Monday, February 06, 2006

New restaurants in the works for Grand Forks

Get those tastebuds ready...we could be seeing some additions to the local dining scene over the next year or so. Several new restaurants are looking to set up shop in Grand Forks or have at least expressed interest in coming to the city. These include:

IHOP - This company has planned to open a Grand Forks restaurant for a couple of years now. They actually own the piece of land on 32nd Avenue South between Arby's and the Village Inn. From what I know, the Grand Forks restaurant will be owned by the same people who own the IHOP in Fargo. Apparently, that restaurant has had to make some changes since they opened and the owners are trying to smooth out problems (mainly with the design of the restaurant) before they open the new location in Grand Forks. Hopefully, those details have been ironed out and construction could start (::fingers crossed::) soon. In my opinion, we really need a new family, breakfast-style restaurant like this. The Village Inn doesn't do too much for me and both of the Perkins restaurants in town are outdated and rather inconsistent.

Space Aliens - This regional chain has locations in Fargo and Bismarck. They first talked about coming to Grand Forks back when the Grand Forks Marketplace was being designed. For whatever reason, they backed out at that time. Now, they appear ready to come to town. This past summer, they announced that they would be building a new Grand Forks location soon. We should be hearing more about this in the next few months. It would be nice to see something like this go up on 42nd Street near the Alerus. Since it is a theme-type restaurant, it would probably appeal to Alerus/Canad Inn tourists.

Erbert & Gerberts - This sandwich shop is similar to Jimmy John's. A while back, their website announced that they would be coming soon to Grand Forks. Probably a good fit with UND students.

The Pita Pit - This Canadian pita chain has new locations in Fargo and Minot and there are plans in the works for expanding to Grand Forks. I have been to the one in Fargo...very good food. Also probably a good fit with students.

Might be coming...

Olive Garden??? - I have heard several rumours regarding the owners of the Fargo Olive Garden opening a new Grand Forks location soon. This seems to be the chain that Grand Forks citizens most want to see come to town so a location here would probably go over quite well. Seems to me like it could be a good fit near the new Kohl's development on 32nd Avenue South.

Johnny Carino's??? - The owners of the Fargo restaurant also have rights to open a location in Grand Forks (as well as rights to several other major cities in the region. Seems plausible that they might come to Grand Forks before too long.

I can also see Panera Bread expanding to the Red River Valley in the near future. Like many chains, they would probably open a Fargo location first and then follow it up with a Grand Forks restaurant. It is worth watching what chains expand to Fargo if only to see what we might be getting here in Grand Forks in a year or two.

46 comments:

drunk said...

A Kohl's is going up there?

Hrm. yeah, expect an Olive Garden, Chevy's, Chili's, or some similar restaurant to open up nearby. Probably expect another wireless provider store to open up as well. At least that's what happens around here. Every new strip mall has a Starbucks, a Verizon/T-Mobile/Cingular store, and some sort of food joint.

I think that it's pretty cool that Canadian restaurants are willing to open up in North Dakota.

GrandForksGuy said...

Yes, crews are currently working on a Kohl's store directly east of Gordmans. This area has sat vacant for quite some time, but it appears that it should be filling up over the next year. To me, it looks like groundwork is being done on a much larger area than would be required for just a Kohl's. I imagine that we will be hearing news about other stores or restaurants building in this same area. I wouldn't be very suprised to see another wireless dealer go in there either...Starbucks/wireless dealer/restaurant certainly seems to be the formulaic strip mall around here!

The Pita Pit is based in Canada, but actually has quite a few locations in the US. I believe that, on paper, the company operates as "The Pita Pit USA" in this country.

JGS said...

Yea, I was by that area today where the new Kohl's is being developed to go eat at Culvers with a buddy. It appeared that some other things are in the process of being constructed in front of the new Kohl's. Probably another strip mall/restaurant that you already mention GFG.

About IHOP, I was browsing their site a few weeks ago and it didn't appear Grand Forks was on their new 26 new locations to be built in early 2006. Maybe in the summer? I hope so, because I never got to eat there yet even after being in Minneapolis ton of times and Fargo. Never heard of Erbert and Gerberts until now, But it appears both Fargo and Grand Forks are on their lists for opening soon. I will probably try out E&G but I'll probably still goto Jimmy John's just because I love their Gargantuian(sp?)

I have been meaning to hit up Olive Garden whenever I get down to Fargo, but I only get down to Fargo once a year. So hopefully the Olive Garden actually opens in Grand Forks because I have heard this such rumor also, im sure alot of residents in Grand Forks would love to see it built to. I have also heard rumors that they can't build one here in Grand Forks because it's too close to Fargo, but that didn't stop Best Buy to build here and other such stores/restaraunts, so they must have the right to build here now? We'll have to see if it happens in 2006.

Did Space Aliens actually say they're going to build in Grand Forks? Never ate there, so would like to see it built here to maybe give it a try.

Looking like an exciting time to come for our Grand Forks. Hope most of these retaurants build here this year and maybe more!

GrandForksGuy said...

Last year, WDAZ and the Herald both reported that Space Aliens would be building a restaurant in town soon. The Space Aliens website isn't updated very much so I don't think there is any kind of press release about it. At that time, they announced Grand Forks and, if I'm not mistaken, a couple of other locations in Minnesota...right? Guess we'll have to wait and see.

JGS said...

I see, we lets keep those fingers crossed!

But you ever notice on TV, with certain commercials you wouldn't see in the Grand Forks area, suddenly pop-up on our local TV stations? Like the IHOP commercial, you never saw that commercial ever on a Grand Forks channel until this year. Thats when you know a IHOP is coming soon. That goes for any restuarant. So if you see any other random commercial that you wouldn't see up here, let us know! It could be a restaurant/store coming soon!

Anonymous said...

I have spoken with officals at Panera Bread and they have indicated that they would never come this far North because their bread is baked daily at a central location (somewhere in IA or NE) and shipped to each store and Fargo/GF is too far away from that central location.

GrandForksGuy said...

jgs - yes, I have noticed that IHOP is advertising more and more in the Grand Forks market. Hopefully it's a sign of things to come. :)

GrandForksGuy said...

Interesting to hear what you have been told by Panera, Anonymous. I'm curious...do you know if this centralized bakery is the only bakery that Panera uses? There are plenty of Paneras that are much farther away from IA/NE than we are so how come they have put restaurants in those locations, but wouldn't want to come here? IA/NE actually isn't too far from this area.

By the way...why is there a centralized bakery? Does it just mix the ingredients together and ship out unbaked loaves to the restaurants? Panera brags about "freshly baked" breads.

UND Student said...

I have never heard of Panera, but nearly every food place uses frozen bread.

University dining centers, the University food court, Subway, Target, you name it! Also all chain restaurants do the same with their food. All Olive Garden sauces are manufactured somewhere far far away, and shipped to each individual location. This allows the food to be of about the same quality no matter where in the country you may be. It also means they can't really customize something for you... which is why you go to local restaurants if you can.

Yay frozen bread!

UND Student said...

I should note that by "frozen bread" I mean frozen dough, which then you bake in your local oven. If you go to Target you will see this in action... every so often they come out of the kitchens with fresh breads. Local bakiers stay up all night, and then you get super fresh bread in the morning. Target gives you freshly baked bread, but the dough is who knows how old. Personally, I think it's a great idea... though of course nothing beats heading to a little bakery at opening and sitting there, waiting for your loaf to be ready... ahhhh, sweet, sweet memories....

JGS said...

It always seems businesses never ever would come to North Dakota. But what happens? They end up moving up here anyways.

Panera might say that now, but I bet in the future they will come!

GrandForksGuy said...

I hadn't heard of Panera until the past year or so. I know that there is one in St. Cloud and they are expanding all over. I hear that they have really good food.

I really don't see how distance from a centralized Nebraska/Iowa bakery facility will hurt Grand Forks' chances of getting a Panera in the long run. The thing is, a company doesn't just usually open a new restaurant in Grand Forks when there are no other locations in the vicinity. A company like Panera would probably decide to open numerous locations in MN, ND, and SD. It wouldn't be worth it to drive frozen dough up to just Grand Forks, but it would be worth it to drive frozen dough to perhaps 5-10 regional locations. There is strength in numbers.

Anonymous said...

When I spoke with Panera officals it was regarding franchising and opening a store in this area. They indicated that they have a central location where they physically bake the breads and then truck it to outlying areas. So, the 'fresh' bread at Panera is baked daily - just not in the store.
It's pretty good food regardless of where the bread is baked!
As a whole I hope that more chains see value in opening stores in this area but in my mind nothing beats an independent, personally owned place (Whiteys, Blue Moose, Sanders, Capones, etc).

drunk said...

"I have also heard rumors that they can't build one here in Grand Forks because it's too close to Fargo,"

That doesn't stop the mega-retailers! ;) We have several In & Out locations around here, but they're all spaced out by a few miles. Same with the Olive Garden, and same with Best Buy. In fact, we have *two* new Best Buy locations within a 10 mile radius of my apartment. Grand Forks & Fargo are far enough apart, I'd think.

(For the benefit of other readers, I'm in the Silicon Valley, south of San Francisco, CA. God, I can't wait to move out of here.) :)

Now what would make me mofe to GF in a second is if they built a Steak N' Shake AND a Dunkin' Donuts. :-D

JGS said...

We need a Krispy Kream! Buying them from Valley Dairy doesn't satisfy me enough, except for glazed!

GrandForksGuy said...

It would be so great to have a Krispy Kreme. However, it seems to me like they would probably put one in Bismarck before they would think of one here. They would probably like to be able to service the entire western part of the state from a Bismarck location just like they currently service the entire eastern half from the Fargo location. Also, Krispy Kreme hasn't been doing so hot lately on the national level.

I've often thought that we may someday get a Tim Hortons. This is a Canadian donut/coffee chain similar to Krispy Kreme that was purchased by Wendy's in the last few years. They are expanding into several parts of the U.S. and I wouldn't be too shocked to see them come here since we are so close to Canada and we will have the presence of the Canad Inn (it can't hurt, can it?).

Bondo said...

Your comment about Perkin's being inconsistent hit it right on the head. The one by Altru isn't too bad, but the one off Gateway is ghetto. And not ghetto good, ghetto bad..

JGS said...

I can understand the one on Gateway being ghetto, just for the fact you got all the hick truckers stopping in town. (no offense :p)

I might have to say though, the Perkins in EGF is damn nice inside.

GrandForksGuy said...

jgs...which Perkins in EGF? Am I missing a Perkins? :)

JGS said...

Blah, my mistake, im thinking of Applebee's.

GrandForksGuy said...

That's ok, jgs! I was just confused. You're right...the Applebee's in EGF is very nice. I have also enjoyed their outdoor dining area a couple of times during the summer.

Anonymous said...

Lets make it possible for some LOCALLY OWNED (gasp) eateries to open. Places where food is cooked by actual human beings in Grand Forks instead of places that serve crevacked trans fat prepared halfway across the country.

UND Student said...

Has anyone here gone to the Amazing Grains dinners? I think every weekend or every other weekend they have dinner for like 12 people. Sometimes it is vegetarian, sometimes it is omnivore. You sign up for the one you want. It's pricey for Grand Forks (like $20 or $25 I think), but you can bring your own wine with no corking fee. It's also an amazing oppurtunity to have a chef just prepare an awesome meal on a really small scale. It's nice that it exists--perhaps there isn't a large enough market to support two Sanders-priced restaurants, but by having these meals once or twice a month it gives the public some new tastes on their tongues! And organic too, if you're in to that.

yeah I definitely hear what you're saying Anonymous... locally-owned is awesome (if the food is good). The Red Pepper may be locally owned, but it's certainly nothing to brag about hehehe. I'd prolly choose Taco Bell over the locally-owned Red Pepper, but I don't go to fast food tex mex, so I guess it doesn't matter either way. I usually try and go to a locally-owned place over a chain, unless the local place is substandard. You get these bizarre coffeehouses in Seattle that just can't make an drinkable drink. Pretty sad... so I go Starbucks on occasion. As far as Grand Forks is concerned...I don't really care for Tabula's prices, though I don't notice much of a difference in taste between their mochas and Starbucks' (though Starbucks is way more consistant, as chains tend to be).

Speaking of local things, the museum cafe is reopening next week!!! New chef, new menu. I'm so excited, anyone else??

ben said...

Anybody given any thoughts to a Famous Dave's? I know that both Bismarck and Fargo have locations, but I haven't heard any rumors or anything for a Grand Forks location. Yummy barbeque and lots of other good food.

GrandForksGuy said...

und student...

Yeah, I've heard a little about those dinners at Amazing Grains, but I've never been to one. I think Amazing Grains is a great business for downtown...it would be a good model for other business who want to move to the area. It offers unique merchandise that you won't find elsewhere in town and it caters to both the upscale and "hip" clientele we want to see more of downtown.

I think we could actually support more higher-end restaurants...and more lower and middle-end while we're at it (we can't all afford $20 for a meal). As far as Sanders type establishments go...from what I hear the new Capone's restaurant on Gateway is in the same ballpark with their prices. I wonder how well a restaurant with Sanders level prices is going to do out on Gateway Drive. Unfortunately, Gateway Drive is not known for being a very classy or upscale street. At least two other mid-level restaurants have failed in this same building, primarily because of the bad location. How is an upscale restaurant going to do much better?

GrandForksGuy said...

ben...

I would love a Famous Dave's in Grand Forks! I've been to the one in Fargo (just once) and I thought the food was quite good. The decor is quaintly "country"...reminds me a little of the Boar's Nest on the Dukes of Hazzard. I haven't heard anything about a Famous Dave's in Grand Forks, but hopefully they might consider building one down the road.

GrandForksGuy said...

I've been emailing various restaurant companies to ask if they have any plans for Grand Forks. I got this response from someone with The Pita Pit today:

The rumors are true, the Pita Pit will be coming to Grand Forks ND. The timeframe for opening has not been defined as this location is in the early stages of development. Thank you for your support. Please feel free to check in with us at www.pitapitusa.com to keep up to date with when are opening in Grand Forks. Take care.

Sincerely,
Paul Erwin
VP Administration
Pita Pit Inc.
paul@pitapitusa.com

JGS said...

Nice, will have to look into them once they build. Keep emailing those restaurants, we need to hear more! :]

UND Student said...

Hmm, I haven't heard of Capones. Is it an Italian place? Is it a chain? Price range is 15-25 you say? Yeah I would never associate Gateway with nice restaurants, or restaurants at all for that matter! Where on Gateway is it?

Gateway and Washington both seem "ghetto" but since Washington is between residential neighborhoods and downtown, it seems like it has the chance to improve (it got a starbucks, it has a good ourdoor store... hmm, what else?)

Anyhow, how odd someone would open a restaurant on Gateway. Perhaps if they had never lived here they wouldn't know a street's reputation.. hmm...

GrandForksGuy said...

Yes, Capones is an Italian restaurant. Like its name, it has a "mobster" or "organized crime" theme...I know, a little odd! It is located at the intersection of Gateway and Stanford Road...right across from Simplot and next to Burger King. The building used to be Fire Island and, before that, the Highway Host for many years.

From what I have heard, there are plenty of entrees in the $30-$40 dollar range...quite high for Grand Forks.

JGS said...

Theres no way that restaurant is going to last across from Simplot, no restaurant has, never will!

ben said...

And especially at 20 bucks a plate!

UND Student said...

Yeah I can't imagine me, going to Simplot, to eat and pay $30 a plate, hehehe. Is that the location of the temp. Green Mill?

It must be cost-effective to locate your restaurant in a restaurant, as opposed to build one from scratch or convert some other space into a restaurant. Are there any other abandoned restaurants in Grand Forks than the former-Fire Island (now capones) ??

JGS said...

There is that restaurant behind Columbia 4 (Now Grizzlys) that had restuarants in and out for a long time, but it seems Grizzlys has done very well in that location now.

UND Student said...

I found more info on capones:

http://www.grandforks.com/mld/grandforks/entertainment/13764291.htm

Lunch prices seem quite reasonable. I think I'll check it out. Though the gunmen thing and flapper dress sounds super cheesy, and not really my thing, but it may appeal to people around here, and with competition, you do need to have something special to get diners to come to your restaurant.

I am hoping that she (the owner) is located in this place due to cost constraints, and then if it is a success, and she saves well, she will move the restaurant to downtown or just anywhere else in town AWAY from the factories, hehehe.

It prolly will take awhile to save up for a move... I hope she knows how to save. I've heard the reason why Lola's closed was because after Doug took full ownership he just spent, spent, spent :( I miss Lola's pizza

UND Student said...

More info!

"Capone's

Upscale lunches include a variety of soups, sandwiches and pastas. Dinners feature a 7-course meal with entrees such as scallop cakes, baby-back ribs and pork tenderloin. And all are served to you by "gangsters!"
3615 Gateway Drive
Grand Forks, ND
Phone: (701) 772-9343"

That is why the dinners are $36. It's not $30/entree, it's $30-36 for your entire meal. That makes muuuuch more sense! And actually, that's quite a bargain. I like less food and more tastes, so a 7 course meal is up my alley!

GrandForksGuy said...

Yes, Capone's is in the building that temporarily housed the Green Mill after the old Green Mill burnt down. As far as other empty restaurants in town, I can only think of the two empty Hardees (one on the corner of Washington and DeMers and the other on the corner of Washington and Gateway) and the Red River Cafe/Deli building. The Hardees building at Washington and DeMers (one of the busiest intersections in the whole state...used to be the busiest) sits on pretty valuable land. I would think that there would be quite a few interested parties looking at that one. It would even have a drive-through for a restaurant to use if they wanted to. There are probably other empty restaurants in town, but I can't think of any more.

Even at seven courses, I don't think I'll personally be spending $36+ for one meal anytime soon! They are going to have a special dinner on Valentine's Day: $100 per couple plus a minimum of $18 gratuity. They even have a little "entertainment" scheduled: a recreation of "dat thing dat happened on Valentine's Day many years ago" or however they so cleverly put it. Get it? The St. Valentine's Day Massacre...the real Al Capone's claim to fame. Tacky, huh? :)

UND Student said...

Yeah, I'm definitely passing on capones for V-day. Actually I think we're just going to do desserts on some other day and keep the 14th low key.

Also, if $36 is too much for you, I am guessing you don't go to Sanders and didn't go to Lola's when it was open...and you probably don't order beef at the Blue Moose. At all of those restaurants, if you order a steak or something expensive like that, you will pay about 25 or so. If you order an appetizer and dessert, you can actually go above $36! I see my friends go to places like Blue Moose, and while I get a sandwhich and my bill is under $10, they'll get some beef thing, and appetizers, and a soda, and they end up spending as much as if they had gone to Sanders.

Also, it isn't $36+, $36 is the most expensive dish :-D You can pay $29. So 29 + $5 tip = $34 total hehehe

Anyhow, I am going to give it a shot. If I hadn't heard she used to be the chef at the ND Museum of Art, I wouldn't have considered it, but she was, so I'll try it out and give it a chance. If the tackiness is SUPER tacky, we can all write and complain and they can get rid of it (i hope) hehehehe

JGS said...

Would love to see a A&W move into the old hardees building at the corner of Washington and Demers. It does have crappy acceses to getting into the parking lot, but I think they would have to reconstruct the parking lot to make it more "friendly" to get into. I think they could do well there.

Amanda the Great said...

You know what a totally romantic place is for Valentine's Day? Altru's cafeteria, which is where I'll be that night. ;) Or maybe I'll get a little bit spicy and order their online room service. I like to mix it up a bit and kick hospital-style (which is bland, because they can't salt food for the old folks). Yee-haw!

GrandForksGuy said...

I would love to see an A&W go into that Hardees, JGS! It's a shame that we don't have an A&W in Grand Forks (except for the one in the Memorial Union food court which I have never been to). A&W has really good food at very good prices...kinda reminds me a little of Culver's (which I love). It would be a perfect fit for that building and that part of town. At one point, I had heard that they were going to build an A&W/Long John Silvers restaurant somewhere in GF like they have in Fargo, but nothing seemed to have ever come of it. I think that kind of restaurant would do very well in that location. A&W has really cute looking buildings...very 1950s diner...it would look good at that intersection.

GrandForksGuy said...

42 comments! Wow...this has certainly proven to be a popular thread!

Brooks said...

A&W/Long John Silvers would be awesome. long john silvers isnt the best, but its cheap seafood. and as a und student, i think we could use more on the north end of town.

UND Student said...

Hmm, never heard of long john silvers. The A&W in the memorial union food court is pretty good I think, especially consider it is so small. On Wednesdays you can get $1 cheeseburgers or $1 hamburgers... and they taste way better than what I've had from burger king or mcdonalds. So good, in fact, that I--a sworn fastfoodfrowner--buy and eat them!!! Shhh don't tell anyone!

JGS said...

There are 2 A&W/Long John Silvers in Fargo, I believe. One on the north end by the Fargo Dome and the other is on the south side of I-94 on University Drive.

Grand Forks needs one! :]

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