Friday, February 09, 2007

Northside Cafe coming to Westward Ho

The long vacant Westward Ho property on Gateway Drive is getting a new tenant. The "Northside Cafe" will be opening there in the near future. Signs on the property call the new establishment a "family restaurant."

I'm still scratching my head over this one. The old Ho building is terrible looking. I never understood why they tore down the front half of it, but left the back half in place. The building currently looks a little like a bombed-out building in post-WWII Europe. Hopefully construction crews are a long way from finishing the remodeling project for the new restaurant. I can't imagine anyone opening a restaurant in a structure that looks the way the Ho building currently looks.

That said, I'm glad to see a new restaurant on Gateway. Hopefully, this place will go over a little better than the Capone's fiasco. It's encouraging that they are calling this place a "family restaurant". I think Capone's would still be in business today had they gone with a "family" format instead of a fine-dining format. I'm sure Capone's could have done much better in a different part of town, but Gateway Drive is no place to open a pricey restaurant. Hopefully a "family" restaurant will fit in well on Gateway.

No word yet on when the restaurant will open or just what type of menu they will have.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

One word...

Bizarre.

vcsuvike said...

I am surprised that anyone wants what is left of the building. Good luck to them. I still think the hotel should be torn down and apartments be built there. It would be a cheap and close place for UND students.

Anonymous said...

The setting still has some appeal, even though it's downtown Simplotsville.

GrandForksGuy said...

"I still think the hotel should be torn down and apartments be built there. It would be a cheap and close place for UND students."

I have to agree with you vcsuvike. I wish the owners of the cafe well, but I really wish the building wasn't even there. Everything from the Carpet Garage west towards Simplot should be torn down and redeveloped. I'm wondering when they are going to get around to tearing down Weekley's and Auto Transport like they said they were going to...

Rick said...

Apartments would probably do well, and are there ever any successful restaurents on Gateway? The whole stretch is just so unappealing.

dale said...

The stench is (largely) irrelevant, as restaurants are indoors, without opening windows. The real problem is lack of traffic along that corridor. Both the U students and local residents seem to gravitate south for their "fine dining".

Apartments, on the other hand, can't see how that makes any sense at all, given the smell. Pretty much everyone wants to open the windows of their home once in a while.

Anonymous said...

Hearing all these comments...and suddenly I realize: There's gotta be industrial space SOMEplace.

Seems like the north end---as it is in so many cities---is the place.

Ever hear of the expression, "beating a dead horse"? Seems to apply here, fellas.

Ben said...

I agree anonymous...if we had no industrial areas, our economy would be dead. Think of how many peope work on the Gateway corridor. Not everyplace can look or feel like 32nd ave south or 13th ave south in Fargo...get real, people.

Anonymous said...

13th Ave in Fargo? 32nd in the Grand Cities?

Franchise row? C'mon...it looks cluttered, not unlike the industrial north end. Where's the creativity?

Coffee Guy said...

I think a sign saying "Welcome to Grand Forks" is all that's needed to spruce up the road. That, or a fountain spewing brown water into the air.

Anonymous said...

People really don't understand the hospitality business. It's not the property, it's not the location; it's a "key-man" situation. If the complete Westward Ho property was still there, Lindgren could move back into town tomorrow and be doing $3,000,000+ a year easily.

With the current state of affairs in town, I doubt a Kim Holmes, or Chris Lindgren, would set up tent here. There's just simply too many other amazing places in America to live.

ec99 said...

I think Holmes has it pretty good in GF. He seems to be cozy with the city council, gets hours of free advertising on KNOX every Friday morning, and keeps his menu prices high.

Anonymous said...

Check the article in today's (2-14-07) Herald.