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New restaurant, bar Loren Lee's to replace District Waterhouse

New restaurant Loren Lee's will soon move into the space formerly occupied by The District Waterhouse & Kitchen at 3179 Bluestem Drive in West Fargo. Carrie Snyder / The Forum

WEST FARGO—A new restaurant and bar will soon replace the recently closed District Waterhouse & Kitchen.

Loren Lee's will move into the space at 3179 Bluestem Drive this spring, the building's owner, Joel Wold, confirmed last week.

It's a relatively new building—The District was the first tenant when it opened last May—but some work needs to be done before Loren Lee's opens, which could happen as soon as May.

Wold said Loren Lee's owner, Karen Fabre Wills, will build up the half wall that separates the bar and dining areas to convert the previously 21-and-older business into a space that minors and adults both can use.

She'll also replace some high tables in the dining area with softer booths and get rid of TVs.

Wills, who has owned K's bakery and cafe in south Fargo for 10 years, said about 30 people will work at Loren Lee's, which will be open 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. seven days a week. The menu will feature a mix of traditional and trendy foods with a focus on high-quality fare, she said.

"This has been a plan of mine since I've been about, oh, maybe 17 years old, and it just happened to come at the right time," she said.

The location also was attractive, Wills said, with its close proximity to Scheels Arena and the new Sanford Health hospital.

After The District closed in February, Wold said he wanted the next restaurant to be all-ages and required that in the lease for the next tenant.

"We just saw, and The District saw, so many families come in and then they had to turn around and walk out," he said. "We wanted to be part of the community and accommodating."

The City Commission tabled a decision on whether to grant Wills a liquor license for that site at its meeting on Monday, April 4. City Administrator Tina Fisk said the city was still waiting on some interior design specs to complete the application. The city will likely vote on the license at its next meeting.

Ryan Johnson

Ryan Johnson has been a Forum reporter since 2012 and previously wrote for the Grand Forks Herald.

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