New restaurant slated to open in July

Red's Steakhouse was built with the entire community of Vermillion in mind.

The new restaurant, which is owned by Michelle Maloney and Jerad Higman, was designed around the "casually elegant" concept.

"We made it so if you came in wearing a suit and tie, you would fit in well; but if you came in wearing jeans and a t-shirt, you would feel comfortable as well," Maloney said. "Everyone will be welcome."

Not only will the customers have to worry about what they are wearing, they also won't have to worry about the effect of the pocketbook.

"We want it to be affordable for the people that live here," Maloney said. "The average income isn't $50,000 like Sioux Falls or Sioux City. You have to know your audience."

Maloney knows her customer base well, since she has lived in Vermillion since she was in college at the University of South Dakota.

She also owns Scoops Ice Cream and was the owner of Carey's Bar for the last 12 years before recently selling it.

Red's Steakhouse General Manager/Executive Chef Tom Wiley has put together what he said is a 100 percent original menu for Red's Steakhouse.

Wiley, along with Maloney and Higman, wanted to put items on the menu which can't be found at the other restaurants in Vermillion, and also wanted to have a new take on other items.

"Our menu will fit the community very well," Wiley said. "It will be very affordable, such as salads or flat breads that will be six to seven dollars, and it will have a good mix of steaks and seafoods. And if you want expensive, we have that too."

Wiley joins Red's Steakhouse with an impressive resumé in fine dining. He was most recently the executive chef at Dakota Dunes Country Club and also operated two restaurants in Okoboji, Iowa from 2005 to 2009.

Wiley said joined Red's Steakhouse because he was ready for a change.

"I think the overall opportunity was great," Wiley said. "Dakota Dunes wasn't the best atmosphere, and I met Jerad (Higman) there, and after getting to know him, I knew he was a guy who knows quality and doesn't cut corners. That's what I am all about."

At first, Wiley was hired as a consultant, but he quickly showed how capable he was to take on the job at the new restaurant.

"We hadn't worked on a kitchen before and he helped us, and that's when we realized he was the perfect man for the job," Maloney said. "We asked him to take a chance on a small town steakhouse, and he was ready for a change. We couldn't do the project without him."

Red's Steakhouse is currently under construction with plans to open in mid-to-late July at One East Main Street in a building that formerly housed a bank.

"We've been working very hard as a city to improve downtown, and it's become a dining and entertainment part of town," she said. "The building has had a few offices, but for the most part, it's sat empty. We thought it would be a great opportunity to rehab a building that needed some love."

The first level will be the main room of the restaurant where most of the customers will eat.

But the basement of the restaurant highlight the historic use of the building. The old vault, and was remodeled to host small groups and parties.

"The vault room will be a very private area," Wiley said. "It will accommodate about 24 guests, and there will be a 52-inch flat panel TV that can also be used for presentations."

Wiley also plans to have a special menu for the vault room as well, giving it an even more exclusive feel.

If there are no reservations for the room, Wiley said it can also be used for overflow from the main dining area. Adjacent to the room is a vault where the restaurant's wine will be kept.

Wiley said the restaurant will have a variety of wine from a house wine that will cost about four to five dollars a glass, to a bottle of wine that can run to as much as $200.

Red's Steakhouse will have an initial list of 56 different wines, and it has already started its own wine lover's club.

"We are going to have a club of about 50 members, and we have 10 members already committed," Wiley said. "You will get a card which can also be used as a house card in the restaurant, and we will have wine classes and also put together wine tasting events."

 With Red's Steakhouse slated to open in just over month, Wiley and Maloney wanted to make it clear the restaurant will be for everyone in Vermillion.

"People think it will be very fancy, but we want to make sure that anyone can come here," Wiley said. "It's something the community of Vermillion deserves."

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