AROUND TOWN: No rush to fill opera house spaceGrand Forks’ Metropolitan Opera House was around 123 years before the owners Rhombus Guys purchased it, and they are in no rush so far to turn the historic structure into something new.
By: Christopher Bjorke And John Hageman, Grand Forks Herald
Grand Forks’ Metropolitan Opera House was around 123 years before the owners Rhombus Guys purchased it, and they are in no rush so far to turn the historic structure into something new.
“Probably not any time soon,” was Arron Hendricks’ answer when asked when he and his business partner, Matt Winjum, could say how they planned to use the commercial space in the downtown landmark.
Hendricks and Winjum purchased the building, just around the corner from their pizzeria, this summer. The building has apartments on its upper floors, but its high-ceilinged, brick-walled street level has been without a business tenant since the 1997 flood.
“The retail space piqued our interest more than anything,” Hendricks said.
The partners are weighing several ideas, looking at renovation costs and studying feasibility, but Hendricks was willing to discuss one possibility: a brewpub.
“We’ve been essentially talking about making our own beer since we were kids,” Hendricks said.
But their interest in brewing does not guarantee they will pursue the idea. Hendricks said the apartments generate enough income to justify the purchase of the building, and that gives them time to figure out if brewing would be the plan for the space or if something else would be better.
“We don’t want to just sit on it,” Hendricks said.
Bar changes name, remodels
A local bar is getting a makeover and making room for other businesses.
Shotgun Sally’s Rock N Roll Saloon, formerly known as Big D’s Bar and Grill, will reopen next week after remodeling that took place over the summer. Owner William Kieffer said the bar will be downsized from 17,000 square feet to about 10,000 square feet.
Kieffer said having a building that large was initially intended to attract well-known musical acts.
“We ended up not being able to get as many national acts as we wanted,” Kieffer said. The venue still will host live music, and Thursday’s grand opening will feature the Johnny Holm Band. “It’s going to be a lot more intimate setting for the customers when they’re coming to see the bands.”
The food menu will largely stay the same, Kieffer said, but new management and staff will run the location.
The space left over from Shotgun Sally’s remodeling will be set aside for two future tenants, Kieffer said. He said his business partner, Robert Leslie, is working to get a Crave Burger in one of those spots.
Crave, an American-style restaurant that recently opened in Moorhead, offers a wide selection of burgers, fries and onion rings.
Kieffer said the Fargo Big D’s location is just starting its remodeling.
American Crystal ends reports
Followers of one of the Red River Valley’s biggest companies no longer will be able to find its quarterly financial reports on its website.
American Crystal Sugar stopped filing reports with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission this summer when the SEC told them that, as a member-owned cooperative, it did not have to follow requirements of publicly traded companies, said Brian Ingulsrud, vice president for administration.
He said shareholders would get more benefit from the cooperative’s administration focusing on other tasks.
“There’s time and resources involved in filing these reports,” he said.
The quarterly reports detailed the company’s costs, profits and other indicators of its business performance. They also played a part in the company’s 20-month lockout of its union workers, who cited the data in the reports as evidence of the harm they said the lockout was doing to the company.
Ingulsrud said that was not a part of the decision to stop filing.
Today’s column is the first for a new feature on the weekly business page. We hope it will be something readers look forward to each Saturday as source of local and regional business news that will start conversations that begin with the words “Did you hear …?”
To do that, we need readers to pass on tips on happenings they hear about the area. They can send their tips to John Hageman at (701) 780-1244 and firstname.lastname@example.org and to Christopher Bjorke at (701) 780-1117 and email@example.com.