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It’s not too often that I find a place that immediately puts a smile on my face. The Bumpin Buffalo Bar and Grill in Hill City, South Dakota had charm when I first walked in. But I wasn’t expecting to have a big smile on my face during my meal or when I walked out. That is in fact exactly what happened. Now we all know many states have rules against people under a certain age working in an establishment. I truly hope this article doesn’t land anyone at the Bumpin Buffalo in any trouble. I’d hope a small community catering to tourist would overlook some minor things. When I walked in I thought I saw two young boys hanging around the establishment. They both seemed to be working. Little did I know that one of these young men would end up being my waiter. Know let me state that the last experience we had with male wait staff in Seattle was less than pleasant. More on that at a later date. So you can imagine my thoughts as this young fella walked up to our table. Maybe we got lucky because the ladies of the house didn’t like me. Or maybe it was his table or everyone else was busy. My point is I wasn’t expecting much other than hassle and aggravation from this experience. What I can tell you is I got exactly the opposite of what I was expecting. This young man was friendly and had personality. He was there to do a job and do it with style. Our drinks were brought out to us promptly and with a smile. This young man had no problems taking our order properly. Even when I wanted to mix things up a bit. The only minor down side is that he didn’t get Cheryl’s drink refill until being asked. Keep in mind however that he was busy actually working and not goofing off. So that wasn’t a big deal to us. The drink was brought to us quickly after we asked.
I was so impressed with the level of service I had to say something. On our ticket the server was listed as Tammi. If my memory is working properly this was the person working behind the bar. I think the young man had stated this was his mom. The reason the name Tammi was on the receipt was do to his age not being able to be logged into the system as a server. Again if this review ends up being read by any hardcore politicians from the area or other government agency. Don’t hold this against this establishment. While a quick glance around had me thinking the overall service was above average. Jake the eleven year old waiter really got me to take notice. I didn’t see this as a case of child labor laws being broken. What I saw is a young man who knew how to get the job done. I saw a person who in all likelihood could succeed at what ever he put his mind to. It was refreshing to see someone so young applying themselves. When I asked his name and age I told him the level of service he had given us was better than many people that were much older. I really tried to let this person know that he done a good job and should keep it up. I’m sure he just saw me as some crazy old man. Either way he guided me to the t-shirt information and display. I made a decision to get an XL because they were out of 2X. The XL is a bit tighter fit than I had expected. Not like I couldn’t do with losing some weight once again.
The t-shirt got added to the bill and we promptly paid with a credit card. Our original choice of restaurant in Hill City didn’t accept credit cards. Honestly I’m now glad they didn’t. If we had never walked in the doors of the Bumpin Buffalo Bar and Grill I would have missed this experience. As we got up for me to show Cheryl the upstairs and top floor outside deck. I shook this young mans hand as a way of let him know I truly appreciated him doing his job. I’d tend to bet he found this odd. But for me I really wanted to encourage him in some way to keep doing what he was doing. After checking out the upper outside deck Cheryl and I headed back downstairs. Jake said thank you for coming in and to have a nice day. Neither one of us had to tell him goodbye or let him know we were leaving. He was the one that engaged in a conversation with his customers to let them know their business was welcomed. Many places of business especially restaurants could learn a thing or two from that small but important step.
Some people would say this is the type of service you get in a smaller town. Honestly I’ve seen smaller communities that treat customers just as badly as the big city folks do. Although I would agree I’ve ran into some people who still know how to make a customer feel welcomed on my travels through smaller towns. Personally I feel this type of mentality would be wise to pick up for many industries. It’s a concept I think is long forgotten.
If your in Hill City, SD to ride the 1880 Train or travelling to many of the other destinations that surround the region. Definitely put the Buffalo Bar and Grill on your short list for somewhere to get a bite to eat or a drink. While I can’t tell you if their bathrooms are up to my standards. This is where many restaurants fail miserably. I can tell you the food was well worth the money and the service was some of the best I have had in a long time. Normally I only get this level of service when paying much more money. Recently in Seattle we paid much more for a brunch and got a very sub par level of service. The Buffalo Bar and Grill didn’t strike me as a place where this would occur.
Buffalo Bar and Grill
245 Main Street
Hill City, SD 57745
Phone – (605) 574-2471
The website list their address as 245. My receipt states 333 for the address. I didn’t find their website listed in any of the popular search engines. Maybe I wasn’t using the proper search terms.
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