If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me that question, I could re-build the place by now.
First, a brief history about the place. The ‘TOE’ as us regulars called it was open for almost 20 years. The original owner Martin, only owned the place for about a year before selling it to Razmik ‘RAZ’ Mktarian. Raz and his wife ran the place until his death about 8 years ago. She operated the business until its closure.
What I do know;
In February of 2014, a City of Sioux Falls fire Hydrant on the corner of 12th and Phillips in front of the restaurant exploded. It took the fire department over an hour (according to witnesses) to shut it off. The result was almost 2 feet of water in the basement restaurant and other properties, including Bechtold’s jewelry.
The result of the flooding destroyed all of the belongings in the restaurant. It also destroyed some plumbing and electrical and also damaged the foundation.
What I ‘kind of’ know;
Insurance helped pay for cleanup and gutting the restaurant.
What I am not sure of;
I think the property owner and restaurant owner were in negotiations with the city’s risk management department for compensation for damages, but I am not sure if anything was resolved. I think a request to fix the foundation and to make the place ADA compatible came from the city before it could reopen.
Even if the place will not reopen (the owner has moved on, and has no intention of reopening the TOE at that location or any other.) I still feel the city owes the building owner and restaurant owner for loss of business and damages. The damage was clearly caused by the city’s faulty pipes, and this is what the city has risk insurance for. Like I said, not sure if that compensation has occurred, but it is highly unlikely. Ever try to squeeze blood out of a turnip?
It’s unfortunate that the state’s first Jazz Club had to go out this way, it’s even more sad that our city can’t even own up to causing the damage.
Adam Yeager was born in Indianapolis, IN and started playing jazz guitar at the young age of 16. He immediately began playing gigs and finding other musicians to play any gigs they could get their hands on. After college he attended Jeff Berlin’s Players School of Music in Clearwater, FL., and later attended the University of North Carolina Asheville to receive bachelor’s degrees in jazz and classical performance. While in attendance at UNCA, Adam had been in several successful bands ranging from hip hop to classical chamber groups. His primary focus was in Gypsy Swing. A style of music made famous by Django Reinhardt. Adam is currently living in Indianapolis and employed as an acoustic engineer for the world’s #1 acoustic treatment/design company, Auralex Acoustics. He is also playing playing solo gigs throughout the Midwest and in his spare time is teaching at a small school in northern Indianapolis.
The Touch of Europe is a fantastic place to dine during the week if you want quiet fine dining in a cool joint. Of course they still feature live music on Friday and Saturday nights, BUT during the workweek (Tuesday – Thursday) you can have an intimate, quiet dinner with someone special. Same great food prepared by the owner, a master in Eastern European Cuisine.
Absolute is one of the most affordable sandwich shops in downtown. They serve hot toasted subs at about half the price of their closest competitor. They are the sister restaurant of South Dakota’s first Jazz Club, Touch of Europe.
Roger Neumann, tenor saxophonist who has performed with the likes of Count Basie and Woody Herman bands, as well as Ray Charles, will join Chicago guitarist Scott Hesse for a one-night show on June 12. They will be performing with the C.J. Kocher Quartet, including C.J. on saxophone, Mike Andersen (bass) and Mike Benton on drums. Don’t miss this special night and Roger’s first appearance at Touch of Europe. Scott Hesse is one of our favorites and he will be performing two nights this month. On June 12 and again with Bobby Gripp and “Jazzed” on Friday, June 18. Make your reservations now for some smokin’ summer jazz at Touch of Europe, South Dakota’s only jazz club. toejazz.com or 336.3066.