FARGO - There isn't a bad spot to watch the game at Herd & Horns, a new grill and bar across the street from the North Dakota State University campus.

"We've sat in every seat in the entire place and made sure there was a huge TV right in front of you," said Mike "Drago" Dragosavich, one of the six owners of the new business that opened Thursday. "We really want to be a good spot to watch the games."

But it's not a typical sports bar-even if most of the owners are former NDSU sports stars.

With corrugated metal, reclaimed wood and brick wall accents and an open, spacious design, Herd & Horns is aiming to be a modern hangout for NDSU students, alumni, athletic department officials, Bison recruits and anyone else who wants to watch the game or get some food in north Fargo.

Customers won't find any neon signs or framed sports jerseys here, Dragosavich said, and there won't be any extreme drink specials that often are the norm at sports bars, though it does have 21 tap handles and craft cocktails.

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Instead, he said it's meant to be a restaurant and bar, not a bar that happens to serve food, and it's open to customers of all ages.

A chef was hired to prepare the menu of handcrafted and high-quality dishes, coming up with a unique take on shareable dishes, including several types of sliders.

"We really liked the idea of being able to order, 'Hey, I want a hamburger but I also want to try a pulled pork slider and I want to try a salmon slider,' " Dragosavich said.

The focus on small plates and shareable selections inspired the name-customers can come in and get a "herd" of sliders and wash it down with a beverage in a horn-shaped mug.

The name also alludes to Bison athletics, and Herd & Horns opened just in time to host local fans Saturday as the Bison play the first football game of the season in Missoula, Mont.

Dragosavich said the business will boast a Bison theme and strong ties to the university. That includes references to NDSU's sports history, but he said that's not the only thing from the university that will get some attention.

A library-like seating area is surrounded by bookshelves as a nod to the academic side of NDSU, and he said photos from the campus will adorn walls throughout the place.

"We want to incorporate NDSU history in general, not just sports, so if the band or the fraternities or any kind of group on campus comes over here, they're not thinking, 'Oh, this is just about sports,' " he said.

The restaurant also has a broadcast studio in one corner that can host sportscasts by the Bison Information Network, NDSU's student-run production network, and other outlets interested in filming or broadcasting from here.

Parking is limited to a few designated spots during the day, but the large NDSU parking lot just behind the building is open to the public after 4:30 p.m. and on weekends.

Business profile

What: Herd & Horns

Where: 1414 12th Ave. N., Fargo

Hours: 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday and Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday

Info: www.herdandhorns.com