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Dive Bar Tour: The Recovery Room

Karla Brown/Townsquare Media
Karla Brown/Townsquare Media

Full disclosure – the main reason we chose the Recovery Room as one of our dive bar tour stops was just because we wanted a pizza burger. Well, that…and we had heard that Joe the bartender was the best bartender in Sioux Falls.

The Recovery Room is located in a strip mall just across the street from Sanford Health at 1004 West 18th Street. One side of the business is dedicated to video lottery machines and the other side is a bar and restaurant where the clientele is mostly regulars. The Recovery Room doesn’t serve hard liquor, just beer and malt beverages.

We heard that Friday nights after work aren’t usually as busy as the night we were there, but we invited some friends and had a table of around 15. Joe was the bartender/server that night and was working by himself. Not only did he take our drink and food orders, cook our food and serve it, and made sure our drinks never got empty, he did it all with a smile on his face and had a great attitude. He was the most pleasant bartender we’ve met yet. Joe has a great personality. He was funny and engaged in conversation with us. He got a big tip.

The atmosphere at the Recovery Room is not complicated. A few bar signs, a pool table, two dart boards, a digital jukebox, and a few tables. The bar is not elaborate. There are a few bags of chips hanging from a display. It doesn’t even have a big cooler anywhere displaying their beer. Sometimes, simple is best. Most of the regulars are there to hang out with their friends and drink a beer, and the Recovery Room gives them a place to do that. One of the regulars was telling me that during football season people will bring in crock pots of food and have a potluck amongst the regulars.

A lot of dive bars we’ve been to don’t have a kitchen. The Recovery Room has a full menu of standard bar fare. From burgers to chislic, and don’t forget the pizza burgers. The Recovery Room’s pizza burgers are breaded and deep fat fried – just the way they’re supposed to be. And, they are GOOD!

Will we go back? I’m craving a pizza burger as I write this. We will definitely go back for one of those and to say “hi” to our new friend, Joe.

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