Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Denny's coming to Grand Forks

For those of you who haven't seen the classified ad in the Herald or who didn't notice the handful of comments under Open Thread #9, it sounds like the Denny's restaurant chain is planning to open a new location in Grand Forks within the near future. They are already looking for managers and assistant managers. No word yet on where the restaurant will be or when it will be opening. I'll have to see what I can find out. Great to see even more dining options coming to town!

35 comments:

Charlie said...

"Great to see even more dining options coming to town!"

Alas. Hardly an option. Yet another of the same style of restaurants already in the Grand Cities.

GrandForksGuy said...

Maybe Denny's is similar to other restaurants in town...Village Inn and Perkins come to mind. Still, I personally like Denny's much better than those two other chains. So, if I want that kind of food, I would rather have the option of going to a Denny's than a Village Inn or a Perkins. In my opinion, having Denny's in town will give people who want to go out to a restaurant like that another choice. So, maybe it's not so different from some other restaurants in town, but I think it certainly will be another option for diners.

JGS said...

It's about time that a Denny's comes to Grand Forks. We are the only big city left in the state to not have one.

I wonder if they will be building next to the Furniture Row project.

Goon said...

Sweet, this is a good thing.
Love their food.

Brooks said...

I really hope it will be on the North end of town. Around 32nd we already have Big Sioux and Village Inn. And Ihop, if it ever comes, will be around there. So I'de really like to see it either in Capones or around the Ralph. It would be great to have a place like that close by for the students too.

GrandForksGuy said...

I haven't spoken with anybody from Denny's yet, but my best guess is the restaurant will probably go on 32nd Avenue South. I'm thinking the site may either be the one remaining lot in front of Kohl's or the space that has previously been identified as the location for an IHOP (an IHOP which, year after year, never comes).

John Blaze said...

What is being built attached to Kohls? It appears to be a rather large store. Anyone?

Anonymous said...

It is so sad that American culture embraces the Denny's, Perkins, and Village Inns of this country. What so special? Frozen hash browns? Crappy processed fat-laden food? I so enjoyed NBC's coverage of the Olympics last year. It was awesome to see Italian citizens and culture embrace all the mom and pop shops and the amazing regional cuisine that they've developed over the years.

Seriously...what's is so special about Denny's?

Anonymous said...

I'm with you, I have no idea what's so special about these sh!tholes. The concept is derivative of what I consider true American treasures...The Diner. True diners had house-made, REAL meatloaf, REAL gravy made from scratch, REAL pancakes, REAL hash browns and mashed potatos. Why do our fellow citizens "fall" for the processed crap that these chains offer? And...consumers scrutinize locally-owned restaurant's pricing and then jump all over over-priced themed drinks at chains.

Also...there is no "economic development" spin from these chains. It's actually a reverse, negative benefit.

Try the hash browns at Whitey's. I go for the lyonnaise...good stuff!!!

GrandForksGuy said...

What is being built attached to Kohls? It appears to be a rather large store. Anyone?

John, that would be one of the large new furniture stores being built in the 32nd Avenue area. Behind Lowe's, the skeleton of the new Furniture Row development is rising. Next to Kohl's (the area you refer to), the walls of the new Furniture Outlets USA/Ashley Furniture store are coming up. It will be interesting to have two, large, new furniture stores open up in the coming year.

GrandForksGuy said...

Last night, I sent an email to the district manager for Denny's. I asked where in GF the new store would be and when it would open. She didn't seem to be able to share much information. All she said was, "We don't know when it will open, but we will have more information soon."...no mention of location.

Anonymous said...

GFG,
Seriously, why the hype about these crappy chain restaurants? I'd like to know. In the last 5 years there has been many AMAZING chain restaurants that have emerged. Denny's ain't one of them. Do you realize that the size of the dining out "pie" is relatively fixed, and that all these new pits just vie for a larger piece of that pie? And, that national chains just snap up their profit dollars and take them out of state.

Ooh...cross your fingers, maybe we'll get a Country Kitchen (again). Are you in touch with them?

Anonymous said...

Sorry to go off topic...

Any word on how ticket sales are going for this Saturday's country concert at The Alerus Center? The venue has been losing about 50K a show, I wonder if this one will be a big loser also.

GrandForksGuy said...

Seriously, why the hype about these crappy chain restaurants?

Like I always say whenever another anonymous user posts something like this, I don't favor chains over local businesses and I don't favor one type of chain over another type of chain. One of the main purposes of this blog is to put forward news about new businesses coming to town. It doesn't matter if they are a local business or a chain...I'll post something about any interesting new business setting up shop in Grand Forks. Remember Bobbi's, Pourpora, Texas Roadhouse, Golden Corral, Pita Pit, Dakota Harvest Bakers, Joe Black's, Toasted Frog, Wet Seal, and Ashley Furniture? Where did you first hear about them coming to town? This blog was the first place that most of these businesses, some of which are chains and some of which are local, were first mentioned. I don't favor one type of business...I report anything that comes across my radar. I'm not going to ignore a business just because it is a chain or because an anonymous user might think of it as a "crappy chain".

dale said...

At the very least, once Denny's is here, I can get some grits. Even crappy grits are better than none!

Anonymous said...

If you love grits, you need to have breakfast with us on the weekends. We've lived here a little over 2 years and I hardly hear anyone say they like grits. How about boiled crawfish, gumbo and red beans and rice?

Anonymous said...

Man, we in Fargo are currently anticipating the opening of Phase 1 of a multi-million dollar, 640-acre upscale retail, hotel and housing complex (Urban Plains) modeled after Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove, MN, and you people in Potatoville ooh and aah over a Denny's.

Man... It's good to live in Fargo. :)

GrandForksGuy said...

Anonymous, from what I know about the Urban Plains development, I have yet to be very impressed. Currently, I believe the only construction has been on a medical building. This building is designed by the same people (ICON Architects) who designed the new Aurora Medical Park complex in GF and the Fargo complex will be a smaller version of the GF complex (Fargo = 40,000 square feet / GF = 108,000 square feet). Also, the developer, Ace Brandt, has put forth a proposal to move the Bison basketball program to Urban Plains. That would put the program literally miles away from campus. Not very likely that we'll be seeing that happen anytime soon. Other than the medical building, I believe development of the project has actually been quite slow. From what I know, there currently are no "upscale retail" buildings coming up nor are there any hotels. If we are actually nearing completion of "Phase 1" of the project as you state, I have yet to be impressed.

ben said...

Anonymous...if you want to come to GF and "oh and aah" over a complex, come and look at Canad Inns, or the additions currently underway at UND. This is a thread about one restaurant, not about everything going on in the city.

John Blaze said...

Anonymous, you are a putz! This is a restaurant thread. I agree with Ben, come check out the 50 million or so Canad complex or the UND development or the other GF development.

mattfacingsouth said...

I hope they put Denny's in next to the Village Inn on 32nd so I can watch the traffic-hell-that-will-be-Sunday-morning-after-church unfold in that wonderfully-planned parking lot.

dale said...

How about boiled crawfish, gumbo and red beans and rice?

I can take or leave the crawfish (well, leave is more accurate,) but can't get enough gumbo, red beans and rice and jambalaya. I make a mean pot of the latter several times a year, though it's not the traditional "let's use up the leftovers" cheapo meal -- with all the meat I stick in, it probably costs $20.

I've always felt that this place could use a (good) southern restaurant. Between the base (at its height, perhaps not now) and ex-pat southerners like myself, there's a decent market.

Enjoy your black-eyed peas on Monday!

PartTime said...

I'd like to see it go up on 42nd street by the Alerus Center or on South Washington by the new Aurora Medical complex, but, the most logical place for it would be on 32nd ave South and I'm sure that's where they are looking too if they come.

friend said...

I'm with you Dale and anon, but we don't need a Denny's to have grits. You can by them [it?] locally and they are [it is] a snap to prepare. [I have a great recipe for Hominy surprise (grits, eggs, cheese and seasonings) that is terrific with ham, if you want it. Hooray for crawdads, jambalaya, gumbo and red beans and rice, etc. [you can have the black eyed peas and hog jowl.]

From a 'grits' [girl raised in the south], not an ex-pat southerner.

Anonymous said...

Y'all should come have some beignets and cafe au lait with me. I have tried to find country ham and tasso here, but we have it shipped to us along with live crawfish. Do you know of any store that sells any of the hams we like?

dale said...

Where do you get grits locally? I mean real grits, not the Quaker Instant Grits crud that you can get at Super One (probably Hugos too.) And yes, please post the recipe for your Hominy Surprise, might be a good New Years Day breakfast.

If you don't eat your black eye peas on Monday, you'll have bad luck all year. Or so my Mom told us. Probably just wanted us to eat some vegetables. I'm still not a fan, but I get 'em down once a year.

I don't know where you can get a good country ham, though I remember seeing tasso recently, though where escapes me. Either Target or Super One, where we do most of our grocery buying. Or maybe Byerly's in Minneapolis :-)

As for a Denny's location, they should buy the old Hardees on Washington (either of them.) Every Denny's I've been to has been in a pain-in-the-butt-to-get-to location, but they remain fairly busy. Why opt for the preemo location on 32nd when you can get by on Washington?

JGS said...

I have to agree with Dale on the old Hardees location on Washington. But I have always thought they had such bad access right there with all the traffic moving through.

I thought an A&W would be fantastic right in that location, since it's still the unconfirmed busiest intersection in North Dakota.

But once again, we run into the access problem that I think it always had.

ben said...

That location is just plain scary to try to get in and out of anytime before 11pm. Definently not a place for a Denny's. I am sure it will be a new location, not an existing building. My opinion is that it will most likely be on or just off of 32nd Ave. South, but I wouldn't be suprised to see it near the intersection of 47th and S. Washington, either. That location has two banks, two strip malls, and a gas station currently with "coming soon" signs up there.

GrandForksGuy said...

As I've already said, the district manager for Denny's appeared to be familiar with the project and seemed to indicate that the news was indeed factual, but she wasn't able to give out much information. I've contacted corporate headquarters for Denny's and a representative didn't seem to be at all familiar with a new Grand Forks store. Odd, isn't it? I have to trust the district manager since I believe she is out of Minot, but why would corporate headquarters be unfamiliar with the project?

friend said...

Dale and anonymous--I'll be glad to come eat with either/both of you anytime [jambalaya, crawdads, gumbo, beignets, whatever (do you have chicory coffee?)]! I think you can now get real grits at Amazing Grains [if not keep asking Betsy-as a good Tennessean, she'll get grits if there is demand for it.], but even the Quaker Quick grits will work in this recipe, though regular, not quick, is better, just like with most things!

Hominy Surprise

2 cups grits
1 tbs salt
8 cups water

Cook until thick [about 40 min.] Pour into a large mixing bowl and add

2 raw eggs
most of 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbs. Worceststershire sauce
1 cup milk
1 Tbs. butter

Mix thoroughly and pour into baking dish, top with remaining cheese [the rest of the cup]. Bake one hour or longer in a moderate oven.

[If you have to use quick grits then modify the beginning and cook the grits according to package directions. Like every recipe, quality ingredients improve the result.]

Try it for New Year's [especially if you are having ham] and post here to let me know what you think.

Anonymous said...

When is this town going to learn that you need more people when you open so many new places. All the town cares about is money and that is it.

C. Y. said...

All the town cares about is money and that is it.

So . . .you exist without money?

or just envious?

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ben said...

anon-
what is that supposed to mean? You think the population isn't going up? Even the very conservative cencus bureau says the population is going up!

Anonymous said...

We should really be supporting the smaller, locally owned businesses. I'm surprised that nothing has been said about these smaller restaurants (Emerald Grill, Mexican Village, Darcy's Cafe, Del's).

These restaurants are vital to the economy of Grand Forks and the biggest news is about the encroachment of another corporate monster into our economy.

How many people have stopped by the Emerald Grill lately and chatted with the new ownership. The place has been locally owned for a year now. Nice people, excellent breakfasts, quiet atmosphere...what more could you ask for.

Give the locals a chance before you hop on the corporate bandwagon. Without your support we'll all be choosing between nothing but franchised eating establishments.

Anon...

jo said...

Gotta love Dels! That was one of my favourite places to eat and gossip when I lived in GF.

I live in Scotland and this country just hasn't gotten into going out for breakfast. Fortunately I have aoj to make me pancakes (former Vastlaners will know who this is!)