WEST FARGO - The Blvd Pub off Veterans Boulevard in West Fargo is nearly complete. The bar management is nervous but excited about the opening, which is tentatively slated for the end of May or early June.
"We're so ready," said Blvd Pub chef Chandra Smith.
Bar manager Kathryn Olson said the weeks leading up to the opening are stressful, but everyone is ready to do what they were hired to do.
"I think we're coming in as this area develops," said Blvd Pub general manager Joe Wavra. "There's going to be more businesses moving in, and we're looking to capitalize on happy hours, lunches, all of it."
The new 10,000-square-foot building stands out in its location off Veterans Boulevard. "We want a laid-back, fun atmosphere," Olson said. "That's huge, for the bar especially. I know a lot of people are like, 'Oh, it looks so nice, it's going to be ritzy.' It's nice, but it's not going to be pretentious when you walk in here."
Wavra said Blvd Pub is a bar, not a restaurant, but he said the food will lure customers.
He hired Smith, who has had a culinary career that included stops at the Ramada Plaza & Suites in Fargo and the Radisson in downtown Fargo.
"We're going to try to do as much as possible from scratch, just to make sure it's actual bar food, not (bad) bar food," Smith said. "I like to do really unique stuff, and that's kind of hard for around here ... so the menu is pretty simple."
Wavra said the menu might be simple, but it will stand out.
"Our food has a nice spin to it. It's going to be fun to see," he said. The menu includes cheese curds, burgers, pickle fries, salads and some desserts. He said the early goal will be to listen to the customers and let them decide what they want to see on the menu and on tap.
The bar will feature more than 24 taps featuring a variety of beers, including locally brewed beers. The bar has an upstairs patio, a room for private parties, more than 20 TVs and seating for more than 200 patrons.
Blvd Pub is owned by five Fargo-area natives, including Wavra. It will employ about 45 people, and will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week.