SIOUX CITY | A regional neighborhood sports bar chain has expanded into Sioux City.
Tanner's Bar & Grill opened Jan. 13 at 1790 Hamilton Blvd. in the Perry Creek Plaza. The site previously housed a Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican Cafe and, most recently, Ruth's Mexican Fiesta & Grill.
The location is the third in Iowa for Kansas-based Tanner's chain, joining Ankeny and Cedar Rapids.
Tanner's Bar & Grill president Brett Clure said Sioux City was considered for a year before the decision was made.
"We've been open about 30 years, doing things right in the Midwest," Clure said. "Our roots are clearly ingrained in the Midwest. It was kind of a no-brainer to branch out into Sioux City."
A host of remodeling had to be performed to rework the building into the Tanner's look. The changes included the addition of a signature deck that overlooks the main floor, an oak wood bar, room for private parties and a game room for kids.
"This is a good spot," Clure said.
Tanner's will employ about 35 full- and part-time employees.
The chain started in Atchison, Kansas, in 1985, and has expanded to 20 locations over three decades. Tanner's officials have long sought to be a place for customers to watch sports victories on television and relax in a friendly atmosphere.
The restaurant is known for grilled steaks and chicken lips, the Tanner's version of chicken tenders that definitely gets the attention of customers for both the name and taste, Clure said.
"We are not just a neighborhood sports bar with frozen food. We have fresh food, well above average food," he said.
Tanner's also has locations in Wisconsin, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, including four in Omaha.
Clure said the company is scouting more locations, but is ending a period of recent expansion, which was heavy with more restaurants in 2016.
"This is the end of our push," he said.
Perry Creek Plaza recently sold to an Omaha developer, Perry Creek Investors. Woodsonia Real Estate of Omaha is marketing space in the former free-standing restaurant and the shopping center, located between 18th and 19th streets.
The new plaza owners are making major changes to the retail center on Sioux City's northside, including demolishing a building that formerly housed an Applebee's restaurant from 1993 to 2014.
The combined assessed valuation for the properties and parking lot is $4.48 million. A Bomgaars store that anchors Perry Creek Plaza is owned by the Sioux City-based retailer.