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Published August 06 2010

Restaurant spreads its wings in F-M

Bison football season won’t kick off at North Dakota State University until the fall, but for the owner of one Fargo-Moorhead sports bar chain, this has been the summer of the Buffalo.

Or at least the summer of Buffalo Wild Wings.

Both Fargo locations of the beer-and-hot-wings joint are in the middle of expansion projects. The site at 1501 42nd St. S. is getting an outdoor patio, while the franchise on 19th Avenue just north of NDSU is getting a 1,550-seat addition that will feature a three-season porch, according to building permits filed with the city.

Across the river, construction is under way on a Moorhead restaurant at 2201 1st Ave., the former site of the Moorhead VFW post. The new location is less than a mile away from the campus of Minnesota State University-Moorhead.

All three franchises are owned by Todd LaHaise of Fargo through Blazing Wings Properties LLC, a Fargo-based corporation registered in LaHaise’s name. LaHaise did not return multiple phone calls seeking comment on the expansion projects.

Blazing Wings Properties bought the Moorhead site from the VFW for $625,000 last August, according to records on file with the city assessor’s office. The company demolished the interior later that month, and filed building permits to remodel the interior this July.

The building permits for the Fargo expansions were filed about a week later, setting in motion a flurry of construction activity at the three sites.

The new projects will cost a total of nearly $900,000 in construction and renovation costs – $600,000 for the Moorhead site, $220,000 for the North Fargo expansion and $75,000 for the 42nd Street patio.

All told, the projects will give Fargo and Moorhead nearly 26,000 square feet of Buffalo Wild Wings in a three-mile radius.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Marino Eccher at (701) 241-5502