Filling a void: Tru Blu Social offers up locally-owned steakhouse option in West Fargo

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WEST FARGO—When Tru Blu Social Club opens on Monday, Aug. 14, it's upscale menu will fill one of West Fargo's business needs. Tru Blu Social Club will be closer to a fine dining experience than their restaurants in recent past, said general manager Landa Heaton. Tru Blu Social Club will feature steak and seafood with lunch and evening specials along with popovers, beer and cocktails from a full bar.

The new restaurant is owned and operated by business partners Linda Young and Charlie Burrows, who also own Lucky's 13 Pub in Fargo.

Tru Blu Social Club, located on the corner of 19th Avenue East and Ninth Street in West Fargo, was expected to open in March or April, but the company held off to focus on training employees at its new Lucky's 13 Pub in Bismarck.

Heaton, who has been working at Lucky's 13 Pub for six years including the last three as the house manager, believes the Fargo area could use a steakhouse with more of a fine dining emphasis.

"(The owners) felt Fargo really need a steakhouse," Heaton said. "A good steak and great service, that's something they felt Fargo might be missing."

Tru Blu Social Club will seat about 270 in the upstairs, which features an open-bar concept similar to Lucky's 13 Pub, with half-moon booths, dark panelling on the walls and dark wood flooring throughout the rest of the bar and dining room. The downstairs, which won't be open right way, will be reserved for banquet activities like smaller weddings and can seat roughly 130-plus guests.

Heaton said Tru Blu Social Club will have "really good cuts of meat" including ribeye, steak, lamb chops, sea bass, walleye, coconut shrimp and pastas. She said the restaurant will be "heavy on the dinner menu," with appetizers, soups and salads with a few burgers, sandwiches and flatbreads more heavily included on a separate lunch menu.

Heaton said Tru Blu Social Club, which will be a from-scratch kitchen like Lucky's 13 Pub, will have over 50 choices of wine by the bottle and may have daily happy hours.

Tru Blu Social Club mostly relied on word of mouth to spread the news of its opening, Heaton said. She expects regular Lucky's 13 Pub customers, along with new customers from West Fargo, to visit the restaurant right away. The restaurant's location was strategically picked next to the new Sanford Medical Center on the other side of Interstate 94 and next to Element Hotel for business travelers who don't want to drive far to eat.

"As long as we continue to do what we're doing and focus on service and quality of food," Heaton said, "as long as you keep up with that quality and keep up with the service, we're going to be successful."