Jerad and Peggy Higman accomplished a dream a decade ago when they transformed a landmark building in downtown Vermillion into RED Steakhouse, which offered a unique, upscale dining experience in the community.

With sadness, they announced on social media Friday that their dream had come to end.

Like many other restaurants in the community, the business made attempts to adapt to the challenges brought on by the pandemic. It offered curbside pickup and earlier this summer and even offered free delivery of steaks and burgers to Yankton and Dakota Dunes.

The various ideas tried by the restaurant’s staff evidently weren’t enough to keep the business open.

“To Our Loyal Customers,” began the message the Higmans shared with the public on Facebook last Friday. “It is with much regret to inform you that RED Steakhouse will not be re-opening.

“Our vision for RED was to build a restaurant that the community of Vermillion could be proud of and provide a culinary experience on par with larger cities. Over the past 10 years, we always strived to give our customers great food and excellent service,” the couple stated.

Their messaged noted that they wanted RED to offer an upscale experience with small-town warmth. “We invested in Vermillion and looked to make downtown a destination,” the couple stated. “While our standards were high, we constantly worked to make it better while serving the community and surrounding area with a unique dining experience.

“It has been a great experience and we have been blessed with many friendships and loyal customers,” the Higmans wrote. “We have had the pleasure of seeing so many young people begin their careers working as part of the RED Team.”

The couple ended their message with words of thanks to their employees and loyal customers.

“To all our past & present employees: THANK YOU for all your hard work and dedication! It has been an honor to work with you and be a part of the team!” they stated. “To our loyal customers: THANK YOU for all your support and patronage over the years! We wish you the best.”

The RED Steakhouse web page explained what members of the Vermillion community soon realized a decade ago: the new restaurant breathed new life into a historic building in downtown Vermillion that had been vacant for years.

“The bank has been a Vermillion landmark since 1939. To stay true to the buildings original grandeur, the Higmans turned to archived images to replicate the building’s exterior,” the website explains. “Although the interior no longer looks like a bank, the main dining room pays homage to its stately beginnings with well-appointed fixtures, draperies and wall coverings. The architectural details inside feature rich wood moldings and exposed brick walls. If you have the pleasure of touring the building’s basement, you’ll not only find the original coal shoot but also the vault which is still in use today storing fine wines.”

The description of the business also describes the active role in took in the Vermillion community – an aspect of the restaurant that no doubt will be missed.

“We take an active role in the local community; supporting, hosting and catering events for the University of South Dakota and fans, as well as participating in community fundraisers. Daily, we open our doors for people to come together to enjoy a meal,” the website states. “Our mission is to use fresh, in season, locally sourced ingredients to offer an eclectic and creative menu. This combined with our casual yet sophisticated ambiance provides the perfect setting for what we hope will be an exceptional experience


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