SHELDON—Brady Den Hartog started 2019 doing something he had never done before: Running a bar.
The 24-year-old Sheldon man is the new owner of Schottsy’s Bar & Grill, which he has renamed and rebranded as Brady’s Pub. The tavern held its official grand opening Friday, Jan. 4.
“Not in a million years,” Den Hartog said when asked if ever thought he would own a bar.
Den Hartog, who grew up in Hospers before moving to Sheldon in high school, thinks he is ready for this endeavor. Since turning 21, Den Hartog was a regular at the bar and befriended former owner Randy Schott.
“Me and Randy, pretty much been friends since he owned the place and he was looking for some part-time help and I told him I was interested in it,” Den Hartog said.
“He seen how I was and how I worked and he offered for me to buy the place. Thought about it for a little while and said, ‘Why not?’”
The two had been in talks since October and agreed that Den Hartog would take over Jan. 1.
Den Hartog was complimentary of Schott’s efforts with the bar over his four years of ownership and noted he wants to keep the positive moment going forward at the drinking establishment.
“I don’t necessarily want to target the younger crowd or the older crowd; I just want a general place for all ages to come and hang out,” Den Hartog said.
One way to do that is by expanding the menu. Den Hartog has been working alongside kitchen manager Connie Lundgren to do just that.
Brady’s Pub has a few new offerings on the menu but kept fan favorites like Thursday night’s all-you-can-eat broasted chicken.
Den Hartog also wants to bring more events to the bar.
“I love live music and there’s not a whole lot of live music around here to get, but I have been talking to random bands in the Sioux Falls area. To me, it’s not enough to be just a bar anymore,” he said.
“People are looking for that, ‘Oh, Brady’s having a DJ tonight,’ or ‘Brady’s having a bags tournament tonight.’ It’s not enough to just be an establishment anymore, you got to have the events whether it’s outdoor or event.”
Some of the ideas he is considering implementing are trivia night, a dart league and a pool league.
“We’re not going to try and jump in and compete with the wing night,” Den Hartog said. “You got the J&B and Langer’s. Those guys are going to have that crowd; they’ve been going there and they are not going to stop going there.”
Another long-term goal for Den Hartog is to make some renovations to the bar. He plans to do most of the work himself. His professional background has been in carpentry, electrical wiring and mechanical trades.
“I want to put a lot more money into the business rather than my own pocket so I can in turn make more money and have a bigger business,” Den Hartog said.
Although Den Hartog has high ambitions, he said he still has a few butterflies in his stomach about this opportunity.
“I’m nervous, I’m excited — all of it,” he said.