Thursday, February 09, 2006


In case you haven't noticed, Grand Forks Life now has a poll section on the left side of the screen. I picked the current question because it pertains to a pretty popular conversation we've been having here. I'll change the question every week or so. If you can think of any good polls, don't hesitate to suggest! And by the way, be sure to's your duty!


Anonymous said...

Oh my god...please! Why the obsession with chain restaurants on this site?

Know what? Everyone listed in the poll sucks!

Eggs, hash browns...a skillet? Oh my?
Disgusting chain Italian food? Yuck!
A wannabe Chucky Cheese? I'm sick just thinking about it.

They're not a baromoter of any economic growth in the community.
Job development? How so?

Seriously...why the obsession?

There has been amazing development of chain restaurants in America in the last 5-10 years. None of these represent the trend!

Sooo disgusting!

If anything, they represent the desperation of a small, geographically isolated town.


GrandForksGuy said...

Anonymous, no one here is "obsessed" with chain restaurants. The fact of the matter is that in a town the size of Grand Forks a new store or restaurant is news. It doesn't matter if these new establishments are chains or locally-owned. As far as job creation goes, no one here ever claimed that a restaurant produces a lot of good paying jobs. There is nothing "disgusting" or "sad" about talking about what restaurants or stores we would like to see in town.

Amanda the Great said...

Wow...Mr. Anonymous has a bit of the smart-mouth going on, I'd say.

UND Student said...

I would like to add that Space Aliens is local in my opinion. It's from Bismarck. As far as I know, there are only two Space Aliens in the entire world. One in Bismarck, one is Fargo. Obviously everyone wants independant yummy restaurants, but the reality is that there aren't a lot of people with spare cash to start them, and a lot of people who go to banks to get business loans get turned down.

Given the fact that chains do VERY well in North Dakota (they don't do well in other parts of the country, like Seattle), a bank is more likely to help you start a franchise than your own VERY VERY risky business. I voted for Space Aliens because it is something that came out of North Dakota, and while yes it came from Bismarck and not Grand Forks, that's pretty darn "local" for this state.

I do think Grand Forks is ready for & able to support an Indian restaurant. The one in Fargo seems to be doing really well, and every white-bread North Dakotan I've met that has tried Indian food LOVES it... so while the first 3-6 months might be rough, I think it would do well over all. I think the university makes it easier to open ethnic restaurants/import groceries.

UND Student said...

four comments in the space of an hour, looks like you have yourself a party Grand Forks Guy!

JGS said...

Wow, Why don't you just keep your comments to yourself. GFG made 1 post about future restaurants coming to Grand Forks. I don't exactly call that an obsession as you call it. This is Grand Forks, ND, it's pretty exciting to see these finally hitting the city, and many in Grand Forks think the same.

Like GFG said, there is nothing "disgusting" or "sad" discussing chains hitting Grand Forks. Don't post next time if your going to be so obsessed with our discussions, thanks!

Amanda the Great said...

Space Aliens is awesome for many reasons, but the number one reason is this: They have barbecue sauce on the tables so you don't have to ask your waitress for it and have her forget to bring it.


ben said...

If I am not mistaken, all of the mentioned restaurants are franchises, which means the owners ARE local. While they are chains and many have "pre-fab" food, that is what we have to live with in today's world. In major cities, that aren't so "isolated" as Grand Forks (which is not necessarily true, IMO) you can pretty much only find chain restaurants, unless you go way off the beaten path. This is also true in Grand Forks. If you go downtown, you will find several local eateries, but if you stay close to the Interstate, you will find all chain restaurants. This is also true in major cities and medium sized communities nation-wide.
By the way, anonymous -you seem like you are a little tense!

UND Student said...

Well I have to disagree with you Ben about cities being filled with chains. This is not at all true for my city. It is true for SUBURBS of my city. But within city limits no one wants to eat at a chain restaurant. In my greater neighborhood (SW corner of city, about 100,000 people) we used to have a taco bell, taco time, mcdonalds, burger king, skippers, and a couple other fast food chains. Now onyl McDonalds is left, and one Taco Time right off the bridge to downtown. Starbucks has several locations... but as far as other chains.. no restaurant chains. I don't have any friends that eat at restaurant chains. I have to explain to them how the midwest/grand forks is difference and it is acceptable to eat at places like Red Lobster because there aren't other options--and that's true, there are few local options.

However, if you leave Seattle and go to ANY suburb, you will find Wal Mart, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Red Robin, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Pizzeria Uno, Krispy Kreme, Denny's, and so on.

I think what you meant to say was that in the METRO area, chains are popular? Because then I would agree with you. But all the cities I have to (San Fran proper, Seattle proper, San Diego proper, New York proper, etc) are mostly filled with non-chains. Once you start driving on the interstate like you said, you get the chains. But they're all in suburbs, and as a stuck up snotty city kid I don't consider a suburb to be closely related to the city it's attached to.

ben said...

UND student,
Yeah, I guess I did mean that in the suburbs and on the interstates is where you find the chains in major cities. Like I said, you have to go "off the beaten path" to find non-chains (like to the city propers, off the interstate). I agree that GF could use more local eateries, but keep in mind there are lots of local choices away from the Interstate and off of 32nd Ave. South. Places like Bonzers, Sledsters, Joe Dimaggio's, Red River Cafe, Sanders, Capones, Whitey's, and the new Toasted Frog under construction downtown are good examples...just be sure to not forget about the local places we do have in town! They need everyone's support, and then you will most likely see more locals willing to take the plunge into business.
Thanks though UND student about the reminder!