Downtown Sioux Falls’ newest bar, The Hello Hi, has opened.
The Hello Hi is a bartender-owned cocktail lounge, located in the old Half-Baked space at 120 S. Phillips Ave., across the street from the Phillips Avenue Diner.
Owners Patrick Nelson and Sara Benson describe the Hello Hi as a classic-style bar. The two University of South Dakota grads bring years of experience in the Sioux Falls bar and restaurant scene to their venture.
Designing the space and planning for opening involved lots of consideration for the bar and how it should function, Nelson said.
“The last thing we wanted to do was create a bar that bartenders didn’t like working at, including ourselves,” he said.
The Hello Hi is open daily from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.
The menu has something for everyone but is influenced by tiki-style cocktails, which means there’s plenty of rum on hand, Benson said.
However the drink menu has a variety of options for everyone, including beer, wine, tiki-style drinks made with vodka or gin and non-alcoholic cocktails.
One of her favorite non-alcoholic cocktails is the High Thai’d, with mixes fresh squeezed lemon juice and a blend of other ingredients such as lemongrass and sesame, Benson said.
“It’s really kind of a sweet and savory cocktail,” she said.
Hello Hi owners underlined the additional safety measures they’re taking during the coronavirus pandemic, including limiting capacity and keeping space between tables. They also plan to start offering cocktails to-go soon, Benson said.
For both, opening the Hello Hi after months of planning means getting back to their roots.
“This last week has been refreshing in terms of just getting back to what I know best,” she said. “This is where I’m supposed to be.”