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Published January 19, 2012, 09:22 PM

Deek’s Pizza to open Fargo location

GRAND FORKS - After 16 years in Grand Forks, Deek’s Pizza is ready to expand to Fargo and will open its first location in the city in the next few weeks.

By: Ryan Johnson, Grand Forks Herald , INFORUM

GRAND FORKS - After 16 years in Grand Forks, Deek’s Pizza is ready to expand to Fargo and will open its first location in the city in the next few weeks.

Owner Derrick Kuenzel, 37, started the pizza delivery and carryout restaurant in 1995 and said he had long considered expanding to Fargo to cater to North Dakota State University students.

But that goal only became a reality recently when Jeff Roswick, who managed the Grand Forks restaurant for the past several years, moved to Fargo and was ready to help launch a second location.

“We’ve been looking at it for probably the last five years, but we finally just pulled the trigger on it,” he said. “All the pieces came together to get it up and running now.”

Kuenzel’s younger brother, Tyler Kuenzel, will continue to serve as manager and co-owner of the Grand Forks restaurant.

Deek’s Pizza began leasing a space in Fargo at 702 N. University Drive in November, and Kuenzel said crews have been working ever since to get it ready to open in late January or early February.

The Fargo location already has hired 15 to 20 employees to get ready for the opening.

Kuenzel said the Grand Forks restaurant has thrived despite heavy competition — 27 other pizza places were in town when Deek’s first opened — because of its simple concept and ability to offer “an inexpensive pizza for the college budget.”

Deek’s will take its Grand Forks concept to Fargo and will serve the same menu with the same business hours of 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The new location will offer carryout or delivery, but not dine-in, just like in Grand Forks.

“Everything will be exactly the same, from the hours that we’re open to the products that we serve,” he said.

Kuenzel said the goal is to target the college crowd at the new Fargo location, which is about four blocks south of the NDSU campus.

“Our system works in Grand Forks, so we figured we would go down to Fargo and see if it works,” Kuenzel said.

If it’s a success, he said Deek’s could soon expand to other nearby towns.

Some possibilities include St. Cloud, Minn., which has Minnesota’s second-largest university, St. Cloud State University. Kuenzel also mentioned Dickinson, N.D., which doesn’t have as large of a university but is a community “in need of restaurants” because of the oil boom.

“Our formula would work basically anywhere with a college,” he said.

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