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La Cantina opens new location in Grand Forks

Mark Petri, La Cantina’s sole owner, started La Cantina in May 2008 in Mayville, North Dakota. This is the third location, with the second in Grafton, North Dakota. Petri described the atmosphere as “Classic Americana.”

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The dining area at the new La Cantina in Grand Forks.
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A new La Cantina location officially opened in Grand Forks on Dec. 27 at 1730 13th Ave. N., offering a new option for those looking for Tex-Mex food.

The restaurant’s food offerings include certified angus steaks, hand-cut carne asada, burgers, wings, sandwiches, wraps, tacos and more, as well as free chips and La Cantina’s own "Jefe's" Salsa with every meal. It also offers daily dine-in specials.

Mark Petri, La Cantina’s sole owner, started La Cantina in May 2008 in Mayville, North Dakota. This is the third location, with the second in Grafton, North Dakota. Petri described the atmosphere as “Classic Americana.”

The location will offer gaming, blackjack and electronic pull tabs, a full bar…

“...And outstanding margaritas,” Petri said.

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Petri is a self-professed foodie, and his goal is bold flavor, large portions and a premium on an enjoyable dining experience. Petri said fun dining experiences must include good, hospitable service making customers feel welcome and never out of place.

“What we're trying to do here is we're trying to have a place where food is supposed to be fun,” Petri said. “Food should be fun. You should come in and have a great experience.”

While La Cantina has a full bar, gaming and more, Petri said he still considers it family-friendly. The bar and gaming areas are separated by a partition wall.
“We want to make sure we have that, because I think the north side will appreciate that as well, that they can bring their kids,” Petri said.

So, what drew Petri to open a new location in Grand Forks? He said it just made too much sense.

“I've got Mayville, North Dakota, which is south, I've got Grafton, North Dakota, which is north, (and) geographically, logistically, supply chain… Everything is kind of hubbed out of Grand Forks, and it's a larger city,” Petri said. “Mayville is a small city, Grafton is a little bit of a bigger city and Grand Forks is a major metropolitan area in the state of North Dakota, so all I try to do is try to pick winners with our brand, and we think that Grand Forks will be a good fit for what we do and how we do it, and we like the market.”

Petri began the process of hiring about two months ago, and he said La Cantina is still looking for employees.

“We're always looking for good people,” Petri said. “We are always, and still, currently hiring because we don't know how high the high is going to be yet in what we do and how we do it.”

Petri was pleased with high turnout in its first few days of service, and he expressed how grateful he was to have a warm reception by Grand Forks residents.

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“We’re just as pleased as punch to be on the north side of Grand Forks,” Petri said. “We think that what we do and how we do it is going to be a great fit up here.”

Related Topics: LOCAL BUSINESS
Jacob Holley joined the Grand Forks Herald as its business reporter in June 2021.

Holley's beat at the Grand Forks Herald is broad and includes a variety of topics, including small business, national trends and more.

Readers can reach Holley at jholley@gfherald.com.Follow him on Twitter @JakeHolleyMedia.
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