Grand Forks ‘Panera’ Location Opening October 8

While Fargoans have just had their Panera Bread hankerings quenched with the opening of the first North Dakota location, Grand Forks fans will have to wait a bit longer.

I just heard from a local marketing coordinator for Panera that the Grand Forks location will open on October 8 at 6 a.m.

So get ready.

The store at the former Taco Bell location on 32nd Ave. S. right in front of Wal-Mart has a drive-thru, so getting your fix will be even faster.

 Check out the full menu here

Dickey’s Reopening August 1; Golden Corral to be Strip Mall

Barbecue fanatics, rest easy. Dickey’s Barbecue Pit will reopen on August 1, assuming everything goes as planned.

The owners of the Grand Forks location at the intersection of Washington and Demers apparently had to move, according to multiple tipsters and are selling the business.

Dickey’s closed up last month without any warning.

As for who the new owners are or will be, I have no idea. But here’s hoping everything goes well in getting the place up and running without any problems.

In other news, the former Golden Corral building on 32nd Ave. S. will soon be a new strip mall and it could house a restaurant or two. No word yet on what businesses will call it home, but I’ll let you know as soon as I hear!

Late Fall Opening Expected for GF ‘Panera’

If you’ve driven on 32nd Ave. S. in Grand Forks lately, you likely have seen the big metal skeleton of a building being erected where Taco Bell once stood. In just a few months, it’ll be home to a new Panera Bread location.

Panera Bread

A Regional Marketing Manager for Panera tells me that they’re aiming for a late fall 2013 opening for the new store.

Also of note, it will have a drive-thru.

Stay tuned for further updates on the expected opening date.

Click here to study up on the menu. 

‘HuHot’ 1 Step Closer to GF Location

Here’s some good news for your Monday afternoon: HuHot Mongolian Grill is a bit closer to having a location in Grand Forks.

A few months ago, I told you that the Fargo franchisee was scouting locations. Now, he tells me that they’re in “lease negotiations as of right now.” He said a possible location fell through because of a parking space issue.

So while we don’t yet know where the restaurant will be, we’re one step closer to having it.

At HuHot, you choose a stir-fry dish from a selection of fresh meats, noodles, vegetables and Asian sauces and watch the chef grill it up on the huge circular grill. Check out the menu here.

It should only be a matter of time!

‘Shing Ya’ Opening in Downtown GF on Monday

Shing Ya, a Japanese restaurant in the former location of a Middle Eastern restaurant, will open in downtown Grand Forks on Monday, November 19.

Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and until 10 p.m. on weekends.

Owner Steven Ming Li recently moved to Grand Forks from Rosemead, CA,where he managed a restaurant for 12 years. He’s originally from Beijing.

Li told me Shing Ya will have sushi, chicken, pork and fish dishes along with Japanese curry, and ramen and udon noodle dishes. He also will have a beer and wine license for the restaurant. The lease on the space is for two years, started September 1.

Li says Shing Ya will be closed for Thanksgiving Day, so if you’re jonesing for Japanese food, you’ll have to find another place.

Grand Forks has seen a growing number of ethnic restaurants, with places like Drunken Noodle, Little Bangkok, Babylon, Fuji and others opening in just the last few years. (Although Babylon is no more obviously). I think it’s a great thing. Most people are reluctant to venture out and try something truly different than what they’re used to eating everyday. You never know what will become your new favorite dish.

Shing Ya is at 108 N. 3rd St. – #701-772-0515

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Coming to Former Mi Mexico Location

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit will soon be calling the former Mi Mexico location home, according to Reggie.

“When I moved to North Dakota, I looked up barbecue and all that came up were Chinese food restaurants,” said franchise owner Josh Becker. “There was a desperate need for barbecue here.”

Dickey's Quarter Plate

Becker is right. The only time we get good barbecue up here is when the Famous Dave’s truck comes up from Fargo for the Art Fest or something. Wild Hog in south Grand Forks is alright, but I found their version a bit dry. I do need to get there again and try the ribs, though.

Dickey’s was started in Texas in 1941. They serve hickory-smoked meats like beef brisket, pulled pork, polish sausage and more. Sides include cole slaw, barbecue beans, potato salad and French fries. There are over 200 locations across the country.

A Fargo Forum review found the meat tasty, but the sides lacking.

Dickey’s is expected to open in mid May. I can’t wait.

‘Casa Mexican Restaurant’ Coming to EGF

Tipped off by a few comments, I saw tonight that “Casa Mexican Restaurant” will be opening soon in East Grand Forks, at least according to the sign in front of the old Tortilla Flats restaurant.

Casa Coming Soon

What “opening soon” means is anyone’s guess. But that building has been vacant for quite a few years. It’s in a bit of an odd location, west of Hugo’s in East Grand Forks but tucked in on a side street.

I remember going to Tortilla Flats a few times and was always pleased with what I ate. It wasn’t amazing, but better than Paradiso and Mexican Village. Mi Mexico was probably better and more authentic but the more Mexican food in town, the better. And even more now that Mi Mexico is gone.

There are Tortilla Flats signs still up and not a whole activity on the outside yet. A number I found online for the place wasn’t answered.

It’s always good to see a vacant restaurant being filled by a new local one. Hopefully the food at Casa is authentic and not the Americanized version we’ve all come to love (?) so much.

Casa Mexican Restaurant / 112 14th St NE, EGF / (218) 773-4331