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Sherri Richards, Published March 26 2014

What is that ... happening at the old Smoky's restaurant?

West Fargo -- Reader Peggy wanted to know who is rehabbing the old Smoky’s restaurant, later home to Pistol Pete’s, on West Main Avenue.

“It’s been vacant for years, and now somebody is working on it,” she notes.

That “somebody” is Petro Serve USA, quite literally. Petro Serve employees, including receptionists and its chief operating officer, gutted the building, said Kent Satrang, CEO of Petro Serve USA, an energy cooperative founded in Moorhead.

Professionals have taken over construction on what will be the company’s new headquarters.

Satrang said the company outgrew its Moorhead operation. “We had to move to a location that would fit all the trucks and all the people,” he said.

Satrang expects about 40 employees will be moved into the renovated building by mid-June. It will feature a conference center for up to 96 people.

The building rehab is just the first of four phases creating a new campus for the company.

It purchased the former Hi 10 Motel property just to the west. That site will eventually house Petro Serve’s bulk plant, including fuel tanks and propane tanks, as well as a pay-at-the-pump fuel island.

Petro Serve also bought neighboring property that houses several truck rental bays and GM Doctor, an auto repair shop. That business and the renters will remain there, and more rental bays will be built later on, Satrang said.

Satrang said the stretch will “probably go from the most blighted spot … to one of the real highlights” in West Fargo.

“We like to restore old buildings,” Satrang said. “We believe in renewable fuels, so renewing old buildings is part of our nature.”

In addition to providing home heating, commercial and agricultural fuel and oil, Petro Serve has 23 convenience stores regionally.

Readers can reach

Forum Business Editor

Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5556