Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Texas Roadhouse may be coming to Grand Forks

Thanks to a tip/comment from an anonymous reader and a little research by our friend JGS, it sounds like Texas Roadhouse - a steakhouse chain with new locations in Fargo and Bismarck - is now planning a Grand Forks restaurant.

In a listing of career opportunities available with the company, a "Managing Partner" position is listed as being available in Grand Forks.

I wonder what site in the city they are looking at? Seems like there are more and more restaurants coming to town all the time...

Update - 7/26/2006
Our friends at WDAZ have been reading Grand Forks Life again. They just had a short story on the 6 PM newscast about Texas Roadhouse and the Pita Pit coming to town.

When Lacey Crisp was talking about the Texas Roadhouse, they showed the property right east of Boston's on 32nd Avenue South. She did call the land "right off of South Washington" or something to that effect though. The lot next to Boston's seems like a pretty good fit for the steakhouse.

At the end of the story, they also mentioned that Pita Pit is looking at the old Roma's Pizza building on South Washington. I wonder where they heard that?

33 comments:

drunk said...

mmmm... I can never say no to a good steakhouse. Wish we had more of them out here!

JGS said...

I would like to see businesses start building on the west side of I-29. But I am assuming it's going to be in the general area of the Marketplace. Maybe that open lot next to Boston's and Office Max?

Brooks said...

never been to one, but have heard good things. when you think about all the news we've heard lately, by 2008, GF should have a TON of new choices for eating and shopping.

i'de also like to see alot more development on the other side of 29. pretty soon its going to take half an hour to get from gateway to the newest stores/restaurants. That big interstate is kind of going to waste. It should be one of our main corridors but is used mostly by people driving through. with Columbia and Washington about maxed out, and 42 st getting busier, building west really seems to be the best option as far as infastructure goes.

dale said...

I actually use the freeway to get up the north side quite a lot, particularly on the weekly trips to take my wife to the airport.

The worst route in town is 32nd... last week, I was heading out about 10pm to pick her up at the airport, and the closure of 47th meant that I had to skip the usual bypass and take 32nd. I missed EVERY SINGLE LIGHT. No kidding, 100% of the ten traffic lights or whatever there are. Towards the freeway, I started laughing, as the next light would turn red with me halfway to it, but the chortling was mostly to choke down the welling road rage :-)

For whatever reason, Grand Forks is traffic light crazy. Of the four major routes that I use (not counting the freeway, they still haven't figured out how to put lights out there :-) only Demers seems reasonably traffic light free. Columbia, Washington and 32nd are infested to the point that we're not going to need street lights before too long, as the glowing red and green will provide sufficient light along the path.

Back on subject, though, and you can't really build west on Demers or Gateway because of existing businesses and residential zoning that isn't real conducive to commercial businesses, and the freeway is a natural barrior on 32nd. Without some sort of "pull" on the other side of I-29 (and I'm talking mall type pull, not a truck stop or farm outlet) few are going to venture in that direction.

Anonymous said...

Any plans for a Dakota Diner in Dallas?

WeatherGal said...

They should build a restaurant near the Alerus Center. We have a convention hotel going up, but there aren't any restaurants in all that space.

dale said...

The hotel is going to contain at least two restaurants (upper end, and a British pub that I'm totally looking forward to,) according to the plan that I most recently saw. Plus, there are restaurants (less than stellar ones, I'll grant you) a short distance north. If I was a restaurantuer, I'd shy away from the area for the parking, land cost and "hit and miss" crowds concerns.

Matthew K. Hartman said...

A Texas Roadhouse would be an excellent addition here in Grand Forks. We need a nice steakhouse... Hopefully, it will be here sooner than later.

Anonymous said...

Who said it's a nice steakhouse?

Matthew K. Hartman said...

They have Texas Roadhouse restaurants all over Indiana, so I've been to several... they have a good selection of dishes, but their steak is what they're most known for. Let's just say it's MUCH nicer than the Ponderosa here in town. That place needs a 'major' renovating...

Anonymous said...

Surprisingly, Texas Roadhouse is an Indiana-based company and has no roots in Texas (other than perhaps inspiration) whatsoever.

dale said...

That place needs a 'major' renovating...

You misspelled "demolition" :-)

Anonymous said...

Here's a little nugget on the chain steakhouse issue from a foodie...

Chain steak restaurants, I guess TR is one but I'm not sure, serve a type of product called a "marinated" steak. It's not Prime beef, it's not Choice, Good, or "No Roll". It's a whole nother animal. What "marinated" means in this specific instance is...the steaks are individually packed with an enzyme solution in the plastic packing. When cooking, once the meat comes up to temperature, volia!...the meat is chemically tenderized. Yum!

The enzyme comes from a papaya so, technically the industry can say it's "natural". The "hand cut" mumbo-jumbo is just marketing speak.

As a matter of fact...the steakhouse is probably the #1 restaurant trend nationally in the last 10 years. I'm talking prime beef restaurants...for example: Morton's, Ruth's Chris, The Palm, and many, many great independents. Yes they're expensive...but worth it if you're like me and only eat steak a few times a year. The only problem with this trend is...they've spawned a whole wave of the chemically treated steakhouses. If I ever get sucked into one...I usually order fish.

JGS said...

Hmm.. What a wild guess I made about that land next to Boston's.

But I do find it ammusing that some of these little bits of information end up on WDAZ. Of course, they would never source GFL. I guess we are once again up one on WDAZ. Go us!

Indifferent said...

"The hotel is going to contain at least two restaurants (upper end, and a British pub that I'm totally looking forward to,)"

Hate to burst your bubble, but the "British Pub" is just a Canad Inns proprietary bar with dark wood and bad interior design. It is called Tavern United and if you'd like to see for yourself, they have several in Winnipeg. Of course, they could turn things around & make this one actually nice....

dale said...

"Hate to burst your bubble..."

Hey, so long as they have a decent Bangers and Mash and maybe Scotch Eggs, I'm good to go. Oh, and a dart board. I don't really care if they have football and cricket on big screen, or anything.

GrandForksGuy said...

The Canad will contain the following dining options:

Aalto's Garden Cafe - Family dining/buffet

Garbonzos's Pizza - Pizza place/family dining

Tavern United - A British-style pub

I'm not sure, but I think there is also going to be some sort of martini bar in the hotel too. I once heard something about it being on the top (13th) floor. That would be kinda cool.

Coffee Guy said...

"Chain steak restaurants, I guess TR is one but I'm not sure, serve a type of product called a "marinated" steak. It's not Prime beef, it's not Choice, Good, or "No Roll". It's a whole nother animal. What "marinated" means in this specific instance is...the steaks are individually packed with an enzyme solution in the plastic packing. When cooking, once the meat comes up to temperature, volia!...the meat is chemically tenderized. Yum!"

Damn, that made me hungry! I'm hope it's true, and can't wait for it to open.

SEE YOU THERE!

Anonymous said...

The above post regarding The Canad's restaurant offerings is not positive, it's a huge barometer of another Grand Forks market miscalculation. It's a fact, hotel restaurants are not destinations for locals to frequent. They are somewhat, but not enough to significantly mean anything. There are exceptions, those that have been around for years and grown with the community for example. There's also instances where a local operator leases the F and B operations at a hotel/motel, and their regulars come along for the ride.

Three, or four, restaurants labor costs at one location will eat their lunch. Ultimately, they close one, or more, some nights and send a very bad message to their future business. I do wish them luck, I know it doesn't seem like it. But, seriously, this is a 50,000 person market (barely), the whole Alerus/Canad is way too aggresive. Local business operators know it in their hearts. They just can't admit it in a small town. They think that that's how the game is played in a small town. What they're not realizing is, ultimately, it's their credibility that is fried.

Oh and, I don't see enough hotel guests staying at the property to float their offerings. How many travelers eat at the hotels on-site restaurants? In many cases, very few. Travelers like to get out enjoy the community that their visiting.

Anonymous said...

Me again...the anon above.

I'm a "naysayer", and I'm too lazy to use spellcheck and grammar check.

They're, their...potato, pa-tah-ta.

Anonymous said...

Anyone care to translate the last two anonymous postings?

dale said...

I think that he's trying to say that both the Canad and their restaurants are going to fail because there's no market for them in a city Grand Forks' size.

Apparently these postulations are made without direct observation (even the terminally clueless can see the demand for new restaurants, given the evening crowds at perpetually crappy places like Grizzelbees,) and thus he's written it with such obfuscation that it sounds sensible, even while it isn't.

To whit: There's also instances where a local operator leases the F and B operations at a hotel/motel, and their regulars come along for the ride.

Yes, I'm sure that if Ken Towers gets the business of furnishing all italian foods to the hotel, the Italian Moon crowd will abandon the restaurant in lieu of spending big bucks over at the hotel.

Anonymous said...

If the Italian Moon is considered good Italian food then we have a long way to go as a society...

Anonymous said...

The point about a local opeator leasing a hotel food and beverage operation is a very valid point. Look at Muddy Rivers. They have local business. Most of their regulars come from the old Griggs Landing location that closed. Same owners.

Coffee Guy said...

If the fact that some people believe mediocre Italian food to be good is an indication that "we have a long way to as a society," then we have a long way to go as a society.

Anonymous said...

There's an old saying in the lodging business...

'The only one to make money in the hotel business is the 3rd owner".

Meaning, The Canad will go through foreclosure and a new investor will pick it up after a shortsale. That will decrease the overhead to the point where the new owner may be able to cash-flow the property.

Time will tell, like it has in the case of the Alerus.

PartTime said...

Anonymous, don't be such a pessimist!! The place is still being built and you have them forclosing already!

Anonymous said...

If they foreclose it will be excellent for the City of Grand Forks because they will essentially own a multimillion dollar complex.

GrandForksGuy said...

Good point, anonymous. If that happened (very unlikely, IMO), the city would be able to sell the property to another hotel company.

Anonymous said...

The lender in first position will foreclose. Not the city.

Anonymous said...

I get a big kick out of you taking credit for anything WDAZ or any other news media does. Do you think it's possible that WDAZ called the city planner and asked about building permits? That's public record. Do you think it's possible that they might call at least once a week? Also, concerning the Pita Pit, the sign on the building actually says "Pita Pit coming soon"...real tough to figure out. Get over yourself.

JGS said...

Once a anonymous, always a anonymous.

Anywho, previous anonymous, don't you find it interested that after GFG gets the news tip about Texas Roadhouse AND The Pita Pit/Pita Pit, that it ends up on WDAZ the very next day. Come on now, GFG had posted about The Pita Pit/Pita Pit coming to Grand Forks a few months ago.

Why didn't WDAZ get that information or even talk about it on the news then? You know why? Because the GF blogosphere wasn't as big a few months ago. Now it has taken off and it has become known to the Herald and WDAZ. WDAZ doesn't want to lose viewers and doesn't want them to learn about the GF blogs. So now, they're going to snag it from "us."

Get a clue, anonymous. It's nothing new that WDAZ takes a few tidbits from one of the blogs and uses it.

GrandForksGuy said...

I don't think it's a coincidence when I mention something on here and it shows up on WDAZ the next day. This hasn't just happenned once or twice...I've seen it several times. I know for a fact that a handful of people from WDAZ check out the GF blogs daily. I personally don't mind if they find out something through GFL and then go out on their own and research it more and have a story about it on the news. I don't mind being a source. Really, I find it kind of flattering (and slightly amusing).

It's just too bad that, at the same time they use the local blogosphere as a source for their newscasts, WDAZ refuses to have a presence in the local blogosphere. Blogs are not the future of news, but they are a part of the future of news and it is foolish to think that they will go away if you ignore them. I encourage WDAZ to let their reporters/anchors start blogging and participate in ongoing blog discussions.