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A sign welcomes visitors into the Douglas County town of Delmont. (Daily Republic file photo)

Owner of South Dakota's Delmont's steakhouse still waiting for sale

DELMONT — The lure of a free building has not been enough to jump-start a Delmont business.

In September 2015, four months after a May tornado tore through town, Leo Holzbauer purchased the Delmont Steakhouse and Lounge. And after hoping to have it reopened this summer, the Main Street building still remains empty.

Holzbauer, who had only lived in Delmont for two months prior to the tornado, is offering up the Steakhouse and Lounge to anybody who can run the business with a clean environment, pleasant atmosphere and good food for five years.

At the end of the five-year partnership, Holzbauer said he will gift the business to its next owners for free.

The problem, he said, is that potential business partners can't seem to come up with the money it would take to stock the inventory early on.

"It's just not going very good right now," Holzbauer said. "People can't come up with $15,000 or $20,000 for that inventory."

But that's the only cost owners would have to cover, Holzbauer said.

The 50- by 145-foot building sits on three city lots and is fully equipped with dishes, silverware, cookware, kitchen equipment and furniture. And after receiving applications from as far away as Iowa and Texas, and various other places, Holzbauer said he's still looking for the right fit, and he's not discouraged yet.

"All we're hoping for is to get Delmont going again," Holzbauer said.