Bar slated for Westward Ho complexOwner anticipates opening The Ho Sports Bar & Casino in late October
Fans of the old Westward Ho complex will soon have another chance to stop by the old building on Gateway Drive in Grand Forks and relive history. A new bar, The Ho Sports Bar & Casino, is planned for the former peanut bar and comedy gallery space in the building. The bar’s owner is anticipating a late October opening.
Fans of the old Westward Ho complex will soon have another chance to stop by the old building on Gateway Drive in Grand Forks and relive history.
A new bar, The Ho Sports Bar & Casino, is planned for the former peanut bar and comedy gallery space in the building. The bar’s owner is anticipating a late October opening.
The Fabulous Westward Ho Entertainment Complex closed in 2001. A part of the original building now houses the North Side Cafe.
“It was a very popular place before,” said Gerald Green, the prospective bar’s owner. “I think we can make it a popular place again.”
Green, who owns Green’s Quality Construction, said he has secured a five-year lease in the 6,800-square-foot space within the larger complex from building owner Bill Graveline.
The City Council granted Green’s request for a liquor license at its meeting Monday night.
The North Side Cafe occupies about 5,000 square feet in a space formerly occupied by a liquor store in the former entertainment complex, which was purchased in 2006 and has been gutted and rebuilt in an effort to revitalize the facility.
Bruce Melin of the city’s building inspections department said the bar has received a permit for an interior remodeling project and alterations to the facility’s parking lot. Melin said some new interior walls are being added and framing and sheetrocking work was also being done in the space. He said the inspections department will need to sign off on a final inspection once work is completed.
“We started from scratch with the remodeling,” Green said. “We gutted it out completely and have redone all the walls. We opened up the wall where the peanut bar was.”
Green said he hopes to expand the bar into nearby vacant space in the building in the future.
The bar will be located in the middle of the space, surrounded by different themed areas decorated with Fighting Sioux gear, NASCAR memorabilia and a Harley-Davidson/motorcycle-themed space.
The gambling area, which will be managed by Listen Gaming, a licensed gambling operator, will include three blackjack tables, a paddle wheel and pull tabs.
A new stage will also allow the venue to offer live music and comedy shows.
“We will have live entertainment every weekend,” said Amanda Green, the bar manager and the owner’s daughter. “We pretty much have something for everybody. We’re going to get a variety of people.”
The new establishment expects to cater to blue collar workers, live music fans, sports fans and UND students of legal drinking age.
Owner Gerald Green said the bar will work with promoters to bring in bands from Fargo, Minneapolis and other areas that typically wouldn’t play Grand Forks.
The bar will also have pool tables, dartboards and other games.
It will sell pizza, but will open without a bar menu.
The Westward Ho complex, which was founded in 1953, closed in 2001 and pieces from its history were auctioned off in 2003.
But Westward Ho fans will still see some nods to the past when visiting the new bar. The common entry and lobby area of the building is still adorned with an old chandelier and the new owner of the bar plans to bring back some familiar touches like fishbowls and barrels of peanuts.
Schuster reports on business. Reach him at (701) 780-1107; (800) 477-6572, ext. 107, or email email@example.com. Follow Schuster on Twitter at @RyanSchuster and check out his business blog at thebuzz.areavoices.com.