The corner of Russell Street and West Avenue in the hub of the entertainment district in Sioux Falls is a flurry of activity. From the Denny Sanford Premier Center, to the Arena, to the Sioux Falls Convention Center, there is never a lack of foot and vehicle traffic buzzing around the highly-traveled intersection.
Nestled into the intersection is a waterpark at the Ramada Inn hotel that rivals any in the state. Multiple waterslides and a pirate ship with nooks and tunnels sits in the middle of the giant pool, and the watery wonderland is a favorite for Sioux Falls residents and tourists who travel to the city for concerts, shows, and sporting events.
Between the number of people who visit the area combined with the waterpark inside the hotel, it’s a perfect setting for a restaurant.
Jeremy Seefeldt opened the first Boss’ Pizza & Chicken in 2005 in central Sioux Falls. After expandinging and opening other stores all over the region, he’s now breathed new life into the restaurant at the Ramada and has created an oasis of fun, food and drink at the corner of Russell and West with the opening of Boss’ in 2019.
The restaurant is the seventh in the line of Boss’ owned by Seefeldt with stores in South Dakota, North Dakota and Nebraska.
The opportunity to open the Russell and West store took Seefeldt a bit by surprise. He actually had just opened a restaurant in Grand Forks, N.D. earlier in 2019, when he got a text from Rapid City-based hotel owner Tim Johnson. Johnson had just purchased the Ramada Inn in Sioux Falls, and asked Seefeldt if he was interested in expanding his pizza restaurant in the city.
“That text took me by surprise,” Seefeldt said with a chuckle. “I was scrambling, and I was just trying to stay alive with what I was already doing.” But as it’s been for Seefeldt throughout his restaurant-owning experience, he kept an open mind and didn’t dismiss the idea.
“I never look down on an opportunity,” he said. “I feel like we’re fairly covered in Sioux Falls. I really had no intention of expanding at that time, but I texted him back and said that I’m always willing to look at opportunities.”
And what an opportunity it was. Seefeldt recognized the potential with the massive waterpark adjacent to the restaurant, along with the heavy traffic in the area with the Ramada Inn sitting directly in the middle of the entertainment district. Boss’ on Russell and West offers a unique experience. With updated amenities, including massive new HD television screens throughout the restaurant, it’s a destination that many are discovering works for both kids and parents. Great food, beer, wine, liquor and a place where kids can also have fun at a waterpark that’s open year-round in South Dakota, and it’s a recipe for success and fun.
“I think that’s what separates us,” Seefeldt said. “There are some waterparks in the city, but there’s nowhere you can go where you can take your kids and they can have as much fun – or more fun than you and you can sit there and watch TV, have some drinks, have some food, and they can be within eye range of you.”
The restaurant is also a unique twist for Boss’ in that it is a dine-in only restaurant. Boss’ business model has been delivery-heavy since its opening 15 years ago, but Seefeldt said they are focusing on the restaurant and bar experience for the Russell and West store.
With the entire city of Sioux Falls already covered on Boss’ delivery, the restaurant and bar at Russell and West looks to be a model that will work for those wanting to sit, relax and dine. With a $9.99 lunch buffet, it’s already drawing crowds from the nearby Industrial Park where thousands work on the north side of Sioux Falls.
Even if the numbers didn’t add up, Seefeldt the father of three said the idea of having the massive waterpark next to a restaurant with HD televisions and a cold beer sounded appealing. “When you think about it, when my kids were younger, if I could have found a place to sit, and watch them have fun and have a cold beer and watch the football game, I probably would have gone there a lot more, too,” he said. “I looked at everything, and I thought we could definitely make it work, so we went for it.”
– Tom Savage