First Denny’s, now Golden Corral?
It seems the buffet on 32nd Ave. S. will be reopening soon. Re-branded as the “Iron Kettle,” the place shuttered in late February. A sign on the door said it was closed due to “required maintenance.” No idea what this maintenance could be or why it would take nearly two months, but it does indeed look like the Corral is coming back.
And a few recent job postings seem to confirm it. They’re looking to hire a hospitality manager, kitchen manager and general manager. I also got a tip from “Big Guy” that the restaurant was taken over either by Golden Corral corporate or a Texas franchisee, but I couldn’t confirm that on Tuesday.
The Grand Forks Denny’s also closed up shop, but recently a few jobs were posted and on the application it said the owners were looking to re-open.
Golden Corral received a warm welcome in the area, considering there are no other American-style food buffets in Grand Forks beside the Royal Fork and Ponderosa, which are both no longer.
But ever since a few months after opening, I’ve heard horror story after horror story about the place. It also got the lowest sanitary rating from the Health Department late last year.
Customer reviews cite cold, dried-out food, mushy pasta and neglectful service. One diner said the employees were rude, silverware not out, dirty dishes and poor food selection. Out of 20 reviews on UrbanSpoon, Golden Corral got an average of 2 stars.
The only bright spot about the restaurant re-opening is that it means more jobs for those who need them. But other than that, color me unenthusiastic.
Buffets are always hit and miss, and I usually try to avoid them. But my recommendation for a good buffet in GF would be the Panda Buffet on Columbia Road. The normal Chinese food offerings are there and are usually tasty, but the real selling point is the big, circular grill tended to by an expert cook with just a wooden stick.
You can choose from fresh vegetables and frozen meats to add, along with any combination of sauces. The cook throws the ingredients on the screaming hot grill and slides them around until they’re cooked. This has got to be the best way to eat vegetables, piping hot and picking up some of the flavor of the grill. I highly recommend it.
Anyway, what do you think of the possible re-opening of Golden Corral? Were you a fan?
A person who seems to be in the know adds this:
What happened is the people/person who had the franchise agreement for the 3 Golden Corral locations in ND (Bismarck, Fargo, GF) got in a dispute with Golden Corral Corporate and tried to operate outside of the franchise/corporate agreements and not follow Golden Corrals corporate requirements. So the franchise owner got mad and the stores were all reopened as the Iron Kettles, well the quality suffered big time without Golden Corral Corporate overseeing things and all 3 locations closed down shortly after. Golden Corral took the franchise owners to court and got the stores back because of the franchise/corporate agreements that the previous franchise owners viloated. So Golden Corral corporate is now reopening all 3 locations. Bismarck opened last month, Fargo end of this month and GF probably the end of May. So I will give the place another shot, because you should definitely see an improvement all around.
We’ll see what happens.