Thursday, January 12, 2006

Red Pepper to open new GF location

The Red Pepper, a true Grand Forks/UND instutution, will soon be opening a new location in the city. The new restaurant will be located in the building that houses Dakota Textbook Company. This building sits in a new apartment/retail development directly west of the UND campus. The new location will feature a drive-through window and will be strategically located within steps of the biggest base of Red Pepper customers...UND. For the past few months, the Valley Dairy on 42nd Street has been selling Red Pepper foods. Sounds like they were testing what the market for them was like in the western part of town. They must have been happy with the results of the experiment. I would think that the new store might mean the end of the Valley Dairy partnership...or who knows...maybe a rollout to all Valley Dairy locations? No word yet what any of this news means for the current Red Pepper location near downtown. Although I have never been in the place or enjoyed any Red Pepper food, I would be sad to see a local landmark like this close. Anyways, kudos to the people at the Red Pepper for seeing that local businesses have to be creative and adaptive if they want to survive in the long run.

I have now heard that the Red Pepper does plan to keep their current location open. Good news for downtown.


drunk said...

Hrm. We must have missed that place altogether. Where is it? Some of the menu items sound pretty good.

Yet another thing I liked about that area - y'all have *local* restaurants that serve good food. :-)

GrandForksGuy said...

The Red Pepper is a very popular establishment in GF. It is located at 1011 University Avenue which tranlates to a neighborhood along University Avenue just east of North Washington Street and just north of the downtown area. It is quite close to a set of railroad tracks and near The Warehouse Apartments.

UND students love the Red Pepper.

drunk said...

Oh, wow. We missed it! Oh well, something to catch on the next trip out there.

Hrm, any news on the rumoured new hospital facility in the area? :)

GrandForksGuy said...

One thing about the Red Pepper: just so you know, this is no fancy establishment. From what I know, it is a little on the tacky side and the menu is similar to a fast food lineup. However, the food is supposed to be really good and it is just one of those places that has become a local institution.

As far as the hospital goes, I was down there on Thursday afternoon and drove around the complex. The building looks pretty nice and is quite large, but no where near as big as, say, Altru. However, if it really is a new hospital it would have to start out small and hopefully get bigger over time. I can't quite figure out why, if it is a new hospital, things are being kept so secretive about it.

JGS said...

I really think the Red Pepper should expand more in the Grand Forks area. The one on University gets maxed out all the time during lunch hour and evening hours. I just can't imagine how much money that place is now holding. Besides the new one coming soon, they should really consider building one in the market place on 32nd ave s. Now that place would get tons of customers in my opinion since most Grand Forks residents know about the place. They could also attract travelers stopping in Grand Forks for refreshments.

UNDstudent said...

I had heard there was going to be a new place coming into the commercial space next to Dakota Textbook--how dissapointed I am to hear it is the Red Pepper :( Grandforksguy is quite right in that it is popular with UND students. But, it's key to keep in mind that UND is #2 in the country for binge drinking. Most of the people who go there are intoxicated, or had their first bite while under the influence and therefore associate the food with good times. Local GF people seem to like it OK--I still haven't figured this one out.

The Red Pepper is about the dingiest eatery in town. You can watch them make your food like Subway, but unlike Subway that doesn't make you feel comfortable eating it. The food is decently cheap, but probably the same as Taco Bell. I have had Red Pepper tacos and their famous grinders (don't believe the hype about them). Don't get me wrong now, the food is edible, but it's just simply not worth going there when you can go other places in town. They are open until 2am... that's when you go there, when you are drunk and no other place is open. Also, a word of caution to drivers/pedestrians--a lot of drunk drivers near the Red Pepper at night. Be warned!

GrandForksGuy said...

Although I am a bit leary of connecting the Red Pepper to either binge drinking or intoxication in general, I too have heard that it isn't a real classy place (I have never actually been there!). I'm hoping that the new location will perhaps be a bit more palatable and less-"dingy" than the original location. ::fingers crossed::

I must admit that I was hoping for another Starbucks. :(

Anonymous said...

Another Starbucks...seriously?

How homogenous.

Red Pepper is far from being anywhere near as bad as you make it out to be, and I know this because I worked there for two years.

Everything they serve is made fresh, or made locally (all sandwich buns made by Hugo's, the special mayo for the white sauce, etc). They cut all their own toppings (lettuce, cheese, deli meats, even tortilla chips).

Sorry if you can't handle eating in a place that wasn't built yesterday (more like 90 years ago), but to attack any of the cleanliness of the Red Pepper is pretty weak. Have they even been closed due to health regulations?

Never. Which should kill your argument completely.

Anonymous said...

You make out the Red Pepper to be a bad place. Their food is great, and they always receive high scores on their health department inspections, which are done at random (after seeing scores, I would rather eat their then any chinese restaurant in town...). The grinders with white sause are a must, and their chip sause is also better than any national brand I've tasted.

Coffee Guy said...

I've had Red Pepper thrice, and have been completely underwhelmed each time. I see no reason to try for a fourth visit.

Anonymous said...

sub par service, dirty dining area, average food.... but it's still the restaurant that can't fail. people love it for the name and the reputation...i could only hope to have a place like that fall in my hands.

by the way, the new red pepper is a lot cleaner.