Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Open Thread #32

What's the word on the street, people? Anything interesting going on?

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

I support Mike McNemera and don't see his radio show as a conflict to his council status. He has a good head and is a smart guy. No probelm here. Not sure why Lacey Crisp was giving him the third degree on DAZ. Maybe J. Dugan should have done the interview.

Anonymous said...

I agree.

Go Mac!

JoshTee! said...

I haven't read through the past two open threads much so I'm not sure if this was mentioned, but there are a lot of old GF staples that are closing down within the next couple of months.

Along with Shangri-La and Ponderosa, now Speedway, G.F. Goodribs, The Bronze Boot, and supposedly a couple others (never mentioned during the conversation I found this out in) will be closing their doors forever.

I predict Boston's and Grama Butterwicks are the next to go. I don't go to Boston's and am only basing my prediction on my experience there and the fact that I've heard business has slowed down a lot. As for Butterwicks, I work there and can tell you that business has slowed to the point where the owner has panicked and has cut out the only benefit employees got (a free meal), and is about to raise prices even further. That, and I'm going to be quitting soon, and I don't know how they're going to survive without me. :D

How do you guys feel about this? Is it worth it to have places like Golden Corral and Texas Roadhouse, knowing other, older GF restaurants can't compete?

Anonymous said...

I know this won't be a popular opinion, but, I see these as symptoms of an area in decline. Does anyone follow Kingbury's articles in The Herald? Or, are these blogs just propaganda for the "Grand Forks is Great" crowd?

Grand Forks is on it's way to becoming a 2nd tier North Dakota town. If you asked me why? I'd say leadership. Gershman? Go away. Newman? You've had your chance. All your cronies, it ain't working.

Time for a change. Civic pride deminishes when these types of people suck the life out of a community for their own benefit/egos.

Anonymous said...

Where are you getting this info Joshtee! ??? Don't go into a panic and spread rumors about Speedway & the Boot closing, unless you can provide viable backup proving your point! Just because another steak house opens in town doesn't mean all the existing places will immediately close their doors.

And maybe if your boss didn't have to buy your lunch everyday, he'd save about $5 per employee per day and be able to keep the place open a little longer... so don't whine about not getting a free meal during your shift, it's called working in the real world.

Ralph said...

Who better than Hal Gershman?

Jeez...some people would complain if they were hung with a new rope.

Granted, it'd be ideal if a few others would step up to the plate and invest their profits and offer stand-up leadership like the guy. Trouble is, seems like the nay-sayers like to be "anonymous."

Shame.

Anonymous said...

"Anon"...is anonymous.
"Ralph"...is anonymous.

Please explain the difference.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I love Boston's restaurant. My wife and I go there about once a month, maybe twice if we have the cash. Restaurnt business is tough everywhere, even in New York City. Goodribs used to be classy, but I went there last year and it reminded me of someone's dark basement from 1970. And the food was subpar. I won't go back. It's tough to have restaurants out in that area. Really? When the browntones and the new aparments open up downtown, I hope some more restaurants come in downtown -- and not subway.

Anonymous said...

Is there any viable information to back up the Bronze Boot, Speedway, and GF Goodribs closing?

Anyone got anything solid?

Another GF Diner...

Anonymous said...

I highly doubt Bronze Boot AND Speedway are closing along with GF Goodribs! Next thing you know they'll be saying red lobster is closing along with Applebees.... It's ridiculous.

Ralph said...

"Anonymous said...
"Anon"...is anonymous.
"Ralph"...is anonymous.

Please explain the difference.

Thanks. "

The obvious difference is: Ralph is my given name.

And why am I not surprised a positive comment would cause one to ask that very question.

I was about to say I couldn't think of a thing that is "negative" about GFKS...but the negative attitudes shared by a select few on this blog would narrow that assumption a bit.

And I don't mind differences of opinion, either...s'long as I know who to credit the opinion to. :o)

Hey! The sun came out!

Bugs Bunny said...

Anonymous is easier to click. If I wanted to use a fake name I would just write it.

Regards,

Elmer E. Fudd

Tu-Uyen said...

I'm with Ralph. Everybody loves to complain but when it's election season there are so few choices. And half the time, when you do have new choices they haven't studied any of the issues.

There's been some exceptions in recent elections but we've got a long ways to go.

Anonymous said...

Here's a question...

What the heck is going on at that house every day on University Ave (N side of street) just E of the park? EVERY day I pass it after work, their are dozens of kids (middle school to high school I think) crashing out front.

Anonymous said...

The man who lives in that house is a cross country running coach for one of the schools I belive. He has a summer running program to get the kids ready for the competition season when the school year starts. Did you think they were some kind of gang spreading discontent through the neighborhood? :)

Anonymous said...

Ditto--he's the XC coach for Red River and has won quite a few awards for his program.

Lynsey said...

Really off topic and random, but here's why I'll never eat at G.F. Goodribs again, even if it's not closing:

I've been there twice, both times to celebrate events with the current boyfriend. Both times, we'd been together over a year. Both times, I got dumped within five days of eating there. I've never been dumped after having a last date anywhere else in town. I know it's coincidence, but I'm never going back there again.

Anonymous said...

It's not the restaurant, hon...:)

GrandForksGuy said...

"Not sure why Lacey Crisp was giving him the third degree on DAZ. Maybe J. Dugan should have done the interview."

So you're saying that Lacey, who has been known to do some very tough interviews of local politicians and civic employees, shouldn't have gotten the interview? That's silly. I expect local reporters to be tough on local government officials. WDAZ is lucky to have Lacey and her reporting style.

GrandForksGuy said...

"Along with Shangri-La and Ponderosa, now Speedway, G.F. Goodribs, The Bronze Boot, and supposedly a couple others (never mentioned during the conversation I found this out in) will be closing their doors forever."

I think you might need to back up your claims with something, Josh. The owners of the Bronze Boot say they have no plans to close so I'm not sure where you got that from. The same goes for G.F. Goodribs, but I will grant you that their building has been for sale for a few months now. A little odd, but I was wondering if they could possibly be moving to a new location? That would probably be a good idea for them. I also know nothing about Speedway closing. I believe the owners of the Shangri-La stated that the business had simply become too much work and that they were thinking of possibly reopening in a smaller format elsewhere...at least that's what I heard. You know, in a town the size of Grand Forks, restaurants do come and go from time to time...it's not necessarily a symptom of problems with the economy. Just last week, Mr. Steak, a longtime fixture in Fargo, closed their doors for good. Grand Forks is not unique in having restaurants come and go from time to time.

Anonymous said...

Actually---he is the coach for CENTRAL--and a great one at that.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I highly doubt Bronze Boot AND Speedway are closing along with GF Goodribs! Next thing you know they'll be saying red lobster is closing along with Applebees.... It's ridiculous.



Actually Applebee's has been kinda slow lately... I dont know about their financial situation or anything like that but You can tell that they have been hurting for business. I have driven by there around 6 in the evening and its been pretty slow compared to normal.

Anonymous said...

Cool to hear about the XC coach's house. Never noticed any trouble, just wondered what the heck was going on there every day.

Anonymous said...

Yes its my house that has all the cross country kids in front of it on University Ave. We treat it just like open gym for any other sport. They show up and run together all summer long.

Brian said...

"Actually Applebee's has been kinda slow lately... I dont know about their financial situation or anything like that but You can tell that they have been hurting for business. I have driven by there around 6 in the evening and its been pretty slow compared to normal."

Probably because it is summer, generally the restaurant business is slower during summer evenings, especially in northern locations. Also Grand Forks is not a summer hot bed for activity so there are less visitors in town then normal (ex winter). Finally with UND in summer session the city looses thousands of "customers" with lots of Mommy and Daddy's money.

Anonymous said...

The above comment might be true-but I have noticed Applebee's being slower even a few months ago also-I hope there not hurting because it is one of my favorite restaurants.

Anonymous said...

Of course I can never figure out why we manage to have TWO Applebees in GF/EGF

GrandForksGuy said...

If I remember correctly, there are now three (possibly four?) Applebees in the Fargo-Moorhead metro area.

Amber said...

The Chain places in town are not going to close unless they are in the red for a long long time. Chains are able to survive because of the money other stores make backing them as well.

I've been to GF goodribs many times with friends and have never gotten decent food, and for the price that is unexcusable. The decor is also terrible. However the service has always been pretty good.

And why make fun of Marilyn, she does have that city landmark named after her and everything, lol.

Anonymous said...

When we have no place else to go, restaurants like Applebee's and the Royal Fork don't have to try too hard to improve or even maintain their standards of food, service and atmosphere. When new restaurants open, especially in the same category: 1) There's a honeymoon period when locals will try them because they're new, but after that 2) the inevitable comparisons begin. As the general dining-out experience improves in town, existing places will have to step up to meet the competition or fall behind, and sadly, close.

Anonymous said...

"I know this won't be a popular opinion, but, I see these as symptoms of an area in decline."

Investment in the community will tell you an area in decline. Exactly how many new banks are opening up in Grand Forks? Do you think anyone in their right mind would be opening up a bank in an area in decline, much less if many other banks will be opening at the same time!

JoshTee! said...

I can't really back up my post from before because, as I said, I heard this all from a couple of gossipy ladies and the owner of Grama Butterwicks. Maybe I should have put more emphasis on the words "heard" and "supposedly" so that I didn't piss anyone off. It's just a rumor, as far as I know.

The one they sounded most sure was closing was Speedway. One of the ladies mentioned that she had gone over there and heard something first-hand from one of the employees or the owner or something. Again, I can't verify if this is the truth; it's just what they said. They talk a lot...

But then again, these are the same three people that told me Shangri-La was closing even before I read it on this blog. They seem to have been around the town for awhile (like many of the people that read GF Guy's stuff) and know a lot of popular folks from around the area. I usually take what they say as being at least somewhat accurate.

They talked a lot about the Boot, too. They mentioned that it used to be a major hot spot in Grand Forks (which I didn't know) and that they serve great food. I didn't even know they served food. I guess I didn't hear how they knew it was closing, but it was mentioned on their "list" a couple of times.

JoshTee! said...

By the way, I've always been interested in starting a discussion forum specifically for people in the Red River Valley. Does anyone know if there's something like this already? Or if something like this would be worth trying in this area?

I hang out on discussion boards for hours a day, usually. It's nerdy, I know, but it's a really great outlet for your opinions.

Dale said...

If Speedway closes, I think that it can be fairly well attributed to the smoking ban put in place in 2005. Prior to that, they were very consistenly busy, following it, the charitable gambling group in the Speedway bar hit the bricks a few months later, and it's a ghost town today.

We still go there once in a while, and the food and service are the same as they ever were, the only thing that's changed since it was hopping is the no smoking policy and the departure of the charitable gaming.

Lynsey said...

Joshtee, there was a site called vastlane.org that addressed this need, but I'm not sure if it still exists.

anonymous...yes, I know it's not the restaurant, but the memories associated with the place make me not want to visit it again.

GrandForksGuy said...

Vastlane is no more. I think my blog and others like it (when they are actively posting) are a decent replacement for what was lost when Vastlane closed. I also think the fact that Vastlane had all but dried up for the last couple of years before it shut down shows that it can often be hard to keep a local message board going unless you have dedicated posters. Actually, I'm not sure that a message board would be so much different than the open threads on this blog.

JoshTee! said...

"Actually, I'm not sure that a message board would be so much different than the open threads on this blog."

Same in the sense that they're meant for people to speak what's on their mind, but different in that a discussion forum is a much more efficient way of doing it.