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Focusing on local beers, Front Street Taproom opening soon downtown

Aaron Templin, co-owner of Front Street Taproom, applies a clear coat to stained trim boards as the taproom is being readied for an opening. Dave Wallis / The Forum1 / 8
A ceiling and floor were removed in the building and the exposed steel beams were exposed as the Front Street Taproom is being readied for opening. Dave Wallis / The Forum2 / 8
A second floor will have room for more seating or meetings at the Front Street Taproom in downtown Fargo. Dave Wallis / The Forum3 / 8
A heavy steel railroad track, found locally, is used as a foot rail at the bar in the Front Street Taproom. Dave Wallis / The Forum4 / 8
Tubing in the cooler will be connected to kegs to deliver beer to the taps at the Front Street Taproom. Dave Wallis / The Forum5 / 8
The Front Street Taproom opened up the old building to reveal steel beams, bricks and a portion of a wall painting. Dave Wallis / The Forum6 / 8
Tubing in the cooler will be connected to kegs to deliver beer to the taps at the Front Street Taproom. Dave Wallis / The Forum7 / 8
Dave Wallis / The Forum8 / 8

FARGO—Aaron Templin has two goals for his new business. He'd like Front Street Taproom to be a fun, relaxed place to hang out downtown. And he wants to help change stubborn beer habits.

"We'll try to get as many people off domestics as we can," he said.

The taproom will open Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 614 Main Ave., on the main floor of the former One World Boutique building.

There are other places nearby to get a beer, but not quite like this—Front Street Taproom will exclusively sell beer brewed in North Dakota and Minnesota.

Something new

Justin Berg, a real estate agent who bought the building late last year with investment group Investments on Main, will set up a new real estate development company office, Grassroots Development, in part of the second story. The rest of the top floor is being converted to leased office space.

Local clothing line Lost in Fargo will open its first standalone retail store in the basement sometime next month, according to owner Nels Hunstad.

He said the space is "very basement-y," but in a good way. While his items will still be available in two other Fargo clothing stores, he said the new store will feature unique and new products as well as a screenprinting area and creative space.

"We're trying to make it very fun," he said.

That leaves Front Street Taproom—so named because Main Avenue used to be called Front Street until the 1950s—with the remodeled main floor. The space now boasts exposed brick walls, tin ceilings, an open design and a smaller mezzanine seating area that can be reserved for private events.

Dave Wallis / The Forum

There's seating for about 100, according to Templin, who serves as president and general manager as well as primary owner along with his wife, Lindsey Templin.

Front Street Taproom will have 30 taps and sell half-pints, pints and beer flights as well as limited snacks. The business is looking into teaming up with caterers to offer some meals or Saturday brunches, he said, and there's room behind the building for a food truck.

The taproom will regularly host events, including trivia on Tuesdays, open mic nights on Wednesdays and live music most Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Opening the business has been a labor of love for Aaron Templin, who turned 21 in 2009, just before the local craft beer scene started to take off with the emergence of Fargo Brewing Co. in 2010.

But the former food and beverage manager for Scheels Arena said the concept for his taproom materialized earlier this year when he and his wife took a vacation to Florida and saw the bustling brewery scene in the St. Petersburg and Tampa area.

"We ended up running into a few guys that owned a bar in St. Petersburg, and that inspired us," he said. "We started seeing this new type of business that's like a brewery taproom, but they were serving other people's beer."

A similar taproom, The Frothy Stache, opened in south Moorhead this summer, but that business serves craft beer from several areas, not just North Dakota and Minnesota.

Rather than concentrate on making good beer, the main job of a brewery, Templin said Front Street Taproom can focus on creating a good atmosphere while giving brewers a new outlet to sell their product.

"We could add something to the Fargo scene and create that place that can bring all the beers together," he said.

BUSINESS PROFILE

What: Front Street Taproom

Where: 614 Main Ave., Fargo

Hours: 4 p.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, noon to midnight Friday and Saturday and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday (opening Oct. 26)

Online: www.facebook.com/frontstreettaproom or www.frontstreettaproom.com

Ryan Johnson

Ryan Johnson is the Features Editor for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He previously wrote for The Forum and the Grand Forks Herald.

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