TALKING BUSINESS: Pita Palace creating its own niche

The owners of the Pita Palace are offering classic Greek pitas with an American twist to their new business at the Rushmore Mall.

Kyle Burkle and Caleb Hinrickson say their business, which opened Dec. 1, plans to offer 22 different kinds of pitas.

This includes the classic Gyro, which features cucumber, tomato, feta cheese, chopped onions, lamb and beef meat, Mediterranean seasonings and Tzatziki sauce (a mixture of yogurt, sour cream and cucumber).

Others such as the Turkey Bacon Apple pita, which includes guacamole, a raspberry vinaigrette dressing and pepper jack cheese, and the Prime Rib Philly, which has chopped prime rib, green and red peppers, onions, provolone cheese and a chipotle aioli mix, are designed to satisfy the taste buds of area residents.

The gift of giving

The Shops at Main Street Square want to give gifts to people and organizations in need and are looking to the community for help.

A different “Giving Tree” was been placed on each of three shopping levels in the square. Each tree has numerous tags hanging from it and each tag has part of a group’s wish list, said Brenda Beal, general manager of Mitzy’s Books.

Anyone interested in participating just needs to pick a tag off a tree, get the gift and return it to the tree by the date specified on the tag, said Beal, who runs one of the numerous businesses participating.

That’s all it takes to make a difference in someone’s Christmas.   

The Humane Society’s tree, on the lower level, has tags that are items of need for the society, such as dog food and cat litter.

The Angel tree, on the main level, is an offshoot of the Salvation army that focuses on children, Beal said. Each tag on the tree has the age and gender of a child on it as well a gift that the child requested.

An example card: Boy, age 12, Lego Monster Nights, Harry Potter books. 

All a person has to do is pick up some Harry Potter books, the Lego set, wrap them up and put them under the tree. Someone from the Shops at Main Street Square will take the gift and make sure it gets where it needs to go. 

The top floor had a tree for the Veterans Elders, but the deadline to give gifts for the veteran’s services has passed.

Customer knows best

The most important thing a business can do is listen to its customers. So Red Lobster conducted a survey to find out they wanted.

It turns out they wanted more space, fewer items on the walls and an area that resembled a bar harbor. So restaurants across the nation, including the one here in Rapid City, revamped their look and menu.

It’s been just under a month since the Red Lobster at 120 Disk Drive completed its remodeling project that revamped its look and menu, Craig Crews, general manager at the Red Lobster, said.

“I’ve had a lot of really positive feedback on the remodeling,” he said. 

Customers were happy to see more booths built, that bigger booths were available and the overall changes to the decorations, he said.

“It used to look really, how can I say this, busy on the walls,” Crews said. “We took down some of the nautical-themed decorations and tried to open up the bar area to create more space.”