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Forum staff reports, Published December 18 2012

Valentino's restaurant in Fargo closes its doors

FARGO – A long-standing Italian restaurant here has closed.

Valentino’s Restaurant shut its doors on Saturday.

“Our franchise agreement expired, and we decided to do something else,” said owner Jim Fleming.

Fleming, a native of Bismarck, opened the restaurant in 1984. It was once popular for its buffet and quick serve Italian fare.

The 5,300-square-foot property at 1443 42nd St. S. is for sale or lease through the Grubb & Ellis firm.

Fleming said he is leaving the restaurant industry.

Fleming and his wife, Diane, live in Fargo and own three horses.

“It’s time to ride some horse,” he said.

Valentino’s originally opened in Lincoln, Neb., in 1956 and grew to more than 25 restaurants across the Midwest.

The Fargo restaurant served as the exclusive food vendor during the North Dakota Horse Park’s first two seasons.

A sign has been posted in the window of the building that reads, “Closed.”

Fleming said he would like to thank his former patrons for all of their business and support over the past 30 years.