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AROUND TOWN: Ojata Records moving to GF’s University Avenue

A downtown record, comic book and hotdog store is moving to the corner of University Avenue and North Washington Street in Grand Forks to make way for a neighboring church’s expansion.

Jeremy Swisher, owner of Ojata Records, said he hopes to open in a new location at 1300 University Ave. in October after about four years of business at the corner of DeMers Avenue and North Third Street. He said his landlord gave him notice that Freedom Church next door will expand into his space.

“We’ll miss this location,” Swisher said.

Still, he said he’s excited about the new space, which he said will have better parking. He also hopes to still have a downtown presence with a mobile food trailer. 

Nathan Johnson, a pastor at Freedom Church, said the church is using the Ojata space for bathrooms, a coffee bar area and “kids zone.” He said that will allow the church to expand the seating area for the sanctuary next door.

Credit union a first for in EGF

Citizens Community Credit Union, based in Devils Lake, opened a new location in East Grand Forks this week, a first for the community.

Darwin Brokke, CCCU’s president, said a review of bank locations showed it’s the first credit union to open in East Grand Forks. The new location is at 428 Bygland Road S.E.

Credit unions differ from banks in that their leaders are elected by the membership, Brokke said.

The new location will be convenient for the customers CCCU already has in East Grand Forks, he said. CCCU has three other locations in Grand Forks, on 32nd Avenue South, near the intersection of North 42nd Street and Gateway Drive and at the Gateway Drive Hugo’s.

Restaurant sales to benefit CVIC

Twenty area restaurants will give a portion of their Wednesday sales to the Community Violence Intervention Center for a new emergency shelter.

The CVIC is in the midst of its “Building Hope” campaign to raise $2.8 million for the new shelter. Edie Dahlen, the director of planning and finance for the CVIC, said the group is more than half-way toward its goal.

Participating restaurants on Wednesday will donate up to 10 percent of their sales to the campaign.

Dahlen said CVIC doesn’t have a specific goal for the event.

She gave credit for the Restaurant Day idea to Jonathan Holth, co-owner of the Toasted Frog. Holth is a member of the campaign’s steering committee, she said.

Participating establishments include the Blue Moose Bar and Grill in East Grand Forks, Brick and Barley Bar and Grill, Pizza Ranch, Ground Round, Culver’s and the Urban Stampede. For a full list of restaurants, visit

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

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

(701) 255-5607