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Armour's Blue Moon Bar and Grill, where everybody gets a steak on the weekend

Customers love the noon specials during the week and the home-made taste to everything that exits the kitchen, as well as the relaxed feel and remarkable wait-staff.

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Tracey Hinckley, owner of Blue Moon Bar and Grill.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic
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EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the sixth article in the Battle of the Eats 2022 series, which features stories on favorite small-town restaurants as voted upon by Mitchell Republic readers. The series will appear Saturdays through Aug. 27 this summer.

ARMOUR, S.D. — The Blue Moon Bar and Grill, owned and operated by Tracey Hinckley, is a staple to anyone seeking out the best burgers or steaks in eastern South Dakota.

The Blue Moon, originally a Veterans of Foreign Wars building when it was purchased in 2001 by Hinckley, was remodeled with his own hands into the steakhouse locals and tourists across the Midwest rave about.

"It's a staple of our small town," local Rodney Dally said. "Great place, great food."

Located on the corner of Second and Braddock streets, the Blue Moon is rated five-out-of-five stars on almost every online forum. Hinckley, however, stays humble about his business, claiming to not know why it’s so loved.

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Inside the Blue Moon Bar and Grill.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic

“I don’t know what makes it unique,” Hinckley said with a laugh. “Maybe the jerseys on the walls?”

While the sports jerseys, neon signs and butcher block tables do create a perfect bar ambiance everyone knows and loves dearly, it’s the food, sense of community and modest Hinckley, himself, that bring people back for more.

"I really like the camaraderie and the food," said Todd Vogt, an Armour resident and businessman.

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The Kjellsens started off with borrowed equipment, making food for events across the Midwest, including the Sturgis motorcycle rally and a lot of powwows (Kjellsen is an enrolled member of the Oneida Nation in Wisconsin).

According to Hinckley, weekends at the restaurant are jam-packed with excitement.

“On the weekends, it gets crazy,” he said. “The crowds are usually about half locals and half out-of-towners, but it's almost always packed.”

Customers sing the praises of the vast full-steak menu served on Fridays and Saturdays, as well as the juicy burgers and seasoned fries topped with onions and melted cheese — and the weekend night prime rib specials.

“People love the steaks here,” Hinckley said. “During the week, almost everyone orders a burger and a beer. But the weekends are for steaks.”

More fan favorites are the sides of potatoes, salads and homemade loaves of bread served with butter.

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The Mitchell Republic will be featuring readers' favorite small-town diners and restaurants in the ongoing feature Battle of the Eats.

Yet, even though the food is five-star worthy all on its own, it's the staff that makes the Blue Moon stand out to whoever steps through the door.

Almost every review claims that staff members made sure they were well-taken care of and comfortable during their entire visit.

"It's a great place for social gatherings," Vogt said. "We've held banquets and meetings there and Tracey always does a stand up job with the food for those."

The Blue Moon Bar and Grill is open from 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to midnight on Tuesdays.

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The Blue Moon Bar and Grill in Armour, SD.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic

Cassie Williams joined the Mitchell Republic in July of 2022. To get in contact with Cassie about potential stories or ideas, feel free to email her at cwilliams@mitchellrepublic.com.
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