The Touch of Europe book is finally printed. I printed only 50 copies for first edition (I will number and sign) I may add pages for future printings. I don’t want to make this too complicated by running all over town to get you a book, so we are going to do this by snail mail. They will be $11 + $1 for shipping and handling. Just message me on FB or email me at with shipping/payment details if interested and I will get you my address. Thanks!

This is a book I put together of mostly my photos I took of the Touch of Europe over the years. I haven’t printed any copies yet, but if you would like a copy of the 1st Edition let me know, I would like to print 50 copies and would sell between $10-15 each. I would like to add more photos for the 2nd edition. So if you like to add your photos OR would like a copy, let me know.



I just hope the new owners have a priest or pastor bless the place before they open. According to the city’s insurance provider, God gets angry here quite a bit destroying private property, busting up water pipes and destroying businesses;

“I think a lot of people go back to remembering the Touch of Europe,” said Blarney Stone partner Russ Wanner. “That’s fantastic to hear people talking about that and how treasured it was, actually, how they loved to go there. They talk about the brickwork and stuff, and we tried to save as much of the brickwork down there as we could.”

Funny, it seems the construction company working on this remodel understands the concept of bracing the ceiling when doing work. Keep the DRAKE as far away as possible.



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.