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Dave Olson, Published February 14 2014

Trade Talk: Chick-fil-A a no-show for Fargo

FARGO - For those hoping that a Chick-fil-A may be coming to Fargo in the near future, word from the restaurant chain is not encouraging.

Rumors circulated recently that a Chick-fil-A was heading for the area, specifically the West Acres mall.

However, a request for comment from Chick-fil-A prompted this reply, delivered via a public relations consultant:

“Fargo is not on the Chick-fil-A list as a new market at this time,” the response said. “Perhaps out in the future there will be consideration for Fargo as a new market. Thanks for your inquiry.”

For its part, West Acres would love to see a Chic-fil-A make a roost there, according to Alissa Adams, marketing director for the mall.

“They are the most requested food court prospect by our customers, and they would be a great fit.

“We have been in contact with them, however, at this point, there are no plans of them coming to West Acres,” Adams said.

ND exports dip

North Dakota exported $3.7 billion worth of goods in 2013, a 14 percent drop from 2012, when exports totaled $4.3 billion.

Meanwhile, U.S. exports overall were $1.6 trillion in 2013, a 2 percent increase over 2012.

The numbers are contained in a report issued by the U.S. Commercial Service, which keeps an office in Fargo.

According to the report, the top five North Dakota exports in 2013 were:

• Mineral fuel and oil products, $1 billion, a 26 percent decrease from 2012;

• Self-propelled dozers, $343 million, a 20 percent decrease from 2012;

• Tractors, $239 million, a 12 percent increase over 2012;

• Agricultural equipment, $185 million, an 8 percent increase over 2012;

• Biodiesel, $156 million, a 29 percent increase over 2012.

Heather Ranck, director of the U.S. Commercial Service office in Fargo, said exporting is not just for big businesses, as the vast majority of North Dakota exporters are small and medium-sized firms.

Ranck said her office works with hundreds of businesses every year and many discover their export potential is greater than they thought it could be.

Beer hall news

Wurst Bier Hall, 630 1st Ave. N., Fargo, is planning a grand opening celebration for Feb. 28, starting at 5 p.m.

The event is intended as a thank-you to distributors and others who have helped the young business since it opened Jan. 3, but the public is welcome as well, said Andrea Williams, general manager of the business.

The party will include a free pig roast.

On Feb. 21, Wurst Bier Hall will host a tap-takeover event starting at 4 p.m. that will feature beer from Junkyard Brewing Co. of Moorhead.

Featured beers will include Junkyard’s Coachgun IPA; Hatchet Jack, a Baltic porter; and Scrounger, a cream ale.

Junkyard Brewing will also hold a tap-takeover Feb. 20 at the JL Beers at 2902 Highway 10 in Moorhead.

That event will start at 5 p.m.

At both tap-takeovers, customers ordering at least one of Junkyard’s beers will get a pint glass (while supplies last) that is etched with the company’s logo. There will be 48 glasses available at each event.

Unglued craft fest

Unglued will hold its fourth annual modern craft fest Feb. 21 and 22, at the Plains Art Museum in downtown Fargo.

The event includes a gala that Friday night, which will cost $15 if tickets are purchased early. Tickets may be bought online at www.ungluedmarket.com

The price will be $20 at the door. The gala will be from 5 to 9 p.m. that Friday.

The Saturday craft fest is free. Craft fest hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

New this year will be a Local DIY Venue Row; Artisan Food Row; and drop-in workshops.

Last year’s event drew more than 5,000, according to organizers.

More information can found at www.ungluedmarket.com

Hooters redux?

Hooters of America says the restaurant chain is working to find a partner that will team with Hooters to keep the brand in Fargo.

Operators of the Fargo Hooters, 3431 Fiechtner Drive S., are closing the restaurant March 31.

Another restaurant will use the space.

In an email, Mark Whittle, senior vice president for development for Hooters of America, stated:

“Hooters is opening new restaurants all the time and is actively seeking new locations across the nation and around the world.

“We want our loyal customers to know that Hooters of America fully intends to pursue a new partner and Hooters location in Fargo in the near future,” Whittle said.


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