Go to Custer this week, and you can spend some time getting to know the Saucy Oozy Ollie, the Mean Green Salad, and Detroit Style Pizza.
Those items are a few of the highlights from the menus for the second annual Custer Restaurant Week, which starts Wednesday, Feb. 27, and runs through Saturday, March 2, at eight locations in the city that will be offering special menu items for the event.
Participating restaurants are Black Hills Burger & Bun Co., Buglin’ Bull Restaurant & Sports Bar, Custer Wolf, Dakota BBQ, Laughing Water Restaurant at Crazy Horse Memorial, Pizza Mill, Pizza Works, and Skogen Kitchen.
Dolsee Davenport, executive director of the Custer Area Chamber of Commerce, said the creation of the event for this time of year was designed to get local residents to come out and try some of the local food. Davenport said a secondary aspect was to increase business during what typically is a down period for the area before tourist season gets underway.
“For several years there was this idea that Custer kind of closes for the winter and we wanted to kind of combat that idea and let people know, hey, our restaurants do stay open year-round,” she said.
Last year’s inaugural event had a good turnout, Davenport said, and the feedback from diners was that they wished the event could’ve lasted longer so they could visit more establishments.
Johnathan Stahl, an owner of the Buglin’ Bull, thought the first Restaurant Week went very well and was well-received by out-of-town visitors whose interest was piqued and local residents alike.
“They all seemed to enjoy it very much,” he said.
In addition to letting people in the area know that Custer isn’t closed in the middle of winter, Stahl said, Restaurant Week also feeds into the city’s growing reputation as a year-round food hot spot and makes a good impact for Custer.
“In my opinion, what Custer kind of has come to is kind of a foodie town, and nobody else in the Black Hills is really a foodie town,” he said. “There’s a great variety of food here, there’s a great variety of pricing, and what Restaurant Week really does is offer an excellent dining experience in the off-season.”
Davenport said this year, more restaurants are offering lunch specials as well as dinner specials to open up more eating opportunities for diners.
Davenport said more entertainment will be part of this year’s event. The Gold Pan Saloon, Calamity Jane Winery & Mercantile and the VFW will have live music on Friday and Saturday nights.
On Saturday afternoon, there will be an Adult Sip-N-Paint at 3 p.m. at the VFW and Youth Paint-N-Sip-N-Cookies at 2:45 at the Senior Center. Tickets for the adult event are $35 apiece; register by going to Custer SD Public Sip-N-Paint on Facebook. For the kids’ event, which is open to children ages 12 and older, the cost is $10 per child and class size is limited to 20 participants. Call 605-673-2244 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org to register; the event also can be found on Facebook under Youth Paint Class.
Davenport said reservations at the participating restaurants are recommended. For more information on Restaurant Week, go to visitcuster.com, find Custer Restaurant Week on Facebook or Instagram, or call the Custer Area Chamber of Commerce at 605-673-2244.