Tuesday morning power outage affects downtown Sioux Falls businesses

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Just after 9 a.m. Tuesday morning, lights flickered and power went out in downtown Sioux Falls as a result of a power outage affecting at least 1,600 customers, according to Xcel Energy.

Businesses throughout the area were impacted, while those with generators, including KELOLAND Media Group, limped on under partial power.

Joelle Dieckhoff is a barista at Josiah’s Coffeehouse & Café, a popular destination downtown.

“Every day we’re very busy,” Dieckhoff said. “Monday through Thursday it’s a little bit slower, but we always just have a large line, usually every day down to the door — there’s always something to do.”

Dieckhoff says the outage Tuesday morning slowed that business. “There’s a lot of people who are being turned away because of what’s going on,” she said. “People want food, they want coffee; they come in for something specific, and then when they come in and can’t have it — they might get frustrated.”

Customers make do in Josiah’s gathering room, lit by plug-in string lights.

Operating under partial power, Josiah’s had some lighting in working order, but not a whole lot else. Power-sucking appliances like grills and espresso machines were out of commission.

“We can’t do anything with espresso in it,” Dieckhoff said, but added that they could do pastries. “Basically — we can do like maybe 1/4th of our menu.”

While much of the normal work of running a restaurant was suspended, Dieckhoff says they could still make some things, and that they were also focusing on cleaning. “We can’t do any food but we can do some coffees, some pastries — just a lot of what our daily routine is is just a lot different.”

Just around the corner from Josiah’s, JL Beers was preparing for their 11 a.m. opening, also without full power.

“It just slows everything down,” said Tony Keupp, area manager for JL Beers. “Initially we thought we were just without lights for a little bit, but then we realized it’s half the building.”

JL Beers preparing to open under half power

Keupp said that during the outage, they were not able to turn on their grills or fryers, but the coolers, which store their ingredients and beer were in working order — at the time at least.

“All of our coolers are luckily still on, thank goodness” said Keupp, seconds before the building lost full power.

A maintenance man works on equipment by flashlight at JL Beers.

Luckily for Keupp and other downtown businesses, this loss of power was short lived. Around 10:30 a.m., minutes after the power went out entirely, the lights — and everything else — came back on.

The timing couldn’t have been better for JL Beers. “Typically starting right around 11-11:15 a.m. the downtown lunch crowd starts coming in,” said Keupp.

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