New tiki-style bar to open on Phillips Avenue next month

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A new bar is planning to open on Phillips Avenue in downtown Sioux Falls next month.  The Hello Hi hopes to bring a unique in-town escape for people looking for a change of scenery.

“Tons of custom woodwork and booths, even furniture we’re trying to source some older vintage stuff and give it a new life in here,” The Hello Hi co-owner Pat Nelson said.

From vintage TV end tables to rattan chairs and tropical walls, The Hello Hi hopes to help people find a little tropical relaxation in the heart of Sioux Falls.

“That idea comes from tiki in a sense in the atomic era when you couldn’t travel very much and you brought that vacation home, there’s a lot of parallels going on now and we’re excited to be able to offer a space, a little bit of a reprieve for people to come and check out something new,” The Hello Hi co-owner Sara Benson said.

A new possibility for those looking for a little escape during the pandemic, but its opening is also behind due to COVID-19 delays.

“This has been in the works for a long time,” Nelson said. “We signed a lease for this space on March 1st about two weeks before the pandemic really took place.”

Now they plan to open in early September, offering some unique food and drink options from 4:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. seven nights a week.

“It’s a pretty cool concept, taking some elements of tiki we really like, the number one thing being cocktails, wanted to make some really cool tropical drinks and elevated cocktails,” Benson said.

Custom cocktails served from a custom bar designed by a group of longtime bartenders who decided to join forces to open their own space in downtown Sioux Falls.

“Pat and I had been in the industry now for a while, collectively we have about 20 years together, working downtown, watching the process, it’s a cool place to be and we want to be a part of it,” Benson said.

And you may be wondering about the name–Benson says The Hello Hi is a creative play on words.

“We were toying with calling it the Loha Hi, to give it that Hawaiian aloha, but I think in the Midwest we have a tendency to do the greeting a few times, Hello, hi, how are you.” 

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