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Dave Olson, Published September 06 2013

Trade Talk: Panera Bread sets Fargo opening

FARGO – Panera Bread is set to open its first North Dakota store here on Sept. 23.

The bakery style-café will be located in the parking lot of West Acres in restaurant space that once housed Chili’s Grill & Bar.

Chili’s is now inside the mall in a spot that previously was the home of Grizzly’s.

Panera’s Fargo location is expected to seat about 125 people inside and about 16 outside.

The Fargo Panera will also have a feature new to the company: The production areas will be mostly open to customer view and patrons will be able to watch bakers shape the dough for Panera’s popular offerings.

The company said it is looking to hire more than 50 employees, including service and production associates and bakers and managers.

Other mall news

In other West Acres developments, mall officials are still working to fill a food court vacancy created by the departure of McDonald’s.

The mall asked for and received feedback from customers regarding what restaurant they would like to see come to the mall and the top three picks were: Chick-fil-A, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Jack in the Box.

The mall shared the survey findings with a number of companies to see whether they had an interest in coming to Fargo, but there’s no guarantee any will set up a store here.

Also at West Acres, Zales has opened in its new location next to Macy’s.

Francesca’s, a woman’s boutique, will open in the space formerly occupied by Zales. That is expected to happen at the end of October.

In addition, a locally owned alterations shop, EZ Alterations, will open this fall in the mall’s lower level.

West Fargo tidbits

A HomeGoods store will soon take up residence in Westgate Commons at 1500 13th Ave. E. in West Fargo in space that previously housed an Old Navy store.

A Marshalls store will move into Westgate Commons in space that is currently home to a Big Lots.

A message left with the Big Lots corporate office seeking information about the West Fargo store was not returned.

HomeGoods is a home furnishing store that is part of a chain of stores operated by TJX Companies.

Marshalls is a family ap-parel and home fashion retailer.

T-shirt firm sold

Jade Nielsen of Jade Companies LLC has ac-quired TAG, a T-shirt company founded by Joe Burgum in 2012.

TAG started as a pop-up shop in downtown Fargo with the aim of celebrating the community through T-shirts, art and graphics.

“We’re excited about TAG’s mission,” Nielsen said. “We love the Fargo-Moorhead area and want to get behind Joe’s message to continue what he started.”

“I am thrilled that Jade is excited to continue grow-ing what we worked so hard to create,” Burgum said.

“We know Jade will work to keep TAG’s mission alive – to celebrate this amazing place we are from,” Burgum said.

For more information about TAG, visit its online store at www.tagfargo.com.

Workforce event

The 2013 North Dakota Governor’s Workforce and HR Conference will be Sept. 18-20 at the Fargo Holiday Inn.

The event combines the Governor’s Workforce Summit and the Society for Human Resource Management state conference.

The conference is expected to bring together more than 300 business executives, educators, human resource professionals, young professionals and community leaders from across the state.

For more information, visit the event’s website at: www.NDWorkforceandHR.com.

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