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Published August 13 2010

Hector seeks vendor as Haug retires

The longtime operator of the Barnstormer restaurant at Fargo’s Hector International Airport is retiring, and the Airport Authority will soon interview four vendors vying to replace him.

Pete Haug took over the concession service at the airport around 1980 and has operated the Barnstormer in the current main terminal since it opened in 1986, airport Executive Director Shawn Dobberstein said.

Haug also owned and operated The Grainery restaurant at West Acres mall from 1973 until he sold it in 2001 to a St. Cloud, Minn.-based regional chain that reopened it as Grizzly’s Grill N’ Saloon.

On Aug. 24, Airport Authority members will interview four vendors vying for the food contract: Air Host Inc. of Memphis, Tenn.; CBM Managed Services of Sioux Falls, S.D.; Jedediah’s at the Airport of Jackson Hole, Wyo.; and MSE Branded Foods of Gainesville, Ga.

According to the request for proposals, the airport will receive a minimum of 7 percent of gross receipts on food and 12 percent of gross receipts on alcohol, Assistant Director Darren Anderson said.

The chosen vendor is expected to take over from Haug by Jan. 1, and the Barnstormer name may or may not change, Dobberstein said.

The Barnstormer and Grainery were well known for Haug’s beer cheese soup, which eventually was sold on a retail basis in area supermarkets.

A native of La Crosse, Wis., Haug moved to Moorhead when he was 16 and almost immediately went to work at the old F-M Hotel in downtown Moorhead, according to Forum archives.

The veteran restaurateur is a past president of the Fargo Moorhead Chamber of Commerce.

Haug couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528