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Angie Wieck, Published July 10 2013

Chili's restaurant moves into West Acres

FARGO – Chili’s Bar & Grill reopened this week in the former home of Griz-zly’s in the West Acres mall.

Customers will find everything they loved about the old location and more, said General Manager Al Streifel. The menu is the same, with a few new items such as pizzas and flatbreads.

The original Chili’s location opened in the West Acres parking lot in 1993. It closed March 27 and Panera Bread is expected to open there in the fall.

Moving to a new location after 20 years gave Chili’s an opportunity to update with a new design and more modern colors. Televisions have been positioned throughout the restaurant and Ziosks have been placed at tables to provide games and activities to keep kids busy while they wait for their food.

Streifel said customers will also appreciate the 10 new windows that have been installed. It gives the restaurant a more light and welcoming atmosphere than Grizzly’s had.

The restaurant will also feature a new patio with seating for 40. Seating for 180 is available indoors.

Although Grizzly’s management said it was difficult to compete with the mall’s food court, Streifel is excited about the move.

He credits marketing, including television adve-tising, for great brand recognition, but the most important selling point is the food. Since reopening, he has heard several people say they just couldn’t wait until Chili’s reopened so they could have their fajitas or chicken crispers.

“I think that the flavors, the seasoning, of Chili’s food is just something that makes people say ‘I’ve got to have that’ or ‘I love Chili’s,’ ” Streifel said. “We hear that all the time.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Angie Wieck at (701) 241-5501