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AROUND TOWN: New owners for Grand Forks landmark

A prominent downtown building has new ownership.

Triumph Holdings LLC, based in Grand Forks, assumed ownership of the five-story St. John’s Block, on the corner of DeMers Avenue and North Third Street in November, according to county property records. The new owners also acquired the attached building that includes the Amazing Grains co-op and four apartments.

The Herald reached out to those involved with Triumph to find out if there are any plans for the buildings, but had not heard back this week.

The corner building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1890 and includes 22 apartment units, according to property records. The North Valley Arts Council’s offices are also located there.

Rhombus beer

The Rhombus Guys are fine-tuning their plan to transform downtown Grand Forks’ Metropolitan Opera House into a brewpub.

Co-owner Arron Hendricks said they have a brewing license application pending, and a historic impact review for the 1889 building at 116 S. Third St. has passed a state review.

But architectural design and other details are still being refined.

“We’re still trying to hammer out those details,” Hendricks said. “The design process is taking longer than anticipated.”

He and partner Matt Winjum have been going through brewmaster candidates, but have not hired anyone yet.

Hendricks does not expect any work to start on the building for several more months, but once the building details are worked out and licenses are approved, their ambitions for Grand Forks beer should be a go, he said.

“At this point, we’re assuming we’re going to have fairly clear sailing ahead of us.”

Homebrew shop looking for home

A first-time prospective business owner is looking for a new location to open his homebrewing supply shop.

Michael Pence had originally planned to open his shop in a small space that used to house Silver Dollar Pawn Shop at 13th Avenue South and Washington Street. At the time, he said he hoped to open in February.

But he later found out that opening at that location would require adding bathrooms and a back door, which would have pushed the grand opening to next year. He said a lot of people have asked when the store would open.

For now, he’s hoping to open by the fall. But first, he’ll need to find a location.

Pence said the business will be called HomeBrew ‘U,’ a nod to his intention to have a number of brewing-related classes alongside equipment for beer and wine makers.

“We want to create opportunities for everybody to learn how to do it,” he said.

Send business tips to Bjorke at and (701) 780-1117 or to Hageman at or (701) 780-1244.