Concerns Over Plans for Bob’s Cafe Building

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- It was a longtime favorite in Sioux Falls. However, two years ago this month Bob’s Cafe closed its doors on West 12th street. The building is now under new ownership and some neighbors aren’t happy with the plans for it.

When Dale Dachtler found out the old Bob’s Café building was still vacant, he jumped on the opportunity to buy it. 

“Sioux Falls is a great place and I don’t know how you can beat it. I would just like to be a part of this neighborhood,” said Dachtler.

He had big plans for it, which he says changed once he assessed the inside of the building. 

“We bought it thinking we’d put in a café and then we started realizing it’s just too small, especially with the competition,” said Dachtle.

Instead Dachtler has applied for on sale alcohol and video lottery terminal licenses to turn the building into a video lottery casino.

 That decision is concerning for some neighbors. Mitchell Ohnstad and June Copperfield live right behind the building. They believe the more than 150 video lottery terminals in Sioux Falls are plenty.

“It was a loss when we lost Bob’s Chicken and I think taking that on, trying to fill that void in the community is a big responsibility and I think that there are definitely better ways that can be accomplished rather than adding to the slew of casinos that we already have on this street,” said Copperfield.

Their biggest concern is safety. Mainly the 30-foot drop between the business’s parking lot and their backyard.

“A driver could put their car in drive instead of reverse and go through this fence and endanger me and my family and that’s a risk my fiance and I took when we moved into this house, but that risk grows exponentially when you add on sale alcohol on site,” said Ohnstad. 

They’re also concerned about people smoking.

“This is a windy town you know. We are already kind of use to picking up trash that blows in from 12th street, but we also have dogs and we’d like to not add a bunch of cigarette buds to that as well in our yard,” said Copperfield. 

Dachtler wants to ensure people that there shouldn’t be any issues. 

“This is just a video lottery, it’s not a bar. You’ll come in, you’ll spend $20 to $30 bucks, you might have a coke, coffee, you might have a beer. Then you leave. It isn’t a place where you sit all day long and drink,” said Dachtler. 

The new owners are having a meeting with the public to discuss concerns. It’s Wednesday July 31st at 6 p.m. at the Fryn’ Pan on West 12th street. Someone with the city will also be there to listen to what neighbors are saying before the next planning commission meeting in August when the conditional use permit for on sale alcohol will be voted on.