Wednesday, January 24, 2007

We're still waiting...

In the past couple of years, there have been many announcements of new restaurants coming to town. Indeed, several of these restaurants (Golden Corral, Pita Pit, and Texas Roadhouse to name a few) have already opened or will do so in the near future. However, we are still waiting for several other previously-announced restaurants to set up shop in Grand Forks.

Why does it take so long for Space Aliens, which the company has said several times will be coming to town, to actually open a Grand Forks location? How about Johnny Carino's? They now have locations in Fargo and in Bismarck, but hints at a Grand Forks restaurant have so far gone nowhere. Whatever happened to that Taco del Mar chain? They were supposed to open several restaurants in the metro area, but so far not even one has opened. How about Erbert and Gerbert's? They used to list a Grand Forks location as "Coming soon". They had it up there for a couple of years, but I see that it has now been removed. What happened? And what about that IHOP?

Don't get me wrong, we have a booming retail and restaurant sector. More places are setting up shop each year. It just seems like so often we hear about a new store or restaurant opening in town and then nothing comes of it for ages. What makes businesses announce Grand Forks locations and then do nothing about it for months or years after making the announcment? Does anybody know anything about the status of the above mentioned establishments?

20 comments:

JGS said...

Interesting.. like you said, Grand Forks was on Erbert's and Gerbert's website for a long time. Wonder what made them change their minds? There are locations in Fargo, Bismarck, St. Cloud, Maple Grove, etc.

IHOP was spose to come once they had the new design figured out. But that seems to slowly dwindle down the drain.

There are still vacant spots in the new Strip Mall in front of Kohl's for an Erberts and Gerbert's. Still an open spot next to Golden Corral.

Also, will there be enough space between Boston's and Texas Roadhouse to host a new business?

Makes you wonder what will come next out of the blue.

vcsuvike said...

I think some of these restaurants will come in time. Space Alien's, Carinos and IHOP would be great additions to Grand Forks. Maybe the bloggers could put some pressure on restaurant investors/franchise owners.

Anonymous said...

About the space between Texas Roadhouse and Boston's, a fast food type BBQ place was supposed to go there, not sure of the name but there is one in Fargo. Denny's may have jumped the gun a little with their ad, they haven't even bought land yet.

GrandForksGuy said...

That space between Texas Roadhouse and Boston's is very small so it would have to be a fast food place of some sort. I'm wondering what BBQ place in Fargo you're talking about...would it be "Wing Zone"?

I can't figure out Denny's. Already looking for managers, but no apparent location picked out or (according to you) even purchased yet!

JGS said...

If you say a small fast food place.. perhaps an A&W/Long John Silvers? I think that plot would fit that perfect.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone been to a Garbanzo's at a Winnipeg Canad? Is their Italian food any good?

GrandForksGuy said...

They actually only have one Garbanzo's in Winnipeg. It is connected to the Fort Gary Inn Express on the Pembina Highway. I have never eaten there though.

I'm starting to wonder if Garbanzo's will be in our new hotel. Recent ads in the Herald say they are hiring for three new restaurants in the hotel, but then they only name Aalto's and Tavern United. Perhaps they are coming up with a different restaurant format to take the place of the Garbanzo's? I just thought it was odd that they mentioned the others by name, but didn't mention Garbanzo's.

Canada1 said...

The popular restaurant for the younger crowd will be the Tavern United. It is a pub/restaurant that is a popular hangout in Winnipeg.

Aalto's is a restaurant in Winnipeg where seniors go for brunch on Sundays. Not a popular place for the younger crowd. Reminds me of Perkins.

As far as Garbanzo's, I don't know of anyone who visits the location in Winnipeg. Years ago, Garbanzo's was a pizza place with several locations in Winnipeg, but all their locations shut down and Canadinns reopened a restaurant using the name. It is not a big name in Winnipeg anymore. The more popular hangout will be Tavern.

Goon said...

I am not sure how the heck they could put anymore resteraunts in this town. I think some of the ones that are here now can't all be doing well.

Anonymous said...

I heard a rumor that the third restaurant in the Canad will be called "El Bistro". It is an Italian restaurant that will be marketed to the public, as well as the hotel guests. I have been to a Tavern United in Winnipeg and agree that it will be a popular hangout. GF is extremely lucky to be getting the Canad complex and this restaurant and tavern.

Oh, i was also at the Aaltos in Winnipeg and agree that it is a Perkins type place but does have decent buffet meals for the hotel guests.

Coffee Guy said...

According to the Canad Inn website, it's AALTO'S, Tavern United, and Garbonzo's. Menus are also available online:

http://www.canadinns.com/grandforks/

Anonymous said...

The person I talked to said El Bistro would be the American equivalent of Garbanzo's

Anonymous said...

In this day and age, and in a market like Grand Forks, it's virtually impossible for a hotel's bars and restaurants to establish themselves as a draw for locals. Maybe they'll do some biz on weekends, maybe. But playing the whole discount and drink specials game to gain market share from existing Grand Forks businesses is tough, and a bad business move. A guest from the hotel wanders into the lounge to drop some money, and then they're greeted with "2 Buck-U-Calls". Why would an operation do that? In time, they'll probably find a way to spend their CVB advertising dollars to compete with local businesses.

If they do anything, it will be more of a reflection on how weak the other alternatives in town are.

Local Kid said...

For a successful hotel bar, look no further than Muddy Rivers at the Best Western, Comedy Lounge at the Ramada, and Sugars at the Holiday Inn. These are all places that locals hangout, especially Muddy Rivers.

local kid said...

Anon: Which local hotel do you work at? You wouldn't be a good poker player as you didn't disguise that one well.

Anonymous said...

Muddy Rivers is operated by a family that has been in the business, locally, for decades. Alot of the crowd followed them over from Griggs Landing.

BTW...the Class 1 smoking factor has alot to do with their draw. I doubt the 'Nad will allow smoking.
mmmm, Canadians love their nicotine.

Anonymous said...

Good point, Anon. Here's a scenario: you leave the big town of Grand Forks to visit friends in a cool city with countless options of what to do. It's a weekend night, you're on vacation and really lookin' forward to going out. You're buddy says..."What do you want to do tonight"?...'There's some cool places to check out". You reply...

"Let's go the lounge at The Holiday Inn...No?...how 'bout The Ramada?".

Anonymous said...

Interesting that iHop advertises on Channel 8's news at five.

Then again, I suppose folks in Fargo watch eight as well as eleven...

Anonymous said...

I have to say, the sum-total of all these new restaurants means ZERO to me. You can assume that all these low-level chains are the first ones to serve irradiated, genetically-enigineered, and foods containing trans-fats, without any notification.

Americans need to care more about their health. Eating crap like what the above restaurants serve is the first step.

"New" restaurants? No thanks, I'll pass. I wouldn't accept a free meal from any of these places, I also wouldn't pass it on to a friend, or an enemy.

Anonymous said...

Grew up in Forks- now live in Dallas. I-Hop and Golden Corral are white trash places to eat people. Grand Forks doesn't need those two. They really need a classy Italian or Mexican establishment. Forks has soooo many blue collar clones of Applebees. They need to expand up not down.