Colonial House Restaurant set to move and expand

A local culinary institution in Rapid City in South Dakota, the Colonial House Restaurant & Bar on Mount Rushmore Road, is planning to move next year and expand to as much as three times the current size of the supper club.  The restaurant was established more than 30 years ago – back in 1981 – by Bill and Sandy Beshara, and serves fire-grilled American-style cuisine; however it has now outgrown its current site in a very big way.  Well renowned for its steaks, seafood, ribs and desserts, the restaurant will make a move possibly as soon as April next year to two doors down on Mount Rushmore Road; the site has previously played host to the Casa Real Mexican Restaurant and a Pepsi plant.

The relocation and massive expansion have caused a buzz with the restaurant’s customers.  A lot of these are regular patrons who have for years been dining out at the Colonial House, according to head chef Kevin Beshara – the son of the founders of the restaurant: “We’re kind of like a family that outgrew its house, and we just need a little more room. It’s going to be awesome,” he said. Given that the move is only a little to the south of Mount Rushmore Road, it is clear that the shift is less about location than it is space.  The 160 seats available in the current site are frequently filled; the small bar is cramped and the parking lot is a frequent bugbear for customers, with just 40 spaces.

On the other hand, after the remodeling and reconfiguration, the new location will enable up to 320 seats, as well as 100 parking spots and a brand new full-sized bar:  “It’s a huge square box. I could fit three of my current restaurants inside that building,” said Beshara. Beshara believes that business will stay strong and that the restaurant has a very loyal clientele, while noting that the new location also enables the family to be able to try out entirely new concepts that have not previously been seen in Rapid City; however, he is giving nothing away at present, saying only: “We’ve got some ideas up our sleeve.”

There have also been a number of other developments with regard to the restaurant scene in the Rapid City area recently, with the closing of the two local sites of Sam & Louis’ pizza restaurants.  One of these was also on Mount Rushmore Road, with the other being at 1420 North Avenue in Spearfish.  The Rapid City restaurant shut its doors two weeks ago and the Spearfish location shut down back in May, says Michael Nolan, the manager of the chain franchise.  Nolan says that while the restaurants were able to do good business in the summer tourist season, that business tailed off for the rest of the year.  He also notes that a high manager turnover did little to help its chances.