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'Good times, cold beer and great food': Wild Bill's Sports Saloon to open Dec. 5

Training manager Rob Vaughan talks with employees who gathered for training Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, at Wild Bills in the former Quaker Steak restaurant in Fargo. Dave Wallis / The Forum1 / 2
Bar staff at the new Wild Bills in Fargo gather for training Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, in the former Quaker Steak restaurant in Fargo. Dave Wallis / The Forum2 / 2

FARGO—The wait is almost over, folks. After sitting vacant for more than two years, Wild Bill's Sports Saloon is expected to open Dec. 5 in the space formerly home to Quaker Steak and Lube at 1776 45th St. S.

Over 60 employees gathered there for orientation on Saturday, Nov. 19.

Employees will be expected to "enforce the rules of good times, cold beer and great food," said Rob Vaughan, Wild Bill's director of training.

Branden Warner, director of operations, added that bartenders and servers are considered more than order takers. They're sales people and entertainers.

"We're in the entertainment industry," he said. "That's the reality of it. People go out to be entertained."

He believes hospitality will be one thing that sets Wild Bill's apart from its competitors.

Food & drink

Warner, also a certified executive chef and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, said he takes great pride in knowing he assisted in the development of several of the menu items that Wild Bills has to offer.

While he has a hard time picking a favorite dish, he said Wild Bill's is probably best known for the cold smoked brisket and ribs.

"We have something for everybody," Warner said. "We also take great pride in that we do all scratch cooking."

Vaughan said they're also known for an extensive bar lineup.

"We have inhouse people who design our drinks," he said. "We have unique drinks and flavors you can't get anywhere else."

Wild Bill's will also offer aggressive specials during lunch and supper, Vaughan said.

"During the daytime, you'll come in here and there'll be lots of business people and people from nearby hotels. Maybe some shoppers," he said. "At dinner, we'll also have good specials so we'll have lots of families. We're very kid-friendly. People like to come to Wild Bill's because there are a lot of things for kids to do. We have tabletop games, trivia, lots of TVs. We're pretty in tune with entertaining the kids so parents can enjoy themselves and have a good time as well."

Vaughan also expects a strong crowd late into the evening.

"We're open until 2 every night," he said. "On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, we'll have more of a late-night entertainment feel where people from the hotels and the community can come and enjoy themselves, watch the game, hang out with the staff and have a good time. The kitchen is open until midnight."

Fargo will be home to the seventh Wild Bill's Sports Saloon. The chain also has restaurants in Grand Forks, and Maple Grove, Blaine, Woodbury, Apple Valley and Rochester in Minnesota.

Vaughan was nervous about the area's low unemployment rate, so he came to town in early October to start interviewing applicants. He's pleased with the staff and said now they have to concentrate on keeping them.

"We will treat them well so they have a good time being here," he said. "We really want them to share that good experience with our guests. When people come in, we're hoping by the time they leave, they'll say I can't believe how much fun I had. The service was great. The food was great. The drink was great. And, it's not that expensive."


What: Wild Bill's Sports Saloon

Address: 1776 45th St. S., Fargo