steakhouse was for sale, so we jumped on it.”
Some things will remain the same, too. There won’t be any changes to the Events Center to speak of, although they plan to add pizza and broasted chicken to the banquet options for events there.
The rest of the location will see some substantial physical changes. Seefeldt said they are planning to replace flooring in most of the Steakhouse and lounge.
“We plan to take the booths out of the O’Toole’s bar area and just make that a private video lottery area,” he said. “There will be TVs and tickers throughout the entire building, along with Tea Area Sports stuff up on the walls. We’re likely to put a doorway directly from the dining room area to the game room/lounge area to improve flow for guests and our servers.”
Seefeldt added, “It will kind of open up the different areas for people to pass through if they want.”
Seefeldt wanted to note his appreciation to the previous building owners.
“The Ihnens have been absolutely fantastic and incredibly helpful, and we want to congratulate them on all their years of owning the business, and we certainly aren’t trying to take away a legendary Tea business,” he said. “They did a great job with the Steakhouse for all these years, and we not only appreciate the opportunity to take over a building that they have taken care of very well, but we also recognize the responsibility of running a good Tea Community based business there.”
Another comment Seefeldt wanted to address was the competition with Pizza Ranch
“Pizza Ranch does a fantastic job with a pizza and chicken buffet, and that’s their gig, and that’s not what we do,” Seefeldt said, “We have made to order food from pastas to burgers, appetizers, and a wide variety of specialty pizzas and delicious broasted chicken, made to order. The atmosphere of our sports bar concept is almost as important as the quality of our food, though, especially here in Tea.”
That food is one of things that Seefeldt is most proud of though. Although the new restaurant won’t have steaks on the regular menu, steaks will still be an option for an event at the Events Center.
The regular menu will, of course, feature their pizza and chicken that they have become known for as well as burgers and sandwiches.
“Our new sandwiches are honestly fantastic! We’ve had them in Keystone for two years now, but just recently decided to add them to our menu at all our locations,” said Seefeldt. “I can honestly tell you that nowhere else that I’ve found has a tastier sandwich than we do, and that’s kind of why I didn’t add them right away to the other stores, because I didn’t want everyone to just order sandwiches from us instead of pizza. Our burgers will be delicious, as they’ll be made in the same way as the burgers at our burger place in Keystone that had a great first year with rave reviews.”
Seefeldt speaks passionately about all of the menu items.
“If you haven’t had our broasted chicken, but you are a broasted chicken fan, I can honestly say that if you try ours, I’ll be shocked if you don’t say it’s one of the best pieces of chicken you’ve ever had,” he said. “There is nothing magical about what we do with our chicken, we just buy the best quality, always fresh chicken and put the best seasoning on it and let the broaster do its work. Our chicken is very popular for large events. Certainly our pizza, specifically the 38 different specialty pizzas we have, is the part of our menu that everyone knows about that is a big fan of Boss’. We have 21 different specialty pizzas that don’t use pizza sauce as the base, and about half of our specialty pizzas, you just can’t get anywhere else. Some of the favorites include the Rancheroni, Founding Father, Spicy Ranch Buffalo Chicken, Chicken Queso Crunch, and the Philly Cheesesteak.”
Boss’ Pizzeria and Sports Bar in Tea will be under the general management of Nylah Tornow and the location will have around 30-35 employees. Seefeldt said that there are some positions open, including potentially a couple of manager jobs. People can stop in to fill out an application, or jobs will be posted on Indeed and Facebook.
Seefeldt is hopeful that the remodeling will be done and the new restaurant and bar can open on Friday, Dec. 10.
“The plan is to be open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. til 2 a.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 7 or 8 a.m. til 2 a.m., with delivery available during all those times,” Seefeldt said.
He added, “We will attempt to recognize the history of O’Toole’s and the Steakhouse while adding our own concept to it. We wish Jim and Lisa the best as their life becomes a little less hectic because they don’t have to run a restaurant anymore, and wish Jesse the best in his new venture, and thank them for giving us a shot to do what we do in the building.”