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Dave Olson, Published July 03 2013

Remodeling project revolves around Vinyl Taco concept

FARGO – Warren Ackley has developed successful businesses in downtown Fargo for three decades, but he says the project going up at 520 1st Ave. N. is something completely different.

“It will be something to see,” he said, referring to Vinyl Taco, which he expects to open Oct. 1 in the space that previously housed an eatery called First & Deli.

Ackley, who was also a part of the development of the area’s JL Beers restaurants, describes the new restaurant’s style as “Mexican street fair, basically.”

Vinyl Taco’s tagline will be: “Tuned in music and turned on tacos,” and Ackley said bartenders will spin records.

In addition, there will be seating for 80 and a standing area for a pick-up window.

Ambience will be influenced by the work of local artists, who are making various pieces of the project, according to Ackley.

When the current project is complete, JL Beers and Vinyl Taco will be connected via a walk-through.

Ackley, who is developing Vinyl Taco with business partners Randy Thorson and Lance Thorson, said the building housing the restaurant is getting a complete remodel, from a new roof to a new main floor and new basement floor.

When finished, the storefront will have two working garage doors. As the doors go up, screen doors will drop to keep patrons and mosquitoes apart.

The price tag on the project is well over $1 million, according to Ackley, who said the idea of tearing down an old building and starting from scratch doesn’t occur to him.

“That thought doesn’t enter my mind. Maybe it should, but it never does,” Ackley said.

“We want to see downtown continue to grow,” he added. “I will reinvest in the old buildings all the time. Anytime.”


Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555