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JL Beers to open Wednesday in Grand Forks

Final preparations are being made before JL Beers opens its doors Wednesday in Grand Forks. Construction of the grill and bar's long brick building along South Columbia Road is complete, and staff will undergo final training today. "We've already...

Jon Wolfgram
Jon Wolfgram, general manager of the the new JL Beers in Grand Forks, draws a beer as he readies for Wednesday's opening. Herald photo by John Stennes.

Final preparations are being made before JL Beers opens its doors Wednesday in Grand Forks.

Construction of the grill and bar's long brick building along South Columbia Road is complete, and staff will undergo final training today.

"We've already had a lot of phone calls and people stopping by," said Lance Thorson, a partner in the chain that also has locations in Fargo and West Fargo. "People on Facebook keep asking when we're opening."

JL Beers offers about 40 different beers on tap, most from craft breweries across the country, as well as 50 to 60 varieties of bottled beer.

The limited menu items include burgers and sides of seasoned potato chips and french fries.

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JL Beers is among a number of eating establishments expected to open through this winter in Grand Forks.

Chain restaurants Olive Garden, Ruby Tuesday and Pizza Ranch and self-serve frozen yogurt chain CherryBerry are all preparing to open along 32nd Avenue South in Grand Forks. All either already have a presence in Fargo, or in the case of CherryBerry, are planning multiple Fargo locations.

"Grand Forks is an hour away from Fargo," Thorson said. "We thought it was the next logical place to go. I've noticed new franchises coming in with Olive Garden, Ruby Tuesday and Pizza Ranch. But I think there's still room for growth."

In addition to the influx of new chain restaurants on the southern end of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks landmark Whitey's will reopen under new ownership next month.

Dakota Commercial and Development is seeking a tenant for a restaurant planned for the ground floor of the new Northern Heights at Griggs Square mixed-use apartment complex on the site of the former Civic Auditorium in downtown Grand Forks.

Another chain, Dickey's Barbecue Pit, has confirmed it is planning a restaurant at an undisclosed location in Grand Forks and another in Fargo. It wasn't known when they might open.

JL Beers is the latest restaurant with Fargo area locations to head north to Grand Forks, joining national chain Five Guys Burgers and Fries, and Big D's Bar & Grill, which expanded to Grand Forks after opening its original location in Fargo.

JL Beers, which is also opening a location in Moorhead, may open in the Bismarck market as well. The Grand Forks location will employ a mix of some 50 full- and part-time workers. It will be open seven days a week, 11 a.m. to midnight.

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Schuster reports on business. Reach him at (701) 780-1107; (800) 477-6572, ext. 107, or email rschuster@gfherald.com . Follow Schuster on Twitter at @RyanSchuster.

Related Topics: RESTAURANTS AND BARS
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