OPENING SOON: Two new restaurants at East Grand Forks' BoardwalkDrunken Noodle, a pasta and noodle restaurant, is tentatively set to open Jan. 30 in the former Applebee’s space, co-owner Dave Scheer said. The former banquet facility Touch of Magic located on the upper floor will open by mid-February as the completely revamped Banquets at the Boardwalk, which will include the new River’s Edge Lounge, owner and manager Jane Moss said.
After months of construction, two new businesses are preparing to open in downtown East Grand Forks’ Boardwalk building overlooking the Red River.
Drunken Noodle, a pasta and noodle restaurant, is tentatively set to open Jan. 30 in the former Applebee’s space, co-owner Dave Scheer said.
“We’re that close,” he said. “The bar will be done on Monday, and we’re just going through details now.”
The former banquet facility Touch of Magic located on the upper floor will open by mid-February as the completely revamped Banquets at the Boardwalk, which will include the new River’s Edge Lounge, owner and manager Jane Moss said.
“Our goal is to utilize that space every day of the week, and I think we’re meeting an area that’s much needed as far as a banquet facility because we can hold so many,” she said.
Applebee’s closed Aug. 30 as its lease expired and the franchise owner decided to close it and focus on running the Applebee’s and Space Aliens in Grand Forks’ south end. Touch of Magic closed Dec. 31 after the owner and chef Dennis Narlock joined a Catholic religious order that requires he give up his worldly possessions.
Work to remodel the old Touch of Magic space began Jan. 1 right after that business closed. Moss said the space will have seating for up to 550 and room for another 100 on the deck.
Banquets at the Boardwalk will boast a fresh new look and several new features, including a media room for meetings and the ability to break the space into smaller rooms for meetings, bridal showers and other smaller events.
The space also will have a new lounge, the River’s Edge Lounge, which will offer high-end cocktails and fine-dining options that will be open to the public whenever the banquet room isn’t booked.
Moss said Touch of Magic’s banquet room was used just 52 times last year. But she said the new lounge and the revamped space could help make it a booming business year-round.
“It’s got a beautiful view of the river,” she said. “We hope to keep it busy every day of the week.”
Moss, who is also owner and manager of Boardwalk Bar and Grill downtown, owns the Boardwalk building along with Dan Stauss and Scott Stauss.
Banquets at the Boardwalk is now taking reservations and has its first booking Feb. 16.
Drunken Noodle, which got its start in downtown Fargo, is almost done overhauling the former Applebee’s space. Scheer and the other owner, his son Thamrong Dechawuth, began leasing the space last fall.
The restaurant will offer pasta and noodle dishes from all over the world, and it also is the Fargo owners’ first restaurant with a full liquor license and a full-service bar.
Scheer said the restaurant, which will have seating for about 150 and a staff of about 20 employees, will have a different atmosphere than Little Bangkok, a downtown Thai restaurant he and Dechawuth own just a few blocks away.
“The Little Bangkok is sit down and eat and enjoy the food,” he said. “Here, it’s sit down and enjoy the food, but if you want to, you can have a cocktail with it.”
Drunken Noodle also will have a stage and Scheer said the restaurant will book live acoustic performances.
He said he is hopeful the business can be as successful as Little Bangkok, his first restaurant in East Grand Forks that opened in 2010.
But he said Drunken Noodle will be just one part of the booming Boardwalk area, which includes the River Cinema movie theaters and several nearby dining options, including Blue Moose, Mamma Maria’s, Mike’s Pizza and Whitey’s.
“It’s a place to come where people can say, ‘Let’s go out to dinner. I don’t know where to go, but we’ll go to East Grand Forks and we’ll find someplace to eat there.’”
On the web
For more info about Banquets on the Boardwalk, go to www.BoardwalkEntertainmentGroup.com. Drunken Noodle in Grand Forks does not appear to have a website; the Fargo restaurant is at www.DrunkenNoodle.com.