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Jim Holland

Cathy Switzer celebrated a grand opening of her part-retail store, part-consignment shop, The Attic Addict, in grand style last week at 8000 Black Hawk Road in the Steele Horse Plaza.

Her more than week-long grand opening event started on July 28. “That Thursday was busy and Friday was really good,” she said.

Switzer keys on a variety of new retail items and gently-used name-brand merchandise. A sampling of labels in her shop includes pre-owned clothing from Duluth Trading Co., L.L. Bean, North Face, Victoria’s Secret and Under Armour and shoes from Ariat and Spring Step.

She also offers new home décor, jewelry and pottery items, with more items coming in daily, she said.

“I’ve always wanted to own my own little store, and I’ve always had a lot of things to sell. I thought it was a good idea especially to have the high-end stuff. People could come and shop and it would all be in one spot,” she said.

Switzer, whose family moved here four years ago to escape what she called the congestion and pollution of central California, said she shopped around for a location, looking at available spaces in Rapid City and Hill City but settled on Black Hawk.

Her neighbors at the Steele Horse Plaza, easily recognized by a sculpture of an equine figure fashioned from chrome automobile bumpers out front, have been supportive, sending her customer referrals, she said.

Her grand-opening hours through the end of the Sturgis motorcycle rally are 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

After the rally, the story will be open Wednesday through Saturday, she said.

Call The Attic Addict at 605-545-6717, check out her website,, or see her Facebook page for more information. Her consignment contract is on the website, she said.

Gallery changes hands

Joe and Wendy Lowe have owned and operated Reflections of South Dakota, a fine art gallery featuring Joe’s landscape photography and the work of other local artists since 2007.

They have decided to take another step toward retirement with the sale of the gallery to Rae Carlson of Rapid City, effective Aug. 1.

Joe Lowe came to South Dakota from California in 2001 to direct the state’s new wildfire agency. When he wasn’t battling to keep landscapes from going up in flames, he was photographing them as a sideline.

Wendy operated the gallery from 2007 until Joe retired from fighting wildfires in 2012. In 2013, Joe ran for the Democratic nomination for governor.

Wendy said Joe will continue his photography, with his work still featured in the gallery.

“We just won’t have the day-to-day of running the gallery,” she said.

Carlson worked as a mortgage broker for several years. Her interest in the arts swings more toward the musical side, she said.

“I needed a creative outlet and this popped up,” she said of the gallery. “The stars aligned.”

The Lowe’s originally opened Reflections of South Dakota on Sixth Street, but they moved the gallery to i605 Main St. in November 2012.

Carlson will take some time to get settled, but she isn’t planning to make many immediate changes to a successful venue.

“I love all of the artists that are here,” she said. “I’m hoping to add a few more as I make space for them.”

Another Sonic coming

Those hungering for, say, a bacon cheeseburger toaster, onion rings and a cherry limeade will have a third Rapid City location of Sonic Drive-In to choose from before long.

According to a release from the city, the planning commission approved a final planned development application last week for a third Sonic Drive-In Restaurant at 502 Century Road in the Vista Ridge subdivision.

The new Sonic will join other Rapid City locations on Mount Rushmore Road and Jackson Boulevard.

According to the company website, Sonic’s history can be traced back to the Top Hat Root Beer Stand, which opened in 1953 in Shawnee, Okla.

In 1959, partners Troy Smith and Charles Pappe renamed their expanding number of Top Hat stands as Sonic Drive-Ins to match their slogan: “Service at the Speed of Sound.”

New apartments in Sturgis

A release from the Sturgis Economic Development Corp. said the homes, to be built around the former Francis Case School on Fulton Street between Shepherd Street and Boulevard Street, will also feature attached garages with off-street parking and include lawn care, snow removal and external building maintenance as part of the lease.

Owners and developers Tim and Peggy Heuston will host an informal public open house on Friday, Aug. 18, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce. Development plans, to finalized over the winter, will be available for viewing.

City Manager Daniel Ainslie said the Sturgis City Council considered several options for housing on the site, which was obtained in a land swap with the Meade School District. The school district in turn received a plot of city land next to Bear Butte Elementary School.

“In addition to filling a niche in a growing community, its design and the Heuston’s professional management will complement the neighborhood aesthetics,” Ainslie said in a release.

More Dollar General stores

With other major brick-and-mortar retailers scaling back, Dollar General just keeps on building.

Add two more Dollar General locations to the area, one at 2101 University Ave. in Hot Springs and another at 905 Mount Rushmore Road in Custer.

Both stores are tentatively set to open mid-fall, according to company spokesperson Laura Somerville.

The retailer will have seven stores in the area when the latest locations open, joining existing stores in Rapid Valley and Box Elder and soon-to-be open stores on St. Patrick Street in Rapid City, on Lazelle Street in Sturgis and a recently opened location along Sturgis Road in Summerset.

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  Contact Jim Holland at 605-394-8429 or at

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