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Old Chicago restaurant planned for Grand Forks

An Old Chicago restaurant and bar is planned for Grand Forks in 2012. Ted Horan, an operating partner with Willmar, Minn.-based Border States Management, which manages locations of Old Chicago and other restaurant brands, confirmed that the group...

An Old Chicago restaurant and bar is planned for Grand Forks in 2012.

Ted Horan, an operating partner with Willmar, Minn.-based Border States Management, which manages locations of Old Chicago and other restaurant brands, confirmed that the group is currently scouting Grand Forks for locations.

Border States Management, which also has a franchise agreement with Noodles & Company, previously announced its intention to open a Noodles & Company restaurant in Grand Forks.

Horan said the group may look to co-locate the Old Chicago and Noodles & Company restaurants on the same land. When asked where in Grand Forks the group is looking for locations, he responded that "the natural area would be the Columbia Mall area."

Noodles & Company

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The addition of Old Chicago and Noodles & Company restaurants along the city's busy 32nd Avenue South retail corridor would continue a recent surge in new restaurant openings along the corridor that includes the future Olive Garden and Ruby Tuesday's locations. In addition, Five Guys Burgers and Fries and JL Beers recently opened near 32nd Avenue and Columbia Mall.

"Grand Forks seems to be a growing market," Horan said. "There is a vibrant restaurant scene there. It is busy. We see that and think that both brands would be a good fit for a market like Grand Forks."

Old Chicago, which has restaurants in Fargo; Duluth and St. Cloud, Minn.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; and a number of Twin Cities area locations, is a casual dining restaurant specializing in pizza that also offers pasta, burgers, calzones and sandwiches. Old Chicago also provides customers with more than 100 beer choices, including a number of craft beer options.

Horan said he expected the locations of the future Old Chicago and Noodles & Company in Grand Forks would be finalized by December.

He said that both restaurants are expected to open in Grand Forks by the summer or early fall of 2012.

Ryan Brooks, a senior planner with the city's planning and zoning department, said no plans have been submitted to the city for the construction of a new building for either Old Chicago or Noodles & Company.

Attempts to reach corporate representatives at Noodles & Company and CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries Inc., which operates the Old Chicago brand, were unsuccessful on Monday.

Noodles & Company's newest restaurant opened on Monday in Fargo. Horan, whose group is also involved in that venture, said he was "seeing very large sales" during the first day of business on Monday.

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He said he hoped for similarly strong business when Old Chicago and Noodles & Company locations open in Grand Forks next year.

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 and check out his business blog at thebuzz.areavoices.com.

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