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Hillsboro seeks a new full-service restaurant

HILLSBORO, N.D.--Entrepreneurs take note: Hillsboro needs a new restaurant. The Traill County town has been without a full-service restaurant--an eatery that serves the three main meals of the day--since the closure of its sole such offering, the...

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HILLSBORO, N.D.-Entrepreneurs take note: Hillsboro needs a new restaurant.

The Traill County town has been without a full-service restaurant-an eatery that serves the three main meals of the day-since the closure of its sole such offering, the former Country Hearth Restaurant, after a September 2015 fire.

On Oct. 6, the Hillsboro Economic Development Corp. put out a call on social media for a replacement. EDC President Rob Owens said the post has helped generate some interest at a preliminary stage of the process. Though Hillsboro has dining options including Subway, Burger King and food service at a local bar, Owens said the town is "just missing that other component we used to have."

"I think there are some people speculating, wondering how much traffic goes through Hillsboro, and I think people would be surprised by how much it gets," he said, pointing to its location halfway between Fargo and Grand Forks. "It'd be nice to have a restaurant there so we can gain that traffic as well."

Melissa Beach, executive director of the Traill County Economic Development Commission, said her organization is also supporting the effort to attract a new restaurant and can provide assistance to get a new eatery off the ground.

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"We work start to finish with new businesses," Beach said. "We can help with the business plan and would help with somebody who was looking for feasibility options. We have a company we've seen do layouts for new restaurants, so we can help entrepreneurs with that."

Both the local and county economic development associations also offer financing options to facilitate new ventures, Beach said. A new restaurant would have to find its own facilities-the building that housed the Country Hearth has since been demolished to make way for a Dollar General store.

Beach said a few inquiries have come in since the social media post appeared. At this point, she said it seemed the curious parties were "doing their own homework" to determine what kind of opportunity existed. For a new full-service restaurant to succeed, Beach said she believed it would take "committed ownership and understanding the market."

"We've seen some very successful restaurants in Hillsboro over the years, so we're not concerned with viability," she said. "We're looking for someone to come in, run it and own it."

Related Topics: TRAILL COUNTY
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