Monday, October 08, 2007

Open Thread #46

A new week and a new chance to have your say...

84 comments:

C. Y. said...

October 2007

* Domestic Violence Awareness Month:


CVIC and other organizations sponsor events throughout the month to commemorate
those who have suffered or been killed by a significant other.

Events include:
*
Annual Display of the ND Clothesline Project
October 8-12, 2007
UND Memorial Ballroom
Monday thru Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
*
Take Back the Night March and Rally
Thursday, October 11, 2007 at 7 p.m.
UND Memorial Ballroom
Speakers will include local survivors of domestic violence - march to follow.
* Domestic Violence Awareness Flag Display
A visual display of flags respresenting the number of domestic violence and
sexual assault victims served by CVIC in 2006 can be viewed at the Grand Forks
Police Department front lawn the month of October.

ec99 said...

Interesting column by Ralph Kingsbury today. Pretty much sums up the problem of wages and the worker in GF.

Anonymous said...

http://tinyurl.com/ytj87y (article link)

I really liked this statement:
"If we can raise the incomes in our region, we will see more growth."

Anonymous said...

i hear a hooters is going up by the south end diary queen

Anonymous said...

Conlicting economic info in G.F. as of late. Border crossings are down, The Canad's occupancy level is less than the market's average. However, some citizen's feel that Canadian customers' trade is up.

I suppose it's a case of, the travelers that used to go on to Fargo, are now checking out G.F. A contributing factor may be the honeymoon phase of the Canad...and the big $$$ advertising campaign that we're all subsidising for The Canad.

Oh well, just wondering out loud here (kinda).

Anonymous said...

about time we get hooters.

Anonymous said...

What's the attraction of a hooter's?

Anonymous said...

I think GF is doing really well. I live in Winnipeg and know in the last 10 years or so my family was not going to GF for vacation/shopping too often due to our poor dollar.

That said in the last few years the dollar has really started to improve. Three years ago we made one trip in the year, same last year, this year we have been done three times.

I also know at work lots of people from Winnipeg are going to GF more frequently.

Other changes to keep in mind is that earlier this year the personal duty free exemption for Canadians staying in the US 48 hours doubled from $200 to $400 meaning more money being spent in ND.

Trying to book a hotel room for this past weekend in GF was also very difficult about 3-4 weeks in advance as lots of places were booked pretty much to capacity.

I also hear a number of people saying that as out of towners going shopping they prefer GF over Fargo.

Two final comments -- I have seen lots of comments on here about restaurants in GF and it would be really nice if there was a casual dinning place that was not a steak type of joint. The other is the Canad is probably there to stay. Canad has pretty deep pockets to work from in their base in Winnipeg where they have a lot of the local bar business. They also have a habit here of taking an under-performing property and doing a major renovation on it to a new format.

ladybug said...

I agree that we really need a casual dining type place that is not steak (Texas Roadhouse) or pizza/pasta/etc (Boston's/Green Mill). A little more variety and culture would be nice! My personal vote is for one of the national chain Mexican restaurants, such as On the Border, El Chico, Tia's Tex-Mex, Don Pablo's, etc. I hate to say it, but Paradiso and Mexican Village are not true Mexican (or even Tex-Mex) food. They are, more or less, a bland impersonation.

Other than Mexican, maybe we could get a P.F. Chang's, a Chili's, a Cheddar's, and a Red Robin. Johnny Carino's and Olive Garden in Fargo, while decent, are not real Italian, so I won't really push for one of those here.

glass half full said...

"The Canad's occupancy level is less than the market's average."

Where did this anon get their info? The Canad's occupancy has exceeded forecasts and expectations since they have opened.

Anonymous said...

A recent Kingsbury article and the CVB numbers.

Where are you getting your info, besides reading the glass.

C. Y. said...

"it would be really nice if there was a casual dinning place that was not a steak type of joint."

They are there, on Gateway, next to Simplot and across from Simplot.

North Side cafe and Al's.

ben said...

Canadian border crossings down? The Herald said today that the border crossings were up 300-400 per day over they same weekend last year. I would hardly call that down!

Anonymous said...

Conlicting economic info in G.F. as of late. Border crossings are down, The Canad's occupancy level is less than the market's average. However, some citizen's feel that Canadian customers' trade is up.

I suppose it's a case of, the travelers that used to go on to Fargo, are now checking out G.F. A contributing factor may be the honeymoon phase of the Canad...and the big $$$ advertising campaign that we're all subsidising for The Canad.

Oh well, just wondering out loud here (kinda).


This quoted comment was presented to you by greenglass4

Anonymous said...

North Side Cafe...awful.

Al's...awesome.

GrandForksGuy said...

Border crossings down and low occupancy at the Canad Inn? Are you joking? I've heard that lately the wait to cross the border has been, at times, stretching into hours...not minutes. Also, the Canad usually has a high occupancy...I believe between 70%-80%. I heard that the hotel was completely booked this weekend.

GrandForksGuy said...

"North Side Cafe...awful.

Al's...awesome.
"

I haven't been to either, but they both appear to have very good business.

GrandForksGuy said...

Did anybody else see the report on DAZ tonight about the River Cinema in EGF? Other than the Northwoods decor which I'm just not so sure about, I think the complex sounds pretty cool. Movie screens around 18'x45' and seating varying from less than 100 to over 300 per theater.

Mike said...

Any more info on the EGF theater? Where is it going to be? are they building a new building or renovating an old one? Any time table on when it is supposed to open?

Thanks for any info...

Also I doubt Hooters would build by Dairy Queen. (I am pretty sure someone said that this construction was going to be office space) I would think that they would want to build closer to the highway or at least at a bigger intersection.

Mike said...

One more thing...

I have only lived here a year and I would love to know of other places to eat other than the obvious. Any good places downtown? I was thinking maybe checking out Al's sometime.

GrandForksGuy said...

Mike, the new theater is located in downtown EGF in the building known as the Riverwalk Center. This building sits on DeMers Ave across from Cabela's. If you drive through downtown EGF, you will see the big marquee that was recently installed. The theater should open next month, but I kind of think that may be pushing it.

akm said...

Mike, try going downtown and getting away from 32nd Avenue. Virtually every place downtown has good food and charm. Blue Moose is always a good bet.

Anonymous said...

Dakota Harvest has awesome soups and sandwiches for lunch. Wish they'd stay open for dinner. They'd have to put some money into the place, though to make it conducive to dinner biz.

ladybug said...

Al's is okay. Actually, their burgers and onion rings are outstanding. However, their entree-type dinners don't seem too enticing, and the cleanliness of the restaurant has been questionable both times I have been in there for dinner. (They have carpeted floors, and there were large amounts of dropped food scattered throughout the dining room.) That said, I don't think it will stop me from eating there again.

Anonymous said...

A recent Herald article reported that border crossings, to date, were down. The same article reported the average local lodging occupancy rates. The Canad's levels were slightly lower than the marketwide average. Can you recall the article on The Herald site? Yes, it will cost you $3.95 and the hassle to set up an account.

downtown diner said...

Mike,

Some cool downtown eating places include:

3rd Street Cafe - homestyle dining, like eating at Grandma's house. Homemade soups, pies and REAL mashed potatoes. Open til 2 pm, though they serve meals overnight Th-Fri-Sat nights.

Amazing Grains - unique deli serving healthy homemade soups (mostly vegan), and tasty sandwiches like curry tuna on foccacia. All organic or locally grown foods are used in the menu offerings.

Hub Bar - home of the "Hub Special"; a half pound hand-pattied hamburger with your choice of toppings such as fried onions, mayo, lettuce, tomatoes etc., fries, and 32 ounce beer for $10. Seriously good.

Dakota Harvest - great soups, breads, sandwiches and French press coffee

Sanders - Fine dining or "Dakota Cuisine". Reservations suggested.

Toasted Frog - Upscale restaurant/lounge serving wood fired pizzas and other specialities.

Mike's Pizza - noon hour buffet M-F and a wide variety of hand-tossed pizzas.

Whitey's and Blue Moose - Great dining on the boardwalk, everything from sandwiches to steaks to pasta. Noon specials.

Hope this helps. Now I'm hungry!

Anonymous said...

I think the Canad Inn, if you average their occupancy, might be under the average. Initially, they had low occupancy rates, so averaging those 30-40% nights with more recent 90-100% nights would account for a seemingly low occupancy rate when the hotel is in fact full most nights.

Ivyvine said...

Mike,
Although not downtown, I would recommend the Parrot's Cay. It's a bar with the best wings in town (I *heart* Cay sauce), a good sized menu and a wide variety of beer on tap (2nd only to the Blue Moose I believe). the portions are very generous, so unless you are very hungry I would recommend getting the half size (if available) or eating with a friend. They also have monthly menu specials and some southern cajun specialties. Oh, and if you like domestic taps, get a Cay Mug! You buy it for $5 (with the beer) and all your refills whenever you bring your mug are $1.25 for 14oz (or 16...I forget the size off the top of my head). You can show up on dollar burger night with your Cay mug and for $4 have a burger, chips and a beer and STILL leave a tip!

MattFacingSouth said...

I recommend Sanders, The Toasted Frog, and Rhombus Guys Pizza.

I went to the TF last Thursday and had a seafood lavosh that was pretty much to die for. Their fish tacos are also outstanding - though they are better when avocados are in season.

Mike said...

Thanks for all the responses. Some of these places sound great. I have been to a couple. Like Blue Moose and Parrot's Cay. Although I went to Parrot's Cay to drink with some coworkers and didn't get any food. I will have to try some. What night is Burger night?

This is why I love GFL... ask a question one day and get like 10 responses by the next day. Thanks Guys!

Mike said...

I have heard of Rhombus Guys Pizza because of their ads on the radio... but have no clue where it is. (I guess there was a question in there) Also are their prices good? What do you suggest?

On another note.
I have heard Mike's Pizza next to Whitey's can get expensive.

Anonymous said...

Monday night is burger night at the Cay -
Rhombus is good also - I have not had good luck with their appetizers but the pizzas rock (BBQ Chicken is the fav).

MattFacingSouth said...

Rhombus is on Kittson between 4th and 5th. It's about halfway between the Urban Stampede and The Plain Brown Wrapper on the "Urban" side of the street. Small, but good apps, beer, and service.

Anonymous said...

Mike's pizza is very reasonable. Burgers & sandwiches are usually between $6-$9; pizzas are $10-20 depending on the size. I'd say the prices fall in the same range as all the other places in town, if not a little lower.

Remember, this isn't Deek's or Domino's with their college priced plain pizza, so if you want a cheap pie look elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Even though the prices may seem a little high at Rhombus Guys, their pizzas are HUGE and filling - so consider that a pizza will feed two people for a couple meals (last time the 2 of us ate a medium pizza for 3 meals before finishing it off). Quality & quantity here - so to me the price is right.

Anonymous said...

As long as we're talking pizza, let's not forget Popolino's. Lest they go the way of Giovanni's (R.I.P.).

Mike said...

I have a friend that works part time at Popolino's and I haven't heard anything about bad business. He says on a good night he makes really good money.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard that the Current Apartments being built downtown are low income??

Anonymous said...

Sorry to add to the above comment--or is that a rumor?

Ivyvine said...

The other nice thing about Rhombus Guys is that you can get any size pizza as a 1/2 & 1/2 of any kind. I like to get 1/2 my old stand-by (Thai Chicken, yum!) and 1/2 something I haven't tried before.

Ivyvine said...

To my knowledge, Current Apts. will be low income.

Anonymous said...

Lots of news lately regarding smoker's rights. I'm not interested in debating the topic but, don't you think the City Council blew it with the Grand Forks law? They should have gone all the way, or not at all.

It's bizarre. For Bonzers and The Frog to allow smoking, they now can't have minors on premise; no one under 21. Also, if you stay at The Town House, you can't take your kids to breakfast at the restaurant on site. You have to eat at the tables in the court yard by the pool. (Not that I would take my kids into Muddy Rivers). Is it true that a UND Alumn coming back to town, can't take their kid to Bonzers for a sandwhich at lunch?

downtown diner said...

Oh yeah, how could I forget Rhombus Guys!?! It's in the old Sander's restaurant next to the Urban Stampede. Awesome pizza. My sister and I were there the other night and ordered a half and half "Backpacker" and "Chicken Pesto". The place was packed and we had to wait about 15 to 20 minutes for a booth. Well worth the wait.

Anonymous said...

If the Current Apts. are going to be low income, it won't be that low. I know someone on the waiting list there whose earnings aren't half bad. I think the intention was for it to be a mixed income site, definitely not as upscale as the condos nearly across the street.

Anonymous said...

How do you all think a Leann Chin or a Sonic would do in GF or don't we need something like that?

GrandForksGuy said...

Yes, the Current Apartments will be "low income" but, in all reality, I don't think we're talking about a real low income housing project here. The tenants' incomes may be "low" under whatever formula is being used, but I don't think we're talking about stereotypical "low income" people here...perhaps "lower" income would better represent what that building will be. I believe the building is being marketed towards college-aged people...people in college or who have recently graduated could usually be called "low income" even though they don't fit the stereotypes some of us have of people who would live in a typical "low income" housing project. So, to sum it up, yes this is a "low income" housing project, but probably not like other "low income" housing projects most of us would think of.

Anonymous said...

Sonic...oh what I would give for one of those. I realize their business would drastically decrease in the wintertime (with the in-car service), which is why they should put one in the mall. They have several mall locations in OK/TX that do quite well. :-)

GrandForksGuy said...

I've never had a chance to visit a Sonic, but I've heard good things about them. However, do they have any restaurants in this part of the country at this time? I'm not sure that they do...

I would love a Leann Chin! However, they only have restaurants in the Twin Cities and one in St. Cloud...so I'm not sure they would be ready to expand to the Red River Valley yet. I ate at the Leann Chin in Burnsville this summer and loved it. However, in all reality, there food isn't that different from the multitude of varieties of "asian" chicken dishes served at places like the Panda Buffet. Better quality and better tasting than places like the Panda, but not that different. Actually, Magic Chopstix in Columbia Mall has a similar menu to Leann Chin.

Eric said...

It is true that you can't bring your kids into Bonzer's for lunch. We were downtown and wanted to have lunch there one afternoon, but were asked to leave because we had our 2.5 and 14 month old kids with us. Ridiculous. I'm sure they lose no small amount of business because of that policy.

Anonymous said...

eric - Bonzer's is a bar...find somewhere else to take your kids for lunch!

Anonymous said...

anonymous-

applebee's has a bar. should kids not be allowed to eat their too?

Anonymous said...

anonymous-

applebee's has a bar. should kids not be allowed to eat their too?

river man said...

"Some cool downtown eating places include:"

Hey, you left out one place on your list. Subway on Demers across the street from the Alerus corporate building is a great place to grab lunch, eat a late night snack before or after you hit the bar on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It's also a good place to eat anytime your craving a sub sandwich. I know I'm biased because I work there. But the owners who own the store and the other Subway stores in greater Grand Forks are fantastic people, (I know because I have frequent contact with one of them as an employee, and has earned my respect and admiration). Subway on Columbia and the other Subways are a great place to go to as well. I work at the one downtown and have also worked at a few of the other Subways in town. So stop in and have a sub, a wrap, or soup.

Anonymous said...

idk how easy it is to get served n this town for a beer. Im underage and had a couple beers at 5 different bars last nite. Im not complaining but where im from, i cant even step foot in a bar with out being carded. God i love this town. bunch of hicks

Anonymous said...

Sonic's closest location is in Sioux Falls. I would think if it could survive the winters there, it would work up here! :)

river man said...

The managers that mangage the local stores are phenonomenal, too.
My boss at the downtown store does a great job. In the numerous jobs (over 15 jobs) I've had over the years, where I work at right now ranks in the top three or four places I have worked at. It's also a great place to works despite low starting pay and no medical benifits. But I get one free sub and cookies every time I work. Now I can hear the naysayers about this place, but the above is my opinion and assessment of the where I work at, and I have very few complaints.

Anonymous said...

the guy who posted at 10:08 should learn we are not hicks!!! jsut a slecet few who give us a bad image!!

dale said...

I would guess that most peoples' main complaint with Subway is that they're everywhere, and thus make entry of other sandwich places (like Schlotzky's Deli) all the more unlikely.

That's mine, anyway. I eat there once in a while, though I far prefer Jimmy John's or Quiznos (if I'm feeling wealthy :-) but Subway makes a decent fast sandwich.

Anonymous said...

I prefer Quiznos over any other sandwhich place, but Ive never had Jimmy Johns

Fireball McFain said...

eric

Bonzers has that rule because it had to switch its liqour license to a more of a full bar one to get his profits back up from when GF changed its smoking laws bonzers fell in line with Applebees and the rest. so going from over 50% sales food and no msmoking to more of a bar is why kids no longer are allowed in. Sorry my thoughts is that they should or could let them in with the lunch crowd.

Eric said...

Bonzer's has good food, so it's too bad that families can't support their business. There have been several occasions where I would have chosen Bonzer's over a chain but for their 21+ policy.

Thanks for the explanation fireball.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify, I'm not an expert but I believe this is the situation....

To offer smoking, the business must possess a Class 1 Liquor License. If you have a Class 1 license, minor's are not allowed on the premises.

Is that the situation? I don't know about any booze to food sales ratios, like fireball mentioned. If anyone cares to know, I do know the statutes are available on-line.

Szymanski's Designated Driver said...

So what about this psycho that fired a gun at someone on I-29?

http://www.grandforksherald.com/articles/index.cfm?id=53352§ion=News


The victim claims that this guy fired at him...this should be attempted murder, assault w/ deadly weapon, or something besides reckless endangerment.... now this freak just had to pay $3750 to be back on the streets of Grand Forks...Comforting.

Anonymous said...

...about that idea of registering firearms...

Anonymous said...

anon at 10:08 last night. There's an old expression-are you confessing or bragging? I'm not sure I would call us a "bunch of hicks" when you drank "a couple of beers at 5 different bars". That would be 10 beers. No wonder you can't compose decent sentence.

Anonymous said...

Bonzers didn't even give the no smoking a try. They applied for the Class 1 liquor license before the smoking ban went into place. It just took them a while to get, so they were no smoking for about a month. They are still no smoking during the day until 3pm.

GrandForksGuy said...

I'm a little disappointed to hear that the new building being built next to the Red Pepper/Dakota Textbook building on 42nd Street will not have any commercial space after all. The plan had been to have commercial on the first floor and apartments on the second floor, but apparently Dakota Commercial couldn't find any interested commercial tenants. It's a shame...what could have been another mixed-use property will, instead, be just another apartment building. I have to admit that there does seem to be a problem with filling empty spots in some of the new strip malls around town lately so perhaps this is an extension of that. Still, it's a shame.

Szymanski's Designated Driver said...

That's ridiculous.... that's some of the best commercial space in town! Right by campus, right off the interstate.... I can't believe no one would jump in there. Well someone's gonna have a dumb looking apartment with a huge round room on the ground floor.

dale said...

For whatever reason, businesses have traditionally had a hard time making a go of it on the west side of 42nd. Makes no sense, due to the proximity of UND, but look at the Crowne Colony complex (or whatever it's called these days.) Since the early eighties, it's been a revolving door of businesses, none very successful. There was once a theatre in there, for example (remember seeing Totoro in it, right around the time it closed) and Italian Moon had a branch restaurant.

Anonymous said...

Right, that 42nd St. Complex has few successful businesses and too many vacancies, but it really needs an overhaul -- its inside resembles a cavern. Now that there won't be a new coffee shop on 42nd, I wonder if the proposed Starbucks on the Bronson property still might appear.

Anonymous said...

I have recently moved into an old building downtown.

I am very VERY VERY curious on the history of the building but the library has turned up nothing but previous residents. PLEASE PLEASE put me in the direction of some resources...

GrandForksGuy said...

First, what building are you speaking of? Perhaps some of us can provide some background. Second, which library did you try? The public library has the "Grand Forks Room" which I'm guessing is where you've been. You may want to try the Special Collections department at the Chester Fritz Library. Special Collections is on the top floor of the building and I believe they have quite an extensive collection of local history materials. They should also have staff who could help you in your research.

BTW, I think it is really cool that you want to research your building. I would guess that most people who live downtown have literally no knowledge of their building's history.

GrandForksGuy said...

Speaking of the development on North 42nd, I'm overall rather upset that, at least in this case, "mixed-use" will end up meaning a development containing hundreds of apartmentes, a small fast food restaurant that never seems very busy, and a college textbook store that nobody has any use for when it isn't the start or end of a semester. To me, that doesn't sound like what I would hope for in a true mixed-use development.

Also, is it ok with the city that the developer is going to build an apartment building on 42nd Street in a stretch that otherwise contains only commercial property? I'm all for true mixed-use development if done correctly, but I fear this development is going to end up looking more like a "mixed-up" use development.

Clearly the new apartment building was originally intended to be a commercial and residential building...that is obvious by the building's design. The fact that the first floor will now contain apartments will just look silly...especially considering that this building is a clone of the commercial/residential building to the north.

I'm wondering why a business like Starbucks would back out of this building...rent too expensive? Still, even if they didn't want to open a location here, is it impossible to find another commercial tenant? Would it have been out of the question to leave the first floor empty until commercial tenants could have been found? When developers build strip malls, the buildings often sit virtually empty until tenants can be found over a period of time...why couldn't this building have been developed in a similar manner?

Anonymous said...

"I have recently moved into an old building downtown"

You will definitely want to find this limited edition book called "Grand Forks A Pictorial History" by D. Jerome Tweton.

Tweton was a history professor at UND and has published many books on the history of North Dakota. The old First National Bank, now Alerus, helped get this book published. ISBN # 0-89865-464-5

The book chronicles the history of Grand Forks from about 1880 to 1980. You will very likely find photos and information about the downtown building in which you live.

I lived downtown for over 10 years and was lucky to find this book (new) at the Book Fair quite a long time ago. I believe there is an updated edition available now.

Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

It is the Dacotah Arms building. 114 n3 st. It, I believe, was at one point a Montgomery Ward. Other than that I just know that it became the Dacotah Arms/Uptown Apt somewhere between 1930-1934, according to city directories.

Anonymous said...

Interesting to note what makes it onto the Forun website as updated or breaking News vs. the Herald. Today, for instance, as of 1pm EST, the Forum has added stories on Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize and a ND coalition calling for overriding the President's veto of SCHIP. Neither made it onto the Herald's. What did? The cancellation of an open house and a story about love letters. It seems that more and more, the Herald is being relegated to a "rural" newspaper.

ec99 said...

"It seems that more and more, the Herald is being relegated to a "rural" newspaper."

Jacobs has made no bones about his belief that in order to sell papers, local news has to be the priority on the front page.

Anonymous said...

What's not locally relevant about the SCHIP story, which will undoubtedly affect Grand Forks kids? A good editor asks him or herself, How can I make this story relevant to my readers, i.e, How can I add a local angle.

Anonymous said...

Personally....I think a local newspaper should focus on local stories. There are tons of places to go for national news from every possible political slant. Not so for local news. Granted if a very big national story was to occur it would be on front page.

C. Y. said...

It seems that more and more, the Herald is being relegated to a "rural" newspaper.

So what's wrong with "rural" ? Do ya think you will fall off the earth if you leave the city limits?

I suppose the quotes were to bring attention to the word and not because it left a bad taste in your mouth?

It's not like the rest of the news can't be found on your computer and the paper needs to find it's niche for sales. Not that I'm all for defending the paper but . . . .

ladybug said...

I agree. Leave the national news-reporting to CNN, MSNBC, etc. I enjoy the local-interest stories that are printed in the Herald, and I don't expect (nor do I read) them to print anything other than AP copy for national stories.

Anonymous said...

I except the local paper to be just that LOCAL. I expect local news stories and if that includes the cancellation of an open house then that's what should be printed. I check CNN if I want national news

Anonymous said...

I agree. I like local news and miss the people stories in the Sunday Herald. Seems most of the articles are canned, national stories.

Anonymous said...

Some of you may have seen Ron Paul guys on the Demers/Washington St intersection the past few weekends. I just learned about this blog... I'm the organizer of the GF Ron Paul 2008 Meetup group (http://ronpaul.meetup.com/964)... just to let you know, love us or hate us, but we're here to stay in Grand Forks and we plan on having a continued and visual presence in the city.
I definately don't mind if you disagree or even don't like Ron Paul; it's besides the point. We're trying to make a smaller-name candidate be recognized for President and people disagreeing is just part of the process. We just encourage people to learn about him because he's definately something else.

Mike Peterson
GF Ron Paul 2008 Organizer
rudys_fire@hotmail.com