Brenda Wade Schmidt
The former Wind Street Station is deep into a makeover that will allow the building’s owners to open a liquor store as early as next week, with a bar or restaurant to follow.
Last Thursday, Kyle Haug from Brookings had the front cement block taken out to reveal more of the columns to take the building back to its more original look. He also replaced windows on the ground floor and has torn out the inside wall coverings, revealing the building’s original stone.
Haug and a small crew are redoing sheetrock where it’s needed and plan to open a liquor store on the building’s south side possibly by Dec. 10.
So far in the renovation process, even with some unexpected issues, he’s happy with how it is going. “These old buildings, they all have their unique challenges.”
The liquor store will include open shelves made from beams original to the building. “We’re trying to repurpose a lot of the original materials in the building,” he said.
He has a couple of people interested in putting a restaurant or bar in the north area of the ground floor, a project that could be accomplished as early as January, he said.
After that, the upstairs will be renovated into five or six loft-style apartments, which should take several months of renovation. The last piece will be to carve out retail space in the basement. He also had some additions to the building torn off the back, revealing more curved window openings and an area he wants to make into a patio for the restaurant or bar.
Haug’s family, ROK Properties LLC, bought the building in March from its previous owner, Greg Corcoran, who had not had the liquor store and bar open on a regular basis for more than five years. With the purchase, the Haugs got the retail and off-sale liquor licenses and more than 4,000 bottles of liquor.
At one point when Corcoran owned the building, the city looked at whether it could condemn the property because of its condition, but improvements were done so that it met code.
Haug and his wife, Wendi, have a construction company called Mob Builders in Brookings. His wife also is an interior designer who homeschools their two children, ages 4 and 7. “The property actually belongs to our children. It’s in our trust. This one is done for their future.”
Both Haugs grew up and went to high school in Flandreau. The double-store building from 1900 was built by William H. Kellogg and Rufus Whealy, and the first business was the New England Furniture store, according to a new historical book published by the Moody County Museum. It has also been home to Landis Package and Bar X Bar.