Midnight Star to shine again

Deadwood’s Midnight Star has sold and the new owners plan to open the business, once owned by Kevin Costner, in July. The building has been shuttered since August 2017. Pioneer photo by Jaci Conrad Pearson

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DEADWOOD — The Midnight Star will soon light up Historic Deadwood again, as the iconic Main Street mainstay formerly owned by Kevin Costner, has been purchased by a new ownership group with plans to reopen the property in July, according to Roger Tellinghuisen, spokesman for the new company Lamar Feed and Grain LLC.

Records in the Lawrence County Register of Deeds office Feb. 11 reflect the selling price of the Midnight Star as $1,601,000.

The sale of the property closed on Jan. 31 and ends speculation regarding the highly sought-after 677 Main Street must-see for visitors that was shuttered in Aug. 29, 2017, ending an era that began when the business was established in 1989. 

Tellinghuisen said the exact configuration of gaming and other possible endeavors within the property is still being worked out by the new owners.

“These guys bought this building and they’re going to reopen it, put it back in play, so to speak,” Tellinghuisen said, adding that the name of the LLC will likely change, but the group will still do business as the Midnight Star, with no name change planned for the property. “All of the members of this company are South Dakotans who have life-long roots here.  They currently reside and have careers in South Dakota.”

Lamar Feed and Grain LLC is comprised of multiple investors.

The transfer of the retail (on sale) liquor license transfer from Midnight Star Enterprises to Lamar Feed and Grain at 677 Main Street was approved by the Deadwood city commission Feb. 3.

The company is still working to secure its gaming license.

“The first order of business is to do some remodeling at the facility,” Tellinghuisen said. “They plan to open mid-year, which makes sense. The licensing period for gaming in Deadwood all starts July 1. So that’s the timeframe we’re probably looking at is first of July. Mid-year. Their employees are going to come from the area and so they’ll be hiring people to start filling the jobs they’ll have. They look forward to being part of the Main Street Deadwood scene.”

At this point, the owners are not sure how many employees will be hired, as they are early in the company configuration process.

Under Costner’s ownership, the building housed gaming on the main floor, gaming and Diamond Lil’s sports bar on the second floor, and Jake’s upscale restaurant on the third floor.

“At this point, they’re looking at their options in terms of remodeling,” Tellinghuisen said.

So why did the Lamar Feed and Grain group choose to invest in Deadwood?

“Deadwood’s an exciting town. It’s got a lot of history. It’s got a lot of cool things that are happening there, and these guys are all South Dakota residents and I’m sure it just caught their attention and an opportunity came up and they pulled the trigger,” Tellinghuisen said. “They’re looking forward to getting open. They’re looking forward to being a part of the Deadwood community. The Midnight Star is really kind of an iconic property, with the history with Kevin Costner and its early years on Main Street. They’re looking to build on that and move it ahead. I think it’s an exciting time for Deadwood that an outside group like this is coming in and making this kind of an investment in Main Street Deadwood. I think that speaks well for Deadwood.”

Costner issued the following statement when the Midnight Star closed in 2017.

“When I opened the Midnight Star in 1989, it was because of my deep love for Deadwood and the Black Hills of South Dakota and their historical importance in our country’s story,” Costner said. “I hoped that resurrecting and restoring the famed Phoenix Block Building would allow it, as the Midnight Star, to also become a part of the famed Deadwood story. And from the casino to Diamond Lil’s, I was enormously proud of what the Midnight Star became. So it is with a heavy heart that I have to say that today the lights of the Midnight Star will go out for the last time. But we had a great 28-year run, and that is nothing to be ashamed of. I will be eternally grateful for the dedication and hard work of all the management and staff at the Midnight Star.”

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(1) comment

mknolin77

Happy it will remain the Midnight Star hope they hire better staffing right before they closed I had a bad experience with Night manager he got really mad and rude because they were closing and I was cashing out and it ran out of quarters so he had to fill the machine up. We come every year in March because we were married at the Franklin on March 27th 1995. Wishing the new owners best wishes and luck in the remodel and grand opening. Lincoln Ne

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